19 Nov 2017

As the Christmas shopping season looms, so to do discounts by Lulu, Midlana’s book printer. While I try to announce their discounts, they come and go frequently during the coming several weeks. The most current code is “BOOKSHIP17” which gets you 10% off the book, or 50% off shipping (good until 11/20). Their discounts are rather random so if you wait a few days, the next discount may (or may not) be more – last year it got up to 30%, but who knows about this year. They come up with the discounts on their own and authors are neither involved nor notified.

If you’re planning to buy a copy (thank you!) note that there are two versions: “perfect” binding and spiral-bound. Perfect is a traditional book binding, while spiral-bound is better if you plan to frequently refer to it on the build table, since it lays flat.

6 Nov 2017

Been driving the car, more than I used to (as in, none) to driving it some. Attended another Cars and Coffee event; this local one’s so small I may look to others.

On the pond front, been working on a shelter for the filtration equipment – think shed minus sides. The irony is that with it nearing completion, the low sun in the sky shows that it’ll be virtually useless this time of year for keeping the sun off of things. Not a big deal though since its primary use is rain protection, keeping all the electrics dry.

In other news, there’s a Locost builder who flippantly decided to put a supercharger on his Ford 2.3 Duratec engine. I suggested that instead of bragging about how little it’s costing, that he treat forced induction as the wily foe that it is, but he persists. I think he’ll learn that there’s not an easy, fast, and cheap way to move to FI, but maybe he’ll prove me wrong. I’ll be watching.

In other, other news, Texas is for some reason messing with what constitutes kit cars https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2017/11/06/texas-begins-revoking-titles-for-dune-buggies-and-other-kit-cars/?refer=news

What’s unclear to me (I just skimmed it) is what constitutes the original “car.” Is it the engine, engine/gearbox, or chassis? Unsure whether this will be an issue for any Midlana builders located there.

30 Sept 2017

Attached the ductwork and been driving the car… yeah, yeah, I know, “about time”. Driving the car, three things have improved, which more or less should have been expected:

Air turbulence in the passenger compartment has been reduced by about half! Of course, starting out with “category 5 hurricane winds” means there’s still Category 1 winds (half as fast – I looked it up), a very welcome improvement. From previous reading, a lot of wind whips around the sides of the flat windscreen and smacks the driver about the ears – it sure does and it’s the nature of Lotus Seven type cars. I think the ductwork is keeping air from spilling over the top of the windscreen, and that lack of low pressure means it’s not sucking in as much air from the sides.

Air intake temperature is measured at the intercooler outlet and is staying right at ambient temperature. Since I don’t have a second sensor upstream of the intercooler, I can’t say how well the ducting is working. Street traffic being what it is, I can’t keep boost high enough and long enough to try and drive up air inlet temperature. I’d be well over 100mph in seconds… “first-world problems” of having a fast car.

Lastly, when driving west into the setting sun, the new “roof” is nice because it blocks the sun from coming in just abover the windscreen frame and trying to blind me.

With the hottest part of the year behind us, I’ll be doing more street driving. Full disclosure: ever since I blew up the engine, I’ve been very gun-shy about putting the car back on on-track. While everyone’s quick to say that I should, no one’s taken me up on my offer of writing me a $10,000 check, which I’d only cash if the engine blows up. In other words, it’s easy to tell someone else to do something which might cost a lot of money if it goes wrong. It wasn’t just the money though, it was the labor, and perhaps worse, being left not knowing what the “smoking gun” was that caused it to break the first time. All I know for sure was that the oiling system was not at fault because the bearings looked great – but everything else is a big unknown. What I still plan to do is eat my pride and take the car in to be professionally tuned – or at least have them review what I have. One reason I’ve been putting it off – besides not driving the car in general – is that they said they’d “probably” need the car for two days. Given that the tuner is around 100 miles away in terrible Los Angeles traffic, I much rather have it done in one day, but it’s not really up to me. We’ll see.