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SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
1/30/20 11:32 a.m.

In reply to Brotus7 :

That’s smart. 

 

Brotus7
Brotus7 HalfDork
2/7/20 1:56 p.m.

Igor update!

Transmission mount:complete

With this being a longitudinal engine and transaxle, I think the only real loads on the drivetrain mounts are going to be forward and aft.  I made the trans mount pretty beefy, thinking this will take most of the load, and I'll probably gusset up the motor mounts so they're stronger on the longitudinal direction too.  All in all, pretty happy, hopefully overbuilt.

While working back there, I started looking at adding some support struts to the coilovers mounts.  I wanted to run the support struts forward to the motor mounts, but there's just too much stuff in the way.  Once I drop the body back on and figure out where the exhaust height needs to be, I'll run a lateral tube between the rear frame rails.  This'll give me something to hang the exhaust on.

I think the next step is to pull everything off the chassis and finish welding.    I'll add a couple more supports here and there, but that's easier when I can flip the frame upside down.

 

 

Brotus7
Brotus7 HalfDork
2/7/20 2:23 p.m.

It's a quick motor pull these days. Not much in the way.

Brotus7
Brotus7 HalfDork
2/24/20 1:53 p.m.

In between battling the plague this weekend, I got a couple of minutes in the garage.

Igor got stripped down.

I was told I was going to find a crack where the front T portion of the frame meets the backbone.  I guess they only welded 3 of the 4 sides of the box with the predictable results....

dherr
dherr HalfDork
2/24/20 2:10 p.m.

I do love this build and can't wait to see it completed. Keeping the chassis but modifying for the rear suspension as you have done is really the way to go. The end result will still be a Lotus. Can't wait to see where this all goes.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
2/24/20 2:11 p.m.

In reply to dherr :

Umm... Lotus without trailing arms. wink

Brotus7
Brotus7 HalfDork
2/24/20 2:49 p.m.

These little guys?

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
2/24/20 3:08 p.m.

In reply to Brotus7 :

Yep!

I think the trailing arms define the Europa almost more than anything else. Even more than the chassis.  It’s what keeps a car that light planted and responding smoothly over bumps. 

But you get many kudos for retaining the chassis, manual trans, and a longitudal engine layout!

 

 

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
2/24/20 3:08 p.m.

...and for just generally being a cool guy!! wink

Brotus7
Brotus7 HalfDork
2/24/20 3:57 p.m.

Haha, thanks for the kind words, guys.  I know myself, if i tried to make my own chassis or a full caged race car - I'd never finish.  Give me the opportunity to overcomplicate something, paint myself into a corner and have to clever my way out - I'll take the damned bait every time.  Look what I did for the rear suspension on this thing!  I should have just made a jig from the stock Miata subframe, then integrated a tube/sheet chassis that kept the spirit of the original.  The end weight would probably be similar to where I'll end up, alignment would be easy.  I didn't go this way because I didn't actually know where the wheels had to live to stay centered in the wheel wells (doh!!)

The stock trailing arm is elegant, and itself is a compromise. I look at those and wonder if I could make my own knuckle with modern bearings and brakes.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
2/24/20 4:41 p.m.

Everything by Colin Chapman is a compromise! wink

dherr
dherr HalfDork
2/24/20 8:04 p.m.
SVreX said:

In reply to dherr :

Umm... Lotus without trailing arms. wink

Yes, he definitely changed the rear suspension, but in using the original chassis,has made it much easier to mount the body and not have to hack everything up. The Lotus rear suspension was both genius and minimalist with the axle doubling as a suspension link. Certainly not a good idea with double or triple the power. I bet the final result will drive much like the original except much, much faster with the 1.8T

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
2/24/20 8:31 p.m.

In reply to dherr :

Yes, I know. I have one. 

Not sure I follow your thinking on mounting the body. Often, the chassis is a rear-half only. The original spine remains, and the rear “Y” is cut off, with new chassis, suspension, etc. This actually makes a lot of sense, because the new suspension mounting points can be put where they are needed, and a wide variety of engines can be used. There’s actually a lot of space in the rear of a Europa if you get rid of the original chassis (which only existed that way to support the trailing arms, and because Chapman wanted to get rid of everything he could). 

A chassis mod like this has no problem mounting the body. It drops on like any other Europa. 

I would suggest that with a higher powered engine, the weak point IS the chassis (not the suspension). Anyone who has never touched a Europa chassis would but shocked to realize how little support structure the chassis offers. 

The word “chassis” is misleading.  It should be called “wimpy little slivers of sheet metal”.

I like what Brotus is building. I just don’t support the idea that keeping the chassis makes it more “Lotusy”. 

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
2/24/20 8:41 p.m.

In reply to Brotus7 :

I like your descriptive word “elegant” for Chapman design in the Europa. That could be applied to everything from bumper to bumper. 

