Latest update: 5/7/2015
Note: If you want to reference any of this material please use a link to this website. TNX.
Return to website home page
An original Lotus 7 with "clam shell wings".
Select from the list below for the more popular links
(There are many more links near bottom of page.)
If you happened to have landed on this website by mistake you are probably wondering what a "Locost" is. Or are you just wondering how the heck did I get here? But as long as you are here, look around. There's some neat stuff if you are into cars.
A Locost is a car built in the spirit of the English Lotus 7 race/kit car. The Lotus 7 was first introduced in 1957 and is still being manufactured in much updated form by Caterham Cars in Surrey, UK.
Originally the cars were intended to be used as race cars but many of the cars were licensed and driven on the street. Through the years many companies and individuals have built their own versions of the car.
In 1996 Ron Champion wrote a book (out of print) called "Build your own sports car for as little as £250" (ISBN 0-85429-976-9). This book has become the "bible" for the do it yourself builders around the world.
Keith Tanner has written the American builder's bible, "How to build a cheap sports car" (ISBN-10: 0-7603-2287-2) using Miata running gear. Both books are very good.
An excellent book (also out of print) is "Lotus Seven" by Tony Weale (ISBN 1-85532-153-X). This book covers restoration, preparation and maintenance of all models of the Lotus 7 and Caterham cars from 1957 to 1985.
Many Locosts are built from the ground up by individuals. It's a great learning experience. As one builder put it, "It's a kit car without the kit."
McSorley's site has free plans for several different size Locost chassis.
Other cars are built by manufacturers to various levels of completeness. My car is one of those replicas.
Purpose of this site
There are many sites with complete build diaries and pictures. I plan on only presenting pictures and information that give more detail of my particular BEC (Bike Engine Car) build or how I solved various problems. If you would like to see details of some aspect of Locouki or have comments on the site please send me an email and I'll see if I can post pictures of your request. And of course I'll answer all emails.
Return to top of page
|Quick history of Locouki
The original owner ordered the car from CMC in 2003. It was built as a roller (i.e. not running or completely finished). Luckily he got delivery of the car before CMC went under. CMC installed most of the major parts (engine etc) and did a very good job of welding the frame, construction, putting the outer body panels on and painting the frame etc.
He worked on the car for about a year using proper and really good components. For one reason or another he lost interest in finishing the car and I was able to buy it from him in March of 2006. When I got the car it was complete but still needed much to be done to finish it. Things that needed to be designed and fabricated included, coming up with a clutch release system, installing a gear shift setup for the paddle shifter, wiring the car, rerouting various hoses, building up the dashboard, installing the windshield and the wiper system, painting and fitting the fiberglass body parts and many-many other detail items.
Since I'm retired, I was able to spend 3 to 5 hours a day (for a year) working on the car. In the beginning it was probably more like 5 to 10 hours a day. Even though the car was a roller you can see that it took an additional 1500 to 2000 hours to complete the build.
The 1st proof of concept drive in late 2006 was interesting since you are thinking, "Did I tighten all the important bolts up?". You definitely can't give the car much gas (even in 1st gear) or you'll break any speed limit around here before you go very far.
The car is now titled, tagged and is road legal. Of course, like most home built cars there is always one more thing you want to do and I'm still in that process.
Return to top of page
| Picture of completed car
Here's 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 on the Build pictures 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.
Height of Car ................
Rear End ......................
Clutch springs ...............
Electric water pump .......
Fuel pump ....................
Coil over shocks ............
Rack and pinion .............
Fuel tank ......................
Fuel pressure regulator ...
Speedometer corrector ....
Return to top of page
CMC 7, standard "book" dimensions, 92" wheel base.
40" to top of windscreen, 19" to top of frame @ 5-1/2" ground clearance.
1983 RX-7 GSL.
Suzuki GSXR-1000, 165 Hp @ 10,800 RPM, red line: 12,400 RPM.
6 speed with column mounted Stuart Taylor paddle shifter.
Extreme Engines dry sump, 5L capacity, large air to oil cooler.
Quaife forward/reverse gear box.
RX-7 with 3.933:1 and LSD.
RX-7 with four wheel disc brakes, no booster.
Custom header to stock Suzuki muffler.
Kosei "K-1 Racing", 15" x 7" width.
Highly modified Suzuki wiring loom.
Barnett heavy duty.
Davis Craig Pty #9001, magnetic drive.
Stock Suzuki GSXR fuel pump w/modified mount (see article in links at bottom of page).
GAZ, 300#F, 175#R, 1.9" ID x 2.7" OD.
VW Golf Mk1 (lower ball joints from same car)
JAZ, 24"L x 12"W x 9"H, 10 Gal w/foam insert.
Honda Civic, #92-2000 for 1.5 and 1.6 liter engine, also fits Honda Del Sol '93-'97.
Jay Car Electronics, KC5435 (see "links")
Kirkey #570-16400 Aluminum drag seats, 15-1/2" wide (see "hints" for mount).
|Major parts from junk yard
'86 GM car front wiring harness
'89 MX6-626 Clutch master/slave cylinders (each 5/8" Dia)
'90 Mazda relay rack and cover (room for six relays)
'91 Mazda automatic push-pull cable for paddle shifter
'91 Mazda HP fuel filter (many other cars are similar)
'91 Toyota Celica, rear wiring harness
'95 Nissan steering column mounted light combo switch
'95 Nissan side lights
Nissan P/U seat adjuster (light, low and easy to modify to fit)
TR7 remote radiator tank
Volvo horns (very loud and sound good)
Blazer radiator shroud rubber
Honda Civic cam cover chrome acorn nuts
Plus many other small items too numerous to mention
Return to top of page
Dash board instrumentation and switches
Suzuki LCD ........ Includes tachometer, speedometer and various other functions.
Gages ............... Water temp, voltmeter, fuel level, oil pressure and fuel pressure. Indicators ......... Bright red LEDs for fan ON and low oil pressure. Switches ........... Light combo, hazard lights, horn, fan control and wiper switch.
First driving impressions:
I have written a much more detailed article about my first driving impressions which you can read here or use the link in the "Links" section just below.
I can tell you one thing right now, you will have to be driving a really high power to weight ratio car to be able to match match the performance of a BEC with a 6.1 lbs/Hp. power to weight ratio. Try getting that ratio with your ordinary street car! Most people don't realize the increase in performance you get with a really light, low car even with what is considered low horsepower. You have to realize when these cars were raced in the late 1950s they started out with 48 Hp. When class racing in the 1960s they probably had no more than 120 Hp or so. My car with a Stock Suzuki engine has 165 Hp!
When you really give it the gas in the lower gears you better be prepared for some serious speed changes. At 7,000 RPM the engine gets "on the pipes" and things start happening FAST. At 10,000 RPM and up you feel like your ears are going burst from the noise of the engine!
It has been pointed out to me that power to weight ratios are usually given without a driver! Of course that skews the result since the Locost cars are so light to begin with. But that is the way it is normally presented. So I'm also presenting the data without the driver even though I don't make a habit of driving a car without actually being IN the car!
Even with the stock Suzuki muffler, the exhaust noise at 10,000 RPM was so loud at first that I just could not stand it. Shooting range ear plugs did NOT help! The frequency range of the exhaust must not match the characteristics of the ear plugs.
The problem was finally solved. And I'm quite sure I've also figured out why the stock Suzuki GSXR1000 muffler is so loud when used on my car.
See, How to quiet a noisy muffler for details of how I finally quieted it down.
Return to top of page
Links to video, wav files, building tips etc: (See notes below if the video or .wav files don't start right away.)
Thanks for visiting. I am constantly updating the site so please visit again.