Thursday, March 25, 2010

Rolling Along

Well, I've managed to clock nearly 400 miles on the Z3 since it's debut. Aside for the faulty controller setting (my fault), the only problem has been a faulty check valve on the vacuum system. However, at this point I'm not sure it was faulty, and I'm really not sure what caused the problem.

I replaced it with a new one and found I had the same problem. Clearly I need to figure out what's going on here. I removed the check valve and the brakes work, but the vacuum pump runs longer. The more that pump runs, the more I'm annoyed with it. It's by far the loudest thing on the car.

I took the car on the freeway the other day for the first time since I got the controller setting issues resolved. It pulled up to 70 with no problems at all. At one point, traffic started moving quicker, so I decided to keep up and see how it did. I got to 80 and there was still room in the pedal and the car was still pulling. I'd love to find out what the top speed is, but I don't have a safe, legal place to do it.

One thing that freeway speeds do is suck power. The car averages around 300 Watt/hours per mile on surface streets. But take it on the freeway and that jumps to about 410. I certainly don't mind using the power, but it illustrates just how much energy it takes to push through the air.

Today I took the car over to a local auto shop that's right around the corner from my house; they specialize in BMWs. When I first bought the car and told them what I planned to do with it, one of the guys there was kind of skeptical. He didn't say he doubted that I could pull it off, but it was clear he felt that way. Well I wanted to show him it was done, but he's left the company. When I told the others why I'd stopped by, they all wanted to see the car. So we went out in the parking lot and I gave them all a quick tour. After 20 minutes, several questions and numerous complements I headed off to run some errands. The car never fails to impress.

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