29 Apr 2012

Two substantial items off the list: finally added the wing mounts, and got tired of the headlights rubbing on the tilting front cover. The first picture (barely) shows two of the rear wing mounts – the bushings are in the down tube at lower-right and in the main hoop at top-left. Bushings were also added at the front, visible above and below the steering rack boot. The wing assemblies will get built up as a separate project after the car’s done. When the front bushings were being added I had to loosen up the suspension arms some. It’s a good thing I didn’t take off down the street when it was backed into the driveway because there are a lot of hand-tight suspension bolts…

Originally, the front cover was going to be separate from the nose but on a whim it was decided to make it a tilt-up assembly. Part of the reason was to not have a flimsy and light painted panel sitting loose on the ground which seemed like asking for trouble. What I overlooked was that due to the taper of the chassis, the front edge of the cover swept outward and rubbed against both headlights, which looked bad and poorly designed. Instead of adding wear-strips, I bit the bullet and added spacers to move them outboard by about 1″, enough so they no longer rub. It was either that or be annoyed every time I open or close the cover.

No news in the nest department yet but the hummingbirds should be due any day. In other news, there’s a vacation coming up in a bit which may mean finishing the car, really. “Finished” in this case obviously doesn’t mean painted and on the road; it means no more welding and drilling on the chassis – that’s a big deal emotionally.

23 Apr 2012

Only got in an hour yesterday before heading out for the granddaughter’s fifth birthday… five years already, sheez.

Anyhow, was out on Saturday and saw a Porsche coming our way that looked like a 935, the 911 semi-race car with the huge wing. As it passed by it was easy to hear the turbo whistle and I thought, “That’s pretty sweet, bet not having a muffler does that.” So… since it was on the list of things to do anyway, a “track pipe” adaptor was fabricated to replace the muffler for trackday events. Haven’t had a chance to see how it sounds yet.

15 Apr 2012

Another couple items off the list but nothing much to take pictures of. Added mounts for more cable and hose clamps, moved the steering shaft bearing, locating it closer to the driver. As it was, it was a bit too easy to bend the steering shaft by pulling the steering wheel side-to-side, so no doubt it would be much worse on-track, but where it is now solves that. Also visible is some of the under-dash wiring that’ll have to be covered and wrapped. That’ll happen during final reassembly.

Hummingbird mom has laid two eggs in her still half-completed nest. When she returns to the nest to warm the eggs she’s also busy installing the latest twigs and spider web she uses for glue. The ruler is directly below the nest and gives an idea of just how small they are.

10 Apr 2012

Okay, I’m back. My PC died Sunday morning (there’s an Easter Egg!) with artifacts appearing on the screen right from power-up which prevented a full Windows boot-up. Suspecting that it was probably the graphics card, a new card was ordered – gotta love NewEgg for getting the new card here in 24-hrs via standard shipping. It was either risk the purchase of a new card or handing the PC to a shop for diagnosis and I lucked-out, this time. The new graphics card, an EVGA GTX550 is of course, faster, half as expensive, smaller, and runs cooler than the old one – figures. I was fortunate to find a new card worked with my old motherboard – the lesson there is that sometimes it pays to buy the latest motherboard when building a machine. Had a so-so MB been used it probably wouldn’t have worked with the new card.

Last Sunday the intercooler ducting was finished. What’s next? Who knows, something off the remaining list of things-to-do. My buddy, Dennis, pointed out that it would be a very good idea to drive the car for real (autocross for example) before it’s painted in order to identify any late changes. We’ll see.

Oh, and the hummingbird I took a picture of has already left the nest, AND there’s a new nest being built in the same Japanese Maple that was nested in last year… wonder if it’s the same Ms Hummingbird?

1 Apr 2012

Really tried to line-out another item on the list but didn’t quite make it. Today was spent making cardboard templates and aluminum paneling for the inlet ducting on the intercooler because without it, much of the flow will go around the cooler instead of through it.  Though things look a bit out-of-square it’s because the engine cover and side panels aren’t level to the ground and the cooler is, hence the odd appearance. The plan is to paint everything behind the grill flat-black to hide the duct-work. Not sure how much I like the grill but at this point the goal is to get the car done and to fool with it later. The hard part’s done so it’ll be done for sure next weekend.

There’s another hummingbird nest in the yard, pretty much where one was last year, right over the fish pond up near the top of the shade covering. Great protection from ground-based threats – not so good against crows who killed the babies last year. Also, Mrs. HB apparently decided that the kids will fly perfect the first time because if they teeter out of the nest and drop, they’ll become fish food. Koi aren’t meat-eaters (they don’t have teeth) but they do play with whatever drops in the water. Sorry about the picture quality; what you see is the shade cloth which messes with the picture, but you can see one baby sticking its head out. Unlike the other nests this is about the best picture I can get as there can’t be any shots from above.

Midi likes nothing better than to take up the entire computer chair and stick his head around into my lap; great for him but I can’t type when he does. As he’s aged, more and more brown is coming out; maybe mom or dad was a chocolate Lab.