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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: February 12, 2018, 9:34 am 
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TRX wrote:
Yay! It really makes a difference when you get the wheels on.

Have you done the wiring yet?


I have not started the wiring yet, but I purchased a harness kit from EZwiring that is GM color coded so that will make life pretty simple. I also went through and ordered a bunch of weatherpack connectors for all of the connections I could think of and a couple of extras.

Lonnie-S wrote:
Those turns in the rear body panel look really good. Lee. They look crisp & tight. Congrats.


Thank you. I got a bit over ambitious with the amount of material that I hammered around the upper tube on the first try and it ended up all wavy. Second try I trimmed the panel shorter so it only warped around 120 degrees or so on the straight sections and 90 degrees in the corners and it went way better.


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PostPosted: February 12, 2018, 5:08 pm 
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GM coded wiring harness from EZ wiring? Was that an engine only harness?

How hard has it been to decipher?

EDIT: Never mind they said they couldn't help me and sent me to PSI harnesses.

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PostPosted: February 13, 2018, 3:45 pm 
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carguy123 wrote:
GM coded wiring harness from EZ wiring? Was that an engine only harness?

How hard has it been to decipher?

EDIT: Never mind they said they couldn't help me and sent me to PSI harnesses.


Sorry about that I guess I should have been more detailed. The EZ wiring harness I have is for the body wiring which matches older GM color coding (what I am used to) and it matches the wiring on the GM tilt column I am using which gives me, Hi/low beam, turn signals, 4 way flashers, wipers and ignition. For the engine wiring Saturn was very nice when they designed the S series cars and and they have from the factory a completely separate wiring harness for the engine. All you need is to do is add 12v power from the fuse box for the computer and another fused 12v power for the injectors and you are up and running. There is also no anti theft to remove. So you basically have a standalone harness from the factory.


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PostPosted: February 13, 2018, 8:34 pm 
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WelderLee wrote:
For the engine wiring Saturn was very nice when they designed the S series cars and and they have from the factory a completely separate wiring harness for the engine. All you need is to do is add 12v power from the fuse box for the computer and another fused 12v power for the injectors and you are up and running. There is also no anti theft to remove. So you basically have a standalone harness from the factory.


You lucky dog! Unfortunately it seems that most manufacturers are now combining everything into one harness instead of having a separate harness.

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PostPosted: February 14, 2018, 6:05 am 
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A word to the wise on EZ harnesses - I got one of their 21-circuit harnesses (I, too, am using a GM tilt column, so I needed the column plug connectors), and can make the following observations:

1) The quality & gauge of the wiring is outstanding (wire cores & insulation are all much thicker than OEM wires usually are), as is the fuse panel etc.;

2) The provided connectors allow the harness to connect directly to a GM column, so signals, high/low beam, ignition switch, horn etc. are all provided for as "plug-'n-play";

BUT -

3) Make sure you lay out the harness & go through the ENTIRE thing, wire by wire, before starting to install the harness.

I laid out my harness on the floor, to check the length (the harness is long enough to accommodate a long-box, crew cab pickup, so there's LOTS of extra wire that will need to be trimmed) and noticed something strange. There was no wire for the right rear turn signal. There were, however, two left rear ones. And three backup light power wires (???)...one for the rear end (as required), plus another one included in the dashboard bundle, and yet a third in the front engine bundle of wires.

There are also no left or right brake light wires, although there is a wire for a 3rd (high) brake light, so I'll be running all the brake lights off it. It will have to do.

It seems that, while the quality of the components is beyond reproach, the bundling & grouping of wiring, as well as quality control as to what wires are actually there, is "sub-optimal". Now, it's possible that my harness is the only one anywhere that they messed up...but I doubt it. For the sake of peace of mind, double check that all the correct wires are there, and that they're bundled the way they should be. It's hard to go back and fix these issues once installation has begun.

I'm going to copy this to my build log, too...

:cheers:

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PostPosted: February 14, 2018, 8:47 am 
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zetec7 wrote:

It seems that, while the quality of the components is beyond reproach, the bundling & grouping of wiring, as well as quality control as to what wires are actually there, is "sub-optimal". Now, it's possible that my harness is the only one anywhere that they messed up...but I doubt it. For the sake of peace of mind, double check that all the correct wires are there, and that they're bundled the way they should be. It's hard to go back and fix these issues once installation has begun.

I'm going to copy this to my build log, too...

:cheers:


Thanks for the heads up on that. That would be alloying to find out after the fact. I will make sure I go through all the connections before I run the wiring. I feel like I went through it when I bought the harness, but that was probably 3 or 4 years ago now when I was a little naive about how long these projects can take.

