Category Archives: Department of DIY

When it’s day but your body says it’s time to sleep

Basically I’m time-shifted about 12 hours now, I fall asleep at noon and wake up about 1830-1900 just in time for dinner for breakfast. Then I do stuff for a while so that I’m spending at least a little quality time with my wife before she goes to bed and I go to work, even when I don’t have any actual “work” pending. Last night I did some work on the cats’ water dish/fountain so that the water in the pool area was also filtered. As configured from the factory the water is picked up from the back pool and forced through the filter to the top of the tower where it trickles back down the front of the tower and immediately goes into the back pool. This leaves all the dirty water untouched in the front pool which is where the cats have to drink from, only they won’t because it’s a little nasty and never gets cleaned.

So, what I’m doing is redirecting the water from the filter out into the front pool in order to set up a current that takes the water in the front pool into the filter so it all gets cleaned. Or at least mostly cleaned. I doubt I can configure the fountain to clean all the water but I’m hopeful that this will get it clean enough that the cats will stop drinking out of the dishwater and toilet, both of which disturb the person who bought the expensive cat fountain because he (not me) spent a hefty sum to buy the fountain only to have the cats turn up their noses at it after a few days of operation. The modification will have the negative side effect of making a splashy noise as the water spills out into the front pool from a height (if you can call less than 6″ a “height”) instead of clinging to the front of the filter tower and going right back into the rear pool and filters.

And since I have to wait several hours for this water-based adhesive to dry before I run water over it, and because today is Seniors Free day (and not Seniors in HS) and I have passed as a senior citizen for almost21 years now, I’m going to go to the fair and have some badunhealthy fried food and see stuff, and then come back and see how the cat fountain works. I’m hoping just getting the water away from the intake for the filter gets enough of the front pool cleaned out and I don’t have to build the extension that dumps the water at the far end of the front pool and sets up a current to get all of the front pool through the filter, but I’m prepared to do the full thing and build the extension that gets the clean water all the way to the front of the fountain.

See you after the Fair!

Advertisements

Yesterday was miserable

But before that, a report on Thursday’s travels.

They didn’t start so good, because right after I bought a PM Pass for the bus, on my phone, my phone locked up completely so that I couldn’t even check time. This usually happens when I get a system conflict between two apps. But I got super lucky and every bus had a defective farebox so the driver didn’t even bother checking my phone or if I had a ticket.

I believe I have mentioned that I have tinnitus due to the wreck, that it’s annoying, and that it interferes with hearing what people are saying, and how Mrs. the Poet is always complaining that I need a hearing aid and I reply she needs to stop mumbling so I can understand what she’s saying. Well I went for a hearing aid test Thursday afternoon to see if in fact I do need to get a hearing aid. Well what the test revealed was that I have done a remarkable job in preserving my hearing in spite of shooting machine guns and heavy weapons in the Army with almost perfect hearing below 4KHz and a drop off that showed exactly how loud my tinnitus is because that’s the lowest frequency of the tones in my tinnitus except when it turns into a roaring blast of pink noise for a few seconds and then goes away for a bit, but anyway I had to let the test tones get louder than the ringing in my ears before I could tell they were test tones. And I have about 20 dB of hearing loss at 4KHz and above because of that. The test also showed that when I’m alert and listening hard I can pick out speech pretty well from background noise, but if I let my concentration lapse I lose the thread completely. Also I have difficulty in picking out unvoiced consonants like the difference between nice and knife, I’m about 50-50 in guesses. I’m a little better in actual conversation because I know nobody is going to be stabbed with a nice, and that people are not knife with others, so I can use context to figure out missing words when I can’t depend on my ears.

