Pictures made while building Locouki

Last update: 1/08/09
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This page has many pictures taken while building the car. There are explanations under each picture.  The total time to finish a car from a "roller" to a drivable car was 2000 to 2500 hours over a one year period.

The links on the left do not include all the pictures on this page.

To see an enlarged view of most pictures, click on a picture or right click and select "View Image".

Here is a picture of the completed car. Florida sun is very hard on your skin so I'm in my full floppy hat and windbreaker mode here. The camera used to take this picture made the car look more reddish than it is in person. The pictures at the end of this page (made with my camera)  give the true color of the car. Although I almost like this color better than the one I really have.

Car picture

First Drive

First drive.

Around the corner!

Hey, we made it around the corner!
(And nothing fell off!)

Engine, steering column

LHD can be done on a BEC.
Steering column detail

Steering column dives under the engine cage to the rack.

ECU wiring

Most of these wires go to the ECU! And I thought  motorcycle wiring would be simple. You really need the service manual and schematic to rewire an ECU type system.
Relay rack wiring

Wiring the relay rack. The rack is from a 1990 Mazda automobile. This simplifies the mounting of the relays with a good looking 6 relay mounting bracket and a cover. (See next picture for result.)

Wiring finished at firewall

Notice how tidy the relay rack looks when finished.

The red wire is the positive battery lead to the starter relay. This type of wire, AWG #4, is normally used for insanely high power automotive audio systems. It's very flexible and is priced right at your local junk yard.

Engine compartment

To bad the engine compartment isn't as neat looking. Lots of hoses and necessary things everywhere. But even with the extras, a motorcycle engine setup is much lighter than a normal car engine and transmission.

The Suzuki engine and transmission weigh about 165 lbs. One pound per horsepower isn't bad at all.

Paddle shifter & cable upper mounting

Paddle shifter and upper cable mounting. The push-pull cable is from a 1991 Mazda automatic. Luckily the cable mounting casting has a built in angle that matches the paddle shifter clevis pin location. The short black metal shaft (a Corvair valve push rod) between the cable end and the paddle shifter is threaded to allow  for fine adjustment of the cable length. The mount is also adjustable fore and aft for coarse setting.

Shift cable lower view

Photo of the shifter cable mounting near the shift lever. The cable mounting bracket and rubber boot is from the same 1991 Mazda. The shifter arm between the cable end and the transmission shaft is a brake lever from an unknown old Japanese motorcycle. I shortened it to approximately 2" length to give the proper paddle to shifter shaft ratio.

The S.S. hoses are part of the dry sump lubrication system.

"Real" dashboard beneath

Here is the "real" dash board with scuttle removed for maintenance. Instruments are permanently mounted on 3/8" plywood. The plywood extends from the left to right frame rails and is fastened at each corner. An aluminum bracket goes from the ignition switch forward to the firewall for bracing.

The embossed aluminum panel is the kick panel from my patio screen door. Screen doors don't seem to use this embossed metal anymore. (I replaced the door panel with a new panel.)

LCD hood finished

Two weeks of measuring and cutting paper mock ups and then cutting/trimming metal and you have the final version of the instrument hood. Notice how the steering wheel now looks more integrated into the dash.

The stalk sticking out the left side of the LCD instrument hood is the turn signal/headlight  combo switch. The horn button is on the right side of the hood. The hazard light switch is below the LCD panel.

Drivers view

Drivers view of finished instrument panel attached to the scuttle.

The chromed acorn nuts are from Honda Civic cam covers (four per engine).

The steering wheel is 13 inches in diameter with a quick release hub.

You can't see it in this picture but the adjustable rear brake proportional valve is mounted under the dash at the forward end of the transmission cover.
Close up of instruments

Here is a close up of the instruments. The acorn nuts are used to clamp the fiberglass scuttle to the wood dash behind.

I later mounted a TR7 interior mirror on the upper center acorn nut with an aluminum adapter block.

The height of the windscreen is 8-3/4" which would cause the mirror to block my forward vision if I had mounted it low or high on the windshield frame or glass.

Finished dash

The final product. What I had in mind was a vintage hot rod instrument panel at the center of the dash and a modern digital display (motorcycle in this case) directly in front of the driver.

Using the stock LCD display eliminated the search for a reasonably priced 14,000 RPM tachometer and allowed the ECU and LCD electronics to work as Suzuki intended.

Don't want your car to get cold at night!

There is a car under there somewhere.

Actually I didn't want to scratch the black powder coat paint job while working on the car. I was wiring the car at the time.

Notice that the car is sitting on a 6" high stack of patio blocks. This made it very easy to work under the car.

Slave components

Here are the various parts that make up the slave cylinder mounting. The cylinder is from a 1989 Mazda, the black mounting plate is 1/8" thick steel, the aluminum bracket is 1/4" thick, the strange looking aluminum piece is used to keep the radiator hose from rubbing on the mounting plate.
Slave bottom

This is a bottom view of the steel plate with the parts mounted. The hole where the clutch push rod goes through the plate is centered between the shiny hex head bolt and the black shaved down carriage bolt head below it.

