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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:17 am
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Location: Cuba MO
I am excited to say I can finally start a build log. Like many I have been lurking on Locostusa for quite some time, over 3 years at least when I first heard of Locosts and Sevenesque type cars. I was in Houston Texas at the time working at a boring job that gave me lots of opportunity to browse the internet. After reading page after page after page on the forum, I bought my first book, Build Your Own Sports Car: on a Budget by Chris Gibbs. Just like the forums, I read this multiple times and was completely hooked. I didn’t have the tools or space to build yet so I spent as much time as I could putting together a plan. Like many that plan changed more times than I can remember. I looked at doing a piecemeal car with each piece coming from a different car. I spent some time with VQ Locost, who is also in Houston, looking at using a VQ35 engine out of a Nissan 350Z. I also looked at using the 2.8 V6 that I pulled out of my Fiero when I swapped in a 3.4 DOHC engine back in college.

In mid-2010, I took a new job in Blue Rapids KS. The plan was to find a nice house with a shop there an begin the build. I never felt settled there and never bought a house. I did finally buy my first welder while there, a Hobart 140. This wasn’t the first time I welded, but was the first time I did anything more than exhaust tubing.

In January 2012, I took a new position in my company and back to Cuba Missouri. I grew up close to here, Jefferson City Missouri and went to college at University of Missouri Rolla, so I knew the area and was close to family. Since I had been talking about building a car for so long I was able to convince my wife that any house we bought had to come with a shop for me to build in. We found a wonderful house that came with a 30x48 shop, 5 acres, and in the country just like we wanted. Since getting it I have been moving closer and closer to starting the build. I acquired some tools, upgraded to a Miller 211 welder, acquired a Delta drill press, acquired a Rage III miter saw, bought an additional angle grinder, and got a decent bench grinder from my father in law. As shown in this thread, I acquired two steel tables from work and one of them became my build table (link). The other is storing other steel I got from work. I knew a guy in the metal business who was able to save steel for me so I got a hell of a deal on all my steel for the build. He does not deal in aluminum so I will need to still get that when the time comes.

A donor fell in my lap in April 2013. I found a local kid who wanted to trade his running Miata (link) for a sport bike. Well, in the true Locost fashion, I had a GSXF 750 that I no longer rode and wanted to get rid of. So we met up and traded straight up. I have been driving the car since then to iron out any issues with it. The registration on the Miata is due in March so I will continue to drive it until then.

I am not sure how quickly I will be able to complete this build. As everyone knows, life gets in the way. Work, school and family will all come into play. I have a 1 year old daughter and I can’t bear to spend time in the shop when I can be playing with her. I plan to head back to school to get a Masters in Engineering Management at Missouri S&T, formerly University of Missouri Rolla, in the fall of 2014 after I obtain my PMP certification in the spring of 2014. I am committed to this project and will finish it. I have told everyone that it will be done and driving within 5 years of the first cut and that was on October 19 2013. Like many I want to be done within 2 years, but want to allow for the curveballs life throws at you.

My car is going to be a +221 based on the Haynes book, but modified as per the Vodou and Saturn plans. The car will incorporate a bolt on cage and many of the stiffening changes as listed in the Aussie Mods. I will have a welded 18ga floor. The goal for the car is cruiser with some autoX. There isn’t a road course near me otherwise I would do some of that also.

I look forward to any feedback, challenges or ideas any of you have with my build. If you see something odd, please say something. It may save me a headache in the future.

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"Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." - St. Francis of Assisi
Building Miata Based +221 Sevenesque Roadster


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:08 pm 
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Quote:
If you see something odd, please say something.


Hey, you have a 2 after your name! :rofl: So sorry about that. You have a great story, we are all glad you love your little girl and unless you build with uncommon speed I suspect a few of her earliest memories may involve sitting in a strange little car! That's a great thing. :cheers:

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:35 pm 
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Good luck, Chris. I'm not sure I could've started a project like this when my daughter was only a year old. In another year or two your daughter will want to be involved, or at least watch, and your main problem then will be keeping her safe.

