Nate Clowar Freelance 3D Artist Portfolio
Home | Resume | Portfolio | Demo Reel | Locost | Links | Contact |
LOCOST BUILD DIARY
Dash Cleanup
Friday, 05 June 2009
I finished off the solid wire on the outline of the dash hood, had to cut a couple corner pieces at the bottom. Seems like it cleaned up pretty well. Will need to weld in some nuts for the instrument cluster to screw into. And hopefully a little grinding and bondo will smooth out the edges.

Also tacked up the removeable rear end section that has been sitting in pieces forever. I have never liked the rear end of the traditional seven, and will at some point build something a little different...or just leave it off entirely...but I thought it may be easier to pass inspection with the rear section intact. I'll need to prep, paint and skin it at some point.

Rear end section. Rear end installed.

The coolers back in place
Tuesday, 02 June 2009
This weekend, I was able to remove the remaining brackets for the radiator and move it forward a couple inches. This gived much better clearance for both the fan and the hoses for the radiator. Took longer than I wanted, but this is the way it should have been in the first place. This also meant new fan brackets (again) but its all together. I also bought some 1/4" solid round wire and began trying to bend it in place to wrap around the dash hood.

On monday night I finished up bending the wire for the dash and tacked it in place. I think it'll work pretty good to keep the edge from being sharp, and I am planning on adding some bondo to smooth it out. We'll see.

Yesterday n Today
Tuesday, 26 May 2009
This weekend, I got the bracket on the mechanical fan pulley removed, and replaced the long bolts with short ones. Oil cooler brackets were made and tacked in place. But, I need to replace the shocks and double check everything in that area for clearance...its pretty close.

Also got the dash cut so I could place the RX-7's instrument cluster in place, it fits pretty well, and I made a hood for it to cover the top. But, after looking at it...I might not use it...seems a little unsafe. I wanted to put some rubber strip on it running along the edge, but not sure how much that would help. Probably better to just cut the excess off the instrument cluster, cut a new piece of plastic to cover it, and mount it flush.

Started the rear end area as well, just tacked some of the tubes in place...but (again) need to re-think the way I had planned it. I have it set up so its removeable, because I really don't like the rear end of the traditional sevens. I'd hoped to build something for it later, but have decided to make a traditional one in the beginning to help with the registration process. I had used some 5/8" bolts welded in place to slip the rear tubes over and to align the rear. Its a little too tight once its all tacked together. I'm hoping cutting the bolts shorter will do it.

More Brackets
Friday, 22 May 2009
Cut off the old shock mount bracket that was in the way, and started the oil cooler brackets. Also removed the mount for the fan that isn't being used on engine, but will have to get some shorter bolts to hold the pulley. Also cut off the Dzus brackets, cause I need to move the nose cone forward. Didn't get a ton done, but its something and thats progress

Front end
Thursday, 21 May 2009
Got some time in tonight to work on the front of the car. Built the radiator fan brackets, looked at moving the nose cone up and forward a bit to clear the lower a-arms. Still have to make the oil cooler work. I'm a little concerned about having it behind the radiator, and the fan placement will be a little low and won't hit it either. Guess we'll see....

Finally an update...
Monday, 18 May 2009
Ok, so finally here is an update...its been too long. I've been working on the car, but not updating the site. This keeps happening. I had just emailed Dennis Palatov at dp1cars.net (If you haven't checked out his site, stop reading this and get over there!) and he mentioned that his frequent updates help him summarize the day, as well as things learned and what things need to be done. Great idea. Now, if I can actually do it. :) So...

Tonight I've been working on the front end, after seeing my nose cone was a little too close to the lower a-arms in jounce. I need to move the nose forward, which will help with clearance for the radiator as well. While I was there, I looked at possible locations for the oil cooler. For which, I'll need to remove the 'old' upper shock brackets I had decided to just leave there. Also made a pattern for the fan brackets.

