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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: May 21, 2017, 12:08 am 
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Thanks for coming by, Eric; I'm glad we could meet, almost a year after we first talked about it!

So I have a couple problems to sort out before it is really drive-able:

1. I need to make sure the alternator is hooked to the computer because it isn't turning on to charge the battery.

1a. In the same vein, a new battery is probably needed. This one runs out of juice after one start and a couple minutes of idling and needs to be recharged before it will start the car again.

1b. I need to mount the computer more rigidly and route the wires in the engine bay away from the headers. It's all kind of flopped in there.

2. That slow seep at the joint between the end tank and the core of the radiator that I showed before: it started spraying coolant everywhere after idling for 15 or so minutes. My soldered fix also seeps slowly. A new radiator is ordered and will arrive Wednesday.

2a. Maybe wire up the fans. OR maybe I just drive faster... more airflow through the radiator and all. That's what I'll tell the cop along with #5 :lol:

3. There is a pin hole in the soft rubber part of the fuel line where it transitions from the rail to the engine. I patched it with a hose clamp and a piece of rubber, which works decently when the system is on and pressurized, but seeps when the pump is turned off. This, I think, was my fuel smell. New fuel hose (fancy stuff designed for today's ethanol) arrives Wednesday and I plan to cut the soft section off, flare the end of the hard line, and double clamp the new soft stuff on.

4. I need to hook the brake light wires to the tail lights, and then the other ends to the fuse block. At the same time I should probably hook up the turn signal wires too. I think with these in place, I can drive the car during the day safely.

5. Some instrumentation would be good. Maybe just the fuel level, water temp, and oil pressure. My dad gave me 12v versions for all those. I don't have a solution for tach or speedo at this time. No speedo will be excuse #2 for the cop :lol:

6. I need to break out the wallet to buy tires and get it aligned.

7. Drive! :drive:

8. Maybe finish bolting the passenger seat in so that passengers can experience it too :D It currently only has 2 bolts because pedestals need to be made for the door-side bolts to level the seat.


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PostPosted: May 23, 2017, 1:07 am 
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Location: Colorado
So, some progress tonight:
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Need to paint the rest of it with rubberized undercoat, then I can insulate.

I aired up all the tires and lost some clearance. At full lock, I currently have 0.25" clearance between the tire and the fender. With a new, full tread tire this clearance may not even be enough to roll, much less hit a bump in a turn! I'm not sure what to do about this. I could potentially roll/pull the fender lip a tiny bit to get the needed clearance but I'm not sure how to do that carefully and in a way that isn't immediately obvious.

I also torqued all the lug nuts. Many were finger tight or less. That coulda been fun on the first drive :shock:

I fixed the alternator. Turns out that I just needed to hook wire S "pink/blk" on this GM cs series to 12v ignition. Bam! It charges!

I also mounted the computer rigidly to the firewall. Forgot to take a picture. I'll get one tomorrow.

I tightened up all the exhaust and rams horn bolts and found the O2 sensor loosely sitting in the bung. Tightened that up too. That should help :lol:

I also finished bolting the passenger seat down. Passengers can ride along in terror! :7:

On the need to buy list:

>Seatbelts - the ones from the vette were too short

>Tires - gonna call around and see what some of the local places can do for me.

>Alignment - local place about a mile away sounded promising on the phone. This is probably a week or so out.

>3rd brake light - all the aftermarket ones I've found don't appeal. I'm looking for something that will install on the rear parcel shelf unobtrusively. Just need to keep searching.

>Mufflers - the glasspacks aren't gonna work. I don't hate my neighbors that much and don't want to put them through that.


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PostPosted: May 23, 2017, 8:00 am 
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Location: Chesapeake Va.
Evan

If you have a pick & pull near you, see if they have any newer Camary's. The 3 light on some of those are pretty bright and sit on the rear shelf.

Red


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PostPosted: June 2, 2017, 7:38 am 
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I could potentially roll/pull the fender lip a tiny bit to get the needed clearance but I'm not sure how to do that carefully and in a way that isn't immediately obvious.
You know that urban legend about rolling an aluminum baseball bat around between the fender edge and the tire? Wellllll.... It ain't a legend. It can crack the paint and any bondo in the fender, but it'll flatten out that lip and even bulge the fender edge out a little bit.

