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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: November 20, 2007, 1:33 pm 
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Blackbird wrote:
In my neighbourhood there's a nick name for all the wives of us, the men who are getting stuck for long hours in the garage, we call them "garage widows".


Don't feel bad...I've got a friend who is just now catching his second case of AIDS. (Aviation-induced divorce syndrome)

-dave "not actually funny" hempy


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PostPosted: November 20, 2007, 1:39 pm 
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JackMcCornack wrote:
dhempy wrote:
Not shown here is a third stud going between across the four long studs. Not sure it was needed, but seemed like a good idea at the time, and I was having fun learning how to work with steel studs.
Huh? Please elucidate and clarify. I'm not grokking that third stud. Your table sure looks stiff enough; it looked good in person, too, but it was all closed in by then. Could you supply a crude sketch?


Yeah, I suspect it's overkill, but at least no animals were injured during filming. No harm, no fowl.

I can't sketch too good, so I went out and pulled the lower panel off to shoot a picture. Let me know when you're done looking so I can put it back together.

-dave


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PostPosted: November 20, 2007, 4:53 pm 
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dhempy wrote:
This might not seem relevant to a builder's log, but your shop is probably your most important tool, right after your brain and your hands. I would have a hard time encouraging anyone to start a project like this without a good shop situation. I'm sure it could be done under tarps in the driveway, but I have a hard time seeing a finished project come of it.


Hey now!

Working without a shop hasn't been too bad. Its WAY better than not building a car at all....


:lol:

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"the all-consuming time-sucking car, which I really enjoy working on" -KB


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PostPosted: November 20, 2007, 7:08 pm 
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eVox wrote:
[
Working without a shop hasn't been too bad. Its WAY better than not building a car at all....


Well, I'll give you a big fat, AMEN! to that. I've done *far* more work on cars and such shadetree than under roof...like 20 years vs. 1 year!

Guess I'm just spoiling myself in my old age. ;-)

-dave "from the last century" hempy


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PostPosted: November 20, 2007, 7:39 pm 
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eVox wrote:
Working without a shop hasn't been too bad. Its WAY better than not building a car at all....


No kidding... we did my friend's engine swap in the street. :lol:

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PostPosted: November 21, 2007, 3:25 am 
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dhempy wrote:
I can't sketch too good, so I went out and pulled the lower panel off to shoot a picture. Let me know when you're done looking so I can put it back together.

:-) Thanks, got it, you can button it back up and get back to work now.

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PostPosted: November 27, 2007, 3:12 am 
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Looking pretty much like everyone else's frame at this point. I held off on the tranny tunnel because a) McSorley didn't hold my hand through that part and b) I wasn't set up to pull the engine from the Miata yet to test fit.

But I could sit in it and make motor noises.
:leave: ...not that I did.


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PostPosted: November 27, 2007, 3:20 am 
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Okay...she's clearly no virgin. With 158,000 miles and one interstate date with a concrete barrier, this '93 Miata LE has been around the block a few times.

Still, the altar accepted her. :twisted:

I thought I had "after" pictures, but I can't find them now. Think, "drawn and quartered," aka "The Rivera Treatment". I'll add the gore shots if I find them.

(edit 10/1/2008: Video uploaded: How to Strip a Miata in 4 minutes )


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Last edited by dhempy on October 17, 2008, 10:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: November 27, 2007, 3:39 am 
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It amazes me how heavy things are! I'm used to building airplanes, where the entire engine weighs 80 pounds and a 15' long wing can weigh 30 pounds.

-dave

[Edit - 10/16/2008: video posted: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bix1aHlsBJw Starts here, covers the next few posts. Click on "Watch in High Quality" just below the video -dave]


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Last edited by dhempy on October 17, 2008, 1:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: November 27, 2007, 3:51 am 
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This is the first component located in the car. A very exciting day! :D


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PostPosted: November 27, 2007, 4:21 am 
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Locating the Miata rear subframe was a real PITA! After several false starts, this is what I ended up with. You can pretty well see what I was doing from the pictures.

