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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: March 25, 2011, 8:25 pm 
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Now I see those items.

Smaller batteries are available for not that much money.

I see you are using the stock Miata ARBs. It would be nice to use a front ARB that connects to the bell cranks. That would result in a shorter/lighter bar and remove some clutter from the LCAs by keeping everything inside the frame. You could use a circle track torsion bar or just shorten the miata bar if the geometry works.

I'm nominating you for the most comprehensive pre-build planning and design work. Impressive.


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PostPosted: March 26, 2011, 11:33 am 
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Yes, YES! I love the design! I will be a bit of a challenge to bend those primary ladder tubes but I would seriously consider this design for my next build. Mid-engine Honda Yes sir! The only challenges I see might be transmission linkage (or will this be a paddle shift?) I will be following this closely! Good work!

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PostPosted: March 26, 2011, 1:19 pm 
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When do we get a kit? :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: March 27, 2011, 3:52 am 
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vroom wrote:
Nice pictures. But, what I don't understand about this and similar designs is what does that big (heavy ?) tube running front to back at shoulder height do?


For my cars that tube carries suspension input directly (the top of the shocks/springs are mounted to it in other words), the bulk of torsion loads and is good protection. The larger the better for looks too IMO so mine are 3" which is overkill I know but i would have used 4" had I had the rolling dies :wink:


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PostPosted: March 28, 2011, 1:16 pm 
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For the shift linkage I'll be flipping the shifter around so the cables come out the back. The selector cable is easy to deal with, I just need to weld a new arm onto the selector shaft at a different angle than before. The shift cable is a little more tricky, I'll have to make a bellcrank for that. I thought about paddle shifting and there was actually a 98 prelude with a H22A4 and a tiptronic automatic for sale at the same time and same price as I got mine. It would be really easy to make the tiptronic paddle shift but that transmission is not known for it's durability. It's also considerably heavier and harder to wire as it's OBD2.

The curved main tubes will be tricky to bend but I kept them a constant radius and I'll be plotting a 1:1 template so that should help.


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PostPosted: March 28, 2011, 2:44 pm 
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Location: USA
Thats some nice CG work! Can't wait to see this build completed. Out of curiosity what 3d scanner did you use? I sell and operate 3d scanners at work :D

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PostPosted: March 28, 2011, 3:10 pm 
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It was a Romer Infinite with the 3d scanner.

http://us.romer.com/products/romer-port ... -scanshark

The software I scanned it in with was PolyWorks. There was quite a learning process and lots of quirks with the setup. Nobody at the College is properly trained on it's operation so I had to fumble my way through it all. Overall the process was fairly unpleasant but I'm sure with the proper training it would be a lot less painful.


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PostPosted: October 8, 2011, 10:17 pm 
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I'm finally back on a work term and have a bit of spare time so construction has begun. The flat parts and sheet metal will be waterjet cut soon and then some real progress will take place. I've got all the bushing tubes and bungs machined for the control arms, and hopefully, will be able to weld up some control arms by the end of the month. One part that I have completed is narrowing the steering rack.

The steering rack is the fast ratio rack from a 1984 Corvette. It has the same 4.5" of travel as a Miata rack but is only 2.0 turns lock to lock. I took apart the rack and de-powered it by removing the hydraulic piston, plugging the hydraulic ports, and welding the spool valve. I shortened the rack by 150mm and turned a new thread on the end.

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Last edited by Zac88GT on July 18, 2014, 2:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: October 19, 2011, 12:01 am 
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I've finished the inner tie rod ends. The Corvette tie rods were M14x1.5 so I cut off the ends where it enlarges from .5".
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I then machined new ends to add 6" of length and adapt to the M12x1.25 Miata tie rod thread. I drilled a 3/16" hole in the Corvette end and turned a small dowel on the new end for alignment during welding.
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And I was finally able to fully assembly the steering rack.
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On a side note the only M12x1.25 die that I could get through my work for cheap was a 2" round die for which I didn't have a holder. Instead of the extra $25 holder I made this locost holder from a $0.50 1-7/8" exhaust clamp and some scraps.
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I also finished the adapter for the NRG quick release. I cut out the center of the miata steering wheel and welded it to an adapter plate to retain the horn ring. The new steering wheel is a Sparco 320mm suede wheel I picked up used.
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Last edited by Zac88GT on July 18, 2014, 2:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: October 20, 2011, 2:11 am 
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I finished cutting the and notching all the control arm tubes (1.00"x.095" CREW) last week. For notching I used SolidWorks to unroll the tubes and print out flat patterns of the tube. I then wrapped this around the tubes as a guide. Some of the patterns were too long to layout on 8.5x11 paper so they were made in two parts with a specified distance between reference lines. I also used the weld seem on the tube to make sure both ends were lined up correctly.

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Yesterday I laid out a jig for welding the rear upper control arms and finished welding them up tonight just as a ran out of shielding gas.
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Also completed are the front and rear suspension push rods. I'm trying to keep the whole car consistent with metric fasteners so I'll be using the 12mm QA1 rod ends.
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Last edited by Zac88GT on July 18, 2014, 2:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: October 20, 2011, 2:44 pm 
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Zac88GT wrote:
For notching I used SolidWorks to unroll the tubes and print out flat patterns of the tube. I then wrapped this around the tubes as a guide.


Save yourself a lot of time with Tubemiter.exe by Giles Puckett where ever it may be on the net convenient to you ...

http://www.google.com.hk/#hl=en&newwind ... 66&bih=424


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PostPosted: October 20, 2011, 10:51 pm 
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cheapracer wrote:
Save yourself a lot of time with Tubemiter.exe by Giles Puckett where ever it may be on the net convenient to you ...

Thanks, I didn't know about that, but I'll probably continue to use SolidWorks as it ensures both ends line up correctly and I'm pretty quick with it now.

I got some new welding gas today and WOW, I forgot how much nicer it is to weld with Argoshield. For the past couple years I've just been using straight Argon because I was switching back and forth between steel and aluminum. Now that I'll be doing only steel for a while I'll definitely be sticking with Argoshield. This is with straight Argon.
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And this is with Argoshield GP.
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I setup the jig for the rear lower control arms and welded those up today as well.
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Last edited by Zac88GT on July 18, 2014, 2:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: October 23, 2011, 11:17 pm 
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Front upper control arms are now done. The ball joints I'm using for these are the Moog ES2074R's.
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PostPosted: October 25, 2011, 1:28 am 
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Front lower control arms are almost complete. I just have to weld the sway bar end link mounts and ball joint/pushrod mounts on after they get water jet cut.
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PostPosted: November 7, 2011, 2:12 am 
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All of the flat parts have now been cut and I picked up all the steel I need for the frame so progress can continue. After getting the parts back from the waterjet place I can't imagine how long it would have taken me to do it manually.
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I finished off the front lower control arms by welding on the plates for the ball joint/pushrod, sway bar end link mounts, and a flange for the forward bushing to mimic the original Miata bushing sleeve.
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Front bellcranks are welded up now too. The bushings for them are .75" ID 1" OD Oilite bushings (FF-1015).
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Last edited by Zac88GT on July 18, 2014, 2:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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