Tag Archives: A/MOD

Doing more thinking

Still thinking about the LS powered A/Mod car, so you can get back out from under whatever it was you got under when you read I was thinking again. I was also thinking about making the Sprint-T less expensive by retaining the stock water pump while just using an alternator, instead of installing an electric water pump and just sticking the alternator on the right side of the engine.

The difficulty lies in that the stock water pump is designed to be driven opposite engine rotation with the back side of the serpentine belt. Now for the Sprint-T the problem is that puts the alternator to the left side of the engine where other things want to be. For the A/Mod car this puts the alternator where the driver’s legs want to be. For the Sprint-T this can be overcome by not putting the stuff where the alternator needs to go to drive the waterpump in the correct direction. I’m not sure how to fix the problem for the A/Mod car because the interfering components can’t be relocated away from each other, there are limited options for the alternator and for the driver’s legs. The front of the engine will be about just below the knee which if this engine didn’t have the exhaust going over the driver’s legs the solution would be to have the driver in a knees up position. That puts the driver’s knees in the middle of the exhaust header, which is another unworkable design. Moving the engine forward or the driver back have other problems, like bad balance if the engine is moved forward and hitting the rear axle for moving the driver back.

OK I just got finished watching the NASCAR Gander Truck series and the Indycar series from Gateway, and while I was watching the Indycar race the solution to the alternator problem on the A/Mod car just jumped out at me: if the driver is obstructed on the left side of the engine swap the driver and engine sides and put the driver to the right. It’s so simple, which was probably why I didn’t see it at first. There are no rules about driver position left to right, just that the driver’s feet have to be behind the centerline of the front axle and ahead of the centerline of the rear axle. I can hang the driver outside the wheels in an armored pod like on a Indycar design by Smokey Yunick if I can get it to balance. But this time all I need is to put the driver on the right like I was making a UK road car. The driver’s feet can be in front of the engine without having any issues with the alternator. Now if I had an unlimited budget I would put the electric water pump on it and stick the alternator on the right and the driver on the left like my original vision for the car, but driver right and saving $$ will work, too. I also took some measurements and the left side alternator will clear all the parts I was concerned about clearing for the Sprint-T.

Another thing: at 0119 Monday (tomorrow as I compose this) it will be exactly 19 years since Some Asshole driving a pickup truck tried to kill me for the “crime” of riding my bike on the same street he was driving on in the opposite direction I was riding. He had to drive down to someplace he could cross the median separating the two directions of travel so he could be on the same side of the street and hit me from behind, or he could have just ignored me like I ignored his outburst to “Get off the F***ing road!” and lived whatever kind of life he would have lived. Instead he hit me and then less than 2 years later he died in a single vehicle DUI wreck with either a tree or a telephone pole depending on who’s story you want to believe. I want to believe in Dharma (which is kinda like Karma, but it bites your ass in this life instead of the next), but I also want to believe in a criminal justice system that puts people like that in prison, but they probably were never even looking for him. His dying from a DUI is probably the most “justice” I could expect to get. So anywho, to celebrate the fact that I survived someone trying to kill me, tomorrow we are having brownies and ice cream, and next year to celebrate 20 years [Monty Python]”I’m not dead yet!”[/Monty Python] Mrs. the Poet wants to throw a proper party that we couldn’t this year because COVID and because next year will be two decades, a full 20 years “not dead”. As I explained to Mrs. the Poet, the celebration is not because I died, it’s because I didn’t stay dead. Here’s to another 20 years of “not dead”.

My steering box is on indefinite backorder

AFAIK Speedway Motors is having similar problems with China as I am in that what used to be a Sure Thing is now Vaporware. My steering box can no longer be considered a viable option, and the people I used to work for no longer have a working web site. E-mails sent to them come back as undeliverable and there is no solid date on stocking my steering box either. Both of us are up the proverbial unsanitary tributary.

Which means I can stop sweating about my bank balance getting below the amount due for the steering box order because it won’t be due any time soon. The good news is Speedway will honor the price I placed the order at including discounts in effect at the time of the order. The bad news is they have to get a new supplier and won’t be able to ship my order until they get the parts from the new supplier.

