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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 2:39 am 
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Location: Denver,CO
After much time and process of thinking I have decided to build a locost. I plan to have it running by Summer 0f 2010 and with a build cost of under $5000.

I plan on building a complete frame and then using a miata as my base car. I plan to use the complete miata irs and subframe. As with any project mine began with a purchase. My neighbor had a great set of 17 inch TSW wheels which I bought for $250.
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I decided that if I could build this car I would start with the MCsorey plans and build the hardest part the front end, la-lb bars with the compounded angles. If I could do with with relative success I would be on my way to build the rest of the car. I made a crude jig and started with a trip to Home Depot and Harbor Freight. At Harbor I picked up some tools for doing the angles. Lots of tools, $30 worth, which at harbor is ALOT.
Next I raided the steel isle at Home Depot. For $24 I had two 6ft pieces of 1x1 16g square tube to test my skills on. Later I will buy the bulk of my steel at a steel mill or something like that.

Anyway after many hours of trying to figure out he compund cuts I gave up and went to bed. In the morning I read some posts on the said project and succeeded. I tag welded it all together with my 20 year old mig and found it was with in spec.

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Next is to buy my MDF for the table and buy some steel. Updates next week!
A shot of my single car garage and dog.
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evo


Last edited by evo626 on Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 7:48 am 
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Location: Champion, Ohio
Uh oh.

Before you go much farther with the front section you have shown there, decide if you are going to try to make your own front suspension, or if you are going to buy it from Jack McCornack. I'd really suggest the latter, unless you have major suspension experience, like maybe FSAE...

If you are going to buy it from Jack, then you may want to rebuild that, and angle the side tubes (LA and LB, I believe). I didn't do that, and mounting the front suspension was a real pain in the ass.

http://www.kineticvehicles.com/ControlArms.html

There's his page on the suspension and there are pictures of his suspension on my car there. Towards the bottom you can see where I had to use two-piece brackets for the rod-ends, whereas if you mounted LA, LB, FU1 and FU1, you would be able to use normal brackets and save considerable time.

Other areas you might want to consider, if using the original "book" frame, or the McSorley frames (much more accurate than the book--my frame's a few millimeters short due to discrepencies in the book), are the engine bay and, of course, the rear end from the back bulkhead on back.

I'd wait on making the engine bay tubing until you have the donor engine available. I made mine way too wide, figuring mine'd be wider than the book considerably, since it's a bigger engine... and that costed a lot of time and effort to get it to work. On the other hand, if you stick with the book engine bay, you may end up with your engine sitting higher than mine.

And then, of course, there's the transmission tunnel, but that's usually the last part to complete, or at least, it was for me. I still haven't finished the tunnel--I want to make a second driveshaft loop towards the front in case of losing the driveshaft.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 10:32 am 
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FWIW, I like the two-part brackets, and I don't think they're all that much trouble. Doing it again, I'd probably rotate the LA and LB tubes to face the control arm, but it's really not a big deal if you don't.

There's some discussion of there here: http://locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=36005

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 4:08 pm 
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Location: Denver,CO
My plan is to finish the basic frame IE up to were Mcsorey stops helpping me and not finish the remost section as I plan on doing something similar to Dave's car.

I was planning on using the two part brackets as they don't seem like it would be overly difficult to install. I won't start making parts for the miata parts to fit unit I buy the miata.

Basicly I'm going to copy Dave's car and work slowly so if he has any unforeseen problems I wont copy those. lol

evo


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 7:24 pm 
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evo626 wrote:
Basicly I'm going to copy Dave's car and work slowly so if he has any unforeseen problems I wont copy those. lol


Oh, lordy...I sure hope you're talking about some other Dave...for BOTH our sakes! ;-)

Quote:
I was planning on using the two part brackets as they don't seem like it would be overly difficult to install. I won't start making parts for the miata parts to fit unit I buy the miata.

evo


I'm not going to tell you to slow down on your build, but I will encourage you to fast-track getting your donor in hand. For one, they don't carry them at Wal-Mart, so you could go for months without finding a good donor.

