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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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 Post subject: Re: The Gecko Project
PostPosted: April 29, 2014, 8:34 am 
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Posts: 315
GonzoRacer wrote:
But will the lid tilt upwards enough to get your suitcase* out?

Well, the original layout of the "boot" area was done with one of the (many, many) local brews :)
Image

The angle of the tilt-up photo makes the gap look smaller than it seems in person. In practice, I doubt I'll be carrying much in there anyway - it's as much about being able to access master cylinders and so forth.

Dominic


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 Post subject: Re: The Gecko Project
PostPosted: April 29, 2014, 9:09 am 
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We are Slotus!
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Hey! Long ago and far away, I had a T-shirt that said "Make mine a Four-X, Mate!" across the front. Cool...

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 Post subject: Re: The Gecko Project
PostPosted: May 30, 2014, 11:26 pm 
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Throwing a whole bunch of updates in at once here as I haven't been organised in posting.

Busy doing house projects at present (if I never see another fence paling I'll be a happy man!) so the car isn't getting much of my time. Since the last update, Paul has made a nice little dimple tool for me to set the ali sheets for countersunk rivets. I drill 1/8"; setup the tool through the hole on the guide pin; wack with BFH; drill to 5/32" (final rivet size) to clean up the resultant distortion of the hole; and then rivet. There's some tweaking yet to get my technique right but here's the tool and a few examples...

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The apparent distortion around the riveted area isn't as bad as it looks in the photo :o A quick skim of filler and block down before paint :cool: These rivets are just holding the stiffener diaphragm panel inside the nosecone - connecting the bonnet is to come.

In other news, the (new) radiator mounts have been finalised. Didn't take a pic of the bottom mounts but the tops are a pair of light tension struts with a rubber grommet at the radiator end. Couple of M5 or M6 rivnuts in the chassis at each side and they're done. They'll also get cleaned up and go off the the platers in whatever next batch of plating Paul sends out.

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----------------------------------------------------------
-- Next Update
----------------------------------------------------------
Hasn't been much in the way of updates recently - lots of non-clubbie things going on, consuming both time and mental energy :mad:

Been pushing on trying to get the car out of Paul's workshop and back to my place and went at it today trying to finish that process. What is it that they say? "More haste, less speed". Don't rush is what it comes down to. For instance, if you rush, you might leave a hinged aluminium nosecone carelessly propped and then move something else causing the whole assembly to swing down and around until the build table interrupts progress...... :(

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Oh goody, a reason to practice my panel beating :o

On the (slightly) plus side, I did pull the engine. It's going to stay at Paul's for now so that the various belt tensioner etc mods can be done. Interesting to see the engine bay empty again:

Image

Current plan is to get the car back here on Saturday morning. Let's see what else I can f*ck up in the interim.......

----------------------------------------------------------
-- Next Update
----------------------------------------------------------

Well, after more than 2 years in Paul's workshop, the Gecko is back in its' birth place to be completed :) Will be nice to be able to walk downstairs and do 30 minutes or an hour on the car without having a 50km and 1 hour round trip to do it.

Image

There's still HUUUGE amounts of work to be done but Paul's input over the last 2 years has brought it to a point where I feel confident in finishing it sooner rather than later.

D

[Edited on 31/5/2014 by TheGecko]


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 Post subject: Re: The Gecko Project
PostPosted: September 2, 2014, 7:55 am 
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Wow, 3 months without posting an update :o I must have got heaps done, right? Errrrr, not so much :BH: Lots of reasons, some good (to me at least), some not so good...

Anyway, here's a small update. While I've had the car back in my workshop, the motor/gearbox was still at Paul's workshop while he did some simplifying of the serpentine belt arrangement for me. Here's the before from when I first bought the motor, with PS pump at the back, and alternator plus air-con compressor down low at the front.
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After, things are a little simpler :P

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Alternator at back and nothing else belt driven. The water pump is gutted enough that leaving it in place without any drive isn't an issue - I've got a Davies-Craig EWP to replace it.

Not much else visible to show just yet although there's been some furious measuring and sketching going on around the engine bay :D More soon.......

Dominic


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 Post subject: Re: The Gecko Project
PostPosted: September 2, 2014, 10:25 am 
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Almost 90% finished Dom, now only 90% to go!


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 Post subject: Re: The Gecko Project
PostPosted: May 22, 2015, 4:23 am 
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OzGecko wrote:
The Parable of the Plates

In the month of February an angel visited Dominic, giving to him several shining metal plates. And great was the beauty of these plates for they had been cut not by human hands but by the artificers of Sea-En-Sea. And Dominic did gaze upon the plates and knew that they were good for they had been made to The Plan.

Six were the plates in number but only three in shape for they had been made in pairs. And clear from their shape was their destiny. This destiny was to be permanently joined to the Bay of the Engine, thence to work tirelessly at support and bracing.

