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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2015 3:02 pm 
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Location: Outside Hartford, CT
Hello all,

Long time lurker - first time poster. I've been planning this for about two years now, and it seems like the stars are aligning for it to actually happen. I was a mechanic for the better part of a dozen years before leaving for a brighter future, and have decently extensive fabrication and modification skillset.

My latest project has been stuffing a 'vette drivetrain into a w124 Mercedes (it's also currently for sale ;) )

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Prior to that, I did this..

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And now I want tog et back to tiny cars, that are a blast to drive.. and something I can make with my own hands. I eyed up the exocet for a few years (after owning 3 miatas) before finally deciding that $6k for a tubular chassis was slightly ridiculous, and I'd rather build my own.

But I digress..

As far as my locost goes.. I am sticking to the book plans, but using a 98 2.2 5 speed s10 as a donor. The truck is actually coming from a buddy of mine, who used it as a daily driver for a few years, and just recently replaced it with a newer one as this one would no longer pass his state's inspection. the body is trashed, but the drivetrain is solid - aside from some worn out bit's I wont even be using.

for those unfamiliar - the Gm vortec 122 is a fairly stout motor. OHV/push rod motor that makes pretty good torque. I have three turbos and a supercharger sitting on a shelf that will help it breathe easier. Not going for anything crazy, but to bring it from the 120hp up to 160-170 would be plenty potent in a sub 1500lb car.

the only thing I am waiting on before I start is where I am sourcing my metal from. I put out 5 quote requests this morning, and whoever comes back the best will be gaining my business and the build will officially commence from there.

...though I promised the wife I would sell off the merc and the Cushman before I started anything else.. :p

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Driven5 wrote:
Forced Induction + Magic Spinning Doritos = EMod


Last edited by 1055 on Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2015 5:20 pm 
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Welcome! I hear the S-10 running gear is a good donor. I don't know anything about the engine as a donor. Except. I bought a new on in '95. went thru original and 2 more head gaskets by the time it reached 125k miles. Dealer didn't know why. So I sold it.

Please put your location (general or specific) in your personal info so others might know who is close to them.

Cushman? Did I hear Cushman? I just picked up a Truckster project last Friday. What have you got? Damn autocorrect keeps changing Truckster into trickster. :BH: Just fixed it by adding it to my dictionary. :mrgreen:

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“Any suspension will work if you don’t let it.” - Colin Chapman

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2015 5:29 pm 
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rx7locost wrote:
Welcome! I hear the S-10 running gear is a good donor. I don't know anything about the engine as a donor. Except. I bought a new on in '95. went thru original and 2 more head gaskets by the time it reached 125k miles. Dealer didn't know why. So I sold it.

Please put your location (general or specific) in your personal info so others might know who is close to them.

Cushman? Did I hear Cushman? I just picked up a Truckster project last Friday. What have you got? Damn autocorrect keeps changing Truckster into trickster. :BH: Just fixed it by adding it to my dictionary. :mrgreen:


Well, from what I know.. ARP bolts and an MLS gasket go along way on these motors, but I'll run it till it goes kaboom, then probably put an ecotec in it LOL. Dimensionally, It should work out pretty well. My understanding is that the 2wd rear axle is a little bit more narrow than what's intended, which can be cured with some lower offset wheels. The 5x4.5/ 5x120 bolt pattern is common enough that wheels are readily available anyways.

and Yes Cushman.. I have a 1987 Vanster.. one of fifty produced.. 4 wheels! Rare snag.. I wanted to put a goldwing trike drivetrain in it.. But I decided that it was better off unmolested, and I would rather build something I could drive "spiritedly" without fearing for my life :lol:

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Forced Induction + Magic Spinning Doritos = EMod


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 4:00 pm 
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So, in the true nature of locost.. I managed to get the complete s10 donor (minus battery, grill, head and taillights [all of which are useless to me]) for $200 delivered to my house. It has 160k on it, and the struts are worn out. Its surprisingly not leaking anything and is in pretty decent shape. It has enough usable body panels, that I think I can actually use for the floor pieces. I did some measuring and a complete WRX pedal box I have is close to the dimensions that the book calls for. So I'll be using that, along with the WRX hand brake assembly as the s10's is a foot operated unit. I have a set of corbeau seats that I traded an old set of wheels for. I snagged a Delta compound miter saw off craigslist for $40, and a craftsman 24" 1/2" chuck drill press for cheap.

today on lunch, I went over to a local business that was selling off all their old stuff as the owner had sold off the business and picked up a very nice steel 6'x3' work bench and two 3x8' sheets of 14-16ga aluminum for $50.

