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Simplify, then add lightness, or my new can of worms (many large photos inside) Login/Join 
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I'd been wanting a project for a while & this kind of fell into my lap, for less $ than it would've cost to just buy the steel to assemble the frame/chassis.
I had posted about the idea before & a few people recommended buying someone's stalled project.

It's a Lotus 7/Caterham replica, powered by a dry sump Mazda 13B rotary.

My dad & I loaded up his Denali Saturday morning & made the 600 mile round-trip journey (N Houston to E Baton Rouge). Fog between Beaumont & Houston, construction in Beaumont & heavy traffic at the MS river bridge in Baton Rouge made the drive take about an hour longer than expected.
I was up at 4:30am & we had it unloaded in the garage at about 8:00pm. Long day, for sure.

Loaded up & on the trip back home. Stopped to check straps after a few miles & made a pit stop for some LA boudin.







Home & in the garage, couldn't resist mocking up the nose & fenders to get a glimpse at the future




Pre-teardown shots, lots of nice parts on here







Teardown started yesterday morning while the girls were out for a few hours. Will be taking it down to the frame to clean it up & check all the welds (and finish the RR suspension) then paint the frame.

Body parts & wheels off, car up on stands.


Engine bay teardown nearly complete & ready for engine/trans removal.
Sump tank, catch can, remote oil filters, coolant tank, elec water pump, steering rack, radiator, oil cooler & elec fan removed






Next up is getting the engine/trans, LSD, suspension & 'interior' removed.




The Enemy's gate is down.
 
Posts: 9223 | Location: Spring, TX | Registered: July 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nice! I would have jumped at that as well. I love projects. Please keep the photos coming.
 
Posts: 96 | Registered: August 10, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My, ambitious, goal is to have it running/driving within a year, budget accommodating.

First major purchase will be an engine, as the existing 13B was used for fitting only & has been open to the elements (intake/exhaust ports not covered & stored in a non-climate trailer & garage) for an unknown number of years.

But, before all that, it'll be taken down to the frame to check all the welds & clean up the surface rust & paint the frame after finishing the RR suspension (it's a 3-wheeler at the moment).

From what I gather the prev owner bought it partially complete in 2008, from the original builder, who started it in 2005.




The Enemy's gate is down.
 
Posts: 9223 | Location: Spring, TX | Registered: July 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Thank you
Very little
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Nice, you have the rest of the body parts?

Is there a mobile blast service in your area, might be able to get it blasted and cleaned up really good.

Instead of paint, have you thought about powder coating the frame, durable, better protection?

Should be an interesting project, the Rotary engine is unique...



 
Posts: 16977 | Registered: November 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I thought about powder coating, but I'm sure that would be an expensive route to take.

Thinking about trying Ospho, rather than grinding on it, for the surface rust, since it's pretty light & not pitted from what I've seen so far.




The Enemy's gate is down.
 
Posts: 9223 | Location: Spring, TX | Registered: July 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Great project!
I’m glad you’re taking care of the frame first. I guess the previous owner(s) were just to anxious to do it properly.

Please keep posting pictures!


------------------
Eddie

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Posts: 5085 | Location: SML & OBX | Registered: February 19, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That’s a sweet project! Great engine by the way.

One of my friends in high school had a twin turbo 13B FD RX-7. His father passed away and left him a small fortune that he slowly pissed away on import cars and then later on muscle cars. That 13B twin turbo engine and little car was soooooooooo much fun. Even the non turbo versions are fun. A year or so later my friends and I all pooled our money together and bought a cheap beater FC RX7 “field car”. We thrashed that car and 13B engine for weeks off road on my friends property.

The transmission actually gave up the ghost first. The 5 speed manual transmission got stuck in 1st gear. That didn’t slow us down much at all. We drove it another week or two stuck in 1st and bouncing off the rev limiter almost the whole time. Big Grin That engine doesn’t mind you revving the snot out of it.
 
Posts: 17828 | Registered: April 16, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Awesome project! Reminds me of back in the day (80s and 90s) building planes and dune buggies with my dad. The plane is long gone, but we each still have a buggy. Cool

I would also agree with the suggestion to powder coat the frame. I am sure you can find a shop near you with a big enough bay and oven to do it. The cost really shouldn't be that much.

Definitely keep us updated on your progress. Good luck!


Mike


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Posts: 4585 | Location: Southern Colorado | Registered: January 01, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
always with a hat or sunscreen
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Back in the late '60s I lusted after a Lotus Super 7. If memory serves it was only available as an imported kit and was beyond my budget constraints.

Settled for a '58 TR3A that the previous owner had set up for SCCA: beefed up suspension, the 121.5cid bored out to 150cid and fitted with Weber sidedrafts. It was a hoot! Big Grin

I'm sure once your renovation and tweaking efforts are complete you'll love this sled!



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Posts: 12741 | Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: June 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by smlsig:
Great project!
I’m glad you’re taking care of the frame first. I guess the previous owner(s) were just to anxious to do it properly.

Please keep posting pictures!


I know the guy I bought it from was building it to be a dedicated auto-x/track car, maybe he wasn't worried about some surface rust. May never know.

quote:
Originally posted by stickman428:
That’s a sweet project! Great engine by the way.

One of my friends in high school had a twin turbo 13B FD RX-7. His father passed away and left him a small fortune that he slowly pissed away on import cars and then later on muscle cars. That 13B twin turbo engine and little car was soooooooooo much fun. Even the non turbo versions are fun. A year or so later my friends and I all pooled our money together and bought a cheap beater FC RX7 “field car”. We thrashed that car and 13B engine for weeks off road on my friends property.

