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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 1:19 pm 
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erioshi wrote:

I love the look, but unfortunately in the era of modern engines with overhead cams it's almost impossible to find a fun engine short enough to fit under that slinky body.


I always thought the Honda Valkyrie motorcycle engine with the 6 carbs would look great on a locost...


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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 11:18 pm 
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JackMcCornack wrote:
The stern is going to look much like the sterns of half the sports racers of The Day.


Just for inspiration, this is one of the nicest rear treatments I've seen, Matra MS650
Attachment:
ms650.jpg
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Cheers, Ted


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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 11:05 pm 
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ted andkilde wrote:
Just for inspiration, this is one of the nicest rear treatments I've seen, Matra MS650
Oh yes, a gorgeous car, the last streetable Matra as I recall and a wonderful inspiration for a replica (or homage). Unfortunately it's a decade newer the Lola, circa 1970, and the late '50s were the end of the era of streamlined race cars; by the time the MS 650 debuted, road racing was all about downforce. So since this particular bod I'm building is going on my 32 horse econolocost, I'm sticking with the classic. Besides, the M 650 had four times as many cylinders as I do so it wouldn't sound right

Here's a shot of the Lalo nosework as of this morning. Dave, if I make it to LLL3, it'll be as a roadster, and probably unpainted.

I bulged the nose up by manipulating the two nose halves and then bonding them back together. I floored the hole in the hood (removed the bubble, then sawed the unbubbled site to match) with a sheet of 1/8" plywood paneling, eyeballed a center rib from rigid urethane foam sheet, covered the rib with fiberglass cloth, and now I'm using the rib as my guide to foam in the rest of the hole.

The glossy stripe around the junction between the two nose halves (forward of the hole in the hood) is clear packaging tape, which resists resins and body putty, so I can deal with smears and spills by peeling off the tape. Stay tuned, I guess, and we'll see what happens next.


Attachments:
File comment: Lots of work to do, even doing it quick and dirty. This one ain't goin' to the concours.
RibbedNoseHole.jpg
RibbedNoseHole.jpg [ 24.24 KiB | Viewed 3919 times ]

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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 12:10 am 
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JackMcCornack wrote:
The glossy stripe around the junction between the two nose halves (forward of the hole in the hood) is clear packaging tape, which resists resins and body putty, so I can deal with smears and spills by peeling off the tape.


Now that's very good to know. I've got to take a mold off the rear of my nice S2000 without messing it up and I've been agonizing over edges and filling of trunk gaps. Now you've given me some unintentional direction. Then I have to cut it and widen it as well as making the fenders more muscular so I'm watching what you do very carefully.

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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 10:42 am 
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I honestly like where this project is going. Jack, I'm a big fan, whenever a new Mother Earth News magazine came out, I always started off by looking for any article on your progress (this was before I found this wonderful forum.) Anyways, on to my question for you: are you going to make any "soft bits" to fit the Lalo for a rainy day, or this going to a "sun and fun" kind of body?

John

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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 2:47 am 
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carguy123, I strongly suggest a test first with any clear packing tape you try...but I've been doing it for years. Clear polyester packing tape resists gelcoat, epoxy resins, polyester resins, body putty...nowadays I fold a piece of 2" tape over the edges of my squeegies when I'm applying body putty (put tape on bench sticky side up, put edge of squeegie in center of tape, rock squeegie back and forth 90 degrees to mash the tape flat) and instead of cleaning the squeegie, I peel off the tape.

JohnnyC. wrote:
are you going to make any "soft bits" to fit the Lalo for a rainy day, or this going to a "sun and fun" kind of body?

Nope, removable hard bits. I'm scrambling to drive the Lalo back to the Lexington Locost Lounge and the Midwest Se7ens Meet, but odds are not in my favor and I sure won't have time for the top before then. But a hard top is in the works, and the plan is to make it quick to remove/install. So roadster for summer and autumn, hardtop for winter.

The latest progress report: I bonded sheets of 1/2" rigid urethane foam alongside the center rib last night, shaped the new foam with a sanding block and 400 grit sandpaper before breakfast, skinned the surface of the foam with a sheet of fiberglass cloth and polyester resin, shipped a bunch of stuff to builders this afternoon, and made a few passes over the nose's hole and seams with body putty before supper. I figure I have a day of body putty 120 grit sanding block body putty 120 grit sanding block (repeat half a dozen times) then thin body putty 220 grit sanding block thin body putty 220 grit sanding block (half a dozen times of that) and then I'd better quit or I won't be done in time to enjoy summer, much less enjoy Lexington.

