Can’t stop thinking

Yes, I’m still thinking about the rear suspension on the Mid-Bucket, mainly how to make it lighter. And simpler if I can. One way I can do both is to eliminate the adjustability and just weld the adaptor plate directly to the truss. I hate to do that, both because of all the time and brain processing cycles that went into the adjustable adaptor, and because throwing a little negative camber for racing is a great way to increase total grip and reduce oversteer a tad. I would probably do that for street, too. But I can do that in the jig while welding the truss, probably holding to a half degree precision if the jig is stout enough. That is a mighty big IF.

Which brings me to the other reason for adjustability, correcting for floppy welding jigs for the de Dion truss. And for weld joints that move from thermal stress during construction. I don’t know about how floppy the welding jig is going to be, I mean it’s not like I’m building this to make production runs. I just want the ability to make crash repairs when and if necessary.

And while I was on my walk I was thinking about upgrading to the Pentastar and the 62TE after I get a bit more bucks up. Again I forgot to save the engine and transmission mount picture and now I can’t find it again so I can’t show you how similar the mounting points are between the two generations of minivan. But without having one of each side by side to compare I can’t say for sure it’s a drop-in swap. It’s pretty damn close.

Moment of levity, Amazon apparently thinks I eat enough fancy Italian Provolone cheese to justify buying it in $1K chunks at a time. I have no idea how they got that idea since I get that kind of cheese in the $5 shaker bottle at the deli counter mixed with parmesan. Not that I don’t know what to do with a good Provolone, I do have a Sicilian grandmother and Mrs. the Poet is adopted Sicilian, and I did spend a couple of years working for pizza places helping make the pies.

I got to use the high-precision scale when we were shopping today and I was sure not to rest against the rail on the back that is part of the machine but not part of the scale. Anywho I came in under 210 even after a big breakfast, so progress is being made on destroying the heart-clogging fat monster. I don’t know that I will ever reach 160 while still alive and also still be able to get around on my own, unlike last time, but dangit I’m trying.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the fat but still Unkillable

With new data I have a new weight estimate

One of the things I do when I’m not running around, or writing, or reading web comics or e-mail, is try to get better information about the weights of the stuff I’m putting in or taking out of the Mid-Bucket. The bad news is my transaxle weighs more than I originally estimated, and the parts of the axle I’m leaving out because the car is mid-engine don’t weigh as much as I originally estimated. What it breaks down to is the weight estimate went up by about 50 pounds to 1550 total. Almost all of that 50 came from the rear axle. Still absurdly light by most standards.

Where I might make up a few pounds is the de Dion truss replacing the heavy axle housing of the front engine car, but since those run only about 38 pounds it won’t be much. If my initial estimate on the truss is right, and I know it’s close, then the most I can save would be about 13 pounds. That is all unsprung weight loss which means better handling for the Mid-Bucket.

Something else I have been trying to solve is how to get the fiberglass bucket body and the engine/transmission installed inside the exoskeleton style frame. There is a lot of triangulation round the back area that blocks access to the engine which if I made removable would open up a hole wider than the body to let it go in after painting. Then drop in the engine and transmission and bolt the bracing back in. And once again I’m wanting to do a Copy/Paste from my brain so you can see what I see in my mind. Basically there will be two sections of bracing to bolt in, one from the rear hoop to the rear shock mounts and across the back, and another one bracing the rear hoop from side to side and top to bottom. I may break down and start sketching this out with pencil and paper again and taking pictures with my cell phone, like I did a few years ago when I first started documenting this process.

Graph paper aided design.

The tricky part is I still don’t have the donor vehicle to copy the engine and transmission mounts from. I do know that the roll hoop bracing is where about half of the mounts will go, the rest will go on the main frame assembly. I have seen pictures of the transmission mounts so that’s how I know how they will go.

And I apparently forgot to save that picture of the mounts and I can’t find it again in Google Images either. Silly me.

