I’ll start with my reaction to my first dose of Moderna vaccine. I still have the stiff fingers that won’t fold into a fist, and the injection site is starting to itch. From what I read on the internets both reactions are not uncommon, but not generally shared. As near as I can tell the itching is a strong indicator that I’m getting at least partial immunity from the first shot.
We’re having corned beef and cabbage for dinner because March 17th. There are multiple holidays celebrated today including the feast of St. Gertrude, patron of cats and the people who love them, and also Irish. So if celebrating the guy who oversaw the murders of Celtic priests because Jebus gets under your skin, celebrate the Lady of the Cats. And for you fellow cyclists, save July 15 on your calendars for Madonna del Ghisallo’s feast. Can’t forget her, she’s the one looking out for us.
One of the things I’m thinking about is putting the driveshaft loop on the torque arm for the Sprint-T. It runs right beside the driveshaft and I need the loop to run this car in SCCA events, and the raw stock size is the same for both, well the required diameters and thicknesses for the loop is the same as I’m going to use for the torque arm, so po-TAY-toe, po-TAH-toe. I have to have it to run, and I have to have the torque arm to keep the engine torque from winding the axle around the swing arms so let’s make them both the same thing. And because the transmission is so close to the rear axle the reaction from the torque arm is going to be pretty radical, just because of the physics of the situation. So to keep the car under control during braking it will be necessary to uncouple braking forces from drive forces to prevent wheel hop under braking. This is another reason why I need to have floating hubs, because these brake floaters will not work with standard drive axles, they just won’t fit over the end of the housing. And because of the physics of torque arms I can’t run the car in competition without using the floaters. There just isn’t enough room in the back of the car to make the torque arm long enough to not need to use brake floaters. The braking reaction torque will lift the tires off the ground.
In other car-building news I need to figure out the orientation for the header flange. The bolt holes are not symmetrical so I have to find out which way is up, literally. Now if I had even a set of heads handy to work with it would be no problem to figure out which way the header flange went, just slap one on the head and see which way matched the head, but I don’t even have the heads to work with. Yet. But I need to figure it out because if I get it wrong the headers won’t fit the car. They’ll fit the engine, but they’ll be upside down and backwards on the car. So, gotta find some reference that shows which side is up. It might be in the box with the kit, but I haven’t opened it yet so I don’t lose any parts while building the kit. And the reason I bought the kit is I couldn’t find a set already built up in the style that fits the car, just this kit. As you can see, the flange is not symmetrical, and the pipes are bent for the sprint car pattern that so many T-buckets use for best powerband. I picked those headers because I don’t want to spend the money for turbocharging, so I need some way of getting the used gas outside the car instead of the factory manifolds. The engine is going to be set so far back that the stock manifolds are going the be exiting through the body so I can’t just use what comes on the engine from the junkyard.
And as you can see from every paragraph beyond the description of what the vaccine is doing to my body, I have been thinking way too much and too hard about this damned car. Don’t get me wrong, this is exactly what I wanted to do, but there are limits I have been pushing as hard as I could because, story and everything. I have been obsessing about this car in various permutations since 1968. There was even one that had the bucket body and seats sitting on top of a monocoque tub with the radiators in sidepods on either side of the body. I think that was the version with independent suspension on both ends of the car, shortly before the turn of the century. That version was about as light and as stiff in torsion as the current version, but would have been much more difficult to build. At least there was room for a clutch pedal in that version as the footbox was actually in the monocoque below the body, and not constrained by the limits of the body. But in every other way the 1997-98 version was inferior to the 2018-21 version. In the earlier version I didn’t have access to a cheap all-aluminum block and heads like the LS architecture engines of today, and the available power was curtailed by a lack of easily available EFI and especially controllers. Also the state of the art was the Small Block Chevy with aftermarket aluminum heads that didn’t flow as good as what can be found in the junkyard on top of the engine in a pickup truck. Between that and the lack of EFI, about 400 HP on pump gas was the limits. The best you could hope for with iron heads was about 375 after a cam upgrade. But with a cam and tuning I can get that easily with a junkyard 5.3 with a truck manifold and way better off the corner response. I wanna throw up another Holdener video, but I think we have enough links in the post today and it’s not like you guys don’t know how to find videos on Youtube.