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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: March 30, 2021, 12:56 pm 
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Location: Port Orchard, WA
Hi, I'm Bill and I'm a project addict...

As if building a mid-engine, tube chassis, turbocharged 5 cylinder '73 Beetle wasn't enough (build thread here https://locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=20857, I decided I needed to finish something I had to leave behind about a decade ago... a Locost. Back in ~2002 I bought a chassis from the now long defunct CMC (was actually offered their first Miata chassis which ended up with Keith Tanner). I had it about 75% complete, took a new position with a different company and lost my build space. Kept it in storage for 4 years or so, decided it wouldn't ever get finished as we lived in an apt, and ended up selling it. 6 months later we moved into a house with a large garage... isn't that how things work.

Fast forward to today and I decided I needed to pick up (mostly) where I left off and found a stalled Locost project for sale here. You can see the initial build thread here https://locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4060. I took a long weekend trip from Washington state to California and picked it up a week ago. Still indexing and looking over what I have and the chassis is still in the van, but it's a good start. Miata based (oh no, another one), but that's good in my case as my last track car was a '97 Miata so I know what works and what doesn't on them. I'm sure I'll change a few things, and so far I've ordered seats (Kirkey), pedals (Tilton) and acquired some more tube and sheet to finish things off. Chassis is a McSorley 442, running gear all '94 Miata with a 5 speed and Torsen diff.

A bit about me personally... 59yr old, journeyman machinist/mechanic, worked for both the military and in private business with a decade long stint in automotive restorations. I've been driving on track (AX, SCCA Club Racing, IKR Karts, and instructing) for 41 years this year. I have all the tools to get this done, the only hold up is me currently as I'm undergoing treatment for cancer which slows me down a bit. That should be completed by August though and I'm still capable of tinkering at the moment, just no heavy lifting. I'm a new addition to the Seattle (ish) crew, though I'm over in beautiful Kitsap County, (about 10 minutes from the Southworth Ferry for the locals), so maybe an hour away by car/ferry.

I've been looking through a lot of the builds here and have gotten plenty of great ideas... you guys are an inspiration.

A few pics never hurt...
Me doing an engine out service on a Ferrari 288 GTO back in the day (about 2007-8)
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The Locost pieces I bought from the sale video
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And the entire mess in my van... about an 800 mile trip each way.
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Bill J
Fleet at present:
'12 VW GTI
'01 Chevy Van (300k and still going)
'67 International Travelall
'73 VW Beetle
'47 Farmall Cub
and the Locost...

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Bill J
442 Locost - in progress
Mid-engine Beetle - In Progess
'12 GTI - Daily
'01 Chevy Cargo Van - Workhorse parts hauler


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PostPosted: March 30, 2021, 1:21 pm 
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Joined: November 6, 2020, 6:29 pm
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Location: Spring, TX
:cheers: and happy building
I'll be making a 300 mile (each way) trip next weekend to pick mine up.

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PostPosted: March 30, 2021, 1:50 pm 
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JAMADOR wrote:
:cheers: and happy building
I'll be making a 300 mile (each way) trip next weekend to pick mine up.


Thanks! Hope your trip goes as smoothly as mine did. I don't generally take my van on long trips like that (300k miles on the original drivetrain), but it ran like a champ.

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442 Locost - in progress
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'12 GTI - Daily
'01 Chevy Cargo Van - Workhorse parts hauler


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PostPosted: March 30, 2021, 2:48 pm 
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Location: Spring, TX
Hoping so.
We'll be in a GMC Yukon Denali with a trailer, so should go well.

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PostPosted: March 30, 2021, 4:28 pm 
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JAMADOR wrote:
Hoping so.
We'll be in a GMC Yukon Denali with a trailer, so should go well.


I was in a Chevy Express cargo van... similar enough.

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442 Locost - in progress
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'12 GTI - Daily
'01 Chevy Cargo Van - Workhorse parts hauler


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PostPosted: March 31, 2021, 1:48 pm 
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Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
@Rennkafer

The first line of your intro sounded like the intro at a 12-step program meeting. That's probably what we all should be saying. :rofl:

I'll look forward to your build.

Cheers,

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

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


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PostPosted: March 31, 2021, 3:56 pm 
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Lonnie-S wrote:
@Rennkafer

The first line of your intro sounded like the intro at a 12-step program meeting. That's probably what we all should be saying. :rofl:

I'll look forward to your build.

Cheers,



Thanks... and that first line was quite intentional. :D

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442 Locost - in progress
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'12 GTI - Daily
'01 Chevy Cargo Van - Workhorse parts hauler


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PostPosted: April 1, 2021, 12:14 pm 
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Check the chassis and suspension geometry. A friend had to do some fixing on his CMC. Since the rear-end is bolt-in, at least the CMC hacks couldn't screw that one up too much. Good luck and have fun!


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PostPosted: April 1, 2021, 2:44 pm 
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kreb wrote:
Check the chassis and suspension geometry. A friend had to do some fixing on his CMC. Since the rear-end is bolt-in, at least the CMC hacks couldn't screw that one up too much. Good luck and have fun!


This one isn't a CMC, that was the one I partially finished in the early 2000's. This one is a McSorley 442 built by the person I bought the chassis from. He had a couple YT videos on how he set the suspension geometry, and I'm pretty happy with that part. Only the front anyway as the rear has the whole Miata subframe in place so that geometry is a known quantity.

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'12 GTI - Daily
'01 Chevy Cargo Van - Workhorse parts hauler


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PostPosted: April 1, 2021, 10:41 pm 
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Reading fail on my part. Bueno.


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PostPosted: April 2, 2021, 9:27 am 
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kreb wrote:
Reading fail on my part. Bueno.


