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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: November 7, 2018, 9:47 am 
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Yup. What waltj said! I forgot to mention that. So many choices out there. Good luck deciding.

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PostPosted: November 7, 2018, 7:43 pm 
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all i can say is watch the scrub radius if using front uprights from a car with power steering on a non power steering setup.

very interesting, and plenty of access around the engine with a one piece hood.

how is ground clearance on the pan?

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PostPosted: November 7, 2018, 8:19 pm 
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Chuck and Walt, thanks for the tips. I'k leaning toward the cheapest dc to get my feet wet or this Alpha 200 that seems to have everything I might need for aluminum: https://www.ahpwelds.com/product/ahp-al ... er-19-2018

John, thanks. The ground clearance to the bottom of the pan is about 4 inches with the pan about 1.5 inches below the bottom of the frame. The scrub is a fraction of an inch on paper, but we'll see how that turns out.

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PostPosted: November 7, 2018, 11:08 pm 
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And then there is a cart, gloves, arc welding rods, various tungsten electrodes, steel, stainless, and aluminum filler rods of various sizes, the new tank for Argon. spare gas shrouds etc, and etc, and etc...….

Why buy a DC only capable welder if you think you will end up with wanting to do Aluminum. You'll just be buying twice and waste that initial money IMO, At least that is the thought process I went thru.....

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PostPosted: November 8, 2018, 11:04 am 
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You're right. I fought my frugality and ordered it. I have most of the consumables already with my mig, stick, and gas welders.

I have a lot of sheet metal work to do. Want to try converting an efi intake to carbs that will fit under the spit hood line so I can use aluminum fwd heads. Carbs maybe progressive, side draught webers, or bike cv carbs.

This sold me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AicYjxOdI6A

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PostPosted: November 8, 2018, 12:53 pm 
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Congrats! I am frugal too. I had a hard time justifying the purchase but decided WTH. I don't need to justify everything! I'm sure you will learn to love it. I don't know what the difference is between the AlphaTIG 200X that I have and the 201XD they are now offering. They look to be the same and I can't find any feature comparisons between them. Mine doesn't do the slow, repetitive pulse that welder in your video shows. The AlphaTIG pulses, but too fast to notice. I think it helps to clean the aluminum better during welding. Don't quote me on that.

Last year, I made a small jewelry box. With my MIG, I would normally fold the corners with the inside edges touching leaving a 90 degree "V" and use the MIG to fill the "V". With the TIG, I found that I could overlap one side where the inside edge of that side would line up with the outside edge of the other. Then just TIG with no filler. No clean up grinding was needed. I was amazed.


Fab techniques between MIG and TIG can be different.

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PostPosted: November 11, 2018, 9:23 am 
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Cleaned the mustang calipers in washing powders, some wire brush followed by blasting, alumi prep 33, alodine 1001, heat gun dry before rad caliper paint.

Does anybody know the thread size for the triumph clutch master?

My $24 each brembos, $14 exedy spit clutch master, $20 cavalier master, $20 aluminum twin piston caliper in need of a bit more blasting, jeep tie rod as ubj with jamb nuts sourced from speedway.


A few interesting pics I've found...


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PostPosted: November 17, 2018, 5:12 pm 
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Got a bit more done. Rebuilt the calipers after blasting, painting, and baking. Silicone spray works great when reinstalling the phenolic pistons, which are not clean yet in the pic.

My 3/8-10mm banjos fit the mustang banjo bolts fine but I still need to anneal the sealing washers.

The 18 inch an3 lines appear to be just right. Using the speedway 4 tab kit to secure the 3/8-24 to an3 adapters.

The triumph clutch master is 3/8-24. Converted it to banjo also along with the s10 slave cyl.

Drilled and tapped the ubj adjuster sleeve and the ubj bracket is mostly done except for steering. I may add a wed across the center and wrap the end. You can see the caster offset in the lbj boss.
Getting close to working on the control arms.

Still waiting on my tig. Ordered gloves, 1/16 lanthanated tungsten, and a silica sleeve finger guard (I forget what they are called).