Where did you mount the fuse block? To keep it out of any rain I was between mounting it under the scuttle or buying a plastic weatherproof electrical enclosure and mounting it inside that on or in the firewall.


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PostPosted: February 14, 2018, 2:03 pm 
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I'm mounting my fuse panel under the horizontal panel of the scuttle, as it gives it some protection from the weather.

I built a steel box, and riveted it to the underside of the scuttle panel, with appropriate holes for the various wire trunks to pass through. It makes for a nice, clean installation and keeps the wiring all hidden, but it is necessary to grommet the box where the wire groups exit to help keep water & crud out. Short of driving it underwater or during a major thunderstorm, I'm confident my solution will do that adequately.

The reason for placing the box where it is was that there was zero space left behind the dashboard, and having it sit up on top of the scuttle panel was likely to be...messy. So, I wanted to hide it, and that space under the scuttle (above the bell housing) was an available void.

I made a hinged panel access door in the horizontal cover panel, with an "push finger down, here, to open" tab, and the door stays closed (and rattle-free) with a pair of magnetic catches & rubber bits between the door & latches. The magnetic latches are visible in the "door open" pic, at the end of the door nearest the vertical scuttle panel.

There are a couple of holes in the bottom of the steel box, with 1/4-20 captured nuts welded to the underside of the box. Once the panel's sitting in the box, a pair of 1/4-20 bolts (through the provided EZ panel's mounting holes) secure the panel in the box.

If it helps, here are a few pics:

Attachment:
fuse paenl cover door small.jpg
fuse paenl cover door small.jpg [ 258.06 KiB | Viewed 643 times ]


Attachment:
Fuse panel box open small.jpg
Fuse panel box open small.jpg [ 335.28 KiB | Viewed 643 times ]


This is a pic of the steel box itself, looking forward up the transmission tunnel. You can see the grommet for the tail group wire bundle.

Attachment:
fuse panel box rear small.jpg
fuse panel box rear small.jpg [ 283.25 KiB | Viewed 643 times ]


Here's a closeup of the underside of the door, showing the operation of the "insert finger here" lift. Hand-shaped aluminum, and a piece of cast-off spring-tempered metal banding (left over from bundles of roof shingles) as the closer.

Attachment:
fuse panel door lift 6 small.jpg
fuse panel door lift 6 small.jpg [ 93.24 KiB | Viewed 643 times ]


It was quite a bit of work to do all this, but I think it's worth it. Makes for a nice, clean installation & largely hidden wiring, yet the fuse panel will be very easy to access.

_________________
Scratch building, at continental-drift speed, a custom McSoreley-design framed, dual-Weber 45DCOE carburated, Zetec-engined, ridiculously fast money pit.

http://zetec7.webs.com/


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PostPosted: February 16, 2018, 12:38 pm 
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zetec7 wrote:
It was quite a bit of work to do all this, but I think it's worth it. Makes for a nice, clean installation & largely hidden wiring, yet the fuse panel will be very easy to access.


Agreed it does look really good. Thanks for taking the time to upload those. That looks like a good solution and use of the extra space above the transmission. I was thinking of mounting the battery there. I am going to run one of the small glass mat ones like the odyssey PC680. I may be able to fit both the battery and the fuse box in that area. It gives me something to think about anyways.


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PostPosted: February 16, 2018, 1:47 pm 
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One major advantage to the AGM-style batteries is that they can safely be mounted on their sides, rather than upright, so they can fit easily into vertically-limited spaces. Suitable size batteries for a Locost are actually quite small, too. I'm using an OEM-style Miata battery in my Locost (I had a spare one "in stock"), and it's less than half the volume of a "normal" car battery. It also weighs considerably less (probably around 20 lbs., vs. 35-40 for "normal" sized car batteries), which is a big plus when you're trying to keep weight to a minimum.

In my case, I mounted the battery at the extreme right rear corner of the engine compartment, at floor level, right at the front of the firewall. My thinking was to get the weight as low as possible, and as far right from the driver's position as possible, to aid in general weight balance and lower the center of gravity.

Although I haven't made the body panels yet (I hope to start working on those in the next couple of months), I plan to make the front side panels, from the front of the scuttle to the rear of the front suspension, removable, probably with Dzus fasteners or similar.

My reasoning for this? The space around the engine and accouterments is, naturally, minimal in a car this small, so access to things like the battery, alternator, starter, oil filter, etc. can be severely limited. As I don't have a hoist, I'd like to be able to get at those items otherwise. With removable sides, nose, and hood, in just a couple of minutes I can have the entire car forward of the firewalll consisting of a bare frame, engine, etc., so everything is wide open & accessible.

