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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: July 23, 2010, 4:05 pm 
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Location: Lexington, KY
Progress slowly continues. The front suspension is getting all the attention right now. I made some supports for the bellcrank pivot. The location wanted to be in the middle of space nowhere near any support tubes so the brackets came out interesting. I will probably reinforce these later.

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I fabbed the bottom support for the front shocks. Again, it seems like all this mounts are out in the middle of nowhere. You think that crazy designer could of planned this out better.

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It was about this time I had my shocks in hand and was curious to see what they looked liked in a traditional mounted suspension. I really shouldn't have done that. The top shock mount lines up nicely with the top main tube and would be simple to just fab a mount there and be done. I am tempted but still too stubborn to change now (notice I didn't say never).

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PostPosted: July 26, 2010, 8:47 am 
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That front suspension looks great. Nice work.

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PostPosted: July 27, 2010, 3:58 pm 
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Thanks a.moore!

Fab started on the bellcranks. I am using 1/8in thick steel. I used my mdf mock up as a template and transfer punched the pivot locations.
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NOTE: The one plate is just a tie bar and will be replaced with the correct brace when shock clearance is determined.

I decided to use a shankless rodend for the center pivot bearing. Mcmaster Carr part number 63195K16 1in OD, 1/2in ID, and good for static radial load of 13,250lbs.

At this point my springs arrived so I had to mock it up to see how it would fit, and guess what, just a hint of interference, (about 1in :oops: ). Thats what I get for making something before I have the mating part in my hand. No worries, out came the grinder and the bellcrank looks like this now. I'll run a quick analysis when I get a chance to make sure it is still strong enough.
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Now I get to make a matching set for the passenger side. Should go a lot faster the second time!

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PostPosted: August 4, 2010, 4:41 pm 
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For a change of pace, I decided to make the engine mounts. From this great forum of knowledge, I too used the mounts from a dodge D150, pn A2469. They are discussed in this thread. Even found them in stock at the local Advance Auto, sweet!

The 1/2in stud on the mount even fit the hole in the aluminum bracket off the engine.
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Out came the cardboard and made some templates to be cut out in 1/8 steel. I first added the bottom tube to support the bracket and added a little diagonal for a wider support. Heres the passenger side.
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You can't see it, but I drilled another hole for the dimple to stick in on the bottom side of the mount.
I removed a couple tubes around the passenger footwell and replaced them with a diagonal that meets up with the engine mount bracket fairly close. I was trying to reduce the bending moment on the tube supporting the engine. I think it'll help. More diagonals will be added where the blue tape is.
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The same thing was created for the driver side, be it a lot faster this time.
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PostPosted: August 6, 2010, 12:44 am 
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Looking good, JL. Can't wait to see it this weekend.

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PostPosted: September 10, 2010, 6:45 pm 
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I LOVE this build. The curved tube frame maintaining the front midship is AWESOME.

I would very much like to imitate this build.


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PostPosted: September 25, 2010, 2:28 pm 
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come on bro, lets hear how its going.


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PostPosted: October 19, 2010, 1:18 pm 
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I'm still working on the car, although not as much in the last month or two. Starting to get back into it. I wanted to get the steering wheel mounted up to set that location so that everything else could be situated in that area. I am using the stock S2000 steering column but unfortnately the donor already had the stock wheel stripped before I got it. No problem, I'll get one off flea bay. A quick search revealed that they go for $150 without the airbag, no thanks (now I know why it wasn't on the donor). I searched for an aftermarket hub to mount the numerous cheap 6 bolt steering wheels. Ordered a set and guess what, the splines were the wrong size. No problem, I'll get another one. Well, the story continues and in the end I ended up with 3 adapters and a steering wheel but I finally got something that works! The splines are still somewhat loose but when the hub is tightened down it pulls down on the taper part of the steering column. Not ideal in my book but I guess it will work. So here it is.

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I am using the stock gauge cluster which is all digital and somewhat compact, plus looks pretty cool. I orginally planned to use the stock turn signal and head light stalks but in order to fit the gauges low enough I removed them and as an added benefit, I gained clearance for my knuckles behind the wheel without having to add another spacer. I'll add some toggles to the dash for those functions.

I now could run the rest of the column to the rack to see about my pedal clearance. I'm using the stock S2000 u-joint then a piece of 3/4in dom to another u-joint (from Dans Performance) that connects to the MG steering rack.

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PostPosted: October 20, 2010, 6:39 pm 
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Look at all that :shock: ROOM :shock: in there! I'm loving the curved tube build. I wish I would have thought of the idea when I started 4 years ago. You're certainly going to have a sweet ride that won't ever pass itself on the highway! looking really good JL. Nice Fab Work!

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PostPosted: October 20, 2010, 9:42 pm 
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Great build with lots of useful information. Best of luck!

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PostPosted: October 22, 2010, 3:33 am 
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Is the bell housing removable on the s2k transmissions?

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PostPosted: October 25, 2010, 8:01 am 
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Thanks for the comments guys! Its always good to hear feeback, both positive and negative.

JSullivan, the bellhousing appears to be removable on the transmission. I have it bolted to the engine now and tried looking back through some old pics but wasn't clear in any of those. Apparently you can never take too many pics. :oops: There's a ring of bolts about 10in behind the connection to the engine where it appears to come apart. The next time I have the engine/tranny split, I'll confirm this.

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PostPosted: October 25, 2010, 1:30 pm 
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It definitely is removable. Here are some pics


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PostPosted: November 2, 2010, 4:30 pm 
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Progress continues and I added some more bracing to the transmission tunnel and dash area. I removed a couple of tubes on the driver side but luckily I only have them tacked in place.
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I ran across the two hardest tubes yet to get fitted correctly. It's a square tube that's trapped in place with compound angles on both ends and on one end, there is also notch. After several failed attempts, I wised up and broke out the cardboard and tape. Took a little extra time but I wasted a lot less tubing.
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Since I had the steering column routed, I could lay out the pedal locations. I went around and around wether or not to buy a Wilwood overhung 2 pedal, 3cyl assembly or retro fit two MC to the stock brake pedal and use the stock clutch/MC. After some measuring, I decided to modify the stock brake pedal, (I guess I never do anything the easy way). This option won out because my footwell is fairly wide and the Wilwood pedal assy placed the brake pedal right inline with the steering column. I could of moved it to the right to go between the clutch and brake but then I would have less room for the accelerator. Having the stock clutch and brake seperate, I could move them around indepently. So, I ordered a Wilwood brake balance bar assembly from Summit that included the steel tube for the rodend (PN 340-1757, $65)
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More to come.....

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PostPosted: November 3, 2010, 11:26 am 
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The stock brake pedal had enough material to just drill a hole and weld in the brake balance bar tube. I placed it to have a 6.25:1 pedal ration which seems common compared to the Wilwood and Tilton pedal assemblies. For the top pivot, I plan to use some flanged oilite bushings and a shoulder bolt for the shaft.
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With that done, I started laying out the pedal box supports. I tried to design something to support all the pedals rigidly, clear the steering shaft, and easy to panel later to have a firewall. The mount the for the dual m/c will have to wait until I calculate the correct sizes, which depends on which calipers I end up using. I am still not sure how I will intersect the firewall panel to the outside frame rails/diagonals. I'll come up with something, eventually.
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