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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: January 16, 2019, 8:19 am 
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Location: worcester county, Massachsetts
MV8 I'm glad this build is going forward, looks very kewl. I'd owned a Spit back in the early 80s, and had forgotten what a wispy thing that chassis is.

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PostPosted: January 16, 2019, 9:40 am 
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Hi Rob. I’ve been enjoying your jag build.
Yeah, wispy, I’m making bigger holes, and not much can be done within the confines of 3 inches. There will be a tower brace and the trans mount will provide a shear plate. A 1/8 plate under the engine bay would make a huge difference in torsional rigidity and provide a skid plate. I could do it but would lose about ½ inch of gc. My vsusp is for 5.5 gc to frame so subtracting 2.25 leaves 3.25 gc. There are a few high-end production cars with between 3 and 4 inches gc. I don’t have any speed bumps or culvert curb driveways that I normally traverse but I like to be prepared.

I found some pics of the same basic engine and trans in a spitfire that wasn’t butchered like mine, but the bonnet has to be cut. It looks like fiero manifolds, upper and lower intakes rotated 180 degrees, t5 trans mounts used as engine mounts bolted to the stock spit engine mount brkts, and the pulleys and water pump look to be the same as the fiero also. If I had started with a nice spitfire, I'd probably do it in a similar way (or keep it stock). Nearly every spit swap I’ve seen has the bonnet cut to some degree.

It would be nice to drive a mostly stock spit when mine is done for a comparison.

FWIW, I just received a “mandatory” recall to work so my roll may be slowed but I’m determined to stick with this at least to the point of being a roller. I expected my “vacation” to be over in the next week or so anyway.


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PostPosted: January 18, 2019, 4:30 pm 
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Joined: May 27, 2006, 9:46 pm
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Location: BC, Canada. eh?
My buddy built a Triumph GT6 with a Rover 3.5 liter V8. It turned out very nice indeed. He's always happy to share info on these cars & swaps - if you want, you can PM me & I can give you his contact info.

Clearly, you're doing great on your own, and don't need any help, but if you run across an issue he might have some ideas.

Here's a brief (and very amateurish - I did it, I'm ashamed to say!) video of the car in action.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1m0alKUHYY

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PostPosted: January 18, 2019, 5:11 pm 
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Impressive! He did an excellent job. The GT6 bonnet provides a little more room on top that I don’t have, but if I’d seen that early on before deciding on moving the rack up and back a couple inches, I might have gone with that engine or a 3800 series II or better, since those are in the same family as the rover/buick except for the bell housing pattern. Only thing I don’t care for is the timing cover mounted oil pump system but maybe that is part of the reason they seem to fit so well in these little cars. I posted a page or two back some pics of a ratty but cool rover/buick v8 install. Thanks for the offer. I’ll ask if any issues pop up.

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PostPosted: January 18, 2019, 5:56 pm 
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Location: BC, Canada. eh?
I helped him with the build from time to time, and it was truly a "labor of love". He's had the car for several decades. It went from the original 6 engine to a TR6 engine, then that motor got "warmed over", and finally he decided to use the engine from the Rover SD-1 project he had (and eventually abandoned, sue to the minuscule value of even a fully restored one).

I was constantly on him about not using hood scoops, etc., to keep the car's appearance as original as possible from the outside. I did convince him to louver the hood (lots of heat under there, and VERY little space), which works great - waves of heat can be seen escaping through them when the engine's running.

You're right about the limited under-hood space - even with the GT6's "power bulge", the specially-modified air cleaner housing is so close to the closed hood that, while a sheet of writing paper fits between them, a credit card does not!

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PostPosted: January 23, 2019, 6:00 pm 
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Removed the old engine mount plates and made new frame mounts.

The spit lcap brkts are offset for caster. I drilled the frame to accept the fwd brkt in the rear position to raise the lcaps to match my susp design. I'll have to make new brkts for the rear since the lcaps are 1/2 inch higher due to the higher outer pivot/lbj on the rear. Tried to duplicate the front geo on the rear but with a slightly higher rc.

Not quite finished on vsusp and still need to fine tune the track.
http://vsusp.com/?tool=2d#0.8%26project ... _camber%7D

The new pump is 2 inches shorter. still waiting on pulleys. Note the diff in impellers.

Cut out the old rack mounts and cleaned up the rails. Notice there are no lateral tubes between the lcaps so I am welding in a 2x3 at the front near where the rack was and adding a 4 bolt 1x3 below the rails engine near the mounts. The engine mounts are arranged this way to clear the lcap brkt stud through the frame. still need to add gussets fwd of horns.


