On top of only getting a little over 2 hours of sleep yesterday I had to spend a lot of time running around. I had a check to deposit to pay my property taxes, and also deposit a return check for something Mrs. the Poet bought mail-order that was sold out when they filled the order, I had to pick up my pull from the Local Comics Store (Unbeatable Squirrel Girl if you must know), and then I had to get my toes done. There was a line to get my toes done so I had to wait about 45 minutes waiting for a tech to get my toenails shortened. With this new pair of shoes (well, the most recent pair I bought) I have to get my toes done more frequently because there is a seam across the toebox just in the right place to snag the tallest nails and pull them away from the nailbed. Trust me, that gets old really fast. So I hit the road just after 1500 after taking care of getting the internet and cable fixed semi-permanently, and didn’t get home until about 1900 and never got more than 3 miles from my house.
Other things, I put the word out locally I need an engine and transmission for the Sprint-T, but TBH I’m not holding much hope at finding them at a price I can afford. But, the local junkyards and auto dismantlers know I’m looking for a RWD engine/trans combo cheap because I don’t have any money, and they say they’ll call if one comes up. Fingers crossed someone calls.
Outside of my little world, here in the US we had another High School mass shooting. Another mass shooting, this time in KY, a day after the last one over in Italy TX. I only found out about the one in Italy because it was brought up in the local news as “color” for the KY shooting. Italy TX is on my route to Waco and the CMA land by bicycle. I used to have a friend living in Waco who I would visit by bike, and I would also stop and overnight there when I rode my bicycle to CMA. So Italy is there and back by lunch by bike from Casa de El Poeta. And was the location of first high school mass shooting of the week, which is a phrase nobody should ever use. We know what causes these high school mass shootings, easy availability of semi-auto guns of all types. And we all know why that is. And we all know who is responsible for the easy availability of semi-automatic firearms so that emotionally fraught high schoolers can shoot up their schools. It’s like nobody learned anything from Columbine.
Getting away from stuff I have no control over to other stuff I have no control over, I have really stiffened up the frame on the Sprint-T. As part of the bolt-in frame that allows the body to be installed after the frame I’m bracing from the torque arm pickup to the upper corners of the roll cage, except for that bothersome corner where the driver sits blocking the upper left rear corner of the cage with his (fat) head. I’m thinking that just bracing against the right corners may not work as well as that inverted pyramid as far as chassis rigidity is concerned, but it’s a heck of a lot better for being able to see and drive. And it does make the chassis more torsionally rigid, just not to the same degree as the inverted pyramid. This is a place where I have to decide if this is a frame part or a roll cage part. If it’s frame then I can make it from 0.060″ wall like the rest of the frame, but if it’s roll cage then by the rules I have to use 1½ diameter by 0.120″ wall like the rest of the roll cage, which is much heavier, but “much” is relative. The brace weighs 9.23 pounds +/- as a frame part, and 17.69 as a roll cage part or 8.46 pounds saved as frame over roll cage just for those 2 tubes. And I have to go through this decision process for just about every tube in the frame aside from the roll hoops and braces between the hoops.
Well I had my toes “did” this evening. The nails are now shortened so they don’t extend past the end of the toe they occupy, and dulled so they don’t catch and tear anything like the sheets or Mrs. the Poet. This only happened once, I went to bed without socks because it was warm and toenails got caught in the sheets, rendering them hors d’ combat. Fortunately Mrs. the Poet was not in the bed at the time as she was doing her summer visit with her mother in Upstate NY.
Moving on, moving the driver to just behind the front axle causes many changes to the rest of the car. Not the least of which is what used to be the roll cage and is now just another part of the frame. Except the former front hoop is now moved back a few inches to become the rear hoop and front center bulkhead. The former mount for the front springs is now the front hoop and (still) front bulkhead, what was the rear hoop is now the rear center bulkhead, and the rear bulkhead is still the rear bulkhead. That’s a whole three tubes unchanged from the previous design😈🎉 Everything else is different. Since most of the front of the bucket has to be removed for the center cockpit the only part of the frame that still has to be “bolt-in” is the inside structure of the rear center bulkhead. A few pounds are added to the frame, but the torsional stiffness will be considerably enhanced. Not that the previous version was any slacker in that department, just the new one will be “more so”. And I’m thinking about making the floorpan thicker under the driver (me) to protect my tender nether regions from “stuff” on the road coming up through the floor. Going to 0.25″ thick will add 86 pounds to the empty weight, but the arm will be so short that it will move the empty CG forward considerably. It might even be enough to get the rear percentage out of the 60’s. Which gets me back to (more) equal wheel and tire sizes when the ugly lump (me) is added to the driver’s seat.
And as the changes cascade down the line I’m once again looking at the spring mounts on the frame and rear axle and using the same size wheels and tires on every corner. That drastically opens my choices for tires (and makes the front wheels slightly more expensive). It also improves the overall grip because I no longer have to reduce the available grip at the front to keep the back end chasing the front through a corner (good) instead of the front chasing the rear (very, very bad). I can also go back to mounting the rear springs outboard on the uprights instead of near the middle of the de Dion tube. I’m still going to stay with the single 3″ tube instead of the truss mainly because it will be way faster to build than the truss. I mean we are talking about carefully lining up some tack welds and then 2 major finishing welds after everything is straight compared to 40 or so finishing welds and additional straightening on the heat distorted structure, after 2 or 3 tack welds per finishing weld and straightening that out before the finishing welds. Yeah, 5 pounds more for about 160 welds less, plus less after-weld work sounds like an equitable change.
Getting back to the floor, I don’t think adding that 86 pound plate to the front will change the weight at all, just move it forward. That’s because I don’t have to put anything under the bucket except the HDPE bellypan instead of a metal or wooden floor, and the space the new floor occupies was previously HDPE. The new floor is less than half the size but 3 times thicker than the old floor, so maybe a slight increase in weight? Anyway, I would feel a lot better out on the road with a quarter-inch of steel under and in front of me than I would just over a sixteenth and some thick milk jug plastic.
And it is tending towards time to go to bed. This has been a long and emotionally-draining day.