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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:54 pm 
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Location: White Rock, BC, Canada
Hey guys,

Some of you will recognize me from the other forums. I do lurk here from time to time. Now that I see a few locals I figured it was time to join. I will add to the forums as I can.

Building a book sized car. All my design so I hope it works. Intent is to be a fun street ride, and perform well at autoX (and eventually track days). Is NOT meant to be a show car so if you see some ugly things that won't be seen when the body is on.... that's why ;) I am hoping to drive it legally sometime this year. Hoping to drive it around the shop by end of July.

Engine: L67 3.8L Supercharged from a 1997 Buick Regal
Trans: T5 5spd from a 1997 Camaro
Rear: 7.5" solid axle from foxbody mustang. Intersting note: has a rare OEM Auburn posi which you do NOT want to try to source C-clips for.
Steering knuckles/brakes from a 1990 miata. Bigger rotors from a newer model though.
Body: nose from COLD, the rest will be made by me.

I will add to the parts list when I get more time.

Pictures can be found here:
http://picasaweb.google.com/C10CoryM
Video of the first start here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YH4HP5Oyp84

I've not taken many pics, but I will try to do better and update this build log.

If you have any questions feel free to ask.
Cheers,
Cory

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 2:37 pm 
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I'd like to see more pic's since I'm building one quite simular. I'm putting in a MK-8 IRS at the moment and only have a frame 80%, no tunnel yet so you are way ahead of me. Pic's are worth a thousand words. I think I read that somewhere?? I'm behind on my pic's too. Good luck on the finished product drive on.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:35 pm 
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Bowdiddley wrote:
I'd like to see more pic's since I'm building one quite simular. I'm putting in a MK-8 IRS at the moment and only have a frame 80%, no tunnel yet so you are way ahead of me. Pic's are worth a thousand words. I think I read that somewhere?? I'm behind on my pic's too. Good luck on the finished product drive on.


Was planning on going to the shop after work tommorow and taking some pics etc. Current project is the cowl/scuttle. I tried to shape it out of aluminum but after 3 trys decided I wasn't willing to wait long enough to learn. So now Ive used the form from the aluminum attempt, added some styrofoam and will fibreglass over top it. Besides the fact the styrofoam squeak makes me shiver, it went very well. Happy with the fast progress. I think it's almost ready to be covered and glassed.

Bow, If you need info on mating the FWD 3.8L to camaro trans I can walk you through what I did and what parts I used. I will take some pics of that too.

Cheers,
Cory

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:12 pm 
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Location: Western MA
C10CoryM wrote:
Bowdiddley wrote:
Besides the fact the styrofoam squeak makes me shiver, it went very well.


Ugh, amen.

That - in fact, all of the stinky, messy glass work - is one aspect of my own build that I'll be happy to farm out to my wife in the name of being 'inclusive'. (Ignoring the fact that my lovely wife has a BFA in sculpture and is a damn fine craftswoman in her own right...) :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:12 am 
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Havent spent any time on this lately, but hopefully tommow.

New pics here: http://picasaweb.google.com/C10CoryM/20100618#

Current project is to shape a quick buck to lay a fiberglass cowl over. I think some tape to cover the gaps, some foil or tape over top and its ready for glass. Never done it before so not sure what will happen. Im not afraid of body filler on this one though.

Waiting for mufflers and tires to show up. Im sooo happy I was smart enough to pick a common size of rubber. $600 delivered for a set of RA1s is sweet. Also put an order in with Jack at Kinetic for some rear "steamroller" fenders. Jack is super easy to deal with, and is getting them shipped asap. Thanks Jack.

The corner scales I was going to borrow apparantly had the battery blow up in them and kill them. Maybe end up buying a 2nd bathroom scale and doing it that way. Hopefully be accurate enough to order shocks that will work. I want to get those coming ASAP as they are what is keeping me from driving now. Also really curious to see what sort of weight I am at now (besides heavy).

Cheers,
Cory


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:21 pm 
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Thank you for your reply. I ended up getting a Mustang T-5 out of a 2.3 and then got a Bell housing out of a 2.3 S-10 and had center bored out to 4-7/8" for $20. so now it bolts up. I have not cured the Clutch, pressure plate, flywheel yet. I woulds like to use a hydraulic clutch if possible. I'm sure it is on this site somewhere, it is a wealth of knowledge for sure.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:10 pm 
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Bow, I think you may do best to sell the 2.3L T5, find another 2.2L S10 bellhousing and a late model camaro T5. For two reasons, first the 2.3L T5 is probably very weak. Find out what the torque rating is and you may find you blow it up quick. The late camaro T5s are the same as the late ford ones and rated at 300ft/lbs. About the best you will find for the T5. I speak as someone who has blown up several overpowered transmissions. Secondly, you will find using camaro clutch parts super easy. All you need is the S10 Bellhousing, and the rest is camaro. Camaro trans,flywheel,clutch assy,hydraulic cylinder. Only mods are you need to balance the flywheel to the same as your engines flexplate (machine shop. $100), drill a hole in the bellhousing for the bleeder, and slightly elongate the hydraulic cylinders holes. Aftermarket adapter and hose and you're done.


