Category Archives: Wreck-free Sunday post

Happy Easter on Wreck-Free Sunday!

Not going to say much today. I wish the happiest of Easters to the ones who truly follow Him, and know the meaning of his message. I’ll give you a hint: He drove the moneychangers out of the temple with a whip, but sat down for dinner with prostitutes and tax collectors. He healed the sick and the blind, but sent the rich man away until he gave away all his possessions. He saved the lover of a Centurion in spite of their same-sex relationship.

Remember the greatest part of the story of Jesus was not his birth, not his life, but his death and resurrection. The other stuff was important, too, but the resurrection was the important, important part.

If you truly follow Him, we are not enemies for we share a common goal. It’s all you other ones who claim His name but do the opposite of his teachings that I have the problem with.

PSA, Opus

Wow what a race on Wreck Free Sunday

The Superman car (sponsored by the movie Superman vs Batman) won the Sprint Cup race in Fontana today, and I got to watch the whole race because I was having an allergy attack and stayed home from church all day. I have been chugging coffee and tea and “other” beverages all day because if I stay hydrated I can see and talk, but as soon as I start drying out a little bit it’s like a gauze curtain has been dropped across my eyes. I mean it isn’t anything more than bothersome, certainly not so much as uncomfortable, just annoying. But I still don’t want to go to church in that condition. Weather.com reports that my discomfort is due to high tree sex activity in my area.

One of the things I did with my off time yesterday besides watching the 12 Hours of Sebring was to mock up the kit I’m building the mini Sprint-T from as an unchanneled body on top of the frame instead of the way the kit builds it with the frame covered by the body. I haven’t hung the wheels and axles on it yet, but the carbs on the Street Engine from the kit are just even with the top of the firewall, while the entire rear frame clears the bottom of the shortened pickup box that covers where the gas tank and battery would be on the 1:1 car. So if the kit was 1:1 I could put a slightly larger gas tank in the car.
Mock up frame, engine and unchanneled body
Looks good, doesn’t it? I’m strongly thinking about doing the finished model like this
And while I’m thinking about it, this is $29 in raw stock, tax, and shipping fees.
.060 round rod, .060 square rod, and .010 flat sheet raw stock
There is enough flat sheet to make several frames, and a couple monocoque tubs, too. I have been thinking about that, using one of the engine kits to make a 1/25 V8 powered SCCA A/Mod Solo racer. The tricky part would be making room for real legs between the engine and the rear axle and keeping the weight and polar moments both down and maximizing downforce without a wing, and then putting the wing over the top like a sprint car or Supermodified. But that’s for later, after the mini Sprint-T is finished. As it is now I need to get 4 sets of Wide 5 wheels to make the wheels for the 3 cars (one car will have the race tires mounted, which will take 2 sets of wheels spliced together to fit the tire). Or 3 sets and turning some bar stock aluminum into wheel shells and the rims off of one set of wheels so the centers could be glued into the shells. Basically I would be doing a model version of this and this.

Speaking of wheels, I’m still debating the vendor for the wheels. I don’t have the skills to make a plug for making a mold to cast a set of wheels on my own, so those I have to buy. I can do things like turn raw stock into a reasonable replica of a straight axle with steering arms, 4 bar, and coilover brackets, because those are basically 2D cuts and glue them together to make them a 3D part. But I have never been any good at sculptures, complex 3D shapes are outside my skill sets even before I got my TBI. I might be able to do a simple shape with little surface detail, but a Wide 5 hub in scale with everything in the right place is way outta my pay grade. The best looking wheels I have seen so far are the W_1 from Ron Coon and the asawheel from VCG Resins. Either one will look great with the tires I have or the tires I want to get.

And these allergies are making me tired, so I’m wrapping this up.

PSA, Opus

I finally got to see the end of a Sprint Cup race this year, on Wreck-Free Sunday

And congratulations to Happy Harvick on his victory in Phoenix. I don’t know what it is about Kevin Harvick and Phoenix, but it seems the guy can’t lose there, even (especially?) when he doesn’t do well in practice getting set up for the track. They get it close with springs, shocks and swaybars during practice, then dial it in perfectly during the race just in time to win. I mean it’s uncanny how that happens.

