September 12, 2004: After tracking down a little wiring fault that was keeping the coils from firing (don't you love it when two things go wrong at once?) the Seven happily fired up yesterday.
I borrowed a plate and decided to take it on a bit of a shakedown run. Naturally the best place for shakedown runs are up twisty roads along the edges of canyons. Everything was going well until all of a sudden I felt a quick spray of antifreeze on my face. Having no windshield allows this sort of thing to happen. I pulled off as soon as I could but couldn't find any leaking. Since I had been climbing since leaving town, I decided to basically coast downhill in neutral as much as possible. Once I arrived at the bottom (and a handy shopping center that also sold antifreeze), I pulled off the nose to check the coolant level. None. The top hose to the radiator was hot but the bottom one was cold. Tipping in a bit of antifreeze revealed that the patch at the bottom of the radiator had blown out and the car was completely and utterly devoid of any coolant. It wasn't leaking when I originally pulled off because the radiator had already drained immediately and I had turned off the engine. Since I had already run the engine pretty hot I decided to have the car towed home across town. This meant a half-hour wait in the parking lot as I answered the three Big Questions That Everyone Wants To Know: What is it, did you build it yourself and how fast does it go? I'm really not sure what the answer to the last one should be - can the performance of a Seven be summarized in a simply, phoaar-inspiring number? Maybe I'll do some 0-60 testing when the car is back together and hit 'em with 5 seconds 0-60 or something like that. Or stick with my current "fast enough to upset the police". Anyhow, it's a beautiful sunny day here and I can't drive the little sports car until I get the radiator fixed again. Sigh. There's also the question about the head - did it survive the fairly substantial overheating? I haven't had the nerve to check yet. Instead I'll be working on the Land Rover to get it ready for a 4-day trip to Moab for the Land Rover National Rally. I'll be back in a week to get the little car up and running again...
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