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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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 Post subject: Crap.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 1:47 am 
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Location: Champion, Ohio
Crap. Jack has been making me some custom tie rod extensions, and I got the MGB tie rod thread pitch wrong... so I have to send them back and try again. Oh well. Steering will have to wait a little more.

Nate
SteyrTMP


Last edited by SteyrTMP on Thu Nov 01, 2007 2:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Update
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 5:06 am 
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Location: Champion, Ohio
Well, it finally arrived... another package! But the right one, this time. I've been busy ordering a lot of stuff... and, sadly, my spending days are coming to a close. Back to the budget... Oh well. I have most of my brake parts and fittings, the pedals, the steering rack, most of the column setup, and my steering wheel--a Momo Race wheel (MSRP around 300 bucks, I payed 60 new), with MGB adaptor and a NRG Quick-Detach Hub assembly (a must with my legs). I have other odds and ends, but most of them do not have much to do with the current setup and situations. One of my biggest next assignments is to figure out how to apply a balance bar to Jack's economy pedals... and then attach a Wilwood remote bias knob to that assembly, and have it work.

The tie rod extensions arrived today, back from Jack, with a set of pedals as well. Two very important parts that shall allow me to go on with the build.

I have a case of the nail and the horse; I have to install the master cylinders to decide where the steering rack will fit (or not fit); I have to have the steering rack to decide where the exhaust goes. Which are all main features I'd like to start working on.

I scrubbed the threads on the ends of the tie rods (they are older than me by 10 years), and installed the extensions. They fit perfectly, and hopefully, once I have everything tightened down, there will need to be minimal adjustment when it hits the road. That and the fact that I can now push the frame around without having to kick the tires into position all the time.

Jack came through with a kick-ass job, as always. 12x1.5 metric studs for the Miata tie rod ends, with the extension itself threaded in 9/16-20, I think, for the female end to thread onto the '71 MGB tie rods. I forgot--they used to have "imperial" before metric.

Alas, one of the tie rod ends is disformed and the castle nut won't go on, so I'll have to replace that tomorrow. Oh well. I think I need to work on my pedals before I get much further with the steering assembly so I can make sure to refrain the steering column from interfering with the master cylinders.

A side note: You'll notice different tires and rims in the background. I finally got the REAL wheels the other week. Diamond Racing Wheel rims, 15x7 (front), and 15x8 (rear). Not the exact size I want; I'd like to eventually have 15x8 front and 15x10 rear, but street tires are virtually non existant in 15x10, so until I can fully utilize slicks without bogging the engine down (read: forced induction), I'll have to be content with the current setup.

If anyone is looking for a decent priced street/track tire, BFGoodrich g-Force Sport fit in my budget. They were $82 each for the front and $93 each for the rear. Not as cheap as the Sumitomo HTR 200's, at $63 front and $74 rear, but the reviews on the Sumitomo were nowhere near as good as the reviews on the g-Force Sport tires. At least on TireRack, the only other similar-priced tire in the 15x7,15x8 setup was the Yokohama AVS ES100, which also had pretty bad ratings. My total cost, after shipping from TireRack, was $388.72. Not shabby, to consider the stock tires on my stock 17"s on the Mini cost 250 a piece on a good day.

Another reason for my picking the BFGoodrich tires--I run 19x7 rims on the Mini, clad with BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDW-2 tires. Very nice tires, plenty of grip (too much, actually--my 16" winter tire/rim combo is so much easier to get past 130mph in), but very good handling on the corners. Hopefully the g-Force Sports will act similarly.

I'll take some good pictures of the wheels next time I get out in the garage without other vehicles in the way.


Attachments:
File comment: Here we see it installd. It will need some fine-tooth adjustment before going on the road, but good enough to get the gist.
Installed.jpg
Installed.jpg [ 53.89 KiB | Viewed 6247 times ]
File comment: Here's the unassembled side. MGB tie rod, the spacer/adaptor, and the Miata tie rod end.
Apart.jpg
Apart.jpg [ 57.8 KiB | Viewed 6249 times ]
File comment: Here's the pedals, just chillin'. I have to measure everything several times, so as to make sure I don't screw anything up. I really don't want to have to do this section twice.
Pedals.jpg
Pedals.jpg [ 55.55 KiB | Viewed 6248 times ]
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 Post subject: Rims
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 12:06 am 
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Location: Champion, Ohio
Here's two pictures of my car from the side. One thing to mention about the tire size: 205/50R15 and 225/50R15 isn't the correct size. 205/55R15 would have been the correct size, I believe, as the front tires are smaller than the rear now.


Attachments:
Side2.jpg
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Side.jpg
Side.jpg [ 58.32 KiB | Viewed 6172 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 10:06 am 
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Location: Charleston, WV
Looks great. Going back a bit to the springs. Those look like 10 inchers. I'm pretty sure QA-1 sells 9 and 7" springs too. I went with 7" for mine.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 10:09 am 
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Just something sinister about a roller with black rims.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:46 pm 
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Location: Champion, Ohio
They are 9" coilovers. Having never dealt with coilovers before, I was not sure if they would work or not--the photos in the instructions, along with the instructions themselves, show and mention that you slide the springs on, put the cap on, and tighten them up.

