Watching new Mythbusters

Well, almost new. There are new studio segments mixed into classic Mythbusters episodes that have had a segment removed for time or otherwise edited to make room for Adam and Jamie doing the MST3K deal to their own show. Of course the first two episodes are about duct tape, the material that made the Mythbusters. I can’t wait until Jamie’s brand of artisanal duct tape hits the market… 😀

There was a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race from Sonoma CA that had almost all the finishers on the lead lap, won by Kevin Harvick driving for Stewart-Haas Racing.

There was a NHRA drag race in OH on the tube right after the NASCAR race, same channel even. Since there were so many classes running I can’t remember who won what. Except for Bo Butner winning Pro Stock. Who could forget a name like that, especially with the announcer calling him “Bob” half the time?

And there is another entry in the never-ending stream of remakes plaguing TV this season is one I have been waiting for since it went off the air, BattleBots, the program that gave Grant Imahara his TV start. Seriously I loved this program in its initial incarnation, along with Robot Wars from the UK.

And bad foot or not I have to make that run to Carrollton tomorrow, which means I have to get up early tomorrow. Corollary to getting up early is at least trying to go to bed early, so I’m cutting this one short and going to bed.

Random thoughts and observations

Mrs. the Poet wants a song about Clint sitting on top of the refrigerator. I’m setting it to the tune of “Stairway to Heaven”. It is going to be anti refrigerator-sitting per Mrs. The Poet’s request.

Someone in front of us in line left $0.72 in the change dish at the grocery store. Since the two people in front of us paid with plastic that means it had been there for at least 4 customers counting us and the person who left it. When I pointed the change out I was asked to please remove it.

Getting the TGS2 balanced in a corner is going to involve tuning the roll stiffness so that the inside front tire lifts clear of the ground just as the limits of grip are reached, and sizing the tires so that they have the same percentage of total grip as that end of the car’s percentage of static weight.

A good chili is a fine balance between heat and flavor. Finding a perfect chili is akin to searching for a virgin among the workers in a brothel, mostly a matter of timing.

Keeping up with Trump administration scandals is causing a rise in adult-onset ADHD making those of us who always had it feel superior.

After doing the research I would not object if someone gave me a’90s era Chrysler LH series car that had a running engine and working 42le transmission for making an SCCA A-Mod Solo Racer.

There should be a reader-only app for Twitter called “Short Attention Span Theater”.

Someone wants to open a “covfefe house” in my town. I don’t know what they’re selling but you know the sign is going to have a short lifespan.

About the time my feet were recovering from whatever I did to them on that walk I dropped a heavy metal object on the toes of my left foot. Nothing is actually broken, but nothing is working right either. It’s almost as if the world will cease to exist if I’m not injured or crippled in some way.

Speaking of free car stuff if anyone over at FCA has a pentastar V6 and a 62te transmission they need to get rid of … I know this guy who’s building this car …

Again, for the people looking for bike wrecks and advice I left the archive alone, but I can’t say for sure the links are still good. If you find my sanity back there could you put it in a box and mail it to me? I would greatly appreciate it.

One of the things Mrs. the Poet likes about taking me shopping is I will find the best buy for any particular product, one of the things she doesn’t like is finding the best buys for things she doesn’t want to buy, but I do.

Do you know what rich really is? Rich is going to the grocery store and having to leave something behind because you won’t have room in the car to take it home instead of not having enough money to pay for it.

I’m looking at the rear suspension for the TGS2 and looking at the composite bellypan/splitter combination and thinking “well since I’m already making the mess…”

We’re having chicken broccoli from a frozen box over brown rice from the rice cooker/vegetable steamer and I put the chicken and broccoli in the steamer basket and the sauce on the top of the cooker to thaw and get warm and pour over the chicken and broccoli after everything’s cooked. That way the only cooking pot/device that needs cleaning is the rice cooker, that was already going to get cleaned b/c we are having brown rice. And I did all the “cooking” so Mrs. the Poet is happy which is always a good thing.