Slave front

This view shows how the various parts go together. The mounting plate has a machined recess in it which is the outer diameter of the slave cylinder. This accurately locates the center of the slave piston directly over the clutch push rod.
Slave side

And here is the other side of the aluminum mounting bracket. Note the semi-circular cut out area on the bracket. This was done to clear one of the mounting bolts that holds the plate to the side of the engine.

Slave mounted

Here is the clutch cylinder assembly mounted on the side of the engine. The gold device is the scavage pump for the dry sump lubrication system. There is about 1/4" clearance between the slave cylinder and the drive shaft.

Note the small black bracket that I had to add to brace the aluminum bracket because it was flexing slightly when the clutch was released. Luckily there was a bolt hole nearby.
Air cleaner projection

At this point I had made several cardboard bonnets to determine exactly where and how big the cutout would be for the air cleaner.
After cutting the hole in the bonnet I was finally able to accurately measure how high the air scoop would have to be. The air scoop is about 4" high in front  and about 3-1/2" high in the back.

Air cleaner cut out

Top view of the bonnet showing the offset of the engine and that it is not aligned parallel with the frame axis. This complicated the placement of the scoop. The extra clearance around the air cleaner will allow engine heat to escape without using louvers.

Scoop laying on bonnet

Here is the aluminum scoop laying in position. It is 8-1/2" wide in front and 13" wide in back. It will be riveted to the bonnet after painting.

The air scoop is made from thin aluminum roof flashing. Three layers of fiberglass were applied to the underside to strengthen the metal.

Painted bonnet

The fiberglass body parts have been painted with 2007 Mitsubishi "Sunset Pearlescent". This paint is basically a reddish bronze that appears to change to a gold color depending upon the available light.

At this point there was a lot of "orange peel" that had to be sanded out.

Painted nose cone & air scoop

This picture was made after the 1st clear coat was applied. The parts were then sanded again and a final clear coat was applied.

If you are considering using this paint you might want to be sitting when you hear the price per quart! The epoxy primer is not too cheap either.

How to hold fender welt in place on the fender until the RTV dries. (Clothes pins.)  Wait 'till your significant other isn't around to do this!

The fender welt is notched to allow it to be bent to shape without having ripples.

The 1/4" x 20 bolts/washers are used to mount the fender.

Radiator Shroud

This is the radiator shroud. The square shape is 4 pieces of rubber made from two 1990s Blazer radiator-to-hood seals. The two other pieces are aluminum that mount on the forward edge of the radiator shell. In use, the aluminum parts are located to the rear of the vertical rubber parts.

The rubber parts are held to the the aluminum parts with the original Blazer plastic reusable "rivets".

Sheath all

This picture shows the modified MG Midget wiper inner cable and the three sheaths. The wiper gear boxes aren't shown. By pure chance I only had to shorten the center sheath and the inner cable.

NOTE: The lengths are for my car. They probably won't be the same for your setup. My inner cable (top item in picture) is 23" long.

Also shown is the 1/8" thick aluminum plate that is used mount the wiper motor.

Wiper gear box/pvc

This is a close up of one of the wiper gear boxes showing the angled piece of PVC used to space the box from the scuttle. The PVC replaces the original hard rubber spacer that was NG. The other piece of metal is the cable sheath holder which is attached to the gear box with the two screws..

The Lucas wiper assembly is actually easy to work with. Even though the motor is rather heavy I highly recommend it. I have the wiring diagram for it here.

Motor mounting

Here is the wiper motor mounted in position on a 8" long piece of 1-1/2" angle aluminum. The angle is fastened to the scuttle by the two windshield bracket mounting bolts. The mount is quite sturdy.

I wonder what the odds are that the mounting of the motor and gear box was such that I could use the stock MG Midget outer sheath between the motor and the 1st gear box?
Wiper arm

Notice the "slight" modification I had to do to the wiper arm to shorten it's length! It's 4-1/4" from the pivot shaft to the mounting tit on the end of the arm. Originally the arm was ~9" long. The windshield glass on this car is 8-3/4"  high. This caused much consternation in designing the wiper arm and blade length.

If you look closely, you can see where I had to shorten the end of the wiper blade and the holder approx 5/8". This was necessary so the blade would not hit the lower windshield frame when the blade is in motion. I learned a lot about windshield wiper part lengths and placement in the process.

Check out the paint job my son (mostly) and I did at his house! No spray booth either!

Wire frame model

I normally do my computer modeling with AutoCad. For this chassis I made a scale drawing on 10 lines to the inch graph paper.

Then, using the drawing as a guide, I cut pieces of #12 copper house wire and soldered the "frame" together. This gives you a very nice scale model to check for proper triangulation etc.

Wire frame side

The model shown is 12" long and 4.2" wide. I was checking an idea I had to stiffen the frame in front of the firewall.

In the end I bought a CMC7 rolling chassis because I have already built several space framed cars from the ground up. So basically it was a case of "been there, done that".

You can simulate the body panels with tin foil.

Here are some pictures of the finished car in sunlight.  There are many more pictures here.

Front view Side