:cheers:
JDK

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PostPosted: June 2, 2017, 11:00 am 
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Using a hair dryer very well, or a heat gun will stop the cracking. I've done it a number of times and never a crack yet.

Although the peanut gallery usually had a few cracks to say.

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PostPosted: June 15, 2017, 12:37 am 
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EDIT: ARRGHHHH! all the photos are right side up on my computer! why is it upside down on the forum. Any helpful tips, or easy ways to correct this?

Ok, so if you right click and then click "view image" it shows up correctly. Something fishy is going on with the way the forum is displaying the pictures.

Hi all. it's been too long. Here's some of the unreported progress:

New treads today! 275-40-17 rear, 255-40-17 front to try and give me a bit more fender clearance on top of some...massaging that I plan to do.
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That stack is tall. This is A LOT of pretty sticky (all season use) rubber.
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I've been wiring up the headlights
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and plan to retrofit these corvette turn signal bulbs and sockets into the park lights
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I also got a new radiator to fix the wildly leaking old one (end tanks let go entirely)
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It was one of summit's triple row radiators and it also allowed me to get rid of the ugly black plastic expansion tank! Extra bonus.
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Here is where the meat of it has been happening. I bought a Megasquirt 2, tore out most of the harness and stripped it back even further.
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You can see the black box zip tied to the column support. I also have an Innovate wideband O2 setup to ease the tuning. All the wires are hanging loose in the cab and will be bundled up when I get things finalized. First power up of the ECU and all the GM sensors were recognized and calibrated correctly (TPS needed recalibrated). I need to conscript the help of my wife to get the timing on the computer and engine aligned and then I will try firing it up! With the wideband, I'll be able to let autotune do it's thing once I get a roughed in table set up.
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Major work in the trunk with a rubberized undercoat, followed by selective hushmat strips, then foil backed foam glued down, and a new interstate battery! This one holds a charge for more than a day! Big upgrade over the old one.
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Back seat is getting the same treatment. Rubberized undercoat to generally deaden noise, hushmat to dampen vibration, and the foil back foil to insulate and isolate. Hopefully this is pretty effective. Doesn't weigh much, and from my research should provide the most noise deadening without going to a mass loaded vinyl isolation layer on top of it all.

Also going to take this opportunity to finish up wheel well treatment. Seam sealer, rubberized undercoat and some massaging for a hair more clearance:
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And the offending glasspacks. Cheap. WAAAYY too loud.
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I don't hate my neighbors. I'm looking at flowmaster super 50 delta as my replacement to tone it all down.


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PostPosted: June 19, 2017, 1:03 am 
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Alright. Kind of disastrous day. :( I found that my fuel pressure is good, the relays and MS2 are all functioning well. NOID light confirmed that the injectors are firing. I lost spark. Diagnosis points towards the ignition coil. Cap and pickup coil check out good. Rotor is ok too, and the module is a ? so I am ordering a new module, coil, and rotor (it was cheap). Shortly after this, I notice a large pool of coolant under the car. :shock: Well I can't see for sure, but I'm darn near certain it is the rear valley wall of the block to intake area. I ordered up new gaskets and am going to remove the whole intake and reassemble it all. Might even try a bit of porting on the TPI.

To continue to make progress, I got the wheel wells all seam sealed, primed, and then rubber undercoated. Put the wheels back on and dropped it to the ground:
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I put a pint of rustoleum there by the fender for a bit or perspective. The front is about 1/2" lower than the back now, giving it a tiny bit of a rake. The smaller 255-40-17 up front gave me a bit of breathing room; at full lock I have about an inch of compression before the tire hits the fender. Close, but manageable for the moment until I get around to rolling and pulling the fenders a little.

I have also been putting down strips of hushmat and then gluing down foam backed foil in the cab. Sealed cavities and areas without likely water are packed with formaldehyde free BAT insulation (fenders, behind rear interior panels, etc. NOT in the doors). Should quiet it down and help keep the car more comfortable.

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It'll be drivable one of these days...


