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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: May 2, 2018, 1:05 am 
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Location: No. Nevada
Once the Webers are dialed in I expect it to rev very quickly indeed as I'm using an aluminum flywheel. :shock:
Since my home altitude is just about 4,000' I may not need octane booster for local drives.
Actually plan to fit a second gas tank in the old "Smugglers box" location to have 100 octane or better available if needed to handle lower altitude, steep grades, etc.
I can buy "Race Gas" and alcohol free gas at the pump here.

The Alfa/Dio build has me considering a dry-sump for the 327 too.
Trying to resist, as I've already gone far (Very far!) beyond the original mild build I had originally planned.

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PostPosted: May 2, 2018, 10:28 am 
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Joined: March 30, 2011, 7:18 am
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Location: central Arkansas
I know the feeling...

I planned my project around a Geo Metro 3-cylinder, 1-liter drivetrain. 52 horsepower! I use a Geo as my beater car, and I have several spare engines and transmissions laying around...

There's a 4-liter Rover V8 under a bench. And an Eaton supercharger, various intercoolers, several turbos, and some dry sump bits. Several milk crates full of EFI stuff. There's a Buick Grand National V6 with a Stage I short block on one of the engine carts. And someone local has an Elan with the Lotus 904 engine she wants to unload. And that's not counting the various small block Chevys and Fords I need to dust off and put up on Craigslist.

Must... maintain... focus...

Previously, any poor design decisions were either fixed by, or covered up by, MORE POWER. Working around a 52-hp (rated!) powertrain has been interesting.

On the other hand, that's more power than the early Lotus 7s had, and the Geo beater will spin its little 12" tires on aggressive starts, cruises comfortably at 80, and has no trouble matching freeway speed on the stubby local on-ramps. Granted the aero on the 7 stinks, but the Geo has more than twice the frontal area of a 7, so I figure it won't be a big factor.

That Rover still gets the Voices all excited, though. Something about big chunks of aluminum...


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PostPosted: May 7, 2018, 12:54 am 
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Location: No. Nevada
A little progress on the Alfa-Dio today.
Pulled the cam cover and oil pan.
Cam cover to see what the cams are.
Got the numbers but research may take a few days.
Tapped and plugged the oil pump galley for the dry-sump install. :D
Happy to see that the inside of the engine is super clean, so it looks like the seller was honest when he claimed it had recently been rebuilt. :shock:
Once I get the engine back together I should finally be able make mounts for it!
Of course now I get to figure out plumbing and where to mount the oil tank.

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PostPosted: May 28, 2018, 3:22 am 
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Progress!

DS pan and pump are installed.
There is a windage tray in there too.
Distributor is deleted, Electromotive crank fire now.
Adapter for oil "In" is on.
Engine is now sitting at it's final location, so mounts can be fabricated.
Oil pan is now no lower than the bell housing, I have 4" clearance under the car.
Not generous clearance but my feeling is that any business that employs "Speed Bumps/Sleeping policemen" more than 2" high does not want my money anyway. :evil:
Once I get the engine in it will be easier to start on front suspension mounts.
Of course I also have to figure out where to squeeze in the oil tank, filter, and cooler, along with the required lines.
Going to be a busy engine bay as I'm trying to avoid putting the oil tank in the rear.

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Now low enough that the engine and Webers will all fit below the body.

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Not a lot of clearance for the DS to frame, but a LOT more than I saw guys running on LS powered cars at the car show on Saturday. Yep, mounts are going to be pretty solid.

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New DS pan is about 4" shorter than stock, allowing the engine to sit nice and low for a better center of gravity.

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PostPosted: May 28, 2018, 9:36 am 
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Joined: December 17, 2010, 1:24 pm
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Location: Gainesville, Mo.
IIRC, the Cobras that came with the dry-sump system had their oil tank outside the frame rail in front of the passengers foot box. If they could do it with that big lump of a V-8, your little Alfa 4-banger should make the job a breeze!


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PostPosted: May 28, 2018, 12:36 pm 
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Funny, that is exactly where I am trying to put it.
What I have is round so a bit bulky.
Doing my best to use it as the cost of another tank is NOT "Locost". :(
I got the brand identified as OXB and know how to route the lines.
Hoping I may be able to rotate the upper half so that the inlet/outlets line up better.
This a SMALL car so space is at a premium.
Can move it to the rear if I must but prefer to keep the lines short.

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PostPosted: May 28, 2018, 1:02 pm 
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I have faith in you, Richard! The Cobras weren't BIG cars, either! Part of their secret to success was... not much car for that engine to move!!!

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PostPosted: May 28, 2018, 1:59 pm 
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Thousands of dry sumped Ford Escorts have been rallied over decades with their oil tank in the boot/trunk, along with other makes and models.


