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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:14 pm 
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I’ve been told its time to start my Build Log. So I’ll begin with the traditional confession:

“Been lurking and making the occasional contribution to the forum for a couple of years now. Been wanting to do a ‘from scratch’ build for years but didn’t have the know-how till I came across this forum. But this group is pretty amazing and I now have the confidence to move ahead.”

And I mean every word of it!

In way of background, I’m one of the older old f@rts here. My first car was a ’32 five window that started out with a flathead and ended up with a hemi motor and a LaSalle tranny. Yup, way back in the ‘50’s. Then progressed through a long list of sporty and not so sporty types including original owner of a ’65 Mustang convertible and a ’71 240z (should have kept ‘em both.) Then a turbo’d ’78 911 with a de-tuned 935 engine (very fast, especially when the waste-gate stuck!) and 17 years ago this month started the 7-year build of my Ultima Spyder, which I still have. For my “next project” I got interested in the FFR ’33 and was part of the one-week build team that put together the black #13 that was on the cover of Hot Rod Magazine. Oh, and recently been helping a friend with his Scarab continuation project. viewtopic.php?f=32&t=13273 That was all much fun. But decided I didn’t want to work around someone else’s kit issues on my next build. The “from scratch” itch still needed scratching—that’s when I found you guys.

I bought and read all the book build books. Got inspired by Rod’s 5.0, Phils LS, JD’s Mallock Tribute, Midlana, Wycked 7, Gale’s V8Seven and a number of other great builds. Then began building/modifying balsa scale models in an attempt to improve on the basic book chassis. About that time, Horizonjob started his Messy Garage thread, applying his Formula Ford background to his Car9 design. Marcus was way ahead of me on doing the chassis the “right way” and I got hooked on Car9. viewtopic.php?f=39&t=13810

So here I am with a stack of tubing heading this way including bent-to-spec tubes from CharlieN and straight tubes from OnlineMetals, a build table to build and a bunch of recent additions to my tool box. I’m finally ready to fire-up the torch and begin the goat rodeo.

But first, some answers to the basic questions:

What will it be used for: Street driving, autocross capable, occasional track days, intimidating neighbors’ dogs…

Chassis: Front-engined Car9 chassis. https://sites.google.com/site/car9buildit/ Round tube (‘cause I like round), “Lalo” cockpit side tubes (just ‘cause), low dash hoop, probably include forward roll hoop braces. We’ll see if the build makes my (very) stretch target of 1500 lbs. all up and wet.

Drivetrain and suspension: LS3 motor (I admire the bike-engined builds, but I’d rather have a V8, and yes, I’m old enough to know better), 5-speed tranny (which one is TBD), 31-spline 8.8 IRS diff, T-bird rear uprights with Cobra spindles, Wilwood Mustang II front spindles. The diff, rear spindles and uprights are already in my garage. Suspension will be set up for 4 ½” of ground clearance with 17” street wheels.

Bodywork: Potentially multiple skins. Twisting just a few Dzus fastners is all that's needed to take 'em off and put 'em on. (As I I learned in high school, it only takes a quarter turn...) Possibilities include: Traditional “7” roadster, Lalo, T-roadster, any or all the above options and maybe more.
Kirkey vintage low-back seats with separate headrests attached to the roll hoop. High-back seat option for track days.

Donor vehicle: None. When you get to be my age you don’t buy green bananas or rusty cars. Summit Racing, Jeggs, et. al. will be my “donors” (but I think that works the other way around.) I’ll be using a P-Ayr foam LS long-block (18 lbs.) for engine fitment during the early build stages. This will also save my back and (in the short term) my pocket book. I’ll buy a real motor later in the build.

As a segue from Horizonjob’s Car9 thread, I’ve re-posted below a couple of Charlie’s photos of the tubes he bent for me, as they are my starting point. They’re now truckin’ their way the length of I-90.

I’m open to any and all critiques and suggestions and expect to make (more than) a few mistakes along the way. Please point them out while they’re easy to fix. And poke fun if I’m sounding too serious, get off the mark or just need a kick in the @ss.

Let “…the sheer lunacy and Joy…” of the build begin!


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Cheers, Tom

My Car9 build: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=14613
"It's the construction of the car-the sheer lunacy and joy of making diverse parts come together and work as one-that counts."

Ultima Spyder, Northstar 4.0, Porsche G50/52
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:23 pm 
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Well ALLLLLL Rightttt!!! I can't wait for this one!
Quote:
the sheer lunacy and Joy…

Yep, that's about right... Lemme know if ya run short on lunacy, I'll ship James to you. (Remind me to punch a few holes in the box, and I oughta put a case of Natty Light in there with him for the trip...)

Good luck, Tom... I know this is gonna be an epic build.
Regards-
JD Kemp

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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: Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:17 am 
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Its a shame to have that :chev: engine along with all those Ford parts.... :wink:

Glad to hear your starting, have fun, and goodluck.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:23 am 
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Looking forward to this.

Just a suggestion, maybe a whole new forum section in "Build Logs" specific to Car9 builds now that one is finally underway?

Could include Horizenjobs whole thread as a sticky - viewtopic.php?f=39&t=13810


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:00 pm 
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Quote:
I’m finally ready to fire-up the torch and begin the goat rodeo.


