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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: December 5, 2009, 3:24 am 
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Actually, I think this should probably be a topic for the FAQ, but as a non-mod I couldn't post it there. :lol:

But it is a serious question. I was tweaking my eBay sniping software the other night and spotted an '07 R1 engine that I thought might make a good candidate at a very reasonable price and I ended up sniping it. Since I've been working out the design & parts list for close to a year now, I figure I'm about as ready as I'll ever be to start. Of course I've read all the usual books, and have been following pretty much everything on this site for as long as I've been doing research, as well.

As a quick summary, my goal is to build a NASA STR class legal race car that will eventually have enough power to run in STR1. I have a fair bit of track experience, and I've been a NASA competitor before and really like the staff and other racers. I've also had my hands in the guts of enough race cars to not be terrified by all of this .. I'm not sure that's a plus, though. :lol: Planed weight will be just over 1350 lbs with driver & ballast and the car will be a single seat, (rear) mid engine prototype, featuring a full cage with decent aero and downforce. The car will come together in a number of different stages; first get it up & running, probably some nekkid chassis AutoX for a bit of suspension tuning while I'm building the body, finally put it into full NASA trim with body and then tweak the bits needed to achieve the desired results.

So now I guess I'm in the "collecting parts" phase and will be moving into doing a full sized mock-up of the driver's cell & rollcage after the holidays. From there, things will probably go slow until summer when I should have quite a bit of time to push forward. I am hoping to finish the build in about two years .. I guess we'll see, lol.

So when does everyone want in on my release of the mad creation that's clamoring to escape the dark sweepers and esses of my mind?

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Last edited by erioshi on September 8, 2013, 4:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: December 5, 2009, 10:24 am 
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Hey!
I feel your pain, Bro... I wish I had an answer for ya. Guess I'm kinda in the same spot, and wondering the same thing. My plan is to take some pics when we start putting together a roll cage, and look at them before I go anywhere else with 'em. If they look like a pile of tubes and bear no resemblance to anything automotive, I probably won't post 'em. When it starts to look like something, that's the day!

Bear in mind that I'm only slightly ahead of you in the building process and not really qualified to give advice. (On any subject, not just in here, but that's another discussion!)

Good luck, do keep us posted!

JDK


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PostPosted: December 6, 2009, 5:30 am 
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When you start cutting/welding metal seems to be the generally agreed on answer.

Otherwise you just got a parts collection and a dream.

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PostPosted: December 15, 2009, 4:03 pm 
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mr.peabody.d wrote:
When you start cutting/welding metal seems to be the generally agreed on answer.

Otherwise you just got a parts collection and a dream.

I tend to agree but was curious to see what people thought. On a brighter note, my new engine arrived last evening. 8) Next steps are a bit more parts gathering and beginning the mock-up of the cage area.

Now if I can just get this oh so wrong impulse to build a turbo BEC Lotus Europa replica out of my head and get back to thinking race car...

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PostPosted: December 16, 2009, 2:06 am 
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When you DO start a build log please include pictures of your mock up.

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PostPosted: January 5, 2010, 10:00 pm 
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Getting a bit closer. I just picked up a '90 Miata today to eventually part down for the bits I need.

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PostPosted: January 7, 2010, 12:55 am 
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Did you get the red one with the bent right rear?


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PostPosted: January 7, 2010, 3:10 am 
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Glen wrote:
Did you get the red one with the bent right rear?

Nope, I was visiting friends out of state and tripped over a little white one at an OK price.

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PostPosted: January 7, 2010, 11:18 am 
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My answer would be any time you do something that a tenderfoot could use to apply to his/her project. Sometimes an idea you think everybody has already thought of, has never been thought of. Take lots of photos (digital photos are cheap!), and when you decide to do something specific, explain it with text or with a series of photos. 2 or 3 years into the project, you'll be very glad (as well as others looking at your documentation) you documented everything you fabricated.

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PostPosted: January 7, 2010, 12:20 pm 
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I started mine the night I started laying out the frame tubing on the build table. It was exactly 2 months after I put the donor in the garage and started stripping it down. You really can start a build log anytime. Once you are 100% commiitted to the build.

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PostPosted: January 7, 2010, 4:14 pm 
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Short answer NOW!!!

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PostPosted: January 7, 2010, 11:45 pm 
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egoman wrote:
Short answer NOW!!!

At this point I think I'll start one after I pick up a welder and begin the roll cage & driver's cabin mock-up. I will also probably go back to summarize and re-hash all my collected thoughts from the year plus I spent researching and slowly watching the goals for my car change & solidify. Old news for most everyone here, but it might be useful to someone thinking about a project like mine with fresh eyes.

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PostPosted: January 8, 2010, 11:49 am 
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Erioshi-
Well put, Sir! Yes, a summary of the "goal setting" and the "design phase", even if it is a bit of a backtrack for you, would help folks that are in the same place you (we!) were when this process started for us.

Being "old school", I bought a notebook and drew little grade-schoolish sketches and wrote sentence fragments of what I wanted. That led to researching actual frame designs, and components, etc, etc, etc... (I know I'm preaching to the choir here.) But that process evolves and solidifies the design for the builder.

If you can show somebody else the way, good on ya!!! I'm looking forward to your build, and your build log! (And, I'm kinda lookin' forward to mine too!!!!)

OT- It was 18 F here Wednesday nite here in "Sunny Florida"!!! Come on down for a visit, you'd feel right at home!

JDK

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PostPosted: January 23, 2010, 2:58 am 
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A bit more tool buying before getting the real show started. I raided a local Northern Tool and made it away with a new welder (http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200332691_200332691) and a budget band saw (http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200365120_200365120) before my wallet managed to find cover.

Basic chassis design is moving forward and hopefully we can start to mock up the cage & cockpit soon.

Before I seriously look at starting chassis & cage fabrication I'll be doing a few practice projects using the same types of steel tubing the car will use. I think I'll do the traditional "welding cart project" and perhaps even a small welding table.

I think I will also try building a "racing seat" game console set-up; I've been thinking about trying out a wheel & pedals with Forza 3 anyway. If it works well I know a couple of my friends would also like them.

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PostPosted: February 3, 2010, 8:35 am 
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No pics yet (so no build log) but I finally started the mock-up of the roll cage today. After all the spending & collecting of tools and related parts, it feels very good to finally be doing something that actually has a direct impact on moving forward with the build. I'm doing the mock-up off-site so it will be a bit before it's done, but at least I've finally started to create something that isn't just a drawing or pixels. It's a small milestone but an important one to me.

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