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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: October 6, 2015, 11:25 am 
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Rod, I believe Ron aka Sevenesqueron also used day permits to go for his inspections as well.

Al

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PostPosted: February 8, 2016, 9:49 pm 
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Spent some time on the car today. Mostly spent getting my speedo to work. Using an Acewell dash which was supposed to be able to handle the factory VSS signal. Turns out the VSS is waaaaaaay too fast for the Acewell to handle. It also can't handle the speeds of the driveshaft (which would have been easy). So instead, I mounted the sensor on the inside of the RF knuckle with the magnet on the inside of the hub-flange and re-wired it. Had to make a bracket, and an extension bolt for the magnet; I'd forgotten that it's fun to make stuff. I am starting to enjoy working on the car again as it is small stuff, with an immediate payoff (spin the wheel and the speedo moves. Yay! :mrgreen: )

To anyone using the Acewells: The sensor will read off the end of the barrel if required. It's not correct, but it was the only way for me to make it work.

Next is a little wiring, paint/weld mufflers, and maybe get a self-cancelling signal switch in there.

Cheers.

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PostPosted: February 11, 2016, 2:19 am 
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Heck yeah! Every little bit counts...


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PostPosted: April 10, 2017, 10:59 pm 
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Been working on the car again. Pulled the clutch (engine R&R) which was slipping: Flywheel was rusted pretty bad so hopefully that is all it was. I triple checked all clearances so I think I will be fine. Tore apart my wiring harness to connect my VSS to the ECU to try and get rid of my intermitt stalling on decell and did a few other things while it was apart. Couple more hours and it should be ready to actually break-in the clutch this time. Maybe WOT after 50ft wasn't the best choice last time......

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PostPosted: May 21, 2017, 9:34 pm 
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So I put another 4.5hrs on the car today breaking in the clutch and getting more used to the car. I am very happy to say that my clutch slipping issues appear to be behind me. Still going to get some more driving in before I really start to beat on it though. After switching the F&R master cylinders with each other, the brakes are much better. I have a feeling I intended the masters to be this way around, but mixed them up at some point. The pedal effort is still higher than I like, but it can lock up the RA1s up to about 80kph. I'd like to improve them more so may have to go down another size or two. I'm a little spoiled with the daily driver brakes (Yaris, 2300lbs, Hawk HPS pads and NT01 tires) and the Seven isn't great compared to that. Speaking of weights, I rolled over the truck scale....... 1670lbs with no driver and full fuel (big tank). I was shooting for 1700lbs or less with 1/2 tank so I am totally OK with that. The new giant ugly mufflers are much less painful to drive with. The exhaust is super quiet at idle, kinda pfffffffffflllllllbbbbttt-y at cruise, and sounds..... OK on throttle. Probably as good at the 90° V6 will ever sound. I also am wearing "Ear Peace" ear plugs which are pretty good for wind noise. Definitely recommend giving that style of ear plugs a try. I also used goggles this time and they also make it MUCH more pleasant to drive w/o a windshield. I still haven't fixed my Caster angles, so it steers like a dream on left handers, but feels like wrestling a bear on rights. Maybe try to correct that on Tues and go over all the bolts while on a hoist. Suspension is super supple on one-wheel bump. Two wheel bump the heavy solid axle makes it's presence known. Need to dial in a little more rebound in the rear shocks but overall, it feels pretty planted on bumps. Straight line throttle and the car is stable even with "some" wheel-spin. Throttle on corner exit is a bit.... sensitive but that is partly driver. Power is a little less than I expected. Don't get me wrong, this thing scoots pretty good. But I think I may be well under the engines rated HP. I don't hear a lot of blower noise so the valves could be stuck open or commanded off by the ECU (no boost). Hopefully some diag will sort it out, and if not I can always gain about 100whp on this motor pretty cheap/easy. I think this thing is going to be an absolute riot on a dry autoX course. May not be competitive, but should be very fun to push. There is no question that the car is faster than my driving ability right now.

That being said, now that COLD is no longer making nosecones (I think?) taking the thin fiberglass nose onto an autoX course is a bad idea. I'm thinking to make an autoX nosecone out of thin steel (I don't have a TIG or I'd use aluminum). That will be my next project so I can start racing. I'd also like to get some switches within thumb-reach on my steering wheel. Mostly a button for horn and flash high beams. Had some jerkoff completely blow a red light today and it took me too long to find the dash mounted horn. Also will need to improve signal location too.

Anyhow, was a fun day.

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PostPosted: May 22, 2017, 12:20 am 
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Location: BC, Canada. eh?
You're right about C.O.L.D. - he's long gone. Too bad - he was a handy resource!

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PostPosted: July 24, 2017, 10:46 pm 
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Just an update:

Finally got my braking figured out. My new pads had gone bad after sitting for so long. Not sure if the resin degrades or what, but a new set of pads and now have great front brakes. Rears shoes are probably in the same state, and I cannot buy wheel cylinders that don't leak. So I will be upgrading to 10.5" rotors from a 88 Tbird. It's a fairly involved job, so will have to wait until winter.

I did build a nosecone out of steel for autoX. I knew I couldn't make it look decent for the time I was willing to spend on it, so I just went for the comedic factor. The dead cone is the club's mascot, and the RPG stats are my way of making sure people know that's not it's normal nose (and I think it's funny). I put it to use at it's first autoX event, and am glad I built it. I ate two cones with it that would have destroyed the other one.

