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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 9:18 pm 
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Thanks they did turn out fairly nice. I patterned them after a blend of Tilton and AP. I would have used a Tilton balance bar from eBay but being laid off at the time I decided to make my own. The pads are also adjustable up/down and left/right.


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PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 10:40 pm 
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I've switched working on the flywheel, the KL ring gear is 10mm smaller diameter then the RX-7 so I tried to get a machine shop to cut the KL ring gear down so that the RX-7 gear would fit over the remainder and press on to the KL flywheel but nobody would do it. I want to save as much money as I can so I decided to try myself and I thought you guys would like to see my Rube Goldberg ring gear grinder.
I can adjust the depth of cut with the bolt in the side handle hole and with a little oil and the chain I just lock the switch and walk away and the grinder rotates the ring gear as it cuts.
I still need to remove about 1.5mm from it for the other ring gear to fit over it and at the rate it's cutting it will probably take 4 or 5 hours. I will let you know if it works.


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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 9:42 pm 
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Finished grinding down the KL ring gear and set the RX-7 ring gear on it. I had to chill the KL one and heat the RX-7 one to get them together. JUST RIGHT!


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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 9:55 pm 
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Fiendishly clever! I love it.

A hundred-plus years ago, two bicycle mechanics made an airplane, including the engine, with available tools and technology. I don't think Wilbur and Orville would have let a ring gear mismatch stop them, either.

My kid brother works for the American Museum of Natural History, making stuff. One of the questions he was asked during a pre-employment interview regarded making a replacement paddle for an ancient canoe that had been bequeathed to the museum, and he said, "First I'd make a stone axe and..." Yep, right answer, kid.

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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 10:12 pm 
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Thanks Jack
Your methods, like your tubing fishmouth cutter and your sheet bender are great at inspiring me to work with what I have.
I wasn't sure it would work but I had plenty of time to fine tune my technic as it was ground down. I made an attempt to put it on the flywheel but I ran out of gas for my torch and couldn't get the ring gears hot enough so I'll try later.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 9:37 pm 
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A small update.
I got the ring gear on the flywheel. No problem!
I started on my front lower control arms when the local Pick-N-Pull had a 1/2 price sale so I went down and looked at seats for 3 hours tiring to find something that looked OK and would fit without to much reworking. The seats from a Toyota Paseo looked good (nice and thin back and not to much to wide but the mounting looked to complicated so I went with Honda Prelude seats that I thought would be an easy fix. Not so but there in.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 11:12 pm 
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Working on the lower front control arms. The tubing is 1 5/8" 16ga. that I formed into 2"x1" oval by pressing a former through the inside on my press. The bottom plate is 12ga. top plate is 14ga.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:47 pm 
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MYTF wrote:
Working on the lower front control arms. The tubing is 1 5/8" 16ga. that I formed into 2"x1" oval by pressing a former through the inside on my press. The bottom plate is 12ga. top plate is 14ga.


oval tubing? tell me more, i'm interested in this myself. i was thinking running the tube between rollers but am having a problem figuring out a roller (or set of) that would give me the desired profile. a press thru die, did you make this yourself?

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 6:09 pm 
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I have tried squeezing the outside before with no success so I made this former (I think a mandrel would be the final shape of the tubing) out of 1/2" steel that I rounded and polished the edges on then welded to a bar that was long enough to go through the longest piece of tubing. I was concerned that the former may twist in the tubing so I made it a little longer then my first test piece. The first and last inch or two of tubing are distorted, the first were the former goes in ends up wider and flatter and the other end is distorted from setting on the press block but the rest looks pretty good to me.
The picture of the tubing shows the results though the shaped one is the end were the former entered and I tried to correct the distortion by squeezing the ends. An inch down the tube is nice and smooth.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:41 am 
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That is a great idea, I would not have thought it would have come out looking that good!
Keep up the good work
Dave W


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:54 am 
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While I really like the oval tubing doesn't it need to be a thicker wall from the equivalent size round to keep it from collapsing?

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 10:15 am 
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i like how it looks and your method couldn't be easier. in other words, doh!!
i'm guessing that it shifts around the rigidity making it more rigid line with the longer faces and less rigid in the shorter direction. in a quartering direction i have no idea what would happen, any engineers out there?

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:38 pm 
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That's brilliant!

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:22 pm 
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carguy123 wrote:
While I really like the oval tubing doesn't it need to be a thicker wall from the equivalent size round to keep it from collapsing?

I must admit I'm not a structural engineer, and I would think that with point loading on the long face it would definitely be weaker. But I am hoping to avoid any point loading in that way by having the shock mount close to the ball joint. I did make a test piece to confirm my end treatment and with a 18" lever on my 12ton press I did get the tubing to buckle on the long side.
One nice thing about the Seven is I will be able to watch the control arms for any problems. That my not be the best way but I've seen much worse.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 12:04 pm 
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A small mile stone for me. :D I got one side of the front control arms welded up and temped the brakes and wheel to check for clearance (thanks Mookie). I do have to trim the rear of the lower arm to clear the brake mount. I even set the shock there to see how it will fit.


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