It just makes sense to me, and it's easy to plan before the panels are finally applied.

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http://zetec7.webs.com/


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PostPosted: February 17, 2018, 7:52 am 
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zetec7 wrote:
Although I haven't made the body panels yet (I hope to start working on those in the next couple of months), I plan to make the front side panels, from the front of the scuttle to the rear of the front suspension, removable, probably with Dzus fasteners


That was sort of my original plan and why I made those panels in two haves a top and a bottom. I was going to make the top half removable but after I got the bottom half done I realized in my case there were so few components that were actually out of reach from the top that it wasn’t worth the extra effort. The only parts on my car that are really hard to get at are the master cyclinders. Although someday I may come to regret making the panels non removable when I cannot get at something.


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PostPosted: February 17, 2018, 6:18 pm 
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Well, you have to understand my "luck". I am famous, < famous, I tell you! > for my bad luck. Murphy is now, and has always been, my co-pilot. IF anything can possibly go wrong, it will, with 100% certainty. If it's impossible for something to go wrong, it will, with 95% certainty. If several things are, individually, almost impossible to go wrong, ALL of them will go wrong...simultaneously!

That's one of the reasons that I'm so sought-after among friends & family for diagnosing & troubleshooting vehicle problems. Chances are, whatever it is, the same has thing happened to me. Several times.

So...I'm a firm believer in daring things to go wrong (like taking a raincoat, galoshes, Sou'wester hat, and an umbrella to the beach on a sunny day), and covering as many possible things as I can in advance.

Access (not just in the engine compartment, but all over the car) is my "mantra". The more readily I can access stuff, and the more stuff that is easily removable/replaceable, the less chance I'll ever need to do so! At least in theory, anyway! :cheers:

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http://zetec7.webs.com/


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PostPosted: February 17, 2018, 7:29 pm 
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WelderLee wrote:
zetec7 wrote:

It seems that, while the quality of the components is beyond reproach, the bundling & grouping of wiring, as well as quality control as to what wires are actually there, is "sub-optimal". Now, it's possible that my harness is the only one anywhere that they messed up...but I doubt it. For the sake of peace of mind, double check that all the correct wires are there, and that they're bundled the way they should be. It's hard to go back and fix these issues once installation has begun.

I'm going to copy this to my build log, too...

:cheers:


Thanks for the heads up on that. That would be alloying to find out after the fact. I will make sure I go through all the connections before I run the wiring. I feel like I went through it when I bought the harness, but that was probably 3 or 4 years ago now when I was a little naive about how long these projects can take.

Where did you mount the fuse block? To keep it out of any rain I was between mounting it under the scuttle or buying a plastic weatherproof electrical enclosure and mounting it inside that on or in the firewall.


By the way - if your EZ harness instructions are as woefully pitiful as mine, take a look at the Painless Manual #90501 (free, online). It is MUCH better & easier to understand. Plus, the Painless and EZ panels appear to be identical (even the color codes for all the harness wires - makes sense, if they're both supposed to match up to GM codes), so the Painless manual would appear to be the answer to the EZ "What the heck...??" question.

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http://zetec7.webs.com/


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PostPosted: February 27, 2018, 9:14 am 
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We had some above freezing weather this weekend that coincided with some free time. So I managed to get the fender mounts done. I was pretty happy how they turned out and they are very sturdy I’m sure I could stand on them if I wanted.


Attachments:
EBECE226-8ECA-4AAD-A247-D2DBFD6C4352.jpeg
EBECE226-8ECA-4AAD-A247-D2DBFD6C4352.jpeg [ 176.97 KiB | Viewed 518 times ]
F6E88C0A-4336-405B-B428-6144A76BBAE9.jpeg
F6E88C0A-4336-405B-B428-6144A76BBAE9.jpeg [ 128.12 KiB | Viewed 518 times ]
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PostPosted: February 28, 2018, 1:55 pm 
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Very nice, Lee. Do they bolt on through the brake caliper mounts?

What did you use to bend those nice curves?

Cheers,

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PostPosted: February 28, 2018, 8:51 pm 
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Lonnie-S wrote:
Very nice, Lee. Do they bolt on through the brake caliper mounts?

What did you use to bend those nice curves?

Cheers,


Yes you are correct they bolt thru the caliper bracket mounts. I found some longer cap screws and made some spacers out of bar stock that the tubing was then welded too.

I have a protools USA bender and I recently purchased a die for 3/4" tubing with a 3" centerline radius for this and a couple other projects. I believe this is also the radius that the book calls out for the upper rear tube and I was thinking I might be able to offer some bent elbows that could be welded onto the straight sections to make the rear hoop. I'm not sure how much interest in that there might be.


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