15 Feb 2017

I’m still here, just not doing much car-wise, but a lot related to the fish pond. As mentioned, a new rotating drum filter is under construction – bigger, badder, and overall better, I hope. The idea is it’ll be pretty much bulletproof and can be ignored for months on end.

Finally bought a router, a wonderfully versatile tool limited only by the user’s imagination. With the appropriate plastic cutter bit it worked great cutting up the HDPE (high density polyethylene) sheet. Below are various pictures of the new filter under construction; the drum was first to be built (looking oddly like an enormous air filter element). The stainless sprocket was cut with a water jet. The last two pictures show the effect of a vastly improved filter and UV – they were taken 4 weeks apart.

I post on Instagram (#Midlana1) about whatever I’m doing and am also very active in the Midlana Builder’s forum, which you can find the link to above. There are about a dozen Midlana builders now so stop by and read up on some of the threads.

29 Jan 2017

Strike one. Took the ductwork to the paint shop that painted the car. The catch is that I want to paint the ducting the lime green color that the powder-coater painted various trim parts with. I’m almost positive that the paint shop should have been able to cross the powder coat color code (RAL6018) to an equivalent liquid automotive paint code. I think they just didn’t want to bother since it wasn’t a big job. I’ll try taking a color sample to a regional paint supplier and I bet they’ll be able to do it. Rumor is that some places can not only cross it, but make up a batch of spray paint as well if the user doesn’t have a sprayer.

22 Jan 2017

So Midlana, really!

A couple people have been asking details about things, such as how did I extend the steering rack tie rods, and what are the attachment points for the wings. The first picture is of the tie rod extender and is simply a hollow tube inserted into the existing tie rod. The reason for doing it this way is that no machining is necessary; the hex flats and OEM threads are simply transferred to the outboard end of the extension, so there’s no concern about threading or having the threads pull out. Even the welds have a safety net since the tie rod was pressed into the extender and side welds added in addition to the normal welds.

About the wings, front and rear attachment points are as shown in pic #2-3. The rear wing support frame will have at least one diagonal to keep everything square under the wing’s down force.

So, the ducting. SoCal has uncharacteristically been getting a lot of rain (and snow), which means I can’t work on the pond. Even if it wasn’t raining, I’m currently waiting for a 4″ schedule-40 PVC elbow (11.25 degrees!) which isn’t here yet. What to do… well, time to pull out Midlana’s ductwork and finish sanding. “Finish” is relative and really means “sand until I don’t want to sand any more and am ready to hand it to the paint shop to finish.” Both pieces were finish drilled for the mounts and will be dropped off at the paint shop whenever I can get over there.

Oh, about the wings, part of my malaise has been the realization that because 5th and 6th gear are OEM, they can’t be trusted with the high torque of the turbocharged engine. This effectively limits Midlana to around a 140-mph and on some of the larger tracks around here, makes it uncompetitive. Since my brother and I have been talking about wings, I realized that the “low” top speed might become a non issue. That is, let’s say that the gears could be used and let’s speculate that Midlana could reach 160 mph (which is realistic since my brother’s car has similar power and lousy aero). Adding wings adds drag, so depending on wing pitch, that 160-mph top speed would be reduced by maybe a lot, possibly all the way down to 140 or so. This negates the need for 5th and 6th, but more importantly, allows a faster average lap time by being able to go around corners faster. That assumes I don’t chicken out – on legitimate concern is having the rear suspension bottom mid-corner. That would be an instant off and I’ve already done that and don’t want to repeat it!