Guys like you and I try to preserve what we think is best about the Chapman design, but as soon as we introduce a 300 hp engine, we have left the territory of “elegant”.

In your case, it’s the suspension. It’s awesome, but it has moved away from the elegant simplicity. In my case, it’s probably going to be the cradle structure and rollover protection.  It’s what I want (and what I think I need), but it ain’t elegant anymore. 

Love your build!

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
2/24/20 8:53 p.m.

One more transverse link to take loads that would originally channel through the axle should work, right?  I'm not telling anyone what to do, just thinking outloud, so to speak. 

RoddyMac17
RoddyMac17 Reader
2/24/20 9:49 p.m.

In reply to pres589 (djronnebaum) :

It's a common modification,  a company called Banks in the UK can supply it.   Their name for it is "twin link".

Brotus7
Brotus7 HalfDork
2/25/20 10:44 a.m.

In reply to pres589 (djronnebaum) :

Yup, a lateral link would take the load that was carried by the axle, and as Ron mentioned - there is a kit out there to do just that.  The problem is that you're still stuck with adapting a CV to the stub axle.  Aircooled VW stub axles have been swapped in and appear to almost bolt in, but the cost is surprisingly high and the brake selection is limited.  

I guess this is really a car of: pick your poison/compromise.

In reply to dherr & SVreX :

There's the distinct possibility  ​that the chassis eats itself in time.  I'm hoping it holds together well enough/long enough that I can make a decision on it's end use.  It terrifies me for track use in it's current state, but it'll be perfectly safe for autox.  If I fall in love with the driving dynamics, I intend to scoop out the bottom of the car, build a full cage/aluminum floor & firewall, and drop the body back on top.  Honestly, this will probably never happen since I have another project to pick up once Igor is driving.

Something like this:

 

But, the ultimate plan is:

Get this thing autocrossing.  Switch modes to: sustaining the Europa, enjoying racing, learning how race cars break, and getting back to work on this bad boy:  Caterham SV clone w/turbo Miata drivetrain.  

 

Brotus7
Brotus7 Dork
8/23/20 7:14 p.m.

So it's been 6 months, almost to the day. Here's the current state:

I haven't touched it.  Between working from home full time with two kids under 4, and mountain biking once the weather got nice, I haven't made the time or mustered the motivation to work in it.  As I've said a couple of times already, I'm not really sure what the end goal is now and I'm increasingly leaning towards swapping in the Miata subframe and stitching it back together enough to send it on down the road.

My wife is the biggest advocate for finishing it, oddly enough.  Lately, I've been wanting to switch gears back over to working on the 7, but my garage is only set up to work on one at a time.  I can reassemble it and roll it to the other side of the garage. Maybe the spark will relight, but I think that's my inner hoarder speaking.

Life. Decisions.  Rambling post.

Lastly, I'm a dork. A pensive dork today. 

Brotus7
Brotus7 Dork
8/23/20 7:24 p.m.

Sleepy 7 on the dark side.

I've learned a lot more new skills since I tabled this project, so the Europa wasn't a bust in that department.

Cleaning up seems like a good place to start.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/23/20 9:56 p.m.

In reply to Brotus7 :

Consider me at least casually interested if you do decide to sell!

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/23/20 10:32 p.m.
Brotus7 said:

Thanks guys.

Just scored the shift linkage and cable bracket that mount to the transmission.  Even if I need to modify it, just having something in hand helps move the project along.  And it was cheap. yes

Already have a MR2 spyder and Boxster shifters in hand.  Neither fits inside the backbone tunnel, so I'll need to cobble something up.

They look like Boxster parts, is that correct?

Brotus7
Brotus7 Dork
8/24/20 5:42 a.m.
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) said:
Brotus7 said:

Thanks guys.

Just scored the shift linkage and cable bracket that mount to the transmission.  Even if I need to modify it, just having something in hand helps move the project along.  And it was cheap. yes

Already have a MR2 spyder and Boxster shifters in hand.  Neither fits inside the backbone tunnel, so I'll need to cobble something up.

They look like Boxster parts, is that correct?

Yup, boxster linkage on the transmission, works beautifully. 

Brotus7
Brotus7 Dork
8/24/20 5:42 a.m.
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to Brotus7 :

Consider me at least casually interested if you do decide to sell!

Will do!

RichardSIA
RichardSIA Reader
9/30/20 1:18 a.m.

Just bought a 71 Europa this morning.

It already has all the mods I expect it to ever see. So more of a Get It Running and Painted than a major rebuild. Already have too many frame-off builds going.

Mostly stock with a racy built Gordini engine kit and SPAX shocks.

Tapped out at the moment, but would be interested in any stock parts you might part with as spares, and the wheels that were on the car when you got it.

Brotus7
Brotus7 Dork
1/3/21 1:02 p.m.

2020 was a quiet year for progress, but Igor is not dead.

Finished motor mounts and designed the full wiring harness.

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