Daily Archives: July 20, 2020

Today is mostly Bleah with a chance of Ahhhh

Not having a good day today, I was expecting to do some internet things for the crazy lady who used to live with us, but she had an allergy attack and had to bail. So I had to find something else to do, like listen to music on my phone.

While I was listening I heard an interesting thought. When creating art the artist is also an artistic creation. That’s semi-deep philosophy. I have been listening to a bunch of classic rock, electro swing, ’80s and ’90s rock, and OG rap like the Sugar Hill Gang, because that’s what my music app has been playing. I want trance and techno today but I’m not getting any. Maybe if I request some directly in the app I can hear some, but usually when I do that I only get the one genre at a time, not the one mixed in with a bunch of other songs.

Weather has cooled off some, mid 90s instead of low 100s during the day, and low 80s to mid 70s at night when I’m usually active (another good reason to be nocturnal in TX). Unfortunately when it is cool enough to be out and active there is no transportation and nothing is open, because people insist on doing things during the day instead of holing up in the AC and coming out in the cool of the night. Instead of adapting to the environment they do things because it’s day and “people do things during the day” is ingrained in their psyches.

Since I can’t actually do anything useful towards completing the Sprint-T I have been thinking about how to do it cheaper and/or lighter and/or stronger (and yes I know standard wisdom is that is a pick two, but I want it all, dammit! I’m greedy). One thing I’m thinking about is packaging the brake pedal and master cylinders to get all the mess out of the way because there is just Not Enough Space on the firewall for everything because the engine takes up 19.5″ of the 26″ inside width (26.5″ outside to outside minus ¼” wall thickness) at the firewall which leaves Not Much for steering, gas pedal, brake pedal, and master cylinders. Consider that the steering column is 1.75″ out of that Not Much and I have Much Less, so packaging becomes a major issue, when you consider that two of the things that have to leave room for are those things at the ends of my legs, you know, feet? Mine aren’t all that big, but when you have a 19.5″ engine right in the middle of things (well as far to one side as you can get it but still taking most of the space) even a Tiny Dancer’s feet are a tough fit… The really tight fit is for the gas pedal and if I mount the brake pedal on the firewall most of one master cylinder has to go to the left of the edge of the firewall if I want the pedal assembly to clear the steering column. The gas pedal has to go to the right of the steering column, between it and the left side of the engine and transmission. That’s about 3½” more or less for the gas and my foot, and my shoes are wider than that by a tad. Now the body widens out a bit after you get back from the firewall, so it is possible to mount the steering all the way to the left on the firewall and still have room for brakes, but only if the master cylinders are behind the brake pedal, either under the floor or under/behind the seat. And either way that leaves Almost No Room for my right foot.

And I know I have mentioned this before, but this is part of My System for designing things, also called iteration. The process is set parameters, design something to fit, put it on a back burner for a while to let it simmer in my head, then come back and nitpick it to death and change everything that wasn’t perfect or didn’t meet requirements that I didn’t see before. Cool, reheat and repeat until perfect. Or sometimes I have to make changes because what’s available changes, like with the engine. When I started this design the LS wasn’t even available and the best I had was either the small block Chevy or the Ford 5.0/302.

If I was still living in the late 90s early 2000s I would probably use a TPI small block Chevy because the torque curve fits the needs for running Solo or autocross, but I probably would have done the small cam/ports version that was done by 4500 RPM because that was the Common Wisdom of the era, and would have lasted pretty much forever especially since I would have used a tall final drive because I probably used a Turbo 350 transmission or maybe I would have gotten lucky and built a 700R4 to handle the torque. When I build the model Mini Sprint-T I use the same part for the 700R4 and the 4L60-65-70/E because they all use what is visually the same case with different internals. But these days a junkyard LS architecture GM engine either with an iron or aluminum block is the Cheap Way To Go, and the bone stock 5.3 is about the same as a 350 with a mild build (manifold, cam, and headers) and cheaper and lighter. If I get a LS architecture engine from a junkyard I’ll get aluminum heads that are basically as good as mid-range racing heads for the SBC back in 1999. Ports and combustion chambers for LS heads were race head technology when the LS came out, which is part of what made the LS reputation what it is today. A stock set of LS7 heads are near the bleeding edge for what the small block can get even today, simply because Lessons Learned for the SBC were applied to the LS.

And this seems like a good place to stop Wandering Around My Mind.