Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The brake calipers arrived

The project moved forward by the find of brake calipers. The calipers are from a Chrysler 300C and they are street legal in Finland, quite lightweight and you can get aggressive brake pads. The problem with the T4 calipers was that the brake pads available were pretty much stock.

Even though there isn't much work left, we don't have the time at the moment to build the car. We're supposed to begin in January.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Race Taxi startup

After some trouble, the Race Taxi is alive.

The Subaru Impreza WRX 2 litre turbocharged engine with a half meter long exhaust sounded just as good as we thought it would. And yes, it was loud.

The engine sputtered slightly. Probably because we didn't have the exhaust gaskets so the ECU tried to correct the mixture with wrong information coming from the lambda. But the engine is installed and works. There's still loads of bits and pieces to do, but after this it doesn't feel that bad.

Link to the Youtube video: Race Taxi Startup

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Back to work on the Race Taxi

It's been a bit quiet lately because of other stuff hindering working on the car.

Something new. A video recording system with suction cup mounted bullet camera. This will probably be used as a rearview monitor for our passengers, so the camera will be mounted on backwards on top of the car.

We also bought a data logger on ebay, but more about that once it arrives.

Most of yesterday was spent cleaning the garage and making space for the car.

We got a Porsche to keep the Race Taxi company. The car hung on top of a crane as an advert for a local radio station, after which the listeners could vote if it will be dropped or if it will be the main prize for a lottery between the listeners. You can probably guess the results.

We got interested of the car because they were supposed to drop it head first. Dropping the car backwards pushed the engine about 20cm forward which resulted in the firewall bending the frames of both seats useless. We haven't had a closer look inside yet, but it doesn't look good.

The first we did was to remove the ads on the car.

A picture from behind shows the whole truth.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Hot rod and rock show, Tampere, Finland

The Race Taxi is on it's second day on the Car Show in Tampere. The show has gone well and people have been very interested in our car.

Transport combination. It was a bit tricky to drive because I couldn't get enough weight to the front.

The nights were spent in the Multivan in front of a local VW builders garage. The rock and roll rear seat was very comfortable to sleep on.

The Race Taxi was on display on radalle.com's stand. They had gotten everything in order during friday night, all I had to do was to move the "fencing" behind the race taxi so people could take a closer look at our car.

Our car from a different view.

The most important info...

After the show begins the finishing of the car, so we can finally get to drive it.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

American Car Show 2008, Helsinki, Finland

The first day is over, and the first day went really well. The race taxi was well accepted by the public and many were exited to see such a special purpose for a VW van.

The day before the car show. Building the show booth.

Some of you may notice the transformation of the Porsche. Mika spent 8 hours making the graphics on it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Race taxi almost ready for car show

There has been some progress during the last days, and the race taxi is almost in shape to be officially shown for public. Some vinyl graphics are still missing as are a couple interior panels, but we should get them sorted out tomorrow.

Making the roof interior.

Fresh from the vinyl cutter.

The rear bumper and grille between rear lights installed.

The Race taxi yesterday, waiting to go to Helsinki for polishing.

Ready to go. The Race Taxi is 2cm too wide for the trailer, so it's a quite tight fit at the trailer rear lights.

We found a Vanagon badge from our stash of T3 Transporter parts. The vanagon badge is a bit exotic over here, because these are usually Transporters or Caravelles. Actually this car was sold as a "BUS", so it had a "BUS" badge at the rear.

The laws about modifying cars are quite strict in Finland, but so are laws about towing trailers. This combination looks very suspect...

In this pic you can also see the South Africa lower grille. Looks good!

The Race Taxi polished and waiting to go to the Car show. The paint started running in many places when the car was painted. The lighting in our garage isn't very good for painting, and it's even worse when painting light colors. Black is much easier to paint.

Hopefully this will be sorted soon when we get a painting booth near the garage.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The car got a taxi sign

Seems like only two pictures have been taken the last couple days. We have been so busy making the car that we haven't had the time to photograph it.

We got the polycarbonate windows done, so it was time ton install the windshield. With one of our last cars we were really unfortunate, we tried to install the windshield three times, and kept breaking it (not the installers fault, the window frame was probably bent or something like that), so we weren't really looking forward to this job A windshield in good condition was a real find, or so we thought. When finally getting the windshield in place, we noticed that it read "Securit" on it... For safety reasons you can use only laminated windshields in racing, so I guess we'll have to find a new one.

The rear seats are installed, and at the moment we're making the interior at full speed.

