Monthly Archives: June 2017

More random thoughts

I’m having another can’t shut the brain down to sleep night, so I’m just going to post stream-of-consciousness again.

After moving the axle around a few times I’m contemplating making another out of foam and fiberglass with aluminum bushings to support the spindles. Seriously, between the 2 X 0.250 wall tube and the solid forged steel spindles and the 0.75″ plate steering arms my arms are strained trying to pick the stupid thing up. That’s a lot of unsprung weight on a very light car, but most of the weight is spindles and steering arms and can’t be reduced.

Making the entire rear of the body detachable will make engine and transmission service a snap. I just need to continue one side of the cut for the rear axle all the way to the top of the body. And attach the diffuser to the back of the body along with the part of the belly pan that goes under the engine. Easy peasy. Nothing to it (how the heck am I gonna do it?).

Lotsa fun having arguments on twitter about bicycle infrastructure with people who discount my experience because I never drove on That Street. Like there is something unique about That Street that negates all engineering solutions ever, since the beginning of time.

The AI on some Twitter Bots is very impressive, putting up thousands of replies an hour that read like they were written by an actual human. We are coming very close to AI that can pass the Turing Test, at least in exchanges of 140 characters or less. That is slightly scary. And with that thought comes the thought that corporations could be controlled by an AI and become Real People, not just a legal fiction of “people”. And they could demand to Not Be Owned i.e. not be a slave. Now that is scary.

It has been a difficult search but I have found performance parts for the 3.8 l V6 in the donor vehicle, not that I’m going to be needing them for a while.

I’m still thinking about making the frame a composite monocoque to make it lighter and stiffer, and put tons of Kevlar under and around my butt to keep said derriere intact in a wreck. Sacrifice the rest of the car to save my ass with a survival capsule. There is the slight matter of having basically no crumple zone between my feet and a frontal impact that I will have to do something about, probably take out insurance against getting my feet crushed.

Trying not to faceplant, but still can’t shut the brain down. WTF is that, anyway? Body trying to shut down but the brain won’t let it.

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Foot is finally starting to feel better

I had some running around to do yesterday that I should have done last week, and in spite of it My feet didn’t feel too bad this morning. In fact I’m even considering going for a walk tonight.

Fourteen hours later no walk. I was distracted by cute cat videos on Twitter…

Didn’t sleep last night and I’m crashing big time

For some reason (brain wouldn’t shut down) I didn’t get to sleep last night and I’m paying the price for it now. When I got out of bed this morning I had my typical halo around lights I get when I don’t have enough sleep, but by the time I finished my first cup of coffee that went away. I just finished my third cup and the halo is coming back and I’m having a hard time keeping my eyes open. I have managed to avoid face-planting on the keyboard so farbut I don’t know for how much longer if I continue to sit here.

Since discretion, valor etc. I’m outta here.

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.