Well it is getting late and I still have to clear the garbage out of my e-mail inbox. And I guess I should mention I had to miss playing Shadowrun today because my allergies gave me digestive issues, as in “don’t get too far from a toilet” issues followed by the worse gas pains I have ever had. And when I was at the lab rat keeper’s office this week I asked to hear what my body fat percentage was and promptly swore off eating for the next several months when they told me more than 30%. That works out to just over 70 pounds (32 Kg) of fat I’m carting around, which means I need to lose about 45 pounds (20 Kg) of it to get to a healthy body fat percentage. That will pull me down to about 165 to 170. That won’t happen overnight because losing that much weight that quick without weight training to maintain muscle mass will result in my going back to my eating disorder days when I got to 170 and so weak I couldn’t get out of bed. I know what I need to do and that is to work out at a “fat burning” pace for about 8 hours a day, and do some light weights 3 days a week. I did this when I was training for the Hotter’n’Hell Hundred a few years ago and I can do it again. I got down under 200 for that in about 4 months. I need to build something that I can work at the fat burning pace when I’m working at the computer and watching TV, a recumbent exercise cycle with a desk so I don’t hurt my butt.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the fat but Unkillable

Still thinking about the rear suspension on the Mid-Bucket

Yes I was being dangerous again, thinking and all. Basically I’m thinking about details now, how to arrange the heim joints on the plate so they don’t interfere with other bits and are still adjustable for what needs to be adjusted.

My first thoughts were they needed to be set up in an equilateral triangle with one located center bottom. Then I ran some adjustments in my mental model in that configuration and there too many interactions in that configuration. What it came down to was every adjustment would change another parameter that did not need changing (or maybe it did but not at the same time and maybe not in that direction). So, change to a right triangle with the sides adjacent to the right angle located vertical and horizontal. Changing the camber will change the toe slightly but changing the toe doesn’t affect the camber. The longer the distance between the vertical pair of heims and the toe heim the less a camber change would change the toe. Thinking about it more putting the toe heim on the horizontal centerline of the rear axle with the camber heims equally spaced in relation to that line would give the least toe change with camber adjustments, especially if the camber heims were adjusted in equal and opposite directions. So, maybe not equilateral, but isosceles with the point on the horizontal center of the axle and the short side vertical.

Now that that part is decided how to connect it to the de Dion truss? The reason the equilateral triangle first suggested itself was using the horizontal part of the truss to support two of the joints and a side support off the vertical for the third. And as I think about it I can get zero interaction with the right triangle by leaving one joint fixed, and adjusting the other two for toe or camber, depending on which axis they are on. Which tells me that the horizontal pair mount to the horizontal truss, and the vertical pair the vertical, and the heim that is on both axis is the fixed one.

See how problems can be solved if you just put them in words while thinking in 3 dimensions? I know, not everyone can do that, I have what amounts to a 3D CAD program in my head. What frustrates me is I can’t just copy and paste from my head to my computer like I do when I write stuff on my phone. I mean I can see it perfectly, but I can’t reach in and pull what I see in my head out where everyone else can see it, and I lack the skills to enter what I see into a real CAD program, and the patience to learn how. I know, that last one is on me, my problem. But I can even see how the flanges for the various heims interact to add support to the mount for the hub bearing with minimal added weight. Just connect them around the bolt pattern for the hub bearing and they have enough vertical depth to keep the mount from flexing. I just need to leave enough room for the bolt heads and a socket to drive them into the holes on the flange on the hub bearing. All the major forces go directly into that hub mount, bypassing the de Dion truss which has been reduced to keeping the wheels pointed in the right directions on two axis and the same distance apart all the time.

Speaking of the same distance apart, it looks like this is gonna be a very wide bucket, about 6′ 3″. The front axle is going to be 56.5″ wide compared to the usual 48″. That’s because the hub-to-hub width on the donor vehicle is right at 65″± compared to 56″± for the usual hot rod axles. This solves a lot of problems with the suspension, while introducing others. But mostly it solves problems or makes them tiny. And tiny problems are either easily solved or ignored.

