LocostUSA.com

Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
It is currently Mon Oct 20, 2014 12:18 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 212 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 15  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:35 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:26 am
Posts: 341
Location: Bakersfield, CA
Well, time to start my build log --wayyyyy behind schedule.. A little back story first..
---------------------------------------------------------------------

A warning for the purists.. This is anything but a standard restoration; This car is getting 300%+ it's intended horsepower- It's also going to be RWD, 4 wheel independent suspension with 4 wheel disc brakes: in short- a street legal go-kart :lol:
---------------------------------------------------------------------

I bought a 72 N600 in college on a lark: It was such a cool little car, but with it's factory 2 cylinder 600cc air-cooled engine, it was way underpowered (36hp).. even at 1300lbs, it was always an adventure merging onto the San Diego freeways- good times :lol:

Anyway, I owned it for about a year; until the day a rod went through the block in the fast lane on I-5 in LA.. more good times.. That was back in the early 90's-- fast forward to a few years ago when I got a bug to start a new project that required stretching my fabrication skills.. I decided to find another N600 and give it a 'real' engine and better brakes.. And so begins my build log..

It took almost 6 months to find the little gem in the picture.. what I was really after was a shell with good glass, as all of the OEM bits (engine/suspension) were not needed.. My goal was rust-free, and this car fit the bill.. It had been sitting in the CA desert on it's hubs since 1984.. In hindsight I got a really straight, rust-free body, but none of the glass was any good..

-Which brings me to how I wish to present this build log-- I've been at this build for almost 2 years as I start this log (lots and lots and lots of hours!), and I've kept a detailed (paper) diary on it, so I'll add to this with details and pics as I get time.. I'm much more inclined to spend time in the garage instead of at the keyboard, so we'll see the pace I can keep on this (I hate reading build logs that go months with no updates when you're really into what the builder is doing).. With the backlog of pics and work done, I hope not to let this thread stagnate.

My goal with this car is to go from basket case to daily driver, with an eye on performance, reliability, and weight savings... Ideally with the new power to weight ratio it will also do very well at the occasional track day.. I'm not looking for stupid-fast, I want outstanding handling/ good, strong usable power/ and reliability.

One of the reasons I chose the little N600 is because it's such an oddity, and people just don't know what to make of it-- so much curious attention, and I thought it would be fun to build one that could actually get out of it's own way...

On with the build!


---The pic below is as she sat when I decided to buy her.. I pulled it out of this field Jan 9, 2011- my wife about killed me when I got home with it :mrgreen:


Attachments:
n600 as purchased dec 2010.JPG
n600 as purchased dec 2010.JPG [ 60.41 KiB | Viewed 5243 times ]

_________________
My Honda N600 build log (big engine in a microcar)...
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtop ... 36&t=14452

Upcoming Volvo 1800 build (LNF Ecotec compliments a Svelte Swede)
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=16309


Last edited by ccrunner on Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:18 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:26 am
Posts: 341
Location: Bakersfield, CA
ATTN MODS-- sorry, I've screwed up and put this in the wrong area- :roll:

could you please move it to the "Non-traditional builds log" area?

thanks-

ccrunner


wanted to add a shot of what a 'nice' N600 looks like.. sort of Japan's answer to the classic Mini Cooper, just a few inches shorter (not to mention missing a few cylinders!)..


Attachments:
nice n600.jpg
nice n600.jpg [ 11.68 KiB | Viewed 4918 times ]

_________________
My Honda N600 build log (big engine in a microcar)...
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtop ... 36&t=14452

Upcoming Volvo 1800 build (LNF Ecotec compliments a Svelte Swede)
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=16309


Last edited by ccrunner on Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:26 pm 
Offline
Always Moore!
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 3:40 pm
Posts: 3346
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Done.

Btw it sounds like a really interesting project.

_________________
-Andrew
Build Log
Youtube


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:58 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:57 am
Posts: 286
Location: Waterloo, WI
Neat. I know I've seen a similar project with one of these before but darned if I can find it right now. Best of luck! :cheers:

_________________
-Keith


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:56 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2006 5:40 pm
Posts: 1404
Location: Novato, CA
I loved my old 600 Coupe! You could drive it flat out all day, and no one could tell! You could open the passenger rear window from the driver seat without leaning over.

The coupe was slightly faster than the sedan, which I know because I faced off with a sedan on the SF Bay Bridge late one night, flat out at 75 mph in the sedan, 75.1 in the coupe. Unfortunately I slammed it into a guard rail one rainy night, when it was overcome by terminal understeer. Bounced right off, but the subframe was torqued. Man, I loved that car.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:13 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:26 am
Posts: 341
Location: Bakersfield, CA
nick47 wrote:
I loved my old 600 Coupe! You could drive it flat out all day, and no one could tell! You could open the passenger rear window from the driver seat without leaning over.

