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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:30 pm 
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Location: The Humid State of North Carolina
So it's time to start an honest to goodness build log. I've been pseudo documenting it in the Building You Own Frames, but it quickly grew out of control and needed a proper home.

This project started in my head probably 30 years ago while watching the British show, The Prisoner, and even though the car was only seen for a few seconds I loved it and wanted one!

Fast-forward ~20 years when I purchased a 1984 VW Jetta GLi. My love affair with German Autos was in high speed with owning multiple Beetles, even racing one (Street legal 1/4mi in 10.33!). When I bought the Jetta at the urging of my brother, I was not totally on-board with the idea of learning a whole new power plant, but the car soon won me over and I learned how much fun being water-cooled was! I tinkered with it to the point of adding a Megasquirt Stand Alone EFI (best money I ever spent) and was about to add a turbo to it when I met my future wife and we married and moved to the beautiful state of WA.

The Jetta sat for a long while and one night my wife asked what I was going to do with it. Well.. build a hell of a monster out of it or build my dream car. Dream Car, she asks? So I told her of the little Lotus 7 on the B&W TV and 20 minutes later she was as excited as I was about the project. We now had a garage to build in... Why the heck not?

So I set to selling the Jetta and planning the biggest go-kart I've ever built! A little over a year later the car sold and the next day I had metal in the car and after a quick trip to Harbor Freight for some supplies the build was on!!

Now without further delay... on with the log!!

OK, the basic plan so far.. with changes along the way are...

McSorley +442 half-breed (McSorely Front/Rorty IRS Rear Clip)
VW Power Plant (1.8t if possible, if not a 1.8 8v with a T3/T4 coupled to it)
Megasquirt Stand Alone EFI (Swear by these for performance tuning!)
WBo2 Wide Band AFR Sensor w the LA1 Gauge
Toyota W55 Alum Housing with Steel Sandwich plate (best option for High HP applications)
Subaru WRX Rear Diff (VLSD!!) (was thinking T-Bird, but was turned onto the Subi as another option!)
Fiero/Chevette Knuckles and Subie Rear Carriers
Pushrod suspension Front and Rear (definitely Front, but still deciding on the Rear)

OK, so there are the broad strokes of it. I'll add some pics here shortly to keep you all entertained and commenting!

KS

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Last edited by botbasher on Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:35 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:58 am 
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta
botbasher wrote:
I'm not totally writing the weight off, but I'm not shaving oz's. As I mentioned, if I need to I'll redo the frame and swap the parts I will. I've gotten info on both sides of the coin and except for the additional weight there nothing anyone has said that is concerning (i.e. safety)


Well, I'm using a Tbird 8.8 in my build as well, I'd rather have piece of mind over broken drivetrains than save 5 or 10 pounds. I know other people plan on running a lot less power, where a lighter rear end will still be more than enough. Saving 5 or 10 pounds here and there really does add up in the end. My build is not a hardcore track day car either so I don't mind if I lose a bit of performance. With your VW drivetrain you definitely don't need to use such a heavy diff, but if you want to go ahead. It's cheap, tons of replacements available, and gearing choices from 2.7 up to 6.1 or so. FWIW I believe the Mark VIII(all aluminum) one I have in the garage is 30-35 pounds, and the iron cased TBird one is 5-10 pounds heavier.

botbasher wrote:
Now that I have it 100% complete (i.e. ready for the specific parts of the frame) I'll take it off the table and get a weight for it so I can see just how it fairs.

I'm still trying to find where anyone other than Moti (with that cage of his) has stated what a typical frame weighs so I have something to reference it from.


There really is no such thing as a typical frame weight. Especially when you're dealing with a half finished frame. All those brackets and mounts add up to a substantial amount. I'm building a +442 with 1.25 tubing, and have completed the frame part and am now working on the brackets/mounts part. I can still easily lift my frame by myself, I'd guess the weight at around 200 pounds. That's with the floor on too. With the tunnel and the rest of the mounts, I'd be happy and surprised if it was under 260, and I'm expecting it to end up close to 300.

