Project progress report


I've been busily welding on the Lotesque and have made substantial progress on the frame. The space frame is nearly finished with only a few more tubes to go. The biggest task ahead is brackets for front and rear suspensions.


I've even been able to mock up the steering and pedals so I can sit in it and make noises.....vroom....vroom.... :D



I placed it on a scale. At this stage the frame weighs 123 lbs. Completed, it should tip the scale at less than 200.

200 lbs chassis
400 engine
100 tranny, clutch, and bell
100 rear end
180 wheels and tires
400 cooling system, electrical, bodywork, everything else..

1380 Total / 165 hp = 8.4 lbs/hp

That's if I build heavy. So far it's coming out to spec and could weigh as little as 1250 lbs. The 200 ci Ford should move this thing along!

Is most of that 1" tube steel?? It looks like it...What rearend is going to be in it??

I know it's going to be a 200....Mild....Wild....Inbetween?? Any details?? Or is that all top secret at this place and time??

Like if you told us you'd have to kill us... :stick: :smash: :LOL:


I have successfully adapted a crossflow head to a 200 block. It took six blocks to do it, but we finally got one to work. :wrench: I think it will be the last.

I have an extra head, a 292 cam, and a bunch of Stromberg CD175 carbs. :unsure: I think I can get 165-175 horses out of this thing.

I plan to use a T-5 and a Granada 8". I am building a 3.55 pumpkin. Just need to find a trac lok or locker for it. I have a set of 16"x7.5" GT wheels from a 96 Mustang.

Front suspension is a mix of stuff: Corvette aluminum lower arms, Afco upper arms, MGB steering rack, Mustang II spindles, Jag coilover shocks. Wheelbase is 102" (kinda long :() and track is 54" front and rear. We did the suspension design on Suspension Analyzer to set roll center, bumpsteer, etc. Brakes are 11" Granada in front, none yet in back.

Mustang steering column, Spitfire pedals, Sptifire gas tank. Body work is all aluminum with a fiberglas nose and fenders.

The spaceframe is mostly 1" -.065 and 3/4" - .065" square tubing. The bustle hoops are 1" - .065 mild steel. It's all MIG welded.

Jim McSorley drew up the plans (which I deviated from almost immediately :)) for a longer nose version to fit the inline. This one is two inches wider and eight inches longer than the normal Locost in order to accomodate the American parts I had. Check his site.
Yep. That's my XJ that I use for my daily driver.

The wheel is a LeCarra that I had on the Mustang. I put the original back on the Stang so that I could play with this one in the project car.
Nice Jag then.

I looked at an X-type (I think that is the AWD one) when I was looking for a good sedan. I was just afraid of the rumors of Jags...that your mechanic will drive it more then you. But the fact that scheduled maintenance was free was definitely inticing (sp?). I ended up getting a Volvo for the fact that they are supposed to last forever. We'll see.

After Jag was bought by ford in 89 they went thru a major redesign and production line overhaul. The old XJ40 was replaced in 95 by the XJ300 series. The XJ8 and XK8 are even better.

If you look under the hood of mine you'll see some familiar Ford stuff like the ABS controller and some of the relays. Not very much Lucas junk like the infamous Bulb Failure Module. Your Volvo may also contain some corporate Ford parts.

But the downside is that like any upscale car, any work done at the dealership will cost out the wazoo. The local dealer get $75/hr so a fan belt change will cost you $150!! My coworker has an XJ8 and he paid them $135 to change the oil.

Knock wood....89000 miles and no problems. The only thing that doesn't work properly is the passenger power seat switch, but that's because my son dropped a skateboard on it.

Have you found a place to purchase body panels for your Locost ?

The only panels that I have to buy are the nosecone and fenders. I'll get them from Champion. All the rest is just aluminum sheet.

The sides are flat panels, the dash (scuttle) is a flat sheet formed over a frame, the rear is just a flat sheet bent around the bustle, and the hood (bonnet) is just a flat sheet as well. Except for the nose, there's not a compound curve on the car.
Don't you feel the urge to hand-beat the nose out of soft alloy? Make it in quarters, then weld together...
I occasionally get the urge to beat things with a hammer (certain morons at corporate HQ come to mind :smash: ), but a GRP nose is only $149. It would take me DAYS, nay WEEKS, to beat one into submission, not to mention I haven't a tool or a clue when it comes to panel beating....

A 200 with an alloy crossflow head (glad to hear you finally got one to work) along with, what sounds like a vary interesting combination of parts, should make for a real fun ride. :nod: Good luck with it, it seams to be comeing along nicely. :beer:
Looks great Jack.....That frame sittng there reminds me off some of the old sprint cars I played with many years ago...
Right now..or at least in 98...Volvo was stilled Volvo (as in little influence by Ford). If anything...Ford has taken many Volvo things to put in Ford cars. Especially the seat designs. Volvo is recognized as having the most comfortable seats in the industry. Their seats have made their way into the Mustang Cobra (2003) and some other higher end vehicles. I have no doubt that ford will eventually excert some influence on Volvo.