The dash also got some attention, and I made a quick pattern for the instrument cluster that I need to cut a hole for. I'm going to go with the stock RX-7 unit and see how well I can integrate it.

Seat Modification
Friday, 27 July 2007

The stock Miata seats wouldn't fit in the chassis as they were so I had to pull them apart and modify them. You can see from the pics below I had to cut the passenger side in half and re-weld it.

 

Additional Images here:  http://www.clowar.com/gallery/v/Locost/Build/?g2_page=4

Rear Brakes - Rebuilding
Wednesday, 11 July 2007
Finally got around to rebuilding the rear brakes. Kinda been avoiding this, and I really shouldn't have. Didn't take to long to get it done really. Here are some pics of a "tool" I had to make to do the job. ;) I'll have pics of them all painted up later.

More Scuttle
Monday, 18 June 2007
Additional work on the scuttle was done. Made a cardboard template for the skin, cut that out in metal, then attached it. The results are pretty good for a first attempt at something like this for me. Pretty happy with how it came out.

Then I made a mockup for the dash, cut that out and welded it on as well...

 

The corners were rough...so I made a template for covering those up and put that in place...

 

 

Additional Pictures here: http://www.clowar.com/gallery/Build?page=5 

Parts
Friday, 20 April 2007
Painted the other parts with POR-15 as well. Some before and after pics:

Bottom panel riveted.
Thursday, 19 April 2007
Got the panel all riveted in place. Also used Sikaflex for additional strength and to help with rattles or oil canning.

 

Bottom panel
Saturday, 14 April 2007
Cut out the bottom aluminum panel today and drilled the holes. See pics below for in progress shots, you can see the clecos holding it in place.

 

Paint - POR-15
Thursday, 01 March 2007
Prepped and painted the chassis with POR-15. Took much longer than I expected, but came out pretty good. I was probably a little pre-mature painting it, but its a lot nicer to work on then when it was all rusty. First two pictures show the silver color the metal etch made the frame before painting...

 

Seats
Monday, 26 February 2007
Did a test fitting with my new seats. Black seats from a Miata, $100 for the pair.

Miata Seat miata seat miata seat bottom

POR and Super Lucky Cat
Sunday, 24 December 2006

I got a lot done recently. :) You can see new photos in the build section. The radiator was fitred and then the nose cone was put in place. I cut the old donor's pedal box to fit, re-inforced it and mounted that. Then roughed out the scuttle in cardboard, checked it with the nosecone and started making the metal version. I bought a Jaz 12 gallon gas tank for $40 from craigslist. Oh...also took a picture of my saftey slippas, which are much more protective than my others.  Mandatory vroom vroom picture here.

I also bought my POR-15 and am hoping to finish up the frame soon, so I can get it all painted. Next front suspension pieces, steering rack, and some small bracketry. Oh and I almost forgot....this is a picture of the super lucky happy cat that I was given that looks over the car everyday and helps out from time to time.
Rod ends and A-arms.
Wednesday, 11 October 2006
I've been pretty slow on web updates, but there has been work done. Current problem is the rod-ends on the a-arms I've built. Never really thought it through I guess...and there is a bit of a problem. I believe they are at too tight of an angle, and I can't get the spacers in there to hold them in place. See the image here.

But, since the last update...some of the front suspension is done, the radiator bracket is in, some work for the oil cooler has happened and tons of other little things.  I'm also getting ready for SEMA which should be great.

Picture Update
Tuesday, 28 February 2006
Add some new images. Here are the axle brackets partially done and a trailing arm. And the rear brackets on the  frame are in place, images here.   I also made a render for David Down in Australia based on one of my first rough 3D models.
Cheap Sports Car...and the rest of 2005
Old updates...
2005.11.24 - Just got Keith Tanner's book listed above and its really good, pick it up if you're at all interested in a Locost project. Also, don't know why I didn't list it before, but myself, Keith, and many more locost enthusiasts are the Yahoo forum.

