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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 10:00 am 
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Some good ideas there Chuck. I like the idea of multi-piece scuttle.

I was going to have a removable dash panel also mounted with welded tabs. I was trying to fiure out how to use rubber isolator mounts for the dash to keep the vibration to a minimum on the instrumentation and electronics as I will have solid motor mounts and very stiff rod ends suspension for my solo car.

What type of materials are you using for the dash panel?

...Mark

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Building a whole car from scratch is a 1,000 little tasks, done 1 task at a time, while thinking 10 tasks ahead, then redoing it anyway.

SCCA D Mod autocross special. Scratch-Build completed 2013. Blew-up engine in 2014. Re-engineering & Rebuilding for 2015.
South Bend Region SCCA

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 5:09 pm 
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The dash panel itself is ~16 ga steel. You can see it in the previous post. I plan on covering it with naugahyde or just black crinkle paint. I may pad it with 1/4" foam or batting. I'm not sure yet. I'll have plenty of time to work that out later. Right now, I've got the continuous flange (to firewall) cut and fit to match the firewall curves. I've got about 1/3 of the shell welded to it. The major surface of the shell will be made by welding 3 panels together, not including flanges and tabs.

Do you really think you'll need to soft-mount the dash? I have read that the rotary is very smooth (comparatively) with solid mounts.

By the way, I'm happy with my choice on the Kinetic nose. Glad the CMC nose worked out for you. And yes the CMC nose was made from a spalsh mold taken from a real Lotus, S2 I believe.

Chuck

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Chuck.

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

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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2009 1:34 pm 
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Always Moore!
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If it makes you feel any better about the rad and fan Chuck, I had the same issue.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:03 am 
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Location: Baton Rouge
I have an RX7 track car with solid motor/tranny mounts. Very smooth for rigid mounts. My 13B locost project is also using solid mounts. I have a civic set up for AutoX with poly motor mounts, and there is far more vibration in the civic than the RX7.

Go solid, it isn't bad on a rotary.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:30 pm 
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Location: West Chicago,IL
Time goes by so quickly. I haven’t worked as much as I’d like on the car. Other things came first. We put in a small grilling patio and our son, daughter-in-law and grand-daughter come to visit for a bit. And the neighborhood had to fight the county on some proposed zoning changes. It seams that they wanted to rezone our properties for “Workforce Housing” without telling any of us. But the patio is done, the family is gone now and the county proposal is squashed, at least for now. On with the build…….

I got the main part of the scuttle done. I am pleased with the way it has turned out. The dash can be removed by itself and the scuttle shell can also be removed by itself. This should make it easier to wire-up. It will also make it easier to add the windshield, wipers and defroster bits when I get to that part. I will still need to add a ledge to the firewall for the hood to rest on. The instrument cluster is in, as are the switches for turn signals, flashers, wipers and lighting. Along with the rear defroster. rear wiper and....The switches are right from the donor so I may have to reassign some of the useless functions.The turn signal module is on the dash just left of the steering wheel. But for now, it is on to other things……
Attachment:
scuttle.JPG
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Attachment:
dash.JPG
dash.JPG [ 63.12 KiB | Viewed 2689 times ]


I got the S5 oil cooler to fit within the confines of the chassis. It is close to hitting the virtual body skins but does clear (I think). They are mounted on 1/8” x ¾” brackets. I was a bit worried about the cooler being able to move left and right like a swing. At least when I push it by hand, it appears that it is very solid.
Attachment:
oil cooler.JPG
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cooler LH mount.JPG
cooler LH mount.JPG [ 62.29 KiB | Viewed 2294 times ]
Attachment:
cooler RH mount.JPG
cooler RH mount.JPG [ 140.8 KiB | Viewed 2294 times ]

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Chuck.

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

Check out my rotary build log: click here


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:30 pm 
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Things are looking good Chuck. The oil cooler looks better sitting in your car than mine. Just to let you know I have the same radiator, fan and oil cooler set up in mine and I put it to the test at an autox event last weekend without any over heating problems. I even did two runs back to back because of a down cone. I haven't test a long run like on the highway because mine is not street legal.
Hope to see yours running soon.
Ralph


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:42 pm 
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Thanks for the compliment Ralph. Buy the way, congrats on getting yours running. Knowing the radiator is working for you makes me feel a bit better. I know no 2 cars are alike when it come to cooling but at least I wont be far off. I'm hoping to get the car rolling under its own power yet this year. I still have a long way to get there but at least I think I know the direction I'm taking from here on out.

Even when I get it all designed and built, I still have to go back thru all the tack welded bits. I don't want to do a "Hempy" on my first run.

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

Check out my rotary build log: click here


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:04 am 
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Location: Lexington, KY
What is "Workforce Housing?"

