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Author: Subject: Locost with a difference
super-ron

posted on 6/5/17 at 07:49 PM Reply With Quote
Locost with a difference

This is a bit of a impulse build.... Alot of my friends have got into the Caterham scene, two really good friends have got Supersport 310's 1.6 16v's (green ones a 2011 and red ones 2008)





and also went out in this the other day, a 2014 620r, 2.0 supercharged 6 speed sequential gearbox, the fastest thing i have ever been in, accelerated like nothing ive ever experienced before!! 620bhp per ton!



But, alas,...... i dont have £15k to spend on a Caterham (or £50k for a 620r )

so i went onto ebay looking to see what i could build on a budget, bidded on a unfinished project. so the next weekend i headed from Suffolk up to Crewe on a roadtrip with the Autoshack gang





Then detoured in the way back to Aylesbury for another Ebay bargain i'd spotted.







So about 500miles done lets see what i actually bought.

The unfinished Locost i won for £495!!!







So i paid £495 and got a hell of alot!!#

Its a Ron Champion Book spec chassis which has then been modified with a De Dion Rear to replace the Live axle and Sierra front hubs instead of the Cortina uprights. Over all it looks like a copy of a MK INDY, although i have been in contact with MK and the were very helpful but did confirm it was not a genuine MK Indy.

Its a full Rolling chassis with a ton of new parts,
- new Gaz adjustable coilovers all round
- new Bias pedal box with Willwood mc's
- Willwood hydraulic clutch setup
- new mk2 escort steering rack
- new polybushes all round
- 2.0 Sierra front brakes with new discs pads and flexys
- Sierra Cosworth rear brakes with new discs pads flexys and handbrake cables
- all new brake copper lines all round
- new kit car shorteded prop
- 7 inch Cosworth 4x4 LSD
- all body panels
- set of 14ich ford wheels with good tyres

so basically engine, gearbox, fuel tank, steering column and you could have a pretty fun track toy for a few hundred quid.

However, that isn't really my style lol

now, the detour we took on the way to Alyesbury was to pick this up



A full body for a MNR VORTX. These are pretty rare and VERY hard to get hold of, NMR are very cagey about who they sell parts to, only really selling anythingto people registered with MNR chassis's. They are going to have a bloody fit when they find one is going on a mongrel chassis :face: :lmao:

The best part is i paid £200 for the lot and it is brand new never been on the road!

just laid the bids on to get an idea of coolness





love the double bubble scuttle on these!



here are a few pics off google. this is wht it will look like when finished









The original chassis was built to a pretty high standard, it sits true and some great welding. HOWEVER..... everything else that was welded on after was not up to my standard. All the floor panels were certainly welded by someone else, they're structural but not pretty, then things like the rad mounts, various brackets and certainly the roll cage are just going to be cut straight off! and the bit of racking on the rear......

heres a walk around the whole thing

































i got a book to check it all out



Although i may have deviated to ze germans the last few years, i am Vauxhall at heart so there was only ever going to be one choice for a power plant.... C20XE

8 odd years ago when i started a Vauxhall Astra rwd project i planned to use a high powered C20LET in rwd configuration, meaning i have loads of bits laying around as i am now going to use a different power plant.

i had a good Cosworth T5 gearbox (back in the days when you could pick them up for under 100quid



and a A-frame engineering bellhousing adapter





and then for 8 years that has sat under my drill bench :lmao:



Also back in 2009 i bought Mtec aftermarket managment (with launch control) and jenvey throttle bodies















i also have things like a solid T5 mount



and a yukspeed xe rwd sump (although i dont know if ill use this)





all of that has just been sitting in boxes in a top secret location for 8 plus years, and is all still like new :lol:

It will most probably be a standard refreshed c20xe with throttle bodies and the mtech, and a few ARP bolts holding it together and should be 180-200bhp at a guess to start with.

i keep remembering other odd bits and pieces as i go along i have in stoarage.

