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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: March 5, 2021, 11:49 am 
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tibimakai wrote:
Thank you for all the pointers.
I have read a while ago, how to register this type of car in California. I don't remember reading anything, that would be a problem, right Lonnie?
Usually what wheel sizes you guys are using, 15-17"? There is a preferred size? Bigger than 17" is not good for the weight, right?
I don't know yet which donor car should I go with, any ideas are welcome.
Good idea about the Ecotec engines. I see a lot of Buicks, Chevy HHR, Cobalt SS, some Cadillacs, Saab 9-3 etc. use these engines with very good powers 250-270hp.
The question is, which one has a manual transmission and maybe even rear wheel drive? I don't know anything about these cars.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_Ecotec_engine

There is only one Mercur, and it looks very bad($1000), specially the engine.
https://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac/c ... 52358.html
I think that I'm more exited about the Ecotec cars now.


You'd register it under an SB100 exemption in CA. Google that and it should get you the info you want.

For a Miata based build, you'd want to run 14" or 15" diameter wheels. You want a wheel no heavier than the stock Miata wheels... they're quite sensitive to unsprung weight, and making the car a bunch lighter makes that more important.

Most all of the other choices than Miata drivetrain are either 1) all FWD so you have to play games and/or buy expensive adapters to make them work in a RWD car, or 2) they're pretty heavy (like the truck based parts). It can all work but IMO a mostly one source donor makes your life a LOT simpler and less expensive overall.


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PostPosted: March 5, 2021, 11:59 am 
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Thank you for all that.
There are only two, or three donors that I could use? Miata, Ranger and a Mustang? It is kind of limited. I would prefer something newer.


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PostPosted: March 5, 2021, 12:07 pm 
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@tibimakai
Yes, you can register a Locost in California. It's a process that's been pretty well laid out by others here on this website, so I won't repeat it here.

Too bad about the Merkur. It looks like a squirrel has made a home there. However, I suspect some damage to the driver's side rear suspension based on the photos. You'd have to inspect it to know for sure.

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 5, 2021, 4:19 pm 
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You guys are saying, that I should just use the rear sub frame with diff from the Miata?


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PostPosted: March 5, 2021, 5:06 pm 
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tibimakai wrote:
Thank you for all that.
There are only two, or three donors that I could use? Miata, Ranger and a Mustang? It is kind of limited. I would prefer something newer.


There aren't many newer small RWD cars around. You could go for NC (2006-2015) or ND Miata (2016-) parts but your initial cost is likely going to be higher. I'd consider the Ranger and Mustang to be donors of last choice. The rear axles are pretty heavy and as I pointed out before, unsprung weight isn't your friend. It has a very direct negative effect on ride for a small lightweight car.

As for your last question, with any of the Miatas, the engine/gearbox/differential/uprights/wiring/brakes and more are all usable in a Locost. RX-8's have very similar if not identical suspension to the NC Miata's so they're usable as well, though the rotary presents its own issues.


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PostPosted: March 5, 2021, 5:12 pm 
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Yes, weight would be an issue, that is one of the reasons, I would like to make a wishbone suspension in the rear as well, because to me, the Miata rear sub frame assembly looks to be very heavy, specially the control arms.


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PostPosted: March 5, 2021, 5:32 pm 
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tibimakai wrote:
Yes, weight would be an issue, that is one of the reasons, I would like to make a wishbone suspension in the rear as well, because to me, the Miata rear sub frame assembly looks to be very heavy, specially the control arms.


Relative to really light cars, yeah they're a bit heavy. Still far lighter than a straight axle though. And the main two Miata based versions of the Haynes Roadster (Vodou and Saturn) both use fabricated control arms and ditch the subframe. On those you use the only the Miata differential/axles/uprights in the rear.


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PostPosted: March 5, 2021, 7:44 pm 
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That is what I would prefer doing, though.


