We have such small dreams

Mrs. the Poet and I were discussing what it would feel like to be rich while talking about the take home from the Lotto Texas drawing tonight. And as we did it dawned on me just how small we dreamed. And how little it would take for us to feel “rich”.

The big thing we kept coming back to was inspired by end-of-the-month grocery shopping, and having to eliminate items from the cart as we got closer to the budget limit, exchanging branded items for store-brand items, and just not buying stuff we could survive without. And a big part of our definition for “rich” became “don’t have to take stuff out of the grocery cart because we can’t afford it”, and the corollary “buy what you really want”.

Later we expanded on that to “have all the bills paid at the end of the month and still have money left over” and “get everything fixed and not have anything in the house that wasn’t fully functional”. Basically get back to where we were when I was working 7 days a week at TI back in the 90s, bringing home 20 hours of extra pay a week. We made a total of $57K that year or $100K in today’s dollars. We had a nice townhouse, savings, and I was taking flying lessons once a week. I had a “hot hatch” for autocross, my 87 Hyundai, and was building a Pt. 103 legal ultralight, so I was living my dream life at the time. So that’s what we are looking for with the lottery, living like I was working 60 hours a week at a good paying job, minus the working 60 hours a week.

And since I can’t stop thinking about the Sprint-T after considering the dynamics of the right side torque arm 22″ off center I changed my mind again and moved the torque arm over to the center section of the rear axle. Seriously the right side torque arm has the potential to steer the car left under power. And turning the swing arm into a two-piece radius rod would bind the axle as the car rolled into and out of corners. Not severely, but a bind at any rate. So the swing arms are back to free movement on both sides, and a new low profile torque arm is added to the right side of the center section.

Also the frame design was changed to the side rails extended to the far end of the car and a X braced crossmember placed vertically across the end to support the gas tanks and battery and the tonneau cover for the pickup bed. The bed is going to be similar to the original bed in that it won’t be attached to the bucket, but much deeper than the original Model T pickup bed, with the tonneau more or less level with the back of the body and the floor at the same level as the bottom of the bucket more or less, and the vertical crossmember will be supported by two diagonals running down from the top of the rear roll hoop, one to the bottom and the other to the top. There will also be two bolt-in braces at the rear of the frame to allow mechanical access to bits in the back and also allow the body to be bolted to the frame after the frame is completed. One brace will triangulate the rear hoop to prevent deflections during a rollover wreck and also provide a place to mount the shoulder harnesses, the other will be a brace across the top pair of diagonals from the rear hoop to the rear crossmember to stiffen the frame in torsion.

And yes I’m obsessive about frame rigidity especially in torsion. Torsional rigidity is essential in tuning for handling balance with springs and anti-roll bars, with a frame that is not torsionally rigid the only way to tune front-to-rear balance is by adjusting the roll center heights. While this works for fine adjustments it takes way too much movement of the roll centers to have that as the only way to adjust balance. That’s why the design for the Sprint-T has an adjustable mount for the Watt’s link, so that the rear roll center can be precisely tuned to balance the handling front to rear. The TGS2 has adjustable anti-roll bars to the same end for quickly adjusting the balance of the car for street or autocross or Solo racing, street driving requires a touch of understeer, but not too much while autocross requires a fair amount of oversteer, with Solo in the middle but biased more to the oversteer side because it’s basically the same as autocross, but faster. Goodguys course rules require top speeds “around” 30 MPH, where Solo rules allow speeds up to about 70 MPH. The descriptive term is “highway speed” for Solo, which was 55 MPH when the rule was first written and now could mean as fast as 80 MPH. Either way, Solo racing can get much faster than a Goodguys’ autocross or it can be about the same, so requires more tuning flexibility. But toss street driving into the mix, and you really need a simple and quick way to adjust the balance of the car from front to rear and back again.

And I mention the TGS2 because I haven’t given up on the mid-engine bucket if someone gives me a FWD car to use as a donor vehicle for an engine and transmission. I’m open to free 😈 I mean seriously open to free, as long as it is done legally, like asking to haul off a car from your land, or something like that. And seriously if you have a vehicle you need hauled off leave a comment 🙂 I will find a way. And if it’s a FWD minivan with an automatic transmission, well I’ll just suffer the ignominy of driving a slush box. Seriously, as light as the TGS2 is going to be it won’t take much to make it a rocket for SCCA Solo, even if the mid-engine makes it ineligible for Goodguys. And there is a chance I could still run Goodguys with a minivan engine and transmission stuck in the back of the car.

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