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.

23 Sept 2017

From a car site: “Kurt’s gone and ruined the looks of Midlana [with the intercooler ductwork].”

Me: “Oh I don’t know. Post up pictures of your from-scratch homebuilt car and we’ll decide which is more attractive.”

Easy to make judgments with no skin in the game.

17 Sept 2017

Two actual, real, car-related posts!

First, the composite bits are back! The painter said it took a lot longer to smooth them out than he expected – huh, and he wondered why I didn’t do the work myself. He took way longer than he said he would, and charged more than I would have liked, and yet it was totally worth it, psychologically at least.

As they sit in the pictures, both are just resting on the car. The front section has to get tucked under the windscreen frame and either riveted or screwed down. The rear does as well in addition to adding foam gasket material between the two pieces and around the intercooler. Also, looking into the inlet, the insides need to be painted flat black. As it is, it’s too easy to see how rough and unfinished the innards are.

In the other car-related news, my brother again attended the Virginia City, NV hill-climb. He sent several updates and while he doesn’t yet know how he did, he said there’s probably about a million dollars – literally – of wrecked or damaged cars. Several went off, several hit the banks or guard railing, and then there was someone who left the line in a McLaren of some sort, in launch control, backwards. I’ll have to wait and see if this isn’t a myth because I’d have expected the engineers to lock-out that from even happening. On the other hand, maybe they never considered anyone doing such a crazy thing.