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PostPosted: March 6, 2021, 3:13 pm 
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tibimakai wrote:
That is what I would prefer doing, though.


Then I would get the Haynes book and the Saturn and Vodou changes. I like the way the Vodou modifications mount the rear diff better, but I like the Saturn for the rest. You can search the forum here, there are links to PDF's of the modifications and for the Haynes book I bought one out of the UK. The prices US sellers are asking for it are entirely stupid. I paid about half of what US sellers wanted and it still wasn't cheap.


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PostPosted: March 6, 2021, 4:37 pm 
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Sorry to reply late to a topic covered earlier in the thread here,

Lonnie if you need cad of the voodou chassis for the overlays or documentation of differences between the various frames for builders let me know. I have a most of my car modeled.


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PostPosted: March 6, 2021, 4:46 pm 
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Where can I find the Saturn drawings? I haven't seen that yet. What are the differences between the Saturn, and the rest?
I'm inclining toward the Vodou rear, but I see that it is narrower then the 442E.


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PostPosted: March 6, 2021, 5:15 pm 
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mikesbikester wrote:
Sorry to reply late to a topic covered earlier in the thread here,

Lonnie if you need cad of the voodou chassis for the overlays or documentation of differences between the various frames for builders let me know. I have a most of my car modeled.


That would be a great thing for you to document in a thread here, if you can. Then it would be available to everyone, including me. Thanks for the offer.

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 11, 2021, 3:02 am 
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About donor cars, there is anything that can be used other then Miata and Mercur? These are old and hard, or expensive to come by?


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PostPosted: March 11, 2021, 9:49 am 
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Which one are you against "old" "hard to come by" or "expensive to come by"? And what are your goals for the car? There are always something odd you can build with. Rusted out MGB's (and other British sports cars are available starting a a couple of hundred dollars. Granted they are mostly 40 years old or more. But that doesn't stop thousands of owners from driving them. Then there are the small pickup trucks. Here is one example of a Locost based on the Chevy S-10, http://www.halerconcepts.com/Locost%20Canada.htm.

While I often promote buying a donor and using everything you can off of it, many choose to only buy the parts they want rather than tearing down an entire car. There are literally hundreds of places to purchase JDM engines and transmissions. Many are North-South powertrains. Heck you can even buy half-cars that are cut across the middle. The options for finding donor parts are as many as your mind can imagine.

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Chuck.

“Any suspension will work if you don’t let it.” - Colin Chapman

Visit my ongoing MGB Rustoration log: over HERE

Or my Wankel powered Locost log : over HERE


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PostPosted: March 11, 2021, 11:52 am 
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tibimakai wrote:
About donor cars, there is anything that can be used other then Miata and Mercur? These are old and hard, or expensive to come by?


Unfortunately, we went through a long period in this country where just about all sedans, station wagons, convertibles, etc., were all front wheel drive. So, the pickin's were thin. Small and large pickup trucks plus sports cars and sport sedans were the exception to that rule.

I had started out wanting to do a standard Haynes Roadster based on a Merkur. Long story short, that proved difficult. I switched to using a North American car, and my best choice, I thought, was a base Mustang with a 5-speed. There are some other candidates too, but given your desire for a well-trodden path and a clear set of plans, I would stick to something that's been done many times. Probably your best choices come from the Mazda family, or using a British car like an MGB or a Sprite/Midget donor.

BMW's are coming down in price, and there a 4- and 6-cylinder versions to choose from, but only a few Locosts have been built using them. You'd be doing some level of trailblazing there. You could also keep and eye out for a Merkur and just wait until you find one. Personally, I'd get the contact info for that one in Hollywood and check back with them periodically. You might get it for considerably less than their asking price if they want it gone.

You've reached the first of many decision points. There's no perfect path. All of them have pluses and minuses. One mentioned alternative, buying a Stalker in some state (bare chassis, kit, etc.), is still a viable choice if you have the money. Buying an already built Locost is another one.

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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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