Hey, wait a minute!!! I didn't see that the first time around. Forget me shipping James out there, I'm comin' myself! Iffen you turn up the gas on that torch, we can have a rodeo AND a barbecue!!! Show me where to sign up!!! :rofl:
:cheers:
JDK

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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 Jan 13, 2013 2:16 am 
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GonzoRacer wrote:
Quote:
I’m finally ready to fire-up the torch and begin the goat rodeo.
Hey, wait a minute!!! I didn't see that the first time around. Forget me shipping James out there, I'm comin' myself! Iffen you turn up the gas on that torch, we can have a rodeo AND a barbecue!!! Show me where to sign up!!! :rofl:
JD, I was suprised when you missed that. Figured it would be your kind of BBQ. Come on down, or up as the case may be. More than enough lunacy and joy to go around. Don't forget your umbrella.

Quote:
Its a shame to have that :chev: engine along with all those Ford parts.... :wink:
Trochu, just being an equal opportunity hot rodder...picking best of breed and mixin' and matchin'. And it just takes a splice in the driveshaft... :twisted:

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Cheers, Tom

My Car9 build: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=14613
"It's the construction of the car-the sheer lunacy and joy of making diverse parts come together and work as one-that counts."

Ultima Spyder, Northstar 4.0, Porsche G50/52


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:18 am 
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seattletom wrote:
JD, .... Figured it would be your kind of BBQ.


Ummm, any dogs going on the spit? Just asking ...


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:40 am 
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seattletom wrote:
Donor vehicle: None. When you get to be my age you don’t buy green bananas or rusty cars.
Words to live by. :cheers:

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Also follow my build on blogspot, tumblr, or instagram and twitter (GarageOdyssey)


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:49 am 
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cheapracer wrote:
Ummm, any dogs going on the spit? Just asking ...
Cheapr'r, I'm afraid to answer your question 'cause I think I get your drift :shock:

More work on the garage today. Improved the overhead lighting in the build bay. Gettin' ready for some tube time.

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Cheers, Tom

My Car9 build: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=14613
"It's the construction of the car-the sheer lunacy and joy of making diverse parts come together and work as one-that counts."

Ultima Spyder, Northstar 4.0, Porsche G50/52


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:31 pm 
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I am SO looking forward to your build.

I love the LS family of engines and think an LS3 (or a new LT1 or some other variant) is an excellent plan. They make great power stone stock and 700+ hp is just a phone call to Mast away. And they're light and compact (for a 6+ liter production V8).

My guess is that 1500 lbs is going to be snug, but possible. Sticking with a 5 speed probably will help in that direction (T56 is a great trans in many ways, but it weighs 125 lbs dry!).

Car9 seems like a really good idea. My biggest two concerns about the book 7's are the chassis with regards to crash worthyness out there in the real world, and the ability to handle a V8. I'll readily admit that I'm a snob and only have ears for the noises that healthy V8's make. I'm very interested to see the concepts and "pipe" dreams of others become reality, especially if I can learn / steal a bunch of ideas.

JustDreamin


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:07 am 
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Ok, my first progress post. The bent tubes arrived in great shape. Thanks CharlieN :D My build table is done. Most of the straight tubing I'll need is either in-house or on the way from OnlineMetals. The plastic LS motor arrived from P-Ayr (no problem making my 1500 lb. target with this puppy.) Time to take a deep breath, think twice/cut once, and dive into the deep end :shock:

So a couple of details re the pics shown below: The build table has a 3/4" MDF top with 2x4 20g. metal studs glued, screwed and corner gusseted, with a 1/2" ply bottom also glued and screwed to the studs. (Thanks for the design tips, Driven5.) The table top will sit on the saw horses. I made these 17 years ago as an OA welding project for the Ultima build. They are made of 1 1/4" thick-walled square tube. Definitely overbuilt. When the table is no longer useful, the chassis can sit directly on the saw horses which gives access to the chassis under-side.

Had to do a pre vroom-vroom layout on the table (3rd pic.) A couple of chassis tubes, a Kirkey low-back seat, and that motor.

Thanks for all the encouragement guys. It shouldn't be long now... :roll:


Attachments:
Build table - 001.jpg
Build table - 001.jpg [ 157.85 KiB | Viewed 3917 times ]
Saw horses - 001.jpg
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Build table -- 002.jpg
Build table -- 002.jpg [ 204.88 KiB | Viewed 3917 times ]

_________________
Cheers, Tom

My Car9 build: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=14613
"It's the construction of the car-the sheer lunacy and joy of making diverse parts come together and work as one-that counts."

Ultima Spyder, Northstar 4.0, Porsche G50/52
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:10 am 
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The build table looks great! Glad you could apply a few of my 'lessons learned' to it in addition to your generally improved construction methods. :cheers:

Is it just me, or is that motor prime for some non-photoshopped hilarity? :mrgreen:

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Also follow my build on blogspot, tumblr, or instagram and twitter (GarageOdyssey)


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:43 am 
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Sweet....! Glad to see it beginning!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:21 am 
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Yeah, what Krepus ^ said!!!

The table looks great, like a textbook example, Sir!

However, you don't have a hair on your... uhhh... EARS... yeah, that's it, ears... iffen you don't sit in that seat and rev the motor for a pic! :rofl: Open the garage door, so you don't get exhaust fumes in the shop. :roll:

Regards-
JD

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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: Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:11 am 
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seattletom wrote:
. . . The plastic LS motor arrived from P-Ayr (no problem making my 1500 lb. target with this puppy.) . . .

Now that's something new to me. What is the usual purpose for that plastic block? Can you fasten the typical engine items on to it like water pump, intake, etc.?

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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