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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: February 9, 2018, 12:36 am 
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Louisville's luckEseven Lauds Locosts
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Joined: December 21, 2006, 2:30 pm
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Location: Louisville, KY
Update: it lives.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1noC5CPGzNw

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Scratch building an IRS, RX-7 based book chassis @ myBuild Log

*Make way for the luckEseven!


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PostPosted: February 9, 2018, 11:11 am 
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Nice video. It looks pretty darn quick. Imagine how well you'll do when you get full body panels on (I'm assuming that's a goal) everywhere.

Congratulations on keeping the dream alive. It appears you've not been active on here for some time.

Cheers,

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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PostPosted: February 25, 2018, 7:52 pm 
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Always Moore!
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Nice driving and it looks to run pretty well.

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PostPosted: October 1, 2018, 10:20 pm 
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Louisville's luckEseven Lauds Locosts
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Joined: December 21, 2006, 2:30 pm
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Location: Louisville, KY
Update: it’s finally complete!


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File comment: On track at Blackhawk Farms
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Scratch building an IRS, RX-7 based book chassis @ myBuild Log

*Make way for the luckEseven!
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PostPosted: October 4, 2018, 10:36 pm 
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Louisville's luckEseven Lauds Locosts
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Joined: December 21, 2006, 2:30 pm
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Location: Louisville, KY
So, a little back story on my hiatus. I’m sure a lot of you thought this build was dead in the water, as did I a few times. Back in 2012 I had finally gotten the garage in our new house set up with power for the welder and enough light to be able to see what I was doing, and I was hustling on the Locost again. Then along game our second kid... I lost just enough steam on the car and got distracted by other projects, before I knew it 6 years had gone by and I hadn’t even touched the car!

One of the aforementioned projects was a 94 Civic coupe that was given to me, which I spent about a year building into an awesome little track car. The plan was to build it to have something easy and fun to take to the track while I got back into the Locost groove. But of course, even a civic track car needs maintenance so the idea of using one while building the other never materialized. So after tracking the civic for 2-3 years and having a really good time doing it, I decided to sell it and go “all in” on the Locost. Plus I got a decent little sum of cash for the car which allowed me to buy some of the splurge items on the car like the carbon seats and Stack dash I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to convince myself to pony up for.

So the following posts will retroactively catch you guys up on the remainder of the build! Sorry for the lengthy hiatus.

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Scratch building an IRS, RX-7 based book chassis @ myBuild Log

*Make way for the luckEseven!


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PostPosted: October 4, 2018, 10:54 pm 
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Joined: December 21, 2006, 2:30 pm
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Location: Louisville, KY
Finish welded and braced all control arms
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Mounted fuel pump and made fuel lines. I chose vibrant for all AN Jose’s and fittings because their catalog is easy to use, affordable, and good quality. I also admit I love the black fittings.
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My garage “helpers”. The big one was born in 2009, the smaller one was the one born in 2012! My propane heater definitely helped me get through the cold winter.
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Laying out components on the firewall including the swanky triple brake/clutch reservoir.
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Starting the big job of wiring and electrical components. I liked the USB port hidden in plain sight on the passenger side of the trans tunnel tucked under the dash a bit.
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Making my own spark plug wires out of a universal kit from JEGS, since I remote mounted the coils for a cleaner engine bay.
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More wiring harness mock-up. Again, I used a Jegs universal wiring kit. More on this later.
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Scratch building an IRS, RX-7 based book chassis @ myBuild Log

*Make way for the luckEseven!