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PostPosted: November 18, 2018, 11:02 am 
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Miatav8,MstrASE,A&P,F wrote:
I’ve got a lot of options for the front shocks and I’d already order some if I were just replacing the originals, but I may want a shorter version than stock, which only compress to 10 inches from 13.5 fully extended. I’ll be adapting (no welding) a $45 coilover kit for a civic to a $20 a piece KYB shock for a common application along with a self-lubricating $10 spherical insert to replace the bushing. I expect to clean and reuse the original springs since the lower kit springs are likely too stiff and short to stay on the seats. The original springs are 2.65” id, 12.75” free length, 9.5” at ride height, 0.425” thick. Compared to my other springs, they appear to have a rate of 250 lb/in.


Found the lowering kit I bought two years ago for this. The springs front to back are QA1 350 (.505" wire), kit spring (.480"), spitfire spring (.425"), and QA1 200 (.415"). I just wanted the adjustable seats which should work fine, though there are billet adjuster sleeves on ebay now that are about the same price but for two and no springs (all I needed). I will probably drop the stock lower seat (which just slips on) an inch or two to install a 10.5 inch, 300 spring without trimming shorter. The stock seat does not accept a 2.5 id spring without welding around the inside shoulder on the bottom so you can turn the outside down about .070 to fit. None of these springs are smaller in od except for the lower rate QA1 200.

I'm sure somebody would like to see how the kit fits as-is on a standard spitfire shock. Didn't have the upper seat in-hand but you get the idea.

I'm using 5 180 mandrel bends in 2 inch for the exhaust. I've decided to run duals under the frame back to the diff where there is room for mufflers that have a case of around 15x4.25, similar to the buick powdered spit but with the mufflers tucked up. I'm leaning toward a Walker soundfx 18247 for the lincoln mark vii 5.0l ho application at $35each from Summit. 2 inch in but 1.75 out should work well for this little six. Don't want it to be too loud.


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PostPosted: November 22, 2018, 7:31 am 
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I’ve settled on 250x10x2.5id springs on the front ($50/pair). This is more than the stock 180# and much less than the Moss aftermarket 330#. I’ve kept the stock motion ratio of .56, probably added a 100-200 lbs to the car, have higher unsprung wt with the larger wheels and brakes which I will be weighing soon.
http://auskellian.com/paul/links_files/springs.htm

I’ve ordered a used, LA1 3400 rear exhaust manifold (casting 24506309) for $20 that I think will work well for both sides if I can overcome the port mismatch with a plate. These can be bought new for $30 but I wanted one that had the air fitting so I could weld it up to seal. They will look pretty good after I grind off all the extra bosses and superfluous material. These have different shaped ports so there will be a mismatch, but they are a significant improvement over the 2.8 s10 manifolds, put the collector right where I want it to be, offer matched flow for both sides, provide o2 bungs if I go that route eventually, will match aluminum heads, and I couldn’t build a headers for what these cost. What I don’t like is the extra port. The fwd LA1 front manifold dumps into this extra port via a crossover pipe around the transmission. That port will be capped and act as a resonant tube/drone eliminator, though probably too short to be ideal. I may cutoff and braze, weld, or plug the hole (with varying levels of difficulty with cast iron). When/if I ever upgrade to an LA1 or just fit aluminum heads, it should fit. I’ll plug the o2 sensor holes with welded 18mm spark plug anti-foulers. The outlet pipe flanges are just flat plates with a steel o-ring or I can make a gasket. Those o rings are kinda expensive. Looking for affordable copper sheet to make all the gaskets from.

I considered 2007 or so 3500 G6 manifolds but I doubt the ports will seal on the iron heads.

I settled on Dynomax Thrush Turbo mufflers, 2 in/out for about $35 each. They are double offset so I can tuck them up as much as possible to be less visible.


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PostPosted: November 25, 2018, 4:59 pm 
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The new manifold fits great for both sides, even with the extra port so I ordered a second one (another $20). The ports will seal to the iron heads without plates. Because the exhaust ports are not symmetrical, the manifold cannot be flipped upside down but it fits well. It looks like a header with all the casting flash and extra corners removed and smoothed. I ordered 18ga copper sheet for gaskets and an exhaust stud kit for a ford v10 (m8-125) for $10. Still leaves me two studs and nuts short. I don’t gain much by risking welding on the cast iron to cut back the extra port so I will cap it for now. Ground away the lip for a flat cap then reversed and trimmed the original crossover studs to bolt it down. Cut up the old o2 to weld the center for a stainless 02 bung plug. Going to try the VHT “flameproof” coating you can buy at autozone.

