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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: October 8, 2017, 3:40 pm 
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Joined: March 10, 2006, 12:48 am
Posts: 292
Location: CT
The recent thread about Europas on GRM reminded me why they're forever a bad idea.  Light - Yes.  Neat - Yes.  Pretty - not so much.
https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/why-the-europa-hump/132831/page1/

Then I stumbled on the one posted in our classified section and things escalated quickly.  I present, for your viewing pleasure, Igor.
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 1971 Lotus Europa Series 2.  Unfortunately, it doesn't have the twin cam motor - but then again, if it did, it wouldn't have been only a few hundred bucks and I wouldn't have it.
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It's passed through a few owners since it was last registered in 2006 - looks like it blew a hole in cylinder #1.   Interior is intact, relatively speaking.  Carpet needs to come out, seats recovered, new dash, but hey, it's got cool buttons and crap.

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Now for the answer to the question my wife asked - "What are you going to do with this thing, you're already building a Lotus?"   - see 7 build log here: http://locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=18719

Plan, starting at the front:

    -Convert 4x3.75 hubs to 4x100 for better wheel choice.
    -Strip interior, maybe new carpet, definitely new dash
    -Recover or replace seats.  I hear Kirkey makes replacement Europa seats, but then again, that could be a fun TIG project.
    -Might/probably will build a roll cage.
    -Convert brakes to a dual master cylinder setup and add hydraulic clutch.
    -Engine/Transmission- Replace w/VW 1.8T & Passat/A4 transaxle.  Megasquirt.  Boost.  Tears.  Smiles.
    -Custom rear suspension, double A arm.  I'll post up some interesting ideas that I've come across.  The stock rear end uses the axles as a control arm, which doesn't cooperate well w/CVs.  I also want the rear to be 4x100, so it'll either be a custom upright, or likely something from the VW parts bin.
    -Paint: Keeping with the hump theme, I'm thinking Lotus Camel colors.

The end goal is to have something unique and wierd, and get it on track for next year.  I'll likely skip the paint and interior gussying in the interest of driving it at first.

-Andy


Last edited by Andy Bro on January 16, 2018, 11:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: October 8, 2017, 5:21 pm 
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When you remove the current wheels I want to buy them!
I have several Spit/GT6 chassis here they will fit.

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PostPosted: October 8, 2017, 6:30 pm 
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It's a project for sure, but I'm envious. It could be a great ride in time.

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: October 9, 2017, 8:49 am 
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Location: 4AGE in S.E. Michigan
Just a little JB weld in the #1 piston and you will down the road in no time.
Should be a fun project.
Yupper :D :D just plan out your project, time and cost, then if it's like any project I work on, factor in [x 3] and you'll be spot on!
What shape is the press steel frame in?
Keep us posted on the progress.
Good luck Dave W


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PostPosted: October 9, 2017, 10:43 am 
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Joined: June 15, 2010, 8:29 am
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Location: Duxbury, MA USA
Since I gave Andy the lead on this one, I will be closely following...I still sort of wish my wife would have let me have had it. Oh well.
I would consider strongly converting the engine to Toyota 4AGE 20V. They are not crazy expensive and the kit to make the conversion already exists. It also fits neatly in the "V" in the chassis.
You should also consider getting familiar with Banks Service Station in England and RD Enterprises here in the US.
Lots of stuff available. Also join the Europa community at lotuseuropa.org
These cars are great fun with terrific balance.
Paul

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PostPosted: October 9, 2017, 1:36 pm 
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Location: Connecticut
Glad this went to someone in this community. I wasn't able to get over a couple personal hurdles fast enough myself (and will kick myself whenever I look at this build log... :BH: ).
Looking forward to where you go with this. I was thinking it would have been a really fun car to electrify for my super short commute.

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PostPosted: October 11, 2017, 9:20 pm 
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Joined: December 14, 2015, 11:22 pm
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Location: Martinez, CA
I'm also building an S2 Europa.
Here's the Kirkey seat info. I bought a set and they are much much nicer than anything I could build at home. My old seat bottoms were rusted out so bad I thought the seat backs flipped forward. It turned out they were two pieces from rust.
Contact kevin at kirkeyracing.com
Kirkey charged $340 each plus shipping of $62.

I thought it'd be easier to rebuild the Renault engine but if I had it to do over I'd probably go with the Toyota. The pieces you'll need to rebuild that engine are all the pieces that Lotus warmed up so they are not common and they're expensive. The bad thing about the Toyota conversions is the cars don't seem to bring as much money.


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PostPosted: January 16, 2018, 11:03 pm 
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Posts: 292
Location: CT
Never tell your wife about your mistress - I've been keeping my GRM build thread up to date, and it's time I update yall who don't frequent that neck of the web.

First things first - assess the damage. I wanted to remove the body to clean/repair/paint the chassis. It'll be far easier to build the engine mounts and rear suspension with the body off. Took some measurements of the chassis and suspension at loaded ride height, then set about to stripping.

Stance-bro
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The key to doing anything sketchy is to acknowledge it first, right? Removing the body was a delicate ballet of engine hoist, jack, jack stands, 2x4s and a little head scratching. I have a slick idea for building a body lift that will make the removal and install way easier next time.
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Assessing the damage:
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Thus far, it looks good. Really good. I'm going pull off the carpet/cushion tonight, but thus far I only see surface rust. It looks like the last driving owner may have treated it better than the trashing interior suggested.