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PostPosted: January 26, 2019, 10:00 am 
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Started working on an alt brkt. Made this one before I measured my new pulleys. Also reclocked the alt case to put output stud in best position for clearance but the alt is about a ½ inch too far aft as shown, so it won’t be an issue. Picking up the top center timing cover bolt to stabilize and wrapping the alt pivot. Most of the external threads are m8-1.25 or m10-1.5. While chasing everything, I found my free drivetrain had a broken off exhaust stud and a stripped water neck hole on the intake to be helicoiled (both m8-1.25).

The pulleys are 4 rib for a k5 belt. The alt pulley is 5 rib but I just won't use the extra rib on the front. Most flat belts can be had down to about 24 inches. To measure, wrap a string or twine around the pulleys with the alt adjusted fully inboard. mark across the twine where it overlaps, then measure the length of twine between the marks. Buy next two sizes longer, then keep the best fit and return the others. Beats going back and forth more than once. For dayco belts, the first 3 numbers are the number of belt ribs (pulley ribs plus one. 404, 505, 606, etc). The last three numbers are the belt length down to a 10th of an inch. You can cross reference the dayco number to other brands with less straight forward numbering.

It's officially friggin' cold now for ATL at 25f.


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PostPosted: January 26, 2019, 6:59 pm 
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It warmed up for a little while. Sneaking up on a proper alt mount.Not quite there yet.


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PostPosted: January 26, 2019, 7:32 pm 
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What is the thickness of the alt mount that bolts to the water pump?

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PostPosted: January 26, 2019, 8:46 pm 
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It is 0.128" where the other two pieces I sourced from the scrap pile are 0.190". As it is, very weak around the bolt hole nearest the pivot flange but that is getting a gusset beyond the wtr pmp bolt hole and pickup the hole in the timing cover for stability. Also my bandsaw slotted brkt is a little sloppy and the pivot hole for the brkt would have been better a 1/4 inch closer to the pump shaft, but it is progress! This is the prototype not counting 3 sacrificial card board brkts.

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PostPosted: January 31, 2019, 12:18 pm 
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I could reinforce the 1st design alt brkt with a 1/2 inch strip that follows the contour of the pump and lays behind the brkt, welded along the outside edge, but since I eventually may fit an aluminum head fwd engine like the LA1, so I decided to make a 2nd design alt brkt to clear a flipped, fwd lower intake. The alt cannot overlap the intake (as viewed from the front). I also cut the end off the exhaust manifold to keep the heat away from the alt. This one will also use 0.128" strip and will have a rib as described.

Here are a few of the different v6-60 pattern bellhousings for the T5 in the 4 speed pattern and the 80s and newer pattern case. The image name describes the application. All were either GM truck or camaro/firebird for those clocked to the left. Bell depth can vary along with matching input shaft length. A shifter at the front of the tail housing indicates a truck app where one at the rear indicates a camaro/firebird app. Fine spline input shaft indicates a v8 app.


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PostPosted: January 31, 2019, 1:19 pm 
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Location: Louisville KY
The Camaro option fits nicely into the locost. The lever is pretty where you're gonna want it w/o more modifications, and the tilt saves some tunnel space.

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PostPosted: February 3, 2019, 9:38 am 
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Access to the rotated bell slave would be better too. The fwd shifter is great for a spit but a locost would need the camaro version or a diy linkage like the original sevens had, to get the shifter back there.

I successfully welded the iron manifold. I listened carefully during the process and never heard any tinkling/cracking or observed any. It was tedious and took about a half hour after prep. The patch was cut from the cut off. There was no cleaning other than from the grinding wheel, regular flux core wire, eastwood 135 mig set to max amps and high feed for rapid fill, each weld was only long enough to make a puddle smaller than a dime, quickly peened weld with a chipping hammer, stopped to let it cool anytime the area felt too hot to keep my hand on it for more than 10 seconds. the patch overlapped the opening but not the entire cut area so the welds are inside corner, opposite corners until fully welded with overlapping spot welds. It worked so well I will probably do the other one too so they match, then use the best one on the left side.

Just rough cleaned with a grinder and the lumps trimmed off with a band saw. Following up with flat file, my new porting carbide, and welding up the o2 plug.


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PostPosted: February 3, 2019, 9:55 pm 
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I'm having to trim a bit of the frame from my locost (lower intersection near the accelerator pedal) to get some clearance for the slave cylinder. But I'm not thinking that this intersection is a high stress area.

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PostPosted: February 5, 2019, 6:15 pm 
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If you say so. Tunnel tubes are important. That is a problem area on many builds.

Found the bolts are a bit closer together on the iron head so had to do lots of grinding to fit and make a new flat surface for the v10 nut flanges to clear but it looks good imho.

Pulled the pump and cleaned up the timing cover for mocking up the alt brkt.


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