Lotus 7 (Replica) Build


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So I took the engine out to fit a hydraulic clutch which I have been working on this evening. The routing of the cable just doesn't work with the tight radius bends. Heard of loads of premature cables failing.


I got hold of a Sierra sandwich plate, these don't come up very often and when they do they are silly expensive. The kit car manufacturer says you don't need one but the more crud you can keep out the better in my opinion.


Had to make a slight modification, where I trimmed the excess off the gearbox to match the profile of the lowered sump.


The less that protrudes out the bottom the better, speed bumps etc.



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So the plan is to bolt this


To this....


And get the clutch fork to actuate.

I have removed some of the webbing from the box to give me room to mount the slave cylinder.


I was hoping to use a concentric clutch but there is nothing to bolt it onto inside the box around the input shaft.


As long as it is a nice strong job it should work ok. Need to work out how to get some adjustment so I can dial it in. I am looking at a threaded collar to start off with.

Should be easy enough to test with it out of the chassis on a remote pipe to check it all works nicely.


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Fortunately the chassis had a clutch master cylinder bracket welded in. Iused the same land rover master cylinder as the freestyle.


Had to make some modifications to the pedal to convert it from a pull to a push.


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Spent some time servicing my boat winces


Took some time to strip, clean and grease.


Then drilled the holes to fit the BMW 318 slave cylinder to the MT75 gearbox.


Bolted on


Drilled and extended the rod for adjustment.


Did a bit more, will take some more pics tomorrow 😀


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So I bolted the gearbox back up to the Zetec E


And could see there wasn't enough adjustment, need a longer threaded pin which is Ok as operational wise it looks like it will work fine. Just got to pull it apart again, no big problem other than I pressed the pin in with an interference fit, may tap out if not some creative thinking will get it to work!!


During the week I needed to bond something together and remembered I had bought a couple of tins of contact adhesive to fit the carpet set.


It was covered in shrink wrap to stop spillage and when I opened the first tin I spotted the use by date....


March 21...

I keep all invoices for IVA and I reckon the shelf life was either expired or stock rotation didn't give me long to fit. Gits!!

I thought before it became useless and turned to jelly I had better get some carpet pannels fitted.


Difficult to see here but I fitted the 4 triangle pannels, the front floor sections, the ends of the footwells both OS & NS.


Also the big section behind the seats. I messed up a bit as from the 3 carpet sets to choose from I went with the deluxe, nice carpet set and will look great once hoovered but the extra weight it adds is many It's the rubber backing.

Those 9 pieces went in with minimal trimming, advertised as laser cut but not convinced.... I trial fitted some of the other pieces and that will be hours of work to get right. At least it is over than under size. Much trimming needed.


Anyway this piece is left over, pretty shabby looing piece and in the back of my mind I just couldn't work out where it went then the only logical thought was it was for a left hand drive version which they do produce. Silly really, just cut the notch for the column yourself etc. Probably will go in the bin. You can see the top is not a very straight edge.


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Got the diesel heater in the workshop cranked up, went from 6 degrees to 10. Helps with the carpet glue drying 😀


Wanted to get the seats fitted which meant getting the side carpets fitted first.


This piece is the whole length of the inside.


Took lots of trial fitting and marking out with a Sharpie.


Loads of excess trimmed.


The clamps really help to keep the big panel in place.


You can see how much excess there is here to be trimmed here on the crescent.


And here. Lots of fit, trim, fit and trim. The straight edges were easy with a 12 inch rule as a straight edge to trim against. The crescent carpet pannels were slightly trickier to trim.


So all of the drivers side is glued in now except for the rear bottom panel. I need to drill the holes for the seat bases before I bond that in place.


O/S seat base holes marked out and drilled. I probably need to weld the bolts to the frames to make them captive. I remember Alan had some feedback from IVA regarding this.😀


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I cranked up the diesel heater this evening and marked out and drilled the 8 spreader plates for the under side seat base bolts.


Same as the Freestyle 100 X 100 as per IVA manual but this time I used stainless, always fun drilling stainless! :)


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I also trimmed the last piece of the carpet for the driver's side and glued that in. Just waiting on some high tensile bolts and will get the seat fitted.



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Finished off the seat spreader plates, all ready to bolt on. After the trial fit I realised that I needed some longer high tensile seat bolts so ordered those. I know Mr IVA likes to see at least 2 threads poking through after the nut.


Strangely enough they seem to make really good beer coasters....


Maybe a bit overkill, lovely stainless finish. The Freestyle spreader plates were mild steel and the surface rust set in pretty quickly. Probably didn't help driving through a stream.... Only the MOT man will ever get to see them. I can't believe I have just added 3 Kg to the build weight when I am chasing gramms....

I have been getting all the bits together for the harness mounts.


Also fitting the tunnel top pannels.


As usual they don't fit FFS, lots of trimming to get it to work. At least it is sunny today after a week off rain and set up a chop shop work bench outside to get the pannels to meet up


Before I fit the top pannels I took some pics as the IVA chap spends a long time looking at mountings and to save removing panels a quick pic and an explanation that there is a bracket welded to the chassis nips that one in the bud. Bracket under the dif bolt.



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So I managed to get the tunnel top pannels to fit nicely.


I may trim them in the same fake leather I used for the Freestyle dash, I think I have some left, will have a hunt around tomorrow.

Just need a gaiter for the hand brake and won't be able to cut a hole for the gear stick until the engine and box is back in.

The hand brake was a bit of a nightmare as when off (down) was flush with the tunnel pannel. You couldn't get your fingers under to pull it up and engage it so that wouldn't do. I ended up standing the front mount off. All sturdy and no side slop so all good.

Will dig out the riv nuts tomorrow and hopefully get the tunnel pannels secured. 😀


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I have been adding the riv nuts for the tunnel top pannels. Got a nice pic of the fuel lines and brake line for the IVA before I cover it all up.



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This evening I have been fitting the O/S rear arch.

Massive OCD getting the gaps and the chassis rail to line up on one side and the lower rear on the other before I drilled the holes. Nothing much to clamp on with, a 3rd hand would have been really handy... 😀


Just got to get it to match up on the other side now.


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Piping turned out ok once adhesive dried.


Was hoping to get the tunnel top panels trimmed but the material I had left over had some creases in and despite my best efforts I couldn't get rid of them. Shame as I had loads left over and would have been another job ticked off the list.

It would have looked tatty to start with.


I will have to find something else and wait for it to turn up.


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So the longer high tensile bolts I ordered seem to get lost in the post which has slowed up getting the seats back in by a couple of weeks and a few follow up emails to rectify the situation etc.


Now they have arrived I can get the seat bases fixed back on to the seats and bolted in.

All looking good 😀

I buy many of my fixings and fasteners from the same place and delivery is usually next day so not very impressed, but usually they are great.

It could have been much worse as with Westfield going south I was lucky to get my seat bases at all and that would have been another claim.... Especially with the long lead times.


Anyway been looking at my hydraulic clutch upgrade, the longer shaft from the slave cylinder idea didn't really work in practice so I did what the guys on the cosworth forum do sort of.


And mount a collar on the selector fork to pick up the slave piston rod.

Looking at thier pics they weld on the collar but I am going to bolt mine on as it is a threaded sleeve which should give me adjustment etc.


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Had a look at fitting the boot cover this evening.



I drilled some holes and added some 3mm riv nuts.


And screwed the press studs on.


TBH I can't see it staying on with the wind resistance at 70MPH. I think I will make that back edge captive and install a piece of right angle carbon fibre trim. That should work.


I saw some for sale here, they seem to offer a good selection of carbon trim.