22 Jan 2017

So Midlana, really!

A couple people have been asking details about things, such as how did I extend the steering rack tie rods, and what are the attachment points for the wings. The first picture is of the tie rod extender and is simply a hollow tube inserted into the existing tie rod. The reason for doing it this way is that no machining is necessary; the hex flats and OEM threads are simply transferred to the outboard end of the extension, so there’s no concern about threading or having the threads pull out. Even the welds have a safety net since the tie rod was pressed into the extender and side welds added in addition to the normal welds.

About the wings, front and rear attachment points are as shown in pic #2-3. The rear wing support frame will have at least one diagonal to keep everything square under the wing’s down force.

So, the ducting. SoCal has uncharacteristically been getting a lot of rain (and snow), which means I can’t work on the pond. Even if it wasn’t raining, I’m currently waiting for a 4″ schedule-40 PVC elbow (11.25 degrees!) which isn’t here yet. What to do… well, time to pull out Midlana’s ductwork and finish sanding. “Finish” is relative and really means “sand until I don’t want to sand any more and am ready to hand it to the paint shop to finish.” Both pieces were finish drilled for the mounts and will be dropped off at the paint shop whenever I can get over there.

Oh, about the wings, part of my malaise has been the realization that because 5th and 6th gear are OEM, they can’t be trusted with the high torque of the turbocharged engine. This effectively limits Midlana to around a 140-mph and on some of the larger tracks around here, makes it uncompetitive. Since my brother and I have been talking about wings, I realized that the “low” top speed might become a non issue. That is, let’s say that the gears could be used and let’s speculate that Midlana could reach 160 mph (which is realistic since my brother’s car has similar power and lousy aero). Adding wings adds drag, so depending on wing pitch, that 160-mph top speed would be reduced by maybe a lot, possibly all the way down to 140 or so. This negates the need for 5th and 6th, but more importantly, allows a faster average lap time by being able to go around corners faster. That assumes I don’t chicken out – on legitimate concern is having the rear suspension bottom mid-corner. That would be an instant off and I’ve already done that and don’t want to repeat it!