I will be building this to spec to get it IVA'd and fully road legal once finished. and be using it for track days and good blasts out on the road.

Anyone thats been through the process is welcome to fire any pointers as i go on the way, anything that i've drastically overlooked.

Hope to get progress here and there so stay tuned

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Andybarbet

posted on 6/5/17 at 08:20 PM Reply With Quote
Bargain :-)

The coilovers alone pretty much cover what you paid for the car & getting hold of some untouched MNR bodywork was a hens teeth find too.

Keep the photos coming.





Give a man a fish & it will feed him for a day, give him a fishing rod & you've saved a fish.

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neilp1

posted on 7/5/17 at 08:15 AM Reply With Quote
Agree with you on the welding of the roll bar and I'd cut it straight off and start again.

Good buy there though.

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Dick Axtell

posted on 7/5/17 at 04:00 PM Reply With Quote
While you're into bracket cutting & re-welding, I would strongly recommend that you re-position the front coil-over upper mounting brackets. (I didn't, and I regret that now!!) . Other more developed chassis tend to have these upper brkts welded on to the outer side of the top rail. This brings the coil-over into a slightly more upright position, which helps to counter some "falling rate" tendencies, which have been reported here, with the more angled style of coil-overs.

With the rear coil-overs, I would also recommend shifting the upper mounting brackets slightly inboard (if its possible). With mine, which appear to be same as your "new" chassis, with brkts directly under the roll-over bar mounting plate, every time I needed to work on the rears, it involved lengthy dismantling and removal of various parts. No doubt you'll find that out!

It'll be interesting to see your progress. Whose de Dion set up was used?





Work-in-Progress: Changed to Zetec + T9. Trying to sort out carbs.

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Volvorsport

posted on 7/5/17 at 04:12 PM Reply With Quote
Front suspension geometry looks like if needs a review i think





www.dbsmotorsport.co.uk
getting dirty under a bus

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super-ron

posted on 7/5/17 at 07:22 PM Reply With Quote
Great thanks for the replies! I am very pleased with it for the price. like you say the new parts alone would cost treble the price i got the complete rolling chassis for. Thanks for the pointers on the suspension points. i did look at the rear upper coilover mount and thought that is going to be a nightmare once the one piece body is on.
I'm not sure who made the DeDion beam. it looks a quality job though with nice welds. it is very similar to the early MK ones but they have confirmed it is not one of theirs. The front arms appear to be MK copies too (have been advised to change the lower ones as they crack in the middle). There will be quite a rethink in the front suspension setup from what i've read about the locost geometry problems.

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super-ron

posted on 7/5/17 at 09:11 PM Reply With Quote
The side panels had all been measured to size and riveted on, and they are all stainless steel. it would have made a pretty flashy looking stainless shiney body once finished. As many of you will know, stainless is VERY difficult to work with, bend and drill as its so bloody strong! This is something they found when they started fitting the panels

(yes this is how they were fitted)









so got the drill out and expelled all of those



next i thought id uncover the mock up c20xe > a-frame engineering bellhousing > cosworth T5 thats been sitting under the drill bench for 8 plus years and tried it in, i had no idea if the massive T5 will even fit in the tunnel









It does foul the tunnel on the drivers side. but it should clear with modifying the lower rail



Next i really wanted to try the one piece MNR fibreglass body on. for that i needed to take all the suspension off





chopped the old exhaust hanger off as its on the wrong side



went to take the rear off and found they must have welded the panhard mount on while it was assembled, as you now cant get the bloody bolt out as it hits the cage!



so cut it off.

took all the panels off, and now have a nice big stock of stainless



and a naked locost (ish) chassis







still in love with the shape!