And Dominic held the plates to the chassis, even though it still remains partial and unformed as it has been, and will be, eternally. And the plates did fit - verily, so close was the fit that he did exclaim, saying "That's pretty snug. You couldn't get a fanny hair in that gap". And great was his pleasure at this fitting.

And then he didst say to himself "Bugger, how am I going to drill 16mm holes in alignment when the tubes are already welded into the chassis". And his disappointment at this poor planning was much. But, familiar with pain and struggle in the service of the revered Clubman, he didst regather himself and cogitated for some time. And this cogitation was helped by the application of soothing waters bearing the Holy names Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. And the cogitation did bear fruit and he awakened saying "The bloody plate can be it's own drill guide".

So he did clamp the plates firmly and many were the checkings of alignment. And then applied to them did he the 16mm holesaw and great was his fear, saying aloud, "If I f*ck this up, there'll be all kinds of trouble". But the soothing waters had steadied his hand and the drill ran true. And at last the holes were complete and wide was the distribution of coolant from the drilling.

And he rested from this labour, saying "Now I just need to weld the crush tubes, and then the plates, then finish the rest of the rear brace, and the other set of side tubes, and the pedal box brackets, and the other column mount, and......". So great was this list of incomplete things that he was rendered insensible and thus did his wife find him, staring at the wall and muttering. And she didst guide him away and render more soothing waters until he did sleep.

Dominic


Just jumping in to say Im enjoying reading this thread and love the good humour :D

Alex


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 Post subject: Re: The Gecko Project
PostPosted: June 29, 2015, 1:00 pm 
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Hey Dom, just found this thread, and I'm thoroughly enjoying reading it! Can't wait to see where, it goes, any updates??

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"Stuckness shouldn't be avoided. It's the psychic predecessor of all real understanding." --Robert Pirsig

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 Post subject: Re: The Gecko Project
PostPosted: June 29, 2015, 9:16 pm 
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Many thanks to Alex and Eric for their kind remarks and gentle poking :) There are some updates coming but things are moving veeery slowly in the House of Gecko at present :BH:

Soon......



Dominic


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 Post subject: Re: The Gecko Project
PostPosted: February 16, 2016, 8:13 am 
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I'm not dead! :o

Yes, it's been a little while since the last update - I'll bung a bunch of things in together here with some indicative dates....

21 Jan 2015:
These arrived today:
Image

Not that the SVC lights I have/had are bad but these are nicer :)

Also did some (a very little) workshop cleanup that day and remembered this quote from a Hot Rod forum, talking about messy vs clean workshops:
Quote:
I've seen some places that are like an operating room, others are so fucked up that if a tornado went thru there, the tornado would actually put some shyt away.
I'm still waiting for a helpful tornado :(

March 2015:
Started digging into the engine loom - this is maybe a bit under half of it :(
Image

November 2015:
Among the many (many!) things that stop me making much progress on the car is the fact that the workshop is a shyt storm of heroic proportions :( Can't work on a car if you can barely get to it. So, today started the great cleanup. Stage 1 was stick a new timber rack up on the wall and setup dedicated sheet material storage under that. Recovered a startling amount of floor space already!
Image

February 2016:
Little bits are still going on even if it's hard to measure how slowly :( First stab at some grille bars in ali - definitely NOT the final version, which will be:
  • more evenly matched to the opening width for all bars
  • more evenly adjusted front to back to better align with the cross bar
  • cut away somewhat at the back to make them lighter
  • painted satin black :) (because a good coat of black hides so much evil)

These are just "hanging" in the opening too so they're more than a bit askew....
Image
Image

Much more significant update coming next....

P.S. There's some "creative" spelling of one word that appears twice in this post. The forum censors it otherwise (which makes me sound like a 6 year old) but, amusingly, not the "other" word :)


Last edited by OzGecko on February 16, 2016, 8:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Gecko Project
PostPosted: February 16, 2016, 8:31 am 
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Long, long ago, when I started this project, I bought a "Silvertop" 20-valve Corolla drive train (this is a JDM only motor but common in Australia as an import for modifiers). All of the initial construction was done around that, including using Corolla uprights and (modified) struts in the rear suspension. For that matter, the whole layout of the rear end assumes Corolla track dimensions.

However, building an ICV (Individually Constructed Vehicle) in Australia is not a simple task. One of the big bugbears is emissions compliance, and the 20-valve is NOT compliant to the ADR's (Australian Design Rules). It can be made compliant (to ADR37/01) but that requires some serious money i.e. nearly as much as I paid for the motor/box originally :( . Then, for extra amusement, the local registration authorities started making noises about requiring ADR79 compliance for ICVs (this was in 2007). So, I took what looked like a reasonable step and bought a much newer, Australian delivered motor, from a 2006 Lancer.

That introduces a collection of issues of its own :( The track and CVs are both different to the Corolla, necessitating custom axles - achievable by spending enough money. The much bigger issue is the deeply integrated electronics. ABS, anti-theft, cruise control, instruments, all intimately interlinked by CANBUS network. Dealing with this has been a problem to say the least. Given that the authorities then fell back to ADR37/01 compliance after all just makes it all the more unpleasant.

Now I could "just" use an alternative ECU. That, however, would still need to be bought, wired, tuned and, at the end of the day, hidden from the approving engineer (who will be expecting a factory ECU to prove compliance).

A little lateral thinking, plus recent discussion on the OzClubbies forum about 7A-FE motors threw up another possibility. The 7A-FE is a 1.8 litre DOHC (with the narrow angle "economy" twincam head design) that was offered in various Australian delivered Corolla's from the early '90s all the way into 2001 when they switched to the ZZ motor family. ADR37/01 compliance starts from new models in '97 and all models from '99.

I set up a ""saved search" on Gumtree which emailed my its finds each morning. And on Saturday, I drove home this for a few hundred dollars:
Image

That's a 1999 Corolla with 7A-FE (as per the nice compliance plate)
Image

This is a 37/01 compliant motor, gearbox, all electronics, ready to drop into the existing suspension without custom axles. No anti-theft, no CANBUS :) Biggest part of it will be making new engine mounts, which is relatively straightforward.

Plus, my helpful friends on the OzClubbies forum are all champing at the bit to come for a working bee and pull the motor ASAP.

Hopefully I'm now moving forward again :)

More updates soon I expect.


Dominic


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 Post subject: Re: The Gecko Project
PostPosted: February 16, 2016, 1:50 pm 
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One of my favorite build logs, glad you are back. I like the metal working.

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 Post subject: Re: The Gecko Project
PostPosted: February 16, 2016, 3:12 pm 
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OzGecko wrote:
Quote:
I've seen some places that are like an operating room, others are so fucked up that if a tornado went thru there, the tornado would actually put some shyt away.
I'm still waiting for a helpful tornado
You know, it's said that a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind.....

So what does an empty desk say of ones mind?

I'll take the cluttered mind and clean up every now and again!

K " " S

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 Post subject: Re: The Gecko Project
PostPosted: February 17, 2016, 9:38 am 
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Glad to see you are back! That sucks about the Australia compliance laws. I knew they were bad but I didn't know what they were actually like. Can you also post where you got those tail lights? They look awesome!

Thanks!

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"Stuckness shouldn't be avoided. It's the psychic predecessor of all real understanding." --Robert Pirsig

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 Post subject: Re: The Gecko Project
PostPosted: February 17, 2016, 10:28 pm 
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Eric,

The lights are Perei ZZ-series, sold in Australia by Whitevision (http://whitevision.com.au/products/). They're mix-and-match components with the 95mm stop-tail ring and the 55mm indicator or reverse. There's also a larger 122mm outer ring in the Perei range but I don't think Whitevision carry them. Too big for these cars anyway I'd think. They're not screamingly cheap but are sealed LED units so should be good for the life of the car - stop/tail about AUD$31 ea; indicators about AUD$29; reverse AUD$51 each! (white LEDs are expensive).

If you search for "Perei" and or "Perei ZZ" you may find details of a North American stockist.

Edit to add:
The compliance thing is annoying but I can't/don't really complain about it because I knew that going in. Effectively, the car is being treated like it's brand new and is then given some concessions vs what a manufacturer would need to comply with. E.g. we don't need air-bags or ABS or ESC, even though those things are now mandatory on new cars sold here. And, we get conceded back to 1997 emissions standards, rather than meeting the much tougher current levels. If I was starting now, I'd have a MUCH better idea of how to approach the design and build and, consequently, I'd do a lot of things differently.

It is what it is......

D


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 Post subject: Re: The Gecko Project
PostPosted: February 18, 2016, 10:42 am 
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"Narva Connector Housing Assortment" jumped out at me. I could totally use a box of goodies like that. So I did a web search, found a bunch on ebay.au and ebay.ie, all with "does not ship to USA." I found www.narva.com.au (narva.com is a Swedish(?) boxing club...) and looked for an order page, but they're apparently one of those manufacturers that doesn't sell to ordinary schmucks.

Searching "electrical connector" showed that the usual crimp-on ring terminals and butt connectors are an order of magnitude cheaper on eBay than local parts-store prices...

The winning search term is "waterproof electrical connector." These appear to be Weatherpack style, if not compatible, except they're even cheaper than buying them at the junkyard. Most come with pigtails already crimped, so you don't have to buy the fancy Weatherpak crimper.

Looks like it's time to drag my wiring diagram back out - thanks for posting that picture, Oz!


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