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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: July 15, 2014, 1:32 pm 
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Joined: July 14, 2014, 2:50 pm
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Location: Alabama
Let me start off saying that I am new member here but have been looking as a guest for a while. I tried to search for a thread that discusses this and I apologize if I have over looked it. I am wanting to start a locost build however I would like to go the SDV route. I would like to here some experienced people say "If I was to build another 7 I would use .......... as a SDV". Preferably with the model and best year for highest hp,best brakes,etc.

Thanks in advance :D


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PostPosted: July 15, 2014, 3:10 pm 
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De Jong,

Where are you located? Americas, Europe, Asia? That will have a tremendous bearing on your choice.

If in North America, I think an old Mustang II with the 2.4 and a 5 speed would be ideal. Or maybe a Nissan 240SX, or Toyota Celica GT.


Tom

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PostPosted: July 15, 2014, 6:33 pm 
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Thanks,
I'm actually located in Alabama. So what is all the hype around miatas and S2000?


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PostPosted: July 15, 2014, 7:51 pm 
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The best one is the one you can afford.

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PostPosted: July 15, 2014, 7:54 pm 
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My vote is for a Miata. Its been done many times over and Westfield even do a kit using Miata bits. Not the highest HP, but in a car this light even 85hp is enough to get you in trouble. Same with brakes, you dont need massive rotors and calipers to stop a 1300 lb car. Everywhere but here in Vancouver, you seem to be able to pick one up for very little money.


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PostPosted: July 15, 2014, 8:31 pm 
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A BMW E36 M3 would make a pretty sweet donor but you'd be pretty much trail-blazing there (one M50 build on this site I know of). Not much BMW influence around here, but the E36 m3 came with a sweet 3.2L straight six(240 hp and torque), a 5spd tranny, and a nice 3.23 LSD. The 3100lb m3 moves, I imagine a locost with this drivetrain would be downright frightening. It has disk brakes front and rear, rears have built in drum brake that handles e-brake duty. Looking at mine, the front hub/kingpin could all be easily used for a locost. The rear trailing arms are the only weakness in the package and would require some careful design to implement. It would probably be easier to scrap them and build something. This is only if you wanted to do something new and unique. E36 M3s can be had for 5 grand in suitable condition for a SVG.


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PostPosted: July 15, 2014, 8:33 pm 
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If you stick to a car that is closer to the weight of your car you will have more success. That is why the Miata is a great choice. I have the brakes off a 3800LB Toyota Supra and they are too much for the car. It is a much easier problem to fix then if they were not good enough though. Now I just need to buy the crappiest cheapest brake pads I can find :-)

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PostPosted: July 16, 2014, 1:13 am 
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I would think one of the really modern 4 cylinder cars, maybe with turbo, would be an excellent choice if you can find one that's rear wheel drive (RWD). I'm thinking something like the Pontiac Solstice or Saturn Sky. But, they won't be inexpensive.

I like some of the newer Chrysler drivetrains too like the new 3.7L V6 or Tigershark 2.4L, I4. There again, finding a RWD is an issue, but Chrysler has suitable components, just not all in one car.

If you pick one that's been done a lot, like the Miata, you'll have a lot of builds to get ideas from. If you pick a novel donor, then you'll have to take a lot more responsibility for developing solutions yourself. The Merkur XR4Ti is still an attractive single donor solution (turbocharged Haynes Roadster) if you can find a decent one for a reasonable price.

An honest self-assessment about how much you're willing to design and develop versus just building from an existing plan might be a good thing to do before selecting a donor.

Cheers,

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PostPosted: July 16, 2014, 3:45 am 
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For each corner.......Mazda RX7 s6. Big brakes, Very light calipers and alloy rear uprights. All set up for double wishbone suspension as well.


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PostPosted: July 16, 2014, 6:51 am 
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Joined: July 14, 2014, 2:50 pm
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Location: Alabama
Thanks for all the input!

Would it be possible to use a audi a4 2.0t Quattro and utilize t9 transmission of some type? While also using the rear differential from the Quattro and any other transferable parts.

I figured since that is what a donkervoort used to use then it might be a good combo.

But now that I think of it they might have only used the 1.8t for some reason...


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PostPosted: July 16, 2014, 8:12 am 
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I don't think there is a car made that that makes a good donor.

You need a little of this and some of that to put together a package.

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PostPosted: July 16, 2014, 8:29 am 
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Anytime you use a single donor vehicle for the majority of your components you have to make compromises for the components you have on hand. The closest to what you want thought in my mind is the Miata. Get a newer one with the 2.0 duratec but still the 5 spd and not the 6 spd. Put a small turbo or sc on it and you will have a screamer.

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PostPosted: July 16, 2014, 9:43 am 
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I doubt an Audi would make a very good single donor vehicle.

What criteria are you using to define the "best" solution? The NA/NB Miata provides by far the 'best' support and knowledge base for building into a Locost, while having good aftermarket performance enhancement potential. The S2000 provides great out of the box performance, but at a higher price point. The NC Miata provides less performance than an S2000 at a higher cost than an NA/NB Miata, but could be built up using Duratec performance parts. If wanting to build a Duratec with a stick axles, the 2001.5+ Ranger 4cyl could be a donor. Solstice/Sky are more in the NC Miata realm, but with the factory turbo variants besting the S2k performance potential. Pony cars could all provide solid axle car candidates with big power potential.

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PostPosted: July 16, 2014, 12:34 pm 
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Bent Wrench wrote:
I don't think there is a car made that that makes a good donor.



That's because you need a truck or a minivan, not a car.

Toyota HiLux, Chev S10 etc all proven to be successful single donors and I have a favorite in a Toyota Previa now, would love to do something with a supercharged Previa.


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PostPosted: July 16, 2014, 5:16 pm 
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Joined: July 14, 2014, 2:50 pm
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Location: Alabama
Well the verdict sounds like the Miata. Especially since this is my first build I will takes yalls advice and stick to the tried and true in order to actually accomplish my build within a reasonable time period. Then I can have a reason to build another one :wink: .

Any input on the best Miata? Which year model would be the 2.0 duratec with the 5 speed?

Thanks,
Ike de Jong


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