the guy i got if from had made a wooden frame inside so it didn't get out of shape whilst in storage



and lifted the body on, width wide its pretty spot on it drops right down at the cock pit compared to the locost so it wouldn't lower right down



so i welded a temporary brace in



and top chopped out



it also fouled on the rear trailing arm mounts as they stick out further than the chassis. so slimmed them down for now, will come back to this once the body is on





also chopped off the gash radiator mounts and towhook as they fouled the nose cone



and the body slots on nicely





the holes sadly dont line up, they are close, but not quite



and the it hangs down a few inches under the floor too which i knew it was going to



it fouled the front suspension as the holes dont line up so the body didnt fit flush to the chassis





I'd already decided with all the problems the book spec locost has with no self centring of the steering due to no castor, and bad bump steer due to the steering rack being alot wider than the suspenion mounts.

but the locost design with the mk2 escort rack is miles off



The 'mk2 locost' the haynes roadster sorted out alot of problems at the front with steering bumpsteer and castor, so got book 2



So i am going to be basing all my front suspension on the Haynes Roadster. it uses the sierra front hubs and mk2 rack all of which i have. the whole width of the body of the Roadster its a lot wider than the Locost so if i build a front subframe to weld on the front of my chassis it wont fit in the MNR nosecone. i have it worked out don't panic, it just doesn't come across very well :lol: wait and see how its done, bur basically it will be using book spec front Haynes Roadster suspension and steering.

so for now i can loose the original Locost front panel to fit the MNR body



and the MNR body fits! forgive the flappy bonnet, it will fit spot on when clamped down with clips. over all i am very happy!





with that question answered, yes the body will fit, i moved back onto the engine

i really want it to fit under the bodywork, i really dont want to put a bulge in the top as i think it will ruin the double bouble sleekness that makes it look so different to the caterhams. but i have no datums of where to actually put the engine??

the only datum i have on the chassis is the rear diff is fitted (and i assume in the correct position as this chassis design should not have a diff, it was designed to have a live axle. So starting at the diff i have the kit car prop, which will govern where there gearbox goes forwards and backwards, but i have no idea on up or down.

here's my theory, tell me if i'm wrong....

I set the chassis up level



i positioned the engine up and down untill the propshaft was level



and then the engine level



So the crankshaft, gearbox main shaft, propshaft, and diff input are all completly inline?

which leaves the bellhousing about this much lower than the chassis, the sump will be at the same height



this leaves the rocker cover almost touching the bonnet, so ideally could do with going a few cm down if thats possible?

let me know what you think?

other new, ebay bargains purchases include this i picked up for £30 ( not 100% a go on this as its only 2inch bore, too small?)



a Caterham A frame for £20! to replace the panhard rod,



picked up these rear lights for 99p each



already cut to a angle for IVA



and going on with other necessities, some Caterham real carbon fibre front mud guards! £280 each new, weigh 600g, and ebay bargin of £41 for the pair



the gell coat has gone cloudy,



but i've had experience with this before and if you re lacquer this it looks like brand new

i also picked some Caterham fibreglass doors for £16



but as it turns out my cockpit is obviously longer so these wont fit



happy with progress so far

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Quinten

posted on 7/5/17 at 09:31 PM Reply With Quote
Loving the 'can do' attitude! Keep it up!





http://awooga.nl/gallery/cars/westfield2

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super-ron

posted on 8/5/17 at 08:01 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Quinten
Loving the 'can do' attitude! Keep it up!


Glad you're enjoying progress, I know noone really knows who I am as a new member and it might just seem like I'm chopping the crap out of everything as I go.... but hopefully my workmanship will speak for itself once the modifications starts

[Edited on 8/5/17 by super-ron]

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Dick Axtell

posted on 8/5/17 at 08:46 AM Reply With Quote
What a Workshop!!

Am very envious of your workshop. You seem to have plenty of room - and the right equipment (which really helps!!). Nonetheless, great job, thanks for posting some very interesting pics.

