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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: December 18, 2018, 6:33 pm 
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Hello Everyone, My car is not a replica of the Cheetah and I don't want to infringe on the Bill Thomas Cheetah history or intellectual property. I've filed for the Trademark "Chesnut Wildcat". It keeps the name of the car in the "Big Cat" family.

It's been 2 years since I started this build. Now that the body and frame have been completed and molds and jigs made I thought that it was appropriate to start a new build thread for the Wildcat.

Today I finished tacking together a second frame. I added some bracing so I wanted to make sure that the drive train, suspension, and body fit properly. The body fit's like a glove. It literally takes 30 minutes to mount. I can say that this is the first car that I've done that I'm 100% happy with the size and shape.

I'll finish welding the frame and paint it. I expect to start assembly next week. I'm anxious to get it on the road. Having fun.

The frame as is weighs 233lbs. The body weighs 95lbs.

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PostPosted: December 18, 2018, 9:53 pm 
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Location: Gainesville, Mo.
The saga continues. Looking good, John! :thmbsup:

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PostPosted: December 19, 2018, 7:39 am 
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We are Slotus!
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ngpmike wrote:
The saga continues. Looking good, John! :thmbsup:
Yep, what Mike said. It looks great!

:cheers:
JDK

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Quinn the Slotus:Ford 302 Powered, Mallock-Inspired, Tube Frame, Hillclimb Special
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PostPosted: December 19, 2018, 9:30 am 
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Location: Summerville, SC
Looks good. I don't think Buick will lose their minds over a name they stopped using in 1970.

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PostPosted: December 23, 2018, 1:43 pm 
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Joined: January 1, 2015, 1:55 pm
Posts: 278
Thank you for your comments.

There's a company 1.5 hours from me that makes CNC routers. I've done business with them since I use routers in the production of children's coin banks that I invented. In the same building is a chassis,machine, welding, and paint shop. On Thursday I took my frame/body to them to discuss having them do the final welding and fabricating bumpers. (needed to register the car in NY). I'm taking my jig/frame/body to them on Jan 2nd. They'll do the welding and make the bumpers and give me a price for providing me with complete frames.

With the car back in my shop I welded up some new windshield mounting brackets. I set the windshield height 1/64inch above the body. I don't want it to stress the body.

I cut a pair of wooden dividers out of 1/4 inch wood that I tabbed to the body with body filler then glassed in. These create the duct for the radiator. The hood hinge is on 2 pieces of 1.25 square tubing. They slide into 1.5 square tubing in the chassis. 2 bolts secure the hinge. Remove the bolts and the hood slides off easily. The hinges will have metal brackets that bolt to the sides of the radiator ducts. The hood is very stiff. It can easily be tilted forward by 1 person, lifting from 1 side.
Having fun.
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Last edited by stinger on December 23, 2018, 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: December 23, 2018, 4:12 pm 
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Location: No. Nevada
You do know about the necessity of coating wood with a layer of resin and hopefully at least one layer of mat, then letting it cure before bonding to the shell?
I learned the hard way with my very first kit car that if you do not do this the wood will "Draw" the resin and warp the exterior unless your shell is very thick.
You probably do know this but it's an easy thing to overlook.

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PostPosted: December 23, 2018, 4:18 pm 
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Joined: January 31, 2012, 12:49 pm
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Location: Louisville KY
I'm working on Jack's Lalo build (still). Some notes:

1. Hood and trunk hinges seem to take a lot of thought. To the extent you provide for those, that is very helpful.

2. I see you're doing the windscreen -- great! I live in a state where I have to have a DOT approved glass wind screen, so yeah, that's either horribly expensive or a situation where you have "make due" in a way that might not be flattering. (BTW, the guys who say the build "all of the Cobra kit windscreens" doesn't know why / how the Cobra kits get a pass?!?!) Oh, and yeah, need a windshield wiper but we all know how to attach a hand-crank model that is quickly removed....

