Introductions

Introductions, posting rules, FAQ - What is a "Midlana"? Can I build one? How long does it take? How much does it cost?
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JeffD
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Re: Introductions

Post by JeffD » 29 Jul 2019, 21:47

Well, Lulu have notified me that my order has been shipped again - so we'll see what happens.

Sidewinder1018
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Re: Introductions

Post by Sidewinder1018 » 20 Sep 2019, 11:29

Hey everyone! I'm Tim. I've been a lurker for a long time both here and on Locostcars.com. I've had the Midlana book for a couple years now and have read most of the way through it. I WILL eventually be building one of these and look forward to putting my own creative details into it. Not that their's anything wrong with your design Kurt, I just want to change little things here and there to make it my own.

As far as drivetrain I've considered everything from a Cobalt SS LNF 2.0T, Focus ST 2.0T, Mazda 2.3T, Neon SRT4 2.4T and so on. I've looked at 1st gen DSM cars to swap the right angle drive around to make it AWD (as someone did on the locost forums). Heck I even have designs started for an AWD LS powered locost using a skyline R33 drivetrain (front shaft on the passenger side makes it more doable).

However, I decided I need to start from somewhere and if I can build one car I can certainly do another. I need a garage before I can do anything physical so I'm purely in the planning stages for now.

I believe I've settled on a VW 2.0T with a DSG transmission. While I'm all for manuals (I daily a 16 STI) I figured a car such as this would benefit from a slick quick shifting dual clutch transmission while also cutting back on linkages required to operate a manual. No telling how this will pan out. I'm not sure of the intracancies of the electronics involved with the DSG or VW's 2.0T. Having had and worked on BMWs it seems the German manufacturers like to make things about as complicated as can be.

That said, sorry for the long post. I will surely be hanging about more and more as work through my options and the book. Hopefully, one of these days I'll be able to finally pull the trigger and start laying out some metal.

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rennkafer
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Re: Introductions

Post by rennkafer » 20 Sep 2019, 16:05

Welcome!

You may have less linkages with the DSG vs manual... but a lot more electronics. Also the DSG is ~100lbs heavier than the manual (which isn't any lightweight itself).

Mine will be a turbo'd 07K (VW 2.5l 5 cylinder), and I have a '12 GTI so been around the 2.0t a bit as well.
Bill J

Sidewinder1018
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Re: Introductions

Post by Sidewinder1018 » 20 Sep 2019, 19:03

rennkafer wrote:
20 Sep 2019, 16:05
Welcome!

You may have less linkages with the DSG vs manual... but a lot more electronics. Also the DSG is ~100lbs heavier than the manual (which isn't any lightweight itself).

Mine will be a turbo'd 07K (VW 2.5l 5 cylinder), and I have a '12 GTI so been around the 2.0t a bit as well.
Hmm. Did not know it was that heavy (205lbs). I like the idea of the DCT because of it's quickshifting which for some reason just feels fitting for this car. Luckily I'm still in the planning stage with time to think on it.

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rennkafer
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Re: Introductions

Post by rennkafer » 20 Sep 2019, 20:31

I thought about using a DSG as well and investigated it. The 6sp 02Q is 110lbs ( I have one and have weighed it). The quick shifts would be fun but making all the electronics play nice in a chassis they weren't designed for could be amusing.
Bill J

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Re: Introductions

Post by Sidewinder1018 » 21 Sep 2019, 19:46

That would be my biggest issue I think. Finding out how much the electronics for the transmission play into the Traction control, ABS, and so on. I know it has launch control so the system has to be tied in some way to the TCS. Perhaps the only way to find out would be to get one and try it. If it doesn't work then swap for a manual or find a different engine source. Or the answer might be to find if anyone has swapped the engine and dsg into a different vehicle.

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Drakito
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Re: Introductions

Post by Drakito » 05 Mar 2020, 23:28

Hello all, I'm Dave.

TL;DR(Too long, didn't read) I used to build cars for a living. Already have a fully built race engine that will provide stupid power and TQ. Got lucky for the first time in my life with stars aligning for this project.