Then I went to spend some coupons at the local Burger King for dinner. We got the two Jr. Whoppers and two fries (no drinks) and an order of Chicken Fries and a large fry all for about $7.50 with tax, and had what drinks we already had at home to save carting fountain drinks home on the bus. I managed to stay awake until about 2300 when I had to rest my neck and back and passed out until Mrs. the Poet came to bed when I should have taken my bedtime meds before going back to sleep, but I was stupid so I didn’t and was barely asleep and not getting much rest until 0900 when I decided I needed to take my bedtime meds and slept until 1730. So I’m going to be up all day again today and sleep about 2300 tonight.

But before that I have grocery shopping to do this afternoon and a race to watch tonight. And I have to give my back and neck a chance to rest now, but I’m not taking bedtime meds so I won’t sleep. And in case you are curious, my bedtime meds are 1 or 2 200mg Ibuprofen and 1 or 2 20 mg diphenhydramine to reduce my pain and let my brain shut down and sleep. I adjust depending on how bad I hurt and how much the brain is racing after I decide to shut down for the night.

Another update without real information

First of all the good news, Mrs. the Poet has lumbago and can be treated by a combination of steroid injections and physical therapy. That means she might stop yelling every few steps as her back locks up and her feet go to sleep at the same time as her back goes wonky. Her TBF is about 6 feet now when it was 10-12 feet just a few weeks ago. She also has an issue where here spinal column is smaller than it should be where the actual nerves pass through which also contributes to her pain and feet going to sleep.

The “meh” news I was awake all night last night thinking about alternative rear suspension/engine mounting for the A/MOD car and I’m writing sleep-deprived again. Also was thinking about alternative front suspensions for the same car because why only change one thing? This was because I changed the engine from the cruiserbike V-Twin to a Predator 670 V-Twin and the exhaust and the drive are on the same side meaning the engine has to go on the left of the car to keep the engine from blowing exhaust right in the driver’s face. The cruiserbike engine has exhaust on the front of the front cylinder and the back of the rear cylinder meaning it can be run out the right side of the car and the drive is on the left. All this means is the jackshaft for the 670 has to be longer than for the cruiserbike because it has to go all the way across the engine while the bike engine just has to go far enough to reach the drive chain from the transmission.

I also thought about a mount on the rear suspension like the old Malibu Virage cars and some Chinese kart style dunebuggies and some RC cars, but I discarded the idea as having too high an unsprung weight with the engine bouncing around with the rear axle. It sure did simplify the drive to the rear axle though and lightened the car up a bit.

I have been having bad brain days for a while

This is normal right after my death day, and it doesn’t matter if there’s a big shindig, or I’m all by myself like this year. The difference is when there’s a big shindig it doesn’t last very long, and when I only have the cats to be with I get down for much longer. This year the cats didn’t show up either but they did come back in the morning, but I still got way down. This was a bad year for this particular problem. The only social group I interact with any more is the RPG Group. And nobody responded to my Twitter invite or my FB save the date. I never saw the FB thing go live so that might have been a mistake on my part setting that up.

But anyway, the end result was a lack of desire to write anything more complex than a grocery list, or work on the Mini Sprint-T, or the Sprint-T. I knew I was starting to come out of it when I started thinking about building a car for SCCA Solo racing A-MOD using a V-twin engine from a cruiser motorcycle and a setup that was basically a scaled-up shifter Kart with the suspension and brakes needed to be a legal A-MOD car. I planned on using Midget or Micro-sprint spindles (pretty much the same thing) with pavement brackets for big brakes on both sides (dirt spindles have a smaller brake on the left side only), hung on an axle made from wrapping carbon fiber around a foam core and steel inserts for the kingpins to ride in. The idea was to use a beam axle to keep the tires pointed in the right direction for camber and then make that sucker as light as possible for the lowest unsprung weight. I was going to use a rear axle from the mini- or micro-sprint to connect to the chain drive from the motorcycle engine with a jackshaft for initial gear reduction and moving the final drive to the center like on the Grind Hard Plumbing Princess Jeep only with much less articulation because pavement racer instead of dirt crawler/buggy like the Princess Jeep. But what they did prove was that using a small sprocket on the axle prevented chain bind or jumping when the axle was twisted through a range much further than an A-MOD Solo racer would ever see outside of a wreck. So Imma steal that idea for my car.

