The chassis is welded up except for the bent pieces on the back and the transmission tunnel is still unfinished.
I'm waiting now for the clutch and bell housing.
Then I'll fit the engine in the chassis, finish up the tunnel and move on to the suspension.
I have the bell housing now and was going to install the engine but there is a snag.
Here's my main problem. Getting this rather large transmission into a tiny chassis. It just isn't going to fit.
I'll decided to remake the chassis about 2" wider for the trans tunnel. There won't be room for my feet and pedals if I don't.
I've been thinking this for a long time.
The car is probably better a little wider anyway.
Here is the engine hanging in the chassis with the hood line represented by the thin stick. The pan is 2" below the frame rails in this shot and the timing cover still won't clear the hood.
I had expected this and will make the sides 1 1/2" taller and make a hood scoop.
All should work out then. There is plenty of room all around the engine and there
will be more when the chassis is wider.
This is the engine and transmission sitting in the all new chassis
The new chassis is largely a Jim McSorley design with some modifications of my own.
It is 2" longer in the leg area, 2" wider, and 1-1/2" taller in the engine area.
This seems to solve all of my fitment problems and just makes some things more to my liking.
April 24, 2003
Here are the finished A-arms.
I'm very happy with the clean look.
Rather American Hot Rod.
I went ahead and painted them the final color before pressing in all the hardware..
The car will be aluminum on the bottom and a copper paint on the top
The summer has had a lot of traveling so progress has been slow again. I have managed to finish up the suspension though, except for buying the shocks.
This is a really big event. It's great to finely see the car taking shape.
Researching and deciding what to do seemed to take forever.
Finding all the parts and ordering them took a while too, much more time than building the parts themselves.
Instead of the normal panard rod I decided to use a mumford link. It should make the car handle a little better. It looked pretty cool so I gave it a try.
Probably should have done a panard rod first so I would have something to compare it to.
There are more pictures under suspension
Jan 1, 2003
Mid March 2003
Mid September, 2003
April 2004 Easter Sunday
I finely got a bender and have finished up the rear section.
It is a $50 conduit bender from Wholesale tools.
I did a little work on it and it did the bends really nicely.
I have the steering all installed at this time as well.
Sometime in 2005,
Well I'm sorry to say the project stalled out at this point. Some unexpected expenses, some remodeling projects that needed finishing, more expenses on another project, then my wife got herself transferred to Denver, Something we never expected. So the Seven sat here pretty much like this for a couple years gathering rust in the Houston humidity.
As of August 2007 we bought this house in Longmont Co. north of Denver, and moved in.
The seven is in the left hand bay and we have room to park both cars in out of the snow. It is now January 2008 and I have ordered some parts to get started again.
The house has a full basement for my woodworking shop as well. All is cool.
now I just need to find some sort of work so I can afford to finish the Seven.
To trailer it to Colorado I had to remove the engine and the axels so we could lift it and get it to fit in the trailer. so here it sits on jackstands waiting to be
reassembled while I wait for parts to arrive. I've ordered the master cyiniders, the gas tank, the coilovers, and the radiator. All things I need to weld up brackets for.
The first to arrive. they ship overnight.
About 6 days later the coilovers arrive.
Another week and my radiator has arrived.
This is a Honda civic late 90's unit.
It was under $100 on e-bay brand new.
I went out yesterday Jan 21 and fabricated the brackets to mount the rdaiator even though it was 30 degrees in my garage.
I really need heat out there.
Well, a few weeks passed and my gas tank arrived. I ordered an oval one that measured 14 by 9". I was hoping to get a little more trunk space by having it lay flat but the 14" s was about an inch too wide so I had to return it and order the 10" round tank. It came with mounting brackets so I'll weld in pads for the bracket feet next week. I have stripped all the bolt on parts from the chassis in preparation to gas weld the whole thing. Then I'll paint it and put a floor in and remount all the suspension and steering parts.Progress, at last.
This is my gas welding rig along with the little Meco torch I bought from the Tin Man. It will work great for braze welding the chassis with Nickel\Bronze rod. this is the same process Lotus has always used to weld the basic Seven chassis.
