Monthly Archives: March 2019

Well, let’s do a reset

I just got finished watching a good race, Denny Hamlin won, Kyle Busch won 2 of the three races this weekend but not today, and I have to go do things tomorrow. I need to pay for my phone, I need to shop for a new mattress for the bed in the big bedroom, and I need to get a massage.

Also I need to figure out where the links for the front axle are going to fit on the frame so I can make the links to length in scale for the Mini Sprint-T. It’s basic trig and geometry, the axle is x distance from the front hoop, the lower rail is y inside to inside and y+3 outside to outside and the links have to be l distance apart to clear the tires at full lock. This has been determined previously to be 31″ outside to outside, and the links are 1″ diameter so the links have to be 30″ center to center. The only dimension that is unknown at this point is the altitude of the triangle formed by the front hoop and the lower frame rails, because I still haven’t set how far in front of the axle the forward crossmember is, because I still haven’t decided if I want big or small body shocks. The big body shocks use 3″ OD springs, the small body use 2″ OD springs and there is 0.5″ difference in how far forward the front crossmember sits which means there is maybe 0.125″ difference in where the lower rails are 30″ apart center to center measured from the front hoop.

And it has occurred to me that some of you don’t know where the transverse structural parts go and what they are called on the Sprint-T and because it is the same but in scale, the Mini Sprint-T. From the front, there is the front crossmember that holds the front coilovers over the axle and the radiator gets mounted to the front of it and the mount for the track bar that locates the axle from side to side, then the front hoop that is 1.5″ X 0.120″ for most of the structure and 0.060″ for the rest of it because it’s part of the roll cage that has to be 0.120″ wall thickness except for the part that isn’t roll cage but frame, then the rear hoop that is the same as the front hoop, then the rear crossmember that basically doesn’t do anything except hold the rear of the frame apart and protect the fuel tanks in a rear end crash, and provide additional torsional rigidity by increasing d4. The point of interest in today’s post is the front crossmember because the lower rails meet at the center and the upper rails are right over the coilover mounts and also pick up half of the mount to put the upper mount in double shear. The triangle formed by the lower rails determines how far the rear mount of the links that mount the front axle are from the front hoop because the mount has to be 30″ center to center. The links have to be parallel to work best with no bump steer from moving the ends of the axle when the car rolls in a turn. So the center of the rear mounts on the frame have to be the same distance apart as the mounts on the axle to keep the links parallel.

Anyway finding the location for the rear mount is a simple ratio. The problem is I don’t know the terms for the ratio beyond the first term. That term is 30/46.5 or 0.645161290323. That’s the ratio of the center separation of the links to the center separation of the frame rails at the front hoop, the term I’m missing is the distance from the front crossmember to the front hoop to multiply that by. I know about how far that is but not exactly how far that is. But if I think about it some more I can make it so there won’t be a difference because I’ll use the distance for the larger spring and just enjoy the extra clearance if I decide to use the smaller spring instead, so doing some quick calculations, the rear axle is 5″ behind the rear of the body, the body is 52″ long and the rear axle is 100″ behind the front axle and the front hoop is right in front of the firewall and where the frame rails meet the front hoop is 58.5″ in front of the rear axle or 41.5″ behind the front axle and the front crossmember is 1.5″ in front of the front axle, so the distance from the front hoop to the front crossmember is 43″ so the rear mounts for the links are 43-(0.645161290323*43) or 15.258064516111 from the front of the front hoop. Rounding makes that 15.26″ from the front hoop and links that are 23.25″ center to center after using the distance from the center of the rear axle to the center of the holes for the Heim joints on the 4-link brackets and the size of the vertical member supporting the rear mount which will probably be 1.5″ X 0.060″ to make it stiff enough in bending with the load triangulated at both ends, which I just decided. The diagonals will run from the top of the front hoop and the bottom of the front hoop so there will be no possibility of hitting the frame with the front tire at full steering lock. And as previously stated there is another diagonal that runs from the top of the front hoop to the top center of the front crossmember so there is a parallel frame member to capture the top of the rear mount for the links and make that area fully triangulated.

And this has turned into one of the longest non-wreck report posts I have done. So since I don’t want to overload people doing an archive dive, this seems like a good place to take a break and put this post to bed.

More parts arrived

The parts I bought this January finally arrived today. The backgrounds are the business cards for the company I bought the parts from, to give you an idea of scale for these parts, and I’m using “scale” in two forms for this. The parts are for the Mini Sprint-T in 1/25 scale.

