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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: July 26, 2006, 2:17 pm 
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Joined: August 15, 2005, 10:13 pm
Posts: 7048
Location: Charleston, WV
Edit: Car is now owned by Jack McCornack. Car is pictured below as delivered to new owner. Original build log posts below that.
Image


Locost built from a badly wrecked 1990 Miata I bought earlier this year.
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So what I've done so far:


Today, out of sheer curiousity I cut off some pieces to expose the front of the engine. The crank pulley was smashed as was every other component on the front of the engine. Strangely the crank pulley bolt was loose enough for me to unscrew by hand. :? That could be bad. I will post some pics later.





State of the build:
My goal was to build a Locost for under $3000. As of 2/21/2007 I have spent around $3200 and I still haven't bought coilovers ($650) or fenders (500) or aluminum for the body ($300) or paint ($100). So it looks like I'll be lucky if I can get this done for under $5000.


Misc notes:
Here is a site with Miata wiring diagrams: http://www.madracki.com/miata/wiring.html


Budget
Wrecked Miata donor $500
Steel, gas and Mig wire for chassis: $350
Parts to repair Miata drivetrain $350 (water pump and pulley, thermostat housing, crank pulley and seal etc)
Replacement engine, 1994 1.8, $350
Used tranny to replace the busted unit on donor: $200
Used diff housing to replace busted housing on donor: $50- (Ended up not needing it since I bought the LSD)
Nosecone and scuttle $430 (Kinetic)
Fiberglass rear fenders $72-beta test specials! (Kinetic)
Front fenders, homemade CSR replicas, materials $200(fiberglass supply depot)
QA1 Promastar adjustable coilovers and springs $735.96 (Autofab Racecars)
Aluminum for body panels(4 2x5 painted sheets and a plain 4x10 sheet)-$200 (performance bodies)
DOM tubing for A arms, steering column extension, tie rod extensions, etc.-$200
16 1/2" rod ends and jam nuts: $88 (QS components)
Weld in adapters for rod ends x 16: $40 (midwest control)
Headlights-$70 (Dietz style from Speedway- Bulb Wagner H6024)
Tail lights $80 Toyota forklift tails.(Swift Forklift supply)
Wiring-None yet- using factory harness
POR/ paint for chassis-$97 Chassis kit 3+3 2oz cans plus 1 quart can.
Windscreen-?
Wilwood Brake pedals (Summit)- $140
Fuel line-?
MSD inline fuel pump: $100
8 gallon fuel cell with foam: $100 (Summit)
Brake line-?
Radiator and plumbing-$45 spent on Ebay Civic radiator.
Steering rack-$50 for a used unmodified Miata rack.
Material for header-$40 thus far to adapt factory shorty header.
Seats-Kirkey Drag with covers-$342
5pt harnesses-?$75x2 =$150
E2074R Tie rod end for front upper A arm x 2: $25 (fits miata upper balljoint hole)
Misc hardware: $70
Driveshaft shortening- $83
88 RX-7 Clutch type LSD-$250
94+ Miata axles for LSD- $60
RX-7 Airflow meter- $45
Street Wheels and tires. $519.01(Tire Rack)
R compounds to be put on 14" wheels I have $359.50 -P205/55ZR-14 Avon Tech R-A (Tire Rack)

Tools I had to buy:
30" HF sheet metal bending brake: $60
HF precision tubing notcher: $64
Bosch Sawzall $80 (cut up donor amoung other things)
HF 6" metal cut off saw: $40 (Good for chassis tubes but not big enough for exhaust)
HF 14" cut off saw: $60
HF Jigsaw: $25 (burnt up my black and decker cutting out the steel floor)


Suspension Numbers. (designed around 20" tall racing slicks that will only be used for autocross competition) Street tires will be 22.68" tall.(195/50R15)
Front:
Roll center 2.5"
Suspension pickup points
Chassis bracket pivots:
Upper 13.3" from ground, 12.5" from chassis centerline
Lower 6.52" from ground, 8.6" from chassis centerline

Upright balljoint locations: (stock lower Miata lower balljoint, upper is TRW ES2074R)
Upper 14.71" from ground, 24.35" from chassis centerline
Lower 6.52" from ground, 26.3" from chassis centerline

Rear:
Roll center 2.5"
Suspension pickup points:
Chassis bracket pivots:
Upper 13.38" from ground, 14.15" from chassis centerline
Lower 6.15" from ground, 9.8" from chassis centerline

Upright balljoint locations: (not true balljoints, but the stock pivots)
Upper 14.65" from ground, 23.85" from chassis centerline
Lower 6.15" from ground, 25.4" from chassis centerline
All Upright center points were measured in 1.5 degrees of negative camber and a 20" tall racing slick tire.
Other Misc notes:
4/21/07- Half out of boredom, half out of curiousity I weighed the engine and tranny today and it is a whopping 375#. Heavy eh, but bear in mind this was the engine complete with everything including the heavy steel motor mounts I fabbed and the stock steel exhaust manifold, alternator, everything. It would run as it sits if I plumbed it up.

State of the build as of now pictured below:
Image

A quick video.[/img]


Attachments:
File comment: Here is the state of the build as of May 08
Locostmay08.jpg
Locostmay08.jpg [ 121.86 KiB | Viewed 12090 times ]

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Last edited by chetcpo on September 26, 2008, 9:08 pm, edited 24 times in total.
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PostPosted: August 17, 2006, 12:11 am 
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Posts: 7048
Location: Charleston, WV
OK I finally broke down and did something.

