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 Post subject: The Leaning Locost
PostPosted: January 16, 2016, 7:44 am 
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Joined: January 14, 2016, 4:16 am
Posts: 108
Location: Brandenburg, KY
Hello everyone! My name is Rob. I’ve recently been lurking around here and other Locost type websites and forums. I have been mulling around the idea of building “something” like this for many years. I’m currently stationed in Germany with all of my cars, parts, tools, etc. in storage back in the states. This gives me little ability to actually build anything, but I can plan to my heart’s content.. So,… Here I am!

Looking through all of the build threads, various posts here and on the UK forum and variety of other links over the last couple weeks has me inspired and also a little overwhelmed. Probably similar to many other newbies here.
This may never get off the ground (or onto a build table), but I want to learn more. The tone and comradery of this forum is very similar to my “home away from home” forum (slantsix.org), so I’m confident I’m in the right place.

Here is the basic plan. I have a ton more to blabber on about, but that will come over time. I’ll have a lot of questions and am anxious to read a lot of sage advice from those of you that have gone down this road ahead of me.

The Leaning Locost: Track only, smallest, lightest car designed for autocross and dragstrip using the Chrysler “Leaning Tower of Power” Slant 6 engine.

1. Do you enjoy metal fabrication, problem solving, and general dirty, greasy, sharp metal shavings strewn in all directions type hard work?

Yes- But my metal fabrication skills are novice at best. I haven’t even learned to weld yet…

2. Do you have a place to do aforementioned work, without offending the people who allow you to work there?

Yes- But it is about 4,800 miles away! I’m stationed in Germany, so I’m just planning and learning for now.

3. Do you have the space to dismantle and store parts from a donor car?


Yes- See #2

4. Are you the type of person that obsesses about things, but abruptly loses interest and moves on to something else new and fascinating?
Yes- But I have finished a few car projects over the years… If I do get this project started it might be up for sale as an uncompleted project a couple years later. I’ll give you all first dibs. ;-)

5. Do you have the disposable income to pull this off?
Yes- I wouldn’t call it disposable, but I am a pretty good “scrounger” and plan to use a complete donor car. My income will change quite a bit if/when I retire from the Army in the next couple years or so.

6. Are you married to a low maintenance, understanding wife?
Yes- She has been very patient with my car hobby for 25 years

7. Do you have, or are you willing to acquire the tools, skills, and knowledge needed to pull this off?

Yes-I have debatable skills and quite a few tools. I have had a MIG welder for several years, but I have not really learned to use it. I hope to practice some welding at the Auto Craft shop on post over the next couple years. My biggest hurdle will be learning the metal fabrication and the concept of Geometry has eluded me for over 30 years… 


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 Post subject: Re: The Leaning Locost
PostPosted: January 16, 2016, 8:28 am 
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Joined: December 22, 2006, 2:05 pm
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http://www.valiant.org/lotus.html

viewtopic.php?f=35&t=2052

I'd expect to find an intermediate mx facility on post that is full of welders who could train you.

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 Post subject: Re: The Leaning Locost
PostPosted: January 16, 2016, 10:33 am 
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Joined: January 14, 2016, 4:16 am
Posts: 108
Location: Brandenburg, KY
Thank you for those links. I had seen the Lotus 11B HyperPak linked elsewhere, but never put two and two together. Nice to see I'm not alone in my "Leanings"... :wink:

I have a HyperPak I would like to use for this project, but mine will be a lot simpler design I'm sure. I want to highlight the engine choice and the HyperPak is the best way to do that. I will likely leave it "hanging out" there for all to see. Hard to cover that monster up anyway. :lol:

I'm about to start posting some dumb newbie questions in various topic areas. My eyes glaze over every time I try to read and understand the front suspension design threads...

We only have a small auto craft shop here. Great guys and very willing to help. They'll let me run a few beads to get the hang of the basics. They just have the one big MIG welder and an acetalene set up. I plan to rebuild a small fire pit that has rusted out as my first project.