Mrs. the Poet wants some beans and rice before she leaves, so slow cooker and rice cooker next time. I’m really loving that non-stick coating on the rice cooker, it makes cleanup so much easier.

No beer this trip as the specials just didn’t tickle my fancy enough. Also not a big fan of most summertime beers. I prefer a beer I can sink my teeth into. Also what’s the deal of making “beer” with rice? That’s not beer, that’s a bad starter for sake ruined with hops.

And it has been almost a week since my last walk and now I’m really wanting to go for that walk, like really really wanting. But if I go I will aggravate my injured toes. It is a conundrum. And lazy and overfed won out over getting some exercise.

Progress has been made but I still have a painful foot

I took a break yesterday and laced up my cushy shoes to work on the axle, and cleaned out one of the chairs so I could take the load off my feet. After a couple of hours of careful work I was able to slide the kingpins carefully in and out of the axle bosses and lock them in place with the grub screws. I’m using the grub screws in place of the bolts and lock nuts in the spindle kit because that bolt does double duty as a steering stop and the grub screws don’t, letting me get all the steering lock the transplanted minivan power steering rack will deliver. Also the grub screws came with the axle. Red Loctite threadlocker will work as a replacement for the lock nut. And I just used the PDF version of the install instructions and compared my axle to the one in the instructions and the only thing I’m using is that grub screw because there is literally no place to install the lock pin from the kit. And I checked the instructions for the other kit (’49-’54 Chevrolet passenger car) and it ain’t even close to what I have for my axle. So now I be confuzzled.

I still have to install the spindle bushings and hone them to fit, but I was able to mock up the spindles on the axle well enough to get an idea of how long a tie rod I need to buy: 55.5″. That’s quite a bit larger than the longest non-custom tie rod on the site and it’s going to cost me almost twice as much as the in-stock size.

Someone IRL asked me about that zero roll stiffness suspension from the last post, and did it really exist. Yes it did but not as a beam axle, and not as a street car. There were several Formula Vee cars that went with what was called “Zero Roll” spring set ups to fight the excessive rear weight transfer and “jacking” that went with the rules-mandated swing axle rear suspension. They could still be tuned for lateral weight transfer by adjusting the ride height which changed the roll center height and changed how much weight was transferred to the outside wheel in a turn. The front roll center was at ground height no matter what happened to the ride height, so changing the ride height just changed the rear roll center. I think you can see why this was a “Race Only” setup since changing the number of people in the car would change the balance of the car. Some cars were so sensitive that moving the battery from front to rear would change the balance from mild understeer to slide off the track backwards oversteer. And a similar situation would exist for the TGS2 if I tried a zero roll suspension with it, it would be completely unusable as a street car. Well not completely unusable, because the roll center would not move nearly as much with a beam axle as it does with the swing axle early VW rear suspension, and as a single seat car the center of gravity wouldn’t change too much. So while moving the rear roll center will be a weapon in my suspension tuning arsenal, it’s not the only tool in the box. It would be a fine adjustment tool for tweaking the final balance, not my first go-to when doing the initial set-up of the car.

And I need to contemplate finishing the install on those spindles after I get some sleep.

Feet still hurt and other things

Well I was supposed to go run errands in Carrollton today but I could barely walk to the mailbox in front of the house so no trip to Carrollton. I seriously did something bad to my feet, and I wish I knew what it was so I could not do it any more. I mean this is highly annoying not being able to leave the house except to get the mail.

Anyway I didn’t log on to post about my feet, I’m here to post about THINKING! > thunder, lightning, dogs and cats living together < No need to panic I’m just going to discuss on how my brain works > spooky music, portals to strange dimensions, screams of the damned <. NOW STOP THAT! I swear I will turn this blog around right now if this doesn’t stop > … <

OK now as I was saying I’m going to show I knew about how much to move the springs in on the front and rear axles so I could balance the car’s handling without resorting to heavy anti-roll bars. It has to do with single and double wheel rates and how they differ on a beam axle.