And on that note it’s time to say buh-bye until next time. Opus the Unkillable

I do my best thinking while walking

And what I was thinking about this time was how to make the Mid-Bucket lighter and stronger. And I was thinking that I could make the rear suspension lighter if I didn’t have to make up brackets for these.
The whole shooting match.
when all I really need is one of these on each side.
Hub and bearing assembly.
And then I got to thinking that I could use the flat brackets for the e-brake calipers and rotors in
All kinds of brake parts including the calipers and the rotors and hats this kit or just cut the bracket into the mount for the hub to save (even more) weight. But going to this will remove a lot of weight from the de Dion truss, because the adapter for the knuckle weighs about the same as mounting everything directly to the plate without the knuckle, saving the weight of the knuckle casting.

The fly in the ointment is the detail design for adjusting the camber, caster, and toe angle without the knuckle to use for pivoting on, but while I was typing that I came up with a provisional solution using a heim joint… so that’s good, I hope.

Anyway, the reason for the walk is the AC in my office is on the fritz and it got up to over 80 in there which slows the laptop down to practically nothing, and I have this Starbucks app with lots of $$ loaded into it. So, take a walk and get a cold coffee drink and pick up my bag limit on the game that pays me money to play. Mission accomplished, drink purchased, and bag limit achieved. And I got some exercise to go with it.

So, y’all have a good night or day depending on when you read this, and I’ll write more later. And there is a new story page up, check out the list under the banner.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable

This is when I write about what I did

Earlier this week I was too busy doing things to write a blog post. Now I have a few minutes to write what happened. All I need to do is get the story straight in my head so I can put it on the screen. That is easier said than done.

Big news first, I lost my wallet again. Exact same way I lost it last time, from the same pair of shorts. I thought I was putting the wallet into the pocket, but it didn’t stay there. I probably lost it when I was sitting down after buying the day pass on the first bus of the day.

Second thing is I am no longer hairy. Well as hairy. I used a ½” guard on the top of my head and no guard at all on the beard. Then I charged up the electric razor and finished off the beard. Voila semi-fuzzy.

On the Mini Sprint-T, I think I have my tire mounting problems solved. I mentioned in an earlier post that I would be using a discarded insulin syringe to inflate the tire out to the edge of the wheel, well the other problem is the wheel making the tire grow larger in diameter by a substantial amount because it’s just too thick, for structural reasons. The resin used to cast the wheels is not as strong as the styrene plastic used in commercial model kits so it has to be thicker, basically all the way out to the flange diameter of the wheel. This in turn stretches the tire diameter by a similar amount, which drastically alters the scale relationship of the tire to the rest of the car. Well I’m going to try sanding out the inside of the tire bead so the oversize wheel so it doesn’t force the tire larger and see how that works. I have a spare set of wheels, and tires that I won’t be using on either model, to experiment with.

And I’m starting to get fuzzy around the edges of my mind, so I’m quitting while I can still hit the correct keys on the laptop.

Bille @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable but sleepy

It’s Coming…

Prepare yourselves. Know where shelter can be found.

Our day will come!

Have herring handy, or canned sardines.

I prefer canned sardines myself but then I’m only an honorary penguin-poet.

Save the date, 10 days after the march on DC for Hair Drumpf’s tax returns.

PSA, Opus the Unkillable

Happy Pi(e) day!

Today is March 14 or Pi(e) day. That’s because in MM/DD format the date is 3/14 or π. I’m going to have pumpkin pie for dessert tonight after we get back from getting our taxes done. Having the trust has made getting taxes done much more complex and expensive, but on the other hand it has also made paying our property taxes easier. We just withdraw from the trust and write the checks and then I get to walk all over downtown Garland dropping off the checks at the various offices they go to.

So anyway, grab you a pie to celebrate π day

PSA, Opus the Unkillable

I didn’t want to do it this way, but I have a working tire pump now.