I'm trying to offload some of my existing auto parts to free up some equity for some of the missing things I'll need. I am patient, and a bargain hunter.. So I'm really hoping to be into this project for Less than $2k by the time its driveable.

total cost thus far has been $410 for the donor and the steel. I won't include some of the other tools I've picked up because I can always use them around the house.. and I have all my tools still from my mechanic days.

I think the only thing's I'll buy brand new are the struts/springs, seat belts and steering wheel. I was doing some looking around.. Is there any reason more people don't use VW beetle/Baja bug coilovers? $75 a pair, 18" uncompressed, 12" compressed, fully adjustable spring heights and designed for a 2000lb car with spherical mounts on both ends. Seems like a win win to me?

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Forced Induction + Magic Spinning Doritos = EMod


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 7:37 pm 
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Hey 1055!

I recognize you from Skidd's end of the RS25 boards. Welcome to LocostUSA and if your S-10 Book build is anything like your legacy it should be a wild build.

:cheers:

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 1:10 am 
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stuie84 wrote:
Hey 1055!

I recognize you from Skidd's end of the RS25 boards. Welcome to LocostUSA and if your S-10 Book build is anything like your legacy it should be a wild build.

:cheers:


Small world! Haha. I do have another m90 on the shelf ;)

Well see how this one turns out! I'm trying to keep the dimensions and structure (with some gussetting and probably aussie mods) as close to the original design as intended. The direction will probably be further determined by the health of the motor. Need to do a compression and leak down test before I go wild.

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Forced Induction + Magic Spinning Doritos = EMod


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:35 pm 
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So.. finally some relevant pictures.


The donor! 1998, 2.2L 5 speed S10. surprisingly doesnt leak anything - although the harness has a short somewhere that causes a gradual drain of the battery, and a pre o2 sensor exhaust leak has skewed the adaptive fuel curve to the point where it misfires over 4k rpm. both thing's I will be taking care of when I cut most of the garbage I wont need out of the harness, and when I make a new exhaust system.

but for $200.. cant beat it!

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Taking a page out of the book, where Ron and his son used the Escort roof for the floor of his son's car.. I am contemplating using the floor of the Bed for the floor of mine. It is fairly stiff steel, and I think the essentially corrugated structure of it would lend some stiffness to the over all chassis design. I measured, and there is plenty of steel there to make it happen.. we will see when I get closer.

A few thing's I grabbed out of the parts pile that I know I will be using. WRX pedal cluster, dimension-ally very similar to what the book calls for. WRX brake booster and 2 channel master cylinder, and a miata (could be subaru, pretty sure its miata..) 2 speed radiator fan.

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Lastly, the steel work bench and two sheets of aluminum I picked up yesterday. Still cant believe I only paid $5 for both sheets of aluminum. Also visible is the Corbeau bucket seats in the left of the frame I'll be using.. and the pool of transmission fluid that still hasnt been cleaned up that my mercedes left when I was replacing the center support bearing in the driveshaft LOL

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Forced Induction + Magic Spinning Doritos = EMod


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2015 7:42 pm 
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So I took it upon myself to spend a few hours out in the garage cleaning and reorganizing for what will surely be a fairly lengthy project.

still feels like I got nothing done!

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It's been pouring rain here all day, and My initial plan was to get out and build my table. due to nature weeing all over my parade, I did not buy the important bits of the table. After looking at many peoples tables, and there pros and cons of each.. I decided to do your typical 2x6 wood frame, with a melamine top, braced by 1x4 stringers with a 1/2" sheet below for structural rigidity.

My garage experiences a fair bit of humidity, so the idea is to seal the sides of the melamine so that if this build goes longer than anticipated I won't run into warping issues.

I also made a trip down to our local steel supplier. they were having a black friday weekend sale that was 50% off of all the stuff in their "bargain tent".. which is all either slightly bent, miscuts, scratched/gouged orders that people order but never pick up.. or just old stock thats gots some mild surface oxidation on it. Pretty much if they cant sell it as brand new, they throw it in the bargain tent. Today.. It was $1/lb.