The coupe was slightly faster than the sedan, which I know because I faced off with a sedan on the SF Bay Bridge late one night, flat out at 75 mph in the sedan, 75.1 in the coupe. Unfortunately I slammed it into a guard rail one rainy night, when it was overcome by terminal understeer. Bounced right off, but the subframe was torqued. Man, I loved that car.


================

I had such great times in mine too.. They really look like someone took a full size car and shrunk it all down to about a 2/3 scale.. It's funny you even found a sedan to 'race' :lol: -must have been odd to see you two speed demons tearing up the Golden Gate! You talk about driving all-out.. I remember having to drive all out just to keep up! (which may be part of the reason I ended up throwing a rod).

January 2011

More pics.. dragged it home and freed up the frozen hinges to find inches-thick trash and silt..


Attachments:
N600 driver door cracked open.JPG
N600 driver door cracked open.JPG [ 112.87 KiB | Viewed 5141 times ]
N600 pass door open.JPG
N600 pass door open.JPG [ 495.77 KiB | Viewed 5143 times ]

_________________
My Honda N600 build log (big engine in a microcar)...
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtop ... 36&t=14452

Upcoming Volvo 1800 build (LNF Ecotec compliments a Svelte Swede)
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=16309


Last edited by ccrunner on Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:48 am, edited 3 times in total.
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:25 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:26 am
Posts: 341
Location: Bakersfield, CA
January 2011

A few more before the cleaning/stripping started.. Note the motorcycle in the background- it will soon give its life for its Honda cousin..


Attachments:
N600 silty engine.JPG
N600 silty engine.JPG [ 256.79 KiB | Viewed 5141 times ]
n600 pulled into garage front wideshot.JPG
n600 pulled into garage front wideshot.JPG [ 342.94 KiB | Viewed 5141 times ]

_________________
My Honda N600 build log (big engine in a microcar)...
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtop ... 36&t=14452

Upcoming Volvo 1800 build (LNF Ecotec compliments a Svelte Swede)
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=16309


Last edited by ccrunner on Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:47 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:26 am
Posts: 341
Location: Bakersfield, CA
January 2011


The plan is to tear down my 1998 Honda VFR and use its engine/harness for the N600. I actually bought the bike back in July 2010 with the intention of riding it to save $$ on gas until the N600 was far enough along to need its engine.. Before I bought anything (the bike or the car), I lurked and lurked, and measured and measured to take my best guess as to whether I could stuff the 800cc/ 105hp V4 into the N600.. I met some cool N/Z600 and VFR owners online in the forums who were nice enough to measure their stuff for me to allow me to pull the trigger on this engine/car combo.. I knew it would be close, but I had no idea just how tight and difficult that N600 engine bay would be to make work without cutting into the exterior (hood/grille/front valance) of the N600. Once I bought the bike, I was able to get much more accurate measurements- then I was sure it could be done...

_________________
My Honda N600 build log (big engine in a microcar)...
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtop ... 36&t=14452

Upcoming Volvo 1800 build (LNF Ecotec compliments a Svelte Swede)
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=16309


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:36 am 
Offline
Automotive Encyclopedia
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 2:05 pm
Posts: 4772
I like it. I can picture vfr sounds coming from a seemingly restored and suprisingly peppy little car.

Hope you kept the old seat frames just in case more modern seats offer less room or don't fit (like triumph spitfire seats in a spitfire. That is all that will fit in a spit and maximize head room).

You may wish to extend the air inlet to the heater box with a dryer vent tube or corrugated plastic pipe to the grill next to the radiator.

EDIT: Elaborated on spit seats.

_________________
My reverse commuter trike build log: viewtopic.php?t=11384
Fitting glass and weatherstripping: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=6451
Growing various fruit trees, berry bushes, and wine grapes in zone 7b.


Last edited by Miatav8,MstrASE,A&P,F on Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:26 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:13 pm
Posts: 1677
Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
Very interesting project. Man, that thing is just going to beg for turbocharging if you ask me. Is the motorcycle engine turbocharged?

As a sidebar, My father had a client who was a pilot for Flying Tigers Airlines out of Oakland back in the 60's. He (the pilot) literally brought home to Mill Valley a Honda S500 sports tucked in the back of a Flying Tigers freighter aircraft. It was red and super cute. That was in the pre-SMOG, pre-Gray Market, right hand drive OK, pre-everything-else era. Those were the days.

Now, that car would be a totally killer project if you could ever find one. Yours is plenty kewl, though.