-dave "glad you don't want to do a hempy" hempy

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:18 am 
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Dave, it is a bit off topic, but "Workforce Housing" (Affordable Housing or Subsidized Housing by other names) is where people who work in the county at middle income wages cannot afford to buy a home in the county because the housing is too expensive. Soooooo, the county decided that they would lower the building code requirements so that "affordable" housing could be built. And the county ( my tax dollars) would subsidize the purchase of these homes. We are talking about subsidizing families with between about $53 and $87K annual income to get them into a $280,000 home, be it single family, duplex or condos....... These would be built on or near major roads. To make it seem acceptable, they are saying it is for the Policemen, Teachers, Firemen etc but there is nothing in the ordinance to limit it to countywide public service workers, just for any worker within the county.

What our county legislators forget is that the last 2 years, the housing market has plummeted and there are now many affordable homes already available. In our little corner of the county, the last 4 quarters data shows the median home prices to be below 250,000. There is no need to build new homes in our corner of the county. The prices are already there.

Including some other areas in the county, they targeted our subdivision to be an ideal location to build homes. They forgot to think that most of these lots are already built upon. So presumably they could take the properties by right of emminant domain. Our Supreme Court already has confirmed they can do that for "economic reasons", not just for the "good of the people" as it was before. They could raze the homes just to build new homes in the same price range for basically the same hard-working people. Also they did this in the dark of night without any notification to any of the affected properties, a very bad thing to do. After more than 3 years of planning at the county level, we were notified by our homeowners association about 2 weeks before it was to come to a final vote at the County Board. Other affected subdivisions across the county had no clue at all. We had about 125 people at the county development meeting from just our subdivision.

"You're just too sensitive." you might say? You bet I am!!!


This "Workforce Housing" idea is catching on in many states. At least for now, it has been voted down here.


Rant-off

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Chuck.

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

Check out my rotary build log: click here


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:13 am 
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Location: Fort Worth, Texas
You get more of what you subsidize. Subsidize purple cars and miraculously more purple cars will appear.

When you subsidize low income housing it's a dangerous slope. The pretty little country town I grew up in and the 2 closest to it have completely been destroyed by subsidized housing. Now all that live in any of the towns are the low income. Great move on the residents part!

Now back on topic everyone else.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:54 pm 
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OK back on topic:

I got a bit more done today. With the oil cooler now in place, I started packing things around it. The coolant recovery tank is now mounted. I cut a couple of large washers and welded them to the shock cross member just above the oil cooler. The donor tank fits on two rubber isolated pegs that go thru the washer’s holes. The upper bracket was made modifying the OEM brackets. I welded a cross piece to tie them together and then added a diagonal that goes down to the upper radiator mount. By going at a diagonal, I get fore/aft support and also hold the tank down into the washers. I hope I will still be able to get a radiator hose installed without interfering with the tank.
Attachment:
coolant recovery tank.JPG
coolant recovery tank.JPG [ 146.89 KiB | Viewed 2152 times ]


I went into my awaiting parts bin and got out the new Stebel Nautilus air horn. It is supposed to be the world's loudest motorcycle horn. It has a single bolt for a mount. I began looking for a place to mount it. I found a tight corner where it fits low and out of the way. Cut, drill & weld; that mounting bracket is done. The horn faces forward for strategic sound direction. It has a clear shot alongside the radiator. I’m hoping that most of the sound comes out the Seven’s nose piece and not reflected back at the driver (me).
Attachment:
Horn.JPG
Horn.JPG [ 146.26 KiB | Viewed 2152 times ]

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Chuck.

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

Check out my rotary build log: click here


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 6:25 pm 
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Another day, A little more work done……

I decided how I was going to run the vertical brace (FU2) next to the rearward mounts of the front control arm . Got it? In the book the control arm mounts are welded to these brackets. Not in my build. In fact, the recently mounted oil cooler also interferes a bit with the ideal location for these braces. I ran them about 1 inch behind the mounts to enable access to the mounts using an open-end wrench.

Next I had to figure how to run the side diagonal brace (TR2) past the header. Again, ideally it would be a straight shot. But not with the header I built. I ran up to the header and added an angle from there. It gives me about 1” clearance around the header. Knowing this is not a great thing to do, I added a separate diagonal from the angle, up to the upper horizontal (J2) . It should work pretty slick. The LH side is a bit more traditional.
Attachment:
RH diagonal.JPG
RH diagonal.JPG [ 64.83 KiB | Viewed 2260 times ]
Attachment:
LH diagonal.JPG
LH diagonal.JPG [ 69.13 KiB | Viewed 2083 times ]


I also added some vertical inner supports at the inside corner of the toe board and the tranny tunnel. My design is a bit different from the book in this area (too). Don’t ask me why on this one. It is the way I got the frame. LH and RH sides are pretty much identical. Once all properly welded, some sheet metal magic should finish her up in this area.
Attachment:
Foot well brace.JPG
Foot well brace.JPG [ 59.75 KiB | Viewed 2089 times ]


The engine bay diagonal (r) was placed (not welded) on the LH side as it allowed a longer path. Again, it should go further forward on the J2 tube but the alternator and oil pressure sender unit would not allow it. Some builders have run without this piece, at least for a short time. I figure if I add a shorter version, while not ideal, at least it should be better than none at all. I may add another on the RH side just because, although it would be shorter yet. To clear the intake manifold.
Attachment:
engine bay diagonal.JPG
engine bay diagonal.JPG [ 70.86 KiB | Viewed 3088 times ]



I have worried about implementing these pieces for many months. I knew it wasn’t going to be an ideal setup from the get-go. As I pondered many different designs, many of the “right ones” required redesigning other aspects of the build. So today I had good weather to pull the car into the drive and have some room to work around it. Once I finally decided to cut some steel, it went pretty fast. I think the present design turned out OK for a street car, no?

