2 Oct 2008

Because space is so limited between the seats, a couple different arrangements are being considered. One rather massive idea is side pods, running the coolant lines through them instead of through the passenger area. Side pods have interesting possibilities: improved torsional stiffness, impact protection, and depending on their size, possibly blocking the line-of-sight path that rocks kicked up by the front wheels take to hit the passengers. They could even possibly provide some storage space. And, from a wishful-thinking standpoint, inverted wings could be incorporated into their undersides, though I’d expect the net effect to be about zero due to the 4″ ride height, never mind getting all the dirty air off the front wheels.

They’d really change the look depending how big they are, making the car look much wider and perhaps less dunebuggy-like. It makes sense to make them about a foot wide, the same width as the rear fenders but geez, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll draw it up in CAD but I think they’ll look, um, bad. Side pods look okay as long as they’re more-or-less parallel, like on an F1 car, but a Locost tapers towards its narrow nosecone. Having big 12″-wide side pods angling towards each other conjures up odd images, but who knows. Besides the oh-my factor, they also weigh more, cost more, and extend construction time. Frankly, right now I can’t see enough benefit to warrant the extra work and expense.

Another way is to run coolant through the lower-outside chassis tubes, now being reconsidered after several people I respect said that it’s fine, running hot water down one side and cool water up the other… hmmm. It certainly is the most efficient and lightest way to go, with corrosion inhibitors in the coolant preventing rust. It means that rivets can’t be installed into the tubes, though welding on the floor or riveting it to a small angle bracket solves that. There’s time to roll this idea around until it settles; let me know what you think.

In other news, the Walbro GSL392 fuel pump, plus a factory Honda RSX-S ECU arrived and was shipped off to be converted into a Hondata KPro tunable ECU. The cool thing is that it’ll have a preloading basemap that should work well with my engine components; it “should just start right up”… we’ll see.