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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: May 16, 2017, 10:54 am 
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Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
Hey, good to hear from you. I was afraid you loaded that thing up for a back roads tour of Guatemala or something. :mrgreen:

Cheers,

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

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PostPosted: May 17, 2017, 1:07 pm 
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Location: worcester county, Massachsetts
Hey Lonnie, yeah i mostly just drive the thing, and these days my building jones is all about slot cars. Here's the latest, "The Texaco Vanwall". Scratch built brass chassis, 52,000 rpm motor, 1961 vintage body...

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Slot cars, they take so much less time to build, take up far less space, and don't kill the driver when you crash.

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PostPosted: May 17, 2017, 4:28 pm 
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Location: Novato, CA
Slot cars have come a long way. I remember seeing a video a few years back and you could barely see the cars they were moving so fast. Nothing like my old Stombecker set.

Good to see the old B-3 back in action.


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PostPosted: May 18, 2017, 7:23 am 
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Location: worcester county, Massachsetts
nick47 wrote:
Slot cars have come a long way. I remember seeing a video a few years back and you could barely see the cars they were moving so fast. Nothing like my old Stombecker set.

Good to see the old B-3 back in action.


Hey Nick!

it was never out of action ;-) its become a nice "50 foot" car, looks great from 50 feet away. last winter I took it out on a bright sunny day, a few days afte one of our big snowstorms, 'cuz, y'know, why not? As might have been expected, I drove thru a couple lakes full of salty snow melt. the bare alloy on the body has some white pitting thereby, adn the fonrts of the LCAs are pitted with rust thru the silver rustoleum... and the wires are filty with brake dust and the frame still has dirt on it from two summers on the Plum Island refuge road, and the top frame rail where I place my foot when I get out is rubbed free of paint in a couple areas, and , etc., etc., blah, blah, blah. It looks well used, because it is ;-) Since I sorted out that detonation issue, its MUCH more fun to drive. Of course, fuel mileage has suffered, because I've constantly got my foot in it.

It's been weeping oil from the cam-chain housing end of the engine, which ordinarily means there's some blow-by going on that's pressurizing the crankcase and pushing the oil out. I can also hear some clanking of piston slap when the engine is cold, so I suppose I'll do a leak-down test on it at some point. I've got another bore-able cylinder block, and of course the spare engine out in the spare XS850 (but I think I'm going to chop that, turn it into a hardtail rat bike), and I've got a full set of 1st oversize pistons and rings to go in the spare block. the spare engine has really good compression, but I'd need to upgrade the clutch and investigate a 1st-2nd gear dog issue on it that's common with this engine family.

Boring the engine out so much was a nice experiement, and really taught me a lot about making that kind of mod work, but I think agressive overbores like that are best suited to waterpumpers. if, as I suspect, the cylinder sealing is suffering - again - I'd attribute that to how thin the cylinder walls are now at the 74.5 diameter (stock is 71.5), and heat causing them to go out-of-round.

BUT, its a blast to drive, so maybe I'll just keep driving it. all that other stuff is work. Especially cleaning, and I hate cleaning.

dude, slot cars. Ever watched a Wing Car race? Seriously, you can't see them. Full throttle all the way around the track. $500 controllers, $300 motors, chassis that are little wisps of wire around the periphery of the car, with a two-wire spine, tiny vestigal front wheels that don't ever touch the track, motors soldered in. The rules allow applying glue to the track in the corners. its loony ;-)

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PostPosted: June 14, 2017, 7:42 am 
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Location: worcester county, Massachsetts
And thus do we celebrate achieving 13,000+ miles...

I am a member of the Larz Andersons Auto Museum, Pam and i exhibited the B-3 at the Members Car Day Lawn Event a couple Saturdays ago (that's a 1926-or-so Packard behind)...

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Fave-rave other car there, the honest to god, for realz, that Pam and I have seen on TV, Honey West Cobra...

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Remember when I claimed that I'd sorted the detonation issue? That's a Nope. I have found that, now, though, depending on the fuel I put in, it crackles more or less depending on brand. I always use the highest octane sold. The Yamaha XS850 Owners manual specifies no less than 91 octane for the stock bike, which indicates that this combustion chamber is fairly aggressive for the stock 9.5 compression. For example when I fill it at the independant station nearest our house, it crackles loudly and frequently when up to full temps and the CHT shows hotter temps during general running, whereas if I use Gulf 93 octane, I see a 30-40 degree drop in CHT during general running, and just the slightest hint of crackle at the point where it does so, round about 3000 rpm, part throttle under load.

So. its a bit maddening. I have, I think, exhausted every avenue of mitigation I think available to me. I've gone round and round with the jetting (and the with the jetting I have now it runs great, no stumbles, pulls hard, carburets cleanly throughout the rev range), eliminated any and all sources of Vac leaks on the intake, and cut the ignition timing back 5-8 degrees...

I keep coming back to the fact that it didn't detonate at all, at the stock displacement and compression. So, I think that's where I have to go. I have a spare cylinder block and a brand new set of first-oversize pistons and rings, so machine shop, here I come.

