31 Aug 2012

It’s heeeerrr… and just in time for the hottest weather of the year. Every year at this time I’m reminded of the wise words that a farmer once told me, that the hottest weather in this area is the first week of September. The engineer in me said that’s nuts, that surely the hottest week moves around a fair bit year to year. And yet, darn if he doesn’t seem to hit it really close each time.

First task will be attaching the floor panels since it’ll never be easier to roll over than it is now. (For some reason it looks smaller now that it’s painted.)

28 Aug 2012

The chassis, panels, and suspension are painted! I brought home everything but the chassis, which will arrive Friday. This may or may not be a big weekend for the car since I have four days off, but I’m also on-call for half that so we’ll see how it goes.

26 Aug 2012

Wrapped the wiring harness with some really sweet slit wrap that Dennis of DP cars told me about – it works really well. Also dropped by my buddy Lee’s shop to mill 0.060″ off the brake caliper adaptor brackets to shift the pads slightly on the rotors.

Heard from beta-builder Jim who said he’s having trouble with bump-steer. Hmmm, the suspension software says it’s fine, and since the rack is the same length as the distance between the lower A-arms, and in-line with it, it “should” have zero bump-steer. Did I check it? To be honest I don’t remember, but I guess I’ll come face-to-face with that demon soon enough.

19 Aug 2012

Cleaned up the garage then cleaned, painted, and assembled the suspension uprights. Could have had them powdercoated but didn’t want them the same color as the suspension arms, didn’t want to pay a fee for another color, and didn’t want to disassemble them to remove the bearings. Just cleaned them up and spray-painted them black which will be good enough for now.

Noticed that the front brake pads – due to tolerances in their positioning – can end up about 0.050″ above the brake rotor. This isn’t optimum since the top edge of the brake pads aren’t doing anything and will likely wear with an overhanging lip on them. The brake caliper adaptors will be machined down about 0.060″ to ensure the full face of the pads are working.

In home news, discovered a puddle in the kitchen and it was wet on the shelf below the sink – uh oh. Removed all the bottles under the sink and wiped a finger over all the hoses and pipes – nothing. Cleaned up the leak, dried out the shelf, and put everything back, only to have it happen again later in the day. Okay, take everything out again, search everywhere, and again, nothing, grrr. Sitting there trying to assign blame, one of the cleaner bottles that had been removed from the shelf was a squeeze-pump type. I remembered something similar happening with our hummingbird feeder – and the gas tank in Kimini. That is, when you have a container that contains both air and liquid, the liquid pickup is at the bottom, and the room temperature fluctuates, the air inside the container expands when it gets warm, pushing the fluid out. Then at night when it’s cool, the air inside cools and contracts, pulling air back into the bottle. Next day the cycle repeats, and given the very warm temperatures we’ve been having, it became suspect. Sure enough, loosened the cap on that bottle and presto, the “leak” vanished. Just a lesson in how sneaky thermodynamics can be in seemingly unrelated situations.

14 Aug 2012

The chassis, interior and floor panels, and all the suspension bits have been delivered to the powder-coater. Like raising a kid for years and watching him walk into school for the first time, it was an odd feeling leaving it there and asked them to take good care of it. Logically I know it’s not going anywhere – what would someone do with it – but there’s still an odd emotional attachment to that silly lump of metal that I’ve spent three and a half years creating. Assuming it’s not done by Friday, this weekend will be spent cleaning up the garage in preparation for the fun and relaxing part of the project, The Final Build.

12 Aug 2012

About a dozen times I shut off the welder thinking it was for the last time, only to discover <em>another</em> missing weld. It was a long hot day in the garage but best I can tell it’s now complete, finally. The chassis, suspension arms, and interior and floor panels will go to the powder-coater. The chassis is a bit large to fit in the pickup, plus I don’t want to scuff it up when it comes home, so it’ll be picked up and delivered when done. Final colors won’t really be a surprise, nothing extreme. I’m beat but happy 🙂

5 Aug 2012

Last week I said it would be done if work didn’t intrude. It did, and between that and finding more unwelded joints than expected, forgetting about the tube ends that needed blanking plates, fabricating the glove box floor panel, and adding the reinforcing plates to the rear suspension, it’s not yet time to claim completion. Once the chassis gets a final going-over to find any remaining hidden missing welds, it also needs going over with a flapper wheel to remove sharp edges and left-over weld “nubs” from temporary construction braces. Summed up though, I feel confident in saying that it’ll head to the powdercoating place in one week.