Saturday, December 8, 2012

Mods For 2013

Winter is upon us, at least from a racing perspective, and soon from a seasonal perspective. The lotus is parked safely in the garage, with a tank full of stabilized gasoline. The daily driver has swapped on it's snow tires, the 7year old oem battery is replaced, and new wipers/fluid. Oil for both our cars, and snow tires swap for her car, and then some where after Christmas, I can begin tinkering, and prepping for next year.

Here's the list of things I do plan to do for sure this winter, all of them relatively small:
  • Delete the rear speakers (weight saving)
  • Shift the splitter an inch or two forward (more downforce, but more likely to scrape)
    • Need longer bolt to extend splitter bracing, not sure how far forward the bolt can handle, or how long a bolt I can find that fits.
  • Relocate the battery to behind the driver seat (weight forward, convenience, compliance)
    • The braile B106 is AGM, and so this is allowed as long as I can bolt a bracket to the chasis (per rule 3.3.3.B.17), and I locate it behind the rearmost seat per 14.9.A this should be legal, and allow me to leave the trunk lid closed for all but inspection and most importantly allow me to leave the original battery cover in to avoid weenie protests that removing the < 1 lb. plastic cover constitutes "stripping the trunk" (prohibited by omission until X Prepared class). If I put the cover in I need to unbolt the wing support to take it out for inspection of the battery mounting. This also means I don't need to open the trunk to turn the battery disconnect.
  • Rear Motor Mount replacement (less motor movement, more power to wheels)
  • In May 2013 New Hoosiers 
    • The current ones are > 100 runs now, by may they should be around 150 or so)
    • It's not safe to order hoosiers before may due to the risk of freezing during shipping, so probably first 2-3 races of 2013 will be on old Ho-Ho's 
Here are the things I'd like to do this winter:
  • Pull the transmission, ship it to AZ and have Blackwatch Racing install an OS Giken limited slip differential (LSD) 
    • They have tuned this LSD specifically for the lotus Auto-X platform. My car will NEVER be a real contender as an SSM car without this or a super charger.  
  • While the Tranny is out, replace the flywheel with a lightweight version made by Blackwatch Racing
  • Replace the Clutch with a lighter, stronger version from ACT (the HDG4 kit
And there's some maybe mods:
  • The re-ENFORCER from sector111 (improve shift feel)
    • I haven't figured out if it's legal to add this shifter mount mod. Is the mounting for the shift lever part of the "Shift Linkage" as and therefore permitted as per 14.10.G and 15.10.Q? This may require clarification... But it's not really important. It's supposed to make the shifting feel a bit more positive and a bit less wishy-washy (many things are good about the Elise, but the shifter feel isn't one of them).
  • AC compressor delete (weight savings)
    • Removing the AC compressor will save around 11 lbs. I rarely if ever use the AC anyway, except when I'm trying to get the engine to warm up to full temp, and then sometimes I forget to turn it off, which is not so good. I'm fairly likely to do this one.
  • AC condenser delete (weight savings) 
    • Another 11 lbs reportedly to be had here, but it requires removing the front clam shell. Probably won't do this if I do the tranny, because both will take a lot of time and the weight in the front may not be a bad thing for front/rear weight distribution anyway. On the other hand, this, the compressor and the speaker delete will likely pay for the weight of the wing... maybe I just move the splitter all the way forward :).
The transmission work will depend heavily on how much it costs to put a new roof on the house. That comes first, and so those may get punted to the 2014 list... Meanwhile, I'm going to try to work bunches of billable hours and see how it goes...

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