Looking at your preliminary engine/box installation, I reckon you'll need to get the it approx. 5 inches further back. That gearchange needs to be behind that trans tunnel cross-piece. I had to use one of those "remote" gearchange adaptors -
Gear_Lever_Extn
Gear_Lever_Extn



[Edited on 8/5/17 by Dick Axtell]

[Edited on 8/5/17 by Dick Axtell]





Work-in-Progress: Changed to Zetec + T9. Trying to sort out carbs.

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super-ron

posted on 8/5/17 at 11:10 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dick Axtell
Am very envious of your workshop. You seem to have plenty of room - and the right equipment (which really helps!!). Nonetheless, great job, thanks for posting some very interesting pics.

Looking at your preliminary engine/box installation, I reckon you'll need to get the it approx. 5 inches further back. That gearchange needs to be behind that trans tunnel cross-piece. I had to use one of those "remote" gearchange adaptors -
Gear_Lever_Extn
Gear_Lever_Extn



[Edited on 8/5/17 by Dick Axtell]

[Edited on 8/5/17 by Dick Axtell]


Thanks, it is my little paradise, it's about 1000sq feet and fully loaded workshop all for me



I did think the gear stick was a little far forward when I was sitting in the car, but looking at other locost's they all seem to be a bit under the dash. and curiously the pre cut pieces lined up with the hole



But I like the look of that extension piece.

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Angel Acevedo

posted on 8/5/17 at 03:23 PM Reply With Quote
Hi Super-ron...
Welcome to the forum, congrats on your buying perofrmance.
regarding your Propshaft, you may want to have a little angle on both engine and diff, this to avoid wearing your UJ´s.
There are several pages on the internet that address this, one example is http://www.classictruckshop.com/technical/technical-articals/4-drive-line-geometry-101
Hope this helps.
AA





Beware of what you wish.. for it may come true....

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super-ron

posted on 8/5/17 at 09:36 PM Reply With Quote
a quick one tonight. i wanted to get the engine central down the car, the massive T5 is loads bigger than the type 9 the tunnel was designed but it only fouls in a couple of places. this is as central as the engine can get though



because it fouls here





grinded all the paint back and cut a piece of 25x25 box to length to move that rail inboard



welded it in and cut the old rail out, i will be cutting it completly out and welding it up properly when the gearbox is back out







theres one point it just touches on the upright so i might move that upright over the same amount as the horizontal and all will be fine



i think i will cut this whole plate out as all the holes for the pedal box are all on the piss, and i want to move the inner vertical outboard by 25mm, and the welding needs cutting out anyway.


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Andybarbet

posted on 9/5/17 at 05:37 AM Reply With Quote
To sort the problem of front wishbone holes not lining up with those side panels, you could fit some flared sides from the front running up the sides of the engine bay.

Like this:
Description
Description


(Photo shamelessly stolen off this forum)





Give a man a fish & it will feed him for a day, give him a fishing rod & you've saved a fish.

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super-ron

posted on 9/5/17 at 06:44 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Andybarbet
To sort the problem of front wishbone holes not lining up with those side panels, you could fit some flared sides from the front running up the sides of the engine bay.

Like this:
Description
Description


(Photo shamelessly stolen off this forum)


I have seen those flared sides on a few cars, although greatly functional I'm not a fan personally. I really want to keep the smooth sides of the one piece body. I could chop it off just behind the front suspension and make another plate for just the front 12 inches, this would allow taking the body off without removing the front suspension, but would also mean a visible join. I think I will fibreglass the MNR holes up and re-drill.

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super-ron

posted on 11/5/17 at 09:27 PM Reply With Quote
ok so back onto that ghastly plate





Got my chop on





The rwd mounts I had made for the astra were starting to get in the way for this application





And could now get the engine in straight



But I still feel the gear stick is too far forward.