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PostPosted: October 4, 2018, 11:15 pm 
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Louisville's luckEseven Lauds Locosts
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Location: Louisville, KY
Here’s a sample of the wiring loom material I chose. Wires wrapped in cloth electrical tape, then covered in braided nylon sheathing, with the ends sealed by marine grade epoxy heat shrink.
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Finally received my wheels I waited for months for! 15x8 Rota RKR, modeled after watanabe wheels which have always been my favorite. Amazingly, they were available in my size 5x114.3 but with a slightly more aggressive offset which I managed to make work
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Found some headlights I liked on eBay with integral parking and turn signal LEDS. Made brackets the slide into the top tube on the book frame and can be easily removed.
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Close up of the headlight wiring harness made of DTM connectors with two large central plugs to disconnect and remove the headlights.
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Finally received my Exedy stage 1 clutch and as luck would have it can be completely installed with the engine and trans still in the car!
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All of the pieces needed to make an exhaust system from scratch, including the header.
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Fabricating the exhaust. Had to play with the angle of the muffler for a while before I was happy with its location. All components are stainless steel, purchased from Jegs. Machined heat sink oxygen sensor adapter is an attempt at making the sensor last a little longer being subjected to extremely high rotary EGTs.
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Scratch building an IRS, RX-7 based book chassis @ myBuild Log

*Make way for the luckEseven!


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PostPosted: October 4, 2018, 11:34 pm 
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Louisville's luckEseven Lauds Locosts
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Location: Louisville, KY
Fabricating the poor man's 2-1 merge collector
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Put one end of the 3" tubing in the press and flattened it out until it fit the shape of the two 2" primaries merged together.
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I was happy with the fit up here. These two pieces would be joined by a V-band clamp assembly
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And finally an overview of the completed exhaust system, including the rolled-out tip i had to order from UK eBay!
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Starting to make hydraulic lines from jegs-sourced braided line and fittings. This is the clutch slave cylinder which was as simple as a banjo fitting with a metric banjo bolt.
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Finalizing the cooling system This was a heavily modified universal hot rod radiator because it was the biggest i figured i could fit in the nose cone. Running a pusher fan helped with packaging the oil cooler right behind the radiator.
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Here's another view of the cooling system. Silicone hoses were used throughout. Again, vibrant AN hoses and fittings for the oil cooler system.
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Birds eye view of the radiator and oil cooler. The radiator sits very close to the frame!
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Scratch building an IRS, RX-7 based book chassis @ myBuild Log

*Make way for the luckEseven!


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PostPosted: October 4, 2018, 11:56 pm 
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Louisville's luckEseven Lauds Locosts
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Joined: December 21, 2006, 2:30 pm
Posts: 337
Location: Louisville, KY
Finally received my not-so-locost Tillett carbon B6 seats, Schroth ASM harnesses, and Personal red suede steering wheel. The harnesses were chosen for several reasons; i like the OEM style buckle, they are a good compromise between track and street use, they are safer for the street because one of the shoulder belts is designed to stretch and prevent the occupant from submarining under the lap belt. Plus they have been tested and approved for use with a HANS device so they are also great track belts.
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Another splurge item, the old school flair of the traditional Stack dash, just like the ones that come in a $50k+ Caterham! I made the horn button delete plate out of simple carbon fiber sheet.
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Close up of the gorgeous seats! They are as comfortable as they are beautiful too.
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After getting the car together enough (running, driving, braking, etc) I just had to take it to an autocross and try it out! Step 1 was to take it to work and align it.
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It's a little heavier than i hoped, but I did a steel floor and heavy wheels, so I can't say I'm too surprised.
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At its first autocross! It missed out on FTD by a tenth of a second to a high HP supra on new Hoosier A's. Oh well! It was still a blast but I'm glad i drove it before finalizing the build as they were several key items I found that needed to be improved on. Mainly, I went WAY too soft on my initial spring rate calculations!
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It drew quite a crowd all day!
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https://www.youtube.com/embed/5pQREo_p_1M

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-Emile
Scratch building an IRS, RX-7 based book chassis @ myBuild Log

*Make way for the luckEseven!