Even with the crackle, the B-3 is an absolute blast to drive, very satisfying under throttle, very fun in turns, lively at speed (fastest I've had it so far is an indicated 95, it was like balancing a broomstick on the palm of your hand). That swept log exhaust manifold limits its breathing in the higher revs (redline is 9000), after 7000 rpm I can feel the power fade...but if I take it out to even 6k through the first 4 gears, I've blown everybody off and am indicating 80, and have caught up with the traffic ahead, so...

I've laid off the frequent burnouts, mostly because I'd like to keep this clutch in it for more than a year. ;-)

It has become such a real vehicle, that I sometimes forget that I built this thing, from an idea, from nothing. I have driven it so much, that it's idosyncracies now annoy me ;-) Just like a real car.

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PostPosted: June 14, 2017, 10:20 am 
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Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
robbovius wrote:
. . . <text deleted>

It has become such a real vehicle, that I sometimes forget that I built this thing, from an idea, from nothing. I have driven it so much, that it's idosyncracies now annoy me ;-) Just like a real car.


That's really the heart of things isn't it? I mean they build thousands of vehicles every day, and you could just go buy one any day of the week if you wanted to do so.

To borrow from the Marine Corp, you are now one of "the few, the proud", who have made something unique all by your own self from an idea in your head.

Cheers,

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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PostPosted: June 17, 2017, 2:39 pm 
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100 octane race gas a little under $7.00 a gallon.
Cost and aggravation of reworking the engine $?
Number of miles driven annually?
And the 100 octane should improve mileage.

You may create your own math formula, but I would just raise the octane a couple more points.

Should not be hard to figure out a ratio of real 100 Oct. fuel to the mass consumer <93 Oct. junk required.

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PostPosted: June 20, 2017, 11:51 am 
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RichardSIA wrote:
100 octane race gas a little under $7.00 a gallon.
Cost and aggravation of reworking the engine $?
Number of miles driven annually?
And the 100 octane should improve mileage.

You may create your own math formula, but I would just raise the octane a couple more points.

Should not be hard to figure out a ratio of real 100 Oct. fuel to the mass consumer <93 Oct. junk required.


Richard, I drive the thing every day it doesn't rain, or at least has a PoP of </= 25% I commute to work in it, run errands, joyrides, take it on vacation.. I've put 13,000 miles on it since march of 2014, I'm averaging 4300+ miles a year, it gets driven a LOT. ;-)

Plus, there's no convenient place for me to buy the 100 octane track gas. It'd be easier for me to put 100LL Avgas in it, but that's not happening either.

This thing is a just-about-daily driver, it has to be able to take pump gas.

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PostPosted: August 21, 2017, 1:56 pm 
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Location: worcester county, Massachsetts
15,000 miles later...

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It just goes and goes. Starts reliably every day, but just like a British sports car from the 50's and 60's, it's helpful to keep a can of ether in the trunk for those mornings when its a little groggy and doesn't really want to wake up.

Bombing down the highway on the way to Plum Island, Newburyport, MA, 8/5...

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There, parked next to a random 1962 Corvette...

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Packed up for the ride home, 8/19...

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Bombing home on 8/19, no drama, yawn, are we home yet? Pam up ahead with the bikes...

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Home. its got a decent amount of Parker River Refuge Road dirt on it. I will not be cleaning it until...I dunno...2020? Haven't cleaned it - really - since 2015. not in any rush.

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Beach sand that followed me home..Not Cleaning That Either.

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See you in another 5000 miles. heh.

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PostPosted: August 23, 2017, 8:06 pm 
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Looks great! You're really racking up the mileage on this thing. Awesome!


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PostPosted: August 24, 2017, 12:06 pm 
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Yeah thanks! It's been a lot of fun.

Apparently I built a useful vehicle. ;-)

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PostPosted: August 25, 2017, 9:52 am 
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robbovius wrote:
Yeah thanks! It's been a lot of fun.

Apparently I built a useful vehicle. ;-)


Yeah, for you wool underwear, New England kind of guys. :mrgreen:

Cheers,

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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PostPosted: August 29, 2017, 7:27 am 
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Lonnie-S wrote:
robbovius wrote:
Yeah thanks! It's been a lot of fun.

Apparently I built a useful vehicle. ;-)


Yeah, for you wool underwear, New England kind of guys. :mrgreen:

Cheers,


The modern engineered tech fabrics have replaced the Hair Shirt ;-)

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PostPosted: August 31, 2017, 3:50 pm 
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check this out...

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...and this.

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Yes, that is exactly what it looks like, the B-3 on a race track.

Don't get too excited, the pictures are screen caps from a video of me trucking around Thompson Speedway in Thompson CT, on the "Tour Laps" during the SCCA "Track Night in America" event held there last Tuesday night, 8/29.

even though it was sort of at the pace car crawl, it was still fun, because "hold back, charge! hold back charge", rinse, repeat, etc. good times. I'm gonna go back and do it again on 9/19. If it was up to the popular vote, the B-3 would have definitely been out there bombing around. ;-)

I have viddy, of course. I'll post that over the weekend. the person oin the passenger seat is my drummer buddy Vic, who was there hauling ass in his V8 BMW M3, with his son turning hot laps in a Focus SVT.

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PostPosted: August 31, 2017, 4:38 pm 
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That looks very cool, Rob. Last year I took the M.G. Locost to a Lotus club track event at Sonoma Raceway (a.k.a. Sears Point) as a spectator, with the promise that we'd get to do parade laps at noon. They lied. One of these days, maybe.


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