In other news the raw stock for the various frames for the Mini Sprint-T just shipped, and is expected to arrive on Friday. I got 0.060″ square and round stock and some 0.01 sheet stock that will also be used to build the trunk besides building a lot of the frame. In scale it’s 0.25″ thick, but it’s the thinnest sheet stock you can buy and barely stands up to handling as it is. The other stock is 1.5″ square and round in scale respectively. I figured out how to do the bending for the round stock using a butane torch someone gave me years ago, so that part of the building problem is solved, now I just need to get some butane to fill it with.

Anywho getting back to the bending and getting everything the right size. What I will be doing is clamping one end of the stock on a form that is the right shape for the inside of the bends for whatever part I’m building and applying pressure at the first bend, then point the lit torch at the bend and lower it closer to the stock until the stock starts to bend, stopping and holding that distance until the bend is completed, removing heat and hold until set, then move to the next bend. I just need to find out what the inside radius for a 1.5″ tube on a mandrel bender to make the forms to bend the stock around. I think heavy paperboard or maybe balsa wood. It doesn’t have to be very thick, 0.060″ is just under 1/16“.

The round stock will also be used to make the exhaust headers for the SBC version of the Mini Sprint-T, so I really hope I bought enough for 3 frames and some left over. Otherwise I’m going to have to spring for another pack of product. Actually I will anyway because I don’t have anything to make the front axle from, so I will order the correct size for the axle, which is slightly large for the exhaust headers. So, that will be my next purchase for the Mini Sprint-T. Plus the other stuff I would need to model the exhaust headers.

It’s late now and I have to get up early tomorrow for “stuff”, so I’m calling this to a close.

PSA, Opus

I’m a little choked up on a Wreck-Free Sunday

OK I just shut the idiot box off after watching the final 3 hours of Mythbusters on the Science Channel. I have to admit to being a little choked up about the end of the series, I was still recovering from the wreck when the show started, trying to force my mangled leg to do what I wanted it to do. I have been watching it pretty religiously ever since (I missed a couple seasons in first run along the way because of D&D, but I caught them in repeats). And now after blowing up one last cement mixer truck it’s all over. I read a rumor that the reason the show was ending was not low ratings, but because Jamie got a super-secret contract with the Navy to do super-secret things. I’m going to count that one as “Plausible” because Mr. Hyneman’s previous life experience before doing the show, combined with all the strange stuff he has done making the show, would make him a superb asset for numerous covert operations. Not Jamie out in the cold doing the covert stuff, he’s way too well-known to do that, but he would make a hell of a “Q”-analog for a US James Bond (who was a commissioned Royal Navy officer, BTW).

I haven’t heard any rumors about Adam, but he’s bound to find something to occupy his time in early retirement. I follow him on Twitter and he doesn’t seemed to have slowed down much since the show ended, he might just keep the Mythbusters stage show going for another 14 years minus The Walrus.

What I have been doing was building those engines I mentioned in an earlier post. Then I shot a comparison between the LS7 and the 383 SBC from several angles. Both engines are the same scale.
head to head
You can see that the deep sump on the resin kit’s wet sump pan is going to make fitting it under the hood of the Sprint-T tricky. I’m probably going to modify the kit pan to resemble the dry sump pan on the crate engine for a lower profile and better oil control IRL.
side by side with the LS in the back.
That angle makes the LS look a lot taller than the SBC when it’s not really that much taller. Some yes, but not as much as that angle makes it look.
Without the FEAD the LS7 is only a tiny bit wider then the SBC
Without the Front End Accessory Drive (FEAD) the LS7 is only slightly wider than the SBC, but that alternator bracket is hanging way out there past the hood side. Putting the alternator over where the AC is on the Corvette FEAD and tucking the power steering pump up closer to the block would get everything under the hood after completely re-engineering the entire FEAD. I love that acronym, it just blows the spell-checker’s mind.
This is a better way to compare widths
You can see the LS engine is just a touch wider than the SBC from these pictures, when the stock FEAD is left off both engines. The FEAD I’m building for the SBC will tuck the alternator up against the passenger side of the engine below the head, and also the power steering pump against the driver side of the block. I’m sure I could do the same for the LS7 engine, but that would require changing the water pump to one that rotated in the same direction as the crankshaft.

