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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: June 10, 2018, 1:41 pm 
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A huge shout out to John (Wheezer), who stopped by the house yesterday to show me his car, look over my build, and provide general moral support. Great guy! His car and the ride he took me on in it were very real motivation. It was so cool to see another build that has been realized and brought to completion. I got a bunch of great ideas from him too! I was so excited I completely forgot to snap any photos. Suffice it to say, his car is awesome. Thanks again for coming over and sharing your car John!

I'm looking forward to seeing his shop too - he lives about 10 minutes from me. Amazing out how small the world is sometimes!

We also added this yesterday:

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It's a 1995 "C Package" which means leather seats/steering wheel, power everything, and the Torsen LSD. 66,000 miles! Some suspension goodies and other nice to haves as well. We couldn't pass it up (as we got it for a good price too).

On the Seven front, I got the steering column extension cut to length, and now I'm working on how to make sure it is dead nuts in line to weld up to each end. The diameter of the new shaft and the old is obviously different, as the shaft slides over the stock pieces, so a piece of angle won't do. John had a good idea for the use of some wire, so I may try that out.

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I'm hoping to hear back from Jack at Kinetic on whether or not he can help me out with the 35mm extensions I need for the steering tie rods to the tie rod ends at the upright. Still hoping so, or I may have to go to the UK for them.

I also received a package of stuff from FedHill for my brakes. I still need the Wilwood residual valves and then I think I'll have everything to get the brakes working.

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Finally, some really good news (but I don't want to jinx it) - Delta found my package from Kit Car Direct! It should be here on Monday or Tuesday. It'll be a huge relief when it actually shows up and there is no damage. I'll post an update when it gets here.

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PostPosted: June 11, 2018, 7:40 am 
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Randy
Wait one minute! Something has to be WRONG HERE!!! You have a straight steering shaft without any interference!
That has got to be 1 in a 1000 :cheers:
DaveW


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PostPosted: June 11, 2018, 10:02 am 
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davew wrote:
Randy
Wait one minute! Something has to be WRONG HERE!!! You have a straight steering shaft without any interference!
That has got to be 1 in a 1000 :cheers:
DaveW


And now I have to say "Is it wise to have that spear aimed straight at your heart?"

You could mount a joint on the top rail to join the 2 pieces and kill 2 birds with one stone.

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PostPosted: June 11, 2018, 3:03 pm 
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I still have the stock collapsible section from the Miata column in use to prevent direct heart spearing. I would think that is enough - I'm using the same set up as the Miata used with just two U-joints.

Let me know if I'm askew in this thinking!

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PostPosted: June 12, 2018, 8:36 am 
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viewtopic.php?f=5&t=7972&p=80948
It looks like you used only the splined coupler, not the collapsible section of the miata shaft. Will the new section fit inside/collapse into the upper tube above the coupler?

It appears that in a frontal accident that is bad enough to move the rack, the grip of the collar set screw in the shaft is all that would prevent the shaft from driving into your chest. Even with a collapsing section, try to ensure the load needed to collapse the section is much less than what is needed to drive the upper column out of the bearings. A clamp on threaded or grooved collar with a matching groove/thread in the shaft would be much stronger and still allow you to service the upper column. With a few degrees built into an upper joint, the shaft would apply a force to rotate the upper column in it’s mount rather than directly drive the shaft out of the bearings into your chest.
You could also make a collapsing section from scratch but the stock miata intermediate or aftermarket double d section would be ideal.

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PostPosted: June 12, 2018, 11:07 am 
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I see what you are saying, and it isn't shown in the photo, but right after the bearing is the other U-joint into the upper section. The lower shaft is at a slight angle to the upper shaft. So it isn't a straight shot into my body if there was a front impact.

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PostPosted: June 12, 2018, 11:10 am 
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A follow up question - is the upper also a collapsible section? It looks like the stock miata set up has two collapsing parts - the lower (where the splined pieces are from your link), and the upper that goes to the steering wheel. Has anyone taken the top column apart?

Thanks again for the help!!

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PostPosted: June 12, 2018, 11:32 am 
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Here is what I mean:

Attachment:
Miata column.JPG
Miata column.JPG [ 167.22 KiB | Viewed 965 times ]


The part that says Steering Shaft has a small shaft that goes into a larger upper shaft. Is that collapsible as well as the part that says Intermediate Shaft?

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PostPosted: June 12, 2018, 7:50 pm 
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I don't know. Maybe somebody here has cut open the upper to find out?

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PostPosted: June 12, 2018, 9:28 pm 
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I used a Miata steering shaft set and had to shorten it a bit and what is labeled as 'Intermediate Shaft' is two pieces splined together. Seems the space between the 2 pieces serves as the 'collapsable' part.

Just a guess.

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PostPosted: June 13, 2018, 10:35 am 
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Yep, I've seen the intermediate shaft apart and it is indeed a collapsible section. According to a couple of other sites I've read that the upper section is also collapsible. The design I followed loosely was the way the Haynes does it, and I've seen numerous builds (UK) use the set up I used, which MOT passes. Those guys are ridiculously strict!

I am going to do some more research. I think the set up I have is safe, with the angle away from the driver in the event of a frontal impact and the upper collapsible section mated to the stock Miata steering column upper mount.

Keep the input coming though - I will always use all the help I can get!

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PostPosted: June 13, 2018, 2:35 pm 
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So, the shaft does angle away from the driver some in plan view? I don't know what angle would be minimal, but if you're researching it, you might try to find some data online that gives you recommended minimums.

Cheers,

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

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PostPosted: June 13, 2018, 11:07 pm 
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It definitely angles in plan view. I'll take a shot of it a bit later. Thanks!!!

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PostPosted: June 13, 2018, 11:31 pm 
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I also did more research and found that the collapsible section is the upper section as well, and requires measurement to ensure it has not been collapsed before re-installation.

Here's a shot of the shaft:

Attachment:
steering shaft.JPG
steering shaft.JPG [ 102.91 KiB | Viewed 872 times ]

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PostPosted: June 14, 2018, 10:25 am 
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Hey Randy - you had asked last night about the collapsible steering shaft section on my car - this is the one I used from Woodward Steering.

I shortened it to fit my application (making sure it still had full travel of the collapsing function) and welded the Miata spline at the distal end to fit into the stock U-joint at the steering rack. I also ordered one of their U-joints to fit the spline that comes on their shaft for an easy install onto my steering wheel shaft.


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