BTW, I've completely done away with body-putty-in-a-can, I use the stuff in a tube now (my fave brands are Half Time, and then Icing when I want something thin enough to pour).


Attachments:
GlassedHole.jpg
GlassedHole.jpg [ 19.23 KiB | Viewed 3743 times ]
BodyPutty1Hole.jpg
BodyPutty1Hole.jpg [ 14.68 KiB | Viewed 3740 times ]

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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 9:20 pm 
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Hey Jack, not sure if you're still looking for ideas on how to finish off the back half of the car, but I've tripped over a couple of interesting cars that you might be able to use for a bit of inspiration.

For a closed design, the Victress Le Mans Coupe offer nice clean aero, and lines that are both vintage 60's and nice to look at. Links: http://deansgarage.com/2010/macminn%E2%80%99s-lemans-coupe/ and http://www.priceofhistoys.com/category/victress/ and pic:
Image

If you're looking for an open design, then the late 50's Devin SS offers a clean boot that doesn't look out of balance on a low car.
Image

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:33 am 
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It's been wet (Oregon, duh! of course it's wet) and the body putty is setting slow and clogging my sandpaper. Excuses, excuses. Watching the days tick by, I'm giving myself deadlines (as opposed to benchmarks) where by thus-and-such day an item will be deemed good enough and it's on to the next. May 31 is the day for the nose reshape, so June 1 the waxing begins and the mold should be done this week...weather dependent.

Now it's on to the stern. I'm using Lola rear fender sections but they're pretty dang dissimilar; hardly noticeable with the head fairing on the back but we're in America now and the head fairing is on the wrong side for the street, so it's off to NAPA in the morn for more body putty.

I don't know if I invented this technique, but I've found something that beats the pants off of snaplines for drawing a line on a plane of an oddly shaped object: Get the object in position so the plane you want to cut is horizontal, and then use a laser level with a planar lens. Follow the line with a felt pen and then cut on the pen line. Tah-dah!


Attachments:
File comment: I think this is good enough. I'd rather be driving this summer than have car show quality next winter; a can of Rustoleum and it'll be good to go.
FinalPuttyHole.jpg
FinalPuttyHole.jpg [ 13.2 KiB | Viewed 3470 times ]
File comment: The fender is in position, the laser is in position...man this is an easy way to find a cut line.
RearLasered.jpg
RearLasered.jpg [ 32.42 KiB | Viewed 3462 times ]
File comment: I remember when lasers were James Bond technology, now they're $19.95. If you mount your laser on a sea bass, choose one who is mild tempered.
RearLaserCU.jpg
RearLaserCU.jpg [ 12.64 KiB | Viewed 3466 times ]

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:02 am 
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Maybe you just need a bigger laser? Something else for your spare time... :) :shock:

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:23 pm 
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horizenjob wrote:
Maybe you just need a bigger laser? Something else for your spare time... :) :shock:


If you get a big enough laser, you can eliminate the "tracing with a pen" and "cutting" steps altogether. Just be real sure the laser is lined up right before you turn it on. Oh, and don't stand behind the part you're lasering...

"No, Mr. Bond-O, we expect you to die..."

JDK

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:01 pm 
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Great. Looking forward to the future offering of Lalo bodies and kits.

I wonder if a side draft equipped Mazda 12A would fit under an original Mk1 style hood?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:59 am 
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Jack-

You probably have enough references but I stumbled across this tonight and thought of this project:

http://www.race-cars.com/carsales/lola/ ... 3506pp.htm

There are a few decent-sized pics including one of the frame.

Chris


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 3:58 pm 
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This week involved waiting for a hood mold and hood to cure, but there's progress.

Even though the Lalo is a one-off special, I made a mold for the hood so I could make a lightweight part without a bunch of body putty in it. Because I'm under some time pressure for this race in August, it was quicker to lay up a mold in mid-fab than to perfect the hood in one pass. To throw in an artistic metaphor, the hood I pulled off the mold isn't as much a painting as it is a clean canvas.