3. A very very helpful thing would be to mark a line down the middle of the car (on the underside I assume) of dead center. Do you know how difficult it is to measure a curvy car? (I suppose this is why my curvy wife says she can't find bras that fit, but I digress.) Having a center line to measure against, and help make sure that it's lined up with the body, would be very helpful.

4. Another state regulation situation... the guys who inspect cars seem to each have their own rules... the local guy tells me that having 2 tail lights that handle all functions isn't legal. Dunno, but at the very least one would not want to end up with awful-looking rectangle lights, etc.

5. Roll bar provisioning? Some might not want any, some might want a full cage, some might want something in between, etc... your thoughts?

6. I saw the original Lola Mk1 run (via YouTube) and noticed that the rear had large holes cut in the rear (between tail lights) which I presume are to let air exit. I know that my trunk is currently a huge air scoop for the air that comes up near the rear axle. I plan on closing that all off (probably continue the floor back towards the "Trunk" floor via removable panel under the rear axle). Let me know what you decide to do with that part of the car?

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Hayes front, S10 +2 rear, Lalo body.
Girlfriend thinks I'm nuts for building this....


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PostPosted: December 23, 2018, 4:44 pm 
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RichardSIA wrote:
You do know about the necessity of coating wood with a layer of resin and hopefully at least one layer of mat, then letting it cure before bonding to the shell?
I learned the hard way with my very first kit car that if you do not do this the wood will "Draw" the resin and warp the exterior unless your shell is very thick.
You probably do know this but it's an easy thing to overlook.


Thanks for your insight Jack. I am aware of that happening. I used 1/4 inch maple plywood for the pieces. I posted a picture of me fitting a piece. After the picture was taken I continued fitting them. I end up with space between the wood and the body. Then I scuff the flat surfaces of the wood with a 40 grit sanding disc on my grinder. I tab the corners with body filler to hold the piece in place. Then I coat the wood with resin and apply the mat (3 layers) and resin to wet out the mat. I make sure that where the mat meets the underside of the body that I don't make hard 90's. I've used this method on other builds with out a problem. I hope its the case with this one.

One thing I do before any body work and prep is to place the body in a heated paint booth and bake it. That way trapped air and pull downs will show before the body is done.


Last edited by stinger on December 23, 2018, 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: December 23, 2018, 5:10 pm 
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geek49203 wrote:
I'm working on Jack's Lalo build (still). Some notes:

1. Hood and trunk hinges seem to take a lot of thought. To the extent you provide for those, that is very helpful.

2. I see you're doing the windscreen -- great! I live in a state where I have to have a DOT approved glass wind screen, so yeah, that's either horribly expensive or a situation where you have "make due" in a way that might not be flattering. (BTW, the guys who say the build "all of the Cobra kit windscreens" doesn't know why / how the Cobra kits get a pass?!?!) Oh, and yeah, need a windshield wiper but we all know how to attach a hand-crank model that is quickly removed....

3. A very very helpful thing would be to mark a line down the middle of the car (on the underside I assume) of dead center. Do you know how difficult it is to measure a curvy car? (I suppose this is why my curvy wife says she can't find bras that fit, but I digress.) Having a center line to measure against, and help make sure that it's lined up with the body, would be very helpful.

4. Another state regulation situation... the guys who inspect cars seem to each have their own rules... the local guy tells me that having 2 tail lights that handle all functions isn't legal. Dunno, but at the very least one would not want to end up with awful-looking rectangle lights, etc.

5. Roll bar provisioning? Some might not want any, some might want a full cage, some might want something in between, etc... your thoughts?

6. I saw the original Lola Mk1 run (via YouTube) and noticed that the rear had large holes cut in the rear (between tail lights) which I presume are to let air exit. I know that my trunk is currently a huge air scoop for the air that comes up near the rear axle. I plan on closing that all off (probably continue the floor back towards the "Trunk" floor via removable panel under the rear axle). Let me know what you decide to do with that part of the car?