And I have to get up early tomorrow because I’m out of milk, coffee, and yogurt. That’s three things I can’t function without for very long, so I have to get up early enough to catch the mid-day pass so I can get to the bank for money, then get to the store for supplies. I have enough java to run one reusable filter through the Keurig, and that’s it, then I have to use the artificial creamer. It’s just awful, I tell yas…

PSA, Opus

It was a good racing weekend, on a Wreck-Free Sunday

Yes, I spent my off days watching NASCAR’s 3 major touring series on TV from Atlanta. This is where I like to watch cars, running in a controlled environment away from vulnerable users so they can go as fast as physics will allow. Then it becomes fun in both the visceral sense and the more ethereal mental sense. There is a kind of zen thing in making a car go as fast as it can around a turn, I can tell you from experience. That’s why I want to build the Sprint-T in 1:1.

I’m currently listening to a trance version of the Leek Spinning Song, and it’s pretty good. It’s almost like the Leek Spinning song needed an injection of bass and synths to make it good. Bad part is this version is only 3:37 instead of 1:00:00+. I’d would really like to get a couple of good beats going and on endless loop while I do my writing. Seriously I’m typing up a small storm right now. The right sounds and beats are like writing nitro for me, a musical shot of NOS to the keyboard. Now if I could just find the right hour or so YouTube video to play in background…

I’m a couple of days away from being able to get $11 in gift cards from that game I play on my mobile phone, or about 2000 points. When I do that I’ll have enough in my Amazon balance to get the plastic raw stock to make the frames for all 3 variations of the Mini Sprint-T. Yay! Progress! I’ll still need to get the rear axles, wheels and tires, and the vacuformed bodies.

If this seems a tiny bit disjointed I’m actually free-associating as I type with a 2½ hour trance track running. I’m thinking about the 1:1 Sprint-T and the 1:25 Mini Sprint-T and music and the service I was at this evening, and the fact that I’m on the Nominating Committee to pick the next board for the church (so that I don’t end up on that same board), and butterflies, and the aerodynamics of the Sprint-T and how they compare to an actual winged sprint car…

On that last part, one of the things I have been looking at is streamlining the tires, particularly the wakes off the tires. By its nature the Sprint-T will have a small frontal area. The trick is going to be not letting the air get too disturbed by things like exposed frame members and other bits and bobs hanging out in the wind. Some of that is going to be unavoidable because of the fact that the basic bucket was designed in 1922, when aerodynamics of road cars was still considered a black art, and I want the car to remain identifiable as a model T Ford with a ton of modifications. The other part is the aforementioned exposed frame members hanging out in the breeze so as to maximize d4 for the whole car, much like the raised rail sprint cars that inspired it.

But again, part of the appeal of the T-Bucket is the absolute minimum car it is, 4 wheels, an engine, enough body to keep a person inside when it’s going down the street, and only as much structure as is needed to keep all the aforementioned bits flying in close formation and pointed in the right direction for (hopefully) maximum performance. That means things like fenders or wheel fairings are not part of the esthetic. The sprint car is similarly an open-wheel race car without anything covering the tires . But part of the appeal of building a hot rod is making something new, even if it is derivative from other kinds of cars . So at least one of the Mini Sprint-Ts will have wheel fairings on at least the front wheels, just to see how it looks. And I might run it and one without through a water tunnel to see how the flow goes compared to fenderless. Because if the fairings don’t clean up the flow off the back of the wheel then they are just dead weight and can go in the trash. The only reason they would be there is to improve highway aerodynamics for gas mileage and maybe for downforce when racing.

And I think I have meandered enough through the labyrinth of my mind. I know where I’m going in there, but sometimes I see a shiny and go off in a different direction than initially planned.