Rod ends in 1/25 scale, the color is because there was a brass lamp bouncing light from the camera flash

The seat in scale. This is actually much nicer than the actual seat in the car that I showed a few weeks ago, but if I had the $ this is exactly the seat I would install

Again, the backgrounds in the picture, the dark part, is the business card of the company that I bought these from. They literally get lost on a standard size business card. And there was a note inside the delivery envelope saying the guy that runs the whole show for this company just got out of the hospital after 2 months. And those thin pins coming off the top row of rod ends fit snugly in the stainless steel tubes I bought to make the links for the 4-link, and the plan is to add a tiny drop of solder to the end of the tube to hold the rod end and jam nut in place. The jam nuts are those hex-shaped things above the rod ends.

And I need to get to bed, so the blog post needs to, too.

Bad news, and worse news

I finally made it to the doctor for my free Lasik preop examination Tuesday, and as the headline says it wasn’t all good news. In fact there was hardly any good news, so I’ll hit that first: I don’t have glaucoma or even seriously elevated intra-ocular pressure that precedes glaucoma.

Now the bad news. My cornea is too thin for Lasik to work with the amount of correction I need to focus on the retina. My cornea is 510 µm thick, and my eyes are so bad that I need 620 µm to have any kind of safety margin after reshaping. So absent additional surgery I would still need to wear glasses after Lasik, but they would be much lighter.

And to make things worse/better, I have cataracts and they are progressive. At this time they only affect my night vision and do not affect my vision with normal amounts of light, but they will get worse and eventually require a lens replacement. That’s the worse, the better is when they do the lens replacement my distance vision will get corrected and I’ll just need glasses for close work, the exact opposite of now where I take my glasses off for close work, and they can fix the astigmatism with a light pass with the Lasik that still leaves a safety margin.

And in the meantime I will buy some new glasses for the first time in almost a decade.

I forgot the pictures and other stuff

I forgot the picture of the stuff I got for the Sprint-T, and I forgot to tell you what I weighed after fasting at the Lab Rat Keeper. And other things as well.

First things first, this is a picture of the stuff I got combined with stuff I already had so you can see how it goes together.The special Heim joints bolted to the axle brackets

These Heim Joints have 3/8” holes and 5/8” shanks to fit the brackets and the links available. The brackets obviously have the holes and can’t be drilled larger without weakening them to the point that a minor wreck would tear the holes, requiring major repairs to the axle. So what I have planned is making the weak link where the links meet the frame. The plan is to use cheap, fragile aluminum body Heim joints that break at impact loads but still strong and rigid enough to not flex in regular use. And the next weak link is the links themselves, internally threaded aluminum tubes, that bend under impact loads but like the frame mount Heim joints don’t flex during normal operation. The intent is to absorb impacts by bending or breaking cheap parts that are easy to replace without damaging expensive parts that are difficult to replace, or have a long lead time to replace like the 4 week lead time for the front axle.

Now, my weight at Wednesday’s visit to the Lab Rat Keeper showed just how much I have for breakfast, particularly how much coffee. I weighed 211 pounds (95.7 kg) the previous visit, but only 208 (94.3 kg) this visit. My normal breakfast before a visit is a package of PopTarts and a “my cup” (750 ml) of coffee, and I usually have a light meal right before bed at about 0300. I have measured the capacity of this “cup” several times and the only way it reaches the manufacturer’s 1 quart rating is to leave the lid off and fill it to the brim, but measuring to the inside top of the lid gets 750 ml. But anyway no 0300 meal and no breakfast has me at 208 pounds.

Also there were races today, but if you were interested in that you would either have watched them yourself, or accessed a sports site to find out who won. I will say that the semi-local IndyCar race Will Power broke while leading. 🙁

I’m Not Dead, just really busy

I have been away from the house almost every day this week doing something or another, or recovering from being away from the house. I have things to write about but either no time or energy to write about them. Well I’m still low on the energy but I have the time so here goes.

Monday I deposited a check and made a trip to the hardware to get supplies to do a kludge to fix the bathroom, then used the supplies to do the kludge. We have an ancient (1984 or so vintage) bathroom faucet that can’t be fixed because parts to fix aren’t available, and has been installed so long that new feed lines have to be made to install a new faucet. I can change out the faucet if the feed line fittings are still intact, but these fittings are so old I don’t think they will survive removing the old faucet, so a kludge to prevent the leak from flooding the vanity was to corral the leak so it goes down the drain when the faucet is used instead of all over the vanity.

Tuesday was getting transportation to go hang with my friend in TN before he moves his family to DC to rejoin his wife who works for the Corps of Engineers as a civilian employee. She used to work in Nashville, but got a big promotion and raise to work in DC on more national projects than her position in Nashville. Late June everybody is moving to DC to live, so their kid doesn’t have to change schools in the middle of a school year. So before that move we are going to have one last visit to TN, and I spent most of the day pricing options and setting up transportation. So too busy to write.