How do you plan on attaching the VW engine to a RWD tranny? Which tranny are you using?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:49 am 
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Location: Park Hills, KY
Sweet! A new build! Can't wait to see some pics!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:34 am 
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Location: Houston, TX
Awesome, when you're done, you'll have a locost that blows coilpacks and constantly has the CEL light on. :D

-andrewt
(owner of a mk5 gti, a mk2 gti, caretaker of my mom's b5 passat, and self admitted vw nut since I could drive)


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:05 pm 
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Location: Montreal, Canada
Sweet! Another VW-based build!

andrewt wrote:
Awesome, when you're done, you'll have a locost that blows coilpacks and constantly has the CEL light on. :D

-andrewt
(owner of a mk5 gti, a mk2 gti, caretaker of my mom's b5 passat, and self admitted vw nut since I could drive)


I've always joked about the CEL and OBD-II in my old diesel... nothing's hooked up to it! Or my 2.0 running like crap w/no CEL. :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:21 pm 
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are there any traditional rwd tranny options for a VW 4cyl?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 9:26 pm 
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Location: Olympia WA
There are adapter plates to bolt other brands trannys to the vw block.

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● Aerodynamics are for people who can't build engines. ~ Enzo Ferrari
● I have a dream: My car has a new type of engine: a half-turbine half-reciprocated engine. I invented it! ~ Dr. Felix Wankel
● It has occurred to me, amateurs built the ark and professionals built the titanic.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 9:47 pm 
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http://www.acmeadapters.com/store_engine.php#indparts

this is true. what transmission doesn't suck, or let me rephrase that, which one sucks the least from the yota family?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_R_transmission


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:23 pm 
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andrewt wrote:
Awesome, when you're done, you'll have a locost that blows coilpacks and constantly has the CEL light on. :D

-andrewt
(owner of a mk5 gti, a mk2 gti, caretaker of my mom's b5 passat, and self admitted vw nut since I could drive)


Nope... Going Megasquirt. I have the spare MSII brain from my 84 Jetta, so my engine management is in the bag already! Even had a spare harness too.. felt like an idiot for buying it.. Harnesses never go bad! Little did I know I was "pre-buying" it for the Locost build!! :roll:

Got a mildly tweaked Mk4 Gli that has never blown a coil pack (they tell me power washing the engines causes this commonly) and the only CEL it ever threw was after the plastic water pump died, the grease monkey at VW said the after market BOV was causing it. Asked him why it hadn't done it (over 2 years on the BOV) and he had no answer. Told him to just reset it and it hasn't happened again.. 9 mo later! Dork tried to scam me! His VW Kung Fu was weak!

KS

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Don't ever become a pessimist. A pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun, and neither can stop the march of events.-Robert A. Heinlein

Add yourself to the Locost Builders Map!

Jigsaws, Hacksaws... There is a better way! Want to get creative with metal? Want a Plasma Cutter but can't justify spending the $? Check out a DIY Plasma Cutter! A true LOCOST way!


Last edited by botbasher on Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:25 pm 
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Spam16v wrote:
http://www.acmeadapters.com/store_engine.php#indparts

this is true. what transmission doesn't suck, or let me rephrase that, which one sucks the least from the yota family?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_R_transmission


The W55 with the steel sandwich plate I already have in my possession is not too bad!! 8)

KS

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Don't ever become a pessimist. A pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun, and neither can stop the march of events.-Robert A. Heinlein

Add yourself to the Locost Builders Map!

Jigsaws, Hacksaws... There is a better way! Want to get creative with metal? Want a Plasma Cutter but can't justify spending the $? Check out a DIY Plasma Cutter! A true LOCOST way!


Last edited by botbasher on Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:28 pm 
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Spam16v wrote:
http://www.acmeadapters.com/store_engine.php#indparts


Yeah, I'm torn here as no one there can tell me if it'll bolt up to a 20v block. I may just get a 1.8 8V use their current adapter and run with it while I develop the adapter for the 1.8t 20v engine.

The nice thing is I have 2 1.8t's at home. My 05 GLi and my wife's A4 Quattro, so I have plenty to look at. Coupled with ETKA (VW/Audi Bible) I should be able to determine the best parts to use to turn the engine!

