Saturday, 7 May 2016

Today I have mostly been... printing de-mister vents

Fellow RhoCar club member shared his custom de-mister vent/duct design file - thank you Brumster

I spent most of the day tinkering and nursing my 3d printer through the production process. The machine is a PrintrBot Simple originally bought as an assembly project in itself for my Daughter. Since then only really used for printing out various demonstration trinkets.

It's a good machine, but printing objects isn't quite as simple as printing on paper. Its quite hypnotic watching it slowly build up the item from 0.3mm layers.

The ducts are more compact than the off the shelf ones to fit under the dash. Came out ok - a little warping/lifting on the bottom edge which will match the scuttle shape nicely.

My thinking is de-misting may be more use than the high level heater outlets, this is just preparation though, I'm not taking the windscreen off to fit them while the driving weather is so good.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Stoneleigh 2016

Weather was kind to us - good run up to within around 30 minutes of Stoneleigh on the Saturday - overnight in local B&B + Local pub evening meal - to spend best part of Sunday at the show ground. Wander round some familiar cars and stands - notable groups included a club from the Czech republic - their pictures of Romanian roads, and particularly Transfăgărășan looked very interesting - made a mental note.

RhoCar's area possibly slightly smaller than previous years - but plenty full of club member cars of various types, so full it wasn't obvious how to get in!

Met up with a few people who read this blog and had a chat about the pleasures and frustrations of the build process. Thank you for saying hello!

..saw Peter who joined the RhoCar group on the inaugural Scotland Highlands Run in 2014, as well as Paul and Terry(Scotland 2015) and David who's blog was one of the key deciders on my buying a Zero kit in the first place...

The drive back along the M40 allowed the other bonus hobby when you have a panoramic view - bird of prey watching - some fantastic groups of 4-5 presumably Red Kites visible from the road and the odd hovering Peregrine falcon (or similar) hunting the road verges.

360º Video

A chance to play with the 360º camera some more and added some youtube footage driving to the ground and parking up in the playlist.
I have got the hang of simple editing now, next challenge is a logo for the black, straight down, area.
Note - this requires either a mobile device Youtube app or Chrome/Firefox browsers to view properly - but if it works you can pan the image during playback

Wonder when  the Kit car manufacturers going to cotton on to some Virtual Reality experiences for the shows, a little more investment than I can make privately and potential customers can start to get the feel for the open road without taking a foot off the display stands.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Stoneleigh 2016 Prep

Stoneleigh Kit Car Show is running the bank holiday weekend, good excuse to get out in the Zero! Planning to be there on Sunday 1st May. Come and say hello if you see the car, If all goes to plan GN13 will be parked somewhere in the RhoCar club area.

It doesn't all have to be driving, mechanical or working in the garage.
Spent a few hours putting together a second windscreen 'info sheet' so anyone who is interested can get a taste of the Zero's backstory.

The original was more about the build, specification and pointers to the blog:
The addition more focused on the travels. 
It's been a busy few years, lots of shorter journeys and three amazing road trips...

Friday, 22 April 2016

It was the mice!

Austria will have to wait - perhaps later this year, but not going ahead in May due to personal circumstances. The roads, mountains and hotels are not going anywhere and the planning can be re-used when the time is right.

The mothballed plan looks something like this:

Final destination the currently elusive Hohenwerfen Castle a.k.a. Schloss Adler with some interesting towns, forests and mountain passes along the way.

At any rate, there's been a terrible mix
up with your planet. You must come with me
or it's all going to blow up in our faces.
The best laid plans of mice, you know...

...and men.

Mmmm? What?

The best laid plans of mice and men.

I don't think men have got much to do with

  © Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

GBS Run out

GBS organise a factory run out a couple of times a year.
This April the route was Oakham to The British Motor Museum at Gaydon - an approx 85 mile cross country meandering route along quiet lanes and roads with a Pub stop at the Bulls Head for Orange Juice and Lemonade refreshment.

Slightly too far away from home to be fun in one day, so I drove up on the Saturday evening and stayed in a B&B local to the start. Missed the worst of the weather on the way up - local pub, The Crown in Uppingham, had a live band to sup cider to. I would have ordered food - but no chance making myself heard over the music! The chippy was a better option...

