Daily Archives: May 31, 2017

Still thinking about that dang car

I had another thought about the Thunderbolt Grease Slapper 2 to get better balance and more consistent handling. Instead of putting the gas tank in the front, move the driver forward and put the tank sorta in the middle, between the engine and the driver. This would do two things that could be beneficial to the performance of the car: 1) Put more weight on the front end by moving my fat ass closer to the front and 2) Put most of the weight that changes while the car is driven in the middle where it won’t drastically alter the weight balance of the car as it changes.

Doing this does create its own set of challenges. First is I will have to create some kind of metal enclosure between the gas tank or fuel cell (explosion-resistant gas tank, not the kind that you spray fuel and air in one side and get electricity out the other) and the driver’s seat, second is I will have to create some kind of enclosure in front of the firewall because I’m going to stick my legs through the one molded into the body. This brings the secondary question of seating position, sprint go kart or stretched out?
This is a guy sitting in a sprint go kart, notice the high and splayed-out knees

or
Lay back a little in this and it won't let you fall out.

If I go with legs together and just leave enough room for the steering between my feet (like in the front-engine Sprint-T) I don’t need to make a big hole in the factory firewall and have additional support for the steering column. If I go with the sprint go kart seating position most of the firewall will need to “go away” and I’ll need to add structure to support the cowl and the steering column, but I will be able to sit several inches closer to the front axle reducing my arm and moment and moving the CG closer to the front. Not to mention all that structure will add weight right behind the front axle helping move the CG forward. And there we get the major drawback to the go kart driving position, added weight. The car is already almost 100 pounds over the initial target weight, and adding more structure will not help that situation in the slightest. So to maximize straight-line performance I think the legs together position. And I just fell outta my chair while typing again, so I’m going to bed now.

Don’t take any wooden nickels while I nap.

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Working on the look of the front of the car

I have been looking for smaller headlights for the Mid-Bucket (aka Thunderbolt Grease Slapper 2) because the standard 7″ round headlights make the poor car look like it has a bad case of the Girly-Eyed Measles . A standard T grill and radiator look normal with the 7″ headlights, probably because the stock model T had 10″ headlights. But for some reason they are just too big when I put them on the TGS2. I would like to be able to just install a single high-low LED projector unit in a bullet housing but they don’t seem to be available as single units, and I lack the tools needed to spin a sheet into a bullet housing.

Getting smaller lights in a configuration that is street legal is not hard, but not cheap either. This is the best bang for the buck I have found so far. Drag Specialties 5 3/4″ LED Headlight Assembly . As you can see compared to a standard 7 inch sealed beam in an aimable housing it’s rather pricey, especially since I can go down to the local autoparts store and buy a sealed beam for under $10 (the previous link was just for the bucket but add $10 for the light and you see what I’m saying).

What’s really annoying is there are 4½” LED spot and fog lights available that look like the larger 53/4” lights but are either spot or fog not high/low. The manufacturer even calls them “headlights” in the part description, but they’re not, they’re just driving and fog lights.

Well I have to get up early for another trip to the Lab Rat Keeper in the morning so I’ll end this now.