So, once the hood area was good enough (and to quote Werner Von Braun, Better is the enemy of good) I waxed it and brushed on a couple coats of PVA. Then I masked the rest of the nose so's I wouldn't drip goo on it. Then I brush painted black tooling gel coat over the PVA, and after it cured, laminated three layers of fiberglass mat and polyester resin to the gel coat, letting each layer cure before starting the next. Once the whole unit was cured and hard, I fiberglassed a base to the mold, using 1/8" plywood leftovers, which made the mold more rigid and easier to work with. A day later, I popped the mold off the nose, trimmed it, and prepped it with the ChemLeas system of cleaner, sealer, and release, ready to lay up a hood in it.


Attachments:
File comment: The gel coat gives a nice surface to the mold, and eliminates pinhole bubbles. Gel coat isn't strong, it's like putting the paint job on first.
NoseMoldGelCoat.jpg
NoseMoldGelCoat.jpg [ 29.97 KiB | Viewed 2934 times ]
File comment: I use a light mat for the first layer and am extremely careful to avoid bubbles big enough that the gel coat might collapse into them.
NoseMoldGlassed.jpg
NoseMoldGlassed.jpg [ 34.7 KiB | Viewed 2936 times ]
File comment: External stiffening helps a mold keep its shape over time...which might matter someday if my hood gets run over at a gas station.
NoseMoldBoxed.jpg
NoseMoldBoxed.jpg [ 32.01 KiB | Viewed 2936 times ]

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:38 pm 
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Once the mold was ready for the first part, I brush painted a coat of white gel coat on it. If this were a production part (or if I'd been making a production mold, for that matter) I'd have sprayed on the gel coat, but I'm in a hurry and the hood is going to need finish work anyway.

While the gel coat was curing, I measured two stripes 2" wide on the nose, from lines marked off the hood mold, and cut off the fenders at the edges of the inner stripe. That will give me enough room to spread the fenders a bit (which I'll need) plus some material for the hood mounting flanges. Then I laid up two layers of mat on the hood gel coat, and while -that- was curing, positioned the fenders on the chassis.

After I popped the hood out of the mold, I set it in place, where it hit (as expected) the mounting bolt for the turbocharger. Since I'm still approximating at this stage, I didn't measure where the turbo fits, I just rubbed the hood around on it, saw where the bolt was rubbing on the inside of the hood, and drilled a 2" hole around it. I'll measure from there to figure out exactly where the bubble needs to go.


Attachments:
File comment: Thanks to the miracle of time lapse photography, you are treated to an action shot of Yours Truly actually doing something. Note the blurred brush.
HoodGelling.jpg
HoodGelling.jpg [ 41.12 KiB | Viewed 2927 times ]
File comment: The black line is traced off the hood mold, the red line is traced off the side of a 2" wide yardstick laid up against the black line, and the cut line was similarly traced 2" off the red line.
NoseFinalSplit.jpg
NoseFinalSplit.jpg [ 32.63 KiB | Viewed 2915 times ]
File comment: I didn't bother trimming the edge of the hood, since I know I'll be cutting it down to fit the fenders. The hole in the hood (upper right of photo) is to locate the turbocharger.
HoodUntrimmed.jpg
HoodUntrimmed.jpg [ 18.88 KiB | Viewed 2926 times ]
File comment: There's plenty of finish work left to do, but this shows how the parts "stack up". The bubble will be bonded to the hood, the hood will be Dzused to the fenders.
NosePartsStacked.jpg
NosePartsStacked.jpg [ 20.81 KiB | Viewed 2924 times ]

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 10:46 pm 
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...which brings me to an important question, alluded to by Grintch:

Grintch wrote:
Great. Looking forward to the future offering of Lalo bodies and kits.


I don't plan to make the rear fenders in two steps, and the front fenders are about good to go as they are now, so I wasn't planning to make molds for them. I think a Lalo body, in production, would cost about a thousand bucks more than a standard Locost body. So let's be realistic now--is there a market for such a thing? Are there likely to be a half dozen locost-spirited home builders who would want one? To me this seems more of an alternative body for a Locost than a potential new kit in the marketplace; is it going to be worthwhile to make a full set of body molds so I can make more of these bodies?

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