But we are getting inundated by a Mexican hurricane. Willa is drenching southwestern Mexico, but the moisture is getting pumped all the way up into OK and since The Beautiful Suburbs of Hell are perched between Mexico and OK, we are likewise getting drenched by Willa. Not that we needed any more rain, the ground was still nearly saturated from the previous batch of rain and we only had a few days to dry out before Willa came knocking. The front and back yards turned into lakes, the cats never got more than a few feet from the house because of all the water, and it has been generally dreary and wet all day.
This meant I was inside my head most of the day, thinking. And since I’m realistic enough to know I can’t take over the world like a certain genetically engineered cartoon mouse desires, I was thinking about projects to build. One thing I was thinking about was turning one of those Subaru engine and transmission assemblies into an SCCA A-Mod Solo racer. The idea was to connect the output shaft from the transmission directly to the rear differential, and use motorcycle drive chains to run from the drive shafts of the FWD part of the transaxle under the engine cylinders to axles mounted 73″ in front of the rear axle center to meet the minimum wheelbase requirement and get the polar moment as low as possible, with the driver’s seat parked on the tailshaft of the transmission to get the weight back and also reduce the polar moment, giving an all-wheel drive car that would be close to the minimum weight for the class.
Can you imagine what I could create with a shop and a budget? The mind boggles. No, really my mind was boggled by the idea of having a shop with people and equipment to build and a big enough budget to fund the builds I could come up with, budget being my largest obstacle followed by not having the array of skills I would need to do all the builds myself, at least not quickly. I can do many things, but not all at the same time and to be honest not all that great. I can’t weld pretty, when I need to join metals and make it pretty I braze instead of welding. My upholstery skills can cover a seat in foam padding and cloth or leather as long as I don’t have to do
too much any sewing. My composites skills are actually pretty good as long as I’m not working with resins that kick off quickly at room temperature and I am not in a hurry to get the finished product, because I’m slow.
After I shook off the boggle I was thinking about the Sprint-T again, specifically how to get my creaky bones in and more importantly back out of the car. Since I will have to climb through the top of the roll cage I will need something to help me stand back up on the way out. Part of the scheme for making the halo portion of the cage stiff is to run triangulated structure around the inside to prevent the halo from distorting when the frame is twisted, and my idea was to make the bar that crosses across the front part of the top within arm’s reach of the driver’s seat when the driver is seated, which ties in well with the idea that I should be able to park my butt on the top of the cage while standing inside the car. If I keep the inside of the cage low enough to not allow my head or limbs to get outside the cage in case of a flip, the top of the cage will be within easy reach from the driver’s seat, and easy to sit down on while getting out. And the structure that triangulates the opening in the top of the cage will likewise be in easy reach if I run the front lateral bar across the front of the seat, and X brace the part of the opening in front of that while using more structure to brace around the opening that remains. Did I mention I get obsessive about rigid structures? Or I could run a bar from the center of the “grab bar” to the center of the rear hoop and run a diagonal across that opening while running diagonals from the left and right corners of the front hoop to the center of the “grab bar” leaving only the small opening for driver access not triangulated. That would prevent most deflection in the halo structure, and give me lots of places to grab while trying to get in or out of the car. And won’t add as much weight to the halo as the other alternative for bracing it against deflections. Again I came up with a better solution while trying to describe the problem I was trying to solve.