I should have taken the opportunity to learn welding when I commanded a maintenance company 15 years ago... :roll: :lol:


Last edited by Dudefladge on January 16, 2016, 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Leaning Locost
PostPosted: January 16, 2016, 10:41 am 
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Joined: December 22, 2006, 2:05 pm
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Get them to show you how to braze and gas weld also. It comes in handy sometimes.

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 Post subject: Re: The Leaning Locost
PostPosted: January 16, 2016, 11:04 am 
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Joined: January 14, 2016, 4:16 am
Posts: 108
Location: Brandenburg, KY
Will do.


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 Post subject: Re: The Leaning Locost
PostPosted: January 16, 2016, 11:56 am 
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Joined: December 16, 2015, 5:31 pm
Posts: 85
Welcome to the group. Which slant are you planning to use the 170,198, or 225? Do you have one of the rare aluminum blocks? Or much rarer aluminum heads? Practice that welding on every bit of scrap you can and by the time you get back to the states you should be pretty good at it. I think you mentioned the 904 transmission just wondering why not the 833 4 speed is it just what your donor car has or? Just curious. Anyway good luck and lots of real good guys on here if you need any help. Joe


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 Post subject: Re: The Leaning Locost
PostPosted: January 16, 2016, 2:21 pm 
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Joined: January 14, 2016, 4:16 am
Posts: 108
Location: Brandenburg, KY
Hey Joe,

I will be using a 225. I would love to find a usable aluminum block, but it gets harder every day. They aren't the most practical one to use, but the weight savings sure would be a bonus for a build like this!

The main reason for the 904 automatic is I will be using the car for drag racing quite a bit (hopefully). It is easier and more consistent with an automatic. We started a new class for cars weighing under 2,000# a couple years ago and most of the records are still open. I want to set a couple before faster guys in their drag only rails take them. :lol:

Since I want this car to be multi-purpose autocross/drag I have to make some compromises. Add weight for a better handling suspension, etc.

Initially I just want the most basic car possible with no extras whatsoever. Once I set a couple records and get more comfortable with the car I will likely make a few changes.

This forum feels very much like slantsix.org with friendly, helpful non-arrogant members. I think I may have found another home.


Last edited by Dudefladge on January 17, 2016, 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Leaning Locost
PostPosted: January 16, 2016, 8:45 pm 
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Joined: May 17, 2008, 10:55 pm
Posts: 310
Location: canada
My vote goes for 170 over 225. I've been taken for a drive back in the 80's in a 20+ year old 170 powered Valiant. It was more than adequate. The deck height of the 225 is absurd, and the stroke not much better.
But sounds like you know slant sixes well enough to know what you like....?


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 Post subject: Re: The Leaning Locost
PostPosted: January 16, 2016, 10:29 pm 
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Joined: December 16, 2015, 5:31 pm
Posts: 85
Or if you don't mind doing some grinding a170 with a 198 crank. You'll have the advantage of the weight savings of the 170 block and with .100 overbore almost as many cubes as the 225 and it will spin pretty fast but if you're on slant 6.org I'm sure you know about that option.


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 Post subject: Re: The Leaning Locost
PostPosted: January 17, 2016, 9:37 am 
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Joined: January 14, 2016, 4:16 am
Posts: 108
Location: Brandenburg, KY
Thanks guys. I've already got three high performance 225/904 combos and a couple stock ones as well. I don't have a single 170 or 198. :? I do have several sets of 198 rods though... :lol:

My Duster(2700#) ran 13's and my tube frame Mitsu Challenger(2300#) ran low 11's in the 1/4 mile before they were put in storage. My new engine for the Challenger is quite a bit more than either of those two set ups. I think I'll start the Locost build with something kinda mild to begin with. :lol:

My dream would be to set all of the Slant 6 AA(<2000#) records and then go back to just having fun being consistent. The reality will surely be something quite different. :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: The Leaning Locost
PostPosted: January 17, 2016, 1:38 pm 
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Joined: December 16, 2015, 5:31 pm
Posts: 85
If you could post some pics of them i think many of us would like to see them. They sound very interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: The Leaning Locost
PostPosted: January 17, 2016, 4:36 pm 
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Joined: January 14, 2016, 4:16 am
Posts: 108
Location: Brandenburg, KY
I went through my "build threads" (loose interpretation because it's mostly page after page of blathering and no real content) on slantsix.org.