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PostPosted: October 5, 2018, 12:17 am 
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Louisville's luckEseven Lauds Locosts
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Joined: December 21, 2006, 2:30 pm
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Had so much fun at the autocross that I decided to take the car to my "home" track, Putnam Park.
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In good company!
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My boss captured this great picture of me torquing the wheels. The car was an absolute blast on track, blitzing my previous best lap time in my civic after years of development and hundreds of laps, on the exact same tire, by 4.9 seconds!!
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https://youtu.be/1noC5CPGzNw

Okay, back to work! Starting on notoriously difficult fender mounts. These front fenders were sourced from kitcardirect.co.uk, and were surprisingly affordable IMO. They are the "CSR style" which are supposed to reduce lift, but I just think they look really nice and fit the size tire I planned on running really well.
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A view of the structure under the fender. I actually used the tire to bend the 3/4" hollow tubing to shape by rolling the car over the length of tubing and then bending it around the tire.
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I made a very thick 1/4" steel plate that bolts to the macpherson adapter, that the fender mount welds to. So they can be easily removed with two nuts.
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A rear view of the bare mounts
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I ended up using 5 M5 rivets and stainless allens to mount the carbon fender to the steel mounts (not pictured).
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I chose to hug the fender right up to the tire for a tight, neat look.
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Windshield (and scuttle for that matter) sourced from Jack at Kinetic Vehicles. I like the size and proportions of the windshield, but it made my roll bar look silly by comparison. So that would be on the chopping block. More info on that later!
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Finally getting around to making a mount for the passenger seat. This one was a bit easier because it doesn't need to be on a slider.
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-Emile
Scratch building an IRS, RX-7 based book chassis @ myBuild Log

*Make way for the luckEseven!


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PostPosted: October 5, 2018, 12:39 am 
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Louisville's luckEseven Lauds Locosts
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Joined: December 21, 2006, 2:30 pm
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Location: Louisville, KY
Next big step was to fabricate the roll cage and bar, modeled after Jeff underwood's R1 powered Seven build. I borrowed a tubing bender and notcher from a friend and lagged it into the garage floor. All of the materials to do both bars cost about $400, and about $50 worth of tools specific to the job like a digital level, hole saws, angle finder, etc. Main and windshield hoop were the first step. I wanted the windshield hoop to follow the contour of the windshield, and the main hoop to have a similar shape with a bit more height to give it a "raked" look on track.
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Door bars and rear diagonal going on
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Harness bar and rear down bars installed. Lots of standing back, measuring, and head scratching to make sure these all look even and proportioned!
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I chose this X pattern for roof bars to maximize head room, and because I thought it looked good too.
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The last finishing touches going on, the diagonal braces and windshield braces. Now it just needs to be removed and finish welded
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I had some material left over so I decided to remake the street roll bar so it wasn't quite so tall. Still well within the "broomstick test" but looks better with the height of the KV windshield
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Rear view of the new, smaller roll bar
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And a side by side comparison. Much better!
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In an effort to widen the foot box as much as possible, I decided to attempt to make steel panels that bolt in on the trans tunnel framework, as opposed to traditional riveted aluminum. These would protrude into the trans tunnel area, also allowing for removal and servicing of the transmission and starter.
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As you can see I bought myself a good 3 inches or so of room for my throttle foot/pedal. As it turns out, I actually can remove the starter without removing these panels, but still a handy feature.
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I also like the idea of a steel panel in case I were to ever have a catastrophic transmission failure
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Getting creative with a slight bend I had to put on one of the panels
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Frame stripped all the way back down for final touches before going off to powder coat.
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Front tie down hook I fabbed up out of 1/4" steel plate, to be welded under the frame near the motor mount, for tying the car down on a trailer
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Rear tie down loop, repurposed from a shackle. Welded two of these on the lowest rear frame tube at the corner, to cross tie to a trailer.
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-Emile
Scratch building an IRS, RX-7 based book chassis @ myBuild Log

*Make way for the luckEseven!


