Thursday, August 23, 2018

mini at HPDE - part 3




Mini has been a victim of prejudice at HPDE events. The corner workers are the nicest people but best people makes mistake too. They are so accustomed to seeing slow Mini's that when they see a high power car somewhat near the tail of Desire they tend to give us the give-point-by flag. This happen countless times this Friday. Also when Desire was short of climbing up the arse of the higher power car ahead, one corner worker consistently not give flag to that car that have been holding us back in turns leading up to the straight.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

mini at HPDE - part 2




I took Mini to PIR this past week partaking HPDE for 2 days. These are four videos taken that day on all four 20-minute sessions.


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

bbc proms 2018 is now on



BBC Proms is back for 2018 for this years 2-month long performances. Here in the US we are lucky to have the excellent Symphony Cast that we can stream on demand on some selected performance. Symphony Cast has been my favorite classical music for its coverage of performance from all over the world, and more so the diverse works that often include the lesser known.

Monday, August 13, 2018

mini love - part 44






This is actually a draft that I started from over 4 months ago. 4 months is a very long time with the Mini. I actually have been posting on a Mini forum in the last few months instead of my blog. I want to have everything on my blog as I don't trust the longevity of forums given how the world has gone "social".

Sunday, August 12, 2018

trailer prep of brunnhilde - part 4



To prepare for the new car trailer I went and found my one and only trailer ball hitch that I bought very long ago. I was hoping that I can use it without buying a new one. For my use up to now the height of the trailer hitch is not as critical unless I am hauling very heavy payload like gravel or asphalt roofing. But when you are towing a car and that the payload approaching the limits of the tow weight as well as the tongue weight of Brunnhilde you want to specify just the right ball hitch.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

brunnhilde's air conditioner broke down


In German the title may read "Brunnhilde Klimaanlage ist kaputt". LOL It is like the one for our planet that is now funktioniert nicht.

Since I installed the Coleman Mach 8 cub in Brunnhilde a few years ago I only used it rarely. Yesterday with the heat spell I let the air conditioning ran most of the day unattended as a shakeout test. It was hot sunny day which ambient was near 90F. All was well but by the late afternoon when the van was in the shade I went and checked. To my surprise the AC stopped. My immediately thought is may be the evaporator got too cold and froze, and overloaded the compressor leading to tripping of a overload device somewhere; or worst burnt up the compressor.

mini at HPDE


Of over 30 days of summer heat and 10 consecutive of 90+ F days, today is the first cool day, which happen to be a full burrito day at PIR that I signed up over a month ago. Only 2 R53 Mini's. It was overcast all day starting at circa 65F with very light drizzle. The day never exceed 70F but I managed to boil Motul 600 again. I am going to put in the SS caliper pistons.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

how I like this series

I added to my watch list, Babylon Berlin the day Netflix started streaming it. I sampled a short (a couple of minutes) segment in a later episode then to determine if I want to watch it at all. I was immediately attracted to the time period and subject matter, and I knew I would want to watch it in the original language. I have not started watching it until now because watching in German takes effort as well as attention. I started watching it last night, and I have to say, it is one of the best TV series in recent decade. I will put it right up there with Endeavour, Game of Thrones, Westworld, Boardwalk Empire, Deadwood, and The Sopranos.

Zu Asche, Zu Staub is so striking, catchy, and haunting (in season 1 ep 2)


Monday, July 23, 2018

trailer prep of brunnhilde - part 3


In the previous post I couldn't finish the electrical wiring of the trailer brake controller. While I safely powered it up and did some simple tests I used a temporary blade type fuse. I didn't have the self-resetting breaker at the time to finish the wiring.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

trailer prep of brunnhilde - part 2



This is a follow on post to "trailer prep of brunnhilde". Installing a trailer brake controller as well as retrofitting the electric brake wiring from the cockpit to the 7-pin trailer turns out to be an involving project. I didn't want to do a hack job so it is like as if I was designing this aspect of the James Cook trailer prep design and execution. Tens of hours has gone into this.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

pan seared mahi mahi



For me one of the easiest ways to prepare fish is to sear it in a cast iron skillet. Mahi mahi steak is one. It can get quite dry so I devised a rich and savory sauce to help it along.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

trailer prep of brunnhilde



I want to tow a car trailer with Brunnhilde. Driving a car on the track it can become not road worthy as anything can happen. I don't feel comfortable exploring distant tracks until I acquire a trailer. For the heavily laden Sprinter T1N I searched for the lightest aluminum open trailer with tandem axles for security/redundancy as well as low tongue weight. My research resulted in the Trailex 8045EB.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

mini love - part 43



I waited for the winter to be over to install the Wilwood big brake kit for the front wheels on the Mini. Last summer I wanted to try out the stock brake as a baseline driving on tracks. I wanted to experience each step of change, from all stock brake, then to racing front brake pads with the stock calipers. I also wanted to use up the stock brake so I feel better they are not going to waste.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

formula 1 technologies

I was searching for manual gearbox articles concerning dog box and sequential gearbox. I came across this excellent article about F1 sequential gearbox on this site called Technical F1 Dictionary. It has the most in depth, but easy to understand, coverage of all technical things Formula 1. I could not stop reading them.

Just one simple example. I had tried to find out more about MGU-H and most sites just fall flat with a bit of hand waving. Here is the link to his excellent article on the entire new F1 Power Unit. Gone are the ICE which once was the sole power unit. It is now a system including the ICE.

just this single photo of MGH-H answers just about all my questions of how it recovers the so-called heat energy; it is quite misleading for a applied science major as it is really more kinetic than thermal (H)


I had on and off visited other sites of this nature but all fall very far short. This truly is a gem. A lot of fascinating reading for weeks to come.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

home made char siu 叉燒 pizza - part 3






I didn't know about San Marzano tomatoes until I bought this can of Italian can tomatoes at Trader Joe's. Up until now I have been using domestic canned plum tomatoes also bought at Trader Joe's. I thought I would give the pricey Italian one a try.

isolde's motor mounts

I was so sure that the motor mounts in Isolde has deteriorated badly after 28 years. A lot of chain tire shops now refuse to mount and balance your tires if they are over 10 years old which I think is another notch up with their scams. I have been told rubber will continue to vulcanize after the product is made, and soon they lose the flexibility. My experience with tires and rubber molding is the sun is their biggest enemy.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

mini love - part 42

I didn't wrap up the installation of the long shifter in the same day as I only worked on it a few hours in taking advantage of the afternoon sun. I didn't want to rush the job only to realize I have done something wrong after buttoning up the undercarriage. I also took the opportunity to study the stock exhaust header for a place to mount a bung for a wide band oxygen sensor - which I resigned was not possible. I also paid special attention for a location to bring the harness for the wide band sensor from the cockpit down to the exhaust header.

mini love - part 41



I took many photos of the shifter so one can see the details where the vendor's site is very lacking.

Monday, March 19, 2018

mini love - part 40

I have been on the fence a long time considering getting a purpose-built short shifter for the Mini.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

mini love - part 39

testing, testing, testing Mac OS's asinine dumb down finder and UI which I cannot find where my shits are.