The control arms and caliper rails were blasted and sprayed with phosphorus until I can get to painting them. The lca will require welding but it looks like the uca will not be modified, with the new ubj (jeep tierod) a bolt-on like the original triumph ubj. This will make camber (threaded) and caster (shimmed) adjustment easier. I’m still waiting on the 250# springs. Because the engine is set back so far in the chassis (much more than a stock spitfire and especially a GT6) it looks like I will have room for a coilover tower transverse brace. It looks like the stock set up would flex a bit.

The tig came in. Haven’t had time to unbox much less set it up and practice. Spent a lot of time working on the iron manifold but worth the effort imho.

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PostPosted: December 2, 2018, 7:30 am 
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The manifolds, studs, and copper gaskets. Head and crossover flange are m8-1.25, manifold outlet is m10-1.5. The copper was about $20. Sheets are taped together to make both sides at the same time.


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manifolds 001.jpg
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manifolds 002.jpg
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PostPosted: December 2, 2018, 11:45 am 
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One can hardly tell you had removed that metal! nice job.

Even though I'm not commenting here, I am learning and following. The GM 60 deg V6 w/T5 is is the general route I'm planning for my MGBGT. Possibly with the LX9 engine.

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PostPosted: December 2, 2018, 3:02 pm 
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Thanks. Not quite finished removing metal on that.While i was working on the coilover seat, I welded an inch or so on the cast iron ring I cut off the manifold just to see how it would flow. I peened it afterwards but have no sand to slow the cooling. I used regular mig wire. It didn't crack but I think the ring shape had a lot to do with that. I may try it on the manifold I have not put any work into yet using the cold method. Weld a 1/2 inch, peen, let it cool completely, repeat.

There are much better manifold choices for the 3500/3900s and if I had the LA1 now, I'd use those (with a little work). I think the lx9 would be ideal if you plan to use the oem ecu with a piggyback hptuner and have room for the fwd water pump inlet. I have a dual starter bulge bellhousing and an early camaro t5 on the shelf just in case I go with a fwd engine, though I could probably just drill the block to accept the rwd starter position. Here are some pics of a 3500/3900 manifold showing the much larger port size. Also a pic of how the fwd waterpump and neck stick out but you can adapt the rwd timing cover and pump by drilling a few holes oversize on the left side and plugging a hole in the back of the cover in the same area. Here is a pic comparison of top end heights.

Like the manifold, this spring seat is also not quite finished but it works and is a very tight fit inside and out. When assembled, it applies about an inch of preload to the 10 inch 250# spring. I started by trying to find a steel tube that would barely fit inside the threaded coilover sleeve. A tr7 driveshaft tube was a little too big so I cut off three inches and spit it down one side, removing material at the cut until I could butt the cut ends and fit inside the sleeve snug. Then I welded and flattened the bead, giving me a tube that cleared the threaded sleeve and the dampener body. For the step where it sits on the shoulder on the dampener, I cut another ring from the tr7 tubing and trimmed it until it butt inside the sleeve tube. I let it protrude enough to weld them together. On the bottom, I rolled a piece of steel strip and welded it on around the bottom. I could drop the seat another half inch if I start over but I don't think I will need it and it is already puts the sleeve nuts very close to the lca at full droop.


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PostPosted: December 13, 2018, 4:03 pm 
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A little update. I have a steering plan.
The problem:
1) The stock steering rack is too wide (pivot to pivot is wider than the left and right uca pivots).
2) The stock steering rack position is too far forward (the toe links sweep aft to reach the spindles)

The plan:
1) Cut the two, forward most grooves on the crank pulley off.
2) Move the alternator to a custom brkt on the drivers side to align with the rear grooves.
3) Replace the alt pulley for one where the grooves are closer together to match the remaining pulleys or just use a single belt for now.
4) Narrow the rack housing 1 inch (max to leave adequate crank pulley clearance).
5) Narrow the rack 2 inches on the passenger side (no extra material on drivers side).
6) Make brkts to move the rack back 2 inches and raise the rack an inch or so, fitting the narrowed housing while picking up the existing rack mounting holes plus one more off center that I will add.
7) Notch the uca coilover brkts to clear the rack boots.
8 Design the spindle arms.

This will eliminate the anti ackermann, reduce or eliminate the bumpsteer, reduce the rack total travel to 5.5 from 6.5 inches and fewer turns lock to lock (currently 3.75), may allow for quicker steering (juggling ackerman and steering arm length), and pull the alternator in much tighter to the block than the s10 brkt.

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