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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: September 6, 2018, 9:15 pm 
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G'day all,

I've wanted to build a locost for a long time but here in Australia there are a huge number of hoops you need to jump through in order to get something like that registered. Definitely possible, but not something I am prepared to go through.

However if you build a "replica" of a pre-1949 vehicle modified as a street rod it's much easier to get the thing registered.

So my search started for something with a very light, simple body I could fabricate from aluminium (for lightness) and a very simple chassis I could tweak to sit over Miata subframes to simplify the build and registration. I owned a Miata for about 7 years, did 2 engine swaps and a turbo installation and enjoyed every minute of it, so it seems like a logical place to start.

Here's a few pics of my Miata at its peak awesomeness.

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(I still have the KL 2.5L V6 mated to the Miata gearbox in the garage, so that's an option...)

The Willys chassis is parallel and ~750mm across the outside of the rails. MX5 subframes are located by bolts ~800mm apart so some simple brackets off the chassis should be all that's required.

Image

This is basically the only drawing I can find of a CJ2A chassis, though I have dimensions of the width and between all the suspension points. From that I've put together what is close to an accurate model of the chassis.

The street rod guidelines here say it must be a replica of an original chassis modified as a street rod. There are also parts of the guidelines which mention fitting independent suspension as acceptable. Dropping the middle of the chassis to lower the car also seems to be a common modification, so to that end I've created a rough model in CAD of the standard CJ2A chassis with drops at each end for MX-5 subframes, and lengthened a couple of hundred mm just so I can fit in the damned thing :lol:

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The little outriggers at the back I'm not sure about, I'll need to confirm with the engineer if they're allowed as a modification to the original chassis. There's not really anywhere to mount a roll bar to the standard chassis, so that's what I've added them for.

I also want to fit a turbocharged motorbike engine to the car. I found a Yamaha R1 CAD model online and mocked it up to see what it will be like, along with standard MX5 suspension.

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I can't find a model of the Miata subframes, but they basically look like an extra crossmember hanging below the raised sections of the chassis.

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I also found dimensions of the CJ2A bodywork online and put together a slightly stretched body.

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Higher wheel arches, flares and widened front guards are required for the increased track from the Miata suspension.

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I also found a CAD model of an LS3 and T56 (same physical size as an LS1 or LS2) and checked it in the car.

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So very, very tempting. I wouldn't have to figure out reverse, I've already done an LS1 swap on my car (Silvia S13) so I know a bit about them, the Miata rear end is easy to upgrade to handle the power, cheap upgrade parts...

What do we think? I'll lose some interior space but it looks like there will still be plenty of room for the pedal assemblies, and a set of long tube extractors coming out over the front guards to side pipes is really appealing to me.

Anyway, I've decided to start a build log because even though it will probably be a LONG time before any real progress happens, I am going to pick up all the bits I need from a Miata donor car mid next week.

Any suggestions or comments welcome!


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PostPosted: September 7, 2018, 12:44 am 
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Joined: December 4, 2011, 6:19 pm
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G'day Beelzeboss,

Your proposal sounds interesting. Sort of weird but interesting. I've got a 1942 Ford GPW, which is the Ford manufactured version of the WWII Willy's MB, and a Locost under construction but I've never considered putting them together. Each to his own, though, and I'll watch your build with interest.

You may find the drawings at http://www.avi-plus.com/repair-tips-for ... s-pdf.html helpful. As you'll read these are enhanced versions of the scans recently posted online by The Henry Ford Foundation of the original blue prints for the Ford GPW. It might help with your registration process if you can flop some of these down in front of the examiner.

Good luck,

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Winnipeg, MB, Canada


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PostPosted: September 7, 2018, 8:28 am 
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Joined: October 6, 2009, 9:29 am
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Location: Tallahassee, FL (The Center of the Known Universe)
Yo, Beelz-
If you google-search for "Jeep in SCCA E/Mod" you can track down Del Long's build. It's a purpose-built "Looks like a Jeep" autocross car, so the frame design won't help you much but the images may give you some bodywork ideas. He also used a GM-sourced 1.4 turbo engine, which has proven to be a hot setup for that SCCA class and might work for you as well.

