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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: January 22, 2016, 4:26 pm 
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Location: Outside Hartford, CT
The fluorescents tend to hurt my eyes if I'm trying to focus on small detail stuff for a couple of hours. I found I'm most comfortable with 3800K bulbs. I think they refer to them as "daylight" colored.

In the garage, When I'm doing detail work, I fill the space I'm working on with the 300watt work light. The xenon bulb color is ok, and obnoxiously bright.

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PostPosted: January 22, 2016, 7:52 pm 
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3800 is still in the bright white range. Daylight is around 5k

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PostPosted: June 6, 2016, 7:51 am 
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Location: Charles City, IA
It has been a while since I've updated here, but things are still moving right along. I ttied fabricating my own tubing bender to bemd the roll bars, and that didnt go particularly well. The overall design seems like it would work, but i need to either buy dies made from the right material, or wait to collect a machine shop so I can make those myself. Regardless, that wound up wasting about two months of work. I did eventually find out a friend did have the ability to bend these, but I didn't know to ask him. He did great work, and for the right price, too. As of about 2 weeks ago, my frame entered the third dimension. The center chassis tubes have been tacked into place, and I am moving on the the front next. My only question at this time is, "how much of the frame should I tack into place before starting finish welds?"

Enjoy the eye-candy below:


Attachments:
File comment: Current progress from the rear.
2016-06-06 06.44.17.jpg
2016-06-06 06.44.17.jpg [ 168.58 KiB | Viewed 3294 times ]
File comment: Window and door supports added. I'm going the hard way and making functional doors for this thing. I want my wife to enjoy riding in it, so this has been suggested as a requirement.
2016-06-06 06.44.00.jpg
2016-06-06 06.44.00.jpg [ 178.6 KiB | Viewed 3294 times ]
File comment: Playing with the seats to get a feel for everything's placement.
2016-06-06 06.43.22.jpg
2016-06-06 06.43.22.jpg [ 166.26 KiB | Viewed 3294 times ]
File comment: Roll bar supports installed
2016-06-06 06.43.43.jpg
2016-06-06 06.43.43.jpg [ 174.86 KiB | Viewed 3294 times ]
File comment: Those tricky Midlana front roll bars finally find their home. These are every bit as difficult as Kurt described in his book.
2016-06-06 06.42.49.jpg
2016-06-06 06.42.49.jpg [ 179.22 KiB | Viewed 3294 times ]
File comment: Roll bar tacked into place. The 3rd dimension begins.
2016-06-06 06.42.25.jpg
2016-06-06 06.42.25.jpg [ 171.51 KiB | Viewed 3294 times ]

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My PRIMARY build log: http://www.midlana.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=678
For the best detail and discussion, see this log!

My LocostUSA build log: http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=17917
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PostPosted: June 7, 2016, 7:42 am 
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Location: Charles City, IA
This morning's 2-hour work window let me get started on the front of the chassis. My upper suspension supports are tacked in place, held partially by my super-precise open-cell Styrofoam jig.

It is taking, on average, about 1 hour per tube to build this part of the car.

Attachment:
File comment: Upper suspension supports
2016-06-07 06.28.07.jpg
2016-06-07 06.28.07.jpg [ 154.18 KiB | Viewed 3239 times ]

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My PRIMARY build log: http://www.midlana.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=678
For the best detail and discussion, see this log!

My LocostUSA build log: http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=17917
A good snapshot of my progress. The LITE edition!


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PostPosted: June 9, 2016, 8:16 am 
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I have made a bit more progress on the front suspension support. There was a lot of grinding to get the tubes properly shaped to fit, but it looks pretty solid, now.

Final welding will come later. For now, everything is still getting just tacked into place.


Attachments:
2016-06-09 07.13.48.jpg
2016-06-09 07.13.48.jpg [ 188.77 KiB | Viewed 3175 times ]
2016-06-09 07.14.10.jpg
2016-06-09 07.14.10.jpg [ 199.7 KiB | Viewed 3175 times ]
2016-06-09 07.14.31.jpg
2016-06-09 07.14.31.jpg [ 196.4 KiB | Viewed 3175 times ]

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My PRIMARY build log: http://www.midlana.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=678
For the best detail and discussion, see this log!

My LocostUSA build log: http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=17917
A good snapshot of my progress. The LITE edition!
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PostPosted: June 12, 2016, 12:34 am 
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Location: Charles City, IA
I've nearly finished tacking together the front part of the chassis. The steering rack mounts will wait until I have my hands on an actual rack for the car, just in case I can't find a Miata rack for a good price. That means 3 more tubes and I can move on the the engine bay portion of the chassis and begin laying up the power train support structure.

Attachment:
2016-06-11 23.01.24.jpg
2016-06-11 23.01.24.jpg [ 194.94 KiB | Viewed 3117 times ]


Attachment:
2016-06-11 23.01.45.jpg
2016-06-11 23.01.45.jpg [ 201.17 KiB | Viewed 3117 times ]


Attachment:
2016-06-11 22.57.23.jpg
2016-06-11 22.57.23.jpg [ 148.49 KiB | Viewed 3117 times ]

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My PRIMARY build log: http://www.midlana.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=678
For the best detail and discussion, see this log!

