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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: November 23, 2016, 12:12 pm 
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I hope this is the right section to ask these questions...
But I have a 2010 4dr hatchback (liftback) Yaris.
I paid 17k for it, and it's worth 2.5k now. I don't think I want to let it go that easily.

For a long time, I've tossed around the idea of making it a project car. I've seen the SHOGun car car, and I've thought about doing something similar.
Maybe use the cradle from a Fiero and go 3800SC or something. Something cheap, but strong, and cheap to mod.

My brother is a welder by trade. I can do the rest. What I don't know, is how you center the engine into the car? What are the measuring points?

I know people who do this on Festivas use an engine bay from the SHO - but still don't know how they center it properly.

Also how do you decide where to put your strut tower (assuming I'll have to move mine). Do you just compress the springs to the weight of the car, and then sort of eye ball the height there?

I was likely going to build a roll cage into it (and since it's a unibody) and mount the cradle to that... or I'm thinking...
So basically allowing my Yaris shell to exist around one of these middy cars you're building here.


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PostPosted: November 23, 2016, 12:51 pm 
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Cut everything out from under the shell.
drop shell onto properly designed roller skate.
fab sheet metal floor and fender wells

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PostPosted: November 23, 2016, 4:34 pm 
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TooBusy wrote:
Cut everything out from under the shell.
drop shell onto properly designed roller skate.
fab sheet metal floor and fender wells


So basically... build a chassis for it.
Should I use one from another car? How far should the skate extend? From nose to rear? Or just up to the front firewall?


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PostPosted: November 23, 2016, 9:04 pm 
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Chriswf wrote:
So basically... build a chassis for it.
Should I use one from another car? How far should the skate extend? From nose to rear? Or just up to the front firewall?


Hi Chris- What you need to do is more research. In other words, you need to find the answers to those questions you just posed. I would think that you'd need the frame to go pretty much the entire length of the car. It would need to extend further forward than the firewall so you'd have something to hang the front suspension on. That is, assuming you move the entire driveline and front suspension to the rear of the car. You need to decide that, pretty early on.

There are all kinds of plans floating around the internet for the Lotus 7 chassis. It's a basic space-frame design with upper and lower main rails with uprights between them and diagonals for triangulation (i.e. "strength"). Something like that, designed (by you) with the proper cradle in the rear for the chosen drive train would work for your idea. Obviously, it would need to "mesh" with things like width and wheelbase of the Yaris, have the points to mount the Yaris body shell on, etc. Look at Blackbird's recent work on a Garm's Honda with a bike motor in the rear, or CCRunner's Honda 600 build for ideas.

Study on it some more, figure out a few more details to go with your basic concept and maybe do some measuring of the Yaris and draw up some plans. Read, research, study... It'll come together.

Good luck with it!
:cheers:
JDK

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PostPosted: November 23, 2016, 10:01 pm 
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Chriswf wrote:

I know people who do this on Festivas use an engine bay from the SHO - but still don't know how they center it properly.


Something that may be worth looking into is the MR2 platform. You can get a rear cut from a 2nd gen turbo car from most importers fairly economically. (basically everything from the firewall to the taillights, ecu and wiring all there) The most recent mr2s seem to be pretty low in terms of resale, so these might be a viable option as well. I'm not a brand fanatic by any means, but they're the first MR drivetrain that popped into my head. (Used to own one)

Centering - Body shops (more accurately frame repair shops) work from measurement points provided from the manufacturer. They're often available in service manuals (which are often scanned and online for free). Assuming they exist and your car hasn't been hit (or has been hit, and repaired properly), you'd have finite points to measure from to calculate centers. Still room for error, but gets you very close.

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I was likely going to build a roll cage into it (and since it's a unibody) and mount the cradle to that... or I'm thinking...
So basically allowing my Yaris shell to exist around one of these middy cars you're building here.


TooBusy was dead on in the process. Get your measurements, fab up a chassis that holds the MR cradle and rear suspension mount points (or front and rear, if you're feeling ambitious. Just know that if you keep the front suspension and steering as is, you'll likely have to brace the gaping hole left by the driveline removal.), then work on bracing the body shell before cutting out the floor. Modern unibody cars are very vulnerable to warping, sagging, and moving. (Even steel tubbed truck cabs from the 50's get braced substantially when chopping the roof.)

The nice part is you'd be able to make a lot of headway on the chassis without losing the ability to drive the yaris.

Definitely not a small, cheap (all relative), or short term project. Something that may be of benefit - The "Civette" and "Volvette" builds. Both employed some pretty serious metal surgery to get the job done, along with a ton of shakedown work to dial the cars in.

Gonzo's got it nailed a well. You've got a lot of questions to answer first.

Best of luck. ^_^

Nick


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PostPosted: November 24, 2016, 12:45 am 
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This topic confused my very tired brain. Was reading about Yaris and it figured I was on the Yaris forum (I own a 09 5dr).

Stumbled across a vid yesterday which you may like:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_P4J_L_T6DQ

Not that the 1.5L in the Yaris is worth playing with if you're doing all that work, but you may get some ideas from it. I'm planning to do an Ecotec swap in my Yaris btw.

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PostPosted: November 24, 2016, 1:46 am 
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Might I suggest the Kimini book, which deals with exactly this, relocating a FWD drivetrain to the rear of a car.

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PostPosted: November 28, 2016, 4:14 pm 
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Yeah I've seen that Del Sol video. I watched the whole thing a couple of times, that's where I got some of my ideas.

I've had the idea for a long time, but then I saw pics of this yaris:
https://www.pakwheels.com/forums/vitz-y ... yaris-vitz
It looks like he just relocated an engine bay.

Also someone mentioned the Kimini on the Fiero forums. I just haven't looked into it yet.

At this point, I'm thinking I might as well throw another shell on it that won't hinder the performance of the car.


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PostPosted: November 30, 2016, 4:53 pm 
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I would take a step back and decide if you really want a Yaris. For the work it would take you could basically make a Locost 7 and have it look however you want. The $2.5k sales price would get you a nice wrecked Miata donor and enough money to build the entire frame. If you are really attached to the Yaris then you could take a fiberglass mold and build a car under it.

However take a look around the forum and decide if you would rather drive something like what you typically see here or an extremely hacked up Yaris. The Yaris would almost certainly be heavier, have a weaker chassis and much less charm.

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PostPosted: November 30, 2016, 5:10 pm 
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I'll say more than Kurt will about his Kimini book. JD (Gonzo) is right about doing research. Kurt has already gone through the process and you will save a great deal of time and effort by reading what he has learned about it.


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