27 Feb 2011

Visited the kids, did shopping, and Saturday plus half of Sunday were gone. Figured I could at least get the taillight connector wired up, until I was out by the fishpond and noticed something. The shading is held up by wood and steel trusses, forced upon me by the city Civil Engineer. I say “forced” because back then I knew it was only a matter of time before the wood rotted. So looking at the one truss closer, it was pretty scary, looking like it could buckle at any moment, and definitely not something to be standing under.

I’m notorious for putting off yard work, but this was was one of those pay-me-now-or-pay-me-a-lot-more-later things. Okay, welded up a secondary truss out of spare 2″ square tubing to back up the original. Getting it in place was interesting, using the floor jack to force the entire assembly back straight, no comments on the C-clamps, please. This temporary setup will do until a replacement truss design is done. Pricewise I’m thinking that chainlink fence tubing and wire cable is about the cheapest way to pull it off, and might even look somewhat-elegant if done right. More on that later, hopefully much later. (Some trusses span the fishpond, which made fixing this one all the more important – having it crash into the water and puncturing the liner would bad news, never mind possibly taking the trusses to either side with it.)

Anyhow, the last shot shows the rear engine screen which looks (to me) a lot better.

21 Feb 2011

Went to install the taillight connector but had the wrong parts… doh! Not willing to waste the day, the wire screen in the rear engine vent was cut out, the frame filed smooth, and the denser material welded in (yup, welded it again.) Also cut out holes for the four LED taillights, and the whole ordeal took all day but it’s good to have something that can finally be checked off as really finished.

In other news, we just heard Midi’s dog dish rattle around out in the patio, which means only one time: Mr. Possum is visiting. He’s about the size of a big cat, and reminded us of how we raised one years ago before before letting that one go back into the wild. Got to learn all about them and what they eat; they’re very cool animals and don’t bother anyone. If you have a snail problem in your yard, a possum can be your best friend, though it’s pretty gross watching him eat one!

20 Feb 2011

Finally broke up the mostly one-piece wire harness, adding two bulkhead connectors to it in the area of the fuel tank. Still need one more near the rear of the car so that the lights can be disconnected when removing the rear frame. Multipin military-type circular connectors are perfect for this but are both expensive and not easy to find. A few vendors do carry them, such as Trigger-wheels.com. They also carry parts for custom EFI and ECU installations, including Megasquirt and Megajolt setups, so if you’re on the other side of the pond, near Sports-car Heaven (Britain) they can help you out.

Change of topic: I’m currently struggling through the “90%-done syndrome”, where most of the car seems finished yet there are lots of loose ends, making it so nothing can be crossed off the mental list as truly finished. The only way through these doldrums is to just keep at it; if a little is done every week the project has no choice but to get done. This malady shouldn’t have been a surprise since it happened when building Kimini, and seems to affect many Locost builders, too.

13 Feb 2011

Passenger seat mounts are in, just need to get the proper grip-length bolts.

A nagging issue has been the wire harness; it needs a couple connectors mid-harness so that the front-half can be disconnected from the back. As it is, there are wires that run from the ECU all the way to the front dash, but other wires on the same ECU connector that also go to the engine. So as it stands, the fuse block can’t be removed from the front of the car without also having to remove the harness off the engine – and the taillights. No, no, no… So connectors will be added in the center tunnel, along with another near the rear taillights so the rear subframe can be removed without pulling the ECU, fusebox, and headlights along with them!

And that’s about all that got done today. The reason is that over the last few weeks I have to admit I’ve been distracted, fixating on choosing a new cellphone. When I set out to get something new like this, I tend to completely over-analyze the situation, reading endless reviews and forums, and doing lots of comparison research. Anyhow, that search is finally over, finally choosing an HTC Inspire 4G. Moving to a high-end Android phone from just about anything else is kinda like owning a 1982 Honda and being tossed the keys to a new Ferrari. So with that time-sink out of my head, it’s back to thinking about the car at all hours of the day. Sorry about the diversion.

6 Feb 2011

Received the more-dense wire mesh for the engine vent, that’ll get swapped-in when I get the strength to cut out the old one, grrr.

It was correctly pointed out that the front shocks were inverted (adding unsprung inertia) and once they were flipped over, the brake lines interfered. Sigh – out came the hammer and the existing mounting studs were knocked off and relocated.

A stainless foot tray was fabricated. Its purpose is to keep the driver’s feet from scratching up the painted aluminum panels, and to keep said feet inboard if a nasty off-road excursion rips off the floor. It was made now because I need a floor(!) and driving the car down the street with nothing could end very badly.

The passenger seat mounts were dealt with next; the seat’s just been sitting in there loose. This seat sits more upright than the driver’s seat, it’s larger, and is shifted forward to miss the driver’s seat shoulder bolsters. For that reason the seatback brace has to reach further forward and is triangulated to keep the seat from moving laterally as well as fore/aft. The lingering concern is the image of the bracket getting shoved through the seatback in a rear-end accident, so a spreader plate was added to distribute the load. There will be two more mounts at the front bottom corners to handle flexing in the other directions.

I suspect some readers are wondering, “Why do all that unnecessary stuff when you could be working to drive it down the street?” True, but there’s still the long list of tasks to be completed, and everything has to be done before it gets taken apart for paint. Yes, driving the car down the street would help build interest, though that same interest would bleed off once people realize there’s still dozens of odds and ends left to do. That said, first drive will happen sooner rather than later 🙂

A number of people asked what the heck’s going on with the gas pedal. Yes it looks massive but it’s just been boxed-in so there’s no concern about the pedal twisting. Granted, some holes would look nice and would lighten the appearance.