Category Archives: Department of DIY

More parts came in

Well not parts per se, raw stock to make parts from. The .080″ stock for the front axle came in yesterday. Now all I need to make the front axle assembly are the Wide 5 hubs so I can get the geometry right for the steering and brake calipers. I’m still trying to decide if I want to put the steering arms on the back of the axle and the calipers and coilovers on the front, or vice versa. That’s one of the “things” about building a model first, you can find out what runs into what and move them so they don’t, for a lot less than starting out in full-scale or buying a 3D CAD program and then spending hours learning to use it. Plus when you’re done with the model you have something, something you can hold in your hands and say “I made this thing!” and feel proud of what you did. You can’t do that with a 3D rendering.

There’s not much to see of the raw stock, it looks pretty much exactly the same as the .060″ stock unless you throw the micrometer or digital calipers to it or put the two side by side. Otherwise it’s just two pieces of round rod plastic, one slightly larger in diameter than the other. The thing is that when you put them on the model and you don’t use different size round stock for the pieces it just ends up looking wrong, especially when you use the smaller size where the bigger should be. In my case it would be like using 1.5″ tubing to make the axle when it should be 2″, it would be obvious real quick that I had used the wrong stock.

The coilovers are being made but I’ll have to wind the springs myself over a blank because that’s just what you have to do to have coilovers in this scale without carving your own molds and casting resin replicas of coilover shocks. And besides being outside of my skillset, that would be a pain. Getting back to the springs, I’ll really have to wind 16 springs to match the 1:1 Sprint T in both versions I’m trying to decide on building. I was planning on using a dual spring with a slider to get the spring rate and travel for street use, with a jam nut that hits the slider between the springs to stiffen the suspension for racing or to reduce the impact if I hit something big enough to blow through the full 4″ of compression travel from static ride height. BTW the formula for finding the spring rate when the slider is unencumbered is A*B/A+B so the dual spring will have a lower rate than either of the two springs individually. The softest chrome spring in the catalog is 150 pounds, which is more than the 100 pounds I need at the front but less than the 250 I need at the front for racing. So plugging the 150 and 250 springs into the formula gives me an initial rate of 94 pounds at ride height, close enough for gov’t work. In addition to giving me more rate options using 2 springs is less expensive than buying a single spring long enough to fill the gap between the spring seats on the shock absorber when it’s extended fully at full rebound/droop. Seriously that’s like almost 20″ and those super-long springs are hella expensive. Also there is the esthetic to consider, having one chrome and one bright yellow spring at each corner is like saying “I can be civilized when the situation calls for it…”

And I have to get back to doing thing in the Real World™ so this is the end of this blog post.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

Happy Cinco de Mayo


Today is not Mexican Independence Day like so many think it is, it commemorates a glorious victory over French invaders. Still a good excuse to drink beer with lime wedges.

So, go have a beer, eat some real Mexican food (what we call Mex-Mex here in TX), and raise a toast to the brave soldiers and peasants who ran off French soldiers trying to take their land.

PSA, Opus

While trying to get rid of one problem I created another

Short post today, because I’m in pain and also having an allergy attack.

I discovered I have a torn trap muscle from trying to get rid of “Arthur Dent” from my neck. I overdid the stretching exercises I was supposed to do after getting a massage, that were supposed to “pop” the dent out. I’m starting to think my pain threshold is too high, this is the second time I have gotten a debilitating joint or muscle injury from stretching after exercise or therapy. The first one was doing a hip stretch after gong chi, and now this one with my neck. That hip injury was right before my Dad wrecked his Caddy in 2012.

Anywho this tear is about the least dangerous but most painful injury I could have gotten, and will heal on its own if I can give it some rest. “Rest” in this case means getting off the computer and phone and doing lots of walking around. I don’t know if I can do that. Getting off my computer and phone, I mean. Walking is no problem, I did lots of walking around today. The tear is between the muscle fibers instead of across and basically just freaking hurts when there is any tension on the muscle, like when I’m using the computer or phone and incline me head to use the keyboard. If I tilt my head back it just itches along the tear site.

Also sneezing makes the muscle give me a sharp pain on the tear site because of the back and forth whipping motion of my head when I sneeze. Which given the number of trees trying to engage in sex in my sinuses means I’m going to be doped unconscious or in frequent pain. Yay! drugs.😛

Signing off now because I need to have a lie down from all the allergy pills I took.

