Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Proalloy has changed up the fan configuration on their Chargecooler for the 'S'. We anticipate this relocation to the top of the rad stack should result in better cooling to the engine radiator. The new fans will 'pull' the air through the stack. They have designed new brackets to mount the fans. We expect to get one kit in shortly to test out.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
I think it would look even better if our stellaCORSE were silver. The fitment is a 5 lug and the offsets and wheel widths are different. I wonder if it would fit the Dodge EV as well (assuming it ever see the light of day). The internal Tesla folks loved the wheel and we know many of their clients and dealers also raved about it. We hope to have these available if the demand requires it!
Friday, December 5, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Winter is coming up quick. Bill Thomas was kind enough to put together a list of items he does with his Elise, Triumph and supercool motorbikes:
- Wash and if possible wax/detail vehicle. Make sure vehicle is completely dry before permanent parking. If it is not possible to wash and/or detail car then at minimum it should be wiped down. Remove all items such as paper, food, etc. from interior. The less clutter the better as this will help prevent rodents from wanting to move in.
- If vehicle is to be stored throughout the winter without any chance of being driven, inflate all tires to 5 psi above maximum inflation pressure stated on tire sidewall. This will help reduce flat-spotting of tires during extended imobilized storage. You can go one step further in preventing flat spots by parking vehicle on dense rubber pads large enough to cover contact patch of tire. A 12''x12'' square one to two inches thick at each wheel is sufficient.
- Change oil and filter if possible. Clean oil sitting in the cooler(s), filter and sump for upwards of six months is better than dirty oil!!!
- Fuel tank should be completely full. This will prevent condensation from forming on the inside of the tank walls should there be a rapid change in temperature and humidity.
- Check all fluid levels (coolant, brake, clutch, wiper resivoir) and adjust levels as required. Be sure to verify freeze protection of coolant/antifreeze solution in both the engine and windshield reservoir.
- Remove battery from vehicle and store in a warm, dry climate utilizing a battery tender. Make sure windows are fully closed first. If a warm, dry area is not available such as a basement or garage, place battery on a wood plank with tender attached. The wood will act as an insulator between the ice cold floor of an unheated garage and the battery. The current flow created by the battery tender will generate a slight amount of heat in the battery. This is a good thing and will help prevent freezing.
- If storage area has a tendency to become damp or experience rapid temperature and humidity changes (an uninsulated garage is a good example) you should spray a light mist of WD-40 or silicone in engine bay completely covering everything. This will prevent corrosion on some of the aluminum and steel engine-related parts (ECU, Air Flow Meter, misc. fittings and fixtures). Do not over-do it with the spray. Make it shine, not drip!!
- Once you have completed the checklist, your final task will be to cover the car with a soft, quality car cover. It should be able to 'breath', meaning that moisture can pass from the vehicle surface through the cover fibers to atmosphere. This will help protect paint and trim from staining should the cover get wet or surface condensate.
- Finally, if the vehicle is accessable during the storage period, you may check its well-being as often as you care to. I have stored vehicles for 8-12 month stretches without any problems.
- One final important tip: DO NOT start the car and let it run for a few minutes at a time sporatically throughout the storage period. I know many people out there think this is a good idea but it is not. This practice will rapidly contaminate the engine oil and fill your exhaust with condensation (water!). BAD, VERY BAD!
Thx to Bill Thomas, WT Roadsters, NJ Sector111 Authorized Dealer & Katana Installer (908) 313-4482 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, October 16, 2008
A safety seminar I attended early this year, put on by SCORE, continued to advocate seat safety. Dr. John Melvin, a professor and noted safety industry expert, also promoted the use of HANs-type devices and head nets. We have been playing around with a couple of Head nets and looking for ways to secure them - somewhat easy on the Atom and fairly difficult on the Lotus. Watch our Schroth video (http://www.sector111.com/safety_webinar.html ) if you want to see how violent a side impact can be! Head nets can help significantly.
We're chasing after ways to both reinforce seat backs as well as commercialize head nets. No timing on when we'll have them done for either Lotus or Ariel, but aim to get something sorted by start of track season next year.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
I met up with Tim last week and test drove his Exige 'S' with a very stiff (high durometer) PUR engine mount kit. The shifting action and throttle response was excellent. The vibration was.....too much for street use. Track focused cars will be happy with this kit as it great improves the response of the car.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
A few years ago, I bought an Evo8 after experiencing its quick steering response. What an amazing feeling - even though the feedback was too light. When I got my Elise, I revelled in the feedback but was a bit disappointed in the speed of the steering vs. the Evo. To make matters worse, I bought an Atom last year with lightening quick steering. The Lotus steering felt a bit like a Caddy in comparison..well, maybe an M-car(flamesuit on!).
So when I learned a quicker ratio rack was available for our Lotus, I secured one for fitment. It turns out to be built by the same company that previously supplied Lotus. They re-engineered their previous kit with a quicker ratio. The lock to lock was reduced from 2.75 turns to 2.5. This may not seem like much but what a difference it makes!
We installed the rack a couple of weeks ago. The installation was a straight forward bolt-on solution but is also a bit of pain. Working in the footwell of our cars is no fun. Disconnecting the pinion is especially a pleasure! We learned a few things the hardway... ;^) Luckily we have a shop manual, limited brainpower AND good resources - like AutoEurope! We called over to our friends in DTW and received the tips we needed to get the job done.
Unbolting the rack.
Stock on the left.
Chris and I took it to Streets of Willow for the last LCS ( http://www.lotuschallengeseries.com/) event. What a blast! Our Exige turned in beautifully and the quickness was noticeable. I had other Lotus owners drive the car and the feedback was universally positive. BTW: if you've not checked out the LCS, it is really a good time. Please check out their website.
Friday, September 12, 2008
We've been vexed by the large engine movement in our cars. To address this
issue, we're experimenting with transmission mounts. These direct replacements
have stiffer polyurethane bushings that reduce engine/transmission movement,
which results in more precise shift performance and better throttle response.
The pictures below show our second generation prototypes that we've tested in
our cars. As it turns out, we have much more work to do to insure that it is a
solution that can work for most of the community. We'll keep at the R&D
because this is one problem we aim to sort! No ETA on the final product....
Unfortunatley these caused far too much cabin vibration. I think most NVH engineers at Lexus would have had a coronary if they drove our car with these two mounts. Without question they improved the shifting action of the Spyder by dramatically reducing the rotation. But the high levels of shake & rattle sent us back to the drawing board for street driven cars.
We've started to blog again about some of our latest developments! Many of you have followed our Spyder Blog last year and have asked us to continue. I have developed many products over the 20+ years in this industry. It is definately one of my passions. So with that in mind, we have started this blog to review some of the items we are currently developing. Truthfully, we have probably killed as many items as we have launched!
Keep an eye out for weekly entries.
Thanks for tuning in.