Well I had my toes “did” this evening. The nails are now shortened so they don’t extend past the end of the toe they occupy, and dulled so they don’t catch and tear anything like the sheets or Mrs. the Poet. This only happened once, I went to bed without socks because it was warm and toenails got caught in the sheets, rendering them hors d’ combat. Fortunately Mrs. the Poet was not in the bed at the time as she was doing her summer visit with her mother in Upstate NY.
Moving on, moving the driver to just behind the front axle causes many changes to the rest of the car. Not the least of which is what used to be the roll cage and is now just another part of the frame. Except the former front hoop is now moved back a few inches to become the rear hoop and front center bulkhead. The former mount for the front springs is now the front hoop and (still) front bulkhead, what was the rear hoop is now the rear center bulkhead, and the rear bulkhead is still the rear bulkhead. That’s a whole three tubes unchanged from the previous design😈🎉 Everything else is different. Since most of the front of the bucket has to be removed for the center cockpit the only part of the frame that still has to be “bolt-in” is the inside structure of the rear center bulkhead. A few pounds are added to the frame, but the torsional stiffness will be considerably enhanced. Not that the previous version was any slacker in that department, just the new one will be “more so”. And I’m thinking about making the floorpan thicker under the driver (me) to protect my tender nether regions from “stuff” on the road coming up through the floor. Going to 0.25″ thick will add 86 pounds to the empty weight, but the arm will be so short that it will move the empty CG forward considerably. It might even be enough to get the rear percentage out of the 60’s. Which gets me back to (more) equal wheel and tire sizes when the ugly lump (me) is added to the driver’s seat.
And as the changes cascade down the line I’m once again looking at the spring mounts on the frame and rear axle and using the same size wheels and tires on every corner. That drastically opens my choices for tires (and makes the front wheels slightly more expensive). It also improves the overall grip because I no longer have to reduce the available grip at the front to keep the back end chasing the front through a corner (good) instead of the front chasing the rear (very, very bad). I can also go back to mounting the rear springs outboard on the uprights instead of near the middle of the de Dion tube. I’m still going to stay with the single 3″ tube instead of the truss mainly because it will be way faster to build than the truss. I mean we are talking about carefully lining up some tack welds and then 2 major finishing welds after everything is straight compared to 40 or so finishing welds and additional straightening on the heat distorted structure, after 2 or 3 tack welds per finishing weld and straightening that out before the finishing welds. Yeah, 5 pounds more for about 160 welds less, plus less after-weld work sounds like an equitable change.
Getting back to the floor, I don’t think adding that 86 pound plate to the front will change the weight at all, just move it forward. That’s because I don’t have to put anything under the bucket except the HDPE bellypan instead of a metal or wooden floor, and the space the new floor occupies was previously HDPE. The new floor is less than half the size but 3 times thicker than the old floor, so maybe a slight increase in weight? Anyway, I would feel a lot better out on the road with a quarter-inch of steel under and in front of me than I would just over a sixteenth and some thick milk jug plastic.
And it is tending towards time to go to bed. This has been a long and emotionally-draining day.