Ok, my car.....
I did a terrible job of corner weighing my car with some bathroom scales. I don't trust the cornerweights, but the overall weight should be somewhat close. I was shooting for 1600lbs wet w/o driver. Im 1600lbs w/o fuel or coolant. Looks like roughly a 50/50 balance dry, which with fuel will give me a better balance. Front unsprung weight is 65lbs, and rear axle weight 260 total (crap!). Overall Im..... satisfied with the weight. I knew it was going to be heavy. Guess I will need to pulley the supercharger :D

So, my local speedshop actually had shocks/springs in stock. Picked up a set of QA1 promastars with 400lb F and 200lb rear springs. Hopefully I will be close. Found out my control arms are meant for a 0.5" rodend and not a 1" wide bearing. DOH! So a bit of trimming and now my ctrl arms work. Made some upper brackets and tacked them on. Tommorows project is getting the rear brackets made/tacked and a few other things before stripping it down and sending whats left to be welded to a pro. Most of the chassis is TIGed professionally so why stop now...

Also bought a wideband O2 sensor/gauge which I will be able to keep an eye on, and log via HPtuners. Those things have come down in price to the point anyone who is doing tuning should have one.......

No pictures, but Ill try to get some tommorow.
Cheers.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:03 pm 
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Thanks so much Cory for the info and the quick response. I'll keep pecking away as time permits.. Good luck on your build send more pic's please.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:43 am 
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OK. So it's been some time since I've posted and a bit has happened since in life and the car.

Um, Got the car on it's feet with all mechanical stuff working. Fired it, and drove it around the shop a little until a frostplug blew out. I've removed the heater tubes and the frost plug wasn't snug enough. Found one 0.008" larger and should be good. Other things I learned: my "self bleeding" cooling system doesn't self bleed. It's no worse than the factory setup, but I'd hoped to make it better. My rear springs are too stiff by about 40lbs/inch. Likely need a smaller bore for my rear brake m/c. Also found that it's pretty easy to blaze the tires ;)

So life wise: I had some health problems, lost my job, and lost motivation to do much for a while. That combined with other things has given me a new lowest point in my life. On the brighter side, I feel pretty good now that I'm not longer going to work somewhere I dislike. The time off gave me a chance to figure some things out and realize that I can still do the things I want w/o killing myself working. I also have a new girlfriend and things are looking good there too. I guess there is some truth to the saying that the brightest things come after the darkest times....

So I began working on the car again. Although I can't spend much money while unemployed, I do have lots of time time and luckily I'd bought some material beforehand. Started by making some tunnel panels, and mounting some misc items. I then formed the rear panel which went pretty well. I didnt work it perfect which resulted in some extra metal in the middle; Giving it a curved, but uniform back. Honestly, I think it looks better this way once so I will pretend I meant to do that heh. For anyone reading this who hasn't formed their back panel yet, anneal the whole top and bottom edge where you will be folding it. I only did the corners and it would have been much better if I'd done all the edges.

I then moved onto my side panels. No annealing, but it would have been less hammering if I had. No extra material. Im confident that once I get a bit of filler and paint on the car it will look reasonable. Not meant to be a show car.

So then I mounted the rear Steamroller fenders but haven't trimmed them to shape yet. These are SUPER easy to install. I havent decided what fasteners to use to attach the glass to the aluminum yet. So far all body panels are just held on with #8 self tapping screws to be replaced with 1/8" rivets. I also figured out where the nose was going to sit and set it in place. Still need to add some tabs to hold it.

Then came the scuttle which I have been playing with off and on for a while. So far with no success heh. I started off trying to make it out of aluminum formed over a wood buck, but didn't win. So then filled the wood buck with foam and shaped it to suit. Covered in tape and laid some fiberglass over it. Well, the exopy got through the tape and melted the foam. So then I tried what the audio guys do, and stretched some fabric over the buck and coated it with resin. Even with wax it still solidly attached to the buck, and it had sagged. This option would likely work well if you used a stretchier fabric, and left the wood in the buck. I think my next attempt will either be the foam again except buy the resin that doesn't melt it. Or try aluminum again with more experience from the back panel. Not ruling out the fabric method either as it is cheap enough to try again. Just end up cutting out as much of the wood as possible.

Once I get my scuttle set, I can make the hoods.... Note the plural. I've decided to make my hood in 2 pieces since the cutout for the blower would be so large as to make a singular hood too flimsy. I also need to cut a large hole in the rear of the nose with a lip for the radiator exhaust, and build the ducting to get the air to go out it.

