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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: February 14, 2018, 9:40 am 
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Joined: February 12, 2018, 5:24 pm
Posts: 7
Hi Everyone,
I'm exhausted looking this morning!!!
I think I shall give up my dream on getting near my dream car! I can't afford a real one, i can't afford a ready built Locost, I can't afford a Caterham 7. :roll:

I keep trying to find an engine that will fit hight wise, but it's diff and their isn't much choice.
so what's the point! :roll: :BH: :cry:

Thanks everyone for all your help and advise!!!! Really mean that!!!
Great People you all are, great Forum too.
Wishing you all the best,
Dave. 8)


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PostPosted: February 14, 2018, 10:01 am 
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Go buy a crashed or rusted late 70's or early 80's Toyota Corolla, preferably an E70 series and your job is done. Or just about any late 70's early 80's RWD Japanese car with live axle. Stop mucking around with old British cars except for Ford Sierra.

This is an Australian list but most were sold in the UK. https://www.uniquecarsandparts.com.au/c ... japan_1980

Go to Locost UK and buy a frame already made, or project otherwise, that someone has given up on.

As for engine height you simply use a bonnet scoop like everyone else who has the same issue.

Use 0.5mm cheap steel panels instead of aluminium. Who cares if it's 50lbs heavier, it's still going to be fast.


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PostPosted: February 14, 2018, 10:27 am 
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The road will be mastered by the going :!:

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PostPosted: February 14, 2018, 11:04 am 
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Location: Cornholio OR "Where the magic happens"
What about one of Jack's kits?

http://kineticvehicles.com

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PostPosted: February 14, 2018, 12:53 pm 
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Location: Under the weather. (Seattle)
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PostPosted: February 14, 2018, 2:54 pm 
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You want an S2 clone, the one I drove had a mere 1098cc Sprite engine and was still plenty quick.
Sprite engines are tiny and should be very cheap as the car bodies have rusted to bits.
MGB may be a little large?
Swap the B for a Spridget, allow yourself a bit more time, and get it done. 8)

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PostPosted: February 14, 2018, 5:43 pm 
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I think if I could find the right Spridget (or Spitfire. Oh, the horror!), I might be tempted to build my Locost#2. I'm thinking keeping as much stock from the donor that I could. And I'd go with the 39" wide frame that the original seven had or maybe 40" if I was feeling generous. I'd focus on keeping the costs down and the fun up. It doesn't take a big V-6 or a V-8 to put a smile on your face.

It has been about 10+ years since I started building my locost #1. I wonder if I could keep the costs below $4K including the donor, not including title and registration? It might be a nice challenge.

DavesDream, it doesn't take a lot of money to build a Locost. It does take time and perseverance.

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PostPosted: February 14, 2018, 6:06 pm 
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Joined: May 27, 2006, 9:46 pm
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Location: BC, Canada. eh?
Dave -

Don't give up your dream! I was in exactly the same boat -the challenge of building a car from scratch was daunting, the cost of buying a ready-built one was simply out of the question, and the offerings from Ca*****ham had gotten so outrageous it was as likely as pondering buying a Ferrari!

However, the way to look at it is...it's like eating an elephant. It looks impossible at first, until you start eating...one bite at a time. You'll be amazed how fast things start to happen!

I'd suggest starting by selecting an engine and drive train. A live axle is the simplest, and will work wonderfully. They're cheap as chips, too. I chose not to go the "single donor" route, as that tends to force you to use all the components from that car, many of which won't be suited to a Locost. I got an engine from one car, a drive train from a couple of others, and so on. My local auto wrecker got to know me very well, and started setting parts aside for me that I might need.

As for engines, one choice you might consider is the Ford Zetec. They're still plentiful, extremely light, cheap, and there's lots of aftermarket support for them. As if that weren't enough, they make lots of extremely reliable power, and they're very short top-to-bottom, so they fit beautifully into a Locost. And, IMHO, they look "right", too.

Look out - engine "[NWS PORN]" ahead (this one is mine) -

Attachment:
fuel line carbs small.jpg
fuel line carbs small.jpg [ 292.25 KiB | Viewed 1889 times ]


There are lots of other suitable power plants, too. Ford's 2.3 SOHC engines can be found, and with a turbo (like in the later T-bird Super Coupe) they can make serious power! Variants of the 2.3 can be found in Ford Ranger pickups, along with useful other bits, like rear axles & transmissions.

There are lots of other engine options, too, from GM to Subaru, from 4 cylinders to V8's, and everything in between. Pick one you like, and ask about it here. We'll be able to help you decide if it's the right engine for you, and what accouterments would work with it, whatever it may be.