Also the reason I’m stealing the jackshaft idea is I’m mounting the engine way off center to balance the driver weight and to keep the polar moment as low as possible by keeping as much mass in the center of the car as possible. Driver to one side, engine to the other with both as close together as physically possible given the need to balance left-to-right and the need for the final drive chain to ride in the center of the axle. I’m leveraging my skinny butt to get as close to the centerline as the chainguard will allow, because I’m only 13″ wide at the hips. This reduces my moment arm from 11.25″ in the Sprint-T to 7″ leaving clearance for the chain and chainguard because I don’t have to leave room for another person, just the engine. I have really wide shoulders and a really skinny butt, like my Dad, and that’s the main reason why the driver moment is so large in the Sprint-T because I have to leave room for a passenger by the rules for Goodguys.

I also knew I was getting better when I started looking through the Hoosier tire catalog looking for the right tire to use when racing the Sprint-T in SCCA Solo events. Basically I was looking for short, wide and sticky that would fit a 15″ X 8″ or X 10″ wheel because there are light, strong, and cheap wheels in those sizes available in several different offsets that fit one or the other of the bolt circles on my hubs. I also used more than just the road racing tires and went into the pavement oval listings to see if there were any tires that came close, and I found a couple in the section for Modified class, and pavement sprint and Supermodified classes which despite being vastly different in layout use pretty much the same tires. Those tires were larger in diameter than my ideal of <23", but were considerably wider than most of the road race offerings with tread widths of 11-13" compared to the 8-9.5" of the road race catalog. The suitable tires for the pavement oval racers were 24-25.5" in diameter compared to the road race tires in the 22.5-23.5" diameter but much narrower as the diameter decreased. Also the oval racing tires are bias-ply while the road race tires came in a mix of bias and radial depending on the size, which tosses another variable into the mix. Radial tires have higher peak grip given the same size and compound, but bias tires are much more controlable at the limit and come in wider tread widths with stickier compounds, so ultimate grip becomes a wash. Also, the reason why there are so many size and compound choices in the oval tire section of the catalog is oval cars run different size and compound tires at each corner in the sprint and Supermodified classes to balance the handling or to use different diameter tires to force the car to turn left when running a locked rear or a solid rear axle (same thing, just built differently) so the right tire drives the car to the left.

It has been a bit difficult to type this in as Clint has decided to lay on my lap on his back demanding tummy rubs which means I have to type with one hand while holding the cat with the other to keep him from sliding off my lap and grabbing me with his claws to keep from sliding. That usually results in long deep scratches. And now he lost interest and has left the room.

Which makes for a good time to end this and hit "Post"

OK Finished the Archive Crawl of QC

I finished the archive crawl of Questionable Content last night early early this morning and saw patterns in his creative processes, but I really didn’t help my problem. I did see an ongoing art evolution that gradually became more of a character evolution, but aside from taking my mind off the subject enough that I am able to post this about my observations I didn’t find anything that would break my creative block, at least as far as writing is concerned. Now for the Sprint-T and the Mini Sprint-T I have found a few things to move that design along, but only in details. So far the major parts of the build are pretty much set in stone, but there are a ton of details that have to be resolved before the design can move forward as the tiny details cascade backwards into major changes in other parts of the build.

One of those tiny details is the steering arm location and orientation on the spindle. There are two locations and two orientations that result in 4 different locations for the drag link connecting the pitman arm on the steering box to the steering arm on the spindle. This cascades into different locations for the steering box because the drag link needs to be pretty level, or close to it if other things get in the way, which basically means there are 3 different places I need to put the steering box depending on how I mount the steering arm on the spindles. That’s because there are 2 combinations of mounting position and orientation that put the drag link in pretty much the same place.