:cheers:
Good luck, keep us posted-
JDK

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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


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PostPosted: September 7, 2018, 11:28 am 
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Joined: April 26, 2008, 6:06 pm
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I've actually thought many times, and will continue to do so, about how well suited the Jeep shape would be to a Locost style frame and paneling. It seems that the same could be a welded 'addition' to the Jeep 'replica frame' and stay within the confines of the legal requirements. Either way, I like where you're headed with this. :cheers:

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Also follow my build on blogspot, tumblr, or instagram and twitter (GarageOdyssey)


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PostPosted: September 11, 2018, 1:01 am 
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Joined: July 20, 2009, 1:16 am
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BHRmotorsport wrote:
G'day Beelzeboss,

Your proposal sounds interesting. Sort of weird but interesting. I've got a 1942 Ford GPW, which is the Ford manufactured version of the WWII Willy's MB, and a Locost under construction but I've never considered putting them together. Each to his own, though, and I'll watch your build with interest.

You may find the drawings at http://www.avi-plus.com/repair-tips-for ... s-pdf.html helpful. As you'll read these are enhanced versions of the scans recently posted online by The Henry Ford Foundation of the original blue prints for the Ford GPW. It might help with your registration process if you can flop some of these down in front of the examiner.

Good luck,

Thank you very much, I've downloaded all the files which I believe will be relevant to the build. The only reason I'm going with the jeep-esque body and frame is for easy registration... though I really like how easy it should be to build a ladder frame joining the MX-5 subframes and just plonk a simple alloy body on it; hopefully I can make the body contribute some rigidity to the vehicle.

GonzoRacer wrote:
Yo, Beelz-
If you google-search for "Jeep in SCCA E/Mod" you can track down Del Long's build. It's a purpose-built "Looks like a Jeep" autocross car, so the frame design won't help you much but the images may give you some bodywork ideas. He also used a GM-sourced 1.4 turbo engine, which has proven to be a hot setup for that SCCA class and might work for you as well.

:cheers:
Good luck, keep us posted-
JDK

Cheers mate! I'll check out his build log when I get home, I definitely need all the help I can get when it comes to bodywork.

Driven5 wrote:
I've actually thought many times, and will continue to do so, about how well suited the Jeep shape would be to a Locost style frame and paneling. It seems that the same could be a welded 'addition' to the Jeep 'replica frame' and stay within the confines of the legal requirements. Either way, I like where you're headed with this. :cheers:

Haha, the thought did occur to me as well - build this as a jeep then once it's registered drop a Locost style body on it - but I think after going through all the hoops to get it registered I'll want to keep it mostly legal. The police here attack modified vehicles with a vengeance, it's ridiculous.

I'll be going to disassemble my MX-5 shell this afternoon, I'll take some pics of what I score!


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PostPosted: September 12, 2018, 12:30 am 
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No, no. Not drop a Locost onto the Jeep frame after registering it with a Jeep body... Reproportion a basic Locost frame design into a structural Jeep body.

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Also follow my build on blogspot, tumblr, or instagram and twitter (GarageOdyssey)


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PostPosted: September 17, 2018, 9:41 pm 
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Driven5 wrote:
No, no. Not drop a Locost onto the Jeep frame after registering it with a Jeep body... Reproportion a basic Locost frame design into a structural Jeep body.

To be classified as a street rod it has to be a simple ladder frame that doesn't rely on the body for structural rigidity. It must be a rough copy of the original frame "modified as a street rod".

If I build a space frame then it no longer qualifies and I'd have to jump through an insane number of hoops to get the thing legal.

I didn't end up grabbing the Miata subframes because I realised I need to finish off a few things I've got going at the moment before making a serious start on another project, and I don't have anywhere to store them... so this is being shelved for the time being but it will go ahead at some point and I'll resurrect this thread as needed :cheers:


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