My LocostUSA build log: http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=17917
A good snapshot of my progress. The LITE edition!


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PostPosted: June 12, 2016, 2:59 pm 
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Posts: 160
About an hour a tube is what I am finding too. Seems like forever, but is pretty satisfying, as you actually see things taking shape and growing. Watching your build, (and the builds slowly progressing on the Midlana site) as I am doing a midship build loosely based on midlana.

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Build log: viewtopic.php?f=18&t=18224


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PostPosted: June 13, 2016, 12:15 am 
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Joined: May 7, 2015, 2:00 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Charles City, IA
Today I finished tacking the front of the chassis together. This week, I'll be working on drivetrain placement and rear chassis structure. Stay tuned!


Attachments:
2016-06-12 22.58.40.jpg
2016-06-12 22.58.40.jpg [ 203.62 KiB | Viewed 3068 times ]

_________________
My PRIMARY build log: http://www.midlana.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=678
For the best detail and discussion, see this log!

My LocostUSA build log: http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=17917
A good snapshot of my progress. The LITE edition!
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PostPosted: June 13, 2016, 10:10 am 
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Joined: May 7, 2015, 2:00 pm
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Location: Charles City, IA
This morning, I got the engine jigged into place. Fitment looks good. The engine is centered left/right based on the ends of the axles.

Fore/aft placement is set based on axle centerlines. Clearance is a little tighter than I'd prefer on the front of the engine, but it'll work.

Vertical placement is based on frame clearance. I should have a bit over 1" of clearance from frame members under the engine and transmission, probably more.

Next, I get to begin building the chassis around the engine. Fun!


Attachments:
File comment: Gap under the engine
2016-06-13 08.56.56.jpg
2016-06-13 08.56.56.jpg [ 152.89 KiB | Viewed 3044 times ]
File comment: Engine side jigs
2016-06-13 08.56.28.jpg
2016-06-13 08.56.28.jpg [ 179.49 KiB | Viewed 3044 times ]
File comment: Transmission side jigs
2016-06-13 08.55.43.jpg
2016-06-13 08.55.43.jpg [ 189.52 KiB | Viewed 3044 times ]
File comment: No intermediate shaft, just two completely different axle lengths. I'm glad I'm not using this transmission for anything other than engine mount placement.
2016-06-13 08.55.17.jpg
2016-06-13 08.55.17.jpg [ 191.04 KiB | Viewed 3044 times ]

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My PRIMARY build log: http://www.midlana.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=678
For the best detail and discussion, see this log!

My LocostUSA build log: http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=17917
A good snapshot of my progress. The LITE edition!
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PostPosted: June 15, 2016, 2:08 pm 
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Location: Charles City, IA
Now, I'm building up the rear chassis structure. This is bit of a slower start than the rest of the chassis so far, lots of tight spaces requiring a lot of forethought.

Attachment:
File comment: Begin rear chassis construction
chassis-rear-1.jpg
chassis-rear-1.jpg [ 230.96 KiB | Viewed 2977 times ]

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My PRIMARY build log: http://www.midlana.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=678
For the best detail and discussion, see this log!

My LocostUSA build log: http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=17917
A good snapshot of my progress. The LITE edition!


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PostPosted: June 16, 2016, 10:48 pm 
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Location: Charles City, IA
Two more tubes added this morning.


Attachments:
2016-06-16 21.45.48.jpg
2016-06-16 21.45.48.jpg [ 214.3 KiB | Viewed 2937 times ]

_________________
My PRIMARY build log: http://www.midlana.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=678
For the best detail and discussion, see this log!

My LocostUSA build log: http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=17917
A good snapshot of my progress. The LITE edition!
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PostPosted: June 19, 2016, 12:13 am 
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Joined: May 7, 2015, 2:00 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Charles City, IA
I've been working every day since the last post, just haven't updated here. I added two more down tubes to the rear chassis frame, and began building the rear suspension support weldment.

Attachment:
File comment: Lower rear frame supports tacked it
2016-06-17 22.25.20.jpg
2016-06-17 22.25.20.jpg [ 206.88 KiB | Viewed 2906 times ]


The two layers were built, tacked, and welded up first.

Attachment:
File comment: Layers of the suspension support weldment
2016-06-17 22.26.06.jpg
2016-06-17 22.26.06.jpg [ 166.05 KiB | Viewed 2906 times ]


Next I built up a jig to hold the layers in the correct position until I could get more supports tacked in.

Attachment:
File comment: Setting up the jig
2016-06-18 22.16.41.jpg
2016-06-18 22.16.41.jpg [ 187.89 KiB | Viewed 2906 times ]


Once everything was tacked together, I welded it solid. It is now ready to be mounted to the rear of the car, which leads to a new problem.