I have said this a million times already, but you will remember the days you spent with your daughter long after you've forgotten the days you spent building your Locost, and someday you'll miss those days more than you can possibly imagine now. So enjoy them. But don't let that stop you from building the Locost, because that's an amazing life experience too.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:25 pm 
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We are Slotus!
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Hi Chris!
Great intro, great story! Good to have ya on board. This build log needs more pictures. Of your 1-year-old!!! Does she have an "Uncle Bubba"??? If not, I'd like to apply for the job. I have experience and can provide numerous references as to what a bad influence I can be.

Good luck with your build, and with life in general. Keep us posted on your progress!
:cheers:
JDK

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:37 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:38 pm
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Location: worcester county, Massachsetts
welcome! looking fwd to pics :-)

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:03 am 
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Location: Cuba MO
Yeah, its an easy answer when I have to choose between working on the locost and playing with her. Up till now I only get out into the shop when she is sleeping, nursing or out of town with Momma. I have no idea what all I have coming since this is my first, but I will do my best to keep moving on the car. She is actually only 11 months and is already walking around constantly so it wont be long and she will be out in the shop helping me.

Before I settled on the +221 frame I went ahead and built a prototype frame from wood to the +221 plans. The Miata came in handy for bringing all the wood home.
Attachment:
File comment: Putting the miata to good use
IMG_0250.JPG
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A little cutting and screws later we have a basic cockpit.
Attachment:
File comment: Wooden prototype frame
IMG_0260.JPG
IMG_0260.JPG [ 594.75 KiB | Viewed 3400 times ]


I think I will fit. Can I do the vroom vroom noises in a wood frame? Hey Morgans are still made from wood so I think I can.
Attachment:
File comment: I think I may fit in this afterall
IMG_0272.JPG
IMG_0272.JPG [ 549.44 KiB | Viewed 3400 times ]


My pics of the steel frame are at work so I will have to upload those tomorrow.

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Chris
"Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." - St. Francis of Assisi
Building Miata Based +221 Sevenesque Roadster


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:15 am 
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Location: Cuba MO
Momma and the little squirrel, that's what we call her because at 10 months she ate a whole acorn the size of a quarter and was constipated for a few days, will be out on Saturday at a craft fair in Washington Missouri, so I plan to spend a good portion of the day in the shop. Hopefully I have a lot to show for it.

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Chris
"Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." - St. Francis of Assisi
Building Miata Based +221 Sevenesque Roadster


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:45 am 
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Location: Holden, Alberta, Canada
FieroReinke2 wrote:
I have told everyone that it will be done and driving within 5 years of the first cut and that was on October 19 2013. Like many I want to be done within 2 years, but want to allow for the curveballs life throws at you.


That's exactly the timeframe I work with! 5 years is very realistic, if it's finished sooner good on you. Good luck with your build. I too have little ones, 4, 3, 2, and 1 year olds, grandkids are fantastic.

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2 down, 2 to go, no 3 to go

'If man built it, man can fix it'

"No one ever told me I couldn't do it."

http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=12234

http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=14030


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:00 am 
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Location: Cuba MO
I got a great deal on steel, so I got everything I will need for the frame. All I am missing is the aluminum for the side panels. I have two 4x8 sheets of 16ga and two sheets of 18ga. I have a 4x4 sheet of both 3/16 and 1/8.

Attachment:
IMG_0512.JPG
IMG_0512.JPG [ 587.42 KiB | Viewed 3359 times ]


Here you can see the basic bottom frame, nothing special as everyone shows this at the beginning of the build. I have made some minor changes to the Vodou/Haynes plans. I have moved the engine and tranny to the passenger side 1" to help with my big feet and I have moved LR11 to the rear 6" to try and close up the cockpit opening. I never cared for the large opening on the traditional locosts. I saw Tailspin's locost at the All British Car show in St Louis and really liked the way he moved his scuttle back 6".