This is where all locost's seem to sit, but just seems too far forward. I tried taking the property off and moving the whole lot back, but it didn't go alot further before hitting the bellhousing



So I went to my mates with a tape measure to see where the caterhams sit controls wise





measured everything everywhere using the bulkhead behind the seats as the datum



And mapped it out



The length and width of the two cabins are almost identical! from front to back is exactly the same. the tunnel is a bit taller but that could be down to the fact the Caterham has lowered floors.

the only thing different, as suspected was the gear stick was 5.5 inches too far forward.



as it turns out the turret extensions are 135mm offset, which is exactly the distance I need



however these are only available for the usual type 9 gearbox, not for the T5 cosworth box. the turrets and rods are completly different.

we are still extremely tight to the rail



some people have made their own turret extenders externally, it is possible. but they're quite big.

Here's the thread

http://www.locostbuilders.co.uk/forum/9/viewthread.php?tid=208857

which brought up the question why am.i even using a T5. as it turns out they have gone through the roof in value. everything cosworth has. checked on eBay and there's ones for £800-1000!!!!

so I'm wondering if I should just cash in and sell the T5 and get a type 9 and have money to spend on other stuff. hmmmmmm

you can get the c20xe to type 9 bolt on adapters and the flush turret extenders.

food for thought......!

while I was pondering I thought I'd try on the throttle bodies and carbon I had sitting in the cupboard.

















It's depressing when I have brand new parts in the packaging with date stamps like this on!


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Mash

posted on 12/5/17 at 07:35 AM Reply With Quote
Have you thought about using an RX8 box? Just to give you more things to mull over
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super-ron

posted on 13/5/17 at 06:56 PM Reply With Quote
so I've been thinking gearboxes. I could get the T5 with very little more work, and fabricate a turret extender with not too much hardship, but it is major overkill being able to handle more than double I the power I am aiming for, and it is worth a bloody fortune! so I think I will change plans.

Type 9 is the obvious choice, pretty much every kit car and caterham ever uses this box. they look to be £200-300 for the box, plus I need another adapter bellhousing as the t5 one won't fit, which is about £200. plus the gear shift extender £60. it will be around £500 all in.

the other option that's a possibility is a Vauxhall Omega box. although I've not seen one used in a kit car before. they are really short gearboxes compared to the Ford's, but do look a bit wide. They bolt straight up to the c20xe so no bellhousing required. they have an external great linkage so very easy to move the gearstick where ever i want. and theyre hydraulic cluch as standard. only thing is the prop won't fit, so would need to have that made. boxes are cheap as chips from £100, and I guess having a omega end put on my prop be around £100. so alot cheaper (if it fits)





RX8 6 speed boxes seem really popular as a direct Type 9 swap as they're the same size and input and output shafts are the same size, but bell housings are a bit of a problem as the try aren't bolt on. hydraulic clutch and cheap boxes too.

opel manta 1.8 boxes used to be the normal xe rwd box but getting rare and expensive now.

I had a quick look at ratios, and this is well out of my expertise, but the omegas don't look great, well to be honest I have no idea what I'm looking at? I'm running a 3.92 rear diff.



Omega would definatly be the cheapest by far. but I am planning for going for an age related plate at the IVA so would it be best to keep as much sierra as possible?

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Partofthechaos

posted on 14/5/17 at 07:31 AM Reply With Quote
Have you tried filling in a final drive calculator like this one?

http://www.catherineandken.co.uk/sti/tyres.html

Bear in mind you won't want to red line every gear change (unless it is a track car).

fantastic build by the way!


[Edited on 14/5/17 by Partofthechaos]

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sdh2903

posted on 14/5/17 at 09:00 AM Reply With Quote
The type 9 1st is hopelessly short in a kit and the omega is even worse. Hence why people tend to go for a 2.4 or 2.8 long first when going for a bgh or spc type 9. I would def look at the rx8 box. There are a few people now sorting adapter plates for the bellhousings.
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CosKev3

posted on 14/5/17 at 10:18 AM Reply With Quote
Some of the welding on that chassis is awful (not yours!)