Frosty start - the overnight rain forming ice on the tonneau...
Chipped it off then moved the car to a sunny spot to warm up while I fuelled myself on a proper  cooked English breakfast.

The nature of a run out is more relaxed than a track day, focusing on the drive - yes, but not really an ounce of competition or pressure - just enjoying being out in the car, enough room on the road for everyone to spread out, and a couple of pauses to chat.

Meet up at a local garage, sunny now - still crisp but bright and dry.

I really enjoy just messing about in this little car!

Bandit country...

Concentrating hard turning into the Pub stop

...and the obligatory slow downs to share the road - this rider has a couple of spare horses presumably in case of a flat or other technical issue, same reason I carry a spare wheel on the Zero...

The final stop for lunch and a wander around the museum, GN13 drove well - new cooling system was fine and these run outs are as quick as I ever drive the car so a good test. I also managed to get a little sun burned into the bargain!

Inside a couple of original examples by Mr 'Lotus' Chapman from which all Sevens are descended:

Cooling changes tested - check
Test the new 360º camera - check
Great driving with like minded people - check

Productive day all round!

360º Video

A taster of the run in 360º view. Watch in Chrome or mobile Youtube app to be able to change viewpoint... 360º video link here and another mid run here

More to follow including standard flat footage when I'm in the editing mood.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

360 Degree Camera tests

A bit of experimenting with a new toy a Kodak Pixpro 360 4k which has a fisheye lens capable of filming a 360º x 180º panorama.

I may post a fuller review once I get the hang of what the camera can do.


Where it all happens, the single garage where I built the Zero:


The video needs the right sort of browser, try Chrome, to view.
Link to 360º video playlist - needs a little more playing with settings to get it right.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

No going back - badges means its on!

Badges like its a 70s tour bus!
For some reason it seems the right thing to do + focuses the mind...

Just need a good few shake down runs over the next 5 weeks and I'm all set.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Polo radiator install completed

The Mk1 brackets left the radiator hoses a little low, bottom hose only just clearing the steering rack gaiter and top hose not quite right either.


The adjustment I decided on was add some box section on top of the angle to lift the entire radiator up about 1". Majority of the weight should be borne by the original side brackets rather than directly through pop rivets.

I'm guessing the filled radiator weighs 6kg or so - hopefully the aluminium is up to the job of securing it while in motion.

The Polo radiator sits on top with its mounting lugs sitting in grommets in the tube. 

Fan sitting on the bottom tube and mounted to the rad tapped mounting points with cut down M6 bolts. With hindsight if I had mounted the fan on the bottom edge of the mounting tube, the top edge would have lined up with the  top of the radiator. I may need to add a baffle in there later so the fan airflow is all ducted through the matrix.


I feel happier with the plumbing now:
    - Top tube kink/crank is just rotated to line up,
    - Bottom stainless tube shortened plus a 45º silicone reducer,
    - Radiator 8mm take off blanked off with some silicone pipe and a bung
    - Radiator middle/thermostat outlet blanked off with the bung that came with the rad

There is a slight bend in the, supposed straight, top radiator silicone connector - time will tell if that causes a problem.

Checked for leaks first with the 'patent air pressure kit' then filled with coolant and ran the engine up to temperature until the fan kicked in a couple of times.

All looks good. Happy with that.

Update - 100 mile ish test run around Kent varied driving, motorway, A roads - all seems stable so far.

Air filter - Spring clean

Nothing to see, just logging a spring clean for the air filter.
Prompted by reading Paul's blog, seemed like a good idea.

Just a little soapy water lightly massaged into the foam until the water ran clear, then drip dry + gentle hair dryer due to my impatience.

Good as the day I bought it

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Radiator brackets

Decided on the mounting for the new VW Polo rad

The bottom bracket made with aluminium angle sitting on the chassis radiator mounts. 
The radiator sits in it locating via pegs sitting in grommeted holes.

...and plates at the top which will be bolted to tapped radiator mounting points.

Fan offered up to check the nose clearance.

Update - modified this slightly to give better pipe routing and radiator position.


A picture of hoses to mull over. Top hose will be fine,. Bottom hose will hopefully re-use the existing stainless dog leg pipe, shortened, to get over the steering rack and meet up with the cold outlet currently closed off with blue masking tape.