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Adding Lightness

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  • Adding Lightness

    At least for now. But at some point I will put a beautiful new skin back on, and I guess the tank and boot need to be installed, too. There goes the lightness....
    In the meantime I will replace all the rod ends of the suspension that got a bit clattery over the years. This time with rubber seal shells.

    Once that is done I need to tackle the water pump. Nothing happened lately but the regular coolant puke last summer when turning the engine off was a bit annoying. I don't have positive proof but I suppose it came out of the pump weep hole. Then take the scuttle off to check why the blinker and fuel pressure gage will not work anymore. Then replace the "glass" of my half doors. Then the ratty ITG air filter, maybe an intake air box instead.

  • #2
    Eeek! It's naked! :)
    Tom "ELV15" Jones


    • #3
      Sheesh, Americans are so prudish. You got to appreciate the beauty of a pretty 15-year old. A bit dusty and with rivet holes but no rust.

      I went to Aircraft-Spruce yesterday and picked up 2 half-sheets of 32mil and 40 mil aluminum. About 4 times as much as I need but I fully expect a learning experience.
      They are 4'x6' size and I had it stabilized with a plywood board on the car roof. But driving the 80 miles to and from Corona at 40 mph on surface streets in Saturday shopping traffic was not that great.

      I have the rod ends for the suspension linkage and the Panhard rod on order and will install them before the re-skin. I am also considering a bit of strengthening of the rear end tubing. That should add maybe 3 or 4 pounds but given my propensity for rear-ender accidents it may well be worthwhile.


      • #4
        If you strengthen the rear tubes won't that just transfer the damage to another part of the frame? Maybe more difficult to repair too.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Doug Liedblad View Post
          If you strengthen the rear tubes won't that just transfer the damage to another part of the frame? Maybe more difficult to repair too.
          I am not planning to add a real cage. And I am aware that there is only so much you can do to a Seven, given the location of the tank that could just as well hang out back in the open. The tubing is more intended to hang the aluminum drapery than anything else.
          I would like to add a double horizontal alloy steel tube in the middle with a triangulated support on the sides that leads forward to the bottom chassis tube and the shock mounting point on top. In case of another rear-ender it will surely give the car more of a jolt but at least I hope to increase the survival impact speed for the tank from pedestrian to bicycle speed. I know if something hits in the rear at let's say 50 mph the tank is toast, anyway. In that case some damage to the chassis is probably the least to be worried about.
          Last edited by slomove; February 24, 2013, 02:22 PM.


          • #6
            Gert, if you need any help with the shearing give me a call, I have a shear, brake and beverly shear at my shop in Pasadena, would be happy to let you use them. Steve 818/517/2232


            • #7
              Thanks Steve,

              I am not sure yet how that goes. The sheets are 4'x6' and I need to cut them roughly in half to 2'x6'. I will first try with an air nibbler, since the actual shape is anyway a bit odd, kind of a straight strip in the middle with 2 butterfly wings for the sides over the wheels. I was planning to pull the pre-cut sheet around the rear end with 2 ratchet straps. Then start the process of creasing the edges around the chassis tubes with a wood mallet and a torch and rivet in place.

              So far I am finished welding up some additional triangulated reinforcement tubing around the tank. Besides better tank protection I also noticed that it will help stabilizing the roll bar in case that thing ever needs to do its job. With the stock rear end tubing they could just as well omit the 2 struts from the roll bar to the rear. That flimsy construction would anyway not prevent the roll bar from folding back.

              Right now I am swapping all the rear suspension ball joints rod ends (radius arms and panhard rod). The radius arm ball joints are in pitiful shape and have probably 20/1000" play. Probably too much dirt road driving. I got nice self-lubricating ones from QA1 with Kevlar/Teflon liner. I hope that will eliminate the clunk when lifting off or accelerating.
              Last edited by slomove; March 10, 2013, 02:05 PM.


              • #8
                So that is as far as I got today. Radius arms finished, looks almost like new :) I will put them back on tonight. I also got all the old and new tubing primered. Lately I have mostly been using spray-on truck bed liner for chassis tubing. Does not easily chip and flake and dries in no time.


                • #9
                  Hi Gert,

                  Question: Are you going to roll the aluminum at the corners or use a buck and pound em round?

                  That's a lot of lightness you've added there!
                  A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted


                  • #10
                    I know... tons of lightness. I used special lightweight steel ;-)

                    I don't think there is much alternative to pounding the sheet around the tubes (with occasional annealing in between). I would not know a way to roll the edge first with sufficient precision that it eventually will fit the tubing. But that part of the learning exercise. I got some 40 mil and 32 mil sheet but will try the thicker sheet first.


                    • #11
                      So far so good....looks like the 1/4-hard sheet might just do the job. I did not buy the soft 3003-H14 alloy that seems to be popular with the Locost community but the 5052-H32 that is harder and more corrosion resistant.

                      Last edited by slomove; March 13, 2013, 06:25 PM.


                      • #12
                        Crap. Just noticed I did not wrap the bare shock stems and sprayed them accidentally with the truck bed liner that I used as a primer for the tubes. I guess I better take them out for cleaning.


                        • #13
                          Body shop work is done. It was really not that difficult and I could knock the sheet metal around the tubes without annealing. I did not want to try my luck with stretching the ali around the curved tubes and mitered the sheet a little on the inside. It will not be much visible if at all when the boot liner and lid are installed.

                          I believe I am not going to start a new career as panel beater but for a first attempt I am quite proud of my work. Without bragging I got it to look nicer than Dale's pro shop did after my first accident in 2003.

                          Last edited by slomove; March 15, 2013, 08:28 PM.


                          • #14
                            Looks GREAT! Good job, sir.
                            | | Sean


                            • #15
                              wow! I'm impressed