The Challenger thread has some decent pictures in the first post. I can't take any credit for the Challenger because I really haven't done anything with it since I bought it in 2011! :shock: It's a cool car I hope to play with someday though... :lol:

http://www.slantsix.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=46322

The GodsRods Duster II thread I just realized is really just 32 pages of.... internet mumbo jumbo... It's the saga of getting the car ready and making it to a few drag races with a lot of not much else thrown in all around.

http://www.slantsix.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=39102

If any of you actually take the time to look through my posts on slantsix.org you'll quickly realize that the chances of me actually building a Locost and getting it to run are pretty slim. :oops:

I probably have some better pictures in my ImageShack albums, but I haven't logged in there in so long I forgot the password... :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: The Leaning Locost
PostPosted: January 27, 2016, 6:37 am 
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Joined: January 14, 2016, 4:16 am
Posts: 108
Location: Brandenburg, KY
I've been getting lots of great education here over the last couple weeks. I'm chomping at the bit to get something started, but being over here in Germany will prevent any actual build progress. I should probably learn to weld first anyway... :lol:

I now have the Gibbs and Champion (2nd edition) books in hand and have been reading them in earnest. I have the Tanner book on the way along with one of the recommended suspension books.

I've asked several questions in various posts in the appropriate sections. I'm starting to get a much better idea of what I want. Lots more homework to do, of course. As I start to firm up my ideas I'll post a recap here to keep it all in one place.

Thanks to all that have been helping me to better understand what all goes into building a Locost!


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 Post subject: Re: The Leaning Locost
PostPosted: February 2, 2016, 6:21 am 
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Joined: January 14, 2016, 4:16 am
Posts: 108
Location: Brandenburg, KY
Just a quick update on where I'm "leaning" for my Locost build.

Chassis: McSorley 442E to fit the roughly 32" long Slant 6 engine

Drivetrain: Chrysler 225 cubic inch Slant 6 engine, A904 automatic transmission and likely a Ford 8.8 rear differential

Suspension: Rear 3 link, front standard Locost using Mustang II spindles with 5X4 1/2 bolt pattern

Tires & wheels: Undecided. I'll have to see about that when I get closer to acutally building something

Body: Likely just a nose cone for a little aesthetics and slight aerodynamic help

Purpose: Track only for autocross and drag racing with just the bare essentials for simplicity and weight savings

Plenty of posts in other threads asking lots of newbie questions to get me to this point. More to follow! :D


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 Post subject: Re: The Leaning Locost
PostPosted: March 27, 2016, 6:13 am 
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Joined: January 14, 2016, 4:16 am
Posts: 108
Location: Brandenburg, KY
I haven't been frequenting the forum as much lately because I've been on the UK based forums asking questions and looking for something to get me started.

Quick update: I'm getting started with something a little different (but bares somewhat of a resemblance to the Lotus 11B HyperPak that MiataV8 linked earlier. Since I don't have any Slant 6 parts over here with me I'll start with the common 4 cylinder drivetrain most of the Locost and other kit cars in the UK use.

I'm planning a trip from Germany up to the northern part of the UK to pick up my project. On the way back I'm also picking up a Locost frame to be used as a mock up mule. I can learn some basic welding and fabrication on it. It started as a Book chassis, but was widened by 100mm and had the bulkhead adjusted to fit a BMW V8 drivetrain. Looking at the measurements "The Mule" layout may work well for the Slant 6 as well.

In my searching I realized that the UK is the Kit Car Mecca of the World! :shock: There are so many different types of kit cars and Locost derivatives that it boggles the mind.

If you're curious about the car that resembles the Lotus 11B you can Google the Ginetta G20. I think I'll call her Gina. :wink:

More to follow.


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