The Seven http://www.cheapsportscar.net Building, racing and modifying a Lotus or Caterham Seven style sportscar, often called a Locost. The Seven is powered by a Miata MX-5 drivetrain. en-us Copyright 2017 Keith Tanner. All Rights Reserved. keith@cheapsportscar.net keith@cheapsportscar.net Sun, 26 Mar 2017 06:55:26 -0600 Sun, 26 Mar 2017 06:55:26 -0600 Keith's RSS generator http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss 240 The Seven http://www.cheapsportscar.net/images/RSS.jpg http://www.cheapsportscar.net I had a Traqmate datalogger in the Targa car this weekend when I was at the track. http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1439 http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1439 I reviewed the logs and saw some interesting things. In that car, at least, I'm not anywhere near the limits on the back straight. That used to be the strongest part of my lap, but you can see that I'm neither cornering at maximum effort or accelerating hard - at least, not in the Miata. I'm wussing out. I also need to review my old videos to find out just what my line was there, as we were discussing options and I managed to confuse myself!

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Sun, 09 Aug 2009 20:57:37 -0600 The Seven
The Seven is showing signs of neglect. http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1438 http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1438 It's been used so hard with so little TLC over the last few years that it's getting a bit rough. Tom Heath from Grassroots Motorsports was in town for the Open House and took the car for a short drive. The car was missing a fender (that didn't get fixed from last week), the throttle bodies are a bit sticky at slow, light throttle openings (such as driving in traffic), the rear suspension was "direct" (he was being very kind) and there was a weird noise coming from underhood that may or may not have been related to the crank problem. On top of that, the differential didn't seal into the housing the last time I installed it so it's dripping a bit.

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Sun, 09 Aug 2009 20:57:37 -0600 The Seven
So what was it like driving the car after such a long vacation? http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1437 http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1437 Awesome. Oh man, I'd forgotten just how good the car is. Places where I was expecting to have to baby the car through a corner, it simply tore through. It talks and talks, it slides around beautifully, it just does what it's told. There's one spot on the track between turns 1 and 2 where I can get a good burst of full throttle in the Seven. In other cars, those two corners are linked. They simply make more of a fuss getting around the corner.

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Sat, 01 Aug 2009 18:27:32 -0600 The Seven
Is it bad when you can't even finish two laps of the track without two things going wrong with your car? http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1436 http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1436 At the track day today, I had the hood come almost completely free. Three of the four latches undid themselves, and the hood started to fly once I got over 60 mph or so. Quite eye-opening. Because of this, I aborted my first session in order. When I came into the pits, it became obvious that my quickie repair to the front fender stay (remember that from the Open House last year?) had come undone. Whoops.
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Sat, 01 Aug 2009 18:07:02 -0600 The Seven
While procrastinating on the latest book, I found myself flipping back through this build diary. http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1435 http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1435 The Flyin' Miata Open House is coming up soon and I just realized that it will mark the 5th anniversary of the Seven's track and public debut. 5 years! It's hard to believe.<br>(more) Thu, 30 Jul 2009 18:38:34 -0600 The Seven Well, it's official. http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1434 http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1434 Bill has the lap record. We had a track day last weekend and while I'd originally planned to bring the Seven, I ended up driving a V8 Miata instead. It was good - I took it around the track faster than any other Miata has ever managed with a 1:02.889 - but Bill was there with the Westfield and a transponder.

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Tue, 12 May 2009 18:47:59 -0600 The Seven
I knew this would happen eventually. http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1433 http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1433 I was at the track today testing the Targa Miata, and Bill came along with his Westfield. Brandon had his bike-engined car as well. We didn't have any transponders on the car but I was playing with a Traqmate data acquisition system that will do lap timing and datalogging. After playing with the Miata for a while, I stuck the setup in the Westfield.<br>(more) Fri, 06 Mar 2009 23:23:27 -0700 The Seven Not only is that my license plate, even the little Nuerburgring sticker under the left taillight is there. http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1432 http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1432 <img src="http://www.cheapsportscar.net/images/small/100_1018-a.jpg" align="left" border="0" hspace="2" vspace="0"> The instruments are in the middle of the dash, the harnesses are red, there are louvers in the hood - everything is so good. I think the quality of the welding on the rollbar is accurately modeled as well!
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Sun, 22 Feb 2009 20:35:30 -0700 The Seven
I was blown away when Russ sent me these pictures. http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1431 http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1431 <img src="http://www.cheapsportscar.net/images/small/100_1138-b.jpg" align="left" border="0" hspace="2" vspace="0"> They were a surprise, and I'm incredibly flattered. The kids have seen the Seven at full tilt boogie a number of times as they come out to the track to cheer on their dad. But I had no idea. Isn't it amazing? Sun, 22 Feb 2009 20:30:37 -0700 The Seven I started off my Seven journey five years ago (wow! http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1430 http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1430 <img src="http://www.cheapsportscar.net/images/small/100_1033-a.jpg" align="left" border="0" hspace="2" vspace="0">) with a model of a Caterham. That's what pushed me over the edge to build the car. Well, things have come full circle. Russ DaCosta - that's him in the middle - is a friend of mine who's very quick in his STi and has a collection of the nicest kids you've ever met. They're involved in Cub Scouts, and it's pinewood derby season.
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Sun, 22 Feb 2009 20:30:37 -0700 The Seven
There's an old saying in racing: "To finish first, you must first finish". http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1429 http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1429 <img src="http://www.cheapsportscar.net/images/small/IMG_9971.jpg" align="left" border="0" hspace="2" vspace="0"> Brandon would like to amend that somewhat, to "To finish first, you must make it to the start line". Right after our battle at the Open House, he started having some problems with the carburetors on his car. He spent most of the week trying to chase down the cause but wasn't able to get it running in time. A frustrated guy. So our epic battle for the lap record is going to have to wait for a while.

