9 December 2018

Some updates:

 “Why has it been so quiet?” While Midlana builders continue to make progress, and I keep a close eye on them for support, I haven’t been driving my car much. Why? It’s because I’ve been distracted by a number of things, including telescopes. Back 25 years ago, I built a 10″ f6 Newtonian, used it a while, then got distracted by, of course, cars. Fast forward to now and it’s been sitting in the garage this whole time under a tarp. With the grandkids growing, my interest has been rekindled, but the mirror is in sorry need of being recoated. Me being me though, I see it as a chance to built a larger one, and of course one thing leads to another…

Speaking of being distracted, this weekend was a trackday at Fontana and for several reasons I didn’t feel like going. My brother went and, well, now he knows how I felt a couple years ago. He went out for one session and all was fine for about 20 minutes, then the LS-3 started running rough. The water pump/alternator belt had broken and the engine overheated. No problem, he had a slightly shorter spare and installed that. Went back out and things went from bad to worse. The slightly shorter belt apparently bottomed out the tensioner, overheated the bearing, and the pulley disintegrated, and as it flew off, it took the drysump belt with it, so in about two seconds of running without oil pressure, the engine was junk and his day was done. If there’s a good side to this, it’s that an brand new LS-3 with a factory warrantee is “only” about $7000, and the external oil lines, drysump tank, and pump, are fine, ironically because they failed first. He’s bummed, but not as bad as when I blew up my engine!