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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:09 pm 
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Location: Warrenton, Virginia
Like so many others, I've been lurking for a couple years, learning, designing and redesigning, trying to determine if I could really pull off building a 7. I've at least convinced myself,( if not my bride), to the point that I'm starting a build log. If nothing else it should save lots time with others to point out possible and obvious ( to the more learned) flaws with the design or execution of the build.
Of all the cars I've driven/owned in my 47 years driving, the sports cars, AH Sprite, MGB, and my 1961 MGA were the favorites. So you can imagine what a thrill it was to find this site and learn about the cars being build. I started to think of possible ways to build my own.
So I grabbed a copy of SketchUP and looked around my pacrated collection of materials to see what might work. You can see from the screen captured images I really didn't have a handle on the SketckUp program or the thinking behind the frame design process ( that's not to say I do yet, but...)
At first I thought I might make use of these mid 30's frame rails that were salvaged from an old home built trailer.
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The rounded edges were to be placed inside and the the outside boxed after providing runs for fuel lines, brake lines, and wiring. The overall design was based on the 442e plans.
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002FirstFrameSketch.jpg
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Like I siad, this was right at the beginning of the Locost 7 build learning process and as soon as other steel became available, ( for free :wink: ) I started a new drawing.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:34 pm 
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This perfectly good steel was being tossed. I asked if it would be ok to haul it away, that I would like to use it for welding practice, they said fine. The blue is 1.5" x 2.5" x .125" and the other is a mix of 1 x 1, 1 x 2, and .75 x .75 16ga.
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There was enough 16 ga. to build 2 and 1/2 frames, if it were all straight. Backing out one frames worth of straight left plenty to practice on with my new Hobart Stick Mate welder. The modified 442e frame was created using the new steel as the material source.
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006Modified 442E Frame.jpg
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About the same time I carved a section of oak log to start learning to shape Aluminum.

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003FirstFender.jpg
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:57 pm 
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Howdy, STranger!
I've always wanted to say that to somebody! :mrgreen: Imagine it in a John Wayne voice, OK?

Welcome to the forum! Sounds like you've been planning and working and learning for a while now. I want to see more of your "oak log" metal work, the one pic looked pretty good. Got any other tricks up your sleeve?

Keep us posted on your progress, and keep the pictures coming!
Good luck-
: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: Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:44 pm 
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Howdy JD, ( imagine a Robert Mitchem voice!)
Thanks for the welcome! There will be more about the stump works after I've caught up with the pictures a little more. It will take a while to bring the log up to date, but that' s OK since it's to cold ( for me anyway ) to finish pulling the engine right now. A little about the donor...

The 1984 Ranger Donor has a 90 to 115 bhp , 350 lb. 60 degree V6. Very narrow but about 28 inches tall to the top of the stock air cleaner. The transmission is Toyo Koygo 5 Speed with ratios ranging from a 3.96 1st gear to a 0.84 Fifth. the rear is a 7.5 limited slip ( I haven't checked the tag for the gear ratio yet) with a 2" plus offset to the passengers side , to pass by the drivers side mounted gas tank.

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021,1984,2.8,5sp.jpg
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022, Cologne 2.8L V6.jpg
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023, 28 inch tall,60degree V6.jpg
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I changed the Width of the 442e frame to 45" thinking to use the ranger rear with the 1990 14"x 6" wheels that came with the truck. I considered using a 2" spacer on the right side to help center the pinion but couldn't work out a reasonable way to attach it to frame. Problem solved when 1987 mustang LS 3.08 showed up on Craigs list in my price range.

I'll be using a satchel link rear suspension set up.

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The front of the frame was changed using design elements from different plans and other builds. Looking from the front the FU tubes line up with the LA and LB tubes to make it easier to set up the front geometry. The top of the rear bulkhead is higher than plan to help make things more proportional .

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I'll have something other than drawings next post.

Ron


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:47 pm 
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Get the wabit-get the wabit,

i guess thats a different film star but anyway glad to see you,

the hard partof metal forming is repetition, in the words of Jimmy Kilroy, "now all i have to do is make another just like this one" when hand forming some headlight rims for a 35 ford.

practice, practice, practice!

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in a world where life in the fast lane is hard to achieve, one man is fighting back,
in the depths of the grand canyon, one lone builder with no budget and few skills is going for it!!!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:26 pm 
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I think there was a TVR that used that Cologne V6, way back when. Seems like it was a pretty potent motor in that lightweight car. Should be a similar rocket in a Se7en chassis! Although, looking at that first picture of it, I sure hope you can remove that "nest of snakes" that seems to be living on top of the engine... :mrgreen:

: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: Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:32 pm 
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You're definitely taking an interesting and unique approach to this build...Which fits in with the true spirit of Locosting as well as any other build I've seen. I like it. :cheers:

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:26 am 
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Glad to see a "touring" build in true homebuilt spirit, at least peers won't hassle you over component weight etc.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:13 am 
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Quote:
Of all the cars I've driven/owned in my 47 years driving, the sports cars, AH Sprite, MGB, and my 1961 MGA were the favorites. So you can imagine what a thrill it was to find this site and learn about the cars being build.


