31 May 2010

Cleaned up the garage; it’s amazing how much space there is once all the near empty boxes are cleared out… Cleaning up’s a great way to feel better about the build in general. Started to measure the throttle cable requirements but turns out the throttle bracket on the throttlebody hits a fuel line fitting. That’ll take some adjusting so the cable can get ordered. Also measured the clutch line so that’ll be picked up this week. Composing a list of correct (as opposed to “whatever”) bolts; now’s as good a time as any to get that straightened out. Doing a lateral move at work, so it’s unclear how this’ll affect my free time.

30 May 2010

With the help of neighbors, the chassis was lifted off the table and sat on the floor, the table moved out of the garage, then the chassis sat back on the sawhorses. Sunday, the engine was reinstalled. Each time I put it back in, I’m reminded that whoever – cough – designed this thing didn’t leave a ton of room around the engine. Oh it goes in fine, but it’s close. Messed around figuring out where the coolant header and overflow tank will go, and they fit, just.

The sawhorses are set as low as they can go. I’d like it to be a bit lower (would have made drivetrain reinstallation easier) but didn’t want to buy new sawhorses. I forgot to take a picture while the chassis was sitting on the floor… it’s really low, almost shockingly so. Guess you have to wait until it’s on its wheels to see for yourselves šŸ˜‰

First thing to do is clean up and reorganize the garage. Looking like the morning-after, the garage’s a mess because my lazy place to pile everything is now gone – housecleaning is in order.

So now the big push starts, since with the engine in place, the clutch line can be measured, the cooling system finished up, and the turbo compressor-side plumbed, plus the many odds and ends completed before pushing it onto a trailer and taking it to the tuners. I feel a bit conflicting right now, happy that the project’s moving much faster than Kimini, but there’s still very much the sense that while 10 million things have been dealt with, there’s still a million or so to go…<br><br>

As a background task, the wiper system’s being thought about. It’s looking like the cowl may change a tad, adding a front frame like the one around the dash. Doing so makes the cowl easier to fabricate, though I may get stuck making a new one. Haven’t checked to see if it’s as simple as removing the existing flange yet off the existing cowl.

Still debating whether to do the brakes (including the emergency brake) before tuning. It all has to be done eventually, though the draw is strong to reach the mile-post of just getting it tuned. That in itself is a substantial achievement, no longer wondering if it’ll run right when completed. Nice to know that once tuned, there’s a solid sense that it’ll “just work” once everything else is finished.

23 May 2010

Received both front calipers – they’re sweet. For now the adaptor brackets will be hand-made; a CNC version will come later if builders want a set šŸ™‚

Cut off the zip-ties and wrapped the front wire harness in nylon split-loom, which is much cleaner and maintainable. Welded on mounting studs for rubber-line clamps for both the wire harness and front brake circuit. Need to pick up two brake fluid T’s so brake line length can be measured and ordered. I have mixed feeling about bothering to plumb and fill the brakes since they aren’t really needed for the dyno session. It’s the time, and getting brake fluid in all the lines that’ll later be dust magnets when everything’s stripped off the car for paint.

On the other hand, it would be reassuring to have working brakes as it’s driven on and off of the trailer. And of course, the clutch system needs to be plumbed and filled; I’m curious what it’ll be like to operate the twin-disc clutch. Some people say it’s a light switch – on or off and no in between. Other people say it’s the only way to go and very easy to modulate? Some much for hard facts on the Interweb, lol.

After the brakes and/or clutch are plumbed, the car is finally coming off the table; there’ll be a lot of moving stuff around that weekend. After that, the drivetrain is reinstalled so all the various tasks counting on it being there can move ahead.

Of course, there is one more chassis-related issue that hasn’t been decided: how the rear portion of the chassis will be finished up. I have no idea. It’s purely aesthetic and be dealt with after the dyno session – that’s the immediate pressing goal. It’s not a big deal since it’s easy to work on even with the engine in place. Things are moving along.