PSA, Opus

Doing more work on the Sprint-T

I’m still thinking about that car. I ran the numbers again for the PG transmission and it turns out I would only have to buy one extra set of QC gears for the SCCA Solo Racing. For the Goodguys Autocross series I could just swap the gearset over, that is reinstall the gears for underdrive instead of overdrive. Turns out there are no gears I could use that would get the final drive low enough (high numerically) to get to redline at 35 MPH in low gear with a PG transmission, and swapping places so the overdrive for highway cruising is an underdrive for racing gets me a 37 MPH redline in first gear, and with the gears in highway configuration 1800 (+/-) RPM in high. Thirty seven MPH is close enough in my book. If you want numbers the spur gears (set 30A, 26/15 teeth) and a 4.11 ring and pinion would get a 2.37 final drive in highway mode, and a 7.12 final drive in Goodguys mode.

So I would be swapping convenience at the track with better in-town performance for an extra 50 pounds weight. Installed costs would be similar, so that’s a wash. Basically with the 700r4 or the electronic equivalent 4l70e I could drive up and swap tires and adjust the suspension and be ready to go racing. That’s because of the 3.06 first gear and the 0.70 4th which gives me the RPM I want on the highway with the gearing I need to race in low gear. Running the PG I have to open up the QC and change the gears, in addition to all the other things.

The good thing about this is I have the ability to make models of both configurations. I have the SBC backed by a 700r4, and I have the LS7 and know where to get the 1/25th scale PG transmission for $2 plus shipping. I think while I’m at it I will order the Wide 5 wheels from the same vendor to spread the shipping costs over a larger order.

Speaking of Wide 5 wheels I have been thinking about how to better make those in scale, to any width desired. What I was thinking about was using a photoetched center like the Dirt Modeler 1/24th scale wheel that fits into a machined recess on an aluminum wheel half which gets superglued to the center and an outer half so that the center looks like it was welded to the wheel (or bolted depending on the particular center). The outside diameter of the wheel half inside the flanges is 0.6″ while the ID is 0.505 leaving .04 for holding the center and 0.0075 for a flange to center the wheel center while also giving something for the superglue to glue together. The wheel halves could be made whatever width desired to give correct backspacing and width for the model being built. Meaning there would be a way to build an accurate pavement sprint car or Supermodified complete with the 18″ wide wheel covered in 20″ wide tires. (Tires made separately.) Of course the drawback to this is a separate Wide 5 hub has to be built to mount the wheel on.

OK time to stop typing.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

New direction for the blog, we are now a car blog!

Yes I know that means I’m going to have to get a driver’s license again if I want to do road tests, but I would need one for the Sprint-T anyway. And I wouldn’t have the stay up til 0500 typing, I could get to bed at a reasonable hour!

Up first, doesn’t everyone need a 700 HP Jeep? Hellcat Jeep Trackhawk One And Done, 2015 Roush F-150, Bye Xterra, Tesla Competition, Top 5 Fast Fails And 745HP Force 1, Hellcat Jeep, Stolen Challenger, Acura Precision Concept, Wrangler Truck, Top 5 Fast Fails

Do you want to retain that 2 by 4bbl look but hate tuning two carbs and trying to match fuel delivery curves via swapping out holes in the fuel system? FiTech Reinvents EFI! How They Do It Better & Cheaper Seriously, this is a game-changer, the benefits of EFI with closed loop mixture control at a total system cost comparable to a carburetor. Since this computer controls spark as well as fuel I would use it on the Sprint-T for maximum fuel economy between race meets and running around getting groceries and going to church.

Stretching the limits on what is “street legal” a team is working on a funny car with treaded tires. Jeff Lutz and Tom Bailey Team Up For Street-Legal Record Probably an April Fools joke, but Scientology started with a bar bet between Heinlein and Hubbard, so maybe not? The illustration with the article shows a standard 500 in3 blown Hemi on a Nostalgia Funny Car chassis. The April Fools theory is supported by this article on current projects from both builders. Jeff Lutz vs. Tom Bailey: Whose New Project is Cooler? I like the Talledega project is “cooler” as I have been a corner burner since before I got my license. I like the engineering challenge of straight line acceleration, but cars that can brake and turn after accelerating are more my cup of java.

And I’m just starting this car blog thing so I don’t have a whole lotta sources yet.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

Finally got some money, and the Feed

The check came in this morning, so I’ll be out running around paying bills and making deposits and stuff tomorrow instead of going with Mrs. the Poet to shop for groceries. There won’t be a big difference for the blog, just for my selection of salty snacks. I think I might have to give up meditation to get my BP up high enough to make the grade for the new test med, because cutting my current meds in half doesn’t quite do it, and eating salty snacks doesn’t do it either. I’m barely at 110/80 now.

Up first, wait, what?!?

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And closer to home.

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Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: Downtown bike lanes draw new brewery, new bollards on Vineland and a new LA Bike Fest video

Unknown mode of wreck in MN. Bicycle rider killed by car in Sartell and Bicyclist Struck, Killed In Sartell As of this posting all I know is there was a cyclist hit by an unknown vehicle and possibly left for dead making this a possible probable hit-and-run.