On double wheel rates or technically a “two wheel bump” the wheel rate is whatever the spring rate less whatever is lost if the springs are not vertical. Plus the motion ratio for springs not mounted directly to the axle which doesn’t apply here. What starts getting weird is when you get body roll or looking at it from a static body reference a “single wheel bump”. Then you start getting all kinds of motion ratios involved.

I should explain what a “motion ratio” is before I continue with this post. On a beam axle like both the ones on all of the iterations of the bucket from Sprint-T to TGS2 the motion ratio is the ratio of the tread (the distance between the center of the wheels looking from one end) to the distance from the center of the wheel to the point that the spring affects the axle, on the slant height. I guess you could use the distance on the horizontal plane because there is only a few % difference, but if you know the slant height between the contact point of the stationary tire and the spring closest to the affected wheel, why not use it?

On the front axle the springs are mounted as close to the ends of the axle as is physically possible, so the motion ratio for the spring closest to the bump is nearly 1:1 and the motion ratio on the other end is effectively 0, after taking the effect of applying the motion ratio into consideration. (The effect of a spring on the wheel rate is effective spring rate at the mounting point times the motion ratio squared.)

On the rear axle the spring away from the bumped wheel is actually close enough to be affected in a single wheel bump and contribute a significant amount to the spring rate at the wheel, so it has to be added in to find the wheel rate. To explain why I present a reductio ad absurdum where there is a single spring mounted on the center of the axle. The effective single wheel spring rate is ¼ the two wheel spring rate with zero resistance to rolling over in a turn, demonstrating the three spring rates for a beam axle: the two wheel rate, the single wheel rate, and the roll rate.

And I bored myself writing about it. I don’t get it, this is exciting to do, why can’t I convey that excitement when I write about it? Seriously this is giggly hand-rubbing exciting to do with the calculator and the graph paper, why can’t I make it sound as fun when I’m writing about it? I make it sound like homework instead of the nuts and bolts of deciding where the nuts and bolts go.

I guess I’m just tired and need to take a break from writing and go do something.

Still angry about… things

First and foremost, my phone locked up. I can’t reboot it, I can’t even get it to shut down. I’m waiting for the battery to run down so that maybe I can reboot it after charging it back up. Not having my phone feels almost like I’m missing a body part, or maybe an internal organ.

Second now that I have the tool for the job I want to install the spindles to the axle for mockup purposes and measure the required length of tie rod I need to build, but because I would have to stand on concrete I can’t. This is frustrating because I had to wait for the $$ to show up to get the tool, then wait for the tool to get here to use it and after using it once I have to wait until I recover to use it again.

Third, and this is political, it took months for the ACA to get through both houses of Congress, but the AHCA will have less than one day each for the House and Senate, and everything is secret until then? This is legislation that will have a drastic effect on one-sixth (17%) of the economy and nobody gets to see it until the day it gets voted on? Not even the rank-and-file of the GOP are allowed to read it until it hits the floor of the Senate. Are they literally trying to get stormed with torches and pitchforks? Because I can’t think of a better way to provoke it.

Now for some things I’m not angry about, that idea I had about the composite floor/splitter/belly pan turns out to be even better than I thought for mounting the radiator and fenders. And I’ll just glue the body to it when it comes time to mount the body to the frame like a big model kit. Really going to be easy for that one.

I still haven’t settled on the final shape for the rear fenders, speaking of mounting fenders. TX regulations are pretty lax on that. I could probably get by with nothing more than mud flaps, or less, but I’m looking to reduce drag on the highway for gas mileage and maybe get some downforce for racing by way of some HDPE flaps to divert airflow.

I have figured out how to drop the car for racing without having to have two upper shock mounts, I’ll just use an extender on the street shocks to make them run at a higher ride height than the race shocks. The street tires are taller than the race tires but the street tire race can use a lower ride height as well, so both sets of race shocks will be standard length while the street shocks will have extensions on the ends .

And Now I’m going to haul my decrepit carcass off to bed.

