LocostUSA.com

Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
It is currently Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:11 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 284 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 19  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Locost (Centaur) Rebuild
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:01 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:34 am
Posts: 283
Location: Niagara on the Lake Ontario Canada
Unlike most of you on the forum, I'm not starting from scratch, but have purchased a 7 kit car built in 1991. It has been through 5 owners and each has 'added' their own touches!
The Centaur has been mentioned in a couple of older posts and I understand was a popular build in the '70s and '80s. Instead of following 'the book' and building a frame, it came partially assembled and builders welded a number of pre formed pieces together. Formed mainly of 14 gauge material, the finished product was heavier, but plenty sturdy. (It comes in at 1500 pounds).
Mine was powered by a 1982 Mazda 12A Rotary and has a new Holley 4 barrel with custom intake manifold. I'm told it rates out at 150 HP.... I bought it from a Kijiji ad on December 31st and have discovered it needs a bit more work then I thought to get back on the road...engine seems fine, but the wiring/electrics were a mess.
The ad stated that anyone over 5'7" should forget about it and as i'm 6'3", I have discovered that perhaps, in stock form, he was right. It was designed with a very short cockpit and the firewall is about 4" shorter then most. With the Ford Mustang pedals being at least 6" away, it made for pretty awkward knee placement....! I'm extending the whole driver's side 4" and have tweaked the pedals to allow me to be a bit more comfortable.
A word on the wiring of these cars.... the book mentions taking the steering column and wiring from the donor vehicle and installing after clipping off unused wires....my builder (?) decided to just install it all and roll anything up and tuck under the dash....after 5 owners each added a wire/instrument/switch/whatever, you can imagine the mess...I took side cutters and removed about 2 miles of wiring...have ordered a simple 12 fuse 'hot rod' wiring kit from 'Weekend' and will try to simplify matters.
The donor car must have been a Ford Ranger (and some Mustang) as the steering rack is 3.25 turns lock to lock (no wonder I had a tough time driving it down off the trailer and into the garage...) This will be replaced with a Mustang II, or a racing 'doubler'....not sure which I will use yet.
I also removed the stock steering column and went with a straight tube...much lighter and simpler.
The dash had been built in '91 and half the gauges were broken or not connected (found the oil pressure tube coiled up in the middle of the wiring mess)....anyway, having a background with British Cars, I sourced out MGB gauges and have redone the dash ready to be wired into the harness..
Will do the odd updates when I run into things which might interest builders doing their own from scratch...
Been interesting following all your builds, and extremely impressive seeing the talent on this board....

Attachment:
1.jpeg
1.jpeg [ 91.71 KiB | Viewed 3826 times ]

Attachment:
2.jpeg
2.jpeg [ 85 KiB | Viewed 3826 times ]

Attachment:
7.jpg
7.jpg [ 112.86 KiB | Viewed 3826 times ]

Attachment:
23lotusdash.jpg
23lotusdash.jpg [ 300.65 KiB | Viewed 3826 times ]

_________________
gblawson (Gordon)
......................................................
http://gblandco.com/gb/cent/cent.html


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:34 pm 
Offline
The voice of reason
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 4:47 pm
Posts: 5377
Location: Massachusetts
Welcome Gblawson. You look happy with your car in the picture and it looks like a nice car. Isn't great you can see the ground when you open the hood! Sounds like you're doing things right and it's worth fixing that wiring. There really shouldn't be much on these cars. Did the oil gauge work, sounds like it was never used!

Keep us posted!

_________________
Marcus Barrow - Designer of Car9, an open design community supported sports car for home builders!
SketchUp collection for LocostUSA: "Dream it, Build it, Drive it!"
Car9 Roadster information - models, drawings, resources etc.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:11 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2006 5:40 pm
Posts: 1273
Location: Novato, CA
Very cool car. Love the Smiths gauges. And the color.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:25 pm 
Offline
We are Slotus!
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:29 am
Posts: 4716
Location: Tallahassee, FL (The Center of the Known Universe)
Yeah, what he ^ said! The BRG looks good on the car, as do the Smith's gauges. Good luck with your continued "renovations", and keep us posted!
:cheers:

_________________
JD, father of Quinn, Son of a... Build Log
Quinn the Slotus:Ford 302 Powered, Mallock-Inspired, Tube Frame, Hillclimb Special
"Gonzo and friends: Last night must have been quite a night. Camelot moments, mechanical marvels, Rustoleum launches, flying squirrels, fru-fru tea cuppers, V8 envy, Ensure catch cans -- and it wasn't even a full moon." -- SeattleTom


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:28 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:11 am
Posts: 2883
Location: West Chicago,IL
Welcome aboard! Nice looking car. Us rotary guys have to stick together :cheers:

_________________
Chuck.

“Any suspension will work if you don’t let it.” - Colin Chapman

Check out my rotary build log: click here


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:49 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:34 am
Posts: 283
Location: Niagara on the Lake Ontario Canada
...my only drive was pretty interesting...tons of power (and an unbelievable amount of noise) really weird to steer and my knees up around the steering wheel...
Thinking back, it must have been an oil temp gauge buried under the dash as i had 85 pounds of oil pressure (not familiar with Rotarys, so don't know how normal that is) on a working oil pressure gauge.
Have removed the Brooklands windscreen and fitted a Kinetic set of side staunchions (waiting for the frame to be bent to fit my pattern)...although it has been licensed in Ontario, I figured the 'safety' would go a bit better with a windshield...and I'm thinking I might want to make a few 'longer' trips then Sunday drives....(put 5000 miles on my '53 MGTD last summer...)
I too like the BRG (whatever that happens to be with all on the market), and plan to add some 'Saphron Yellow' somewhere...thinking the nose and a racing stripe (wide)...still planning the final colour scheme. The wheels also will be yellow....can't resist...and not crazy about the black!
Finished (?) almost the dash the other day and mounted it to the cowl (which is now in my shop....made for working on the steering/pedal assembly so much easier)
The Centaur had a different cowl shape then the ones I see available now days...a ridge for the windscreen instead of a depression...as it happens, the side pieces fit in such a way that the windshield should rest against the ridge and provide support, so all seems good...will know better when i have the glass and frame in place.
There was a posting about having glass cut...had a piece done for the TD at a normal glass place for $100.00 so assume i can repeat the process...

Attachment:
IMG_1743.jpg
IMG_1743.jpg [ 1.95 MiB | Viewed 3782 times ]


Attachment:
IMG_2311.JPG
IMG_2311.JPG [ 197.8 KiB | Viewed 3782 times ]

_________________
gblawson (Gordon)
......................................................
http://gblandco.com/gb/cent/cent.html


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:59 am 
Offline
We are Slotus!
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:29 am
Posts: 4716
Location: Tallahassee, FL (The Center of the Known Universe)
Quote:
I too like the BRG (whatever that happens to be with all on the market)


Could be worse. At least you don't have your heart set on painting it MGB "Black Tulip"!!!

Several years ago, when MG was still in business in Abingdon, a friend of mine and fellow MG enthusiast was in England on business. He was in the midst of restoring a TD at the time and wanted some "proper" MG red paint for it. He enquired at the factory, was given a guided tour and met with several of the staff there. Then, they took him out back, literally to an old wooden barn. That was the "Paint Shop". There were open barrels of pigment powders in the loft, and metal scoops to "measure" the pigment that went down a chute to the mixing vats below. The guy that worked there told him, in essence, "We can sell you some red paint. But as for matching what was used on your TD, or what we used yesterday, it's just not possible."

I believe he painted the TD with Imron...

:cheers:
JD Kemp

_________________
JD, father of Quinn, Son of a... Build Log
Quinn the Slotus:Ford 302 Powered, Mallock-Inspired, Tube Frame, Hillclimb Special
"Gonzo and friends: Last night must have been quite a night. Camelot moments, mechanical marvels, Rustoleum launches, flying squirrels, fru-fru tea cuppers, V8 envy, Ensure catch cans -- and it wasn't even a full moon." -- SeattleTom


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:23 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:34 am
Posts: 283
Location: Niagara on the Lake Ontario Canada
...talk about your 'Locost' build...this was the aluminum piece covering the front of the transmission tunnel....and the underside!!!