Thank you for your thoughts and questions.

1-My body is very simple. The only part that opens is the hood. If anyone buys my body/fame the body will be mounted and the hood hinged. I am going to have a pretty large waterproof compartment that will be accessed by an opening between the seats.
2-I love the MGB windshield on my car. I think that it really fits the look. The glass is DOT legal and is inexpensive. If there is any demand for the car it would be simple enough to make a fiberglass (with steel inserts) frame. Right now there seems to be a good number of frames/glass available on Ebay.

3- I know what your saying about mounting "curvy bodies". That's why I made this body with the dash, cockpit bulkheads, firewalls as part of the body. This body is molded so that it positively sits and mounts to the frame. The tub and nose match up with out any body work. It takes minutes to mount the body.

4-The Cheetah used 1963 Corvette taillights. Reproduction ones are readily available but fairly expensive. I have a complete set. But, I also have Porsche 356 taillights. I have to check to see if they're DOT legal. If they are, I might try to use them. They are inexpensive and I think match the look of the car. I'm using Harley Davidson Vrod headlights.

5-For the street I'm not running a roll bar. I prefer the look. But, I have incorporated receivers in the frame for a single, full width roll bar. For competition a more protective bar or full cage can easily be made that would mount to the main frame rails.

6- Air entering through the radiator is routed along the aluminum skinned frame past the front wheels and along the side of the car. There is 4 to 6 inches of open space between the body and the sides of the frame. It is open at the bottom of the body, along where the side pipes go. The car has a flat bottom. A full aluminum belly pan could be used.
The aluminum fuel tank essentially seals off the opening at the bottom of the fiberglass rear tray.


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PostPosted: December 23, 2018, 5:47 pm 
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Joined: January 1, 2015, 1:55 pm
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By the way: NY requires padded sun visors. Using the MGB makes this easy. A new kit is available on Ebay. I'll be using the MGB windshield wiper system too. I also purchased an MGB convertible top frame. I'm going to try and modify it to work with my body.


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PostPosted: January 4, 2019, 10:06 pm 
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Joined: January 1, 2015, 1:55 pm
Posts: 278
I continue to miss target dates! With family overlapping visits over the holidays I didn't work on my car. I'm not complaining. Family is number 1.

I just got back to working on the frame. It always takes more time than I think to make all of the brackets, tabs, and mounts. I'm test mounting everything for the last time before final welding.

I'm using an external pull clutch slave cylinder. I've used internal throw outs in the past. I hate it when a seal goes and I have to pull the transmission. :)

I'm using readily available parts for this build. The headers are inexpensive from Patriot. I'm also using their 48 inch side pipes. They hook up with the headers with an off the shelf 90degree tube. Tomorrow I'll put the body on again and mount the side pipes.

I have the frame on blocks at ride height to double check the shock mounts. 60 percent compression.

Hopefully the frame goes to the chassis shop for final welding next week!

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PostPosted: January 4, 2019, 11:19 pm 
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Great work !

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PostPosted: January 5, 2019, 10:41 am 
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Yup, looking very good.

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: January 5, 2019, 5:23 pm 
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Thank you!

I didn't work on the car much today. I put the body back on so that I could fit the side pipes. Ends up they will just require a couple of brackets welded to the frame. Then they will bolt right up. Tomorrow I'll fab the brackets.

I'm using an available Hot Rod aluminum gauge cluster. I think it fits the car well.

I placed a "Cobra" style gas filler cap in the center of the rear deck. I'm trying to decide to use it or go with a smaller flush mounted cap.

I'm also cutting out the sides of the fiberglass cockpit that runs above the frame rail. I have fiberglass "shelves" that I'll glass in. This results more shoulder room, and a nice place to rest an arm. This will also make it easier to have a half door if I decide I want that.

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PostPosted: January 5, 2019, 11:58 pm 
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Location: Seattle area
Looking pretty good! Doors would be nice if they aren't to labor intensive to add or weaken the body too much..

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