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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: November 15, 2015, 2:14 pm 
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Joined: August 18, 2015, 12:41 pm
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Location: Seattle area (Woodinville)
If you were to build a second car, is there anything that you would do differently that you think that other builders would benefit to learn about. Conversely, is there anything that worked particularly well that you would recommend to others? Please confine this thread to chassis construction.

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PostPosted: November 15, 2015, 10:40 pm 
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Joined: January 2, 2009, 1:45 pm
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Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Yeah, design and maybe even build your suspension and then build a chassis to fit the suspension, not the other way around. Ask me how I know. :roll:

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PostPosted: November 15, 2015, 11:15 pm 
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Joined: August 27, 2005, 1:04 am
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Location: Kamloops, BC, Canada
I'd build the tunnel around the transmission after I had the engine and transmission in place instead of making it fit in a prebuilt tunnel. I would also probably use an aluminum floor and run it across the full width of the car instead of just a piece under each side of the car. I would also probably build the car with a race legal roll cage. I would pay more attention to weight, such as diagonals made from 1/2" or 3/4" round instead of 1" square where possible. A structural braced dash hoop instead of one that's just there to hold the dash would add some stiffness too, and I'd put it further back than the typical locost plans, more like a real lotus.
Kristian

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PostPosted: November 16, 2015, 1:43 am 
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Joined: June 8, 2010, 8:02 pm
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Location: White Rock, BC, Canada
-I'm pretty comfortable saying my style of engine mounts are great. viewtopic.php?f=4&t=11912#p114600 Fast and easy to do, and rock solid. Cheap too.
-don't spend too much time on every single connection. Yes, your frame will be straighter, but you will waste so much time. A millimeter or two isn't going to be noticeable. I wasted a lot of time on my frame and yes, it is very straight.... but not worth the time spent.
-plan swaybar frame mounts while building. I didn't and it's going to suck to install one now.
-level your build table so you can work with levels and plumbs. Makes it easier/faster to be sure things are in the right spot.
-have a block setup to hold the chassis at ride-height when on the build table. Literally just level blocks that you can screw the chassis down to. This way you can build/mount/test your entire suspension while on the build table. Can also mount your engine if it hangs below the rails.

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PostPosted: November 16, 2015, 3:29 am 
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Joined: August 19, 2014, 5:17 pm
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Location: England
The next chassis wont have the same wall thickness tubing throughout, I would definitely use thin gauge tubing on all but the tubes that have chassis suspension lugs, engine mounts, seat belt mounts and roll bars attached I would use 3mm wall thickness. You would only be adding a few pounds.

Bob

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PostPosted: November 16, 2015, 9:18 am 
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Joined: March 30, 2011, 7:18 am
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Location: central Arkansas
I built my first chassis out of hot-rolled tubing. I spent three days de-scaling it with abrasive discs, and it was still smoky to weld. Hey, I didn't know any better...

+1 on the reduced-diameter diagonals. That eliminates the odd overhanging corners when you use square tubing. I'll probably use 3/4" round tubing on the midi chassis.

edit: it's never too early to start shopping for rivets. Sometimes you can find a bargain on eBay. If you get a deal on more rivets than you need, don't worry about it. They're like leftover chassis tubing - they're useful "bench stock" for all sorts of projects.


Last edited by TRX on November 16, 2015, 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: November 16, 2015, 9:22 am 
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Joined: September 22, 2005, 8:12 am
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Location: 4AGE in S.E. Michigan
My number one change which wish I had incorporated in the build is a bolt-in transmission crossmember. The design should allow the driveshaft to be engage in the tailstock first, then the trans/driveshaft bolted in place. Dave W


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PostPosted: November 16, 2015, 5:46 pm 
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Joined: July 4, 2006, 5:40 pm
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Location: Novato, CA
I would echo turbo_bird's comment about building the transmission tunnel around the actual drivetrain.

I'm not sure I'd make the scuttle frame removable next time, but I would definitely make it easy to remove the scuttle sheeting.

During the full welding process, I'd flip the frame over after every 20 welds or so.

I would move the steering wheel and pedals 3/8" to the right.

But that's about it. I really like my frame, and after 20K miles it's as solid as ever. I was careful to follow the book as closely as possible, and maybe that's why I don't have any issues now.


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PostPosted: November 16, 2015, 8:13 pm 
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Joined: August 18, 2015, 12:41 pm
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Location: Seattle area (Woodinville)
You can make the build table easy to level, and re-level, by screwing lag bolts into the bottom ends of the table legs and turning them to raise and lower each corner.

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PostPosted: November 16, 2015, 8:29 pm 
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Joined: October 19, 2009, 9:36 pm
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Location: meadview arizona
the distance from the windshield to the drivers head should be no more than 36" so move the scuttle or make it longer, your ears will thank you

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PostPosted: November 16, 2015, 11:48 pm 
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Joined: August 18, 2015, 12:41 pm
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Location: Seattle area (Woodinville)
C10CoryM wrote:
-I'm pretty comfortable saying my style of engine mounts are great. viewtopic.php?f=4&t=11912#p114600 Fast and easy to do, and rock solid. Cheap too.
-don't spend too much time on every single connection. Yes, your frame will be straighter, but you will waste so much time. A millimeter or two isn't going to be noticeable. I wasted a lot of time on my frame and yes, it is very straight.... but not worth the time spent.
-plan swaybar frame mounts while building. I didn't and it's going to suck to install one now.
-level your build table so you can work with levels and plumbs. Makes it easier/faster to be sure things are in the right spot.
-have a block setup to hold the chassis at ride-height when on the build table. Literally just level blocks that you can screw the chassis down to. This way you can build/mount/test your entire suspension while on the build table. Can also mount your engine if it hangs below the rails.


An excellent example of why I wanted to start this thread. I've read through most of the posts at least twice and still missed this.

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