2 Aug 2008

Ordered a muffler to make sure there’ll be enough room for it and its associated pipes. Because a turbocharger acts as a muffler, too, a smaller muffler can be used, but since most people will run a normally aspirated engine, I have to save room for a larger unit. Since neither the muffler nor axles are here yet, the rear suspension area is on hold, so attention moves to the front suspension.

Installed the radiator and – as many Locost builders discover – the lower radiator pipe interferes with the steering rack in a big way, like, going right through it. The choices are to move the rack, move the radiator, or move the radiator outlet. Car design is all about compromise, but moving the rack is a really bad idea since it messes up both Ackerman and bumpsteer. Another way to improve clearance is to move the rack (and wheels) back, shortening the wheelbase. It’s currently 96″ and while there’s nothing magic about that number, it gives a warm fuzzy 1.6:1 wheel-to-track ratio. I have to think about it.

Then there’s moving the radiator pipe, and since it’s a big 1.75″ diameter that’s already pointing the wrong direction, it’s very tempting to move it. I’m reluctant to do this because it means builders will have to weld aluminum, or pay to have it done, something I’m trying to avoid. And finally, the nose and radiator can be moved forward to free up space… but I find this solution offensive, lengthening the entire car by 4″ just to avoid one aluminum weld. I just can’t bring myself to do that.