Actually there’s no real technical reason for making the drag link level. The drag link and the panhard rod or lateral link (same device, different names) need to be parallel to prevent bump steer, and ideally the lateral link should be roughly level with the ground to prevent excessive side-to-side motion which would change the way the car turned depending on ride height. In the end it just makes things slightly easier to finagle to have the lateral link level at design ride height, and as stated earlier having the drag link parallel to the lateral link prevents bump steer and other steering maladies.

Another tiny detail is mounting the alternator, and I think I have that one nailed down. The only belt-driven device on the engine will be the alternator as the power steering will be electric, so no power steering pump, no AC so no AC compressor, and the water pump will be electric to reduce total drag on the engine and also improve cooling efficiency by driving the pump at the speed for best cooling regardless of the engine speed. That only leaves the alternator that needs to be driven by the engine directly. As I pointed out a while back there are 3 bosses on the passenger side of the block that are designed to have a bracket for an engine driven device bolted to them, the bracket for the AC compressor specifically, but there is no reason why that device can’t be the alternator instead. What I was thinking is a plate that bolted to the side of the block and another plate that gets welded to that plate that the alternator bolted to with one bolt hole being the arced slot that the bolt that adjusts the tension of the belt slides through. That front plate can be just bent from the side plate to avoid a welded joint, but that’s more of a “what can I do with the materials and tools I have?” than the other kind of design question. Obviously both bolts that go to the alternator would have to be on the same plane or pretty close (talking washer thickness differences more or less) which means I need to do a little bit of measuring when I go to the parts store to pick out an alternator, but for the Mini Sprint-T I just pull one from the parts box and bend a bracket from sheet plastic to glue to the block and alternator to hold it. I just have to line up the crank pulley and the alternator pulley until the glue dries, then run a simulated belt around the pulleys.

And there is a valid reason the alternator goes to the passenger side of the engine that goes back to mounting the steering box on the driver’s side of the frame and leaving room for the box and the steering shaft. If you thought Tetris was fun wait until you have to package the front end of a hot rod. At least when I have to shave material off the model to make things fit a hundredth of an inch on the model is a quarter of an inch on the full size car, or what’s basically molding flash on the model is major structure on the real car. And the engine and transmission is going to be offset to the right to counterbalance my weight to the left, another design decision made a long time ago. I have to find good weights for the engine and transmission.

I have a weight from a GM technical publication of 255 pounds full of fluids for the transmission, and a weight from a GM parts catalog of 614 pounds for the fully-dressed version of the motor I will probably get from the junkyard but nothing accurate for the junk I will be pulling off. Anyway I can assume about ~50 pounds for AC and power steering and assorted junk brackets so 565 for the engine and 255 for the transmission and 30 for the full of fluids torque converter adds up to 850 (!) pounds for everything on the right side of the car, balanced by my 210 way further from the center on the left. Doing the math my moment is 210 pounds times my arm of 11.25″ or 2362.5 Pound inches of moment and dividing that moment by the 850 pound engine gives a 2.78″ moment to balance or 2.8″ to take the driveshaft into account. That works out to 0.112″ on the Mini Sprint-T which is enough to be noticed on the model. The inside to inside on the Sprint-T cowl is 26″ and the bellhousing on the back of the engine or front of the transmission is 19″ outside to outside and moving the engine 2.8″ to the right gives me 0.7″ clearance on the right side of the engine if I use a mini starter instead of the honking huge OEM starter that actually sticks out from the side of the engine, getting back to the subject of Tetrissing the engine compartment. And I know I did this calculation for an SBC a while back, but I didn’t feel like going through the archive to find it because I just finished diving the QC archive in the way early hours of this morning and diving a comic archive is much quicker than looking for specific words in a blog archive.

And it’s getting late because I have been watching YouTube videos between paragraphs and I have almost 1200 words according to the editing program that comes with WordPress. So this seems like a good place to wrap this and post.