I was struggling getting the motor and tranny out until I finally got smart and dropped the front suspension. After that it came right out. I began to survey the damage and found some things that really got me down. First of all I inspected the crank nose keyway which I hear is a trouble spot for 1990 Miatas to begin with. Here is what I saw:

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Looks like the pole imparted most of its force right into the crank pulley:
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The tranny was forced back so far that it broke when the shifter ran out of hole.
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I knew the thermostat assembly was broken so this was no suprise.
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The steering column is pushed deep into the dash, note the location of the turn signal indicator levers. I hope the instrument cluster isn't destroyed also.
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The suspension was nearly undamaged which is a little suprising.
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This ol girl is all used up.
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I still have a lot of stripping to do, I'll post back with more later. So far I'm afraid the motor and tranny are good for little more than mock up dummies. I haven't started stripping the rear yet but I know things are wrecked back there too.

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PostPosted: August 17, 2006, 7:11 am 
Are you planning to strip all the hoses and connections possible from under the hood? From what I read in Keith's book, he was able to re-use a lot of the stock pieces with little or no modification, saving plenty of time and money.


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PostPosted: August 17, 2006, 9:26 am 
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the JoKeR wrote:
Are you planning to strip all the hoses and connections possible from under the hood? From what I read in Keith's book, he was able to re-use a lot of the stock pieces with little or no modification, saving plenty of time and money.


I'll take what's intact, but most everything made of rubber or plastic is damaged. I'll definitely use whatever I can!

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PostPosted: August 17, 2006, 3:39 pm 
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Joined: July 4, 2006, 5:40 pm
Posts: 1858
Location: Novato, CA
'90 Miatas were notorious for breaking crankshafts, so you're probably better off with a later motor anyway.


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PostPosted: August 17, 2006, 6:13 pm 
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Joined: February 16, 2006, 3:56 pm
Posts: 139
Location: Austin, TX
Good information on short nose crank failures on '90-'91 miatas.

http://www.miata.net/garage/crankshaft.html

Here is page one of loctite fix procedure:

http://www.miata.net/garage/hsue/LoctiteCrank1.html

Here is page two:

http://www.miata.net/garage/hsue/LoctiteCrank2.html

I had a '90 miata for 10 years and never had this problem, but I had these links saved just in case.

The repair is cheap. Might want to investigate before buying a new engine. Other early miata owners have done this repair successfully, but I have no first hand experience. I don't have any advice for your transmission.

good luck.


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PostPosted: August 17, 2006, 11:12 pm 
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Location: Charleston, WV
Thanks, those links have great info. It gives me hope that the engine is salvagable. I have already located a relatively cheap well used engine out of a friend's spec miata. I also found some cheap trannies on car-part.com in the $200 range.

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PostPosted: August 18, 2006, 8:05 pm 
wow it looked in pretty decent shap when i saw it, so much for a 25mph crash


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PostPosted: August 18, 2006, 8:27 pm 
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Joined: April 23, 2006, 8:26 pm
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Location: SoCal
It's not the speed, it's how it's concentrated in one spot. It's always good to look inside to see if the crank pully has been hit. If so it's a bad sign for the drivetrain, but you already know that...

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PostPosted: August 20, 2006, 11:44 pm 
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Location: Charleston, WV
Well I finished stripping the Miata today. Stripped 'er bare. Now I have this butt ugly Miata carcass sitting where I'd like to see a build table. I'm debating whether to cut it up and haul it off myself in the pickup or just rent a flatbed trailer and winch it up on that and haul it off.

I have a pic of the stripped car but for whatever reason my incompetent ISP won't allow uploads tonight. It took me several tries just to get this posted. Yes I am paying for cable internet too. :evil:

How do you guys cut those things up like that? Will my plain jane HF 6 amp sawzall do it? Which blade do I get?

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PostPosted: August 21, 2006, 12:11 am 
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I think Keith used several saw zall blades on his .....

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PostPosted: August 21, 2006, 12:17 am 
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I did this a few months ago in the wood's at a buddy of mine's house with a rusted old Volvo p1800. I used a pair of demolition/metal cutting blades and a few regular metal cutting blades. Its actually a surprising amount of work to demolish a car, but at the same time its quite, umm, humbling and stress-relieving. The biggest concern isn't the blades wearing out, but them getting bent from hitting something with the end of it. This is why I bought 10 inch demolition blades, and they are thicker than std blades. I'm pretty sure I went through 3 regular blades over the course of two days.


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PostPosted: August 21, 2006, 12:20 am 
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Well that's the delimma. $50 worth of sawzall bades and several hours of work or $50 for a flatbed trailer rental. It's starting to look like a no-brainer. :) Thansk guys.

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PostPosted: August 21, 2006, 7:24 am 
It's a freakin' Miata. Once you pull anything of potential value, it should only take 20 minutes to cut off the whole firewall at it's base and then section the remaining shell into pieces you can easily throw in the back of a pickup. Hell, I did that with an S-10 which had a LOT more structure to deal with. But as Andy Bro said, get the demolition blades - they're well worth the extra cost over standard blades. Just get a couple of long ones so you can cut through ANYTHING you run into.


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PostPosted: August 21, 2006, 10:33 am 
I used a jack hammer to disect my old celica, took a real toll on my body and i was sore for a few days after but it was certainly fun


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