Sunday’s early post was an extreme example

Of what happens when I can’t work on my designs. They get changed, “improved”, made different just to fool myself into the illusion that I’m actually doing something to make progress. If the hands can’t work on it I either drop it completely or completely change it. In this case I think the combined floor/splitter is such an improvement over the previous kluges that I will keep that part. But the rest I will keep in a brain folder marked “do not open until stinking rich”. Seriously 9 plies of Kevlar are both much lighter and more resistant to penetration than the 0.25″ steel plate I had been considering, so that’s an actual improvement.

On other fronts, my feet still hurt, but not as bad as before. I think I might be getting better. I still don’t want to go for my walk tonight, but I might be up to it by the end of the week. The axle is getting closer to being done and the spindles are up next. I want to go work on honing the boss to size but my feet are screaming “NOOOOO!!!!!” at just the thought of standing on concrete again.

And since I have to go run errands in Carrollton tomorrow, I’m having another lie down to give my feet more time to recover before spending the day on the bus.

I can’t do my walking thing

Because my feet still feel like they were beaten on, except when they feel like balloons about to pop. Even Mrs. the Poet commented on the way my toes looked, like little tomatoes at the ends where they were red and swollen.

I did some work on the axle since I couldn’t go for my walk and have one boss that will almost allow one kingpin through before getting stuck after a couple of hours of work with the brake hone clearancing the boss… I had to stop because it was too dark and too hot to keep working, and also because my feet were hurting from standing on the concrete garage floor.

So they had a sale on pumpkin pie at the store, regularly $6.99 on sale for $0.99. No that’s not a typo, a full-size frozen pie for $0.99 I like pie .

And now Imma take a shower and go to bed because my feet hurt just sitting here typing. No, I’m not kidding. I have seriously bolluxed my pedal extremities. Especially given my pain tolerance, as Mrs. the Poet tells me I have blisters all over my feet that I can’t even feel. But whatever this is making my feet hurt is almost invisible externally.

Happy Father’s Day, I’m changing the TGS2 design again

I woke up in the middle of the night thinking again, because I had to use the bathroom. While I was sitting I started thinking of how I was going to make the splitters, because they had to be somewhat thin and fairly strong because the aero loads would get rather high at highway speeds and faster, and because people would probably stand on them getting in and out of the car. Then I had a flash from the past back when I was building ultralights (lightweight single-seat airplanes that don’t require a pilot’s license under Civil Aviation Code Part 103) and I sat in on a composite construction clinic. During the clinic we watched a video on making a solid core wing with fiberglass skins using vacuum bagging after wet lay up. I realize that the preceding sentence read like Star Trek technobabble for most of you, so I will explain by describing how I’m going to make the splitters and how that changes the way the rest of the car will go together.

First of all, the core. I’m going to make the splitters and the floor of the car as a single piece, using blue styrofoam insulation board, from the nose to the start of the diffuser at the rear. This is our solid core. Now I could get all high-tech and use carbon fiber to remove every last gram possible, but that would be both expensive and overkill. I will make use of different layers of material for different purposes in the lamination, but the most exotic will be the Kevlar under my butt and the gas tank. Now the layers outside in from the ground up. First will be some light fiberglass mat that will basically be there as a sanding layer and to prevent “print through” from the woven layers. Next will be three layers of fiberglass cloth oriented in different directions to make the splitter stiff no matter how it’s loaded from people standing on it. Then the core of insulation board, then another three layers of ‘glass like on the bottom and the ‘glass mat. Then under the driver and gas tank compartments 9 layers of Kevlar oriented like the ‘glass cloth in the previous layers. The purpose of the Kevlar is to protect my butt and other parts from road debris like what broke the engine on my last car. It goes on top of the mat because the Kevlar is inside the car and it is easier to lay up that way and the mat is damned cheap so I can just run it all the way across without leaving any gaps.