I really need to be doing something

Seriously, something, anything, that results in some physical object I can show as a result of my labors. I’m getting close to having the bits and pieces to make the Mini Sprint-T, but I need to know where a few more things go on the real thing before I can make the model. And I realize that one of the purposes of building the Mini is to help in visualizing where $#!+ goes on the full size version, but I still have to have a clue about what I’m doing with that before I can make a scale version. I have the LS engine, albeit the LS7 instead of the LM7 that I will probably be using but in 1/25 scale the only visible difference would be the intake manifold.
This is the 5.3 engine

And this is the LS7 engine.
This is the Corvette engine in crate motor form

And in that picture of the crate LS7 you can see where I’m going to hang the bracket for the alternator, off the three threaded holes right in front of the engine mounting bracket. Still don’t know where I’m going to put the tension bracket, but there’s still time for that. But it is also easy to see that the truck engine in the top picture has a much taller intake than the 7 liter Corvette crate engine in the bottom picture. This gives the two engines comparable low-RPM torque below 4000 RPM in spite of the displacement difference as this is the RPM range the truck engine is designed and tuned for while the Corvette engine is intended to make its rated 505 HP around 6000 RPM. So, really for the application I’m building for the truck engine with the tiny turbochargers I linked to a few posts back is superior to the sports car engine with 1.7 liters more displacement in having more power where I need it. And it’s $14000 cheaper than the sports car engine, WOO! More power where I need power, and cheaper to boot, screw you expensive prestige engine. Also the as-installed truck engine is going to be pretty much stripped down as much as the bottom picture with the alternator hanging off the passenger side of the engine and some kind of electric water pump and that’s it.

But since they don’t make resin replicas of truck engines and they do make replicas of the Corvette engine, for the purposes of the Mini Sprint-T I’ll make do with the Corvette engine, and throw a cover over the intake manifold that will simulate the extra height of the truck manifold. Sorry for thinking out loud through the keyboard again, but sometimes it helps to put my thoughts into a tangible form.

I need to find a sponsor and a fab shop

Seriously, can you imagine what this blog would look like if I had the funds and facilities to make everything that popped out of my fevered imagination. Think an amalgam of The Hacksmith, Cleetus McFarland, and Mythbusters, on crack with a side order of Battlebots, and I can’t even think of an analogy for the human powered monstrosities. Speaking of which I was contemplating a pedal powered cell phone charger using readily available parts using an old kid’s bike I have in the garage, a stool, a alternator, a 12V SLA battery out of a lawnmower, and a cigarette lighter plug USB outlet. You would have to supply your own charge cord, but if you had good cadence you could get your phone from zero to 85% in about 15 minutes. Cell phones have relatively tiny batteries and can stand charge rates of 5C up to 85% without damage. Seriously most of your charge time is spent packing that last 15% in without damaging the cell, because that’s where the Lithium cell starts building the heat. A healthy non-athlete can easy put out 150 watts for 15 minutes, back when I was riding every day I tested at 150 watts for an hour and was barely breathing hard by the end of the hour. That was the year I managed to finally finish the Hotter ‘n’ Hell Hundred without breaking the bike.

Anywho, back to the finding a sponsor for my madness, who do you think would be a good match? I’m thinking a pharmaceutical company on account of how many years I spent as a lab rat. Something along the lines of the old “Better living through chemistry” slogan DuPont used to have. Or maybe a casket maker, “Opus will never need our products, but you will eventually!” Or maybe an energy drink that wants to show how their product sharpens the mind. The possibilities are endless… as are the reasons to use somebody else as a spokesperson.

I just had a flash on the last one; “I was killed in 2001, if 20,000 Volt Energy Drink keeps me moving just think what it will do for you.” Yeah, I know morbid and silly. That’s actually a pretty good description for me personality wise. Anyway background of a recreation of the wreck scene with a CGI depiction of my body crushing the truck’s roof and flying through the air while the not-dead me extols the invigorating qualities of 20,000 Volt Energy. “The blend of caffeine, B-Complex vitamins, and amino acids combined with that fresh citrus taste really keep me going through those long creative sessions inventing usefully fun stuff. Sure beats chasing people down for their brains. And remember, when they scrape your broken body off the street, pop the top on a 20KV and say you’re not ready for a body bag yet.”

