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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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 Post subject: Re: Exo Hot Rod
PostPosted: January 3, 2017, 5:45 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Exo Hot Rod
PostPosted: January 3, 2017, 6:34 pm 
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I wasn't promoted exactly, but I paid for an upgrade in my tickets.

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 Post subject: Re: Exo Hot Rod
PostPosted: January 4, 2017, 2:57 pm 
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Ah, you were thinking of moving the engine back and keeping the driver in position.

Unfortunately, there's even less room up there. You can see that in these photos I think.

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 Post subject: Re: Exo Hot Rod
PostPosted: January 4, 2017, 6:07 pm 
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I couldn't tell a whole lot from the pic of what I think is the front driver area, but I knew the rear end would limit how far you could go back and was presuming you were already back as far as you could go.

As I said, from the side it just appeared that the motor could be set back a little without impinging upon the driver's feet.

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 Post subject: Re: Exo Hot Rod
PostPosted: January 4, 2017, 10:37 pm 
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You're right, the picture is a little misleading as to space in the front.

I've actually been fighting with that exact space in the last few months. I originally had a reverse-mount hanging pedal assembly that I was going to use, but mocking it up showed that it was going to put master cylinders in a somewhat problematic place and the solutions to the problem would look messy and would be heavy. So, I returned the pedal assembly and got a forward-mount, only to realize that it created similar problems in a different spot, plus it put the master cylinders closer to the exhaust manifold than I liked. So, I returned that assembly and got floor mounted pedals. These are also problematic, as the master cylinders have to go behind the assembly and the space back there is long enough, but triangular. Pulling back the assembly far enough for even the smallest master cylinders to clear the side of the firewall by the bellhousing put my knees almost on the steering wheel.

I could gain leg room by going down with the floor (my floor sits up off of the ground more than most builds you'll see, because I'm creating a specific rocker line and building an efficient structure that sits above the subframes but does not include the subframes), but that looked stupid from the side of the car. The foot box could come down a little, but no more than a couple of inches.

I played around with the floor-mounted pedals and seat positioning and was able to find a position that I think will work and look good. Although I'd have a little more room with the hanging assemblies, and I could have made either one work, The floor-mount is going to look much neater, it puts the required extra structural weight much lower, and it has ended up jiving pretty well with my already-planned cross braces in the floor.

One of the difficulties of the exo car that I think I underestimated was making all of the structure look good. Nothing gets covered with bodywork, so all of the bones have to look right.

-Graveyard

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 Post subject: Re: Exo Hot Rod
PostPosted: January 5, 2017, 5:25 pm 
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Looking good. Making everything fit, work, and look good is what takes all the time. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Exo Hot Rod
PostPosted: March 19, 2017, 8:04 pm 
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Carnage.

It all started with a more critical measuring of headroom. There just wasn't going to be sufficient room for my head under the top when wearing a helmet. For whatever reason, I thought helmets were an inch thick or so, and that led me to a top that was a little lower and tighter in to the passenger compartment. Once I figured out that helmets are more like three inches thick I started trying to get my seat positioned in the car so that my helmet wouldn't be touching the tube going right over head, and realized that it simply wouldn't be possible for me in the tight dimensions of the passenger compartment, and even if I could seeing over the cowl would have been problematic.

I actually considered scrapping the current build and starting over. Going a different direction. Which would, of course, mean that it would be a different kind of build. Not an exo, but an old car (30s) built into a performance machine with a custom built chassis, and the engine... (you get the idea). But after a day of thinking I went again into the garage to have another look, and again decided that I like the way this car looks.

So, I looked for other things that might lead me to scrap the build (you know, piling up evidence to convince myself). I measured chassis squareness, suspension mounting points, steering linkage clearances, and everything else I could think of that might incriminate this build and lead me to start anew. But, the chassis is as perfectly square as I can measure, the suspension mounting points are dead on and adjustable, the steering linkage works out perfectly, and there just didn't seem to be any problem besides head clearance.

I cut off the top between the roll hoop and the top of the windshield, hoping I could spare the windshield by coming up with another top that cleared my head.
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Finished off the ends where I made the cut, and tried lots of different options for the top. It was easy to gain head clearance, but it just looked wrong no matter what I tried.
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So today I cut off the windshield frame, or half of it anyway, so I can redo the tubes that go from the a pillar back to the roll hoop. I left one half so that I have it as a reference point. I'll finish the already-cut side to my new specifications, and then cut off the rest of the other side and copy it.
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The new a pillar tubs will be 1.5 inches higher at the bend, and 1.5 inches wider from center, but more critically will continue to the opposite corner of the roll hoop creating an X on the top of the car (Midlana has a similar setup, actually). There will be additional bracing to make the structure work.