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Chuck.

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

Check out my rotary build log: click here


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:02 pm 
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Some more progress to report.

I finished the front trans tunnel cross member. This frame member had to be custom built due to clearance issues with the transmission. A 1x1 tube would not fit. So it is now 1” wide, ½” tall in the rear and 1/4” tall on the leading edge. The open edge has been closed off to make a closed trapezoidal shaped tube. Both ends of the Q tube were plugged and welded. The new cross member was then welded to those plugs. Some of the casting on the trans housing had to be ground down a bit. I now have between 1/2"-¾” clearance from the trans to the frame. This should be enough I think.
Attachment:
Trans tunnel x-member.JPG
Trans tunnel x-member.JPG [ 51.75 KiB | Viewed 1943 times ]


The foot well sheet metal has been fabbed and is ready to be welded in place. This is another area that I agonized over for many months. It turned out pretty nice and really cleans up the foot well lines. I'll wait for the final chassis welding to weld these in place.
Attachment:
LH footwell.JPG
LH footwell.JPG [ 56.24 KiB | Viewed 2244 times ]
Attachment:
RH footwell.JPG
RH footwell.JPG [ 42.2 KiB | Viewed 1940 times ]


I also added the hood support rail to the scuttle. It is ½ wide and is spaced ¼” off the edge of the scuttle. This should allow for some weather-stripping to cushion the fit. So now the scuttle fabrication work is done.
Attachment:
scuttle rail.JPG
scuttle rail.JPG [ 63.25 KiB | Viewed 1942 times ]


I also pressure tested the gas tank and fixed the few pinholes in the welding. I also painted it. I may need to add some venting as I’m not sure if the gas cap I have will work or not. I may also have to add some charcoal canister to limit the fumes.
Attachment:
painted tank.JPG
painted tank.JPG [ 47.78 KiB | Viewed 2107 times ]


So, how do you know when it is time to tear everything apart and start welding up all the tack welds that were left along the way? I’d also like to paint the frame before I put everything back together. I still have to run hydraulics, gas lines and work out the electrical. I'm thinking that this is best left 'til after the painting? Before it all goes back together, I have to tear the rotary engine apart and figure out why the compression is zero in the front rotor. That will be fun! I've never had a rotary apart. For that matter, I've never had a rotary before this one. I’m hoping it is only carbon-stuck seals rather than broken seals, but I knew that going in.

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Chuck.

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

Check out my rotary build log: click here


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:41 pm 
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I got a few more things worked out on the chassis. I added mounting tabs to the frame for the rear fenders. I finished the boxing of the curved rear fender support. I’ve added seat belt mounting tabs. I finished rerouting the oil cooler lines and modified the pedal box for an easier R&R process.

I’ve ordered my muffler parts from Summit. I settled on a Resonator (AR4011S-3) followed by a Turbo Tube muffler (ATT5018) from Jones (aka Full Boar). Neither part has internal baffles so burning out the fiberglass will not be a problem as is common with the rotary engines. It may burn out the shell as it is 16ga aluminized steel construction. But with the limited use the car will see, it will probably be a few years before that happens. I tried to fit as much as I could into such a small area. Hopefully, it will be enough muffling. If not, I’m not sure what I will do. But you gotta start somewhere. I will need to make the header flanges since it appears that I can’t find reasonably priced 3-bolt flanges for 2-1/4” or 2-1/2” exhaust pipe.

I ordered a pair of 5-point seat belts from eBay. They are 3” wide belts with a snap/cam lock fitting. They are not certified by anybody. Not the best name-brand stuff around but should do the trick for a street car. $84 for the pair delivered. It seems that none of the eBay stuff includes directions. It must be their way of getting by liability issues.

I just finished the roll bar design and sent the design to Jimmy at Roll Cage Components. One 40.5” wide by 20 inch tall hoop; one diagonal and 2 trailing supports. All made from 1-1/2” x .095” wall HREW steel. He came back with a very competitive cost. One stop shopping and I don’t have to find somebody to do my bending. I will report on the fit and finish when I receive it late next week.

So yesterday I started tearing everything apart for the final weld and paint of the frame structure. I will be using Rustoleum Gray. I plan on using a combination of spray bomb, brush and roller.

Now, off to the frame disassembly.

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Chuck.

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

Check out my rotary build log: click here


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 6:00 pm 
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Chuck, that resonator, muffler combo should be fine. I am running just a thrush turbo muffler on mine and it is not loud at all.


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