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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 29, 2005, 12:18 pm 
More pictures at last!

At a track day at Streets of Willow, put on by the Shelby club but with a good showing from the California Caterham Club.
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Unfortunately I broke a front fender mount, which ended my day early.

So now sand-primer-paint rear fender, repair-primer-paint front fenders, beef up front fender mounts and I will be done! (Ya, sure.)


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PostPosted: May 5, 2006, 6:20 pm 
Some little updates:

Spending money on tires. Loved the Victoracers, but wearing out in back fast and the front kicked up HUGE amounts of gravel (~half cup of peagravel in pass seat after every run). Put on cheap 70 series tires, comfy but the rear would let go all at once at very low forces. Got Yokohama es100s, mostly because they have 205/60-14 which was good for the back (185/60-14 in the front). Now the front end is verging on twitchy, no sidewall flex at all is happening up there. I'm thinking a good compromise would have been 65 series for the front.

My Speedway steering wheel disconnect is crappy, gives like 3degrees of slop (this may contribute to the twitchy thing...). Bought a full-zoot zero-backlash coupler from Pegasus with integral electrical disconnect. It has a 5/8 diameter which is causing me to reengineer a good bit of my column.

Finally weighed the car, using a cool trailer-tongue scale from here:

http://www.sherline.com/lm.htm

550#ft/650#rr without driver. I had estimated 1200#, scary that I hit it dead on. I know, pretty light front end, huh?


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 Post subject: another update-luggage!
PostPosted: November 20, 2006, 2:08 pm 
I finally got around to mounting some luggage. It's based on a system a buddy makes for pannier bags for BMW GSs. The box is lockable and it locks to the car. A thief could unbolt the whole thing from the roll bar, but it would take a while.

I CAN fuel it up with the bag in place (my big worry).

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PostPosted: November 20, 2006, 3:14 pm 
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Joined: August 17, 2005, 1:30 am
Posts: 2403
Location: So CALIFORNIA
Very NICE.......I like the the hood side vents. Nery nicely done. I also like the Skuttless dash.

How do you plan on taking out the "slop" in the steering disconnect?

Glad to see you back on the road, (What caused the fire? Scarry stuff!)

Reread and found this....
Quote:
My guess is a weld spark went into the seat foam, smoldered for a while, then erupted.

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I'll keep an eye out for you!

To err is human...
I am more human than most.


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PostPosted: November 20, 2006, 6:31 pm 
Quote:
How do you plan on taking out the "slop" in the steering disconnect?


Short-term fix: I mangled up the steel coupler enough so that I had to pound the steering wheel on with a rubber mallet. So now it has much less slop, but doesn't really disconnect anymore either:)

Long term fix: I have a high-dollar SPA zero-slop disconnect that I haven't installed yet because it requires significant steering column reengineering.

Here's a warning: Once one's car is on the road, there is a huge reluctance to do upgrades that will take it off the road for any length of time. Oh, I guess KB58 said the same thing about his fenderwells.
http://locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=711


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 Post subject: An upgrade!
PostPosted: May 10, 2007, 12:45 pm 
I put in a chassis brace, mostly because I was missing some triangulation compared to others'. I never noticed any flex.
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Still working on the steering column change, and I got a crack in the exhaust, so now I will be putting in a slip joint to relieve some stress on the header outlet.


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PostPosted: June 7, 2007, 3:41 pm 
Well, i finally finished the redesigned steering column. It was an even bigger PITA than I thought it was going to be. It feels great, though (in the garage, so far). The tiny amount of play remaining appears to be from a little wear in the rack (it's only present when the steering is on-center).

Hassles:
The new coupler's stub shaft needed to be welded into a tube, rather than on a shaft, so I went ahead and used the tube down to the collapsing portion. This also stiffened up the column, which feels better.
The 1"OD tube required a new 1" ID rod end, which I didn't think was a big deal. However, as it turns out, a 1" rod end is HUGE! There was no way I was using that giant tractor part on the 7. After some thought, I just attacked the rod end with an angle grinder and removed about half of it's steel, and also removed the 1" threaded portion. After some welding and grinding, I ended up with a semi-light 1" rod end with a 5/8-18 thd that doesn't look as bad as it sounds.

Then I found out the 1" RE does not fit onto a 1"OD tube. Huh. I sanded the tube down a bit to get the scale off, but it still did not fit. I then got a mediuim-grit 1" cylinder hone and honed the inside of the RE. This worked, and fairly quickly, to my surprise.

One more RE-related problem, the thing (the ball) did not turn, at least not by hand. Not good for steering. I heated the ball with a torch while wobbling it around in the race, hoping to deform the teflon liner enough to allow free-turning. It spit out some charred fabric from inside (uh-oh) and then turned freely, but still smoothly without play (woohoo).