As mentioned in previous post, it took hours to get them on, but they fit perfectly--I can have between 4" and 6" or so inches of clearance. Possibly more, but I haven't tightened them much more as I'd prefer not to push it. My goal was around 5-5.5" clearance, with 1.75" of the oilpan below the frame, so I'm good.

Mandurath: Heh. I dunno if "Arrest-me-officer" lime green would be considered sinister... that's what I'm going for; bright lime green with black accents/trim/tubing.

Nate
SteyrTMP


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 8:11 am 
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Heheh Well, for now it has mad max appeal.


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 Post subject: ...
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 2:51 am 
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Location: Champion, Ohio
Well, it's been a busy weekend. I took Friday off, and was supposed to bring my girlfriend up here to give me a hand; that didn't work out, so I didn't really get started until around 6 or 7, but once I got started...

Thursday night, I mounted the driver's seat, and had welded in the triangular 1/8" pieces of plate that are going to hold in the side seat belts. Once I placed the passenger's seat on the mounting tubes, I simply had to align the corner of the back of the seat with the middle of the mounting tube, and make the first drill hole.

After some thought, I decided to use some counter-sunk 3/8" machine screws on the main mounting point of the seats, with smaller 1/4" machine screws on the front mounting points. I'll replace the smaller ones with other 3/8" machine screws and nuts later, but for now they'll do the trick. They are not of much concern, as there's a 1/2" carriage bolt holding the anti-submarine belt to the mounting tubing that passes through the seat as well.

When I initially started on the harness mounts, I was not sure if I wanted to do for the two upper mounting points. Either a piece of 1" square tubing welded to the top of the rear bulkhead, or two 1 1/2" pieces of round tubing with 1/2" ID mounted vertically. The latter would probably look a little nicer, but all the tubing I could find was more towars 5/8" ID, and would have the mounting bolts wobbling, so I cut pieces of 1" that I thought would fit each seat, and after holding the harness straps where they would not overlap, nor bunch up against the seat itself, drilled holes to match on the pieces of tubing. This particular tubing has a 1/8" ID, so I'm not too concerned about the bolts ripping out in case of sudden impact.

Once I finished assembling the seatbelt mounts, I started disassembling the car.

It took me about 30 minutes to strip the car down to the bare frame. The engine was quick, and the longest part was the front suspension. For convenience's sake, I keep each corner sub-assembly in one piece, and it makes it much easier to reassemble. I also decided to keep the differential out for the moment, due to it's abhorrent weight and awkward installation.

Once stripped down, I flipped the car over and went over the entire frame with a utility light, looking for any areas that were hard to get to when I was welding. I found one or two that looked like they could use a little more, as well as my main reason for flipping it--there were some areas on the differential mounting plate that I was unable to reach to when right-side-up, as well as the bottom of both of the rear harness mounts.

My next project was to cut the 14.5" Kirkey drag seat to match the 15.5" Kirkey economy layback seat. I simply laid them side-by-side on the floor, and traced the layback bolster onto the drag seat with a felt-tip marker. Once I had done this on both sides, I took my oh-so-loud jigsaw and commenced the assault. The lines were pretty close, and it did not require very much grinding to get to where I wanted, and once I replace the black trim onto the edges, it became hard to tell that it ever looked otherwise. The only signs are the reinforcement grooves, and the slight curve of the bolsters. I'll have to go whale at that with a hammer, but frankly, I fit fine in either one, so I don't really care.

When I finished that, I called it a night for Friday and went to bed.


Attachments:
File comment: Note the marking on the seat and the subassemblies. Missing in the picture is the aluminum plate that bolts onto the lower support bars beneath the diff mount. Without the plate in place, the kick-up section in the back looks like a spoiler of some sort
Picture 002.jpg
Picture 002.jpg [ 69.81 KiB | Viewed 5901 times ]
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 Post subject: Saturday
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 3:25 am 
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Location: Champion, Ohio
Saturday was a busy day. First off, I flipped the car back right-side-up, placed the main hoop for the roll bar in place, and applied a magnetic angle to keep it from falling down. I then donned my helmet, sat down, and had my dad measure the distance between my helmet and the top of the rollbar.

If I slouched a little, there was about 3" from the helmet to the top of the roll bar. I then went inside and online to see what SCCA's regulations were for such things.

I've posted questions asking about the height requirements before on the Yahoo forum, with mixed results. So to make sure, I tried to find the SCCA regulation book. Boy, is it buried. It probably took me 45 minutes to finally find what I wanted, just to find that SCCA SUGGESTS that you have 2-3" of clearance between your helmet and the top of the roll bar on an open-top vehicle, but other than in Pro Racing, there are no requirements on actual height, other than it is higher than the helmet.

With that in mind, I went back into the garage, and cut 2" off each end on the hoop, and carefully ground them to equal lengths, with the 5-degree edge. I then spent another half hour, making measurements to make sure I had it perfectly level, and that they were mounting in the perfect spot, equal on both sides. Call me anal retentive, but I'm picky about things like that.

