23 Feb 2014

Yeah, yeah, I know, not many updates, as I’m still deep into home projects. However, I regularly check in on the Midlana forum and typically post there just about every day, where there are currently five(!) builds underway, and another about to start.

Yesterday Midlana appeared at the local Cars and Coffee event, where I met yet another potential builder. An ex-Brit, he said that he was about to order a kit from England when I “threw a wrench into the works” 🙂 He’s not sure he wants to build a chassis himself, but said he’d read the book and then decide. After a ride in the car, he said he was surprised by both the lack of rattles, and the smooth ride. He and his wife had come in a Lotus Elise, so it was an interesting comment to hear.

Anyhow, as guys tend to do, we were talking about Midlana while standing over the open engine compartment (I leave the engine cover at home both because people always want to see the engine, and because there’s always a concern of damaging the engine cover if it’s removed at a show). That’s when I noticed a bolt laying in the engine compartment floor, which had come from the alternator adaptor, uh oh. I’d been wondering why the car had developed what sounded like a squeaky water pump belt, but wrote it off to it having become loose. However, even after tightening it, the squeaking continued – now I know way. The bolt itself isn’t the concern, it’s the part that broke off in the block! I’m really hoping that I can unscrew the remnant with a sharp scribe – this has worked before, so fingers crossed. I will be mighty unhappy if I have to pull the entire drivetrain to fix this…

Speaking of working on the engine, I’m been thinking about installing the larger oil/coolant heat-exchanger. However, I’ve come to feel strongly enough that the oil inlet/outlets are positioned wrong, that instead of installing the larger unit, I’m going to modify the existing (smaller) unit to improve its cooling. This is worth a try because the current unit fits great, while the large unit will require a fair bit of rework. I’ll give the existing unit one more chance to prove itself, saving some work if it does.

2 Feb 2014

Still here, just doing non-car stuff. Yesterday we saw a Ariel Atom near here, but since I was in my truck, nothing came of it. However, someday I hope to meet up with that car while driving Midlana…

I need to install the new larger oil/coolant heat exchanger. One thing about the design that seems wrong is that the oil to be cooled enters the center of the housing and flows out the bottom – again at the center. (See one here.) I have a hard time believing that the oil somehow evenly distributes itself across the core. I don’t have proof but it seems like 90% of the oil will go straight across the assembly instead of spreading out, so the fittings relocated at opposite ends of the assembly, and the stock ports plugged.