In other good news (really good, not sarcastic “good”) I got in contact with the person I got the LS7 I’m using to make the Mini Sprint-T to purchase another and a scale Powerglide transmission to build the A/Mod SCCA Solo Racer. I think I might have mentioned the LS/Powerglide combo a few weeks back when I was thinking about how to balance my weight against the powertrain weight from side to side with my legs in a pretty narrow footwell next to the engine and letting my shoulders hang out over the transmission so the total polar moment was as low as possible. Anywho, I decided to build a model because I’ll never be able to build the full-scale version while I’m building the Sprint-T. The plan so far is to have the left side exhaust run over the driver’s legs like the right side of a supermodified. And also to have insulating blankets between the manifold and the driver’s legs, like in the supermodifieds. With the short runs in SCCA Solo Racing that’s probably overkill, but it doesn’t weigh much and it increases the safety margin over just wrapping the pipes with exhaust wrap which I was going to do anyway because of the performance benefit.

Last thing before I drop this on you, the remnants of the hurricane passed far enough to the east that we only got one brief shower here that was dried up before I finished. The walk was dry when I went to get the mail, that’s how brief the shower was. Also someone dropped this link on me and I liked it, so I think I will pass it along.

We did Father’s Day early

Because my LEO son-in-law had to work today we did the family gathering Saturday, including a trip to a local sandwich place for those really big subs and sandwiches. I had a Meatball Parmesan while Mrs. the Poet had an Italian Sub that was basically a mountain of various Italian sausages and cheeses in a sub bun, that she ate all she could for lunch and then we had the rest for dinner. Yes, I had half of what was left over from Mrs. the Poet’s lunch and some soup, and we had enough. Did I mention those were huge sandwiches?

My gift from my daughter was a bunch of snack foods from different countries, because I basically eat anything and like most of it. Even as a little boy I enjoyed strange flavors and weird foods. I brought home some bacon-flavored pretzel sticks and some cheese-flavored things that weren’t crunchy or chewy but had a texture kind of in-between, both from Poland. We all finished off the really weird stuff before we started for home.

My son said he was going to give me my present from him today after we finish grocery shopping. I’m hoping for a BBQ Bacon Whataburger, but anything will be appreciated. After all I already bought what I really wanted, a shaver and a shower curtain to make Mrs. the Poet happy, everything else is just figurative gravy on top. The shift handle mentioned in an earlier post was just how I spent my contest winnings.

Speaking of car parts I’m still thinking about that LS powered A/MOD car. The lightest chassis would be the tub and superstructure idea I mentioned a few days ago, but that has the disadvantage of not having the physical space for the lightest suspension. Not that using independent suspension is all that much heavier, but it is at least an order of magnitude more complicated while being a disadvantage at the rear. A solid rear axle has the advantage of using the engine torque to plant the rear tires in reaction to acceleration. The Sprint-T uses a torque arm to do this, but the LS A/MOD car doesn’t have the space behind the driver to run the links to locate a rear axle to do take advantage of this. Well the lack of space is to the left of the driver, because there’s plenty of room for the links to the right of the engine, but the driver hangs further to the left than the engine/transmission does to the right because they are less wide, and weigh more than twice as much as the driver. I guess I could do the same thing I did with the driver going slightly under the engine and let the links run in the space next to the driver’s butt and under his armpit and let the driver overhang a bunch of structure to the left. One thing I’m doing with the LS A/MOD is breaking my rule against putting any structure lower than the wheel rims. The driver’s butt will be lower than the wheel rims, along with large portions of the tub and engine (inside the tub with the driver). Woo look at me being a rebel against my own rules! Seriously, the driver will be about 1″ above the track on the other side of a thin sheet metal tub. I’m thinking about building the seating space as a structural part, then using one of those seat-molding kits to make it semi-comfortable for the driver. For the time spent in the car during a race comfort is a lower priority than it would be for other kinds of race cars where the driver has to maintain concentration for maybe 5 or 6 hours. A/MOD cars spend at most 15 minutes on course for a weekend event, maybe 8 or 9 for a one-day event, not counting time spent waiting in line to start a run. For a one day Goodguys event the driver spends 15 minutes inside the car for the whole event if they have 3 runs or maybe a bit longer if there is a significant drive between the pits and the course.

And there is a race today in Talladega that I don’t want to miss, so I’ll see y’all later.