Well I had two pumps, one that failed somewhere in the piston and the other one that had a rotting hose from the pump to the chuck. I only have to send one back, so I put all the bad parts in the return box and assembled all the good parts into a working pump. I then used that pump to get my tires back up to the minimum 70 pounds per square inch to prevent pinch flats on potholes.

And after I did that I felt like Superman™ so I tried to mount the tires to the wheels I had just mocked up that afternoon. It was a struggle, but as you can see:
Wheel reduced from a scale 10 inches to a scale 8

I got the front edge even with the bead on the tire, but I need to pump the tire so the back side matches the front.
Back side sticks out a little bit, don't it.

It’s hard to see from that angle, so this is easier.
See all that white? Not supposed to be visible.

So what I do now is talk to my diabetic friends about getting some used needles and syringes to pump up the tires to meet the beads of the rim.

And there’s something good coming on Science Channel, so I have created enough with the words and pictures, Opus the Unkillable

A State of Detent Has Been Reached At Casa de El Poeta

Mrs. the Poet has been complaining about how I’m “not helping” her throw away my stuff when she does it during the part of the day when I’m still asleep. I don’t understand this. I don’t complain that she’s not helping me write when I start composing stuff at 0300 when the Internet is fastest locally and I can get to reference materials most quickly.

So we reached a compromise, in that Mrs. the Poet will not start throwing my stuff away until I get up, and because we both have things to do over the weekend I will start helping her on Monday afternoon after I have had coffee. There is something in the garage that she calls a “box full of rusty metal stuff” that I’m almost afraid to open. Then we don’t go into the garage again until after I get up Friday.

On other things I’m playing some more Shadowrun tomorrow, and there is a late race on Sunday, the Las Vegas race for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup. And now that I have a new tube of GOOP™ I can continue to mock up the Mini Sprint-T street version. I haven’t found a model kit that has the Pentastar V6 as an option so kitbashing is right out. But I have that first wheel glued up and ready to test fit to the tire when the glue dries. I’ll probably do that Sunday while I’m watching the race during commercials.

Billed @€0.02 Opus the Unkillable

I think too much

I was on a long walk to get some stuff at the hardware, and well, my mind also wandered. Specifically it wandered around the Sprint-T. What I was thinking about was what it could be like with the Pentastar 3.6l V6 DOHC aluminum block and heads engine that weighs a factory-claimed 326 pounds (as compared to the 545 claimed for the SBC and the 413 for the 3.8 pushrod engine out of the minivan) and delivers 305 HP in stock form. As a comparison the “performance” SBC in the first-gen Camaro was rated at 290 HP. In the Sprint T with the SBC and a TH 350 transmission I was looking at just over 1700 pounds empty, with the Pentastar V6 and the 42RE transmission coming in at 1450 pounds but that 42RE transmission would be dicey for racing use. The later models used 6 and 8 speed slush boxen that would survive racing but also weigh considerably more, the 8-speed being strong enough for the legendary Hemi. The transverse version of the 3.6 would bolt to the 41TE transaxle in the mid-Bucket and take 87 pounds off the weight and rear axle, while adding more than 200 HP over the engine as it sits in the minivan. Do I want one? Not if I had to buy it from the dealer with a car around it. Would I take a similar deal as I got on the 3.8l pushrod engine, remove a derelict vehicle to remove the stuff I needed to make a car for free? Hell I would even pay for a car that got wrecked in the back as long as it wasn’t more than $1K to get the 305 HP version of the engine and then swap the FEAD (Front End Accessory Drive) for the transverse installation. I mean 200 HP more and 87 pounds less would I take that? Hell Yes I Would Take That!

So the reason for the walk was to get the 7/32” drill bit and the small tube of GOOP for the bike and Mini Sprint-T respectively. I logged 3.93 miles and 25 checkins on Map My Walk and M Plus Places respectively and burned a lot of calories in the process. The weather was perfect, just warm enough and just breezy enough with a high overcast so that it was bright but not blinding.

And I have to get the rest of the stuff I do offline done so I can go to bed, so I’m putting this post to bed first, then me.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable