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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: July 21, 2008, 7:23 am 
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OK, a bit more progress.

I suspect no one else is really all that interested but I feel like showing off the remainder of my friends work on these struts. Here's the original AE101 Corolla housings with the big factory spring seats ground off:
Image
And here they are back from having ~40mm taken out of the length and a piece of seamless welded on as a joiner and lip for the threaded sleeve:
Image
And just to finish them off, a quick squirt of paint. Shows how close to tolerances he works - a few coats of paint and one of the sleeves is now a firm press fit rather than slip on.
Image

Next, over this weekend I finished the jig I'd been fiddling and fussing over to hold the strut tubes and the engine bay top rails all in the proper alignment for welding. Complicated by the fact that the strut tubes are installed at a 5.3 degree angle to the rails to allow maximum travel on the strut top bearing. Here's one side in the jig after tacking:
Image
and the two sides finished:
Image

Tonight I jigged everything together with bits of timber and lots of F-clamps (clubman builders can never have too many F-clamps :) ) and checked the alignment of it all prior to welding.
Image

And here it is with them welded in and some "masking tape CAD" to show where the two braces go in each side of the bay. I'll cut and weld them tomorrow night (all things being equal).
Image

A little every night if I can and I may get this done yet :D

Oh, and I have a blog at http://diysportscar.blogspot.com/ which I'll try to keep updated now (unlike the past :oops:)

Dominic


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PostPosted: July 21, 2008, 8:19 am 
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Congratulations, Dominic! This is it, the essence of your design, finally in metal. I suspect that many other home middy builders will follow your lead in the years to come.

What's the spec on the Koni struts? Were they specially valved for you?

Pete


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PostPosted: July 21, 2008, 8:38 am 
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Thanks Pete. Yes, it's nice to see the shape that's been spinning around as an avatar image for quite a while now actually in metal. If I get time tomorrow night, I might hoist the engine up and swing it into the back of the frame for a reality check (and some photos :) ).

The Koni's are stock valving for now but they're fully rebuildable and revalveable if necessary. They're part# 8611-1257 which translates as race series, short body 6" stroke, and double adjustable. They cost a fair chunk of money too but it's one area I didn't really want to skimp on.


Dominic


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PostPosted: July 21, 2008, 7:32 pm 
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Looks good to me. My experience has been that you don't get many comments without mistakes to comment on.

I though the steel sleaves were way to long, but then I realized they keep the two tubes aligned and supported. If it were there just to support the threaded sleave, it could be 1/2" long versus about 3".

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PostPosted: July 21, 2008, 10:29 pm 
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Miatav8,MstrASE,A&P,F wrote:
My experience has been that you don't get many comments without mistakes to comment on.
Well, that suits me fine although in this case it's more like "no visible mistakes". After all, I'm the one taking and choosing the photos :)
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I though the steel sleaves were way to long, but then I realized they keep the two tubes aligned and supported. If it were there just to support the threaded sleave, it could be 1/2" long versus about 3".
Yeah, if the strut housings weren't being shortened you could get away with a much smaller support ring or even a couple of welded tabs around the tube - I've even seen it done with just a big weld bead which is a bit too agricultural for my tastes :). In this case, the better part of 2" of length was chopped from the middle of the housing and keeping the alignment right was important. The sleeve was machined to a snug fit on the housing, the Koni insert installed with its gland nut and the whole lot slid up until appropriate clearances were met everywhere. Tack weld the halves, remove the insert (at $400+ each they need looking after!) then fully weld (TIG). End result is very nice as you can see and gives me a loaded spring length of about 150mm/6" or maybe a little less.

Importantly, the overall height is about as small as you'll get without going to really expensive custom struts, so the top end of the strut ends up at 825mm/33" above the ground when loaded. Top of the large diameter strut tube is 25mm/1" higher than that to give some clearance around the fasteners and some room for a cap to keep the rain out :)

Thanks for your comments,

Dominic


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 Post subject: Re: The Gecko Project
PostPosted: March 8, 2009, 9:32 am 
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OK, first update here for a long time. I've posted a few update on the Oz list so I'll sort of combine them here.

I swung the engine in for a little visit to its future home:
Image

I got the rear suspension struts together and hung a wheel on the chassis:
ImageImage

And, the clever hands of a machinist friend made me a nice little tool to put flared edges on the lightening holes in my dash webs.
ImageImage

These are the two stiffening webs to go on the scuttle bulkhead ring. 1mm steel, 35mm lightening holes flanged with the tool shown above.
Had a few stabs at the spacing first:
Image

Then cut the holes and flanged them (after giving the whole thing a going over with a flap wheel in the Angry Grinder to clean off the rust etc):
Image

Did the little one that sits the other side of the column as well. Only 4 holes in it:
Image

Now I need to make the two webs for the bottom half of the bulkhead but they are (or should be) symmetrical so hopefully that'll go a bit quicker.

More in the next post,

Dominic


Last edited by Anonymous on March 8, 2009, 9:39 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Gecko Project
PostPosted: March 8, 2009, 9:35 am 
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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.




