2 Dec 2010

This month marks the end of the second year of construction. It seems to be taking forever, but since Kimini took 10 years I guess I should be pretty happy. Yesterday and today (and the rest of the vacation) is being spent on paneling. Yesterday the bottom rear panel on the removable tail was finished up, and today the engine cover was measured and cut. It’ll be fastened with Dzus fasteners since it has to come off easily. The rear side panels are permanently riveted to the removable tail so they comes off with it. The forward side panels will be fastened with rivnuts which are more permanent then Dzus fasteners and won’t rattle as much. As for how the rear looks, keep in mind the rear suspension’s is at full droop, so it’ll look a lot more hunkered-down than it does now. Also, the pictures for some reason make it look kind of ponderous but it doesn’t look it in real-life. Haven’t decided if the rear portion of the cover will be louvered or not.

Got the two LED taillights and was reminded about production stop/turn/tail lights. In “real cars” there’s some electrical trickery in the turn signal switch so that three functions are handled with two filaments at the rear of the car. Knowing this, the electrical system is set up for three-bulb assemblies – no problem. But, I kinda fell in love with the round-taillight look, so the rectangular lamp assemblies were sold, then took the opportunity to go with LED lights. Thing is, they’re set up for “real” cars and only have two circuits… one dim and one bright. Instead of mucking about with the turn signal switching – and really liking the look of having four round taillights – two more were ordered. That effectively gives four circuits per side, and paralleling two circuits brings it down to three (one for stop, turn, and running lights.) Both bright circuits will be for brakes, one dim circuit for turn signals, and the other dim circuit for running lights. Oh, and while the lenses are clear, the LEDs are red, which I think both looks better and is a better indication to following cars that they’re on. That is, a red-lensed lamp goes from “dark red” to “bright red” which isn’t as easy to discern, but with these it’s an obvious color change.

Ordered stainless mesh for the engine compartment rear vent, where the lights will mount. Also ordered thin stainless tubing, it’ll be used on the top rails of the passenger compartment to protect the paint from the expected wear and tear of sliding in and out of the car. Another piece will protect the rear cross tube from exhaust heat from frying the paint.