21. I’m doing it wrong

… and I don’t care.  Sort of.

In an earlier post I discussed how I planned to bypass the Infinity system from the critical engine operating circuits and how my other design choices reduced the system to something along the lines of a fancy lighting circuit.  Welp, I’ve decided I’m going to remove it altogether.  There’s no sense tying up that much expensive hardware and only using 30% of its capabilities.  I discussed this with Bob and he thought it was a sensible decision.  He also volunteered to draw up a new wiring diagram and run all the wiring for me – double score!

There’s not a lot of room for Bob but he’s being a trooper!
This is what wiring looks like without the infinity system.  I’m sure Bob will have it looking orderly before he calls the job finished!

I haven’t seen any other SLC build that omits the Infinity system though I suspect they’re out there.

In an even earlier post I discussed how I had literally spent days toiling over where to install the accusump; I even went into a long blathering spiel about how it needed to be mounted upright and how I didn’t want it on the firewall.

I decided to move it to the firewall.

This morning I walked into the garage and started thinking about how I was going to put all the sound damper/absorber/heat blocker on the upper firewall and as I walked around I couldn’t help but stare at the accumulator.  And I hated it.

Accumulator, battery, coolant overflow, fuse box, AC access … just getting to be too much!

It looked like a jumbled mess.  Granted, some of the wiring and hoses are still temporary until they find their permanent home, but I just didn’t like how I was smashing so many different components into that one little area.  It was like the collection point for last minute decisions.

As I considered the upper firewall plate I thought how wonderful a sound board it would make – a large flat surface perfect for engine noise and vibration to really light up.  I thought about all the effort I was going through to keep the interior cabin blocked from the engine compartment and how this huge flat surface was just going to transmit everything right into the back of my head.  Ultimately this was the little shove I needed to move forward with installing the accusump on the firewall.  Now that the Infinity system’s rear power cell was no longer taking up firewall real estate, it left me with a nice wide open area to mount the monstrously large accusump.  The accusump would help stiffen the plate (in addition to some additional mounting tabs I had added) and would help to break up the sound waves hitting the firewall.

What about that crazy long OCD laden discussion about dry oil bubbles and seal tearing?  I reasoned (hah!) that a semi-regularly driven car would get enough oil sloshing in the cylinder that the chances of developing a dry spot and tearing the interior seal are virtually nil.  Using this very same logic I also decided to mount the accusump horizontal in obeisance to my OCD.

Accusump mounted low and centered with engine.  This checks the box for my need to have things visually balanced.  If a future accumulator rebuild is required it will force me to reconsider.  For now, I’m just going to do it wrong.
Frame stiffening bars in place, engine bay is starting to look like it means business!

Also in keeping with my flagrant misuse and overconsumption of sound damping material, I installed Damplifier on both sides of the firewall then topped the engine side with a layer of Thermal Block and a layer of Luxury Liner Pro on the passenger side.  There’s just enough room between the firewall plate and the roll cage to squeeze in the LLP.  I plan to add additional noise and heat blocking material between the LLP and the upper portion of the interior tub.

Engine side; damplifier
Passenger side; damplifier
Luxury Liner Pro installed on top of damplifier.  There’s enough room up here for 2 layers of heat wave pro between the bars; I may just have to do that!
It’s a tight squeeze, the firewall plate pushes a little here and there but the damplifier/luxury liner pro fits.  This is going to go a long way towards making the passenger compartment tolerable.
The thermal block is starting to look a little dimpled from handling.  It doesn’t have the cool factor that lava mat does but I think this will be much more effective at blocking out the heat, should help with the noise too.  I used aluminum tape to seal the perimeter and along edges cut out for holes and brackets.

Alright – that’s a pretty good summary of all the things I’m doing wrong (at least for now).  Time to move onto things I’m doing right!  In anticipation of getting ready for the first go-karting session I’ve mounted the exhaust test pipes that Bob and Lynn fabricated.