If you are looking to wax nostalgic, then restore one of those classic cars. I'll have to say that a Locost has nothing in common with these "sports cars". There! I said it. You'll find that the 10-15+ seconds that it takes to get from 0-60 is like timing it with a calandar. The immense body roll (by today's standards) that those cars had in the corners will come back to you very quickly. You'll think "What is so "sporty" about these things?" Modern econoboxes can run circles around those relics in accelleration, cornering and comfort. I know, I have owned a Sprite and a few MGA's. I just sold my fully restored MGA a couple years ago when my locost was completed.

By comarison, the Locost may just have the fastest accelleration you have ever driven. It lies flat in the corners and drives like it is on rails. There simply is no comparison to the British sports cars of the 50's, 60's and 70's.

On the other hand, once your driving a Locost, you'll long for the warmth, security and weather protection that those old British cars provided, even the ones with removable sidecurtains; that which used to be a joke amongst British car owners. The wind will beat you up. You will long for any protection from the sun.

I still love the old British cars. I'd probably have a dozen or more if I had unlimited room. But a Locost with modern tires, a semi-modern drivetrain and one that weighs in at 25% to 50% less weight, has very little in common with the British cars mentioned. But what a wonderfull difference it is too!

Great to see you have finally started a build log. We'll be watching.......

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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 Feb 22, 2013 10:52 am 
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john hennessy,

To date all the practice has been toward learning how the metals move. I've tried shrinking and stretching 25 Ga. alum.for that little fender shaped piece as well as 18 ga. alum and 16 ga and 18 ga. steel. Right now the focus is on using hand tools for everything. later I'll build my english wheel and helve hammer for the heavy work involved with full body panels, fenders and the like.

JD,

The Cologne 2.8L used in the TVRs and Capris were turning out around 150 bhp. The truck engines were low torque versions that had rougher castings and lacked the balancing given to the car V6s. Driving the ranger was a lot of fun. I really look forward to feeling even that much power in a much lighter car sitting 6" off the ground. I have pics of the motor sans snakes.
Attachment:
024, 28 inch tall,60degree V6.jpg
024, 28 inch tall,60degree V6.jpg [ 58.17 KiB | Viewed 2570 times ]


Took this one this morning, as the snow began to fall. It's almost ready to come out.the second pic is of a spare I picked up. I know the one in the truck is a running engine. The spare is to rebuild and to try to develop a manifold adapter to use side draft carbs to lower overall engine height.

Attachment:
025, Spare 2.8L V6.jpg
025, Spare 2.8L V6.jpg [ 68.32 KiB | Viewed 2570 times ]


Driven5,

Thanks. I'm big into " The True Spirit" as I understand it.

cheapracer,

Yeah I knew I better through that in there right up front. Even with the extra 65 lbs the bottom rails bring and the underpowered 350 lb motor, I'm hoping to make allowances elsewhere to help keep the weight down. On the other hand, the sooner I can be out running through the gears , the better I'll like it!!

Ron


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:09 am 
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rx7locost,

I hear what your saying about the difference in handling, and I can hardly wait!!! I am planning to include " extras " like a top, heater defroster, and maybe even side curtains with sliding windows like the 63 sprite had, in this touring build. I want to be able to drive from my home in Va. to say Florida or Canada with reasonable comfort ( for a locost 7 ) and without reliability concerns. Not to much to ask, yes!!

Ron


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:11 am 
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Location: Tallahassee, FL (The Center of the Known Universe)
Quote:
try to develop a manifold adapter to use side draft carbs to lower overall engine height.
Couple of flanges, some bent tubing and a bit of sheet aluminum and you're good to go!
Attachment:
Side Draft V8.jpg
Side Draft V8.jpg [ 79.96 KiB | Viewed 2568 times ]


Oh, and about that trip to Florida- Come by TLH and say Hi, we'll go for oysters or shrimp or Margaritas or something...
:cheers:

_________________
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: Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:31 am 
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JD,

I'm thinking something more like this. The cologne valve covers sit on the manifold were it mates to the heads.

Attachment:
e001,lower intake.jpg
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Thanks for the invite! I'll be down as quick as I can. OBTY is the pic you posted of a MGB-GT?


Last edited by STranger 7 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:51 am 
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Quote:
is the pic you posted of a MGB-GT?

Yep, sure is! The vent ahead of the windshield gives it away. It's a vintage racer, belongs to a guy named Les Gonda, and it's a gorgeous MGB-GT V8. I don't know him, but I've drooled over pics of his racecar numerous times...

http://www.britishracecar.com/lesgonda-mg-mgbgtv8.htm

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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: Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:55 am 
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The build table... I was so hot to start building that I threw together a piece of table just to have something to weld on.

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sm001,table.jpg
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When it came time to put the frame bottom together I re-cycled an old 4' x 8' plywood table top, With additional 2 x 4 bracing and some corner blocks,( and screw jacks so it could be leveled ) I jumped in again.

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sm002, table.jpg
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Weather forced me inside where I had to add legs and things Because of the lack of space to crawl around. So I went to SketchUp to work out the details.

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The legs fold up for storage. The caster assemblies unbolt and can be stored under the table. The first chance I get, I'll add middle legs because, over time, it has developed a slight sag.

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The jack pads for the caster assembly.

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The screw jacks can also store under the table.


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