Victim blaming in the Great White North. Cyclists share responsibility for accidents More blaming the victim for not wearing the GITDCS that drivers seem to think every cyclist should wear 24/7 when riding. Instead of you know, actually looking more than 20 feet in front of the vehicle.

Right hook in far West Canuckistan. Cyclist dies in collision with truck in Victoria’s Chinatown and Cyclist, 73, struck and killed in downtown Victoria I zoomed in on the picture of the crime scene and the only truck visible was a COE with good forward and side vision. So, aside from using the standard protocols posted in the links at the top of the page what could be done to prevent this wreck? They were already using the delivery vehicle with the best outward vision, the cyclist was wearing clothing that made her visible, what else could be done? EDIT: As I was getting ready to move from the first link to the next link the page updated with a much better picture of the crime scene showing the actual delivery vehicle having a conventional cab that is blind to a large area in front and to the right where the cyclist was hit. So going back to the question, replacing the delivery vehicle with a COE flat van and a glass door to the right would be a massive help.

Speaking of the devil, here’s an article from Jolly Olde on just that kind of vehicle, this one in a trash hauler. Pioneering lorries with panoramic view hit the streets in bid to save cyclists’ lives

Also from the UK is this factoid from the trial of a killer driver. Janina Gehlau: Lorry driver ‘should have seen cyclist for up to five seconds’ before fatal collision The cyclist was using the infrastructure as designed, the driver of the weapon vehicle should have been looking in the direction he was planning on driving before actually proceeding through that space, I believe the colloquial phrasing is “Looked where he was going”.

This is an aspect of UK jurisprudence that I would dearly love to see here in the US. Cyclist injured in fall from bike due to road ‘hazard’ awarded damages after suing council for ‘negligence’ Injured or incur property damage because of crappy infrastructure? Sue the government body responsible for it not being crappy.

Now this just sucks. Man pushes cyclist off BMX and rides off on it I try not to wish harm to another human being, really I do, but this guy needs to get hit by an HGV turning left at a stop light since this is over in Jolly Olde where they drive on the wrong side of the road.

Another rider in Oz hits a parked car? Qld rider killed after hitting parked car Seriously this is two this week.

More on the 73 YO driver that killed a cyclist in Oz. Hit-and-run driver charged over WA cyclist

Back in the US, SF infrastructure! TWIN PEAKS FOR EVERYONE OK let me get this out or I’m going to explode: That’s one fine cuppa coffee.

And how do you get bike parking? How Portland’s oldest Buddhist temple got better bike parking Sometimes you have to DIY.

And here it is not even midnight and I’m outta links, Gigi is going to be so happy.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

I broke a tooth last night, and the Feed

I had a piece come off one of my few remaining teeth last night as I was putting the post to bed. It’s a very strange situation, half of the front of one of my incisors just fell off the tooth while I was eating a crunch candy bar. Notice the “crunch” is not capitalized because Mrs. the Poet bought generic candy at the Dollar Store rather than the name brand stuff. I don’t think the fact that the candy was not brand had anything to do with 1/4 of the tooth coming off. At the moment it isn’t uncomfortable except for the sharp edge that was left exposed to my lip and I have managed to only cut myself on that the once. But I have to remember that I have a broken tooth and bite and chew accordingly.

Early Christmas gift notice. Dumbing of Age: The Fifth Book Collection I love the title of the book. Seriously, love. And I want a physical paper book, not just the PDF. I’m old fashioned that way. I have a bunch of books on PDF but I also have many tons of paper books.

Up first is Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: A very sad weekend in bike racing, and bikesplaining from a windshield perspective That “windshield perspective” link is a riot.

Local but not actually bike related. Driver to face charges in West Dallas crash that killed 3 children How fast was he going to kill three people inside a light armored vehicle, and critcally injure another, while also inflicting injuries on the driver?

Another driver runs a stop sign hitting a cyclist on a through street and LEO can’t decide if the driver should be charged? Broomfield cyclist injured after car collision The one earlier was in CA this one is in CO. And to answer the question, the driver ran a stop sign and caused injury to a cyclist with the right of way, you better at least give a ticket, if not an assault charge.

Hit-and-run wreck in IL. UPDATE: Altamont Man Riding Bicycle Struck and Killed on Route 40 Monday Morning, Search for Driver That Left the Scene Continues Hit-from-behind wreck or maybe just a buzz job that killed because of aerodynamic effects causing the rider to get caught in the rear wheels.

Nice little infrastructure fight in NJ. Bike-Share Fight Brews in New Jersey You can ride your out-of-town bike-share bike but you can’t park it because, it ain’t our bike-share bike. Sure that will pass muster with the constitutional folks?

