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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: July 15, 2015, 1:12 pm 
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These aluminum control arms came with the rubber bushings but we will be using Moog's spherical bearing replacements. That's what we used on the first prototype and they appear to be very nice pieces.


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PostPosted: July 15, 2015, 2:38 pm 
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I'm curious, what about adding a pipe along the black line? You'd have to move the filler but it should turn the pink circled area into a crush zone and since the front to back pipe is angled in to meet the roll bar legs, there isn't much keeping the sides from rotating.


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PostPosted: August 5, 2015, 10:16 am 
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It's been three weeks since I last posted and we've made a lot of progress.

We disassembled the roller down to the chassis and welded out all of the joints. We also knocked off some rough spots left from prototyping. We then lifted the chassis into the bed of our truck and took it to the powder coating shop. A few days later we got it back, coated in bright green:

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We started assembling it a week and a half ago. We pulled the coolant hoses through the frame rails (which was a lot easier than we expected it to be), ran the brake lines and then started building up the front of the car.

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At the back of the car, we lowered the chassis down onto the subframe and married the two with four subframe bolts and six engine mount bolts.

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Next we installed the BCM, gauges, ignition and power steering at the front and lowered the bulk of the wiring down into the tunnel.

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Then we mounted the fuel cell with two straps and installed the main fuse block.

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The donor Cobalt's fuel pump, fuel cap and a portion of the fuel filler neck installed next.

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Next up was the shifter. Because the shifter was designed to communicate with a transmission at the front of the car, we had to reverse the motion of the cables. We did this with push rods connected to two bell cranks. Using the bell cranks we were also able to shorten the throw of the shifter. The shifter feels nice at rest and we can't wait to get the car some place where we can really row through the gears to test it out.

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After assembling all of the suspension, we had the car back on its tires again.

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After bleeding the brakes and clutch, fabricating the steering shaft, installing the floor, firewall and seats, we were able to take it for its first drive in our parking lot. Here's a video of the first drive:



Even with the stock Cobalt motor, this thing feels like its going to be a blast. We are on schedule to get it to an autocross or track this weekend. I'll post about how that goes.


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PostPosted: August 5, 2015, 1:58 pm 
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Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Which autocross? I just might come.

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PostPosted: August 5, 2015, 2:49 pm 
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It looks like we are heading to Eagle's Canyon on Saturday. Not sure if we will still go to the autocross on Sunday but it would be in your neck of the woods in the Texas Motor Speedway bus lot.


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PostPosted: August 5, 2015, 3:53 pm 
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Who's hosting the autocross?

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PostPosted: August 5, 2015, 4:16 pm 
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It is being hosted by the Texas Region of the SCCA.


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PostPosted: August 5, 2015, 9:38 pm 
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adoyle88 wrote:
It is being hosted by the Texas Region of the SCCA.



Nevermind. Way too little seat time at an SCCA event and way too many hours under the hot sun. They also run longer than other events.

There are much better events run in our area that have longer, faster courses (usually double or triple the size course), more runs (usually double or triple the runs. But you go to what's available when you are available.

Supposed to be 108 degrees Saturday and on that huge black surfaced course there are no trees so bring lots of sunscreen, huge hats and definitely an umbrella. Don't forget the water and good standing around shoes.

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PostPosted: August 5, 2015, 10:38 pm 
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Quote:
A few days later we got it back, coated in bright green:
Lookin' like Team Slotus colors to me... I shoulda got that copyrighted or patented or trademarked or somethin... :mrgreen:
Jus' kiddin'... Prototype looks good! Good luck with it!
:cheers:

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PostPosted: August 12, 2015, 9:56 am 
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So last Friday (the night before the track day), we woke bright and early to get the car ready for the track. 17 hours later, Friday had turned into Saturday, and we finally had the car on the trailer and the tools packed in the tow vehicle. There were so many little things that added up to a ton of work but we were able to get home and in bed shortly after midnight.

5 hours later, we rolled out of bed and took off for the 2 hour drive from the southeast side of the DFW metroplex (home) to northwest of the metroplex (the track - Eagle's Canyon).

