Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mono Build Entry #8

The progress continues! With the major components assembled of the bell housing sub assembly complete, we were ready to not only attach the bellhousing to the engine, but install the engine in the chassis.

The Mono bellhousing is a large, bespoke aluminum casting which performs a variety of functions. While it's primary function is of course to mate the engine and gearbox, it also holds the front half of the rear wishbone mounts, rear damper mounts, body work brackets, and it contains the vent tank for the dry-sump oiling system.


Shown below is the AP Racing clutch slave cylinder / throwout bearing which resides in the bell housing.


Here we have the bellhousing and engine held on the engine hoist, ready for install.

While it's certainly tight quarters, the engine slotted in quite easily.

The right side of the engine looks relatively bare at this point, but this side of the chassis gets very busy once the headers are installed.

With the engine now in the chassis, we are currently bleeding / leak checking the hydraulics for the clutch system, and with that complete, we can install the gearbox. Exhaust and wiring details follow, and with the major structural components in place, the car will be ready to be mated with it's floor on the jig....


Saturday, October 20, 2012

How do you know when its time to replace your rotors?

Rotors are a very important part of your vehicle's braking system.  There are several things to look out for when inspecting them. As everyone knows the stock rotors for most Lotus Elise and Exige base models are the same rotor for all corners. This means the cross drilling is machined and the vanes are in the wrong direction on one side of the car.

When looking at your rotors the this to look for are:
  1. Thickness, minimum thickness for standard brake discs is 24.9mm
  • When checking thickness be sure to use a brake rotor micrometer or caliper. They have a point that allows you to check thickness as well as depth of any scoring on the rotor.
     2. Scoring or grooving, some may be normal but as a general rule they should be smooth

     3. Cracking or heat checking. This can happen if you are using your car on the track and are using any heavy braking. Small minor heat checking is normal but should be monitored. If you find any cracks that extend to the outer perimeter of your rotor, that rotor should be replaced.

Exploded View of BAC Mono Body

Monday, October 15, 2012

SRA testimonial - Sector111 Suspension Settings

I got an email from an Atom client, Rich B., who bought an SRA from us earlier this year.  He found the initial springs and settings were too stiff at one of our local tracks, Buttonwillow.  We found the same issues with our SRA so we undertook some suspension testing and development as reported: HERE.

After we completed our work, Rich brought his SRA to us and had us make the same changes to his car.  He recently took it to the track and had the following report:
I just got back from Buttonwillow .... I'm very happy to report that the new spring and damper settings worked great. I ran a full 5 seconds faster than last time; the difference thanks to the springs is HUGE. So much more comfortable pretty much everywhere around the track so I'm not bouncing around under braking, through corners or on the straights and I can hit a couple of berms without any trouble now too. You can also easily see the difference from my on-board videos, the whole car now rides better.   
                                                                             -Rich B.
 The SRA is a fun car that requires your 'A' game while driving at the limit.  I think it is an excellent car for track day enthusiasts and an even better race car, thanks to it's low running costs and reliability.  This simple reminder also proves that tuning a car for specific conditions becomes key to going fast with confidence.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Art Car Parts ReVerie CF Rad Support

Customers have been calling us looking for a comprehensive listing of the parts we have been running on the Art Car.  We've had a great season in Lotus Cup USA this year campaigning our Art Car with Glen Irani.  We've created a separate page on our website listing each of the parts on the car.

We've added the ReVerie radiator bracket to the car.  This required significant modifications including cutting off the stock crash structure.  For this reason alone, we DO NOT recommend it for street use.

Mitch developed new shrouding and ducting for the proRAD.  We ran it at Spring Mountain and then again at Buttonwillow.  Water temps remained low and the new rad position was excellent.  Unfortunately our Dogbox broke which shorten our full test.

We now have a new conventional transmission kit from PB Racing: stronger and shorter gears AND better syncros.  We should be testing this kit shortly.  PB Racing have had excellent results in Lotus Cup Italy with this kit.  They found the kit to be a proper upgrade over stock without the complexities or maintenance headaches of a sequential or Dogbox kit.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Spherical Bearing Conversion for the Lotus

Our MONOball and Nitron Bearing kits have become a popular choice for racers and track enthusiasts who are running sticky tires.  Nitron's upright kit had full spherical bearing conversions and we've been interested in developing a solution to eliminate the balljoint for cars with stock wishbones and uprights.  Mitch has designed our new solution and we've begun testing them.

A full kit will soon be on our Art Car for track testing.  Getting the dimensions correct in this application proved to be a lengthy effort.  We've cycled the suspension in every conditions and configurations that we could brainstorm.  Note the picture below show a stock damper with stock uprights at full lock and compression.  As you can imagine many other configurations needed to be tested as well - which Mitch has patiently executed...This will be a track-use only product.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Mono Build Entry #7

The big news this week is that the Body arrived.  The Mono features full carbon fiber bodywork.  The inner portion is painted black and the top section is typically another color.  Ours has arrived in White Pearl and looks magnificent!

The Mono has real presence thanks to the size of the body.  The body, in person, is larger than it seems from pictures but it still retains a lean athletic 'look'.

We are still working on the chassis assembly before we can move it onto the build fixture.  This week Pat sorted a few items including:
  • Steering column
  • Wiring harness
  • CF storage box install
  • Radiator fan mounting
This is a hand built car that requires hand fitting is the classic British manner.  TLC is what we like to call it.  

Monday, October 1, 2012

Mono Build Entry #6

The steering rack has been installed and tweaked to a new spec.  The supplier is Titan, supplier  for our titanQR and raceRACKs.  They also supply the Ariel Atom racks so we've worked with them for years.
The front Bellcranks and sway bar pushrods have been installed.  The Atom has a similar suspension system but lacks the swaybar.  The carbon fiber front storage box was test fitted.  This box is located at the front of the car and is accessed through the bonnet (front hood).  It is a perfect storage area for your helmet.

The rear exhaust bracket and rear sway bar links were bolted to the Hewland trans.  Wishbone brackets were also added.

Various issues have surfaced during assembly that we are recording on a 'punch-list' with BAC.  This list is stored on a shared BAC Dropbox account.  This eases communication for Corrective Actions.  We also continue to refine the assembly manual and have worked closely with BAC to ensure we are building our Monos to the same standard.

We just got word from our shipping company that the body has arrived at Customs in LA.  We should have it this week!