When Earl’s weekly senior design meeting was supposed to start, Dr. Z. came in the room and said come to his office quickly. The boxes from Shell were in, and Earl checked out the tires. After the senior design meeting, Earl took one of the boxes over to the Projects, where we all opened it. After working 4-6, Earl went back to the Projects. Trent started tearing down a stock engine for test-driving the new car (hopefully soon) and he and Dustin put the flywheel on the lathe to turn it down and fit a ring gear on it for the starter motor. Wes was fooling around with the front steering, and Alan finished milling holes into the plates for the new steering connection. Nate McLeese finished welding the tabs for his new rear brake, and installed new, longer cables for both the throttle (so the engine wouldn’t rev when going around a sharp left turn) and his new rear brake. He’d gone to K&G earlier with the new tire, and they told him to use an inner tube or use that glue stuff to seal the tire to the rim. Earl got the stock engine back out for Gold Lightning, and put the clutch on after looking for the bolt. Then him, Wes, and Nate M. put the stock engine back in Gold Lightning, and bolted the engine down so the chain was tight. Mcleese modified the exhaust pipe from the ’05 edition of Gold Lightning, to make a permanent one. The pipe exits the body in the same slot as the rear wheel. Nate Roy was working on Solidworks and engine stuff; Earl left at midnight, and Nate M. left even later, cuz he was finishing the exhaust pipe.
Wes and Nate M. headed over to the shop after lunch around 11:30 to finish the connecting rod on the GL2 steering. After about a half hour or so they were finished and Wes planned on heading back to do some homework but he stayed. Earl and Trenton showed up around 12:30ish and then the four of them prepped Gold Lightning 1 for a test run later that afternoon. Nate hooked up his break light and Wes replaced a tire and put fog-x on the canopy. Earl and Trenton attached the body and once that was all done, but had to un-bolt the front body because they forgot to put the wheels on before fastening the body. Then, they had to unbolt the body again so Nate M. could trim the right wheel slot so the wheel wouldn’t rub it anymore. Earl drove the car from the Projects, up bridge street, the back way to campus. Nate M. had brought his ear buds for our cell phones, but it was hard to hear inside the car with the motor running. Driving around the campus was eventful, to say the least. The entire car was very reliable even in the 37 degree temperatures and 12 mph winds. Nothing broke, and the engine started and ran very well…a far cry from the old days of Gold Lightning in May ‘05, when Earl and Alan worked for weeks to get the car drivable for 100 feet without something breaking. Once when Nate was driving we got stopped at the big speed bump by the SSC when some band concert got out. Needless to say we were stuck in heavy traffic for quite a while and got a lot of stares. Eventually we made it back to the shop with a few drops of Iso-octane to spare. Everyone was satisfied with the reliability and a bit cold, but at least we have a car to drive… Everyone left around 4:30. Earl did some more bondo and sanding on the plug a little later, around 8pm.