I also need to repair some damaged wiring from my metal throttle cable contacting the + batt terminal. Cable got smoking hot and melted a bunch of wires that were touching it. That was a little scary as it could have happened when I wasn't there and set the shop afire. I thought I was safe because my battery disconnect switch was off. Not so much.

Some pictures of the progress here. http://picasaweb.google.com/C10CoryM
The November albums are new, and maybe a few others. Starting to get a sense for how the car will look.

If you want any clarification please ask. I will gladly share any info I have. Not sure how much more progress I can make before I start making money again, but I will keep at it.

Cheers,
Cory

PS: most pics the front of the car is on higher stands and the front suspension is at full droop while the rear is at ride height. Also only 1x tire is the correct size. My nice RA1s are sitting at home nice and warm ;)

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:55 pm 
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OK, so Ive been working on making my scuttle lately and it went well enough. I did a write up on how to do one here: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=11633&p=109974#p109974

Some more pictures here http://picasaweb.google.com/C10CoryM/20101203#
I will do my front fenders and dash the same way.

Next I need to mount my nose cone solid and then my headlamps.
I am realizing my car in it's first phase is going to look remarkably like Chetcpos when it was black primer. Except mine will have a blower sticking through the hood..... subtle. Speaking of hoods, I can start making those as well.

Cheers.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:42 am 
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Ok, so I've made my hoods. Yes, hoods; One on either side. My blower takes up so much space in the hood that there is no way to use just one. I actually did these a few days ago but managed to fill my camera full of water. Had to leave it to dry for a while :roll:

So started out with a paper template ( I used roofing paper. Cheap but not as easy to work with. Tape doesnt stick well to it.). Little tip I learned long ago: Do not try and get the template perfect the first cut. Cut big holes around the parts and then use tape and smaller pieces of paper to get in tight to the parts. Much faster, easier and more precise than trying to get it perfect with one piece of paper.
Mark out the center, top, and bottom of the curves you will later bend in the hood.

Image

Remove template, mark on aluminum making sure to leave extra to fold over. I used 0.050" Aluminum for my hoods. As such, it was easy to cut out with a jigsaw with no rippling.

Once cut, I then walked over to my 4" plastic sewer pipe that is sitting wedged between 2 sawhorses. The height I used was great as I could straddled the aluminum with my legs and squeeze it while working it with my hands. Gave good control of where and how much I was bending it. First bend I lined up my center marks of curve over the pipe and bent it maybe 10degrees. Then checked and rechecked after every small bend to make sure my curves in the hood were matching the scuttle and nose. The bending went fairly easy, probably far easier with 2 hoods than one.
Image

After getting the curve where I wanted it, I marked my bend line on the bottom edges of the hood. Clamped in between some steel tube and hammered over 90degrees. Some more adjusting and the hoods fit fairly nicely. I need to make the panels below the hoods, and decide what to do around the hot headers before I final fit the hoods. The front of the hoods will be cut out to allow for radiator exhaust (you can see the left one is rough cut) as will most of the top of the nose cone. The gap between the hoods in the rear will be filled by engine air intake ducting. I will use dzus or similar fasteners to hold them on.

All in all, pretty happy with how things went. They fit well for now and will be a fairly unique feature. Next step (after finishing a steel security door for my shop) is headlamp mounting.

Image
Image
More pictures here: http://picasaweb.google.com/C10CoryM/20110101#

Cheers.
Cory

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:22 pm 
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Just a quicky. I now have headlights.

Oh, and an ugly security door which should be enough to keep thieves away once the alarm goes off.

Cheers.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:38 pm 
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Any update on this? I'm considering the same engine/transmission setup. Your car looks good so far.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:08 pm 
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No updates :oops: . I did a big push to make it for the summer, but didn't make it. I did lots, but not much that shows in pictures really. More than a little disappointed, I took some time off the car. Lately my health has sucked leaving me with no time/energy. Trying to force myself back on the car though. Hoping to go today and finish a panel.

The other thing that has been taking time is I bought a new daily driver. So between getting it comfortable to drive (shifter bushings, tires, etc) and a couple autoX events I haven't much locost time. AutoX is... interesting, as I have never owned a fwd before. My first event was a week after buying it. Considering it's a slow car (slowest?), on slow tires, with a slow driver I'm happy to be placing where I am. And this is definitely a momentum car, so if I can learn to put this around the course OK I should be a much better driver when the real autoX car is done.

Cheers.
Cory


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:53 pm 
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The Locost is a weird car to autocross. At least with the SCCA, the DM pax number is so high that you have to have a pretty built car and a decent amount of rubber to end up being truly competitive. I'm typically in the top 15/~70 or so raw times running 195 street tires but my pax times will be in the mid 40s (or worse). On paper I consistently get spanked by cars like your Toyota.

Then again a Locost is easily one of the coolest cars at any local autocross so who cares? Get it done and enjoy. :D

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