Friday, October 13, 2017

mini love - part 26

When it rains it pours. To add insult to injury the Mini is in county jail. Mini is up in the air indefinitely.
At least that is what it appears. It has been 11 days now since I attempted to install the Milltek cat back exhaust only to run into shoddy quality problem with this UK made product.

The vendor handle the situation poorly. Three days was squandered and 4 telephone calls later they told me from the photos that I sent I should be able to close the gasping gap at the crooked flange with a gasket and tighten it. I knew better to save my breath with this CSR. He told me the only way they can handle the problem is for me to ship the entire exhaust back to them, and only when it arrives to them that they will send out a replacement.

the flange on the Milltek main pipe (left) is not square WRT the pipe, while the flange on the factory header (right) is perfectly square

it is off by 7-10 degrees

this is the segment of the main pipe in question

I decided to purchase another exhaust from them to save a one-week transit time. Additionally I want to be able to pick the best pieces from the two exhaust kits since the product has signs of quality problem in many places. The hanger bars are all inconsistently bend or welded. Only upon the arrival of the second set will I return the defective one. If it turns out the flange on the main pipe is also crooked, I plan to return both and call the exercise in futility off.

Today the second set of the Milltek exhaust arrived. To my amazement the flange on the main pipe also has the same degrees of crookedness. They used the same crooked jig when welding on the flange. Knowing I am getting no where with the ECS Tuning that I bought these from, I contacted Millteksport in UK directly. I provided them the photos detailing the defect and I am waiting to hear back from them.

While the Mini is in limbo the local water services finally came and replace the storm drain that I have been dogging them. The concrete basin of the storm drain in front of the driveway has deteriorated, and in last spring I can see subsurface erosion. In heavy downpours some of the water runoff would drain through the cracks by the drain basin instead of going into the basin. I predicted some sinking of the pavement around the drain. Through out the dry season I could see the subsiding of the pavement with respect to the edge of my driveway.

I am very glad that now the double storm drain basin has been installed

the crew was nice and they restored the elevation of the sunken pavement after I explained to them of my concern

The water department maintenance people told me the new concrete cannot be driven on for at least a week so it can properly set. I am very happy with the increase in surface area of the grate which they call this a double basin. It is about 50% larger.

I made this big batch of Thai basil pork which I ate over three meals

Richard Hammond doing the new MINI (I call them MAXI) front end impression
 so funny and so spot on
I have switched to single origin coffee beans for quite a while and my home roast has gotten that much better

the Mini is up in the air (on jack stands) waiting for replacement Milltek exhaust because of workmanship problems

I snagged an Amazon Warehouse Deal on this GPS that supports update rates of up to 5Hz

I bought this older Dual XGPS150A instead of the latest greatest model because it is cheaper and good enough. With most things electronic with built in rechargeable battery it has a finite useful life of only a few years. BTW, that is why I am not crazy about electric or hybrid automobiles.

Speaking of rechargeable batteries. I just bought a set of lithium ion batteries for my Thinkpad T400s, which is about 9 years old. These batteries has long been obsoleted (means no longer manufactured nor stocked) by Lenovo. Laptop computer batteries capacity decreases rapidly from the number of charge and discharge cycles. The batteries used in all electric and hybrid cars are very similar technology.

it takes 2.5 hours to charge and has operation time of about 8.5 hours per spec

Today I spent a bit of time testing the GPS with the iPhone with the GPS Device Status app by Dual. Everything looks good. I first checked using Harry's Laptimer but I could not tell if the app is using the XGPS150A instead of the GPS of the iPhone.

I plan to invest in this wideband air fuel gauge to monitor the A/F ratio of the Mini, especially at wide open throttle during HPDE

I plan to install a set of these polyethylene bushings for the front control arms to keep front end shakes in check under heavy braking at high speed (~115 MPH). The installation is quite labor intensive so the installation would likely be in early spring.

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