4 May 2009

The fuel tank is a big project; I was so busy working on it and taking pictures for the book I don’t take any of the overall tank. I was warned that heat distortion would be a problem and it sure is; just tacking in some screws was enough to warp one of the panels. All is not lost though because warpage can be undone the same way it’s caused, by selective heating of the panel – guess I get to practice that.

Gripes aside, it’s a lot cheaper than buying a custom fuel-cell for $2200. Granted, some of my ambitious baffles can be left out, or maybe the one-way doors, but it isn’t going to save much effort; the less baffling, the more fuel slosh. Kimini had a 10-gallon fuel cell mounted fore-aft. I could literally feel the fuel run forward and thump into the forward wall – it felt like someone giving the car a slight push from behind when I’d get on the brakes. Fuel-cell foam has little to do with fuel slosh control and indeed it did nothing to prevent it. That fuel-cell was 20″ long and the tank I’m building is more than twice that. Granted it’s oriented side-to-side but I don’t want 50 lbs of fuel thumping from side to side messing up weight balance.

Anyhow, my course is set, making the tank just as good as I can; whether builders want to follow the example will be up to them. Starting this weekend I’ll be working on the car full-time for several weeks 😉

In other news, Alan Staniforth died this past Saturday, author of “High Speed, Low Cost” and many other books. I own a signed copy of that book and practically all his others as well. He, probably more than anyone, helped me build the courage necessary to build a car, which became Kimini. I count myself lucky to have talked to him by phone about 10 years ago, letting him know the impression he made on me and what I was building. He seemed to appreciate it though I suppose people told him that many times. The somewhat bitter irony is that he apparently died from a rare form of lung cancer caused by breathing methanol fumes – used in many of his race cars.

I think it says a lot about a person if their positive effect upon others lives on beyond their years, both through his books and his deeds. I hope he departed knowing that he helped many, many people gain the inner strength we didn’t know we had in order to build our dreames- I salute you, sir.