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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: April 25, 2016, 8:29 pm 
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Joined: April 16, 2016, 12:44 pm
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Location: Swanton, Vt
Hi, my names Ryan and I'm a freshmen mechanical engineering student. My family's raced circle track "enduro" races for the past 8 years I've raced one year. But turning one way and spending money to fix a car up every year that get trashed by other racers really isn't my thing. I have access to a rotting out Chevy Silverado with a 5.3 vortec and two large machine shops with more tools than should be nessecary.
I went to college to pursue the formula SAE team but wasn't able to fit them in my first semester and wasn't able to just start with it this semester. I have been researching for around the past six months about the topic of a lm7 to corvette transaxle setup close to what BB69 did in his build thread (sorry I don't know how to link to his thread). I found rough dimensions of a lm7,4l60e, and corvette transaxle online after quite of but of research and made a very rough model in solidworks for figment. I recently also came across a suspension analyzing tool that had preset corvette suspension in it and have based my control arm points of that data as well for the hopes of grabbing them all off a single wrecked car.
This build is still in the dreaming stages as I have very limited income and don't quite trust myself enough to climb behind the wheel of the car I welded together myself but was looking for any helpful information as next steps down the road. Fuel cell placement, battery, radiators. I will attach pictures of the first frame version when I can put them into my computer. Willing to take any questions and criticism is very welcome, almost everybody has more experience than I do and I'm willing to learn


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PostPosted: April 26, 2016, 8:27 am 
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Welcome fellow New Englander! There are like 8 of us now!

Keep dreaming. I think all of us here dreamed for a few years before diving in.

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PostPosted: April 26, 2016, 9:13 am 
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Joined: June 5, 2012, 10:42 am
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Location: Bristol Vermont
I'm not sure if your count of 8 includes me, but I'm pretty sure that this makes 2 of us in Vermont.


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PostPosted: April 26, 2016, 11:02 am 
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Location: Swanton, Vt
DaveM, you don't happen to be the owner of superchicken do you?

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PostPosted: April 26, 2016, 12:25 pm 
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Posts: 168
Good luck with your project. I've wanted to do mid engine build build using an LS engine bolted to a C5 vette auto transaxle. The package is a little longer than most mid engine configurations because the transmission is in front of the diff instead of behind the diff.

I've built a number of cars using C5 parts. And I have a jig built for a couple of different configurations. I also have an LS engine and C5 auto trans sitting in the shop. The LS will bolt directly to the transaxle. (if I remember correctly this might take a different bell housing. I think that I have that too.) I also have a copy frame that the C5 cradles bolt into. (I have the cradles)

There is a company that makes Chevy Corvette Grand sport replicas and a GTP replica. They use the exact configuration that your talking about and that I was going to build. Google "mongoose grand sport replica" and you will find them. I've been in their GTP car and I can tell you the driving position is cramped! (I'm 6'2 with a 34 inch inseam)

I'm not that far from you. I live across Lake Champlain in Elizabethtown, Ny. I have a 21 year old son. We're rebuilding a a Bicknell dirt modified right now to race at Devil Bowl in Fairhaven, VT.

If you want to take a look at any of the parts that I have feel free to contact me. john


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PostPosted: April 26, 2016, 3:24 pm 
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Joined: January 18, 2015, 4:48 am
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Location: Carlsbad, CA
Best of luck. Interested in the engine to transaxle marriage. I think BB69's setup was custom IIRC.


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PostPosted: April 26, 2016, 4:37 pm 
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Location: York,Pa
The tire size looks really small. Was this intentional or will they be replaced once you pick a size? The chassis tubes at the front and the rear don't really serve a structural purpose. Are they for protection of your feet and transmission? As an engineering student it would be good to check out the frame design threads we have here. Oh, and welcome!

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PostPosted: April 26, 2016, 5:02 pm 
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Location: Swanton, Vt
BB69's eventually become a custom munchie, but I think he started out with a 4l60E which would be my goal. Run87, yeah the tires were input as 15X8's I have yet to resize them to what they will most likely be 15X10's. I haven't had enough time to really work on the design and structural integrity as this is our finals week. I would like to keep the tip and tail for the hopes of careening off the road into a tree, that maybe it wont screw up my front/rear suspension box geometry. and stinger, for "ease" of cost I will probably use an lm7, as we have a Silverado rotting away in our yard I may be able to rip it apart eventually. I will certainly look into the chassis thread

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PostPosted: April 27, 2016, 9:25 am 
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Joined: June 5, 2012, 10:42 am
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Location: Bristol Vermont
I don't happen to own superchicken. Great name though. My project is just getting rolling. I have my drivetrain, build table and tools all set. I just put my steel on order this week, so I should be starting my own build thread soon enough.


