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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: March 10, 2011, 4:16 pm 
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Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
Today is a non-working day. We have social engagements that prevent me from getting dirty before we leave, so I definitely have too much time on my hands this morning.

After placing 4 jack stands under my donor at the places recommended in the owner's manual, I just could not get comfortable or secure with the placement. The lifting points are along the outer sill where two major body stampings are folded one over the other and spot welded a few times. It's a actually a notch in the sill. This is definitely earthquake country and if one hits there is no way that donor will stay on the stands with such a narrow base. I took some time to make some redneck wheel stands, which get me high enough to work under the car. They look like a stack of kindling wood, but they're held together with 3" deck screws and Simpson Strong Ties, so they are plenty strong.

Late yesterday afternoon my Haynes Roadster nose cone and scuttle arrived from Kinetic Aerospace. My mock-up is still 2 weeks or so away, but I couldn't resist putting them atop the Mustang to get an idea of the sizes. The Locost will be pretty narrow in comparison, no? Please don't show this photo to my wife. I keep telling her I'm building a replica of a classic British sports car. She's thinking Jaguar XK120 look-alike with Ermine trimmed, leather upholstery and not a little, skimpy road demon where the passengers' main job is dodging rocks thrown up my other cars.

No, no I'm just kidding. She's actually taken a ride in John Holmes' Locost and liked it. What a girl, huh?


Attachments:
File comment: Donor/Locost Scuttle Comparison
Small-Donor-Locost-Scuttle.jpg
Small-Donor-Locost-Scuttle.jpg [ 110.73 KiB | Viewed 7289 times ]
File comment: Nose Cone Comparison
Small-Donor-Locost-Nose.jpg
Small-Donor-Locost-Nose.jpg [ 97.74 KiB | Viewed 7289 times ]
File comment: Redneck Wheel Stands
Small-Wheel-Block.jpg
Small-Wheel-Block.jpg [ 74 KiB | Viewed 7289 times ]

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886
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PostPosted: March 10, 2011, 4:53 pm 
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Yo Lonnie-
About those "wheel stands"... Nothing redneck about being safe, Dude...
:cheers:
JD "I know redneck when I see it" Kemp

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PostPosted: March 10, 2011, 5:57 pm 
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it could have been worse, there are many times when my FIL will use cinder blocks even after i tell him why he shouldn't... but he has recently stopped when he had a block break, luckily he wasn't near the truck...


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 Post subject: Slow Going
PostPosted: March 13, 2011, 12:30 pm 
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Things are going along steadily, but slower than expected. Mostly it's due to a lack of particular tools such as large metric wrenches, a deep socket set, specialized tools for fuel and A/C systems and so on. I'm going to Harbor Freight or Pep Boys on a daily basis to get the needed tools. They seem to know me by name now. Also, I'm really working to preserve as many components as possible for reuse in the Locost, which requires slow and careful going and much labeling and photo taking.

As I disassemble the donor I see some great examples of serviceability and clever engineering in the components. However, from time to time you see one that makes you scratch your head. The catalytic converter system is an impressive example of a mass produced item, but it was unbelievably hard to get out. The flanges holding the unit to the exhaust header couldn't have been any more difficult to get to. For one bolt, I ended up using 2 ratchet extensions of 5 and 12 inches connected by a universal joint in the middle. They had to be assembled in place as I reached up from my back on the garage floor since there wasn't enough room to pass the them through fully assembled.

With the 2 extensions and a flexible joint, the torque from my ratchet at the bolt was pitiful. It took 2 overnight soakings of the rusty header bolt in WD-40 before I could break it loose. Then I had the problem of keeping the whole assembly from falling on my head once I turn that last thread on that last bolt. In fairness, dealers have overhead lifts, tall and adjustable jack stands and impact wrenches, but it is still a massive assembly and too difficult to manage, I think. And, replacement must be horribly expensive.

I think I'm going to mount it as a trophy over the fireplace.


Attachments:
File comment: Mustang V6 Catalytic Converter System
Cat-System.jpg
Cat-System.jpg [ 57.3 KiB | Viewed 7207 times ]

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886
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PostPosted: March 13, 2011, 3:46 pm 
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Location: Saint Cloud, Florida
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It took 2 overnight soakings of the rusty header bolt in WD-40 before I could break it loose.


A product called Kroil works far better. It's a bit pricier, but you don't need much.

http://www.amazon.com/Kano-Aerokroil-Penetrating-aerosol-AEROKROIL/dp/B000F09CEA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1300045270&sr=8-2

http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/eppages/aerokroil.php


Last edited by Tyrod on March 13, 2011, 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: March 13, 2011, 3:48 pm 
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p.b. blaster is also good, though i cant give a comparison to kroil since ive never used it...


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PostPosted: March 13, 2011, 7:54 pm 
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Thanks for the tips, gentlemen. Kroil sounds very scientific according their ads; molecular actions and all that. Blaster is pretty economical, so I think I'll try both if I can find them locally. WD-40 was what I grew up on, but it wasn't very effective in this situation. And, I've got a lot of rusty bolts left to do.