Seriously (?!), a mate CNC cut these plates from my MDF templates and, after a couple of test iterations in acrylic, the steel ones are now lined up ready for welding. My friendly machinist made me some nice little crush tubes and the whole shebang will give me a very solid but removable back edge for the engine bay. And, if I ever stop working 60+ hours a week, I might actually find time to weld it all together.

Image

Image

Image

Dominic


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 Post subject: Re: The Gecko Project
PostPosted: March 8, 2009, 10:33 am 
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Access is always good. I like the dimpled lightening holes.

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 Post subject: Re: The Gecko Project
PostPosted: March 12, 2009, 12:55 am 
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Good to see some progress on this car. I find your frame to be very interesting with the double ring of tubes. It should be very strong. I especially like the biblical tale of the plates. I cannot wait for the next chapter in your book of Gecko.

Daniel

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PostPosted: March 12, 2009, 11:32 am 
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Holy!

Thanks for the laughs!! :lol:
The lightening holes look fantastic, very old school race car. 8)
And the parable was great reading :D

I would like to see an entire build chronicle in parable.
Perhaps the Ten Commandments of Locosting....

Glad to see some progress being made.

BTW you might not know that "fanny" has a different meaning north of the equator.
Which is why when we head down under it is important to learn the basic differences in language... :D

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PostPosted: March 13, 2009, 4:05 am 
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JagLite wrote:
Holy!
BTW you might not know that "fanny" has a different meaning north of the equator.
Which is why when we head down under it is important to learn the basic differences in language... :D

Y'know I had that in the back of my mind when I originally posted it on the local, Australian forum, where the word definitely means "lady's front bottom" :) and the expression is, although a little old-fashioned, still used to express a snug fit. And then I completely forgot about it when I reposted here :? Oh well. I'm not sure I could have meaningfully translated it anyway - I could hardly write any of the common alternatives for the word (!) and the expression wouldn't necessarily sound right then anyway. Ce la vie . I know the first time I heard a girl on an American TV show say that she'd tripped and fallen on her fanny I was shocked (and then a little confused about the possible gymnastics involved). International linguistics is definitely a rich field for humour - try coming to Australia and mentioning what football team you root for :lol:


The lightening holes seem to have attracted lots of attention. They definitely evoke a certain 1960's race-car feel. The sad reality is that the top ones will be covered with dash padding although the lower ones (not done yet) will still be exposed for the world to enjoy :)

Thanks for the comments,

Dominic


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 Post subject: Re: The Gecko Project
PostPosted: March 13, 2009, 9:24 am 
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Eh...I imagine a US fanny hair is within tolerance of a AUS fanny hair, despite the point of origin.

Along those lines, we had a South African computer whiz consultant in our shop about 15 years ago. I asked if he wanted a sample of the questionable code, and he asked if I had a stiffy.

:shock: "Excuse me?"

:?: "Can you give me a stiffy?"

:oops: "Um...I don't know what you're talking about."

:!: "You know...like a floppy, but smaller!"

:idea: Turns out that he wanted a 3.5" diskette. And no, he was not trying to be funny.

-dave

ps. For you young punks, the 5.25" diskettes were the last of the floppies...the 3.5"'s where the first (common) ones in a hard (stiff) case.

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PostPosted: March 13, 2009, 1:51 pm 
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OzGecko wrote:
[ Ce la vie . I know the first time I heard a girl on an American TV show say that she'd tripped and fallen on her fanny I was shocked (and then a little confused about the possible gymnastics involved).



Dominic


I recall Nancy Sinatra mentioning about her sore fanny from her flight on the Don Lane show many a year ago.

Be an exciting moment when you give your Gecko a kick in the ass for the first time, I'm sure you'll crow about it as your rip into a few tinnies sport. ;-)


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 Post subject: Re: The Gecko Project
PostPosted: March 13, 2009, 6:32 pm 
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dhempy wrote:
Eh...I imagine a US fanny hair is within tolerance of a AUS fanny hair, despite the point of origin.

Along those lines, we had a South African computer whiz consultant in our shop about 15 years ago. I asked if he wanted a sample of the questionable code, and he asked if I had a stiffy.

:shock: "Excuse me?"

:?: "Can you give me a stiffy?"

:oops: "Um...I don't know what you're talking about."

:!: "You know...like a floppy, but smaller!"

:idea: Turns out that he wanted a 3.5" diskette. And no, he was not trying to be funny.

-dave

ps. For you young punks, the 5.25" diskettes were the last of the floppies...the 3.5"'s where the first (common) ones in a hard (stiff) case.


Hey, us young punks remember floppy disks, I remember oregon trail on the 5.25"s :)

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 Post subject: Re: The Gecko Project
PostPosted: March 14, 2009, 1:04 am 
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killernoodle wrote:
Hey, us young punks remember floppy disks, I remember oregon trail on the 5.25"s :)


Oregon Trail was the shiznit! I think I still have it on CD somewhere lol.

I remember the green screen computers we had in elementary. My favorite game was the car racing game lol. All it had was a few green dotted lines coming at you in a curve and you had to try to stay in them with the arrow keys. I was a crazy competition between all the boys cuz they only had one copy and if you crashed you had to get the disk and reload. DOS FTW!

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