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PostPosted: June 18, 2018, 12:39 pm 
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Arrrg!
Too much time spent working on production cars this past week. :(
Fixed a TBI/ECM issue on the truck and began an R&R of the Miata trans, almost done with that.
The Miata is a horror to do.
Clearly the "engineers" that design these contraptions never have to work on them.
These hassles have reinforced my determination to make as many of my cars as possible have tilt front ends, even the El Camino!
Also want easily removable bodies when possible, including the El Camino. :chev:
Of course that means I now lean heavily toward body on frame construction or custom builds.
The Dio Tipo, GT6, and El Camino are all pretty easy to make fit this new goal.

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PostPosted: June 18, 2018, 1:35 pm 
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Location: Fort Worth, Texas
A Miata is the only car I've given up and "let a professional do it" when changing a clutch. Getting to everything really requires dropping the subframe and engine as the top 2 bolts are basically inaccessible even with wobble sockets.

When they are out they are simple, whereas the S2000 has some "sticktion" and separating and re-connecting the transmission requires some elbow grease. And it's hard enough that you think you must be doing something wrong, but it was still easier than the Miata when it was in the car.

I saw some cool hood hinges on that uber expensive Mercedes with the exhaust that exits just before the doors (I can't remember the model at the moment) that allowed the hood to slide forward and then tilt up allowing full access to everything.

One of the models of the Vettes also has a very easily accessible forward tilting hood.

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PostPosted: June 18, 2018, 1:54 pm 
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I actually got the top two bolts using a series of extensions (some of them are slightly wobble ended) and a universal joint type wobble at the end.
TRICK, use electrical tape to prevent the wobble joint flopping around too much while trying to get it on the bolt head.
Still a PITA and I have to finish up the beam, wires, etc. today.
Also made two studs to help with lining up the bolt holes.
And it will never work unless you tilt the engine back.
When this Miata gets wrecked or has a serious issue it will return to the build donor status it started out as.
NEVER want to do any more serious work on it in the original body.

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PostPosted: June 19, 2018, 10:12 pm 
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Miata is cursed, I'm still cursing it!
Finished up the clutch, bled the #&$% out of it and STILL will not shift. :BH:
Tried the linkage adjustment trick with no difference.
Bought a new pressure/vacuum bleeder to replace the plastic junk one I had before.
Made of METAL, even if it's only aluminum.
So will try again tomorrow evening.

On a happier note I found some tie-rod ends that I think will fit the top of the Alfa uprights.
Rock-Auto had some at about $2.50 each. :shock:
No way I'm trusting such an important part sold that cheap :roll: but they should be fine to test fit.
If they work I can buy better quality when I'm ready for them.
Also bought some gaskets for the intake and exhaust systems.

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PostPosted: June 22, 2018, 3:38 pm 
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Got the upper and lower ball joints today.
Lower are stock Alfa, upper are ES2065L.
Threads on the shank do not come quite as close to the joint as the popular ES2074R but the joint taper is correct. :)
Upper shank is 5/8" LH thread, plenty beefy.
I will need to add a washer for the castle nut to engage the cotter pin.
I may shorten the shank .500" - .750"

Now I can make the measurements to figure my A arm mounting points and lengths! :D

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PostPosted: June 22, 2018, 10:09 pm 
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Made a couple of steps forward with getting the ball joints.
So now must take a step back, as the ES2056L are 9/16-18 shank not 1/2 or 5/8.
No 9/16 RH rod ends available, at least not for automotive use.
So I have to decide how I want to handle the differing 5/8R and 9/16L ends for the upper arm.
Looking like the upper arm will be very similar to the original Alfa part.
A large right angle arm with a smaller angled leading arm going forward.
At least that arm may be bought professionally made inexpensively. :)
This upper arm design is needed to clear the engine.
Lower arm to be a conventional A arm.
I was happy to see that QA1 rod ends are not too expensive, until I added up ten of them! :roll:
Need to dust off my rusty CAD semi-skills and try to draw this up.

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PostPosted: June 24, 2018, 12:39 am 
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Committed to buying a bunch more Alfa ex-racecar parts today.
Pretty sure some will not fit this build but I'm getting them "Cheap" (Compared to new) so some will go to other builds.
Coil-overs should work on the rear, hoping the calipers can be made to fit all around, very happy to get a lightened flywheel and recently rebuilt trans with lightened second gear. :D
Hollow anti-sway bars may be useful, not sure I will really need them with the car being so low.
15"x7" 4x108 PCD wheels may end up on the Trick-6, Flaming River rack may go to the El Camino?
May even resell some pieces such as the fabricated Mustang II type front uprights and vented rotors.

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