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The long strips are anywhere between 5 and 7 inches wide and 12-14 gauge thick. the plate on top of them is an 8" by 30" piece of 1/8" steel. I'll be using this for motor and rear rear suspension mounting plates. The square sheet underneath is 28"x28" of 14 ga and I will be using it for the front "skid plate" if you will. I also got some 1.5x1.5" square stock, with a 14 ga wall with the intention of making my motor mounts from it. lastly.. a 1x~3" C channel (somewhere between 14 and 16 ga) I bought with the intention of utilizing it for my seat rails. its approx 65" long.. so should be able to just squeeze out both seats front and rear.

I also traded some old parts I had kicking around for some wheels for this bad boy. I know I'm mega early on that front, but it was a good deal, for good wheels so I couldn't pass it up.

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They're 15x7" style 32 BMW wheels, with some mostly junk snow tires that are a hair too tall for what will be the car. butI like the style, and I feel that the look matches the styling of the older cars well.

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Forced Induction + Magic Spinning Doritos = EMod


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2015 9:54 pm 
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Wheels are more important than you think when it comes to designing suspension, so you aren't mega early. ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:15 pm 
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300D50 wrote:
Wheels are more important than you think when it comes to designing suspension, so you aren't mega early. ;)


you're right. By my math, the tires (205/60/15) are 1.6" taller than what I would like to run. I'm thinking of 205/50/15. it is a readily available size, and commonly used by others on here. so.. I'll need to address that before I really get into suspension design.

Was able to hang some new lights in my garage today, and I finished building my table today. was summoned to federal jury duty, and was dismissed at 1pm, so I had some time before I had to pick up my little one from day care (and her mom was still at work).

I was looking at tolerances for table tops, and it seems that everyone is satisfied with moderate intolerance in surface levels. I built mine in a slightly odd way. Knowing that my garage floor isn't anywhere near true anymore.. I built a frame out of lumber ON top of a sheet of melamine, laid out across 1x4 pine stringers. checking after every joint went together with a t square and measuring tape. I then attached the legs (staggering the two middle ones, so there was more than enough clearance on both sides of the table for my engine hoist legs), flipped it upright, and attached a sheet of 3/8 exterior plywood as the base for the top. This was the straightest sheet I could find, and went 3/8 because it is still able to be "corrected" using some flat shims and screws in strategic locations. I then busted out my trusty straight edge and checked the plywood. I was shooting for less than .5mm (5 sheets of normal copy paper) difference, knowing that the melamine would absorb some of the differences across the surface. I then positioned the melamine across the top panel and spun and flipped it until I got the best "natural" flat surface (using a straight edge) across the melamine. Then, using a combination of shims and screws, I mounted the melamine to the rest of the table. I chose 2.5" #9 construction screws. this left nearly an inch of the neck of the screw thread free, so that the surface of the melamine could be pulled down where needed due to the high spots created by the plywood underneath. I also sealed over all the heads with an oil based acrylic paint, to try and protect any moisture from penetrating the melamine. I have not decided how to seal the ends of it, but it is definitely on my short list.

Prior to this, I tried to use 1x4 pine stringers laid across between the plywood and the melamine, but they amplified the imperfections and I couldn't get them arranged in a way that smoothed out the surface AND contributed to the tables strength.

what I was left with when I was done tinkering with it, was a surface, that to the best of my knowledge and according to my straight edge, is at most, .2mm difference in height across the entire table. obviously, I do not have an 8 foot straight edge, so I could only test 4 foot sections at once.. but I am fairly confident that it is more than decent enough to construct the frame.

I am expecting my frame to not be perfectly square, so getting as flat a surface as possible to begin with was important to me.

another comment about the table.. I am an above average tall guy (just over 6', 1.82m for you euro dudes) and have spent more than my fair share of time bending slightly at the waist fabricating. I'm not sure why, but every welding table I've ever worked on has been between 28 and 32" tall. It's great if you're sitting on a stool.. but since this is quite a large project, I figured i'd be moving quite a bit around the table. So, I built it at 36" without the melamine.. so with the plywood and melamine, its just over 37" to the top of the table. I have my concerns about clearance to the rafters of my garage. I have 4', which should be plenty for the time that the frame will spend on the table before I remove it for the larger assembly bits. I will probably build some small saw horse type stands like many others have done for the later stages. I considered putting casters on it, but could not find appropriately sized casters in stock, and being that my garage is 400 sq feet, I didn't think I would be moving it very much.

anyways, pictures.