The race taxi has to have a taxi sign. The sign is the same as the official taxi's use in Finland. Seems like near the airport, the finnish "taksi" text is often replaced by the international "taxi".

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The paint has dried, time to work

Oops, seems like I forgot to press the post button when I made the last update this sunday. It's corrected now, hopefully the frequent readers will enjoy a double dose of our car.

The paint had finally dried so se began finishing the car for the car show. Just one weeks left, yikes!

As front lights you just have to have darkened lights with angel eyes. The front is still waiting for the South African lower grille.

This picture was meant to show how low the car looks with the front spoiler installed. You can barely see the front spoiler when you look very closely...

The roof was painted black with a roller to get a vinyl look. You can also see the just installed polycarbonate windows.

Luxury model rear light trim combined with blackened rear lights. The "service" hole in the back is well covered up and there's a nice room for the licence plate between the lights.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Outside painted white

This weekend was spent painting the exterior. We had to get the car painted to stay somehow

The front brakes installed. There isn't much room between the 17" wheel and the brakes.

We took the car outside when we cleaned the garage to prepare the paint room. We also cleaned the car and did the final sanding.

Damn it's low...

A pic from the inside. The first layer of black was painted earlier. The final layer will be painted once the exterior has dried. In this order it seemed easier to mask the surfaces we didn't want to paint. Also the roof will be painted black.

Car in the "paint room".

Painting in progress.

A picture from the rear left corner.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Exhaust, fuel system and engine wiring ready to go

The car should be ready by 21th March, that's when the car has to go to American car show. So there's only a couple weeks to get the car ready.

A picture of the ready fuel collector tank. It's a smaller tank that comes between the fuel cell and the engine, reducing fuel starvation especially when the fuel level is low.

A closeup of beginning to make the exhaust tubing.

The same part as above, now with tubing extending to the turbocharger.

A picture of the fuel cell and collector tank.

The ready exhaust tube.

The location of the fuel pumps. We use two pumps to deliver fuel from the collector tank to the engine, and a smaller pump to deliver fuel from the fuel cell to the collector tank. The collector tank will be pressurized to 1bar.

The front brakes. Comparison of the old stock disc to the new T4 front disc.

The relays and fuses mounted.

The steering column lock is usually removed in race cars, so we had to find a good place for the startbutton and ignition switch. The six point safety belts made locating the switches a challenge, because you can't reach many of them when the belts are tightened. The fresh air system switch was mounted in the same spot as the startbutton. Blinkers and windshield wipers will be with the stock switches. The light and emergency flascher switches will be in stock locations and you won't need to and won't be able to reach them while driving.

The engine almost ready to start.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Rear brake adapter, exhaust and rear seat frame

What happened this weekend:

The rear brake adapters from the mill, still needs a bit finishing.

The adapter and other rear brake parts being installed.

The disc with calipers on the car. And to the left a picture of the discrete exhaust tip location, no twin exhaust, sorry.

We spent some time thinking about what way to draw the exhaust tube. We chose the shortest way.

The exhaust without the side skirt. The tube is 3" inside diameter, can't wait to hear how it sounds!

The frame for the rear seats, under which the fuel cell will be located. The fuel cell is a temporary solution, because we didn't have the time to make our own tank that will be located between under the car on the right side. The current location for the fuel cell will need a refill hole on the outside. Luckily we can use the refill hole for the dry sump system when we have the time to make the modifications to the engine.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Update, It's been a while since last time

It's been a bit slow on the bus front.
Two weeks ago I was four days in a optimumg seminar in Estonia, the subject was racecar vehicle dynamics and data acquisition. Feels like the more you find out about how suspensions work, the less you know. And last week I was sick. So I think it's time to become active again...

16th February was supposed to be the deadline for the car. We didn't make it. We were supposed to make the car driveable before the final target that is American Car Show (the biggest car show in the nordic countries, not just americans). We decided that it's not worth it to just try to get the car driveable. Building the car has progressed well. But the finishing of it, which we don't have time for, seems to take the most time.

Once in a while a pic of the whole car to the blog.

A picture of the enginebay. Just starting to make the wiring.

The upper mount for the front coil over.

We thought that this would be a nice spot for the fuse box. It's well hidden from outside, but still easy to access while driving. The dashboard will be kept as stock as possible, to keep some of the car's original identity.

The coolant lines are all connected and ready to go. The engine "just" needs a couple wires and fuel. The ECU doesn't really need much, if it gets + and - it's almost ready to go, so making the wiring for the engine isn't that a big job. But making a sense of the stock subaru wiring harness is difficult and time consuming, it looks quite intimidating when you pull it out from the donor car.