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PostPosted: June 24, 2017, 12:21 am 
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Location: Colorado
To summarize: :7:

I'm driving and tuning... :D :chev:


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PostPosted: June 24, 2017, 8:59 am 
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uh-uh. No pics = not happened! :mrgreen:

We all really want to see videos of that bad boy. :cheers:

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PostPosted: June 25, 2017, 12:42 am 
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Well, since you asked!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzkrSX ... sp=sharing

Shakey videography and commentary from the in-laws included!

And an in car, filmed by my lovely wife:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8otwR ... sp=sharing

:lol: It may be kinda fast... :shock:


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PostPosted: June 25, 2017, 2:10 am 
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And another:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8otwR ... sp=sharing

It looks really low but I had no rubbing or dragging today, so I'm a super happy camper! It also handles nicely and for no vacuum assist to the brakes, they don't take much leg strength to stop. Maybe the corvette was designed with minimal vacuum assist to begin with.


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PostPosted: July 3, 2017, 2:44 am 
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Been sortah quiet in here...

There has been a lot of progress!
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Functional horn and turn signals (although only the high note horn works. Low note horn is on order). Also more wiring to include some anti-theft measures and to generally make things a bit nicer.
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Headlights! They work! The light switch doesn't work properly, so the park lights aren't coming on. New light switch is on order, lol.
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Seatbelts! Beautiful navy blue! Seatbelts plus online, great seatbelts for a reasonable price! I like how the seatbelt is hidden by the b-pillar and runs parallel with the seatback. It's a neat and tidy look.
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Plenty of room to get in the back still.
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Engine bay has been getting some work tidying up and making everything functional. Aluminum patch panels on the firewall have rubber gaskets and bolt in tight. Driving around without them when it was high 90s outside was brutal! Got out of the car dripping sweat!
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Temporary... or maybe not so temporary expansion tank. :lol:

It's been driving well. I've got it running on the rich side to be safe, and the IAC doesn't seem to be working correctly, so it's idling at 1200-1300 rpm. I've also been driving it oddly. To get good data at all different running conditions to analyze and tune, I'm shifting up and down unnecessarily, running it at all different rpms and load conditions. Consequently, I got 8mpg on the first tank. Since I don't have a fuel gauge, I found this out when it started to fuel starve going around corners with about 3 gallons in the tank ( a convenient metric until I get gauges in it! ). I'm hopeful when I get the idle down, run it leaner, and drive normally that my mileage will improve to at least the low 20s.

I also have a coolant leak on the intake. Coolant puddles in the valleys of the intake base, and when I park on a slope, or enough collects, it runs off the front or rear of the engine. It's slow, more of a seep, so it's still drive-able. I bought a gasket kit and will probably pull the whole intake before too long. I'm debating camming it, and porting the intake to get a bit more ompphh at that time. It isn't bad at all right now, but more would be better :twisted:


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PostPosted: July 11, 2017, 8:00 pm 
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Mystics of the small block! Readers of spark plugs! I need your help!
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To my eye, these look absolutely demolished. Particularly 8 and 6, which are very blackened and wet with chips in the ceramic. Not so wet that I could identify if it is oil or not though. No oil in the threads. I've got all new plugs I put in with anti-seize and a small dab of dielectric grease in the boots. The one charred boot is no closer to the headers than any other plug, and I reused it for the moment with the intention of changing it soon. I'm not sure I will even start the car until I get some feedback, in case there is something critically important to be done first.

On the bright side: it is very easy to change spark plugs with these rams horn headers. plenty of clearance everywhere to comfortably get them in and out!


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PostPosted: July 12, 2017, 8:48 am 
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If you are lucky, just valve stem seals on the 2 oily cylinders.
Initial timing about 2* advanced on half cylinders and half the cylinders slightly advance on total timing for mixture.
Mixture looks fairly good mid range, trying to read thru the deposits, but you need to look at the bottom of the plug cylinder for WOT mixture. Probably need to get injectors cleaned and may need to change grade of gas.
Redish deposit on the front plug could be a small manifold leak.
Disclaimer: I'm typically reading plugs with less than a 100 miles on them :)
I would say you got your monies worth on those plugs.
Dave W


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