And since we are discussing NJ infrastructure why not NYC? The Official (Mostly Accurate) 2016 NYC Bike Map Is Here Looks nice, but most bike infrastructure looks nice when it’a lines on paper.

And since we are in NY here is the NYP take on the stupid rich guy riding a bike from L.A. to Vegas in less than 48 hours for a $1.2 million bet. Instagram playboy reveals why he’s risking his life for $600K OK 10 years ago this would not be that big a deal for me to do since I was riding 120 miles round trip to have lunch with a friend, but since having “Chris Christie” move in and be evicted from my neck I probably couldn’t do this in the time limit today.

How to fund cycling infrastructure while reducing carbon pollution. Comment of the Week: Raise the gas tax one penny per fatality If this had been in effect for last year using the 2013 fatalities there would be a $52.80/gal tax on gas last year, because it usually takes until August or September to get all the vulnerable users totalled up and then the tax would go into effect the next year after that. The tax would be $56.04 nationally this year. OR would have a $0.64/gallon tax based on the 2014 statistics while we in TX would be ponying an extra $5.26/gallon. Yes I think this would be an excellent way of reducing vulnerable user fatalities, both because drivers will be incentivized to not hit vulnerable users and as a way to build infrastructure that protects vulnerable users from motor vehicles.

Another infrastructure article from America’s Copenhagen. Guest article: Want safer streets? Ask for them I guess asking nicely would work, if there was an “Or else” with teeth attached to it.

More from the DIY DoT in Portland. What are all these unauthorized orange traffic cones telling us? They are telling us that the bike lanes are incomplete without something sticking up to keep drivers out of them.

And tragedy in Portland. Gresham police say 10-year-old boy’s death on Burnside is “horrible accident” This is one of those wrecks that human nature and bad infrastructure combine to create a situation with no winners.

Do you know the words before you click the link? The three words that mean so much when they come from a cyclist.Also known as calling your pass.

Wreck in West Canuckistan. Cyclist, 73, killed in collision with delivery truck in Victoria Truck wreck with a cyclist at an intersection, probably a right hook but since LEO aren’t telling anything we don’t know.

Infrastructure article from Jolly Olde. Chris Boardman dismisses Janet Street-Porter’s anti-cycle infrastructure article as shouting and stamping devoid of logic

Still in the UK, this guy did something extraordinary. Tamworth man completes gruelling 1,000 mile cycling challenge John o’Groats to Land’s End is comparable to riding from Texarcana to El Paso by way of Brownsville or Amarillo.

Another extraordinary achievement in Jolly Olde. Shanaze Reade sets Guinness World Record – for cycling Wall of Death Of course a track cyclist would be good for this. It’s like the world’s smallest and steepest banked velodrome.

Another link to that attempted murder in Oz. Police seize car in connection with hit and run that left cyclist in critical condition Get ‘im! grr!

Another wreck in Oz. UPDATE: Cyclist, 78, killed in freak accident If witness accounts are to be believed he may have had some kind of medical condition just prior to hitting the parked vehicle while riding uphill. Or in other words he wasn’t going fast enough to get injured from the impact, much less killed, so something must have happened before the wreck.

More wreck news from Oz. Police question man after cyclist killed in hit-and-run near Perth [facepalm] Seventy-three years old and “didn’t know” he hit anything.[/facepalm] And there was a second cyclist hit who didn’t even merit a separate article… More Three dead in Easter Monday crashes as weekend toll rises to four

Still in Oz. Loved ones remember man with passion for cycling and humour

Responding to the many injuries and the death in the pro peloton. The Elephant Not in the Room

The good news is getting on your bike will cause you to lose a few pounds. Middle-aged cycle commuters typically 4-5kg lighter than those who drive to work The bad news is unless you restrict calorie intake and really push your commutes long you probably won’t lose much past that initial loss. Of course you really don’t “need” to because your fat to lean ratio will be so improved.

Review of an e-assist bike. Testing the Bosch Edgerunner This is a mid-drive bike as opposed to the cheaper but less able hub motor bikes.

And while we are on e-assist, here is a cell comparison for the ones who make their own packs. Ebenezer Scrooge’s 18650 Ebike Battery Shopping Guide For 2016 If you make your own packs you can get bleeding edge performance for a season, maybe a year. That’s how much the technology is moving, still. It’s not the same as when I was doing experiments with SLA just as NiMH cells became cheaply available and you could get twice the capacity at half the weight, but there are still major advances out there in capacity and especially current delivery.

And it’s after 0400, I’m going to bed. Sorry Gigi for posting late again.

Billed @$0.02, Opus