Lotus 7 (Replica) Build

250buggys

Well-known member
So it all started watching a road test of the 620R, which looked like an awful lot of fun. I then had a look and saw these going for just under 60K 2nd hand which seemed well over priced and said to myself "I bet I could build one for much less than that".

The next thing was to have a look at a chassis for the build.

Found a suitable chassis, hired a van and picked it up.

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I spent a good while thinking about which engine to use and thought about the Duratec or Zetec with a turbo charger or supercharger to match the performance of the 620R but I wanted to use a pair of ITBs rather than a plenum. The induction noise sounds fantastic and a N/A engine would be far more simpler, more reliable and lighter.

The main focus is to keep the weight off. On the RR the Freestyle was 500Kg and that is what I am hoping for again with the 7.

I found a local scrappy with an ST170 engine so seemed like a good choice.


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Fitted the steering rack as one of the 1st jobs. Poly mounts to keep the weight down.


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The Sierra front callipers are too heavy so designed a bracket on Inventor to mount some Elise callipers. Some good weight savings here and better stopping power.

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Mondeo V6 discs

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Callipers and discs fit nicely under those 15s

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Going to have to fit the awful halogen lamps because the IVA manual says you need a wash jet system and a self levelling mechanism if you fit LED or zenon projectors.

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I have some LED 7" lamps to swap out as soon as I have the IVA certificate as per the Freestyle build. Annoying really as the LEDs have the built in orange halo which means you can do away with the indicators saving even more weight.


Here they are.

Side panels on, swirl pot in, wish bones fitted. Brake master cylinder..... Scuttle under way.

The original 7s were aluminium panelled, the Westfields are GRP, pros and cons for either.

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250buggys

Well-known member
I failed my 1st (Freestyle) IVA on 2 things, one, edge trim on the dash (19mm radius) and the other a collapsible steering boss.

Collapsible steering boss for the Sierra steering column.

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Next thing was to fit some suspension, nice set of coilovers on the front.

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and the rear.

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Cleaned out the inlet ports ready to fit the ITB.

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Fitted the engine mounts.

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Fitted the linkage for the brake pedal

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Scuttle panel

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Inner panels & hand brake fitted.

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The ST has one so seemed appropriate to fit one to the 7 ST (FORD POWER)

Not going to be one of the turn the ignition on and then press the start button, its going to be a keyless start system, as per the Focus ST just need to figure how regarding the immobiliser and a relay setup with some logic.




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Doing away with the stupid PCV valve, will re-route to an oil catch can....

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250buggys

Well-known member
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Went with the white GRP and bought a roll of white vinyl of the ally parts.

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Rad & bonnet fitted, checking shut lines with scuttle panel.

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Power plant

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Roll hoop

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Working on the Zetec

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Removed the old Zetec sump

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Swapped out for a shallow sump.

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Fitted

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250buggys

Well-known member
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Swapped out the DMF for a light weight flywheel & fitted the MT75 gearbox


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Huge weight saving there, many 10s of Kgs......


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Fitted a 6 paddle clutch


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Nose cone fitted, trim applied and shut lines adjusted.


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Replaced the timing belt the easy way by chopping the old belt down the middle.

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Saw it on car SOS

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Engine ready to install on its mounts.

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I have used a trolley jack to get engines in and out of cars for many years. After spending all day wrestling this engine in and doing some damage I said I will buy a crane if I need to get it out. Turns out I do need to pop it out as the cable clutch is poor and I am working on a hydraulic retro-fit for the MT75 gearbox.........

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250buggys

Well-known member
Found an LSD from an XR4x4

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Stripped and refurbished

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Absolute Must Have.........

Chap threw in another which was seized, someone drained the oil and the moisture in the air caused the ferrous metal to bind, easy fix.

Turns out the seized one was the more desirable ratio from the 2.0 XR4x4
 

250buggys

Well-known member
Rolling chassis,

Good to get her off the planks.

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Rear view,
Rear panel fitted.... Freestyle out front.

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Got lucky found another 5 wheels the same with tyres so will do for rolling around and as a spare set. Can keep the good ones for the Toyo R888Rs semi slicks I have planed.

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Fitted a 280mm wheel with the buttons in close reach, more weight saving and space saving, IVA compatible.

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Short shifter fitted too.

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I really don't know what I was thinking painting the rocker cover yellow..... Had some paint left over from the Freestyle and that soon changed to black.

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The red hoses are going black too, I think they look shite red....

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250buggys

Well-known member
Been putting it off for a while but the engine is now out ready to fit the hydraulic clutch.😀

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The cable route is really no good, it won't last long. The hydraulic clutch version of the MT75 are few and far between and the RX8 boxes are getting expensive. Also the concentric hydraulic clutch option for the MT75 is a lot of £. I saw a post where people are doing the conversion with a 318 slave cylinder actuating the selector fork so that is what I am going to do.
 

250buggys

Well-known member
Spent some time flaring brake pipe ends. Went with Flexi pipe on the buggy but with the longer runs have gone with kunifer.

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Bought some of the cheap tools and they produce poor quality ends but this tool produces perfect results every time.

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Fitted and clipped.


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I also got the drive shafts, rear discs, calipers and flexi pipes to the calipers fitted. With the LSD the shafts are not push in because of the torque which means 24 bolts to do up 😀
 
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