I'm hopeful that this will solve the functional and aesthetic problems.

---

On a positive note, I have almost finished the structure in front of the front firewall and also the one behind the main roll hoop. A few small tubes are left to be fitted and then everything has to be finish welded.


That's all for now. Hopefully new pictures of a new top will be available soon.

-Graveyard

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 Post subject: Re: Exo Hot Rod
PostPosted: March 22, 2017, 11:59 pm 
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Put up a string jig to decide on exactly what angles I want with the new roof and windshield. It's hard to really see it and decide. I'm considering buying some pvc to mock it up a little more closely. The real trouble is how much up and out to take the top corners of the windshield. For now, I'm sitting at about 1" out and 1" up from the previous design.

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I did fit a few more of the little bracing tubes in the back today though. I'm putting plenty of extra bracing in this area of the rear and the same area in the front, as my balsa model testing suggested this was the weakest point. It should no longer be a failure point.

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I also fitted and tacked in the V in the front yesterday, though I don't seem to have any pictures of that.

I also picked up some 1.5" square tubing from the local yard today. I'm hopeful that it will help me to come up with a good design for the floor structure under the seats, which seems to be my last real sticking point for the tube chassis. The structure has to hang under the main tubes 4-5", triangulate the space, provide for both seat and seatbelt mounts, and look good (almost invisible, if possible) from the side view of the car. I've had a few ideas, but nothing I've liked. Sometimes working with a new material helps me to come up with new ideas.

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 Post subject: Re: Exo Hot Rod
PostPosted: March 23, 2017, 7:51 am 
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Quote:
Put up a string jig to decide on exactly what angles I want with the new roof and windshield. It's hard to really see it and decide. I'm considering buying some pvc to mock it up a little more closely.
Several guys in here cut a piece of (thin/cheap/used) plywood to the shape of the windshield and propped it up in place for a visual. Might help... My .02... Etc.

:cheers:
JD

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Quinn the Slotus:Ford 302 Powered, Mallock-Inspired, Tube Frame, Hillclimb Special
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 Post subject: Re: Exo Hot Rod
PostPosted: March 23, 2017, 10:57 am 
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Plywood. Hadn't thought of that. I might try it.

Thanks!

-Graveyard

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 Post subject: Re: Exo Hot Rod
PostPosted: March 25, 2017, 5:45 pm 
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Productive last couple of days. Decided to go a different route with the new windshield/top/cage. I remembered that in my initial set of goals I had this build as an 80/20 track/street car, and that I'll probably never drive it more than a few thousand street miles a year. So, I reconsidered how important the ingress/egress ease was, and experimented with a more standard cage setup.

I mocked up some tubes and such to see how hard it would be to get in and out, and found that it really wasn't that much different from when there was no top at all (at least at my current age of 37, who knows what I'd think if I were 20 years older), and I could make the whole thing stiffer, lighter, and better looking by just hitting the corners of the main hoop. I made the headroom work by bending the roof tube out about 2" right by where my head goes.

Also, I decided that I'm going to not sit totally square in the car. I think I decided that anyway. If I angle my driving position 5 degrees or so to the left, I gain more head room and more precious room in the pedal box. At first it seemed like a funny idea, but the more I messed with it the more advantages I found. It's just the best way for a driver-shaped object to fit in that space around the given components.

Lots of pictures, including some of other parts of the car that I hadn't yet photographed.

-Graveyard

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 Post subject: Re: Exo Hot Rod
PostPosted: March 25, 2017, 5:51 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Exo Hot Rod
PostPosted: March 25, 2017, 5:55 pm 
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-Graveyard


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 Post subject: Re: Exo Hot Rod
PostPosted: March 25, 2017, 5:59 pm 
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One more little group of pictures. These are from the front of the chassis, where I've almost finished with the bracing.

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 Post subject: Re: Exo Hot Rod
PostPosted: March 26, 2017, 8:40 pm 
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I wasn't as productive today in the garage, but I did get the top of the windshield tube fitted and tacked in.

This was tricky to get exactly right, because I needed to get the tube at exactly the right height as well as getting it perfectly level and adjusting the copes to fit well (tubes aren't exactly round at the bends). After a lot of experimentation, I decided that the tube looks best just below the middle of the bend.

It took some nerve, but I'm glad that I chopped off the old windshield and roof. In addition to providing the necessary headroom, I think this version looks a little better; it's a little less aggressive and more balanced. Also, the bracing in the roof can be a simple triangle of light tubing (blue tape in these pictures), which offers a cleaner look and better matches the bracing over the engine compartment and over the rear.

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Hopefully I'll get the A pillar support tubes fitted in the next few days as I have time in the evenings.

-Graveyard

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