Didn't you fancy building a chassis from scratch rather than trying to sort out someone else's bodge?

As you obviously have the tools and skills to weld properly.

Selling the T5 is a good idea,as I suggested in your other thread which you didn't like!

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sdh2903

posted on 14/5/17 at 10:30 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CosKev3
Some of the welding on that chassis is awful (not yours!)

Didn't you fancy building a chassis from scratch rather than trying to sort out someone else's bodge?

As you obviously have the tools and skills to weld properly.

Selling the T5 is a good idea,as I suggested in your other thread which you didn't like!


I was actually going to suggest starting from scratch with the chassis but didn't want to offend. If you are chopping the tunnel for gearbox, sides for the body and tweaking the suspension points then is it worth saving? Starting afresh will give you what you want and with piece of mind that it's done properly. And all for the sake of a couple of hundred in fresh steel. As said some of the welds leave a little to be desired.

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sdh2903

posted on 14/5/17 at 10:51 AM Reply With Quote
In fact sorry. The rx8 box has an even shorter first! I'd thought it was 3.1 the same as the mk3 mx5 box but looks like it's 3.9 which is pretty useless. Looks quite decent from 2nd onwards though so you could use 2nd as your first!
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super-ron

posted on 14/5/17 at 07:55 PM Reply With Quote
Thanks everyone. I had no idea of the value of the T5, hence just using it for the sake of it as it's just sitting there under the bench. I think I paid £100 for it 8 years ago nice investment I am only really using it half of its capacity bhp wise, and although it does have really nice ratios it will give a ton of money to go on other things on the build.

I did look at the rx8 box but like you say 1st is just as bad. but I think a car as light as this you could start in 2nd and use it as a dog leg gearbox.

I think the route I'm going to go down is the type 9. it's not perfect, but tried and tested on pretty much every kit car ever. there are tons of bolt on/together upgrades to rectify the faults, and I am going to be going down the age related plate so will be good to keep as much sierra as possible. I will start it as standard, if I find it is really that bad in areas I will develop it as it goes.

Chassis wise it has escalated a bit! origional plan was just to bash the engine in, iva and zoom zoom. This always seems to happen with me, I'm just too much of a perfectionist I am glad I got the car i did, the new parts are worth triple what I paid for the whole thing, so I'm happy with that part. I've got to this stage and I could easily make a chassis from scratch to suit this hybrid plan that is emerging, well within my skill set.

The actual origional box chassis is done very well, the joint are nice and square, the welds are good, straight and neat, even professional! the problem is I think then it went to another owner who continued the build as all the plate work was then added by a completly welder, the floors, bulkhead, all plates etc. structurally sound, but not pretty. Then the skill of the welder changed again for the rollcage, steering mounts and rad brackets, these aren't done to a structural standard in my opinion.

if i was really taking it to perfectionist level I could make a chassis from scratch with the alterations I desire, but I know this will spiral even further to a full F1 spec chassis lol. end up taking years and years and costing thousands. I am going to continue with it as it is, re doing the bad plates, scrapping the cage (just leaving it on at the moment as it braces it nicely) and modify the front end to suit the front suspension components. using a type 9 I now won't need the extra room in the tunnel so I might move the rail I altered back in to regain the foot room.

All suggestions and crittisms welcome. I've been building fast cars and fabricating for years and years but this is my first kit car. Glad you're enjoying progress so far

[Edited on 14/5/17 by super-ron]

[Edited on 14/5/17 by super-ron]

[Edited on 14/5/17 by super-ron]

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Myke 2463

posted on 15/5/17 at 12:04 PM Reply With Quote
RX8 box

Check out the ratios on the RX8 5 speed box, much better than the type 9 and all usable. need adaptor plate and make your own gear lever ext as stick to front of bellhousing is almost the same as type 9. I paid £100 for 30k box.





Be Lucky Mike.

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