The coupler stub shaft needed a metric hole to fit in, so I bought a 17mm drill bit to drill out a bit of the 1" tube.

The other end needed to fit into the Borgeson collapsing portion, which is "double-D". Double-D rod stock is .75 OD, and I did not want to drill out the tube that much. After ALMOST going out and buying a lathe (there are no machine shops around here that do onesy-twosy stuff), I found that my local welder has a lathe in the back room and he turned the rod stock down and welded it in.

I had previously noticed that the Borgeson collapsing parts were creating some slop of their own, so I used plastic-tipped setscrews that tighten down on the inner slider, but still hopefully let go in the event of a you-know-what. OEM columns typically have a molded-in plastic piece that lets go in accidents, so I'm not worried.

After that it was pretty much cake. I'd take pics, but they'd be even less interesting than this write-up.


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 Post subject: Re: An upgrade!
PostPosted: June 7, 2007, 8:52 pm 
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Joined: August 14, 2006, 2:09 am
Posts: 385
Location: Sacramento, CA
squarefour wrote:
I put in a chassis brace, mostly because I was missing some triangulation compared to others'. I never noticed any flex.


But did you notice anything after the brace?


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 Post subject: Re: An upgrade!
PostPosted: June 8, 2007, 1:53 pm 
THAWA wrote:
squarefour wrote:
I put in a chassis brace, mostly because I was missing some triangulation compared to others'. I never noticed any flex.


But did you notice anything after the brace?



No, not really. But I haven't flogged it on the track or anything yet.

I'll tell you what, though, my new tight steering column has definitely made a difference (I drove it to work this morning).


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PostPosted: September 5, 2007, 8:01 pm 
Quick update:

Just back from the PNW Sevens Tour, 3,000 miles in 2 weeks. Mine was the only Locost in attendance, except Greg-LethalLocost, who joined us for a day. I was also the only one without windshield/top/side screens, which worried me a little. 90% of the trip was backroads, and those Caterham guys set a pretty blistering pace, so I flogged the car pretty hard for most of those miles.


The car worked basically fine. The annoying hair-trigger throttle continued to be annoying. I wore out my front tires halfway thru due to NOT ENOUGH camber, and bought new ones in Kelowna. My already a bit soft rear springs became VERY soft, and we had bottoming issues. My luggage rack developed a small crack, which I welded up with my battery-welder I had stashed in one of the tin-tops which accompanied us.

Other than that, a fine time was had.


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PostPosted: September 5, 2007, 8:12 pm 
A few pics from the tour.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 6, 2007, 9:09 am 
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Louisville's luckEseven Lauds Locosts
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Joined: December 21, 2006, 2:30 pm
Posts: 323
Location: Louisville, KY
That's looks like it was a LOT of fun! Congrats!

I'm so jealous... :skep:

Just because of you, I'm locking myself in the garage and not coming out until mine is running!

Just kidding, great build! And talk about PERSEVERANCE! Even after the whole car went up in smoke!

And I dig the scuttle-less construction, pretty unique! :D

_________________
-Emile
Scratch building an IRS, RX-7 based book chassis @ myBuild Log

*Make way for the luckEseven!


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PostPosted: October 1, 2007, 12:21 pm 
A couple of upgrades done.
My old fire-veteran coilovers were replaced, as one of them lost almost all compression damping on the tour. New ones have an inch more travel, and compressed length is 1/2" longer. QA1 82 series. Paired with much stiffer springs.
Also, finally made up a new, more progressive throttle. The design is based on a Ford GT throttle, a picture of which I happened to see in a Porsche build-up thread in another forum...


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A test drive revealed the pedal was a little high and actually too light-action. So I rearranged the stops and added...an RC car coilover with a really heavy spring. Worked great. Version 2.0:
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There is actually a version 3.0, I had it almost installed in the car when I noticed a potential interference with the brake balance bar. Fixed by raising the rear shock mount ~1". I was too sick of it at that point to take another picture.


Last edited by squarefour on October 8, 2007, 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: October 3, 2007, 12:18 pm 
Somebody caught photo evidence of my other little issue on the tour, so I thought I'd better share it.
i think it was caused by sustained hard driving, some suspension settling causing camber reduction, lack of camber compensation in the setup (more was not really practical due to the short store-bought top arms), etc. But mostly it was due to my inability to set toe and camber correctly.
Yes, I readjusted things using that giant pipe wrench:(
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: December 11, 2007, 3:49 pm 
Update:

-Yet another diagonal bolt-in brace fwd of the engine.

-RX7 AFM and cold-air intake type thing (hand-made 'cuz the ebay part was a POS).

-1/2" sway bar in front, can kinda see in pic.

-Set of used Hoosier bias slicks on $30 Aero wheels. Trimmed rear fenders to clear.


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