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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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 Post subject: Locost for the winter?
PostPosted: October 23, 2015, 12:31 am 
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Joined: May 27, 2009, 1:13 pm
Posts: 281
Location: cleveland, ohio
I live in Ohio. Northeast Ohio so winter is a guarentee every year. I'm wondering how winter driveable anyone made a Locost. It would need a roof, doors, etc. that would be rather weather tight. Kind of Jeep wrangler style would work I guess.

And what would be need to be done to chassis to handle salt and snow and adverse weather? Ohio still uses salt so rust is a huge problem. Ride height also as 4 inches of snow on groud and a 3in ride height dont work.

And 4wd/awd would be handy but rwd with snow tires is managable. I've driven worse through winter lol.

Just putting this out there for ideas or if anyone's done it. Let us know what you have

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PostPosted: October 23, 2015, 2:07 am 
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Joined: August 11, 2013, 6:03 am
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Location: CNY
Heated snowmobile suit may be required. :P
One problem I see is these beasts are usually quite light, so the tires may float in the snow unless they're pretty narrow.

NY loves car poison as well, eats everyrhing. And they're using more calcium/magnesium chloride brine lately...

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PostPosted: October 23, 2015, 8:32 am 
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Joined: March 30, 2011, 7:18 am
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Location: central Arkansas
Cold weather, sure. Deep snow and/or salt... the tube frame and panels of a Locost might as well be designed to provide cracks and crannies for rust.

The Voices are clamoring "railbuggy on paddle tires!"...


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PostPosted: October 23, 2015, 8:47 am 
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Joined: October 19, 2010, 11:57 am
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Location: Waterloo, WI
TRX wrote:
.. the tube frame and panels of a Locost might as well be designed to provide cracks and crannies for rust.


This would be my concern. That and also getting in and out of a "typical" homebuilt with extra layers on and in the cold and wet and wind and....it's not even the end of October and I'm already cold! :)

Actually, I enjoy the snow and have what I feel is an almost ideal daily driver for southern Wisconsin winter; an '03 Subaru Legacy wagon with a 5 speed with 160k miles on it. With the head gaskets already replaced, natch. And General Altimax Artic tires (highly recommended!) The only thing it needs is a seat heater...they cost about $100 and I'm thinking I should do that.

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PostPosted: October 23, 2015, 8:52 am 
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Joined: March 15, 2013, 2:27 pm
Posts: 94
Location: Montreal, Quebec Canada
driving them would be ok, good narrow tires will keep control even when floating on snow. rust proofing them would be ok as well, drilling holes in the frame to spray some rust proofing grease. to me one of the worst thing would be the water spray from the open wheel desing and the other cars. being so low.. you would need to constantly wash the windshield and would get a lot of ice formed on the car.

also, fiber glass parts gets brittle in the cold.

that is wats keeping me from doing some ice racing events with my lotus..

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PostPosted: October 23, 2015, 9:19 am 
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Joined: September 22, 2005, 8:12 am
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Location: 4AGE in S.E. Michigan
The first couple of years I drove in the winter on sunny dry days, with full doors, top, and heater. Keeping warm with such a small area to heat was not a problem. But driving a completely enclose Seven type car, is like driving inside a tin can with whinnig gears and engine noises next to your ears. 2nd if by any chance you run into a situation where you run out of plowed road, the car has such a low ground clearance and a large flat bottom that it just lifts up and sets on top of the snow with zero traction. Do not ask how I know. Dave W


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PostPosted: October 23, 2015, 10:16 am 
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Joined: May 27, 2009, 1:13 pm
Posts: 281
Location: cleveland, ohio
These are some of the same thoughts I had. Open wheel desgins worries and low clearance and such. So maybe consider an extremely modified 4x4 or awd car will be more plausible. I bet an older subaru stripped down can get close to 2000lbs.

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06 suzuki sv1ks for the kneedragging fix

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PostPosted: October 23, 2015, 11:16 am 
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Joined: October 19, 2010, 11:57 am
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Location: Waterloo, WI
Then again, I could see building something like a crosskart. Hmm...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPXENKf84V8

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PostPosted: October 23, 2015, 11:28 am 
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Joined: May 2, 2009, 1:03 pm
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Location: The Humid State of North Carolina
TRX wrote:
Cold weather, sure. Deep snow and/or salt... the tube frame and panels of a Locost might as well be designed to provide cracks and crannies for rust.

The Voices are clamoring "railbuggy on paddle tires!"...
Nooo... The Voices are whispering.... Stainless!!! Although rails are hella fun in the snow!!

Because I get it for cheap/free, I'm doing stainless sheet sfor all the abused panels (underskin, footwells, fender guards...). No worry about painting and a scotchbrite cleans it right up!

Maybe one day I'll do a frame in stainless... that day is a long way off though!!!