I'm Drakito or Drakitomon on just about every car and motorcycle forum in North America, and some internationally, so there is a chance you have seen my posts on some forum or another. I'm not a tool to people, unless they are a tool first. ;) (in reference to the avatar, my normal 2 would not work)

I've been building cars professionally since 1997 with multiple SCCA, NHRA, BAJA, NASA, outlaw, rock crawler, and other race cars, as well as 300-400 times more street cars built. Not to mention trucks, motorcycles, trailers, boats, RV's etc.I started out as doing car stereo in the early 90's, then moved to a custom audio shop building IASCA and USACi cars until 2000, when I moved to a full performance shop doing everything except body and paint, and stitch craft where I stayed until 2011. We built show and go cars for Alpine, Rockford Fosgate, Lightning Audio, Focal, Mount Logan Off Road, and others. I was certified as a MECP basic installer from 97 to 98, first class/advanced from 98 to 06, and MECP master installer from 2006 to 2014, ASE master from 2005 to 2015, and NYBC, NMEA, DEI, RTTI, and multiple other industry certifications for aftermarket go fast, electrical, or stereo goodies. I'm credited in the MECP Advanced and Master study guides as a contributing writer. I also assisted Best Buy as a consultant for their MECP installer program, being credited in their internal study guides with some of my fellow Master's at the time.

I can fabricate in wood, steel, aluminum, fiberglass, carbon fiber, ABS, plastic, lexan, and most everything except titanium and other super exotics like inconel. Funnily enough, I am just now starting to learn how to TIG after doing all Mig/spoolgun welds the last 20 years.

I ran Little Dragon Racing transmissions on neons.org starting in 2006 and still do. I did have to step back from the modification side of transaxles due to part scarcity back in 2012, but my rebuild videos and knowledge of how to make a FWD manual take 3 to 4 times it's rated input works across lots of manuals.

I used to race my neon in SCCA SMF and was 2nd place in the region 2 years in a row. It had an all motor, ITB setup and put down 235whp until it was totaled in a normal daily drive by a freak accident here is the build log
My CBR600 Hurricane had the 600 class record at Rocky Mtn Raceway from 2003 to 2005 with a 10.9 1/4 at 129mph.
My 8.1L 2500HD Suburban is highly modified, as is the recently damaged car that brought me to Midlana.

I say all this, not to toot my own horn and say "look at me!" "look at me!" but rather as a formal introduction of my skillset and knowledge to the forum.

Now, most people design the car, picking the engine/trans combo based on what they can locate or already own, and I am no different. My wife's 2003 Buick Park Avenue Ultra had some issues back in 2017 and ended up going under my scalpel. What was a stock grandma car emerged from that build with a fully forged; fully 7Krpm balanced; highly modified oiling, gun drilled and polished journals with windage trays and trapdoors; modified cooling system with enlarged passages and flow balanced; cammed; roller rockered; fully ported head, manifold, blower, and TB; ARP fastened; SFI damped; 22psi GEN V blown; and water to air intercooled engine that makes over 400whp and around 475wtq, through the fully built 4t65EHD slushbox. I say over 400 and 475 as the trans let go on the dyno at those numbers at 5400rpm, and was still climbing drastically. I blew an apply piston apart and popped a channel plate gasket. I rebuilt the trans and it again let go, this time at 3890rpm with some seals. They say 3rd time is the charm, and I had every mod you could do to it by then; billet input shaft, billet tq convertor, billet apply pistons, etc and it still popped One. More. Time. I hit 5400rpm again and boom. It now only has 1st and reverse, and only until up to operating temp, at which point it looses everything, pretty sure the oil pump and the valve body went buh-bye!

Needless to say the wife was pissed, she had been driving my Burb the whole time and I couldn't get hers to stay together past the 1000 mile break in and then dyno day for fine tuning. Partially that is the engines fault, being 2.5 times what it came with has the tendency to shred transmissions. Partially the 4T65EHD's for being known to blow at stock power levels, and partially that is mine, for over building it. Funnily enough all the Gm 4 series trans are grenades. 4T60E, 4T65E, 4T65EHD, 4L60E, AND 4L65E, every single one known for going "Boom!".