PSA, Opus

Happy Daytona Day, on a Wreck-Free Sunday

Congratulations to Denny Hamlin on his exciting win of the Daytona 500. This was Toyota’s first Daytona 500 win, so double thumbs up for them. This win puts Denny first in line for the 2016 Chase for the Sprint Cup.

The congregation, at least the part of it that meets for morning service, has tasked me with helping the homeless people who used to hang out near our church. Specifically I was tasked with making living on our little plot of land easier for them with a suggested porta-pottie and garbage can for their use. I checked and as a church we don’t have the resources to support that kind of thing. Renting a portable outhouse runs into the $ hundreds every month. We might be able to afford the small charge for an extra garbage can so they don’t wind up leaving piles of trash on the property (like they did the last time we allowed homeless to live on property), but that would be the extent of it. Unless we get a whole lot more money coming in I don’t see anything we could do as a church besides asking GPD to not harass homeless people on property at night. But I will bring the subject up with the Board in 2 weeks. One thing I see as likely would be getting local shelters to send us a couple of people who won’t live in a shelter and letting them stay at night on our property on a regular basis. There would have to be documents made on some kind of waterproof paper that whoever we gave permission to would be able to present to GPD as proof that they were there by permission. I shall have to cogitate upon this further.

Something else I have been cogitating upon was how to build a scale Tri-Y header for the Mini Sprint-T. I had decided to run such a thing on the 1:1 version many months ago because that configuration would move the torque curve higher in the lower end of the RPM range and work better for the racing this car was being built for. If I was trying to make it optimal for SCCA Solo racing, and just barely drivable to get from one race to another between races I would build it with a Powerglide transmission and a semi-manual valve body that would allow manually shifting between low and high gear, and swap out the transfer gears in the QC between a lower gear for racing, and a very tall gear for driving between races. This would take almost 100 pounds out of the car, at the risk of making it really lazy on the street and run as fast as 110 MPH in low gear. I mean with the calculated race gear the car would hit redline at 150+ MPH in top gear but would only go 60 MPH in low. The downside would be cruising above 3000 RPM on the Interstate between races without changing gears in the rear end, just swap out the race tires for the street tires and go. That is clearly not a good option. So the way to make the car race and livable on the street and the highway is to go with the heavier 4 speed slushbox and accept the weight penalty, or accept a car that might as well not have a high gear on the street. But anyway, the Tri-Y header would let the car accelerate harder at speeds below the torque peak, and get better cruise economy, and now I have to figure out how to make them in scale for the Mini Sprint-T.

And it’s getting late and this was entirely too much technobabble about cars in a bike blog.

PSA, Opus

I hope you had a happy Valentine’s Day on a Wreck-Free Sunday

For those of you not in a candy coma yet, Happy Valentine’s Day. Or as some of my friends put it “Single People Shaming Day”. Mrs. the Poet and I exchanged favorite chocolate concoctions, hers was Reese’s bars and cups, mine was semisweet baking chocolate (I prefer my chocolate to taste as much like the original recipe as possible). Mrs. the Poet also found some pink bunny Peeps to go with my chocolate because otherwise she wouldn’t have had any excuse to buy them and I’m the only person in my immediate family that likes Peeps (remember that “hanging with my Peeps” picture from the post I did on recovering from getting the tumor removed?).

I’m still working on the Mini Sprint-T model, with rounding up the body color spray paint at an auto parts store and re-sending the order to VCG Resins for the alternative engines and the front end accessories needed to finish off the SBC on the main model. I still need to get the glazing putty to finish making the lower curves on the back of the bucket, make the first mold and cast a second plug, then recontour the second plug to match the Speedway body in 1/25 scale, then make a second mold to use as a negative mold to draw a vacuum on so that the details of the body are on the outside rather than on the inside where it gets covered by the interior bits. There is some transfer of exterior details over to the interior on the 1/1 version because the way it’s made with chopper gun fiberglass sprayed into a negative mold follows the contours of the mold with a more-or-less uniform thickness material. This is similar to what I’m planning on doing except instead of applying a spray of material I’m stretching a uniform (more or less) thickness of material into the mold with a vacuum.

