I’ve managed to dive in and out of the garage a few times over the last couple of days and have also had a test drive.
In short the tasks were; Wheel controls, Cooling v2, Oil Change, Dipstick modification, and cooling v3 !
The cooling mod I had made was with a non flexible, weak plastic that was splintering and shattering, so although it had proven the concept it needed replacing with something more long lasting. I used 3 mm polycarbonate for the replacement, this could be bent easily, is flexible and strong, and unfortunately expensive, but only 2 sq ft was needed so I could live with it. Once this was fitted I covered it in a film so it wasn’t see through and refitted the grill. The test drive I took didn’t however deliver the results, and the only conclusion I can draw is that the grill I use is blocking a lot of the air flow. This is logical if you look at the grill, it’s 60% open and 40% grill so not only blocks air, it disturbs the airflow a lot, hence cooling v3! I have removed the grill and added a u-channel trim to the fibreglass edge to tidy it up but due to heavy rain the test drive will have to wait. I have only change the pod with the radiator in, but should it work then I will add ducting to the inter-cooler in the right hand pod.
The steering wheel controls I have were made using a single A4 sheet of flat carbon fibre, I have decided I would rather a more robust construction with rounded edges, slightly larger and capable of taking a different more hard wearing IP67 switch as the existing ones have been giving false positives. I have started with the cast(buck) which I will take a cast from for a mould and then make the final product.
For some time I had been figuring out which oil would be best, and I have decided on Mobil 1 10w 60, certainly not the cheapest of oils but as Halfords have 20% off it made it slightly less expensive. I drained the oil when I came back from testing the cooling and having usually done this when the car was cold it was at first alarming to see the oil draining out look like water in viscosity, but that was obviously because it was hot!
When I purchased the engine the dipstick was whole, I broke it at some point and have had to pull it out every time using a pair of
mole grips. The dipstick is a flat metal item with a moulded plastic top that had the handle by which you could pull it out. Its the plastic bit that broke, and I had considered how I would repair that before coming to the idea of drilling a small 3mm hole through the plastic and top part of the metal and inserting a good quality key ring. Hey presto it works perfectly!