The Kroil sound particularly interesting because of its promise to act on dissimilar metals. The Mustang V6 is a mixture of aluminum and steel and I've already had an issue with the steel bolts through the aluminum, drivers side accessory mount. It worked out, but again, it took two overnight soakings in WD-40 to make sure I broke the corrosive bond cleanly without damage.

Thanks,

Lonnie

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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PostPosted: March 13, 2011, 10:05 pm 
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Looks like a chop shop to me? LOL

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PostPosted: March 17, 2011, 10:24 pm 
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While I knew pulling the driveline would be a challenge, it has taken much longer than anticipated to get to this point; where the engine and transmission are ready to pull. My first plan, Plan A, was brilliant, but there proved to be some unforeseen, pesky obstacles. Now, however, as I'm executing Plan D, I think I'm finally ready to go. But, blast it, my shop crane just can't get in far enough from the front or side to pick up the engine. It is so far back in the chassis that I need at least 9 more inches of extension on the boom. OK then sez me, I'll just regroup and move on to Plan E. I believe now that I have Plan E figured out, but some dissassembly of the RHS front suspension and a the upper and lower FI manifolds will be required and it's definitely not a sure thing. Stay tuned.

I have had many, time-consuming, run-ins with Cosmic Law #1, which is, “That bolt which is furthest away, most motion-restricted and rustiest, is always the one that requires completely inhuman amounts of torque to break free.” However, when Cosmic Law #1 is encountered, I use my tried and true home mechanic's ritual of: 1) awareness (previously called swearing) ; 2) exhibiting great humility (crying); and 3) praying for Divine Guidance (that's the thinking up Plans F, G, H, I part). I do make progress every day. I think I'll have it soon. The simplicity of the Locost is getting more appealing each day. Imaging a car where you can get to just about everything on it and fix yourself. What a concept.

Although, I have to say, Plan F may be to drive the 45 minutes south on Interstate 5 to Tijuana and enlist the services of a good chop shop. Those guys can strip a car in an hour with 2 rusty crescent wrenches and a pair of vice grips. I'll just have to convince them that doing my donor is as much fun as stealing. Maybe I'll just show them a picture of my donor's trunk (attached) and say, “Psssssst, hey Chuy, wanna buy some Mustang parts cheap?” Do you think it might have a sort of a peer-bonding kind of effect? I hope so.

Cheers,


Attachments:
File comment: My Chop Shop Trunk Booty
Trunkload.jpg
Trunkload.jpg [ 75.17 KiB | Viewed 7088 times ]
File comment: Engine and Transmission Ready to Pull
Ready-to-Pull.jpg
Ready-to-Pull.jpg [ 84.26 KiB | Viewed 7088 times ]

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886
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PostPosted: March 17, 2011, 11:26 pm 
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What are you doing with the chassis? Any reason not to start sawzalling if it will make disassembly easier?

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PostPosted: March 18, 2011, 6:49 am 
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“Psssssst, hey Chuy, wanna buy some Mustang parts cheap?” Do you think it might have a sort of a peer-bonding kind of effect?


Don't know 'bout that, they might "bond" with your "parts", including the ones you drove down there in and leave you walking northward in your boxers...

If you're gonna scrap the carcass later, why not take apart (or cut up) the front clip so's you can reach that set-back engine you gots? Sawzalls are one of my favorite kinds of recreational equipment!

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"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: March 18, 2011, 11:10 am 
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I had really hoped to sell the chassis to someone who wants to build a road racing or drag car and recoup $200 bucks or so. That's the reason I don't chop it up. Great suggestions, though. If my current plan fails that may be my next step.

Cheers,

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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 Post subject: You may be right
PostPosted: March 18, 2011, 11:13 am 
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Don't know 'bout that, they might "bond" with your "parts", including the ones you drove down there in and leave you walking northward in your boxers...


I fear you're right, JD. I guess I'll have to figure it out my own self.

Cheers,

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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PostPosted: March 18, 2011, 11:33 am 
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One interesting thing that turned up is a piece of "donor archeology" appearing on the valve covers. It may be hard to see, but the words "97 Mustang" are written in the yellow-orange paint you see used in salvage yards. Did I get the gift of a later 3.8L V6 in place of the original engine? I'll have to wait until I can get down to some engine numbers and compare those to the vehicle paperwork or the factory sticker. A guy on the Mustang forums told me you can get a facsimile of any Ford dealers sticker with a complete list of equipment from the FoMoCo website based on the VIN. I haven't found how to do it, though. Has anyone ever done that?

After consulting the Mustang reference book, I found it's the '99 and later engines that have the improved cylinder heads worth 15+ additional horsepower, so it may not be a big deal. Drats!

Lord, I'm reading things off valve covers now. Where will it stop?

Cheers,


Attachments:
File comment: Is it a 1997 engine?
97-Mustang.jpg
97-Mustang.jpg [ 100.89 KiB | Viewed 7046 times ]

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886
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PostPosted: March 18, 2011, 2:07 pm 
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Your shop crane won't reach you say, but is this a car where they normally drop engines out the bottom? If the clearances look fine, lower the front down so the oil pan sits on something, disconnect everything and then lift the front of the car up - then slide out the engine and gearbox. Unless your shop crane is tiny it should be able to lift the front of an engine and suspensionless Mustang.

This might be an all-wet idea, but maybe not. But not as much fun as applying a sawsall ....

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