You think Monster Energy is ready for a new sub-brand yet?

I have other things to think about than the Sprint-T

I sometimes try to not think about the Sprint-T, and think about other things I want to make, like bicycles and furniture (I have a plan for a bed stand/storage thing to put a mattress on that has been rattling around my head for years ever since the last repair to the futon frame), but for some reason I always seem to keep coming back to race cars for SCCA Solo Racing A/MOD class. The rules are simple, minimum wheelbase of 72″, minimum tread of 42″ and minimum weight of 900 pounds with driver. A few safety rules to protect the driver in case of a rollover, and that about covers it. Oh and a maximum of 20 ft2 total wing surface and unlimited underbody downforce developers, bodywork covering tires optional, that kind of thing.

My design philosophy has been lots of tire and suspension built to keep it square to the road, lots of brakes and an engine that can motivate without adding too much weight. Usually I come up with motorcycle or go kart powered things that have all the weight in the center of the wheelbase and as close to the centerline of the car as possible, but the latest fantasy was an LS7 coupled to a shorty Powerglide mounted to the right of the chassis and the driver seat to the left just enough to balance left-to-right, and a chain coupled transfer case to get the power to the center of the chassis to line up to the input of the rear, and front, axles. That’s right AWD traction to get 505 HP to hook up on a sub 1000 pound car. Of course I’ll never have the funds or facility to build this mini-monster, but it’s fun to think about. Given that there is scant difference in weight between the various naturally-aspirated LS engines but huge differences in low-end torque it makes sense to go for the 7 liter big dog, and the shorty Powerglide is the lightest transmission capable of handling a standing start that will bolt to the LS family bellhousing pattern (which it shares with the venerable SBC first sold in 1955), and the possibility of 4 smoking tires when the loud pedal is used too enthusiastically were just too much for my fevered imagination to bypass, so I didn’t. Estimated weight is 900 pounds without driver making it weigh about 1100 with my lard ass in the driver’s seat, or about 2 pounds per HP on 93 octane pump gas. The number of cars with this power-to-weight that are intended to make right and left turns on the regular in competition can be enumerated on the fingers of one foot. I think there are a few sprint cars in the same ballpark, but they are literal grenades, and there were some F1 turbo cars back in the 3-liter formula days that might be in the same power range, but again those were literal bombs on wheels with 1499.9 cc turbocharged engines putting out about 900 HP in qualifying trim and good for maybe 3 laps at full chat and very little time at rated output before exposing the inner works to the world. And if you think I’m exaggerating look up some YouTube videos of late ’70s to mid ’80s F1 qualifying sessions especially the Renault powered cars. In comparison the LS7 is an anvil used as a paperweight

So anywho, you have insight on my fantasies of power and glory, enjoy!

Just in case you were feeling generous…

There’s something I need for the Sprint-T build, that might not still be there when I have access to that much money again. This was the oil pan I was thinking of making to get clearance for the bottom part of the front hoop under the engine. This looks like a 50 -60 hour fabrication job for me, vs $330 cost to buy and install. I would need to buy or make the oil pump pickup either way, so that’s a wash.

But seriously I need that oil pan for this build or I need to go dry sump, which is even more expensive because it requires external tanks and extra pumps, or a special crankshaft and front cover if the factory dry sump system is installed, which while better than the wet sump for hard cornering is inferior to the aftermarket, and almost impossible to find in junkyards (they only came on Corvettes and Corvette engines are bought before the vehicles even get to the junkyards).

Now I’m going to go watch the Michigan NASCAR Cup race. Y’all have a good one and remember that Hephaestus wants you to build something that improves somebody’s life. Even if it’s only one person, make that person’s life better.

NOTE I had to edit this after I hit post because I didn’t catch the typo of my deity’s name, now I need to beat on some iron or something in pennance.