It's June 1st 2008 It has been 6 years now since I first started. I just finished up gas welding the chassis and cleaning off all the rust this week. Next week I'll paint it and buy aluminum for the floor and bulkhead.
More Photos on the Chassis photos page.
It feels so good to finally get to this point. It seems like I've been fabricating the chassis for ever. (Well, it has been 6 years.) Boy, was it a pain sanding off all that rust. My arm hurts. The Houston air and the leaky roof really took a tole.
During the month of July 2008 I got the aluminum floor and bulkhead installed.
I reinstalled all of the suspension and did the adjustments for the front alignment.
I finished rebuilding the brakes, a job I started about 5 years ago, and got them installed on the car. then I went ahead and put the wheels on and set the car on the floor.A first time roller. I think I got the steering all back on the car too, this month. Maybe that was June.
I also painted and rearranged the garage. I've been a busy boy.
It's the end of October 2008 I got the engine and trans back in the chassis last night.
The weight settled it down on the springs to a level ride height of 6". I had planned for 5" but somehow it just didn't work out, maybe I will have to get softer springs? I'll want to drive it first. For a street car 6" doesn't seem bad anyway. I'm still trying to get the car finished next summer. The weather here is so nice in late summer and fall for some good drives in a little roadster.
I posted these pedal pictures on request
by another builder.
Using the Wilwood pedals and mounting them in the normal manner the faces of the pedals are 7 1/2" from the fire wall and on my build, which is 2" wider than book and the tunnel adjusted for my T5 tranny and bell housing, the food space is 12" across at the face of the pedals. with the aluminum applied to both outside surfaces
I bought the gas pedal from the Speedway catalog.
It will work just great and the spoon runs in under the top rail it is mounted to to give me just a bit more room for my foot. I may have to beat a bowl shape into the side aluminum for a little bit more clearance though . I have a couple inches over to tha tranny to do this with.
I made a mounting bracket but just have it clamped on in this photo.
I salvaged this header part from the Olds I pulled the engine out of. I cut it and rewelded it to turn and go down the side of the car.
Picture looks a little funny but they are pretty close to on top of each other. easier than I thought it would be. I'll find a two to one piece to weld on next.
Early June 2009 and I have most of the body work complete. A bit of a learning curve but all in all not as hard as I expected. But then, not as easy as I had hoped either.
These previous three shots were taken on May 20 2010
The exhust system completed.
I built a wood cover for the rear deck with what I could get to clear, for a tool box. I will cover it all in fiberglass and paint it. I'll make an aluminum lid with a lock for the tool box.
We hauled the seven over to Quad 4 Rods and began the wiring work
The wiring process looked pretty much like this for over a week. There a lot of connections to make up.Fortunately, I was lucky that John knows how to wire a car. I bought the wiring kit from speedway for about $125 the cheapest one they had, only 12 circuits. We used the stock computer from the olds. It really was pretty easy as long as you have an ides what one is doing.
We started with the lights and all that stuff then did the engine wiring, hooking it all into the computer as we went. Even after 9 years the engine fired right up but I had forgotten to replace the oil plugs in the lines and it dumped oil all over the place. My first engine rebuild. The place that did the block work for me took out the plugs and since I didn't do it myself I didn't realize they were missing.
So the engine had to come out and back in. Twice. It does only take about 2 hours to remove it and about 3 hours to put back though. It takes about two days in the Oldsmobile. So removing the engine no longer scares me now.
Here it is, all in running condition. I went ahead and used the cover as it housed the coil pack and made the wiring much easier. I decided I liked the look as well.
The quad really fits nicely in the chassis too, also it sounds really American, loud and deep, for a 4 cylinder. Not like a rice burner at all. I'm very pleased so far.
I have driven it around my circle once now, a distance of one mile. So far,Way too cool.
The other side. I still need to clean up the wiring a bit and make a two piece gromet for the firewall.
The latest photo taken 7/11 2011. I'm just about finished building and getting ready for registration and paint.