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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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 Post subject: What car for a fat guy?
PostPosted: December 19, 2012, 10:56 pm 
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Ok, I've wanted a 7 forever. I am 6'1" and weigh 280. Any big guys here, or what do you guys suggest? Really want a BEC too.


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PostPosted: December 19, 2012, 11:49 pm 
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No, you don't want a BEC at 280lbs respectfully.

There's no issues widening and offsetting the driveline of a Locost if you choose the driveline wisely.

I'm on the verge of announcing an extra large chassis that may suit you and I'm quite happy to accomodate special one off build requirements at no extra charge as might Jack McCormack of Kinectic Vehicles memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=360


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PostPosted: December 20, 2012, 12:10 am 
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Location: Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
A Hummer


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PostPosted: December 20, 2012, 2:12 am 
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I'm 6'4" and weigh 277 so I know what you mean....
the car I'm working on (adjusting all the book measurements) is going to be roughly 1.2X width (50" inside) and much lengthier (I'm adding 4-6" in the cockpit alone) than book, as well as taller and made out of heavier tubing to accommodate the engine I'm building around
after I get the plans all figured out I'll post them on my build here

I'm looking at some 20" wide seats :thmbsup:


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PostPosted: December 20, 2012, 12:14 pm 
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I was 6'4" and 210 when I had my Locost (I am up to 230 now). This was a standard CMC Locost chassis and I fit OK, but I was right at the limit. I have size 11 feet, am a bit wide accross the hip bones, and have a long torso (rather average 34" inseam).

My head cleared the standard roll bar, but I had to get a new one made when I Time Trialed the car so that I would have the required 2" clearance while wearing a helmet. The footwell was tight and I did a little massaging of the 15.5" Economy Layback Kirkey aluminum seats.

If you use a IRS you can shrink the tunnel down a bit (using a sheet steel tunnel vs a skinned framed tunnel would also help). If using a live axle you can offset the engine & trans tunnel a bit to give the driver more room (many live axles have a 0.5 - 1 in offset already), at the expense of the passenger side. Going to a +4 (4" wider) chassis should make fitting wider seats pretty easy, although to maximize driver room you will still need to use the thinner aluminum shelled type. Going to a 442 (4" wider & longer, 2" taller) will give you more legroom & may help you feel like you are more IN the car rather than hanging out of it.

For a while I was considering a custom chassis for use as a track car, and it was a 222 (2" wider, longer, & taller) with a +4 nose angling back a little more to the +2 center. But this car also had extra offset of the drive train (& trans tunnel) to inprove weight distribution, thus giving the approximate width of the drivers side of a +4 (or maybe even a bit more).

So short answer is a 442 should fit most big folks with the right seats, although at 277 you probably want to try to slim or offset the tunnel to give you a little more room. And a BEC should not be an issue.


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PostPosted: December 20, 2012, 1:54 pm 
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It might be good to see just how wide a driver's seat you're going to need. Get a couple of planks and a couple of friends and sit on the floor between them (planks R and L, friends F and B), hold the planks (lightly) to your hips and have the friends measure between the boards (they'll have it right when they both have the same number). If you do it, please post the results here--it'll give us suggesters some data to suggest from.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of pre-suggestions:

--I recently (this summer) switched MAX (my DD Locost, book frame) from bucket seats to bench seats, a la early Lotus Seven, The Prisoner, etc. It was remarkable what a difference it made. I have a friend/accomplice who is 6 feet tall and 290 pounds and that weight isn't all biceps and abs; my friend could barely fit in MAX with the bucket seats (which were designed for Jimmy Clark's bucket, so I was pretty snug myself), but he fits in fine with the bench seat. How fine, you may ask? So fine he's building himself a book frame Locost as we speak.

--There's a good chance that footwell space will be more critical than tushwell space, so that's a plus for a BEC because you won't have the transmission and bell housing taking up your floorboard. Also, you'll probably find a BEC's lack of reverse less trouble than most folks, because pushing your BEC backward out of parking spaces will be like Jimmy Clark-sized guys pushing a shopping cart. So if a BEC is what you want, a BEC is what you should have, and while there are plenty of issues to consider when deciding if bike/car/tractor powerlant donors are best for you, I don't think your weight will be one of them.

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PostPosted: December 20, 2012, 2:03 pm 
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Joined: June 15, 2010, 8:29 am
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Location: Duxbury, MA USA
I am not that big, but one of my sons is 6'3" and 270. I put a 19" wide seat on a slider into a plus 4 chassis and he fits. He will have to drive in very narrow shoes, but its a roomier foot box than my Europa. For any kind of track or solo work I will have to put foam under the seat cover for myself to keep from sliding around, but its a minor compromise in order to allow everyone to drive this silliness in reasonable comfort.
Paul

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PostPosted: December 20, 2012, 9:56 pm 
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speedworks wrote:
Ok, I've wanted a 7 forever. I am 6'1" and weigh 280. Any big guys here, or what do you guys suggest? Really want a BEC too.
BEC foot room:
I found a 13" x 15" x 2" aluminum cooking pan and fit it to the inside of the tunnel tubes to the right of the gas pedal. I picked up 3" to the right of the pedal compared to the normal skinned tunnel. There's lot's of wasted space in the tunnel where a normal car engine transmission goes when using a motorcycle engine.