K "Bright and Shiney" S

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PostPosted: October 23, 2015, 1:49 pm 
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Joined: July 17, 2008, 9:11 am
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Location: West Chicago,IL
If all the tubes are closed-end and none have a thru-hole that is not reinforced with a tube, then how does salt get into the tube? But aluminum and steel are not good friends to start with. Add some salt and it becomes an outright war with no survivors. BTW, have you ever tried getting into a sevenesque type vehicle with a top while holding the door up (yes up!)? Now try it while standing on ice. My bet would be that you are not standing for too long :mrgreen:

In a punch, you could drive in the Winter, but why would you want to?

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PostPosted: October 23, 2015, 3:20 pm 
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Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
I think it's been done ...... I read somewhere that an enclosed 7 ran in the Monte Carlo Rally many years ago. Ground clearance will be no worse than an Issigonis Mini, although the drive wheels are at the wrong end.


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PostPosted: October 23, 2015, 10:39 pm 
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Joined: March 30, 2011, 7:18 am
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Location: central Arkansas
Whaaa....

That looks like it was a very early car. I'm not sure what's going on with the cover over the rear window, but there seems to be a spare tire hanging out the bottom. A lot of the old racing classes required a spare.

So there was more than one of these things? One says "42" and the other "37"; it looks like the fenders are different; the rears on the 42 car seem to have a mounting flange, and it looks like it has proper clamshell fenders up front. The 37 car's front fenders look like the cheesy Lotus 6 fenders someone probably made on an English wheel; the "clamshell" parts are separate. And the wheels are different...

The gullwings and roof don't look bad at all. I am amazed. It looks way better than one of those Donkervoort things.

edit: some searching turned up that those are aftermarket hardtops made by a company called "Fibrepair" in 1963; they were made so the 7 could compete in "GT" classes.

edit2: I just noticed that the fugly Lotus 6/early 7 almost-flat front fenders are attached to the body, and found some pictures of early S1s that way. That's why they sit so high; so the tire won't hit them on bump. It wasn't until later that they attached them to the uprights so they moved with the wheel. So the "clamshell" panel was just a little sheetmetal work, not all new fender bracketry.


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PostPosted: November 9, 2015, 1:34 pm 
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Joined: February 20, 2015, 12:04 pm
Posts: 283
Location: Cotswolds - UK
Winter in the north of England isn't anything like as fierce as winter in northeast Ohio, but I ran 'Sevens' (a Westfield, then a Caterham) as my only car, all year round, including a daily 25 mile commute, for a few years when I was younger.

Salt is certainly a problem (we salt our roads too) - aluminium paneled spaceframes don't like it at all.

Bigger was the weather protection, but not for the reasons you might expect... hood up, it was extremely noisy, visibility at night and on the dark, gloomy winter days was appalling and worst of all you could never eradicate all the leaks and drips, so without air conditioning or even wind-down windows, it was impossible to keep the interior demisted - the standard heater just turned it into a small, foggy sauna.

I pretty quickly gave up on using the hood and sidescreens and resorted to a waterproof ski-suit, sheepskin flying jacket, gloves and a full-face helmet for the worst of the weather.

You quickly learned to deal with the comedy oversteer tailslides pulling out of each and every junction.

That left only the problem that with a full windscreen: rain would whip round onto the inside face of the screen where you had no wipers to clear it (though to be honest the little, flat wiper blades fitted to Westfields and Caterhams are next to useless, anyway, when it's cold and their blades are stiff).

If I did it again, it would be with a heated suit and aeroscreens.

We don't get all that much snow in the north of England and the roads are kept pretty clear with ploughs, but as davew suggested, more than about 3" and you're in a tractionless sledge...


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PostPosted: November 11, 2015, 1:03 am 
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Joined: June 25, 2013, 7:42 am
Posts: 91
Last winter was the first and last winter I will have lived in the Cleveland area. As long as you are on lets say 71, 77, 480 etc snow isnt going to be all that big of a issue. The road crews kept it rather clean not only that if the roads are not perfectly clean there are ruts that even a super car could drive through, I have seen it a lotus of all cars on 480 east. Considering the way people drive around here I would not want to be in a locost when it is slick out, nice day dry roads sure.

All of these issues can be hammered out its all if you are really up to the challenge of making it happen.


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PostPosted: November 13, 2015, 11:13 am 
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Location: Oregon, usually
Unfortunately I haven't figured out how to reference a photo that's already posted in these forums, but if you go about halfway down this page...

viewtopic.php?f=41&t=5825&p=54328&hilit=snow#p54328

...you'll see me dressed as Peter Panda with a fixed soft top on my Locost. I think I'm too old to get in and out of that car any more (I'm still ok if I take the top off first). And if you go to the bottom of the page, you'll see why I'm no fan of driving a Locost in the snow.

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