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PostPosted: October 5, 2018, 1:03 am 
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Louisville's luckEseven Lauds Locosts
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Joined: December 21, 2006, 2:30 pm
Posts: 337
Location: Louisville, KY
Back from powder coat!
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Aforementioned front tie downs. these might be my favorite part of the chassis! It makes strapping the car down to a trailer so easy.
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Love the look of fresh powder coat! Now... how soon until i scratch it?
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Made these jack points out of delrin, or some sort of hard plastic. Countersunk M6 stainless screws threaded into rivnuts in the frame. This one is at the back
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Here's a side jack point. I placed them so the car would be pretty level when jacked up. they work great and prevent a floor jack from scratching the powder coat.
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Another final assembly task was to swap out the open diff for this Miata Torsen unit. Same final drive, just swapping diff for diff.
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And new wheels bearings being pressed into the rear spindles, along with extended wheel studs.
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Doing the final work on the custom wiring harness. Wrapping it in cloth electrical tape and braided sheath, sealed at the ends with marine heat shrink. Not motorsports, ultra lightweight or tidy, but good enough for me. I used DTM connectors heavily as they are easy to assemble, affordable, and look nice. All ring terminals are metal with marine heat shrink, no solder or nylon multicolored insulated connectors here.
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Gave the transmission a fresh blast of paint before installation
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Engine in for the last time (for now)
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My first attempt at a body panel. This one hides under the dash. Stainless countersunk screws into M5 rivnuts, with a rubber seal between it and the frame so it won't rattle
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Wrapped my homemade header in lava header wrap. Looks nice and cuts down on underwood temps a little bit
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Double belt alternator pulley from eBay, so you can run less belt tension and avoid belt slippage. Also note my homemade alternator tensioner, for low profile alternator mounting to maximize hood clearance
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Wiring harness finally done and ready to install, complete with nice miata firewall grommet
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Nice little chrome fire extinguisher installed just below the passenger's thighs
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I figured the nice smooth powder coat would get scratched quickly by climbing in and out of the car, so i decided to apply a roll-on truck bedliner
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More bedliner, and a nice shot of my custom driveshaft. Another item that was much cheaper than anticipated!
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Applied bedliner inside front fenders also to prevent rock chips breaking through to the carbon.
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First body panels getting cut and trimmed to shape. I decided on pre-painted aluminum sheet from my local sign shop. At $100 per 4x8 sheet, it was a good value for me since i wouldn't have to have the panels painted or wrapped after I fabricated them.
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A set of HF electric shears and an air angle grinder were all I used to trim and de-burr these panels. It took a steady hand to achieve a clean cut
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The panels came with a plastic film which prevented them getting dinged up during bending, drilling, riveting, etc
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Rear bulkhead panel (behind the seats), lots of measuring, drilling, riveting!
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-Emile
Scratch building an IRS, RX-7 based book chassis @ myBuild Log

*Make way for the luckEseven!