Frame plans are available, for free, in several iterations, one of which will be perfect for your desired car. As long as you have access to steel square tube & a MIG welder (a cheap, Horrible Fright 110v one will do the job nicely), you're on your way.

Building one of these cars is not an over-a-weekend task, so you have lots of time to figure things out as you go.

People here will answer ANY questions you have, and can give real-world advice on any Locost-related topic you can name. The wealth of knowledge represented on this forum, in my view, exceeds any found elsewhere in the world.

In other words, if you really want a Locost, we'll help you do it. There are undoubtedly people on this forum who live close to you, and would be happy to assist you in person.

Don't give up (I've been tempted myself, but the folks on this forum kept me going...and I'm eternally grateful that they did!!). Your dream car is waiting for you to discover it. And one thing's for sure - the satisfaction of being able to say you built the car that bystanders are drooling over, with your own two hands, is unlike any other. It could be the most satisfying & outstanding accomplishment of your life.

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PostPosted: February 14, 2018, 6:22 pm 
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I am sometimes saddened by the modern tendency to reinterpret ALL classic sports cars as "Cobra" clones.
I've had some very powerful cars and enjoyed them immensely but had as much fun and less fear of arrest in my old beater Bug-Eye Sprites and TR3's.
As I recall early Lotus used whatever was at hand, even Austin 7 engines, and still gave good smiles per miles. :D
For a first build, and to be more faithful to original, an inexpensive modest power engine may be best.

Why the attitude on a Spitfire engine?
I have a couple of Spitfire/GT6's around that are planned to become almost single donor builds.
I doubt they will lack for fun factor and if I use my OD trans will be reasonably good for light touring.

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PostPosted: February 14, 2018, 6:47 pm 
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RichardSIA wrote:
I am sometimes saddened by the modern tendency to reinterpret ALL classic sports cars as "Cobra" clones.
I've had some very powerful cars and enjoyed them immensely but had as much fun and less fear of arrest in my old beater Bug-Eye Sprites and TR3's.
As I recall early Lotus used whatever was at hand, even Austin 7 engines, and still gave good smiles per miles. :D
For a first build, and to be more faithful to original, an inexpensive modest power engine may be best.

Why the attitude on a Spitfire engine?

I have a couple of Spitfire/GT6's around that are planned to become almost single donor builds.
I doubt they will lack for fun factor and if I use my OD trans will be reasonably good for light touring.


I really have nothing bad to say about the Spitfire, except for the trailing arm being tied to the bodywork, not the frame. That wouldn't matter for a Locost, as you would connect it to the space frame anyway. My preference for this build (if it ever came to pass) would be having a solid rear for simplicity which favors the Spridget IMO.

I had a '63 Spitfire 4 back in the day. I loved that I could do a complete tune-up sitting on the front tires. I've been a MOWOG guy for the last 30+ years though having a Sprite MK1.5 and 2 MGA's. My comment was simply a friendly marque poke to my fellow Brit aficionados. I'm glad you took the bait. :boxing: :cheers:

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PostPosted: February 15, 2018, 5:29 am 
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rx7locost wrote:
I had a '63 Spitfire 4 back in the day. I loved that I could do a complete tune-up sitting on the front tires.


I loved that about my '69 Spitfire. Such a big hood, such a small engine...

A friend bought a C4 Corvette not long after they came out. The giant clamshell hood sure made engine access easy compared to the '76...


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PostPosted: February 15, 2018, 3:50 pm 
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Narrow a TR7 rear live axle to eliminate the Spit swing-axle, bolt pattern already matches.

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PostPosted: February 15, 2018, 4:09 pm 
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DavesDream, you can't just give up now. I've invested like at least 4 or 5 mouse clicks in approving your posts! :rofl:

Build a Locost or GIbb's frame, they are just a big bigger and they all fit modern engines well. You'll land up with a more reasonable size car that people fit in and also avoid the awkward step of trying to measure how wide your wife's butt is.
:cheers:

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PostPosted: February 15, 2018, 7:43 pm 
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Location: BC, Canada. eh?
NEVER consider measuring how wide your wife's butt is!!!

Everyone knows that unspeakable evil will befall anyone who answers the question "Honey, do these pants make my butt look big?" with anything less charitable than "Gee, dear, no! You're as svelte as you were the first day I met you!" :!: :roll:

I would suggest, instead, measuring the width of her favorite chair when she's not around. Or, measuring the width of her "comfortable" jeans.

By the way - the proper term of measurement is in "inches"...NOT yards, meters, or axe handles! :shock: :roll: :D

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PostPosted: February 15, 2018, 8:01 pm 
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Dave, these are good suggestions in here. I am not up on these engines at all but the advise is good. This is just a bump don’t throw it away. Find a good substitute and forge on. I personally like the Toyota and Ford Zetec suggestions. They would work well.

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