Jack said:
I have successfully adapted a crossflow head to a 200 block. It took six blocks to do it, but we finally got one to work

Hi Jack!! Alex here. As I recall there were many talks behind this subject and it was my understanding that it could not be done because the X-Flow head was "wider" than our American block.........Am I missing something here :unsure:: :unsure:: :shock:

Also I'd like to say that your ride looks like it's coming along nicely, that's gone be a heck of a ride :eek: According to those crappy 1/4 mile calculator your time would be something like 12.57 :shockin: ...


Alex :CR:
All you have to do is make the block wider. :arg: Here's apicture of an Oz 250 next to a US 250. You can see the problem on both sides of the deck.

I cut the block open at the top of the pushrod opening and welded on a 90" piece of 3/8" steel plate. Then I ground the deck to get the opening the same as the Oz block. On the opposite side we welded up the block to get it tall enough to use the water passages on that side of the head.

It was a bear.....The first block developed a stress crack on the cam side in the thin iron. The second one cracked on the deck surface. The third didn't crack, but the welding rod we used wouldn not machine properly and caused the broach to skip across the deck, nearly damaging the cutters. The fourth, fifth, and sixth were a combination of cracks and difficult welds.

The seventh attempt was done after an experiment on the other broken ones.

What we finally ended up doing was prepping the block for the steel adapters. We torqued the main caps down. Then we put the block in a big pile of glowing charcoal for about an hour to get it really hot, but not red. Then we put on our best insulated apparel and arc welded the thing with a 99% nickel rod. It took almost two hours to finish the welding. When we were done, we left it in the charcoal and let it burn out and cool overnight.

When we pulled it out, no (apparent) cracks and the thing machined pretty well. But I'm still leary and do not recommend this. If you really want a crossflow head, buy the block too.
Well, it sounds really labour intensive to get a few more CFMs of airflow. Still, at least we know now it can be done. I've always thought it was a problem on the cam side, but now that you mention it, theres some extra width on the other side of the block too..

Out of interest, did you manage to snap a pic of the modified block?

cheers :)

Must be nice to have a friend with a machine shop that interested in the off the wall stuff like that!!! :eek: :eek:


Well, Joe is a friend, but he don't work for free either. Even at the steep "good buddy" discount rate, I think this stinkin' block has cost me $1000 so far (not counting the beer)..... :( and it's still not finished. I still need to have it bored and align honed.... :unsure:

It would have been easier to try to cast a new block. :arg: Don't try this at home, kids.

One thing we learned though, is that the charcoal bed idea really will work well for smaller cast items that have to be welded. I'm thinking of takeing a couple of these spare stock Crossflow exhaust manifolds and making duals.

Pictures of this fiasco will be available when I get the new webpage done.
Hey Jack, that's a cool set up you've got there! Quite the shocker aren't ya!

The thing will work out just great. I'm not a GM guy at all, but here's some info on Aussie GM sixes that you may be interested in;-

The OZ Holdens in the early 1970's used triple CD 150 and CD 175 carbs for some of the 186 and 202 GTR Torana sixes they raced. Kind of a gonzo car in the Pinto mode. Anyway, they got 216 SAE net horses out of them with Chev style 9 port heads and a screaming 312 degree cam with 455 tou lift. The Strombergs could flow upwards of 200 cfm each and were sweet runners with a close ratio gearbox. Some of those devices could get into the low 13 second quarters when worked. They claimed 195 hp gross from the factory, and weren't that fast out of the show room (15.5 second quarters), but today, there are 245 hp + variants on the street with the same non-cross flow heads, but in alloy. The rod ratios were 5.25 inches to 3.25 inches of stroke in a 8.645 inch deep block, so your little device will most likely exceed your expectations if you duplicate those specs. They used to hit 7000 rpm with the right crank shaft. The engine was just a sideplate Chev 6 lookalike, with Falcon/Mustang six bore spacings to the nearest thousandth of an inch! The cylinder head you have is far superior, and the 292 cam is perfect.

Another thing is that, so long as you have a better than US 250 rod to stroke ratio, you'll have a higher specific horsepower than even your EFI Mustang because the frictional loses due to side loads are much less. They also sound much smoother. Our Aussie import 3.3's were very smooth engines in comparison to the 4.1's. 5-speed XE GL Falcon 3.3's were very popular in New Zealand. Many of them still lumber around. My wifes best friend has a real high mileage one, and last time she drove it she couldn't believe how much smoother it was than our 4.1...and ours is blueprinted and balanced! This was one of the main reasons I decided to start bulding up a short stroke 221 out of the 4.1 block, in addition to the steel crank that 221's had, because it would be significantly smoother.

Another thing is that I used to be into English GM products in my early days. I had an old 58 Vauxhall Velox, which was a 1957 Buick lookalike to a 7/8 scale. It got a 1964 3.3 six which had a steel crank and had an excellent 12 port head with 39 mm intakes just like the X-flow Falcons. The thing is it only had a four bearing steel crank but it just screamed like Aston Martin DB when it was thrashed. It had long 5.625 rods with the same 3.25 inch stroke as the 202 Holden, but it reved more quickly and smoothly. If something like that could haul a** with that much class, your combo will be sweeter than a six sugar cofee!