No worries, happens to us all.

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442 Locost - in progress
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'12 GTI - Daily
'01 Chevy Cargo Van - Workhorse parts hauler


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PostPosted: April 3, 2021, 8:44 pm 
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Well despite having hurt myself building garden boxes for my wife last weekend (who knew hefting 12' 2x12's was a bad idea 3 months after a major surgery), I have managed to throw a bunch of money at Ebay and Summit Racing for parts. So far, seat sliders, mounts, seats, covers, and a Tilton pedal set have arrived. Still in Fedex's grubby hands (late as usual) are a Griffin radiator and the master cylinders.

Seat sliders are a "Sparco" type though not the real thing. They seem well built and weren't the premium price the name brand requires. Mounts/Seats/Covers are Kirkey 55 series "Pro Street Drag" seats. These are the same seats I put in my first build and I really liked them there. The Tilton 600 series pedal set needs no introduction, I had initially thought I'd just use the stock Miata pieces adapted but decided the car is enough different than a Miata that I really wanted to be able to set brake bias properly. Plus they look awesome. Master cylinders are 75 series Tilton with remote reservoirs to obviate the need for residual pressure valves. Finally the radiator is a Griffin, the same one I used in the first Locost I had as well. It's probably overkill for a stock Miata engine, but you never know when a turbo will fall out of a tree and need to find a home. :D :D :D

So no real work done other than exercising my wallet... but I thought it was worth an update.

Pics as always...

Tilton Pedal set next to one I 3D printed for prototyping in the Beetle...
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Seats with covers, cats are optional equipment
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Seat brackets... not too exciting
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And the garden boxes responsible for my lack of action, 6' x 12' x 1'. My wife grows dahlias as a hobby business, this year she's over 1000 plants and 300+ varieties. At some point she's going to take over our whole acre. :D :D

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PostPosted: April 4, 2021, 7:14 am 
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What is the plan? Have you decided where to start? Finishing up as is or analyzing for changes? I need to get back to my locost spitfire.

Amazing variety in dahlias. She is a couple weeks away from the peak bloom time for the tulip festival:
https://tulipfestival.org/wp-content/up ... 21_Web.pdf
Might consider planting an olympia fig for fruit if you intend to stay. She should check out this online nursery site in Portland. Nice to know the closest online nurseries for shipping costs and they have a great variety in edibles:
https://onegreenworld.com/
The 2x12s don’t look PT or if they are, not rated for ground contact (not green). May want to add a copper based oil preservative.
We are getting a very late freeze right now. I had plenty of fruit showing already.

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PostPosted: April 4, 2021, 3:38 pm 
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Miatav8,MstrASE,A&P,F wrote:
What is the plan? Have you decided where to start? Finishing up as is or analyzing for changes? I need to get back to my locost spitfire.

Amazing variety in dahlias. She is a couple weeks away from the peak bloom time for the tulip festival:
https://tulipfestival.org/wp-content/up ... 21_Web.pdf
Might consider planting an olympia fig for fruit if you intend to stay. She should check out this online nursery site in Portland. Nice to know the closest online nurseries for shipping costs and they have a great variety in edibles:
https://onegreenworld.com/
The 2x12s don’t look PT or if they are, not rated for ground contact (not green). May want to add a copper based oil preservative.
We are getting a very late freeze right now. I had plenty of fruit showing already.


So in order:
1) I've decided on the changes I'm going to make to the basics that I bought. Fab lower control arms., possibly modify the uppers. They're Kinetic arms, and no disrespect to Jack at all but the lowers are kinda ugly. Completely functional I am certain but after working on vintage F1 and such I just can't leave those. The uppers are ok and I may leave them alone but I'm not fond of the single tab for the rear link. The only other change I plan to make is to clean up the chassis a bit where it was notched to get the engine set back. I like the bracing, not fond of the finishing, and I recognize the original builder wasn't finished with it.

2) Yes, get back to your Locost Spitfire... and I need to get back on the Beetle, as soon as I can lift stuff. It needs to go outside on sawhorses to build the cage while the Locost comes in and sits on the chassis table. Either that or I need to build a second chassis table. Can't do any of it until I can lift stuff without hurting myself.

3) We've been up to Skagit a few times for the Tulip Festival... she tried those early on, but our local deer are realllllllly fond of them and we don't (yet) have 8' fences. They mostly leave the dahlias alone.

4) She has more sources for plants than I know... but I'll give her the info. Other than occasionally building stuff the plants are all her gig.

5) Ya, the boxes are just regular 2x12 untreated which will go bad in a couple years. I explained that, and got told the treated stuff "cost too much". She's an accountant for her day job and it's just generally best to stop arguing and let her learn from experience. I grew up in construction (parents owned a residential construction business I worked for through HS and college), so I agree with you, it should have been pressure treated or stained. I couldn't even get her to wait until I could stain them before she filled them up (yesterday). Telling Filipinas what to do is dangerous business... I try to avoid it. I have to sleep sometime. :shock: :D :D

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Bill J
442 Locost - in progress
Mid-engine Beetle - In Progess
'12 GTI - Daily
'01 Chevy Cargo Van - Workhorse parts hauler


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PostPosted: April 4, 2021, 4:07 pm 
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I dug deep into old saved pics and found a few of the previous build... just for nostalgia sake. This was a CMC chassis, Toyota 4AGE (small port)/T50, FB RX-7 GSL limited slip rear axle.
These are all about the time right before I lost my workspace in 2005. Much that I would do differently now having had the experience working on vintage race cars.

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'12 GTI - Daily
'01 Chevy Cargo Van - Workhorse parts hauler


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