You can see some pictures and a description here,

http://dmr-architect.com/%7Elocouki/foot-well.html

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PostPosted: December 20, 2012, 10:28 pm 
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JackMcCornack wrote:
--I recently (this summer) switched MAX (my DD Locost, book frame) from bucket seats to bench seats, a la early Lotus Seven, The Prisoner, etc. It was remarkable what a difference it made. I have a friend/accomplice who is 6 feet tall and 290 pounds and that weight isn't all biceps and abs; my friend could barely fit in MAX with the bucket seats (which were designed for Jimmy Clark's bucket, so I was pretty snug myself), but he fits in fine with the bench seat. How fine, you may ask? So fine he's building himself a book frame Locost as we speak.


I second that idea. I sat in a real, honest to God, Lotus Seven, which still had the bench seats. The original car was 3" or so narrower than the Champion "book", so the 442 design would be 7" wider (Haynes and Stalker would be 5" wider than the original Seven). AT 6' tall and around 220 pounds, I didn't have any problems with hip room. While the original had a narrower trans tunnel than most of our cars, you can figure on 3" or so wider per butt on your build.

BTW, many of us offset the trans by an inch or so towards the passenger, so if you have a skinny passenger then you could pick up a bit there too. And I still think that we could save another inch or so over the book dimensions in the trans tunnel.

Now that Jack reminds me -- gosh, this would be a great way to save about $500, and I can always put in different seats later on....

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PostPosted: May 5, 2013, 11:37 pm 
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Build a mid-engine! Sort out a custom frame that you easily fit into.

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PostPosted: May 6, 2013, 7:05 pm 
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You might want to take a look at the Brunton Stalker XL http://www.bruntonauto.com/stalkerxl/stalkerxl.htm


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PostPosted: May 6, 2013, 8:34 pm 
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Just build the chassis around you and your drivetrain. You are 100lb heavier than the 180 lb "average guy". So build the same car as everyone else just make sure you use the 17.5" Kirkey budget seat and you will fit no problem. I am 220 and fit into the 15.5" Kirkey seat, you can also bend them a little so they fit your body. Think about it is a 1700lb car with 200HP really going to be much slower that a 1600lb car with 200HP. Guess what they are both still crazy f*&^ing fast.

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PostPosted: May 6, 2013, 9:19 pm 
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I am 6'1" tall and, uh... well... 230 or so pounds (38-40" waist).

I sat in an original Seven a few years ago (Series II?). IT was tight, but I fit, albeit with the butt a bit squeezed between the tunnel and the side of the car. The history books say that this is 37" inside of the tubes, with roughly a 3-4" tunnel, so you're looking at roughly 16" seat width I think. BTW, the Seven had bench seats -- and I do mean "Bench" -- and drivers were held in place by the side of the car along with the trans tunnel. The real squeeze for me was that the scuttle (dash) was much closer to the seat than in our builds, so I was a little like trying to get into a tight sleeping bag w/o unzipping it.

The "book" (Ron Champion) frame is 3" wider than the original Seven, with the scuttle moved forward. The Haynes and original Brunton Stalker is 5" wider than the original, and the +4 designs are 7" wider. I assume, given the description, that the new wider "American Sized" Stalker XL is 6" wider than the Champion chassis, or 9" wider than the original Seven, and must be roughly now the size of a Factory 5 427 Cobra clone. Assuming the standard 6" tunnel, you're looking at 20" or so in butt width on that last one.

In my build I shifted the engine and trans over an inch or so, and am planning to narrow the tunnel by an inch or so. The upshot is that I can squeeze a modified 95 Camaro front seat into my Haynes chassis. My butt cheeks do NOT rub on either the side of the car or on the trans tunnel.

I strongly suggest that you install either a tilt wheel column, or a removable steering wheel, if you're not exactly small and nimble. That might make more of a difference than the width of the seat. I'm using a 95 Camaro tilt.

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PostPosted: August 27, 2014, 8:44 pm 
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JackMcCornack wrote:
6 feet tall and 290 pounds and that weight isn't all biceps and abs


I like that, it's a pretty good description of me too. I'm 6'2" and 280lb with size 12 feet. I just barely fit into a book frame with similar seats to what you are talking about. I had to find narrower than usual shoes to make driving easier. I can drive with regular shoes, but I have to be a bit more careful. Wow, not many posts in here lately.
Kristian

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PostPosted: August 28, 2014, 8:14 am 
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Reminds me of this ground hog:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkJpc_e6WpE

Don't let this happen to you!

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