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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:31 am 
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Hello everybody,

This is my first post! For years I have been secretly lurking around the forums plotting to build myself a locost... Now I have finally acquired a donor car, albeit not in the way i was hoping to acquire one, but nevertheless, I now have a base to start my project!

My 1998 subaru impreza rs was declared totalled by my insurance company having nothing more than body damage and a slightly bent front end. They cut me a check and let me keep my car! Go figure :D My first thought was to start parting it out in hopes of getting another car to replace my toy, but i was Divinely reminded of my dream to one day build a car from scratch. Okay, so I have my car... now how in the world can I build an awd chassis around subaru's complete drivetrain?! If i can pull it off, I think this might just be the greatest custom build ever... As I could drop in any subaru powerplant, tranny, etc I wanted to down the road as long as the frame remains in good condition.

Now... the tricky part... I have never seen someone build a frame around an as is subaru awd drivetrain. I know it can be done, anything can be done, but for the sake of simplicity and AWD goodness, I would like to keep the entire drivetrain as is....

Image

Question time!: How should I position everything, including my cockpit, to provide the best weight distribution for a good handling car?? I know you all will have something in mind.... 8)
post away! post away! post away!

-David


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:29 pm 
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Location: Savannah, GA
The biggest problem I think you will have is the position of the front axle. On a locost the front wheel centerline is well ahead of the engine but, on the subaru platform the centerline is at the back of the engine. Fitting a subaru engine in a 442 is already a challenge and thats with it pushed to the back of the engine bay. I don't remember the exact measurement I had gotten off of my WRX motor but it was going to require holes in the side of the car for the valve covers to poke through just a bit (which would look really cool if you polished the covers IMHO). You could build a custom frame that would allow you to push the wheels back. It wouldn't look like a locost but, is that what you are after? You could build a very short wheel base car with the engine pushed all the way forward. It would be nose heavy but, depending on where you place everything else it could even out.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 4:35 pm 
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Location: Minnesota
I'm still planning to do a subaru drivetrain in a typical (front engine RWD) locost layout, the frame will probably have to be be wider than even a +442, but that's no big deal. However trying to keep the standard subaru drivetrain layout and AWD will put the engine way up front where there normally isn't anything. you can look for some posts by THAWA on here, he had done some planning around the same cancept you are suggesting, there have also been a few cars built that use the subaru drivetrain in the back of the car.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:59 pm 
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In a Brit kit car magazine I saw an open (roadster) kit that was AWD Subaru-based. It was a close-wheel car with a long nose to hide the engine. Sorry, but I have neither the magazine anymore, nor memories of the name of the kit.

I'm not suggesting you go the kit route, but that you have a search, because the kit might give you ideas for a home-built car.

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Warren
Isuzu Pickup/SR20DE, +401 COLD frame
Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=11601


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 8:14 pm 
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Warren Nethercote wrote:
In a Brit kit car magazine I saw an open (roadster) kit that was AWD Subaru-based. It was a close-wheel car with a long nose to hide the engine. Sorry, but I have neither the magazine anymore, nor memories of the name of the kit.

I'm not suggesting you go the kit route, but that you have a search, because the kit might give you ideas for a home-built car.


I think this is the car that was referred to: http://www.murtaya.com/

Glen - I have a locost frame mocked up using 1.25 x 1.25 wood with a Subaru eg33 in it. I am using the "Catfish" nose from Jack at Kinetic the frame is about 2 inches longer than a 442 in the engine compartment and for some reason it is also 2 inches wider at the nose than the 442 plans. The eg33 is a 6 cylinder and 4-5 inches longer than a 4 cylinder so a 4 cylinder just might fit in a 442 if you can get the heads between the top and bottom rails and let the front of the valve cover stick out an inch or so at the front of the motor.


Kent


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:11 pm 
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Thanks for all the quick input guys.
@Warren, my plan was to keep as much original drivetrain intact as possible, which unfortunately means keeping the engine out front where Japanese engineers placed it. I'm glad to know it's already been done though! I do realize I won't be able to keep the Lotus7 look, or even the majority of frame design, so it will have to be a custom rather than a modified.