AutoX in the car was a riot. Day started out wet and I decided to drive in the rain anyways. It's not too bad with goggles and full rain-gear so glad to have learned it's doable. I'll waterproof a few things then not worry about running rainy events in it. Morning runs were wet/damp which was just as well to keep the speed down while learning the car. Afternoon was drier, and I was pushing harder and finding I was running out of talent a bit. Once I dialed it back and started thinking more about what I was doing I was able to get a better feel for the car. It's fairly well balanced so far other than the front brake bias (which I knew about going into it). The car does have a tendency to oversteer in mid corner from lift-off or braking but I have a feeling some of that is the driver who has been driving/racing FWDs for the last several years. Car is very easy to catch when it comes out and is pretty planted on throttle. Only thing that went wrong was one of my tailpipes fell off from hitting cones. I think I need a bit more toe-in too. All in all I am utterly amazed the car feels as good as it does right out of the box. It's also fast enough at autoX to bring back the heart-pounding excitement that makes racing fun. Looking forward to the next event.

Cheers.


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PostPosted: October 11, 2017, 2:16 pm 
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Just an end of season update:

Car survived 1100km of enthused street driving, and 4 autoX events with no major failures. The biggest issue is the throttle pedal. It has a hardpoint when coming off idle (jumps from 0-20% at times) which makes it impossible to get the finesse required to autoX well. I need to redo my pedal, specifically I think the pivot location is too far forward(?). I will be doing a rear-disc upgrade over the winter, 10" rotors from a 1988 Tbird which are a bit overkill/heavy but easiest to swap. I will also probably be fitting swaybars.

The pre-disassembly damage list of it's first season of abuse:
-exhaust tip fell off and went under the wheel (fixed)
-exhaust loosened off (fixed by solid mounting exhaust)
-steering wheel pin fell apart (Just as I was leaving for autoX of course. Found a bolt to use temporarily which made for some sore legs forcing them into the car with the wheel on all day. replaced with different style of pin.)
- some rear fender rivets pulled out of body from cone hits. More rivets required

Next step is to tear it down and inspect everything else. All in all, I would say this was a successful (and fun!) first season.

Cheers.

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PostPosted: October 11, 2017, 11:00 pm 
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Without going back and rereading I don't know if you have an electronic pedal of old school. If it's electronic I just learned today that the CTS pedal is the one to get as it's more progressing than other GM pedals.

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PostPosted: October 12, 2017, 11:01 pm 
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carguy123 wrote:
Without going back and rereading I don't know if you have an electronic pedal of old school. If it's electronic I just learned today that the CTS pedal is the one to get as it's more progressing than other GM pedals.


I've a cable operated throttle. I think the angles of it make it so that I am applying a compression load into the pedal (rather than a beaming load) and/or have a massively decreasing rate spring effect. I'll have to look closer at it and probably just move the pivot point rearwards. Could also be bind at the pivot but I don't think so.

Cheers.

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PostPosted: October 13, 2017, 3:22 pm 
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Does the throttle body have a cam "snail" for the cable?

All of the supercharged V6s I'm aware of had automatic transmissions, and GM uses a fairly sudden throttle opening on most autos to compensate for loose torque convertors.

You might be able to modify or replace the cam to get more motion in the low RPM range.


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PostPosted: October 14, 2017, 9:27 pm 
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TRX wrote:
Does the throttle body have a cam "snail" for the cable?

All of the supercharged V6s I'm aware of had automatic transmissions, and GM uses a fairly sudden throttle opening on most autos to compensate for loose torque convertors.

You might be able to modify or replace the cam to get more motion in the low RPM range.


TB has the setup where the cable pulls on a lever, which has a linkage to another lever which is bolted to throttle plate pivot. Not sure why GM went that route to be honest. The throttle will open faster because of the ratio but I have no idea if the ratio stays constant or not. I'd guess by looking at it that the ratio decreases as throttle is applied but I would have to measure. It's possible this is part/all of the issue, but I do need to start with a pedal. When I apply the pedal by pushing more downwards on it (rather than towards firewall) , it doesn't seem to bind. I'm pretty sure due to the shape of my pedal and location of my pivot that I am trying to drive the pedal into the pivot, rather than rotate around the pivot. Then it takes extra force to get past that lack of leverage and suddenly rotates when it does.

Cheers.

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PostPosted: October 14, 2017, 9:37 pm 
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Best pic I could find of the throttle linkage. Ignore the blue circles.


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PostPosted: October 15, 2017, 11:30 am 
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Not as aggressive as some cams... if you can move the throttle cable bracket down in relation to the cam, it will extend the low-ratio part of the cam and make the throttle less sensitive.

At low throttle angles, single large throttle bodies are more sensitive than multiple smaller throttles. It has to do with the aerodynamics across the butterflies at low angles. That's why you usually see cams on single throttles.


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PostPosted: October 24, 2017, 1:03 am 
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Here is the only onboard video I have of the Seven at autoX. It's pretty quick, but as mentioned the throttle made it pretty much undrivable. And of course I need to learn the car better (and just drive better).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xD6QYbp6O9s

Cheers.

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