It was a relief to have it welded in place, and it gave me a feeling of occomplishment. But the hardest parts were to come.

The cross-beam was cut for the initial hoop height, not the modified height, so it wasn't going to fit. I hacked off a few inches, and started grinding my own fishmouths into the end... lop-sided, of course. As I always cut way to long, I had enough room to grind the mouth back into the correct position, and installed the crossmember onto the rollbar. (Not until after I folded the headrests to clear).

Until now, there was some work required, but no major hangups... yet.

I started with the left support bar, held it relative to where I wanted, and cut a few inches off the end. I then started grind it to shape and angle until I could finally slide it onto the plate I had made for it on the little kick-up in the back. Only then did I notice that the diagonal tubing supporting the rear subframe was going to prevent me from mounting the support bar in the center of the plates I had mounted them. Great. I ground a little off the top of the diagonal tube, and then left the support tube where it was and went on to the right one.

I found a different problem for the right support beam.... It was going to interfere with the fuel cell. When I built the shelf for the fuel cell, I never considered the support bars, and shoved it all the way to the right, so as to make room for either a spare 1-gallon gas can, the battery, or both.

Thankfully, I was able to work around it, and welded everything into place. It's actually starting to look like a car...

When I finished welding, I started putting the car back together. It always takes a little more time reinstalling everything, but I can do it... except the engine. Dropping the engine into place is the one thing I cannot do by myself. I spent somewhere between 2 and 3 hours, sweating, swearing, and yelling at inanimate objects, but to no avail. Finally, I gave up and went to bed. Go figure, my buddy Dave came over the next morning, and between him, my dad, and me, we had it in place in about 5 minutes.

That's it for now. Next on the list: Brakes, steering.

Nate
SteyrTMP


Attachments:
Picture 004.jpg
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Picture 008.jpg
Picture 008.jpg [ 63.48 KiB | Viewed 5895 times ]
Picture 007.jpg
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 Post subject: ...
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 3:28 am 
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Location: Champion, Ohio
...


Attachments:
File comment: Finally starting to look like something!
IMG_2162.JPG
IMG_2162.JPG [ 63.38 KiB | Viewed 6153 times ]
IMG_2161.JPG
IMG_2161.JPG [ 68.17 KiB | Viewed 5895 times ]
File comment: Initially, I planned on welding the bottom of the support bars in the middle of the plates, but in all reality, I guess it doesn't matter. There is not a lot of actually structural support in the back end.
Picture 006.jpg
Picture 006.jpg [ 61.57 KiB | Viewed 5895 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:05 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:26 pm
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Location: SoCal
Looks like (hard to see) there's a lot of kingpin offset at the front. Were no wheels available that could offset them inward to minimize that?

Also, about the adjustable springs, I wasn't sure how to interprete your comments. They aren't intended to give different ride height, only the adjustment necessary to set it to your design target.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:06 am 
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Location: Charleston, WV
Very nice. Looks like a car! Did you catch the part in the SCCA rulebook that the rear support bars cannot be mounted at an angle less than 30 degrees? What angle are yours mounted at?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 2:08 pm 
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KB, what do you mean by kingpin offset? Edit: Ah... I see it has to do with steering. Well, the steering rack isn't mounted yet, it's just sitting there. I'm waiting on my U-joint before I decide where to mount it, because I have to figure out what angle I want to mount the shaft at.

Chet, I didn't see that part, but I'm not too concerned, as I had to weld them further back than planned; they are probably more towards 40-45 degree.

Nate
SteyrTMP


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 3:07 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:26 pm
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Location: SoCal
What I meant was that if a line is drawn through the front upright pivots and extended to the ground, the distance from that point to tire-centerline seems like quite a bit. I admit it's hard to tell what it really is, but it's best to try to minimize it, which can be done with wheel offset.

About the rear drop-tubes, I've always wondered about their effectivity. This isn't a slam of your car in any way, I see it all the time. Since the chassis has to reach "up and over" the rear axle tube, there isn't any substantial structure back there, at least in a downward-bending direction. Asking a cantilevered structure to restrain the main roll hoop from folding back seems like wishful thinking. Does anyone have any knowledge about how Sevens hold up in a rollover? The worst case would be a rollover where the car then continues sliding fowards. Seems real easy for the main hoop to fold over backwards. However, the rear sheet metal must help the down-bending forces, if it doesn't buckle.

That said, having the drop-tubes is certainly better than nothing, but for track day events I'd consider a bolt-in forward-facing bar that runs from the top center of the roll hoop down to the passenger footwell.

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Midlana book: Build this mid-engine Locost!, http://www.midlana.com/
Kimini book: Designing mid-engine cars using FWD drivetrains, http://www.kimini.com/book_info/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:08 pm 
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Location: Charleston, WV
It's better than nothing, which is what I see holding up many Locost Rollbars. Also it's worth noting that many Locosts are IRS and the frame is not discontious on the bottom.

I think if I were doing track days I would want a removable Petty bar.

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