Wednesday I went to the Lab Rat Keeper to participate in more Basic Research (yay!). Someone has discovered a New Protein Marker that in animal testing showed up when hypertension was caused by a physical process but not when it was a stress reaction or other externally-instigated reaction. This test was to determine if that marker was present in humans, and could result in people getting a lot less medication for high blood pressure that they don’t really need because they have White Coat reaction that temporarily raises their blood pressure or other external things. This means less chance of getting hypotension and the problems that go with it, like fainting and excessive urination…

Yesterday was a fiasco as I missed the bus for the appointment to see if I can get free Lasik and had to reschedule for next week. And one thing cascaded into another so to salvage something out of the day I used a coupon from Whataburger to get Mrs. the Poet a free Mushroom Swiss burger for dinner. I got the Bacon Cheeseburger meal, and then because it was quicker than waiting for the bus I walked home from the Whataburger, over a mile. When I was younger, like 3 years ago younger, a mile one way wasn’t a problem, but things have not gone well on the joint pain front and walking a mile is significantly more difficult now, as in the recovery period is almost as long as the walk. And again, when everything was done I did not feel like writing, at all.

Which brings me to today, where I have time, and sorta kinda have energy to write. And there you have another slice of my life. Thrilling, wasn’t it?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Or happy get drunk and pretend to be Irish day, here’s some green food coloring to put in your lager.

I picked up a six of Fat Tire to celebrate since I got my Guinness last week, we have corned beef and cabbage, and we also got a lot of random food items because they were on sale. Now that we actually have a bit of income we buy ahead when possible for non-perishable items. Speaking of Guinness, a good pairing is chocolate ice cream and Guinness, they go really well together.

And the cat is demanding attention, so I have to move the keyboard out of the way.

And while I was moving the keyboard out of the way there was a NASCAR race in California, where Rowdy Busch won his 200th NASCAR Touring Series race, and another in Florida by tape delay, but NHRA instead of NASCAR so quarter-mile sprints at a time instead of 400 miles in one bite, and multiple classes so I can’t tell you who won because it was a bunch of people and I still have a terrible memory for names. I can remember Robert Hight won Funny Car, but that’s the only name that stuck other than Conrad Kallita as the car owner for the Top Fuel car because Connie Kallita was driver of the Bounty Hunter car back in the late ’60s and I used to see the car in the magazines of the day so the name stuck for more than 50 years…

This is going to be a busy week as far as getting out of the house. I have another check to deposit Monday and bus tickets to buy, then I have the many-times rescheduled fasting blood draw Wednesday, then Thursday I have an appointment to see if I can qualify for free Lasik, if I can even get the procedure. I won a drawing I entered at North Texas Irish Festival, so if I can get the procedure done, I may have to only wear glasses when I need to do close work like reading or using a computer. That’s only if I can actually benefit from the procedure, because I use a really strong prescription and there may not be enough cornea to sculpt to correct my vision. But anyway, lots of trips away from Casa de El Poeta this week.

I got some parts for the Sprint-T in yesterday but I’m holding off on taking the pictures until I get the nuts and bolts together to show how they fit in the rest of the car, a little bit. These are the Heim joints that connect the front ends of the 4-links to the axle brackets, and allow the axle to articulate as the car leans in turns. When I get the bolts I’ll bolt the brackets to the rod ends and take the pictures.

I have to do some things early tomorrow, so this is time to put either this post or me to bed, and if you’re reading this then I decided to put the post to bed first.

Thinking some more

I saw a video on YouTube about choosing the best LS family engine for your car, and boiled down it was “The best engine is the one you can afford with all the bits still attached”. So I have been prowling the FB Marketplace ads for truck and SUV engines from the right eras and there are a bunch that are more-or-less in my price range, but the big problem is I need a truck to get one home. That means unless I can convince a truck-owning friend or family member to help me pick it up, I’m not getting that engine. Impasse. I can afford to buy it but I can’t afford to get it, which negates my ability to buy it. And if I can’t bring it home it doesn’t matter if I can afford to buy it.

And once again I’m facing frustration because I don’t have the resources needed to complete a project. This has become a familiar situation, but unlike previous times instead of dropping it and moving to something else, I’m persisting and moving as the opportunities present themselves. There will be other engines, I will have access to vehicles that can transport one and I will have the funds when the opportunity presents itself to avail myself of the situation. In simpler terms, eventually things will fall my way. I just have to keep working to make sure that when things fall my way I’m in the right place to catch them. Prepare for the worst, expect the best, and just be ready no matter what happens.

One way to be ready is information, know what you can use so you can use it when you have access to it, which is why I have been snapping up LS family swap and performance books every time Amazon puts them up for loss-leaders at the Kindle store. Information is one of those things you don’t know you need until you need it, and it’s better to have and not need than need and not have. And on that note I’m putting this one to bed.

We don’t have any, but happy Pi day to everyone else!