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Sun, 24 Aug 2008 11:53:35 -0600 The Seven
Time for the FM track day. http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1428 http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1428 <img src="http://www.cheapsportscar.net/images/small/DSC_2690.jpg" align="left" border="0" hspace="2" vspace="0"> The Caterham pulled 305 hp at the wheels the day before. The Westfield was all tuned up with a lighter aeroscreen and methanol injection. And of course, the dark horse: Brandon. It wasn't going to be easy keeping ahead.

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Mon, 18 Aug 2008 12:33:48 -0600 The Seven
While taking someone for a ride at the Open House, my left front fender was shaking more than it should. http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1427 http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1427 Before we could get back to the shop, the front stay broke free and started waving around. I slowed, but it quickly grabbed the front tire and bent the remaining stay. I was able to stop the car before anything really terrible happened. A roadside fix that involved rebending the 1/2" bar and securing the pieces with a piece of string got us back.

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Mon, 18 Aug 2008 12:14:43 -0600 The Seven
I'm never taking that diff out again. http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1426 http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1426 What a royal pain in the butt. Anyhow, it's in place. The car's all buttoned up and ready to defend its honor at the track. Since the car hasn't been altered significantly in the last couple of years, if I'm going to go any faster it'll all be up to my driving. Let's hope I've learned something with the constant track time this year. Thu, 14 Aug 2008 10:18:13 -0600 The Seven It's time to put the Torsen in the Seven. http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1425 http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1425 After all, the FM Open House is this weekend. That's the fourth anniversary of the Seven's track debut. And this year, I have some serious competition. The Westfield was close last year, but of course it's grown a turbo since then. The turbo Caterham isn't liable to be a big challenge, but Brandon in Chris Fiaccone's old bike-engined car is liable to be a big threat. Brandon did really well with the car at a track day last weekend and he's a good driver. Yikes.

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Tue, 12 Aug 2008 21:18:16 -0600 The Seven
Since it's out, here's a shot of my PPF substitute. http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1424 http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1424 <img src="http://www.cheapsportscar.net/images/small/IMG_9717.jpg" align="left" border="0" hspace="2" vspace="0"> I don't think I ever took a good picture of it before. This bolts on to the front of the diff, and then three bolts are run through the side of the transmission tunnel. Everything was still nice and tight when I removed it and it's undergone a fair bit of abuse in the last few years - so I think it's fair to call this little bracket a success.

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Fri, 01 Aug 2008 15:56:31 -0600 The Seven
Hello, police? http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1423 http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1423 <img src="http://www.cheapsportscar.net/images/small/IMG_9718.jpg" align="left" border="0" hspace="2" vspace="0"> It seems someone has stolen my differential...
While this is true, it was me who stole the diff from the Seven. I was hoping to avoid this, but I need the Guru for the Targa Miata race car. The Seven will get a Torsen in exchange. It'll be interesting to see how it affects the behavior of the little car - has the Guru been masking any bad habits, or will it make no difference at all? I'll have the diff back in a week after the ring and pinions are swapped around.
Fri, 01 Aug 2008 15:56:31 -0600 The Seven
Car for sale! http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1422 http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1422 <img src="http://www.cheapsportscar.net/images/small/B--145.jpg" align="left" border="0" hspace="2" vspace="0"> Well, briefly. Chris Fiaccone's bike-engined car was one of the four cars seen in the Car and Driver article. It was beautifully built and looked like a hot rod version of a Locost. The fact that it has a 900cc bike engine and weighs under 1000 lbs doesn't hurt. When Chris decided to put the car up for sale, I told him I'd mention it here.

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Tue, 15 Jul 2008 21:54:21 -0600 The Seven
Autocross time! http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1421 http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1421 I decided I'd been spending far too much time on the Targa Miata, and that it was time to take the little monster out again. And it felt good. The car is just so quick, even at 9,000' above sea level. It dances around so well that I'm able to exploit it fully quite easily.

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Mon, 07 Jul 2008 23:17:25 -0600 The Seven
We managed to talk our way on to the track for a little play time. http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1420 http://www.cheapsportscar.net/diary.php?UID=1420 <img src="http://www.cheapsportscar.net/images/small/IMG_9393.jpg" align="left" border="0" hspace="2" vspace="0"> All of the toys came out, as both Andre and Axel were eager to try the Targa Miata out as well. And of course I went out for a few laps. Well, I had to.

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Sat, 07 Jun 2008 20:38:26 -0600 The Seven