Cheers,

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

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:57 am
Posts: 286
Location: Waterloo, WI
This isn't the one I was looking for but it's a similar idea. viewtopic.php?f=36&t=11603

_________________
-Keith


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:50 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:26 am
Posts: 341
Location: Bakersfield, CA
This build log will get off to a slow start, but will pick up speed soon.. I'm an English teacher, and tend to carry on a bit more than is usually needed.. for the 1st year and a half I was really good at documenting everything, but that has become less and less.. anyway, I'll just enter my old-school 'paper' notes I'd taken along the way, and as you'll see a bit of life bleeds in there too.. kids/wife/career/dogs etc make occasional appearances..

January 3, 2011

The goal is to build a small, light 4-seat car that is reliable and gets over 32mpg.. Donor car is a 70-72 Honda N600; donor engine/trans is a 1998 Honda VFR 800 (105hp/56 ft lbs).. Donor suspension suspension front and rear is Mazda Miata (1st gen 1.6). Many, many challenges to overcome technically, but not impossible either.. Goal is to be running/streetable by Spring/Summer 2012
-bought complete/running 1998 Honda VFR 800 (31.4K mi) Aug 2010... riding until N600 needs the motor (once Miata suspension is in/solid)
-bought 1993 Miata IRS (rotor to rotor minus calipers) Jan 1, 2011 at Pick-a-part
-bought (4) rims 13x5.5 @4x100 from a VW Passat on Jan 1, 2011 at Pick-a-part.. they're too heavy, but look retro-cool, and will work for now
-need rear axles pressed out ot rear uprights- message boards indicate this can be a 'big pain'..

not my exact bike, but is my model/make/year to give an idea..


Attachments:
1998 VFR.jpg
1998 VFR.jpg [ 103.06 KiB | Viewed 4941 times ]

_________________
My Honda N600 build log (big engine in a microcar)...
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtop ... 36&t=14452

Upcoming Volvo 1800 build (LNF Ecotec compliments a Svelte Swede)
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=16309
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:26 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:26 am
Posts: 341
Location: Bakersfield, CA
January 3, 2011

As of Jan 1, 2011, the bike is flawless at 32K miles.. it's been years since I've had a street bike, and this one is a really nice ride.. lots of power, but not twitchy or nervous- predictable and smooth..
-- Do not yet have the N600; just need a 'shell with glass' -have a line on one outside of Lancaster..
-- Stripped down the Miata IRS.. cleaned it up, seems in good shape
-- Can't get axles out of uprights; need pressed out..
-- Looking for an 89-97 Ford T-Bird 7.5" for the center section and axles.. want a 3.08(?)
-- Will fab/hang the 7.5 in the Miata subframe and keep the Ford inner CVs and have axles cut/ resplined to go into Mazda outer CVs
-- Took rear axles (stuck in uprights) to PepBoys to be pressed out.. mechanic broke driver's side upright (message boards said this might happen).. Service manager is looking for a replacement- good guy

_________________
My Honda N600 build log (big engine in a microcar)...
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtop ... 36&t=14452

Upcoming Volvo 1800 build (LNF Ecotec compliments a Svelte Swede)
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=16309


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:08 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 9:10 pm
Posts: 2386
Location: Oregon, usually
ccrunner wrote:
...it was way underpowered (36hp)...
Oooh, you really know how to hurt a guy. 36 hp would be a 12% power boost for me. But I digress. It look like a fun project, and I enjoy seeing genuinely non-traditional builds in this forum. I'll be following this thread with interest.

_________________
Locost builder and adventurer, and owner/operator of http://www.kineticvehicles.com


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:26 am
Posts: 341
Location: Bakersfield, CA
January 6, 20011

PepBoys manager Joey found a new rear upright w/ axle- I'll pick it up tomorrow w/ truck (I'm on the bike today).. strategy at this point is to address the rear suspension issues/assembly first.. get it set in the car as far as possible, then go after front suspension/subframe..

January 9, 2011

Picked up N600 in Lancaster.. it's a basketcase.. plates show 1984 tags.. seats rotten/ headliner turns to dust when touched/ missing windshield/ bent up front bumper/ has complete drivetrain and suspension/ rotted dash pad/ surface rust on roof/ rear bumper straight/ door hinges 'frozen'/ seems to have all latches-handles-cranks-etc/ inside is full of random crap-garbage-dirt (lots of silty dirt)/ fenders-hood-doors need minor attention-bodywork/ the actual 'shell' seems in good shape, but I'm afraid I'll find hidden floor-rocker panel rust when I start digging for it.. / grille is tweaked but can be straightened(?)/ overall just what I was looking for, but it's a big mess to say the least..

_________________
My Honda N600 build log (big engine in a microcar)...
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtop ... 36&t=14452

Upcoming Volvo 1800 build (LNF Ecotec compliments a Svelte Swede)
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=16309


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 212 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 15  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Trochu and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
POWERED_BY