We walked our driver, Ken Scheepers, around the car (this was his first time seeing prototype 2), showing him the changes we had made and letting him know the suspension settings we had made.

The track wasn't busy, which was kind of bittersweet. It was nice to just go on the track any time and not have to worry about traffic, but it was disappointing not being able to compare the car to other cars.

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Ken drove my dad around the track for the first outings on the track. We immediately decided to go up 9 of the 18 clicks on the shocks on the front and the brake proportioning valve was set somewhere in the middle of its travel (which is good news since that means we have enough travel on the valve to go heavy braking front or rear if we like).

After a few more laps, we clicked the front shocks up to 14 clicks and double checked the rear toe using toe plates. It was toed out so we adjusted to heads up. I rode with Ken for a handful of laps at this point. This was my first time on a road course and it was a blast.

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Finally we let Ken go out alone to make some laps. In his first session alone he said he was trying to find the limit, which resulted in a couple of spins (nothing too dramatic). Watching the footage, he was pushing it pretty hard each time it spun.

His times were getting quicker as he got more comfortable. The quickest we timed was 2 minutes 11 seconds. We don't really know what is considered quick at Eagle's Canyon but Ken said it isn't bad, especially considering we are on street tires.

Video Link: A lap around the track

The rear springs are way too soft and the rear roll center is too low, causing the rear to really roll over. We are going to change both of these before the next track day.

On a more positive note, even though it was an extremely hot day (100 degrees while we were out there), the radiator worked and the temps stayed low.

Ken says the car has a lot of potential and he has already called us a handful of times since Saturday. He's ready for the next track day.


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PostPosted: August 12, 2015, 6:37 pm 
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Top tip on the videos. Do not allow youtube to change the video to stabilize it or anything like that. It always makes the race videos look weird and distorts the track and makes it jumpy while that car stays strangely still.

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PostPosted: August 12, 2015, 9:37 pm 
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so you just pulled rubber hose through the chassis tubes?

are you confident that there is nothing in the tubes that may wear away the rubber hose like every time it passes a weld?

if there is no weld within the tube at the various places where other tubes intersect the main tubes, how do you feel about weld penetration?

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PostPosted: August 13, 2015, 1:41 pm 
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As always it's impressive the speed you guys get things done. Good job. That track looks like a pretty good test track. Looks like a fair bit of bumps and off-camber bits. If you can make it work there, you'll have a solid car.

Cheers.

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PostPosted: August 13, 2015, 11:58 pm 
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adoyle88 wrote:
Because the shifter was designed to communicate with a transmission at the front of the car, we had to reverse the motion of the cables.
Cleverly done! Is that the standard Cobalt shifter assembly? Seriously, I think your bellcrank motion-reverser is brilliant; it is simple, clean, and looks quite professional. Thanks for not hiding your light under a bushel basket; I, for one, find your solution inspiring, should I ever make a cable controlled midi (my current midi project trans is pushrod controlled--a Suzuki/Metro--so I'm not copying* you yet).

*I mean inspired, inspired, I'm not inspired by you yet.

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PostPosted: October 18, 2015, 2:13 am 
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I registered a profile on this site specifically so that I could take part in this conversation.

Sorry that I'm a little late in the game.

My questions are for the guys who make this kit.

First: I love what you're doing. I am over the moon that you chose the Cobalt as your donor because I have (in my opinion) a fairly nice Cobalt SS Supercharged.

First, have you made space to accommodate the stock heat exchanger and (I think it's an) oil cooler, and an additional aftermarket heat exchanger? Is there room for anew aftermarket header? What type of exhaust are you using?


Essentially, I'd be making this into basically a track/street car. My LSJ is producing somewhere in the neighborhood of 300hp and would be fun in that little machine. My dream is to find a way to get tons of downforce and turn that thing into my own little formula 3 type car. :P we'll see if that ever happens. It'll be fun just to build it first.

I live in Houston, so I'll probably come up and visit your facility soon enough. I just thought it would be nice to ask my questions here. In case someone else wants to know too.


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