Build animation

Making the best, better

Saturday 8th July 2006:

Hello peeps. Well, I've now had a chance to put some miles on the car and it's proving to be even better than my expectations! Not only is the cockpit a comfortable place to be thanks to the effecient aircon, the ICE is seeing a lot more use than I thought it would. The navi system is amazing, the audio superb and the vehicle dynamics display is also a lot of fun :)

However, as I expected, there are a few things that need some attention. Firstly, now that the cooling fans are doing a fine job, I decided that it would help if they came on a bit sooner. I asked the factory what temperature the rad switch was set to and they thought it was 95/90 (on at 95, off at 90). I decided to get a replacement that would bring the fans on a bit sooner as the temperature in the engine bay seems to be about 10 degrees higher than at the rad (given that the coolant conducts a fair amount of heat away during its journey along the 9' or so of pipework front to back). The replacement (interpart no 50200) is rated at 92/87 which would bring the fans on a few degrees sooner. Replacing the switch is a simple remove and replace, but does require a system bleed afterward as you'll inevitably lose some coolant in the process (and soak your feet ;). However, upon removal the factory supplied switch turned out to be 98/93 - even higher than I expected!

Factory supplied rad fan switch alongside interpart 92/87 degree replacment

A test drive (well, any excuse) showed this to be a worthwhile mod. Despite being stuck in traffic in high ambient temps (90+degs), the Stack showed a stable temp of 92 degrees and didn't go beyond it - 'job done' to coin a phrase ;)

I bolted the video camera to the car to get some in-car. NOt alot, but you can join me in the hot seat here: in car video - enjoy!

Saturday 15th July 2006:

Work has got in the way of much road time, but I finally got round to giving the old(new) girl a damn good clean and polish. I went a bit overboard, with a detergent wash, coat of Auto-Glym polish, then a coat of Auto-Glym Extra Gloss Protection. However, I wanted an ultra-shine, so I also added a good coat of Harly wax, which is 100% carnauba wax. The results speak for themselves, so I thought I'd go for a little run and find a suitable location for some hero shots. The skies were so clear, you don't get to appreciate the depth of the wax finish, but I Hope you like them anyway :)

Polished, waxed an ready to go Polished, waxed an ready to go Polished, waxed an ready to go
Polished, waxed an ready to go Polished, waxed an ready to go Polished, waxed an ready to go
Polished, waxed an ready to go Polished, waxed an ready to go Polished, waxed an ready to go
Polished, waxed an ready to go Polished, waxed an ready to go Polished, waxed an ready to go
Polished, waxed an ready to go Polished, waxed an ready to go Polished, waxed an ready to go
Polished, waxed an ready to go Polished, waxed an ready to go Polished, waxed an ready to go

Some more mods on their way this week, so stay tuned....

Saturday 21st July 2006:

Well, as I promised, more mods today. I was due to do a trackday at Donington, but having noise tested the Can-Am in the week, there was a good chance it would have been black flagged as the track have a 98db drive-by limit :(

It would have been close (the sound tested I used wasn't that accurate), but I decided to play it safe as 200 odd quid for a couple of laps would have been rather expensive!

The results of my test were as follows:

Never mind, I've rebooked at a 105db day which should be fine.

So onto today's modification. Like my GTR, the Can-Am with its lower rear canopy can suffer from high engine bay temperatures. Seeing as hot air rises, this tends to hang around in the 'hump' right by the carb airfilter - which obviously isn't great as it makes the air that's sucked into the carb less dense. Now, whilst there's a nice opening in the hump 'scoop', the factory (and other Can-Am owners) block this off as you tend to get a terrific head blast when stationary which isn't very comfortable. So the object of the exercise is to get rid of the hot air without roasting the occupants!

The solution, has taken me ages to find! Not because it's complex, but because I had to find a product with just the right aesthetic to suit the car. So what is it? Well, the solution I came up with was to add a pair of stainless steel louvres to the hump (rather than modifying the GRP itself). These would allow the hot air to escape straight up, without roasting me or the passenger. Finding them was another matter, but I finally found a product I was happy with (I must have 4 sets lying at home now!), so it's just a question of fitting them - gulp!)

Now, with completely re-sprayed and perfect bodywork the last thing you want to do is cut damn great holes in it - but that's exactly what I had to do! The tool of choice for this was a 5 inch angle grinder with a fine disk (1.5mm) and a dremel. I carefully marked out the vent positions with masking tape, taking great care to centralise and align them to the hump. Much tape later, I was ready to cut!

Louvre positions marked out with tape on the perfect bodywork - gulp!

At this point there's no going back, so I made the first incision and hope it would all work out ok. The thing is, the hump is slightly curved whilst the vents are flat. It's only a slight curve and I was praying that the vents would conform to it when bolted in place - we'll see :-o

Out with the angle grinder and two holes appear :-o You can see the benefit from here with the air filter directly beneath the vents

Some grinding, dremelling and filing later and the vents dropped in place. TO my utter relief, they conformed almost perfectly to the hump curves - phew! Once in place, it was just a question of drilling and fixing with some M5 button head stainless machine screws and nyloc nuts. The result looks fantastic (well, I think so). Reminiscent of the old Can-Am racers which seems appropriate. I was concerned that the vents would look a bit 'bling' but actually, they work perfectly with the mix of polished aluminium, carbon fibre, black mesh and paint of the rest of the bodywork.

Vents place in the holes and secured with M5 button heads Really like the hot-rod look of these, almost like my hotwheels cars I had as a boy! Rearward facing vents will stop heat blast to occupants as well as looking damn cool Nice balanced look with the rear wing pylons Inside of rear canopy showing vent mounting. Plenty of airflow now :)

Sunday 30st July 2006:

Well, high time I started up the 'life with a Can-Am' section of the site I reckon! Go have a look.