7 July 2013

Test drives confirmed that the electric water pump is doing its job. Placement was discussed with the manufacturer, Meziere, regarding the pump pushing coolant through the radiator, being mounted immediately behind it, and being a mid-engine car. They said that it’s fine to have both the electric unit and the stock mechanical pump, which is fine with me, having redundant pumps, and not having to fuss with how to reroute the belt.

The oil-to-coolant heat exchanger was installed; through dumb luck there was a natural installation point, in the hose leading from the cylinder head to the tube leading forward to the radiator. It made sense to add it there because the added heat is seen only by the radiator and not the engine, as it would had it been installed in the return hose. Oil temperature has (so far) stayed within 12 deg C of coolant, which now stays below 80 deg C even when stopped. I suspect it’s pulling coolant past the thermostat even when it’s nearly closed, hence coolant temperature’s running slightly below the thermostat’s rating. We’ll see how things are on-track.

Lexan side windows were finally added. A lot of time was spent thinking about the shape and especially, how to attach them. It was decided that they must be removable, for cleaning if nothing else, and the rivnuts leave open the opportunity for alternate attachments. The widows work fairly well in that they decrease the blast of air coming around the sides of the wind by about half (note how they’re bowed outward to avoid flapping in the wind.) As an aside, I tried some “Cobra” style side-wings which were surprisingly ineffective because the wind continued to blow in beneath them. To do a complete job at wind management meant extending them further aft, but they’d block getting in and out (at this point I don’t want to deal with hinged window/doors, maybe later.) Note in the last picture how the window blocks direct line-of-sight between the driver and the tire, for improved peace of mind. A bikini top is also being planned.

Changed the engine and transmission oil to full synthetic. Speaking of the transmission, several times today it made a scary noise, a loud “bang”, as though the engine is hitting the chassis, only that’s not. It’s done it a couple times during up AND downshifts which is odd… almost like a gear tooth is missing, yet when driven “calmly”, is perfectly well-mannered. I’m trying to not worry too much, but whatever it is does sound to be coming from the transmission. I’ll just stick my head in the sand…

Stopped by a store and a 4-yr old girl walked by, heard whispering to her mom, “Mom, that is so cool!” That made me smile.