So she now has a brand new 6 speed manual trans car and the $10K+ everything I can do to an engine internally, except drysump, sits on the side of the house in a mint chassis. Prior to the issue that required the rebuild I had literally replaced or repaired everything on the car with new. I fire it up every week and let it idle up to operating temp, then give it a few revs before turning it back off.

I had been looking for something to do with it, checking out Fiero GT's, doing a rear engined bug, etc. I had settled on a Locost with a T56 trans and a Cadillac IRS when I finally remembered an old neons.org member who was doing a SRT4 powered Mid engine Lotus and searched out his build log. BOOM that was what I had been trying to realize in my head for freaking ever. I couldn't remember the Midlana name, but his log had it all.

I found the website and ordered the book, devouring it 2 days. I made notes all over it, taking from my previous experience, and said "this is it!"

Now I had to figure out what to do with the fully restored Park Avenue with a crap trans. I had sunk too much into it to just junk it, as it is cosmetically and mechanically perfect(minus that damn trans!) Literally 5 minutes later the same color car with low miles that had been in a front and rear end collision popped up on my Facebook feed. $200 later and I had a low mileage running, driving, perfectly shifting parts car, that I drove 50 miles home without an issue! The parts car is going to donate it's powertrain to my wife's old car. The hotrod engine is going to Midlana, and the trans is being sold off with whatever good parts are left to whoever needs them. The parts car other pieces are being sold off online to held fund the whole process. Several motorcycles and other goodies I haven't used in years are also going to finance this. My current MIG welder is not up to this task, so it also being sacrificed, but I found a screaming deal on a brand new AC/DC tig and MIG package. At the same time multiple neighbors have needed easy car fixes, which has significantly assisted with cash flow when the welder opportunity arose.

Full confessional. I never have luck like this. 40+ years on this earth and never has a single thing lined up for me the way this has. Usually the exact opposite, with life kicking my legs out from under me every chance it gets, then peeing on me as I try to stand back up. I take it as a sign that I am meant to build this car with my 3 kids. (And of course while writing this I get a bill that is $600 over what is was last month, so the universe said hi again...that damn Murphy never lets up.)

The color scheme, burnt orange metallic with charcoal frame; 3800SC built engine; seats, corbeau FX1 wide(I am 6' and am quite wide in the shoulders, as is my oldest son); dash, AEM CD7; brakes, wilwood miata big brakes with the parking brake setup; ECM, MS3 EVO, and transmission, F40 6 speed with quaife have all already been decided. My wife is on board as long as the parts Buick is not here more than 3 months and that her old one is up and running in the same time frame. She also placed the normal restrictions on me about budget, meaning It will be a slow build process.

One thing I noticed before registering is that there is no list of completed Midlana chassis. I know we have the original one, and I know of a ton in progress, but how many are out there complete and working? Might be worth starting a thread just to list them all, IMHO.

Anyway, I hope to work through this process with you all. Hopefully I can assist you all with my knowledgebase, and I can learn from all you with yours!
-Dave.

Edit:

I finally posted the engine build online. I hosted the 300+ photos on imgur here:
Drakito's Buick
Last edited by Drakito on 24 Apr 2020, 22:23, edited 1 time in total.
Drakito just about everywhere online, neons.org, cbrforum, dieselplace, 3800pro, buick forums, HP tuners, Efilive,
Owner of Little Dragon Racing transmissions.
imgur.com/a/PXavC5n <- My Midlana Engine build post link. 300+photos

Ronski
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Re: Introductions

Post by Ronski » 10 Mar 2020, 04:40

Hi All, I'm Ron.

Might as well get this bit done with - I have no plans to build a Midlana, but have throuroulgy enjoyed reading ChrisS build thread, and I'm sure I'll enjoy others as well, as well as learning a lot if the old brain can take it in. I found this excellent forum due to the Kimini. In 1990 I started building a mid engine Mini using a Lancia Beta Twin cam engine and gearbox, there was no internet, no forums, no easy information, and I was only 22 years old, I also fitted the Fiat twin cam to an escort and my brothers Lada estate prior to the Mini. The Mini did drive, but it was never finished, or road legal, it had a long way to go.