I think the plastic sheet and rod problem has been solved by searching Amazon for hobby supplies, all I need to do now is beef up my gift card account a bit more and maybe wait for a sale. This will take some time, but hey, it’s not like I was doing anything else right?

Yesterday we celebrated 3 family birthdays at the Cheesecake Factory in Frisco (TX, not the nickname for San Francisco CA). Mrs the Poet and I shared a burger and fries and a Kahlua Chocolate cheesecake for dessert. The family birthdays we celebrated are in order they fall in the month, Youngest Daughter on the 4th, Only Son and eldest child on the 8th, and Husband Of Youngest Daughter on the 14th. The meal was good but expensive with the burger alone coming in a $14 plus the drinks and the cheesecake. Fortunately Mrs. the Poet and I aren’t eating as much as we used to when we were more physically active so we are still a cheap night out for dinner.

This morning I did the service I posted yesterday. I managed to get all the videos to play at comfortable volume and visible on the church’s HD TV by running the HDMI cable from this computer to the TV. There was some initial consternation because the remote that turns the TV on and off had been moved to a different location than the last time I did a service with A/V recorded materials, and the HDMI cable had been removed from the TV and also had to be tracked down. The only bad thing was the lack of attendance for whatever reason. I put a lot of work into finding those videos and writing the service so that I could do it with my emotional and mental problems, and having only 5 people show, 4 not counting me, 2 not counting Mrs. the Poet, me, and the guy that brought us. Well, since I was the only one who had seen the finished product prior to this morning that means 4 people got to see it for the first time this morning. Worse things have happened, to me even. I’ll live.

And I think it’s about time to put this to bed so I can go to bed as I’m sleep-deprived from getting up early the last 2 days, and I would say it shows but by this stage nothing short of getting major facial wounds is going to make much difference in my appearance.

PSA, Opus

Lots of church today

We had lots of church today and I had a lot of e-mail and never got around to making the post. Also the cats tore up my office when I couldn’t get them out before morning service, and the cops asked Mrs. the Poet if she was OK when I was doing a burn test on the strobe setting on my new light. Yes, it’s that bright. BTW the strobe setting lasts about 1.9 times as long as the “high” setting, so the duty cycle in roughly 50% ± a bit.

Other things happened, and I missed dessert.

PSA, Opus

Making progress on the Mini Sprint-T on a Wreck-Free Sunday

I’m dashing this off between classes and services and meetings at church today because this is “do everything at once” day for me. I have been doing some mock-up work on the Mini Sprint-T while I was doing some thinking about posts during the week and managed to get the engine assembled to block, heads and intake manifold stage with the oil pan attached, then mocked that up to the mocked-up body and seats.

That thing sticking up out of the engine is a Vertex magneto, a kind of self-powered ignition system that used to be popular for race engines because the spark would get stronger at high RPMs. It had an output curve exactly the opposite of distributor ignition systems of the day, weak at low speed but very strong at high. The other reason why they were popular is you could leave the battery and starter off the car and just push start. When the engine spun over fast enough it would start and run until you switched it off. This saved weight because you could leave battery, made from lead, and the charging system off the car. For classes without a minimum weight, or with ridiculously low minimum weights, this was an important consideration.

Moving away from ’60s racing engines and back to the ’10s, notice the backs of the bucket seats peeking above the back of the body. This is because when I was sitting in the real body I noticed my forward view was pretty much non-existent when I sat on the bottom of the car, and that I needed to be between 9 and 12″ higher to see where the front of the car was so that I could avoid running into things. This has good and bad implications for this car. Let’s get the bad out of the way first, this is going to raise the CG a bit and also increase the frontal area. Moving to the good this raises the seat high enough to make fitting wide butts into the car not a problem. Broad shoulders are still a problem. Anyway this is high enough that the driveshaft tunnel will not intrude on the seat area, meaning one less packaging problem to worry about on the 1:1 car. It also means I will have room under the passenger seat to mount the battery without worrying about how to get to it for service. Mount the seat on a forward-pivoting platform with locking pins on the back and access to the battery will only take seconds assuming there is nobody passed out in the passenger seat. This will keep the weight to the rear of the car while reducing the polar moment of inertia, a measure of the car’s resistance to a change in direction. I will be able to mount a small battery upright, or a very large battery on its side.