I clamped a very straight indicator tube to each rotor. I centered all the toe adjustors on the A-arms, and verified that the two indicators were parallel. I centered the subframe to the frame. It wasn't obvious where the subframe centerline was. I measured between the A-arm pickup bolts to find the center.


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PostPosted: November 27, 2007, 5:04 am 
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The six bolts/studs that the rear subframe mounts to are a bit annoying. They're not in a straight line, and they're not all at the same height. You can't quite get them all to fall inside a 1" tube, and that's all I had on-hand. Around the same time, I was trying to figure out what my upper shock mounts were going to look like. My fabrication skills were new and small at the time! (I'm not sure how much they've improved as I write this a few months later, but at least I'm not so timid now!)

So I went back to the frame of the Miata to see what the mating parts look like. I didn't have to scratch my head too long before deciding to cut out the frame rails and shanghai them into the revolution. I used a cut-off wheel and a sawzall. Sure wish I had a cutting torch back then! :furious:

My first thought was just to salvage the shock mounts. Then I realized I could pull the frame rails, too, and get a perfect mounting surface for the subframe. Unfortunately, that was only after I'd cut it up pretty bad.

So I cut out a larger portion of the frame...pretty much all I could from the bumper mount forward to the back of the tub. I then un-cut the shock mount back on. One of my first non-tack welding attempts! Ugly, but I'm confident with it.

I was concerned I was starting a trend of adding a lot of weight, but these frame rails only weigh 13 pounds per side, left a little long in the back. This is probably more than a careful tubular frame and shock mounts, but not by much, I think. Certainly a bargain for me, as the fabrication would have consumed a lot of time and been pretty challenging. When I get around to finalizing the rear body work, several inches will come off those rails, so it may drop a pound or two per side.

The weight-wary would probably see better gains eliminating the subframe and building the entire rear end up out of tubes, like in the new Hayne's book.


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PostPosted: November 29, 2007, 3:21 am 
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I welded the frame rails to the rear bulkhead, adding some diagonal TLAR* tubing. I'm thinking about not adding all the rear body work...leaving the arse end wide open, something like an At-om.

I'm also thinking of putting an honest-to-goodness rear bumper on the end of the Miata frame rails, just like on a Miata. Not a Miata bumper, but a little tiny one like a Geo Metro... We'll see.

Image

The subframe remains a bolt-on assembly. If I had a clearer vision and more confidence, I would likely weld it in place...there's no reason for it to ever come out, I believe. As it is, it's proved convenient to remove it when flipping the frame and whatnot.

I'm also considering not doing the underbracing that other folks have added under the lower suspension pickups. The Miata has it all hanging from above, after all. Then again, it has some pretty beefy frame rails that tie into the whole body, so I probably will add lower supports. There's little reason *not* to, I suppose. Again, we'll see.

There will be more bracing added later on, not shown here. Most notably, I will have the rear rollbar supports land on the frame rails. This will provide huge support for the frame rails, and also give those rollbar tubes a much better (flatter) angle than most of the Locosts I've seen, where they tie into the bottom of the rear bodywork support.

On my next car (next car?), I think I'll extend the rollbar hoop all the way to the floorboard, replacing the vertical 1" square tubes at either end of the rear bulkhead. Heck, I might cut up what I've got now and do that...but probably not. I hate backtracking!

* TLAR - That Looks About Right


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PostPosted: December 4, 2007, 11:52 pm 
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This is the first time it set on two wheels. What fun! No, I'm not going for four wheel drive...just using the diff for counterweight, before I mounted the wheels.


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PostPosted: December 5, 2007, 12:38 am 
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The stock Miata rear end clears the +442 frame by a smudge. Note that I moved the two ends of the bulkhead out 1" to the full frame width, since I don't need room for the live axle trailing links. Well, actually I didn't realize that until after I'd put them in the stock location, so I just doubled them up, as shown.

Later on, I removed the M1 tube (useful only for live axles, IMO) and am still contemplating its replacement. (See: http://locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2858 )

Also note the recliner mechanism on the Miata seats nicely bulges in between the rails. Another good reason to push that section out to the full width, so you can put the welded steel section fully outboard, giving a critical bit more butt room.

(I think the seat might have been tipping forward when I reached out to take this photo of my rear ends)

-dave


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