Now to get on with the cleaning, suspension analysis & design, and drivetrain acquisition.


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PostPosted: January 16, 2018, 11:06 pm 
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Joined: March 10, 2006, 12:48 am
Posts: 292
Location: CT
Progress, albeit slight and mostly destructive, has been made. Went to the pick-n-pull yesterday and obtained me a drivetrain. 2002 VW Passat 1.8T w/5 speed. Woohoo. Looks like it might just, kinda, fit too.
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For what it's worth, I'm not the first guy to put a 1.8T into the back of a Europa. Below's a link to a well executed version, with the only exception being the notched frame for the serpentine belt. I'd rather take such a big bite out of the chassis without adding structure to restore the stiffness. With the alternator being the only accessory on the serp below, I might be able to go with a different alternator, or maybe just a different mounting arrangement.

https://www.engineswapdepot.com/?p=13411

There's also another builder on GRM who's dropping a 1.8T into a Europa. https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum ... 935/page1/

Time to strip the engine down some more so I can mock it up. Hopefully I'll make some headway with the suspension design too.


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PostPosted: January 16, 2018, 11:12 pm 
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I got distracted by a LeMons race the month leading up to Halloween
, but we're back in business now. I've made a little progress, but now that the ferrous destruction portion is done, it's about time I make a plan on how to make this heap loosely resemble Colin Chapman's pride and joy again.

Ripping out the old engine and dummying up the new one feels like a good starting point. The length from axle center to front of the crank pulley is pretty close between the two engines, so it ought to fit without massaging the firewall and without needing to build in misalignment to the axles (did I just jinx myself?).
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Doing some sketches over a whiskey - a little lubrication helps the creativity flow.
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Flares are awesome, and yet - I've never made any before. Necessity is the mother of invention.... Stock Europa track width is ~52". We're going to bump that out to 59".... Couple it with some sweet wheels I found locally... (TRM 15x9s), and I should have an excuse enough for some meaty flares.
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  • Rear suspension will use NA/NB Miata knuckles. I ought to be able to use early NA bolted flange axles. If that doesn't work, VW hubs will press into the Miata knuckles and I'll go ahead and use VW axles. The Miata axles would require an adapter to go from 6x100 to 4x100 at the CV flnge.
  • Front suspension is also getting widened (click the button in Vsusp that toggles front vs rear suspension). The front geometry leaves a little be desired, but it doesn't change the stock Europa mounting locations. I'll need to straighten the steering arm and probably drill it out and use rod ends for the outer tie rods so I can fix any bumpsteer since I'll also be using the stock Lotus rack, although I did pick up a Miata rack for future investigation.

I welded up the rear most bulkhead and tacked it into the frame this weekend. The lower gussets are big and ugly right now, but I wanted to leave some room so I can incorporate the transmission mounts.
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Next up: forward control arm mounts, drivetrain mounts, control arms.


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PostPosted: January 16, 2018, 11:19 pm 
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Borrowed a set of corner scales from some buddies. Testing out the scales...
  • 2003 Passat 1.8T complete w/trans and all accessories=398lbs.
  • Renault longblock = 216lbs.
  • Renault trans = 79lbs

Made some more progress on the chassis. With the rear bulkhead complete, it's time to make the front which proved to be a little more difficult. The front bulkhead lives, you guessed it.... forward of the rear, right where the chassis starts tapering in. This meant the diagonal tubes would be compound angles. Not a show stopper, just a tedious complication. When designing the 7, I only had a few compound mitered square tubes. I tried to use round anywhere that got into funky angles. I was able to cut both angles on the bandsaw, and cleanup on the bigass belt sander.
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Tacked in
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Building lower control arm mounts and a little triangulation.
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The foward upper control arm mounts live on the chassis, as opposed to the bulkhead - and they wanted to be in line with the Lotus motor mount doubling plate. Lotus used 13x spot welds to hold those plates on, so rather than drill them all out and rosette weld them closed, I jused added a small plate rear of the original and the mount will span the two. I drilled 6 (I think) holes in each plate to rosette weld in addition to the full seam weld it'll get.
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Finished suspension mounts!!
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Despite completing the mounts, the frame still needs more work. Finish welding. Build a few more gussets. Figure out a light weight triangulation solution for the forward bulkead to the chassis - might just take a piece of 16 ga sheet and build a big gusset since that feels aligned with the spirit of the original design.

Engine and transmission are back in. Going to spend a few hours staring at it tomorrow and see if I can conjure up some drivetrain mounts.


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PostPosted: January 16, 2018, 11:20 pm 
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I no longer do "Restorations", but I kick myself in the @$$ twice every Sunday for selling my Europa just because I needed the money.
That said, since my Europa had the Gordini engine and Cosmic wheels I would have kept it stock except for the five speed upgrade.
Buyer got my Weber intakes and the 5 speed too.
Now I learn the five speed was more valuable than the car!
It's been a few years now, I hope the father and son buyers have finished it.

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PostPosted: January 16, 2018, 11:22 pm 
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Ah, you are going for wide wheels!
Any chance I can get the Cosmic's from you?
Would go great on one of my Spitfires, or maybe another Europa when my fortunes improve.

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PostPosted: January 17, 2018, 8:03 am 
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Oh, I like this! Thanks for posting your progress here. I've always loved the Europa as a kid and a 1.8t restomod sounds awesome. :cheers:

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PostPosted: January 17, 2018, 2:39 pm 
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Is it pronounced "EYE-Gor"???

:cheers:
JDK

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