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PostPosted: October 5, 2018, 1:23 am 
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Final assembly! Panels getting riveted in place for good! I applied a thin bead of Right Stuff sealant along the rivets lines to prevent the panels from rattling and prevent moisture getting into the interior or the holes in the frame
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Side panel riveted into place, boot panels in progress
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Loving the white/black contrast!
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Decided to make the rear boot bodywork in 3 separate panels, no regrets. It made them WAY easier to fabricate, and I don't mind the look at all.
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Making the cover-up panels most locosts skip
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Starting to make the hood. What a PITA! I used Chet's method and it worked much better than i expected.
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installing the last of the electrical and mechanical bits before sealing off the trunk area with bodywork.
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AHHHH! It looks so awesome! I love it.
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This gives you an idea of how much room I have between the tire and rear bodywork/chassis
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Really nice Hella marine flush mounted third brake light i found on amazon. It lights up red obviously, is super bright, and looks like it could be an OEM piece.
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My saint of a wife made me a custom red suede shift boot to attempt to match my steering wheel, which i found out later is really closer to orange than red when compared to anything red X-D I made the carbon ring surround for the shift boot.
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My wheels were only available in magnesium black (aka flat grey) so I painted them satin black. Red calipers peeking out through the dark wheels.
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Fiberglass bits back from the painter. This was unfortunately more expensive than i was hoping, but he did have to do some fiberglass repair to one fender that met a cone at a high rate of speed...
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I also had him apply a "flock" coating to the face of the scuttle (the dash area technically), it's a powder that get sprayed onto a glue and sticks to the glue, leaving behind a felt-like surface that is durable, water proof, and doesn't reflect the suns glare straight into your eyes. I think it happens to look nice, too.
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Another Kitcardirect find, replicas of Caterham 620R canards. Style points abound!
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EEEK! It's almost done! I chose the rear taillights because 1- Ive never been a fan of the rectangular Caterham lights, Ive always loved MK2 Elise and exige taillights, and wanted to try something like that. I'm really pleased with how it turned out. These were another amazon find, made for a Harley davidson or something. Lights up red around the perimeter, and amber in the middle.
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Notice the street roll bar finished in subtle satin black to match the chassis... No such subtlety for the cage
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Helper #3, Elana. Right around 2 years old in this picture.
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-Emile
Scratch building an IRS, RX-7 based book chassis @ myBuild Log

*Make way for the luckEseven!


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PostPosted: October 5, 2018, 1:46 am 
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Louisville's luckEseven Lauds Locosts
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Joined: December 21, 2006, 2:30 pm
Posts: 337
Location: Louisville, KY
Track mode! Full cage finished in tomato red and the carbon aero-screen sourced from kitcardirect.
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Rear view of track mode. Also pictured is the taillights and rear corner markers lit up in parking mode.
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All switches also illuminate red ( the started button should, the bulb popped out of something) nice little color-coordinated switch covers for the ignition and fuel pump toggles
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Close up of the flock coating on the dash, looks and feels very rich. The black push buttons are for paging through the Stack dash, so I hid them kind of under the steering column
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Behind the dash, a view of the grommets for the main harness and battery cable
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Applied a yellow film to the headlight housings so the glass lenses didn't shatter if hit by debris on track. Ended up liking the look more than i thought...
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Portrait mode
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Damn right, color matched red roll bar padding!
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Back to work for another alignment before its first track day (again). Didn't have time to get a final weight yet!
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Mmmmmm, Penskes...
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Rolling out onto NCM Motorsports Park in Bowling Green KY. The car is an absolute BLAST on the street tires!
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Obligatory paddock shot
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Helpers #2 and 3, Cami and Elana. 6 and 2 in these pictures. Also, a close-up view of the 3M carbon vinyl I applied to the rear fenders to prevent (or reduce) rock chips.
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Accelerating onto the back straight at NCM
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It'll never look this fresh and nice again! Also pictured is my co-worker Scott who urged me on to finish my car already!
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It draws a crowd everywhere it goes! And apparently the roll cage is also a great place to grab on and lean!
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Unloaded after the track day, something about the lighting in this picture makes the car look extra nice. Taking Helper #1, Sofia, 8, for a slow ride down the street
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Some finished engine bay pictures
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I tried to keep things as tidy as possible
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I mounted the bottom of the nosecone on stainless steel hinges to be able to remove two bolts and tip it forward, leaving room for servicing the cooling system, components a bit easier
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10 years later (about 3 years of actual work), and I have something i can be pretty proud of! It was exponentially more work than i could've ever fathomed, but I am so glad its done!
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First Cars and Coffee
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There's that crowd again!
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-Emile
Scratch building an IRS, RX-7 based book chassis @ myBuild Log

*Make way for the luckEseven!


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PostPosted: October 5, 2018, 4:36 am 
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Joined: August 12, 2011, 1:46 pm
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Beautiful work man !
I'm particularly liking the cage design . Has a really safe feel to it without spoiling the lines .


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