31 Mar 2013

Moved the license plate straight down about 12″ – looks much better and no longer blocks the engine compartment vent.

Took the wife for a ride as first-time passenger. She got real animated when I got on it… I haven’t a clue what she was saying due to all the car noises, but there was a bunch of arm-waving 🙂

Drove around a bit myself later on and got on it a couple times. That was the first time the shifter had been “used in anger”, and later I was backing out the car after mounting the Go-Pro and snap, the shifter broke! If that had happened anywhere but home it would have almost certainly required a tow – what’s that saying about a race being ended by a $0.25 part? Anyhow, “before” and “after” shots are shown. The failure occurred at the thread root of the long shoulder bolt which is why the bolt is missing its threads. After looking at it, the obvious fix was to substitute a single piece of bar stock to extend straight through, replacing both bolts and removing all bending loads on the threads. It’s done and installed but by then the light was gone. It was also noticed that a couple of the screws had backed off during what few drives there have been, a consequence of not using thread-locking compound – fixed. And people wonder “what’s the point of these shakedown drives?…”

One thing I haven’t tried yet is a hard standing start, partly for fear of breaking something, partly because there’s been too much traffic, and there’s not yet having mastered the straight-cut gears. I can’t seem to shift cleanly from first to second smoothly even using the clutch so I need to figure that out. However, the desire to know what its 0-60 time is and to record it is strong… It’ll also answer the big question regarding how good the traction is, a common problem in high-power front-engine Locosts. I purposely chose a low final drive to help avoid it and between that and the 67% rear weight bias, it’s promising.

Oh, and the Miata vent assembly (whatever it does) was leaking a bit after hard acceleration with the tank full, due to not being sealed adequately to the top of the tank. The vent assembly was removed, sealant added, and reinstalled. Time will tell.