What does it mean when you have dreams about fabricating car parts?

I mean besides the obvious that you want that particular car part something fierce. The junction where the discharge ducts from the turbochargers merge together and connect to the throttle body on the truck intake manifold is one of the most important fabrication projects of the Sprint-T, and if I don’t get it right it will both impair the performance and look really ugly and both are deadly sins for building a hot rod. And last night I had a particularly detailed dream of how to build it, down to where to cut the feed tubes and where to make the first tack welds to get the best looking transition from two pipes to a single inlet.

There are usually 3 iterations in building a hot rod, “making it work” is the schematic stage where the parts are assembled into a functional order. After that is the “making it work right” refines the rough edges off the first stage and reduces any inefficiencies in the design, followed by the “making it look good” stage. A seasoned fabricator or experienced designer can usually combine the last two stages into a single build. A freaking genius fabricator or designer can sometimes get through all three stages in his/her head and produce a perfect part/assembly right off the bat, but that’s usually the result of a lot of thinking and mulling over of possibilities that usually not possible before the first stage unless the project has no deadlines to meet.

Well this build is one of those kinds of builds, it can’t even start until there is an actual budget to buy parts with. And right now there basically is no budget, there’s “I have money now, I will buy what I can afford from my build list” parts being bought. Since I never know when I will have money I can’t take advantage of sales unless having money coincides with a sale, like it did for the suspension parts I bought the beginning of this month.

That’s why I have been resorting to Dream Aided Design for this particular assembly. First because of the relative sizes of the parts, the two 2.5″ (63.5 mm) outlets from the turbochargers that have to merge and feed clean-flowing (non-turbulent) air to the single 84 mm (3.3″) throttle body on the intake manifold, and second because this assembly will be front and center on the engine out there in front of Gawd and everybody to see. I’m even thinking of putting the blowoff valve on the underside of this assembly to hide it somewhat, unless the valve I happen to get is especially blingy and worth showing off a bit in which case it goes on top. Which means the final version of the connection between the turbos and the intake may only get built after the blowoff valve is bought. Or it might get rebuilt later if a nicer-looking valve is bought or otherwise obtained after the car is “finished”.

Portions of this build get changed because I see a new part or a part that is old but I never saw before, like the swing arm that is normally used in dirt race track cars to both locate the rear axle fore and aft and mount the coilover spring/shock assemblies that I’m using to do what it’s designed to do in the dirt racers because it means I don’t have to make two separate brackets to attach the springs and the radius rod to the rear axle. Well it changed again when I saw THIS! over at the Speedway Motors web site. Intended for use in building radius rods and track bars, I’m going to weld this particular one into the chassis and use it as a place to bolt things on to the frame, this one in particular is going to be for mounting the front end of the previously mentioned swing arm. I weld the bung to the point in space where it’s supposed to go and then triangulate additional frame members to make sure it stays at that point in space. And I just realized the previous sentence made it look like I was welding a part to the fabric of the universe and then cutting it loose after I welded some parts from it to the frame, instead of what I was thinking and welding it to the frame and then moving the rest of the universe to get the bung where I needed it to go. I will use other sizes to get other bits onto the frame, in particular the 4 ends of the 4-bar that restrain the front axle in 2 dimensions/freedoms of movement.

Last thing, while using the bathroom the phrase “Pain is weakness leaving the body” drifted past my consciousness, which by the way is a total bag of bullshit. Pain is the body telling you that “something is broken, please stop what you’re doing before irreversible damage sets in”, or in my case “You have damaged ligaments and tendons, make an appointment with an orthopedist ASAP” and “You should apologize to the driver of the car truck about his insurance rates going up”. That part was true for 3 of the five times I was hit, one didn’t do a whole lot of damage to either of us and the other just triggered a panic attack for me and caused his driver’s side mirror to fall off and break, with some confusion as to the order of events because I might have broken it before it fell off when he started crowding me into oncoming traffic while I was setting up for a left turn into the bank parking lot.