Last week we were more than a little short buying groceries, so we left out the supplies for Pi(e) day, but I highly encourage everyone else to get theirs. [Billy]I like pie![/Billy] Really, Pi(e) day kinda snuck up on us this year. My favorite is cherry, but really there aren’t many things that can be legitimately called pie that I won’t eat, and like. The one exception to that is peach, because during a very bad period of my life that was the only kind of fruit I got, and it kinda leaves a bad taste in my mouth because of that. I associate everything peaches with that bad time, and just generally avoid them.

The weather is temporarily wonderful, mid-70s F but a bit breezy. The trees haven’t started shedding pollen yet, so I can still breathe sorta. The dust is a little bad and sometimes stops things up for a few minutes. It’s nice to see the sun again after about a week of cloudy to mostly cloudy skies. If I had a car waiting to get an engine pulled this would be the perfect weather to do it.

I have also been doing some more walking practice, disguised as “pacing” which is something I do when I’m thinking, pacing, I pace back and forth when I’m trying to pull an idea together. I’m trying to overcome the effects of spending too much time behind the computer by remodeling my stride to reduce the natural limp caused by the short leg. The limp causes me to burn up too much energy when I walk, leading to losing my balance and falling down. That is generally considered as “bad”. Or “not good”, if it isn’t actually considered “bad”.

Excuse me, speaking of “bad”, but there is a bad cat on my lap demanding attention from me. Back in a few.

Now to resume, I pace when I think and I’m not thinking at a keyboard. This is something that started back when my age was in single digits, so I don’t think I can break the habit any time soon, and even when I’m behind a keyboard I sometimes have to get up and pace to get my thoughts together on a subject. About the only thing that can keep me from pacing is a case of COL (Cat On Lap). Then the cat gets rubbed on while I think, something they can’t stand for less than 20 minutes.😸 But thinking, I do lots of thinking while I walk, putting things to the back of my mind and letting them run as background processes (yes, I’m a programmer from long ago, I learned how back when Fortran and Basic were still bleeding edge). Eventually an answer spits itself out, but I might be in another county by the time it happens. And the walking practice (remember walking practice?) helps make sure I don’t fall down while I’m pacing. I think of this as rehab, that I’m doing because I lost a lot of muscle mass behind the computer after the hip began keeping me off the bike. Well I have to build up endurance again so I can get around like I used to.

My soundtrack while I’m writing this is from my YTM app and it’s algorithm has decided I want a mix of electroswing, real ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s swing (mostly Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman) and classic rock, with some New Country. And nearly every song is something I either clicked “like” on or from an artist I had clicked “like” on, or “similar” to something I had liked. I like the old stuff from when I was a kid and before because I respect my music history.

Now go eat some pie.

This is starting to look like Sisyphus’s task

Well, today’s appointment was rescheduled again, this time because a massive thunderstorm with 60+MPH straightline wind gusts and street flooding took out the power at the Lab Rat Keeper’s office, leaving them with no phones, no lights, no lab equipment, no AC/heat… The appointment has been rescheduled for next week. This makes over 30 days since the original appointment back in February, about 6 weeks if the rescheduled appointment works out. Not quite as arduous as Sisyphus’ eternally rolling a stone up a hill, but just as frustrating.

Nothing else to report on as after they called I went back to bed, then read some comics after I got up the second time. Also, still thinking about building the Sprint-T, but can’t even do anything about thinking about the Sprint-T because no $ for parts or even thinking about parts. So, if you have a front-engine RWD vehicle with an automatic transmission that runs and shifts that is otherwise on its last legs, I can give it a home. I’ll pull the engine, transmission, and possibly the rear axle, do what it takes to make them work in another vehicle and then send the hulk to a recycler with a flower taped to it to mourn its passing.😔 I’ll split whatever the recycler pays after towing. So, take a dangerous vehicle off the road, give life to the Sprint-T, get a few bucks, and everybody wins!

I finally got my spring haircut, all the fur is gone

I had to deposit a check today so I also made the side-jaunt to the barbershop to get a haircut. It was annoying because the bus went right by the bus shelter I was trying to hide from the wind inside and I had to walk about a mile total from the bank to the barbershop and another 0.8 mile from the barbershop back to the bus station. The good part is I’m not even a little bit sore or tired because I have been practicing walking differently and trying to make my stride more equal. It was very tiring to walk that way at first because of the muscle damage making me use a shorter stride on my left leg, but now that I have been working on lengthening the stride on the left for a while it both quit hurting and wasn’t tiring.

Anyway, I now have a little bit of hair left on top and no beard or moustache.
Look as good when you are dead you will not :)

As you can see, having a lot of hair to cut provided a better result for the flattop this year, and I’m hoping this holds for the rest of the year. And you can also see that the beard prevented me from exfoliating properly because of the huge flakes of dead skin on my face.