Attachment:
File comment: All welded up!
2016-06-18 22.17.14.jpg
2016-06-18 22.17.14.jpg [ 189.95 KiB | Viewed 2906 times ]


The motor mount at the rear of the engine is exactly where I'd like to put this suspension weldment, so I need to make some modifications to the design to make this work. It looks like the diffuser will be getting tacked up next.

Attachment:
File comment: Motor mounts have arrived!
2016-06-17 22.25.46.jpg
2016-06-17 22.25.46.jpg [ 184.33 KiB | Viewed 2906 times ]

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My PRIMARY build log: http://www.midlana.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=678
For the best detail and discussion, see this log!

My LocostUSA build log: http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=17917
A good snapshot of my progress. The LITE edition!


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PostPosted: June 21, 2016, 10:29 pm 
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Joined: May 7, 2015, 2:00 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Charles City, IA
Well... it's attached. Those bottom supports were hard to get right. I ended up modelling the mating surfaces in NX at work so that I could get a good lay-up for how to orient the cuts and find dimensions using an ideal position. With that, I made a full pattern for each side of the tube and used that to guide my cuts. I had to invent these tubes, and they had to mate to something floating in space, and make sure that thing floating in space stayed level, too. All things considered, it turned out almost too well. Let's hope it stays.


Attachments:
File comment: Suspension bracket is attached
2016-06-21 10.07.12.jpg
2016-06-21 10.07.12.jpg [ 192.61 KiB | Viewed 2849 times ]
File comment: A glance at the underside
2016-06-21 10.07.36.jpg
2016-06-21 10.07.36.jpg [ 158.23 KiB | Viewed 2849 times ]

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My PRIMARY build log: http://www.midlana.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=678
For the best detail and discussion, see this log!

My LocostUSA build log: http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=17917
A good snapshot of my progress. The LITE edition!
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PostPosted: July 2, 2016, 11:16 pm 
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Location: Charles City, IA
Engine mounts are tacked into place.

Attachment:
File comment: Engine In - Left
2016-07-02 21.03.06.jpg
2016-07-02 21.03.06.jpg [ 220.13 KiB | Viewed 2734 times ]

With Engine - Left

Attachment:
File comment: Engine In - Right
2016-07-02 21.03.22.jpg
2016-07-02 21.03.22.jpg [ 222.55 KiB | Viewed 2734 times ]

With Engine - Right

Attachment:
File comment: Front Engine Mount
2016-07-02 21.04.22.jpg
2016-07-02 21.04.22.jpg [ 139.1 KiB | Viewed 2734 times ]

Front Engine Mount

Attachment:
File comment: Right Engine Mount
2016-07-02 21.04.41.jpg
2016-07-02 21.04.41.jpg [ 140.2 KiB | Viewed 2734 times ]

Right Engine Mount

Attachment:
File comment: Rear Engine Mount
2016-07-02 21.03.42.jpg
2016-07-02 21.03.42.jpg [ 165.77 KiB | Viewed 2734 times ]

Rear Engine Mount

One still requires a bit more reinforcement upon completion of the rear structure, but for the most part, engine position is now defined.

Attachment:
File comment: Transmission Mount
2016-07-02 21.04.01.jpg
2016-07-02 21.04.01.jpg [ 165.27 KiB | Viewed 2734 times ]

Transmission Mount

I had to remove the engine before completing the rest of the frame because of the height required to lift the engine on this table.

Attachment:
File comment: No Engine - Left
2016-07-02 21.05.20.jpg
2016-07-02 21.05.20.jpg [ 178.93 KiB | Viewed 2734 times ]

No Engine - Left

Attachment:
File comment: No Engine - Rear
2016-07-02 21.05.01.jpg
2016-07-02 21.05.01.jpg [ 214.31 KiB | Viewed 2734 times ]

No Engine - Rear


Once the table is lowered later in the process, I'll be able to reinstall the engine.

This will also give me a chance to finish rebuilding the engine. In the meantime, for framework, I need to reinforce the suspension mount structure, and extend the the rest of the rear of the frame to meet it.

I have an idea for how I want the rear of the car to look, but I am not sure how best to set up the supporting structure for it. I intend to use vacuum-pulled fiberglass for exterior panels. I've worked with materials like that in solar car and mini baja competition teams in high school and college.

The car will look quite a bit different than the rear of a Locost or even Midlana, and a big difference there is the roll cage will not always be the defining edge for the panels. I am not sure if I should set up structural edges for the panels, or simply create reinforced brackets at key locations to hold the panels. One would certainly not have issues with wind-induced vibration, but if the panels are created properly, that shouldn't be a problem anyway. Not really looking for guidance here, just letting you know where my head is at for the design of the remaining rear of the car.

This is so much fun!

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My PRIMARY build log: http://www.midlana.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=678
For the best detail and discussion, see this log!

My LocostUSA build log: http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=17917
A good snapshot of my progress. The LITE edition!


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PostPosted: July 3, 2016, 2:09 am 
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Joined: October 12, 2013, 8:55 pm
Posts: 200
Location: Tucson, AZ
Wow, you're zipping along now. One thing I kind of regret with my build was not building the frame myself and just buying it and modifying it for the miata build....good for you!

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