The transmission actually gave up the ghost first. The 5 speed manual transmission got stuck in 1st gear. That didn’t slow us down much at all. We drove it another week or two stuck in 1st and bouncing off the rev limiter almost the whole time. Big Grin That engine doesn’t mind you revving the snot out of it.


I've driven a handful of RX cars over the years, multiple FCs, and FD & a couple RX8s. Love how free revving this engine can be, which with only 3 moving parts there's not much holding it back.

quote:
Originally posted by bigpond73:
Awesome project! Reminds me of back in the day (80s and 90s) building planes and dune buggies with my dad. The plane is long gone, but we each still have a buggy. Cool

I would also agree with the suggestion to powder coat the frame. I am sure you can find a shop near you with a big enough bay and oven to do it. The cost really shouldn't be that much.

Definitely keep us updated on your progress. Good luck!


quote:
Originally posted by bald1:
Back in the late '60s I lusted after a Lotus Super 7. If memory serves it was only available as an imported kit and was beyond my budget constraints.

Settled for a '58 TR3A that the previous owner had set up for SCCA: beefed up suspension, the 121.5cid bored out to 150cid and fitted with Weber sidedrafts. It was a hoot! Big Grin

I'm sure once your renovation and tweaking efforts are complete you'll love this sled!


I've always liked the 7/Caterham, but they were always well out of realistic budget. Then I stumbled onto the Locost forum & found that they can be built between $5-10k depending on components & donor.

Hoping I don't have too much trouble sourcing a viable 13B replacement, guess I'll have to keep an eye open & grab one when I find it, though it'll be one of the last things I need.




The Enemy's gate is down.
 
Posts: 9223 | Location: Spring, TX | Registered: July 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Bit of progress made last night & this morning.
Got the seats, steering wheel/column & suspension removed from the 3 installed corners.
Just have the pedal assembly, 'dash' electronics & drivetrain to pull, then starts the rust remediation.

The the build can commence. First task will be to finish the RR suspension mounts & add in the LR shock mounts.








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Posts: 9223 | Location: Spring, TX | Registered: July 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nice! I am looking forward to watching this most excellent project come together.
 
Posts: 17828 | Registered: April 16, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A Rotus!


------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Yidn, shreibt un fershreibt"

"The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else, and nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw and half a hundred other places, they put their rather naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind."
-Bomber Harris
 
Posts: 15673 | Location: Ivorydale | Registered: January 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Not a bad choice for a personalized plate. Doubt many would get it though.




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Posts: 9223 | Location: Spring, TX | Registered: July 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by P250UA5:
Not a bad choice for a personalized plate. Doubt many would get it though.




Rotus is a real car.


------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Yidn, shreibt un fershreibt"

"The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else, and nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw and half a hundred other places, they put their rather naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind."
-Bomber Harris
 
Posts: 15673 | Location: Ivorydale | Registered: January 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by kz1000:
quote:
Originally posted by P250UA5:
Not a bad choice for a personalized plate. Doubt many would get it though.

Rotus is a real car.


Very cool. Will have to take some time & look that over a bit more. Inboard front shocks is interesting.
I'll be on the hunt for a running 13B in the near future, once I get things moving forward instead of backward.




The Enemy's gate is down.
 
Posts: 9223 | Location: Spring, TX | Registered: July 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sweet!


My other Sig is a Steyr...
 
Posts: 6639 | Location: Somewhere looking for ammo that nobody has at a place I haven't been to for a pistol I couldn't live without... | Registered: December 02, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Just because you can,
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Some assembly required.


___________________________
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Posts: 6770 | Location: NE GA | Registered: August 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That is damn cool - have always loved the Lotus Super 7. The Caterham has put out some great kits and love the focus on less is faster. Will follow this jealously Wink. Awesome!





“Forigive your enemy, but remember the bastard’s name.”

-Scottish proverb
 
Posts: 1932 | Location: South Florida | Registered: December 24, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This project made me remember reading about how people sometimes use two stroke premix in their Wankel/13B engines. I decided to do an interwebs search to figure out if the Wankel rotary engine is more like a two stroke or more like a four stroke engine. I know the premix is because of the apex seals.

Whoa....This is a confusing and somewhat controversial subject because the Wankel doesn’t have any pistons. It’s a bit difficult to apply the same process of suck, squeeze, bang, blow and stroke to a chunk of metal that loves to rev/spin and has no valve train. It has elements of both 2 and 4 stroke engines.

I came across this while doing some research on a rotary engine forum.

“I tend to refer to it as a '3 stroke' because the rotors have 3 faces, there is an intake section, a combustion section, and an exhaust section (3 again) in three very different locations inside the engine. The 4 stroke theory of suck, squease, bang, blow is sorta happening in 3s in a rotary. There are no valves to 'tell' it when to do its thing, so it sucks and starts to squease at the same time (this is where forced induction really earns its keep).”

This is the beauty of this argument. There is probably no right answer. The piston on a 2 stroke is drawing air, compressing it, combusting it and then exhausting it all without any valves. A Wankel rotary engine also does this but without any pistons or any valves.

I suppose a comparison such as this is sort of like looking at an apple and a banana and then arguing with people over which one is closer to zucchini. Big Grin
 
Posts: 17828 | Registered: April 16, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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