Attachment:
37.JPG
37.JPG [ 701.62 KiB | Viewed 3695 times ]


Attachment:
38.JPG
38.JPG [ 94.82 KiB | Viewed 3695 times ]

_________________
gblawson (Gordon)
......................................................
http://gblandco.com/gb/cent/cent.html


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:18 pm 
Offline
The voice of reason
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 4:47 pm
Posts: 5377
Location: Massachusetts
That's funny. I was thinking it was maybe a little crude, then I scrolled down more for the second picture. It is most probably 6061-T6, I have seen the mill markings on sign posts and sheet before.

_________________
Marcus Barrow - Designer of Car9, an open design community supported sports car for home builders!
SketchUp collection for LocostUSA: "Dream it, Build it, Drive it!"
Car9 Roadster information - models, drawings, resources etc.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:23 pm 
Offline
We are Slotus!
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:29 am
Posts: 4716
Location: Tallahassee, FL (The Center of the Known Universe)
Wow, using old road-signs for bodywork!?!? I wouldn't know anything about stuff like that... :roll:
http://locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=8526&start=150

:cheers:
JDK

_________________
JD, father of Quinn, Son of a... Build Log
Quinn the Slotus:Ford 302 Powered, Mallock-Inspired, Tube Frame, Hillclimb Special
"Gonzo and friends: Last night must have been quite a night. Camelot moments, mechanical marvels, Rustoleum launches, flying squirrels, fru-fru tea cuppers, V8 envy, Ensure catch cans -- and it wasn't even a full moon." -- SeattleTom


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:58 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:34 am
Posts: 283
Location: Niagara on the Lake Ontario Canada
...the steering rack in my car is 3.25 turns lock to lock....Speedway sell a Mustang II rack, however, they say it is also 3.24(or 3.5) turns.... am trying to keep the same mounting spots....anyone know of a rack that is a bit quicker?
Speedway do have a small 'doubler' the 'halves' the ratio, but that may be a bit too quick?

_________________
gblawson (Gordon)
......................................................
http://gblandco.com/gb/cent/cent.html


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:53 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:37 am
Posts: 690
Location: Tennessee
Gblawson wrote:
...the steering rack in my car is 3.25 turns lock to lock....Speedway sell a Mustang II rack, however, they say it is also 3.24(or 3.5) turns.... am trying to keep the same mounting spots....anyone know of a rack that is a bit quicker?
Speedway do have a small 'doubler' the 'halves' the ratio, but that may be a bit too quick?

I don't think the turns lock to lock is the important thing. I the actual ratio between the pinion and rack gears is what you need to know.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:41 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:11 am
Posts: 2883
Location: West Chicago,IL
Agreed. Turns lock to lock on a rack specification says nothing about quickness of steering just how long the teeth are cut in the rack. "Steering ratio" specifications are used a lot. That is degrees of motion at wheel for a 1 turn at the steering wheel. This is what you are after really. It encompasses the steering arm geometry as well, so you won't find any rack spec's with this listed. The other common spec, if you are looking at racks alone, is "inches per turn" or, how far does the rack move for 1 turn of the input shaft. But, if you want a quicker feel, then the easiest thing to do is to change steering wheel to a smaller size. In this case, it is inches of rotation, not degrees of steering wheel turned. A smaller wheel is and feels quicker, but will not show up in any common specs you will find. i.e a 300mm wheel will feel ~ 10% faster than a 340mm wheel. Another alternative to quicken steering is to shorten the steering arm on the upright. I know nothing about what uprights (spindles, knuckles, etc) you have and will not get into the safety caveats of doing such a change, I just offer it as an alternative. It may be as simpllie as changing one steering arm for another, or may require a more serious endeavor.

_________________
Chuck.

“Any suspension will work if you don’t let it.” - Colin Chapman

Check out my rotary build log: click here


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:00 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:29 am
Posts: 3092
Gblawson wrote:
Speedway do have a small 'doubler' the 'halves' the ratio, but that may be a bit too quick?


Have a look around the net, they come in various ratios.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:16 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:34 am
Posts: 283
Location: Niagara on the Lake Ontario Canada
....there is something to be said about a $129.00 wiring harness...labelled every few inches and pretty well foolproof.....


Attachments:
wiring.jpg
wiring.jpg [ 123.6 KiB | Viewed 3309 times ]

_________________
gblawson (Gordon)
......................................................
http://gblandco.com/gb/cent/cent.html
Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 284 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 19  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], JerryC and 6 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
POWERED_BY