More importantly, there are just so many roadblocks when you don't have the real live parts in hand. Kurt covers this several times in Kimini. For example, I just realized this morning I've got a conflict between my e-brake cables at the calipers and some planned future chassis tube from the bottom corner of the rear bulkhead up to the upper shock mount.

So, keep learning and building, but start hitting the streets to find your donor. Touch base with your local SCCA club...that's where I found my Miata.

Here's a few possibles...

http://tinyurl.com/653ace ($2900 1997)

http://tinyurl.com/6b28qt ($1200 1992, $2600 1990)


Several folks have relayed their wisdom in buying a little better donor in favor of a little cheaper/brokener donor. Chet in particular has some stories to tell. The good news is you can get just about any Miata for free after you sell off the parts...whether you paid $500 or $3000...so you might as well get one that you can drive back to the sacrificial alter under its own power.

-dave

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...nowadays people are so intellectually lazy and lethargic that they can't build ANYTHING with their hands. They'll spend hours watching whiny people marooned on an island, but won't spend a second adding anything to the world. -weconway
Visit my [Locost 7 build log]


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 8:50 pm 
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Location: Denver,CO
Baby steps. I'm looking for a good donor as we speak. My inlaws know an owner of a junk and have him on the prowl for one. Shouldn't be too long to find one.

evo


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 1:32 am 
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I saw a few on craigslist... if I see any around here, I'll let you know.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:49 pm 
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Speaking of baby steps, I built my build table out of 3/4 mdf and 2x4 to keep it square, set on two saw horses.

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Just enough room for my wife's motorcycle and for me to work on it. lol Just.

evo


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 1:07 am 
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Progress at last. Yesterday 07/31/08 I purchased 200 ft of 1x1 16g steel. LIttle pricey at $225. I made big progress though. I got the bottom frame parts cut and sorted out.

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Today I tac welded the bottom frame. I used 1 inch clamps made for conduit tubing to hold everything down. I attached the front piece and the H bars. Over all it was a productive day and everything is within specs +/-. I used magnets to help hold the H parts upright and the red angle bits helped to sqaure things up. I did a quick dab of primer to keep the welds from rusting.
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Next week I work on the top bits and get proper gas for my welder for the final welding.

evo


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 10:11 pm 
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More progress made. I tacked up the rear parts and got on the table and made vroom vroom noises. Looks like I'll fit just fine. (no pics of this)lol.

This part of the chassis is going very quick.


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evo


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 11:48 pm 
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I like your clamps, evo. I assume they snug things up nicely? What size are they?

-dave

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...nowadays people are so intellectually lazy and lethargic that they can't build ANYTHING with their hands. They'll spend hours watching whiny people marooned on an island, but won't spend a second adding anything to the world. -weconway
Visit my [Locost 7 build log]


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:27 am 
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The calmps are a great idea.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 9:09 am 
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The conduit clamps are 1". Cheap and easier than using a hole saw in the table.lol
Keeps everything tight to the table.

evo


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:51 pm 
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Well Ive been working on the frame and have finished 90% of the welds on the basic chassis. Reason for doing this: it needed to be done sometime. With that being said, I"m still looking for a proper donor.
I think my next project will be ordering parts from Kinetic. Things like brackets and heim joints. Not sure if I want to order the control arm kit or build it.

I aslo ordered and recieved the Chriss Gibbs book. Not that I'm builing a Haynes car but its a good read.

Anyway on to updated pics!
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evo


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 12:27 am 
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evo626 wrote:
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No shortage of ground clearance there! ;-)

-dave

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...nowadays people are so intellectually lazy and lethargic that they can't build ANYTHING with their hands. They'll spend hours watching whiny people marooned on an island, but won't spend a second adding anything to the world. -weconway
Visit my [Locost 7 build log]


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