2005.11.06 - I have been really lagging with the project. But, have some suspension parts on the way, as well as the rear tubes that needed to be bent. Also picked up some rims from Craiglist.  Here are some pics of the rims. The coupe doesn't really make a good parts hauler...there just isn't that much room...but its working so far.

08-2-2005 - When I came home tonight, I noticed they towed the donor car's carcass. Glad to see it was faster than 6 weeks, but strangely sad that its gone.

07-30-2005 - More progress on the frame. Learning alot since this is my first time working with metal like this and welding, other than a really small test project. Just put the rear section on and the N1 and N2 tubes today. Images here .

07-23-2005 - Just finished the build table and started on the frame. Some pictures are here.

07-20-2005 - The donor is out of the garage, wonder how long before its towed...they said up to 6 weeks! Also ordered the steel, and will pickup tomorrow. Hope to get the build table done and start on the frame this weekend.

07-08-2005 - Its been awhile since the last update! The donor is torn down, just have to get it towed away now. I'm selling the parts I don't need I'm also trying to aquire the other parts I need for the build. Once I get the donor out of the garage, I can start the frame. Can't wait.

03-19-2005 - Put in a new clutch master cylinder and slave cylinder to try and test drive the donor, but have not been able to track down the electrical problem yet, due to time. I did get the correct manual for the GSL-SE, so that should help to track it down! Also did alot of research on MSOs,(Manufacturer's Statement of Origin)[2:00]

02-21-2005 - After completely removing the alarm, still having some minor electrical issues. Not sure what it is, same thing and more happened before I bypassed the alarm. Basically half of the electrical systems work, and the ignition is acting a little funky. So, when you turn the key to "on" everything seems ok, I go to "start" and before it cranks everything turns off. No more power. I pull the battery cable, put it back and we have power again. If I slowing go to "on" you can feel its not quite a positive feel, like its in position...and if you just turn it a little tiny bit, then the interior electrics come on, then it will start fine. Interesting eh?

02-13-2005 - After working here and there since my last post, I finnally got the car to start!! I didn't know what was wrong, and it took too long for me to figure out the alarm was causing the problem. There are some switches in the door that had come disconnected due to the rust, and so the alarm was shutting everything down. I traced the electrical and bypassed it, and then...awesome!! So, glad it started!! It had been sitting for almost 8 years. I was suprised that the ATF didn't smoke all that bad. Anyway, a few more things to figure out, then I can start the rest of the disassembly. More pics of the electrical alarm nightmare [8:00]

02-04-2005 - Flushed radiator, installed rotor, distributor cap, new plugs. More ATF. Will it run soon? Photos from 01-30-05 [2:00]

02-03-2005 - Seats, carpet, and most interior trim out. Maybe now the interior will dry out! Fuel filter replaced. Fuel drained. Water in rear drained too! More ATF in the plug holes. [8:00]

02-02-2005 - Just continued with the ATF treatment. Researched [0:30]

02-01-2005 - Got some 2 sets of plugs, rotor, distributor cap, Oil, and Plug wires.$184.00 - Took the plugs out and started the ATF treatment. Plugs are 13/16ths by the way. [2:00]

01-31-2005 - Started draining the fluids and remove some interior carpet. Spare tire in hatch is sitting in 3" of water! [2:00]

01-30-2005 - I've finally started! I just got the donor car home today. Its a 1984 RX-7 GSL-SE with a 13B engine. Didn't get too much done, had to take the brakes apart to get it to roll. (It had sit a long time in the owner's drive way.) Also had to spend some time getting the passenger door open...the lock had rusted shut! Just got some little stuff out of the way. I hope to follow the procedures from "How to bring a RX-7 to life" here: http://www.rx7club.com and see what happens. Pictures coming soon, nothing exciting, but pictures none the less. [3:00]

08-01-2004 - First entry for the site, I haven't started anything but reading...yet. Studying as much as I can on the net and from books others have mentioned. I have some renders that I have made in 3D Studio MAX, still very rough.