I have also been thinking about the rear axle. Specifically, the torque arm forward mount and the panhard rod mount on the axle. What I came up with was utter simplicity for the forward mount to the arm and frame, two rod ends of opposite thread, one bolted to the torque arm and the other mounted to the frame at the transmission crossmember and the two connected by a threaded sleeve. Infinite adjustability of pinion angle, and fore and aft play to keep the actual fore and aft controls from binding. On the axle end it can bolt to the pinion support so that the torque arm mount to the axle also serves as a panhard rod mount, and a third job it can also function as the driveshaft hoop as it will be bolted solidly to the front of the rear axle and run alongside the drive shaft. I would just have to actually weld the hoop to the torque arm and the plate that bolts to the pinion support on the rear axle. The panhard rod would bolt to the rear of the mount to the pinion support below the lateral center of the rear axle.

Going back to that picture for a moment, you might have noticed the back of the body was propped up a bit, and the front was supported by the engine oil pan. This is because the body will be mounted on top of the 1.5″ square frame rails and the engine between those rails, so the bottom of the engine will be 1.5″ lower than the bottom of the body. That still doesn’t keep the distributor and the fuel injector throttle body from sticking up in front of the driver’s view but it does help a little. You can see the pad that a carb/fuel injector throttle body would mount to on the top center of the engine, just in front of the magneto.

Now I need to get some raw stock and build the frame for the Mini Sprint-T, make the mold for the vacuformed body and run off a few bodies to use, then buy or make wheels that fit the tires and wallah (voila), Mini Sprint-T that I can use as a planner for making the 1:1 scale version.

My co-installer for the stair rails was completely under the weather this morning so I’ll have another trip to the church to make to complete the installation. Yay /s

It’s getting late and I was up late last night and early this morning, so I’m a little yawn-y, and I’m having trouble composing sentences that make sense when I re-read them after typing. a LOT OF THAT IS i’M HITing a lot of typos tonight for some reason. So, bedtime.

PSA, Opus

I guess I wasn’t supposed to build a stair rail today, on a Wreck-Free Sunday

I was supposed to finish building the rails for the steps at the church today, but when I went to the store to get the parts I bought to build nobody could find them. Since I was in something of a hurry to get back to church for evening services, I told the person that I would be back later in the week to get it and could they have it waiting out front at customer service for putting it together this Wednesday?

On other fronts I was going to show the parts I got this week from Amazon. I think I mentioned I got engines and tires for the Mini Sprint-T, and that I used precision measuring devices to check the tires against the ones I’m going to use on the street version of the Mini Sprint-T.

Well here are the engine kits in the package.

And here are the tires in the package.

This is the digital measurement of tire diameter.

This is the width measurement.

I think this was money well-spent.

Having written that, there are a few shortcomings here. F’rinstance that SBC in the kit (identified as the “Chevy 283”) is missing a few things normally found on street engines, like a water pump, alternator, and transmission. Those I’m going to have to get from another source, which I have already contacted. VCG Resins has all those parts plus the power steering pump . And for those of you saying that the 383 Blueprint crate engine is larger than the 283 in the kit, yes, but only internally. Externally all small-block Chevy engines are identical in size from the original 265 from 1954 to the 454 mutants available from Blueprint via Speedway Motors. They all bolt in exactly the same in the same space.

And I will be posting late most of this week, as I have to deposit a payment to the bank and pay some bills on Monday, visit the Lab Rat Keeper Tuesday, install that stair rail on Wednesday, shop for groceries on Thursday, and wait until after the last Feed reports post to my inbox at midnight on Friday. So fun, eh?

PSA, Opus