Due to a change of job the Mini was garaged, then houses came along, then the wife and children, now the children have grown up, ones still at home the others at Uni, and the house is pretty much finished, just odds and ends to do I've started thinking about finishing the Mini - I only started it 30 years ago :lol:

So I scanned all my build pictures and posted them on a couple of Mini forums, (see one here), anyway someone on Minifinity suggested the Fiat Coupe 20v Turbo engine might well fit, so some measurements were obtained, and it was decided it would be extremely tight, but then a Fiat Coupe 16V turbo and box came up at a suitable price, so that was purchased, although it will need a full rebuild. These are 195bhp standard and very tunable, temptation was just too great.

Although I'm a workshop manager/mechanic, so have access to a large commercial workshop (trucks as in semi's I think you say over there) it's just not practical to build it there as it would get in the way, and I wouldn't be home much so the wife would not be happy, so I've decided to work on the car at home - we have two single garages side by side, so space is tight, and currently it's full of leftovers from all the house building work and renovation, which is what I'm supposed to be sorting out at the moment, as I'm off work for a couple of weeks.

The end dream in about 8 to 15 years depending on how my investments/pensions do is to downsize the house and up size the workshop - well one needs something constructive to do in retirement :D

But for now I'm going to be learning, and trying to design things for the Mini and see how it progresses.

Anyway best I go and get on with sorting that garage out......

PS. I've bought both Kimini and Midlana books.

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Re: Introductions

Post by bgkast » 26 Apr 2020, 20:51

Drakito wrote:
05 Mar 2020, 23:28
Hello all, I'm Dave.
I'm very excited that my thread inspired another builder. That engine is a monster! I think a stock supercharged 3800 would be "adequate", but that thing.....wow.

You will probably want to widen the chassis for those seats and your build, it's tight, even with my 17" kirkers

I think the original is currently the only running, registered Midlana, but there are several that are getting very close.

I look forward to watching your build.

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Drakito
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Re: Introductions

Post by Drakito » 28 Apr 2020, 18:00

Thanks Bryan! I appreciate you checking it out.

Once I swap that engine to a transmission that can hold the power, I'm sure it will be much higher output to the ground than through that automatic that blew 3 times already.

Seat wise, I have to either run 19" Kirkey's or Corbeau FX-1 wide. I've sat in both. Both are 22.5" to 24" wide on the outside of the seat pan. The Corbeau is a ton more comfortable than the Kirkey, which would play a factor on some long drives, like to Zion national park, about 1 hour away. The passenger side I can run the normal FX-1, which is 20" wide on the pan. Just based on rough measurements I need to be about 6 to 8" wider and about 5 to 6" longer than the book chassis to get it all in there. The engine/trans combo needs the 6" width and 5" length to theoretically clear. I plan on sitting the whole combo there on the table while I build around it anyway. Since the standard trans is smaller in every dimension than the auto, if I get it to fit the auto, the standard will fit with room for days. Considering I daily drive a massive 2500HD Suburban, it will still be pretty small comparatively speaking.

I just sold my old welder and the 3 dirtbikes the kids grew out of and got a new Everlast AC/DC 210EXT water cooled TIG and 200E Mig. My MIG welding is still spot on and the everlast throws down about 100 times better than my old 1984 Linde V160.

Me teaching myself TIG, ehhhhhhh yeah, slow going. Tons of book smarts on it, but only about 5 hours of practical so far.

Still working on cleaning out the garage so I can throw my build table together. I'm going to be doing something a little interesting there, because I need a larger welding table anyway, and I have some ideas to build a sturdy one for not too bad $$.

Dumb thing is, 3 years ago, if I had remembered your build, I would have moved my Neon's 235 WHP all motor ITB engine/trans/ecu combo over instead of parting it out. That thing was a screamer.
Drakito just about everywhere online, neons.org, cbrforum, dieselplace, 3800pro, buick forums, HP tuners, Efilive,
Owner of Little Dragon Racing transmissions.
imgur.com/a/PXavC5n <- My Midlana Engine build post link. 300+photos

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