Radiator and Front Cowl

The front cowl that I use was meant for a model that had a smaller frame.  It was necessary to widen it over 4 inches.  This involved several steps. Having worked with fiberglass before, it was no big deal to use temporary bracing and screws to secure it in place, A little fiberglass matte, resin, time, some duraglass and  sandpaper got the rough cowl together.20150430_15455020150430_15450920150501_13270420150507_122610

Now it was time to find a radiator that would fit in the space.  Thanks to different forums, I selected a 1993 Volvo 240 radiator.

Next because there was no mounting points, it was necessary to design and fabricate the necessary fixtures and still leave room for a fan. (Yet to be purchased).


Recap and progress

This is a typical Lotus Super 7.

Caterham Lotus Super 7 Roadsport I am going for something a little different.


This is what I am basing my design on. Because it is a Right hand drive car and I flipped it in the picture, ignore the license plate reading backward.


Because this is not typical, there was no place to mount the taillights so I had to fabricate the entire back end of the car.  This turned out to be more complex than I had figured but think it will look good when done.





You will notice that instead of the standard roll bar, I decided to go with two loops.

I welded tubes to the chassis and will later adjust the height to match the seats.

20150417_10335020150409_13332320150409_13331320150417_102656Next thing was the fenders. I found steel fenders at Tractor Supply but they were not quite the needed radius so I decided to notch them and make a smaller radius.  Made notches every 10 degrees, reshaped and welded.  Here are steps involved.


I have totally removed everything from the car back to the bare chassis and will be looking to paint the chassis next.  Unless I change my mind.

Starting slow

Still trying to get the shop in order. Way too much stuff.  Did get my bead blaster installed so when I want to do powder coating I can. Also installed overhead winch and pull down power.


Also got the nose and scuttle. Waiting for the 4″ fillers to widen the nose.



Also got two roll bars. Going to do something different.  Need to get seats.


Time to begin again

After a long hiatus, I have started on the project again.It sat idle for a couple years while we built a new house and a 30 x 40 workshop. Started by taking it all apart and getting the rust off and a fresh coat of primer.


Modified the old Lamborghini Chassis Jig so I could rotate and remove all the rust.20150118_152955

Fresh coat of primer


Start mock up with cleaned up parts


Added Gas Tank


Even modified LS1 stand to hold S2000 engine.


Super 7 – Steering Rack

UPDATE 7/17/17: Was never comfortable with this solution. Scrapped it all and went with a Mustang II steering rack.

Now that the front suspension is done, need to be able to steer.  I had a power steering rack from a Firebird that had been used on one of my Lamborghinis but it had a leaky seal.  Since I am not going to use power steering, I’m going to convert it to just a manual rack and pinion steering rack.

This is the final result.

Now the Firebird rack was way to long, so trying to keep my costs down, I figured, too long, I can make it shorter.

First thing to do was to take it apart to see what I had to work with. Found links on the internet that helped me disassemble.  When you have to take the inner tie rods off the rack, a pipe wrench is your friend.

Because this was a power steering rack, there was a seal inside that was used by the power steering fluid to move the rack. Because I was eliminating the power steering, the seal had to go.

I wanted to get an approximate dimension so I positioned the tie rods in an approximate location and took a measurement.  It appeared I could come close to that measurement.

Next I needed to remove the existing mounting bracket.

At first I was just going to whack it in two but after looking down the inside, I determined there was a bushing that needed to stay in place. I measured to that location and them cut the outer casing. Next on the other end, there was a flange that the outer seal had to be seated against so I had to leave that in place also.

After all the cutting, this is what the outer casing looked like.

NOTE: Others have mentioned it it is not a good idea to section the shaft but take some off the ends and drill and retap. This is what I did but everyone needs to make their own decision.

Now it was time to move on to the shaft.  You need to remove the same length from the shaft that you cut from the casing. I measured from the location where the seal was.

Because the integrity of the shaft is critical (matter of life and death), you want to make sure the weld is strong.

Start by beveling the ends to allow good weld penetration.

Now to ensure that everything was reassembled straight, I clamped the pieces to a piece of angle iron to hold the pieces straight.  For the shaft itself, I just spot welded in the groove to hold it in place before adding the final weld.

Now that the welding was done, the welds had to be ground down to make the casing and the shaft smooth.

Now it was time to put the mounting bracket back in place. I positioned it over the seam on the outer casing. By clamping both the existing and the separate piece to the welding table, I could be sure they were in alignment for when the mounting of the steering rack bracket was finalized.

Now I positioned the rack along a taped line that had been used to position the rack to minimize bump steer. I fabricated a mounting bracket out of 1 1/2″ square tube with tabs.

Finally the rack was mounted to angle iron that would then be welded to the frame.

And that’s all their is to it.  Simple.

Super 7 – Front Suspension

Now that my wrist has healed, I have some time to work on the front suspension. I looked at the designs that were in the book and did not like the adjustable link on the top A-Arm so I modified it slightly.

This is what the finished product looks like.


Now to get there, I ordered some parts from various suppliers as well as fabricated some of my own.

I started by fabricating the lower A-Arms based on dimensions in the book.

Of course I needed to make two.

Ran into a small problem when working on the top A-Arms as they ball joints did not want to clear the inside of the tire. I was able to ream out the spindle to allow the ball joint to be seated lower and that fixed the problem.

Once that was set, I set the angle of the rotors and them fabricated the top arms to fit.

And now the front stands on tires.

Finally back working on car

Been slowly ordering parts and trying to engineer the rear suspension. Got coil overs Tuesday and with all the other parts, I actually now have wheels on the ground.