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I forgot, visible here.. I left one of the long side runs of the frame 1.5" longer. You can see it sticking out the end. My reasoning for this is kind of stupid. I wanted somewhere to stick an extension cord/air hose, so It wasn't just flopping around on the floor. I trip on things, a lot, so I was trying to be preemptive. It was nice when moving the cord around the table. I was able to stuff it in there, and not have to yank and tug and flip it trying to get it free off of whatever it was stuck on.

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I also have not yet done any of shelf or bracing for the bottom of the legs yet. The reason being, I have not decided If I want to do a shelf or just braces.. the floor is the biggest shelf of them all anyways. As is, the table is quite sturdy. It has very little flex in the structure of it and I've already put 500lbs of weight on it with little complaint from the surface.

I think next up is to cut all my steel for the frame, and start laying it out on the table. after that, I will pull the motor/trans from the s10 so I can complete the frame. It's getting cold here, fast.. near 20* over night, and I have a small heater that does a good job of keeping it bearable in the garage, but it isn't a sauna by any means. I've been toying with the idea of trying to find a wood stove.. but for the 1-2 hours at a time I get to spend in the garage, it isn't very ideal.

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Forced Induction + Magic Spinning Doritos = EMod


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:40 am 
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My productivity really went up with the addition of a stove. Maybe look into a used pellet stove. On some of the older models the controls are shot, but the internals still work well. I need to manually start mine and keep it on full hot, but boy, does it make a difference in the shop.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:40 am 
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mgkluft wrote:
My productivity really went up with the addition of a stove. Maybe look into a used pellet stove. On some of the older models the controls are shot, but the internals still work well. I need to manually start mine and keep it on full hot, but boy, does it make a difference in the shop.



Yeah.. I have zero insulation in my garage as well. That's a project in itself.. but for another time down the road. I have two small infrared heaters, one of which I'm surprised at how well it heats up the place. It was rated at 5200 BTU's and good for a 1000 sq ft work space and only set me back $60, but it takes a while to get the place up to temp, and even then its probably only good enough to raise it 15* over the outside temp.

I wanted to convert a 55 gallon drum to a wood burning stove. Figured it would set me back about $100 to plumb and convert one.. but then I'd have to find firewood, and worry about burn times after I am done with it.

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Forced Induction + Magic Spinning Doritos = EMod


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:59 am 
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I have a wood stove in my garage, but I've sort of stopped using it and now stuff has piled up around it. It's not a big one so that's part of the problem. Anyway I found myself being distracted by having to keep put wood in it. I had to run it really hot and even then it didn't make it warm out there, you still had to bundle up. A pellet stove makes more sense because it doesn't take effort to run it and you could start it before you go out, the wood stove took attention to start it.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 5:51 pm 
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I will hunt for a pellet stove!

in other news..

I was just reading through the CT title requirements from the DMV website for a composite vehicle, as I don't believe I would be able to get it through any other way.

as it would turn out, they require me to keep whatever emissions components the vehicle had that the motor came out of. so.. since the donor is a 1998, I have to retain a PCV, Electronic Spark Control, Evap. Canister, CAT, Closed Loop Computerized Engine Management, O2 sensors, and Fuel Injection.

The good news is.. they don't specify anything about the check engine light.. but I am curious as to how I am going to retain an evap canister with a fuel cell.. I was planning on creating a "flying lead" harness for the engine management anyways. This way I could retain OBDII functionality with the trucks ECU.

I guess the turbo portion is going to have to be put on hold until AFTER I get it CT legal. Bummer!

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Forced Induction + Magic Spinning Doritos = EMod


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 12:37 pm 
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I also decided that instead of trying to find a used fuel cell to fit, I am going to modify the s10 fuel tank. It is just stamped steel after all, so I'll be cutting one end of it off and welding a plate to narrow it. It is an 18.5 gallon tank stock, and has dimensions of 41.25"x14.75"x13.5" so width and height wise it is good, but the length is just too long. If I shorten it down to around 30", It should net somewhere around 14 gallons and leave plenty of space width wise in the rear.

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Forced Induction + Magic Spinning Doritos = EMod


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