In other news, my buddy Alan urged me to consider Wiggens clamps on the fuel filler pipe instead of hose. In an accident they could help retain the filler tubing on the tank, and are strong enough that if the pipe gets yanked sideway, it can crimp it shut. Alan’s seen his share of very bad fuel fires during his time on an IMSA team. No, I’m not building an IMSA car, but accidents are always a possibility so they’re being looked into. At around $100 each, they’re serious hardware, but so is a fire…

16 May 2010

Made steady progress, just not along the expected path, another reminder of how everything’s connected to everything else. The header tank was completed, but where it’s to go is a bit up in the air. Back when the basic components were being moved around in my head, the idea was to put the header tank in the front-right corner of the engine bay, opposite me. Turns out that’s also where the bonehead designer decided the fuel filler’s supposed to go…

Since there’s nothing magic about that corner, the header tank was moved further to the left, but without the engine in place it’s hard to know if it’ll interfere. However, since the fuel filler has priority (it drives where everything else can go), it was dealt with first, ending up as shown, tipped up to minimize how much space it uses inboard. I was uncomfortable having the filler inside the car (engine compartment) and facing upward, an over-filled tank could splash into the passenger compartment. This way, any spillage will at least stay outside the car. A tube or hose will turn down immediately and route down to the tank, seen at the bottom as a tape-covered pipe.

After that hose/piping is dealt with, the coolant header tank will move as far right as possible to help weight distribution. Having it there also lessens the small chance of being sprayed with hot coolant if something bad happens. Note that the fuel pressure regulator also moved in order to get all these bits to package better.

Having the engine in-place can be a bit of a Catch-22; it’s then obvious what components can go where, butĀ limits access for drillingĀ mounts and such.

14 May 2010

The Midlana forum continues to grow slowly but steadily, currently just short of 500 members. There’s not a huge amount of posting yet, which isn’t unexpected, most are poking around to see if it’s something they’re serious about doing. Cool.

9 May 2010

Scattered progress. As more items are checked off the to-do list, there’s less and less holding back taking the car off the table and getting the drivetrain back in. For now it’s rather unstructured work, just pushing along through the various tasks.

The driver’s seat is finally bolted in, allowing work on the gas pedal to progress. It’s tacked-in but has to wait until the engine’s in before final placement. The fuel filler will probably go where shown, but the drivetrain should be in place to ensure it’s not too close, though it’s not needed for dyno day.

On the other hand, the intercooler is needed, so it’s in. Coolant header tank fabrication has started, with the drain and bottom of the tank having been welded in. The two coolant feeds into the tank need adding, then the top and radiator cap added.

Both the clutch and brake plumbing needs doing, though since aftermarket front calipers will be used, they need ordering and the brackets designed and fabricated, plus the e-brake system needs doing, though it isn’t needed for dyno day, either.

6 May 2010

Sorry for the lack of updates. A buddy asked why things are so slow and I explained that it isn’t that things aren’t happening, they just not very… what, exciting.

Coming up soon is the header tank in the engine compartment, which is very similar to the front tank, minus the large inlet and outlet pipes. It’s the only tank in the system with a radiator cap.

Need to add a collar to the gas pedal shaft for the actual pedal. Yet to be decided is where along the shaft the throttle will attach; that requires knowing the linear motion required to fully open the throttle.

Lots of little stuff, though the priority is getting everything done for the dyno test. I may use a plastic fuel container for the test so the real tank doesn’t get polluted with fuel, stinking up the garage for months until it’s needed for the final build.

2 May 2010

May already… ugh.

Front swirl tank is in place, as well as the cooling lines back to the top of the fuel tank, but plumbing them any further back requires the engine. I may have to buy new hose clamps, or at least trim the ones I have. Having too much of the collar hanging out past the clamp after it’s tightened down looks really bad. Gas pedal’s about half done.