... know any plans?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:38 pm 
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Kent wrote:
Warren Nethercote wrote:
In a Brit kit car magazine I saw an open (roadster) kit that was AWD Subaru-based. It was a close-wheel car with a long nose to hide the engine. Sorry, but I have neither the magazine anymore, nor memories of the name of the kit.

I'm not suggesting you go the kit route, but that you have a search, because the kit might give you ideas for a home-built car.


I think this is the car that was referred to: http://www.murtaya.com/

Glen - I have a locost frame mocked up using 1.25 x 1.25 wood with a Subaru eg33 in it. I am using the "Catfish" nose from Jack at Kinetic the frame is about 2 inches longer than a 442 in the engine compartment and for some reason it is also 2 inches wider at the nose than the 442 plans. The eg33 is a 6 cylinder and 4-5 inches longer than a 4 cylinder so a 4 cylinder just might fit in a 442 if you can get the heads between the top and bottom rails and let the front of the valve cover stick out an inch or so at the front of the motor.


Kent

:cheers:

Kent, do you have a build journal I could check out by any chance?? I'm very interested in seeing what you're using for a tranny, and how it's all goin together :)


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:35 pm 
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Location: Charleston, WV
crazyswede wrote:
Thanks for all the quick input guys.
@Warren, my plan was to keep as much original drivetrain intact as possible, which unfortunately means keeping the engine out front where Japanese engineers placed it. I'm glad to know it's already been done though! I do realize I won't be able to keep the Lotus7 look, or even the majority of frame design, so it will have to be a custom rather than a modified.

... know any plans?

I hope that last part is a joke. :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:08 pm 
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crazyswede,
I don't have a build log yet, just some wood, screws, masking tape and poster board with the engine sitting in it right now. I plan to start a build log when I get the design somewhat finalized and start cutting steel.

There is a gentleman currently designing a bell housing to bolt a rwd toyota w series transmission to a subaru engine so I plan to purchase one of the bellhousings when he gets it designed and cast. He is known for producing bellhousings to mate a 4g63 to a variety of rwd transmission and he assures me that he will follow thru and produce this bellhousing as well.

Kent


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:20 pm 
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I look forward to the pics of your mockup crazyswede, sounds like we're on similar paths. You must be refering to Bill's Auto Fab on the bellhousing, that would be pretty sweet, I've been switching back and forth between using the subaru trans with a welded center diff and making my own bellhousing for a Toyota W58.

Here's a pic I took of an EJ25D and W58, it would take some serious oil pan mods to get the full benefit of the shorter toyota trans, but even if you can't it's still 50-60lbs lighter than the subaru trans
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtop%20...%20&&start=18

Damn, that was from 3 years ago... :BH:


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:21 pm 
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Location: Minneapolis, MN
Glen,

I will be running a Subaru engine with the locker and my own cover plate on an exo car. Should be working on it this winter. If you want to see it closer just let me know.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:33 pm 
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Sweet, I already have a ton of subaru parts to look at, but I'd love to check out the build.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 3:29 am 
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Maybe something more inline with this?

viewtopic.php?f=36&t=8332

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:58 am 
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what about flipping the differential so the engine can be at the back like a porsche.

I've been itching to do something similar under a VW beetle body.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:21 am 
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I'm using 2002 Impreza RS donor car (EJ25) in my mid engined build, I think I'll start a blog on here. I already have one on ozclubbies.com.au. I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with for an AWD car.

Quote:
EJ25D and W58, it would take some serious oil pan mods to get the full benefit of the shorter toyota trans, but even if you can't it's still 50-60lbs lighter than the subaru trans


I read that the Subaru trans with the front diff removed weighs about the same as a Toyota T50. It's not a heavy box, and it's very narrow. Do you have an accurate weight for it? I'd be interested to know just how heavy it is. I have one but I'd like to keep it attached to the engine until I need to change the clutch.

Cheers,
Andrew


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