KS

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Don't ever become a pessimist. A pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun, and neither can stop the march of events.-Robert A. Heinlein

Add yourself to the Locost Builders Map!

Jigsaws, Hacksaws... There is a better way! Want to get creative with metal? Want a Plasma Cutter but can't justify spending the $? Check out a DIY Plasma Cutter! A true LOCOST way!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:29 pm 
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Spam16v wrote:
are there any traditional rwd tranny options for a VW 4cyl?


Nope.. not a one... except TDI deliveries in Europe (but I'm told these are not RWD, but Cab over FWD.. makes sense for a low platform in back!). Been looking into those and have friends in Germany, so I'm keeping my hopes alive there!!
KS

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Don't ever become a pessimist. A pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun, and neither can stop the march of events.-Robert A. Heinlein

Add yourself to the Locost Builders Map!

Jigsaws, Hacksaws... There is a better way! Want to get creative with metal? Want a Plasma Cutter but can't justify spending the $? Check out a DIY Plasma Cutter! A true LOCOST way!


Last edited by botbasher on Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:32 pm 
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kill no cone wrote:
There are adapter plates to bolt other brands trannys to the vw block.


But they are only verified to work with the TDI block and Suzuki trannies. No other applications for them in the US (that I have found yet!).

I have found a PTO mount for it that might work and the TDI delivery truck (but that is a different trans maybe!), but no others.

I'm hopeful the ACME works or I can use the Audi parts to adapt it to the W55 Trans I have.

KS

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Don't ever become a pessimist. A pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun, and neither can stop the march of events.-Robert A. Heinlein

Add yourself to the Locost Builders Map!

Jigsaws, Hacksaws... There is a better way! Want to get creative with metal? Want a Plasma Cutter but can't justify spending the $? Check out a DIY Plasma Cutter! A true LOCOST way!


Last edited by botbasher on Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:41 pm 
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AK Seven wrote:
Sweet! Another VW-based build!


What year TDI is your donor? What's your plan for making "The Turn"?

edit: DOH!! :oops: I didn't catch the middy part of your sig... drat.. still alone! :cry:

Great to see I won't be alone in the trek!!

KS

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Don't ever become a pessimist. A pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun, and neither can stop the march of events.-Robert A. Heinlein

Add yourself to the Locost Builders Map!

Jigsaws, Hacksaws... There is a better way! Want to get creative with metal? Want a Plasma Cutter but can't justify spending the $? Check out a DIY Plasma Cutter! A true LOCOST way!


Last edited by botbasher on Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:59 pm 
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firebat45 wrote:
... I'd be happy and surprised if it was under 260, and I'm expecting it to end up close to 300.

How do you plan on attaching the VW engine to a RWD tranny? Which tranny are you using?


Cool.. now I have some weights to play with!! Thanks! I'm not looking for exacts, but as long as I know I'm not 300lbs over I'm good! My 1.8t takes my 4000lbs of Jetta 0-60 in just under 7 (Tiptronic). So even if I'm at 1200lbs I'm sure it'll be on hell of a ride!

Hoping the ACME adapter to the W series Toyota trans (W55 Specifically) will work. No one can tell me if it'll bolt up the the 1.8t. VW has a habit of keeping things basically the same (the mounts for my 84 frame are still present, but undrilled, in my 05 1.8t!) but plate dia and depth is the wild card as the "reverse" pressure plate clutch setup in my 020 trans is way different than the 02J (traditional TO bearing) trans in my GLi.

With using Audi parts, I'm confident I can get it, it just may take some "extra" parts purchases to get the right combination.

KS

_________________
Don't ever become a pessimist. A pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun, and neither can stop the march of events.-Robert A. Heinlein

Add yourself to the Locost Builders Map!

Jigsaws, Hacksaws... There is a better way! Want to get creative with metal? Want a Plasma Cutter but can't justify spending the $? Check out a DIY Plasma Cutter! A true LOCOST way!


Last edited by botbasher on Fri Oct 02, 2009 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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