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Simon's XI build, and other nonsense


DIY-Si
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Hi all. This is going to be the start of my XI build!

 

My XI, once I order the kit, will be something other than the more usual green and red Le Mans humped cars. I do know that this will make the car a little marmite for some, but I'm also hoping that it will be an interesting take on an XI. It will be flat backed, despite the wind buffeting, it will have some kind of roll bar, and it won't be using the usual running gear.

 

I started playing with minis when I was 18 and my first 3 cars were all minis. However, despite my familiarity with the A series and the ease of tuning it, I wanted to step away from the norm and go with something just as old in its origins. So after much hunting behind the sofa for any spare change I could find, I made the decision to go with a Climax FWB. I know that it will cost me more than an A series but it will also have a reliable(ish) 120+bhp due to the standard 1460cc size. Due to the joys of a well known auction site, I have a few little useful bits like breather plates as well as a hard to find 5 bearing cam and carrier. This last piece will boost the engine power a little too, which will be nice!

 

The rest of the running gear will be equally unusual. The gearbox will be the 5 speed that Lotus used in the Eclat/Elite. It weighs naff all, is quite small, and has a useful overdrive 5th at 0.82. Seeing as I want to use my XI for touring, the extra cruising ability will be welcome. Best bit is i found two for £225, so it should end up cheaper than a type 9 conversion too. The back end will be more complicated! It will be my take on the de-Dion rear end of the Lotus XI Le Mans, inboard disc brakes and all! I have a diff carrier from a Lotus Mk14 to base everything around. The rest will be a bit of a parts bin exercise to use reliable, available parts so that I can build it once and once only.

 

 

 

 

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So far, I have just taken delivery of the engine parts that I need to convert the Climax pump i have into a usable car engine. These bits pretty much re-do the entire inside of the engine, but also do away with weaker cast components and replace them with forged ones. The head i have is also a barely used, karge valve head that gives most of the power boost between the pumps and the engines.

 

The diff and carrier are off being combined, along with using a Ford diff centre. This removes the square spline spider gears, and uses the much stronger fine spline equivalent that Ford have used for years. This does away with one of the main weak links that the Sprite axle suffers from. The diff feeds power to Lotus Elan inner drive shafts, to which I can then bolt matching brake discs. The diff carrier will also locate the calipers. The outboard end is still a work in progress, but there's a vague plan forming......

 

 

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However, before I can do any more to the mechanical bits, the garage needs a new roof. The current one is an old asbestos cement board set up, which will be replaced with an insulated flat roof. Fancy i know, but I want a workshop I can comfortably use all year round. I will include all the work for the roof as part of the build diary, as I know others will be facing similar dilemmas regarding workshop space and what to do with it!

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4 minutes ago, andyj007 said:

nice..  love the engine choice

 

 

I just hope it doesn't come back to bite me in the A*** down the line some how. It shouldn't, but that's a sure fire way of ensuring it will!

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On 24/09/2020 at 21:34, DIY-Si said:

I will include all the work for the roof as part of the build diary, as I know others will be facing similar dilemmas regarding workshop space and what to do with it!

Yes, I'll be interested to follow your roof build. I started with no garage at all so built a metal flat pack one in my back garden!

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On 24/09/2020 at 21:54, DIY-Si said:

I just hope it doesn't come back to bite me in the A*** down the line some how. It shouldn't, but that's a sure fire way of ensuring it will!

I'll be following this with interest. I may get daring after the IVA and want to fit one myself.

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32 minutes ago, Morris said:

I'll be following this with interest. I may get daring after the IVA and want to fit one myself.

I did consider that route, but shied away from the cost of building two engines. Figured I'd do it once and "save" the expense!

 

It will likely end up as being more than just a re-roof. I may redo the floor, and will certainly be building the workbenches and storage i want too. But this is our forever home, so I'm happy to over do it once. Below is the roof we'll be doing. All 32m2 of it, and the underlying structure!

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Whilst not strictly speaking Westfield related, the garage roof work starts in the morning. Due to having just moved house, I am a very lucky boy and now have a 9m long by 4m, narrowing to 3m, wide garage. The previous owners even fitted an electric roller door, which is a lovely bonus. The roof is therefore just shy of 35m2.

 

The current roof is corrugated asbestos concrete boards, and as such will be being removed by the pros. I will happily play with electrics and gas by day, and chemicals, paints and welding by night, but I'm not willing to play with that stuff. They've said it should only take a few hours to safely remove the whole lot.

 

The roof is a single large slope front to back, with a few widely spaced timbers. The timbers are all that will remain by the end of tomorrow. The new roof will be split to give me as much height as possible at the front end, as I have dreams of fitting a 2 post lift in the near future.

 

the garage also houses the boiler and a small fuse board. Just as well its not due to rain any time soon. Oh, wait......

 

 

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59 minutes ago, Peter (Monty) said:

While it's empty, have you considered laying one of those resin floors? 

The floor is a bit of an uncertainty at this point. As I want a 2 post lift, I need a suitably string base for it. I may also need to dig into the floor to find the main sewer drain to add an ensuite.

 

I was planning on doing what ever ground works I need and then pouring a new concrete slab, as I have presumed the current one isn't up to the loadings of a lift. Equally, can you tell me more about the resin floor you know of? I guess its a wearable surface finish, rather than a floor by itself?

 

 

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