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PostPosted: January 9, 2017, 3:02 pm 
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Location: Swanton, Vt
Wow its been a long time since I've commented on this and the design has change many times. The team leader of our FSAE car has convinced me to make my own custom suspension, which I have finished version one of the front suspension control arms, and started the rear control arms. I'm still lacking many dimensions of the driveline, such as definitive flywheel to drive flange dimensions, and transaxle width. The car now looks much better than the first versions and is much more triangulated (pardon the no rear tubes). Stinger, My dad and I just started racing at devils bowl this year in the enduro class, he actually won the last race of the year in the black sentra. This is the car's design at this point-


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PostPosted: January 20, 2017, 11:58 am 
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Location: Holly, MI
I should be able to get you any of the dimensions you need for the transaxle.

That being said, I would encourage you to learn from my mistakes and go with the manual if you can live without reverse. My car is only used on the track, and not having reverse has never been a problem. The automatics just don't last for a number of reasons (heat being the number one issue). Even the guys at Mongoose have gotten away from the 4L60 and at least gone with the newer 6 speed. If you do enough reading, I believe you will find they had issues with it as well.

I am more than willing to share the model for the adapter needed to mate the Muncie to the Vette diff. It's a pretty straightforward piece.

I would also recommend building your own suspension. The main reason it that it allows you to use more common coilovers. The Corvette coilovers are much more expensive because of the specialized mounting requirements. It also allows you to eliminate rubber/plastic bushings for use on the track.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Ken


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PostPosted: January 22, 2017, 11:33 am 
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Im going to start out with a 4l80E just for simplicity and costs sake, but then hopefully convert to a manual option. Have you tried to use paddles are do you still have a stick shift because a stick would be weird placement in a 1 seater.

I agree this being a 1 seater reverse would not be a problem as of right now its only at around 1100lbs wet with brakes, wheels, tires, engine, chassis. I know all of the small stuff adds up though so I'm aiming for 1500-1700. Is the manual so long compared to the auto that you have to move the engine/ the axles have to much of an angle in them when you swap over?

I was planning on my own suspension as well because I am the Suspension captain for next year at my university and will be designing it along with the FSAE car. I was going to use factory suspension like a miata until I realized I was going to have incredibly different corner weights and that the suspension wouldn't be ideal.

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PostPosted: January 22, 2017, 1:56 pm 
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Why not go with the 4T60 transverse transaxle? Those and the Getrag manuals are used with many of the V8 Fiero conversions and seem to live well enough behind LS and Northstar V8s.

The transaxle would let you lop a big chunk out of the wheelbase, or move the cockpit back.


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PostPosted: January 22, 2017, 2:06 pm 
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because I am the Suspension captain for next year at my university


Well that will give you plenty to think about this summer! :) Figure out the differences between elastic and geometric roll stiffness and that will be a good start.

The shifter goes in the same place on a single and a two seater, just to the driver's right. If it's a 2 seater it's more difficult because the motor is more in the way since it is centered behind the shifter. You do want a reverse, if possible, both for your and other people's safety. I suppose some cars don't have them. Other classes they are required though, so whatever... :rofl:

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PostPosted: January 23, 2017, 1:15 am 
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horizenjob wrote:
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because I am the Suspension captain for next year at my university
Well that will give you plenty to think about this summer! :) Figure out the differences between elastic and geometric roll stiffness and that will be a good start.

The shifter goes in the same place on a single and a two seater, just to the driver's right. If it's a 2 seater it's more difficult because the motor is more in the way since it is centered behind the shifter. You do want a reverse, if possible, both for your and other people's safety. I suppose some cars don't have them. Other classes they are required though, so whatever... :rofl:
Shifter can also go to the driver's left if that is more convenient. Works really well as right hand stays on the steering wheel while shifting. I put the shifter on the driver's left in my RHD Ultima. Standard H-pattern with rod and rose joint arrangement shifting an inverted and rotated Porsche G50/52.


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