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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 3:07 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:53 pm
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Location: Southern Oregon
Hello Group -

A little background....

I am a A&P IA aircraft mechanic by trade... The Diva belongs to my good friend Duncan...

Duncan bought the Diva kit around 2000 and started the assembly... Built a small block Chevy... Put some of the frame together... Collected some parts... You know, little things... Around 2003-04 he got involved in buying a small model company that makes scale buildings, people and animals for model railroad dioramas... Getting that company relocated to his "barn" put the Diva on hold for a little while... And then the worst happened, his wife was diagnosed with brain cancer and died in 2005... I have known Duncan and his wife since 1990 and it was devastating to him... Life got put on hold for a long time after that and the Diva was shoved to the side and buried, literally....

Duncan turned 70 seven years Ago... He decided then that it was time to get unfinished projects and bucket list items done... One of those projects was getting his Stinson 108-2 airplane back in the air... Did I mention that I work on airplanes.. :-) .. After a 5 year screw up with import requirements (the airplane was registered in Canada) We finally got the Stinson a much deserved engine conversion and back to flying status... One night I was at his house with my kid getting some math tutoring and listening to stories (Duncan is a retired electrical engineer, math wiz, holds over 40 patents... Just a fascinating man but a story for another time) I was able to talk him into showing me his Diva project that has now sat for over 15 years... After looking at the car I offered him my help to get the car on the road just for the opportunity to drive it once.. Well, he made an offer I could not refuse... Part ownership for my work.. Cant beat that..

So now some pictures...

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This is the body of the Diva after I got it out of the weeds and cleaned off with the hose... Its still if pretty good shape for sitting outside in the weather and the Glass is still good...

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The frame and engine... Buried under years of stuff from the model business.. Don't worry, its not like this anymore...

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350 Small block Chevy... Bored .040.. Forged crank, rods pistons... Race Cam... Nitro injection... Built professionally and Dino checked at 500 HP with over 600 ft lb or torque... Should be fun... :twisted:

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The engine is backed by a Richmond Overdrive 6 Speed manual trans...

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Front end suspension with Corvette brakes..

So after a major shop cleanup with got the frame uncovered, a door installed into the building and started to work on the frame...

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My oldest son (middle child) helping with cleaning off the dust...

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Put the seat in for pedal placement and to check for shifter clearance and mods to the tunnel framework to clear the shifter..

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Assembling the front suspension...

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Both sides assembled..

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Checking for wheel clearance..

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Moved the frame back to get ready to fit the engine and trans..

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Engine on the hoist...

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Had to take off the electric water pump motor to clear the frame... Youngest giving me his thoughts...

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And its in...

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Its a tight fit...

Well, that's it for now... I work on it about every other Saturday so it will be a while before we get it done...

Brian.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 4:45 pm 
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Mid-Engined Maniac

Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:26 pm
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Location: SoCal
In several of the pictures it looks as if the right-side A-arms are several inches longer. Is that just camera angle?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 4:54 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:53 pm
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Location: Southern Oregon
KB58 wrote:
In several of the pictures it looks as if the right-side A-arms are several inches longer. Is that just camera angle?


Probably just camera angle... They can be swapped to either side... The ball joint is screwed in...

All my pictures are also taken with my IPhone.. So that can explained any weirdness also..

Brian


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:03 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:24 pm
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Location: Gainesville, Mo.
Looks like a wonderful project for you and your kids! And it seems that you're teaching them a great lesson about doing for others. The Diva definitely shows a lot of Locost influence in the design. Good luck with the build, and keep the pics coming!

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Mike - Read my story at http://twinlakesseven.blogspot.com/


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 2:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2015 2:38 pm
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Location: Outside Hartford, CT
Brian,

Welcome to the forums! Great project, and a wonderful story. I would suggest hosting your pictures directly to our site though if possible. it means they won't eventually disappear, and that everyone can view them regardless of network restrictions.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:32 am 
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We are Slotus!
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Location: Tallahassee, FL (The Center of the Known Universe)
Great back story to the project! Love it! It's really cool that you're involving the kids. Lots of good life lessons as well as "mechanic school" for them. And I wanna meet Duncan...

Good luck with the build, keep us posted (and pictured!)

And, just this once, I'm not gonna accuse Perry of not being able to read... :shock:

:cheers:
JDK

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:40 am 
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Awesome story and fun looking project. Good for you!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 10:29 am
Posts: 319
Neat! I hate the Diva name - a bit too Palm Beach for me. But I've always admired the lines. One of the best-looking Sevenesques IMO.

Best wishes!


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:53 pm
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Location: Southern Oregon
Did some work on Saterday... Finalized the engine and trans installation and bolted in tight.. Realized we had the front and rear springs swapped so got that corrected... And installed the shifter and all the linkages for the Richmond Overdrive...

Brian


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 6:09 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:53 pm
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Location: Southern Oregon
Going to have to figure out attachments through my phone at a later date... Meanwhile, I'll post pics individually..


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:46 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:53 pm
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Location: Southern Oregon
Not much happening... It has been way too hot with no AC in the shop, so progress is slow... Plus, I have been busy trying to get an apartment set up for my Mother In-Law who is coming in September from Alaska... She will be here for several months...

My oldest son and I set the body onto the frame today... The build manual is very vague on where and how to run the electrical, brake lines and fuel system.. So I wanted to set the body on to get an idea of clearances for those systems...

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My son is 13... The body is so light that he easily was able to carry the front of it up and over the frame and set it down...

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I put the hood on to see how much clearance there is for the air cleaner....

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Turns out that there is not much space there... In fact, I know the current air cleaner we have will not fit unless I can lower the engine by several inches... More than likely we will find an alternative..

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And just for grins... This Jag was parked at a store near where I work... Beautiful car...

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Brian


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