General Maintenance and the Green Grand Prix

With our upcoming appearance at the Green Grand Prix, we figured it’s time to go over Seven with an eye towards any general maintenance it may need.  After all, she has 8500 miles on her, and some of them are very hard miles thanks to all of the, er, scientific test driving we’ve done over the years.

Although she’s in fairly good shape, we noticed a vibration at high speeds and started digging into possible causes. This lead us to an inner CV joint that was worn and needed to be replaced. Next we noticed the tires needed to be balanced. While balancing the tires we found two bent rims and one tire that isn’t round anymore. So we took a look at the brake rotors, found one which was warped, and turned all four. Next to be addressed was a leaking brake caliper.

However, problems like this are expected when you start with used parts, which we did, as our original build involved a lot of recycled parts. The new replacement parts (new/remanufactured off the shelf) should fare better.

The good news is that inspection of the rear steering assembly showed none of the parts needed replacing. All’s good there.

Also working well is the new power steering unit we installed in Seven last month. It’s an electric module out of a Toyota Prius. The downside is the additional ~2 inches added to the steering column. The upside is the ease of turning the wheels at low speeds. It’s almost like driving a regular car. Since 7 doesn’t have a CAN to tell it to adjust the power steering at high speeds, we had to install a manual on/off switch. Otherwise at high speeds the steering was a little too exciting for comfort.

Back to the Green Grand Prix. This is the 10th annual Green Grand Prix, an SCCA-sanctioned efficiency event held at Watkins Glen International raceway in Watkins Glen, NY on April 11, 2014. This will be the first year for IMW to compete in this event. If you’re able to participate, or be a spectator, put it on your calendar. For more information on the event, see


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