Passenger side test pipe installed.
Test stubbies pointed to the ground; Bob and Lynn really knocked it out of the park with these test pipes!  The hoodlum in me wants to run the car as-is though I may go broke paying for all the noise citations.

While Lynn was here he also fabbed up a set of rear bellcrank stabilizer plates.  The oem design has the pivoting bolt in single shear.  This cantilevered design means the bellcrank is less stable; the reality is neither my driving environment nor abilities needs anything more than what has already been designed by the factory.

The engineer in me needs to put the bolt in double shear.

I had conceptually come up with a really simple design for Lynn to fabricate.  Once we started mocking things up we discovered the bolt securing the suspension pushrod passes through the axis of the bolt securing the chassis braces.  What does this mean?  It means the two will crash.  So Lynn came up with a design which uses a plate instead of a tube to tie the two points together and he added a few ribs to stiffen the whole thing up.  I think Lynn also knocked this one out the park – it may even make me a better driver!  (OK, I’m kidding about the better driving part).

Bellcrank brace
I had originally envisioned using a simple tube to tie the two contact points together.  Unfortunately the tube’s OD would foul the lower suspension pushrod bolt as the suspension travels in bump.  I figured I could get about 1-1.5″ of bump before crashing occurred.  Too close for comfort.
Another angle.
This angle shows how using a plate pushes the bracket up and away from the bellcrank, providing enough room for the pushrod nut to pass below as it swings upward during suspension compression.

You can’t exactly go-kart the car with the throttle pedal sitting on top of the footbox and no functional brakes.  It was time to put my big boy pants on and mount my pedals.

I dropped the seat into the frame and used velcro to position the pedals while I turned the steering wheel and made vroom-vroom noises and worked the shifter.

No joke – I spent a lot time making vroom-vroom noises.  Like .. a lot.

I really struggled to make up my mind on where the pedals should be placed.  I originally ordered the adjustable pedal plate but I didn’t like the design of the plate.  Lately I’ve been thinking about how I really should build the car “for me” as opposed to building in adjustments for other drivers.  I really would like for Bob to drive the car – but at 6’+ it’s difficult to accommodate him and my tiny 5’4″ stature.  I decided I would compromise – fixed pedals, adjustable seat.

After moving the pedals back and forth for what seemed like 100 times, I finally settled on a position.  I quickly drilled the mounting holes before I could change my mind again.  With the holes drilled I turned my attention to acoustic and thermal treatments for the driver’s footbox.

Trusty laser used for pedal alignment.  I kept the pedals aligned with the steering column (which is at a slight angle to vehicle centerline).
Damplifier pro on sides and floor.  I installed a panel to close out the center beams; I was concerned my right foot might get jammed into the gap between the tubes if my foot got knocked around while driving.  The plate ensures my foot won’t get hung up while driving.
A layer of luxury liner pro secured with 3M Super 77 adhesive spray.
I’m using Second Skin’s Heat Wave Pro for heat shielding on the interior.  On surfaces outside the passenger compartment I’m using Thermal Block.  I’ve heard the lower control arm mount (big machined aluminum piece on lower left of footbox) can get pretty hot.  I plan to cover it with an insulated box.  If I can’t make one that won’t interfere with the clutch pedal action I’ll just cover it in insulation.
A panel of heat wave pro.  It’s a non-fiberglass material called “jute” sandwiched between two reinforced foil sheets.  Apparently jute is “a long, soft, shiny vegetable fiber that can be spun into coarse, strong threads” according to Wikipedia.  I’ll be surrounded in carbon and vegetable fibers.  Cool.
Blue fibers = jute.  Heat wave pro is strangely conforming and stiff at the same time.  I know it sounds super contradictory but the panel has enough stiffness to retain its shape but it can conform over bolt heads and other surface irregularities fairly easily.
Noise and thermal insulation installed, pedals installed!

Just a few more (actually, a lot more) items before we can attempt a go-kart session.

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