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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 2:34 pm
Posts: 5
Location: West Coast Canada
Well, I think it’s about time I started a log here!

First, I guess a little introduction! I’m Glenn, I’m Canadian, and I’ve been quite involved in my local autocross community for eight years now. It started with my stock V6 Fiero and my dad’s Rx-7 convertible, but it wasn’t long before the Fiero magically sprouted a turbo and some sticky tires, which was good fun. Again though, it wasn’t enough, and as I had been dreaming of a tube frame build for a while, I started off down Locost Lane. That was about 6 years ago (egads) but progress was impeded by a geology degree.

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The chassis was going to be based off the book, but grew from there. I almost wondered if I should put this in the non-traditional section... it is far larger than your average build, with about four inches added in height, six in width (more towards the front) and the wheelbase is 108 inches! Probably the best ting is to not think of it so much as a locost, and closer to the style of the front-engined Le Mans prototypes, the Panoz LMP-1 roadster.
Image (image borrowed from MulsannesCorner.com)

Target weight is 850 kg (~1900 lbs), which I think is reasonable considering that I would like this car to be as safe as possible (enough of a windshield to allow me to survive a dear strike) and because everything is overbuilt to prepare it for lots of track use.

Engine! I have always liked the Honda C engines, as used in early V6 Accords, Legends (and the NSX!) and found one in great shape for free! It’s got six bolt main bearings, and isn’t too heavy. It is also 90 degrees, which helps keep the hood line low enough for me to see out of. Stock power was just 161, but with some intake and exhaust work, along with a good tune for 94 octane fuel, I hope to push that up to around 190 hp. That clearly isn’t enough, and I don’t want the hassle of making headers, so I have some K03 turbos to go on as well! They’re tiny things, and lag should be minimal, but they should support up to around 360 hp to start. Later on I may look at larger turbos, but we will see.

Image Apologies of the state of the garage, it was a long day of work and I didn't get around to cleaning it yet!


The transmission is from a ’84 300ZX, the suspension is primarily from my old Supra (the turbo of which made it onto the Fiero) with the rear subframe being welded directly to the chassis, and the front geometry re-used, along with the steering rack.

I think that will suffice for an introduction! It’s been a fun but slow journey, and I look forward to sharing progress as I go along!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 2:34 pm
Posts: 5
Location: West Coast Canada
Today's work was to get the steering connected to the wheel. As I had been thinking about it for a while, it wasn't too tricky, although I used one more U-joint than I would have liked (four in total - three original Toyota, one aftermarket).

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The fuel tank is also mounted, apart from drilling the holes for the bolts and adding some spacing material to allow for it to sit properly on the mounts, rather than on the corner welds. Planning on using RTV sealant, unless someone has a more recommended material?

I have to admit that I wasn't too impressed with the tank (RCI - nothing to prevent sloshing or fuel starvation), but it was close to what I needed in size and the price was right. I added a sump to allow for about 10 seconds of full throttle acceleration without fuel starvation, which I think will be more than enough... 10 seconds will have this thing travelling faster than I will want to go. It is a 55 litre tank, so good for perhaps 450 km (maybe more like 200 with lots of track use!). Learning to weld aluminum was SO MUCH FUN (/sarcasm) but educational - I had a weird grainy texture on the weld surface, but it was otherwise fine. I didn't want it to be porous, and it turned out that my filler rods were a bit old, leaving oxides on the weld surface. The alloy may have also made a difference. It is nice to have a good weld shop where you can rely on good advice (Air Liquide on Gorge Rd, for anyone in the area - talk to Steve!).

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Since the engine was originally transversely mounted, a substantial front engine mount bracket was needed! it doubles as a chassis brace, so it should be worth the extra weight. The mount doesn't keep the engine from rotating, just vertical and longitudinal motion.

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It was fun comparing my newest welds with some of the first a few years ago:

Image Image

I'm not too concerned about the strength of either, since the margins are at a shallow angle (penetration is fine and I tested many welds early on) but I sure did use WAY more metal than was necessary!

Glenn

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Slowly getting it built! LMP-inspired Locost: Honda C27A V6 with 2 K03 turbos
Heavy but reliable (I hope)


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:17 pm 
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We are Slotus!
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Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:29 am
Posts: 4937
Location: Tallahassee, FL (The Center of the Known Universe)
Hi Glenn!
Nice lookin' project you got going there... But first, that geology degree. What do you do with it, or plan to do with it? Hardrock mining, copper, bauxite? Or drilling oil shales and such? Or good ole-fashion oilfield work? Environmental, maybe? My degree is from NC State, I work in the environmental business here in Florida. I don't know the market in your part of the world, so I'm being curious/nosey.

Front engine, bigger chassis, not really a Lotus 7 clone, but something with swoopy bodywork. Hmmmm.... Sounds familiar... Don't tell your racing buddies what you're building or they'll give it some tacky name like "Slotus" or something. :mrgreen:

Looks like you're off to a good start, good luck with it and keep the updates coming. It's always fun to see a new build get started and watch it turn into a car!

:cheers:
JD Kemp
(FL Prof Geologist #1990)

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JD, father of Quinn, Son of a... Build Log
Quinn the Slotus:Ford 302 Powered, Mallock-Inspired, Tube Frame, Hillclimb Special
"Gonzo and friends: Last night must have been quite a night. Camelot moments, mechanical marvels, Rustoleum launches, flying squirrels, fru-fru tea cuppers, V8 envy, Ensure catch cans -- and it wasn't even a full moon." -- SeattleTom


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 2:34 pm
Posts: 5
Location: West Coast Canada
Hi JD, nice to meet a fellow geologist! I'm freshly graduated, and don't yet know for certain where it will take me! I'm on the west coast, and am leaning towards the environmental monitoring side of the spectrum. First though, I'm off for another piece of paper, with a master's opportunity starting in September (geochemical hydrology, perhaps leading to groundwater reclamation or contamination work). Because of this, I'm hoping to charge ahead with the project, so that I can work on smaller items on the weekends if there's time (I can wish!)

I have to admit I'm not yet familiar with your build, but seeing the picture in your signature, I will be soon! Doesn't look like it deserves "Slotus".

It's strange, but after so many autocross events, I'm starting to get a little bored of the driving, as my 1996 328i just isn't quite up to delivering the speed and challenge necessary. Happily though, I've found a something more challenging at autocross - photography! I only mention this because there is a Locost which has just started driving lately, and was wondering if anyone recognizes it from a build log.

Image

Glenn

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Slowly getting it built! LMP-inspired Locost: Honda C27A V6 with 2 K03 turbos
Heavy but reliable (I hope)


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