My Lotus

I’m still here

Apologies for the very dormant blog action but it is not without good cause. 

This year being my honours year in Mechanical Engineering has been tough to say the least.  I haven’t had time to work on the Lotus at all…

With that said however I managed to get the Lotus as the topic for my two thesis projects. 

I have attached some pics for you guys to see what I am doing in terms of chassis design with ANSYS. I will be back posting soon! 

More to come 

Cheers for now 

Exhaust Continued

So some of the exhaust was shown in previous posts but lots of hours have been spent in the following. 

Ill just post the pics as it was quite a bit of fiddling and re fitting but as it stands there are 4 pipes into 2 pipes with more to come when I eventually get the other parts and laser cutting back.

more to come…

Rear Fenders

With a lot of sanding and fiber glassing the rear fenders finally got mounted up and she is looking more like a Seven

First up was to make the actual mold in which the lights will sit. This was done with a piece of old supawood and some spare aluminium. I didn’t not have any PVA release agent so I used good old floor wax. Did a couple of coating buffing in between and it worked like a charm. 

and out of the mold 

Net came some prep work on the fender themselves which resulted in me being covered in blue paint…

Here the holes being cut out 

and some lights 

but continuing on…. I clamped the fender to the table and fiber glassed the two light holders on.

Then eager to see what they look like….

Finally the wheel went back on and this is how she stands…

And the back panel went in…

The fenders will get a good sand down and then some body filler and another sanding etc before getting a burnt orange color paint coating.

Tunnel / Interior / Seat Belts

Haven’t posted in a while as it has been a mission due to holiday but  here is some progress…

The center tunnel finally got its top cover sorted. Just need to add a aluminium plate below where your hand goes. This will be wrapped in Carbon fiber when the sides of the car get done.

Here is the initial cardboard template,

I then had to reinforce the back piece because I realized that that is the most likely place for a passenger to put their hand when trying to get out of the car. 

I then fiber glassed into that area and sanded it smooth so that when it is wrapped you wont know the difference. 

I then carried on with the interior panels and carpeting of which some of it is below. The panel above the gearbox had to be modified due to the new gear lever design.

making sure it fits…

and then final assembly 

After that I mounted the seat belts and the seats, (apologies for the bad picture)

Next up are the rear fenders

My Lotus turned 2 today!

(Source: assets)

After a lot of shit these past two weeks SHE DRIVES ON HER OWN STEAM!!!!!

Steering Wheel

Right so to more aesthetically pleasing items…

Your general car steering wheel is pretty large in comparison to what is able to fit into the Seven. Basically I needed the wheel to be small enough to fit under the body line and not touch my knees when driving but I also needed it large enough to see my gauges whilst driving. 

After much drawing up on CAD, printing, fitting and repeating of this process I settled on my dimensions and design. The other limiting factor to what I could do was price. The steering wheels that are in the ball park size wise are racing steering wheels which are pretty darn expensive. I made this for 1/4 what one would pay for a commercial wheel. 

First up, you’ve seen the laser cut aluminium in a previous post. The next was to get some marine plywood and cut the relevant rings. Here is the beginning of the wood…I cut he board into sections to be cut again on the bandsaw.



The next was to cut the inner discs out with a coping saw to get the rings that I needed. Here was the initial layup. The wheel had to be offset with 3 layers in the front and 2 at the back due to the indicator lever standing proud. 


The two ali pieces were joined with bolts. With a lot of epoxy glue and clamping of each layer individually, I had the rough initial wheel.

Here is the clamping… 


and rough shape


I wanted to have a flat spot on the back and front so marked these with a scoring tool…

then got stuck in with a hand file and various grit sand paper…

Next came the varnish. First 4 coats had a 10/90 varnish to turps mix after that I built it up. There are about 12 coats of varnish on it with the last two 100% varnish. 

Just need to polish the inner ali, but here it is…

Gear Lever Extension

Right so one of the big problems many Seven builders have is that the gear lever lands up being situated under the dash…

There are many ways of solving this issue and this was the way I went about it. (My second design). The biggest issue here is the twisting the mechanism undergoes when you shift left and right. Also take note this wouldn’t work on a gearbox that has a vertical motion to engage reverse. 

First up I cut down, heated and re shaped the old Cressida gear lever. (done in a previous post a while back). I then turned up another shaft and threaded the two ends for an M10 and M6 nut. The design I came up with was laser cut and then welded up. I then turned up two brass spacers to stop the joining members from twisting. Finally I sent it for yellow passivization just to make it stand out. 

Here are all the bits….

Here is the initial assembly with the brass bolts and dome nuts. 

I then TIG welded up the triangular plates onto the existing gear lever and onto the new shaft.

Now as one does I made a silly error as you will see in the next two photos. In my haste to weld everything up I forgot the crucial parts that keep the gear lever in the gearbox…

and now with the parts after cutting and re-welding…

Then finally after a few delays with the passivating here it is in the car…

No just for a suitable gear knob which I will make soon. 

Clutch pedal

I have been mulling over the clutch pedal to master cylinder connection for a while now. 

I found some left over steel bar which I bored out to 8mm. This allows for the rod of the master cylinder to pass right through. I then bored one end to 14mm so that I could press fit a lock nut into it. This lock nut is what the cylinder screws into. Last of all I drilled a 6mm diameter hole to accept the bolt from the pedal….

Here it is connected 

Not the neatest but works very well. 

Next is the clutch stop and the brake pedal connection.. 

Last of engine covers

In replacing the water pump I managed to remove that lower engine cover…

I also removed about a kilogram of weight with the old front engine mount…

Here are all the front covers sprayed and fitted…

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