Attachment:
File comment: Bottom Frame
IMG_0539.JPG
IMG_0539.JPG [ 515.13 KiB | Viewed 3359 times ]


One benefit of using steel build tables is I can tack items to the table to keep them from moving. I used this to my advantage while building the front frame. This saved me the time of building a wooden jig. Here you can see the front frame together waiting for cross measurement verificaiton. After I verified all those measurements I cut the tacks. The front frame will get tacked to the bottom frame this weekend and I will start to get 3 dimensional.

Attachment:
File comment: Front Frame
IMG_0548.JPG
IMG_0548.JPG [ 579.9 KiB | Viewed 3359 times ]


Here is a funny picture of my toys. The fiero and miata both in my attached oversize garage. This is an oversize garage and normally our Dodge Ram 1500 Quadcab with camper shell is parked inside. There is tons of room in the garage even with the truck in there so I thought it was funny having my two small cars in there.

Attachment:
IMG_0515.JPG
IMG_0515.JPG [ 529.94 KiB | Viewed 3359 times ]

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Chris
"Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." - St. Francis of Assisi
Building Miata Based +221 Sevenesque Roadster


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:56 pm 
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FieroReinke2 wrote:
Here you can see the basic bottom frame, nothing special as everyone shows this at the beginning of the build.

It IS special, because it's yours. All of that sheet metal will come in handy, except maybe the 3/16". As for closing up the cockpit 6", I hope that works for you, but you might need a quick release steering wheel to get in and out of the car.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:04 pm
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Location: Victoria, BC
Hi Chris. Nice to see another Miata build starting around the same time. I was where you are now 20 years ago and can't imagine finding time with little ones around. My three are all adults now and of course just think I'm crazy for wanting to build a car. That will change when they want to drive it of course.

Love the crane. I was just contemplating what I was going to do and your pick settled it. I can see a lot of uses for such a device.

Cheers,
Marcel

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:57 pm 
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There isn’t a road course near me
What about Gateway? It's only 90 miles away. They didn't close it down again did they? Keep the pics coming. Lookin' good, Chris!

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:52 pm 
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ngpmike wrote:
Quote:
There isn’t a road course near me
What about Gateway? It's only 90 miles away. They didn't close it down again did they? Keep the pics coming. Lookin' good, Chris!


The course there is sub par at best and I never find any events posted that I could take part in. Never know that may change by the time I finish.

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Chris
"Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." - St. Francis of Assisi
Building Miata Based +221 Sevenesque Roadster


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 1:42 pm 
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Well a small twist to my build. I found a 1996 Miata with 1.8 / 5 spd / torsen type2 for $1000. It has a bad clutch but is otherwise in good shape. I still want to use the spindles and brakes from my 1.6 as they are lighter, but think I can use the drive train from this miata. Should I be able to part out the car to make my money back? There aren't many miatas around here and no spec racing crowd.

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Chris
"Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." - St. Francis of Assisi
Building Miata Based +221 Sevenesque Roadster


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:06 pm 
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You cant have enough memories with the little one.
My oldest daughter was born in 1972 and when she was about six they decided to add a new subdivision behind us.
The roads were all in and no houses built yet.
I used to take my little girl in my AMC and line lock it on the empty streets and do a 500 foot smoke show.
Immature, yep, but she loved it, beyond belief.
Parking lot slaloms, she was there.
To this day she brings up what a great time she had with dad.
In 1992 she went to Australia to attend university, my cousin went to England.
While he was gone, he gave her his Ford Escort RS Cosworth to have as a driver.
I got chills.
One day we got a phone call asking for money, she had been clipped doing 145mph and need money for the fine.
I thought, as a dad, man what a stupid kid, but a little bit proud that she was able to handle the car, the wife, not quite so impressed, she still uses the frown, but I think after all these years it is fake.
The daughter's thoughts , mum get over it.
From the moment you have those kids you need to involve them in everything you do, it is what memories are made of for them and you.

Welcome to the forum, this one is second to none..

Al

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