Now the “wet lay up”. This means I mix up batches of very slow curing resin and completely saturate the various layers with the resin before laying them on the core using things like paintbrushes and rollers to make sure every fiber is covered in resin before it goes on the core. The reason slow curing resin is used for this process is applying the many layers is time consuming and exacting, because there can be no gaps or wrinkles in the lay up. Now why wet lay up is simply cost, buying cloth and resin separately is much cheaper than buying pre-preg which is the cloth and resin all-in-one but not yet cured, because it is made below the kick-off temperature of the resin and shipped frozen to prevent the resin from curing until the cloth is molded to the desired shape.

Now “vacuum bagging”. As the name implies there is a bag involved that has the air removed from it after the part is placed inside. Now between the bag and the part are 2 more layers of materials that just keep the bag from sticking to the part. First is what is called the “bleeder layer” that just exists as a path for the air to escape from around the part so atmospheric pressure can squeeze against the part and the layers and get everything really close together. Next is the “peel ply” that goes next to the part and gives the excess resin a place to go and is the real reason for vacuum bagging a wet lay up. The process squeezes excess resin out of the layers which then goes into the peel ply where it is wicked away from the part. Resin is the heaviest part of a composite part, my 47 pound bucket body probably has less than 20 pounds of glass fibers and the rest is resin, in fact from looking at the actual body I would say it is closer to 15 pounds of fibers and the rest resin. So leaving just enough resin to hold the fibers makes a major difference in weight. You can see graphically how much resin is squeezed out by weighing the peel ply and bleeder after unbagging the part. The outside of the bag is polyethylene sheet like what is used as a drop cloth for painting.

And there you have my major objection to vacuum bagging, the amount of waste left after the process. The bag, the bleeder, and the peel ply are all garbage after the part comes out of the bag. The only thing in the process that is reusable is the fitting between the bag and the vacuum pump, and that vacuum pump. In my case I will be using a shop vac so I will be getting sub-optimal results compared to using a real vacuum pump, but I will be getting a flatter, smoother surface by leaving the part to cure on the garage floor. And then throwing away a full garbage can worth of bag and bleeder and peel plies.

Now the real thunder, I can use this process to make an entire monocoque frame and only have the roll cage made from tubing. And in the process reduce the weight of the frame by half over welded tubing.

The hone is here, and I’m exhausted

I’m watching the 24 Hours of Le Mans since shortly after the start at 0700, when I couldn’t get to sleep until after 0530. I keep falling asleep and faceplanting in the keyboard. And I just got back from my Father’s Day dinner at the Texas Roadhouse, where I had a Bacon Cheeseburger that must have weighed at least a pound total, 1020 Calories plus 400 Calories of steak fries. So besides being tired I’m dealing with a Food Coma.

So now Imma go have another lie-down. I get my present tomorrow.

I do stupid things sometimes

And yesterday was one two of those times. First stupid thing was extending my walk after ordering the hone I needed to install the kingpins and spindles on the axle. The second stupid thing was refusing the ride home after I started hobbling instead of walking. I can barely walk now because of the pain in the balls of my feet. I walked for 4.4 miles last night which is about 2 miles more than normal. Since the end of May I have walked more than 33 miles which averages out to 2 miles a day, and there were days I couldn’t walk because of pop-up showers in the evenings. But there were 2 extra-point check-ins on my mobile game that gave me an extra 70 points for checking in. That’s the equivalent of an extra 14 check-ins over and above the 25 I get per day, so you can see why I would want to get those check-ins. If I grab a bunch of those I will be back in the black for the weekly $1 gift card. Now the smart thing to do would be to catch the bus to the Wendy’s and order fries and drink soda all day while I walk back and forth between the two extra point check-ins and collect 245 points in 8 hours. That’s almost 10 cents! 😀 and right at 2 miles, and I could take the bus home or within 0.4 miles of home.

I have made zero progress on the TGS2 outside of buying the hone, that will be here tomorrow afternoon. Seriously, I can’t even think right now because of the pain. That kinda worries me, because I’m the guy who wrecked his knees and barely felt it, pulled a couple of my own teeth without painkillers, only took a painkiller because they made me on my last operation, and only needed one on the previous operation. Having something hurt this bad must mean I destroyed something. In fact I think I will take a little lie down because my feet hurt so bad.