Well weather and DART scheduling. The restaurant that’s giving me a free huge hamburger for my birthday, doesn’t have bus service on Saturday, which is my birthday. So we rescheduled for tonight so I could still get the free burger and also share dinner with Mrs. the Poet. Weather forecast for dinnertime is flooding of Biblical proportions with temperatures around 80°F. Obviously Mrs. the Poet is not going to walk the 0.4 miles (0.64 km) to the bus stop in the rain, wait for the bus in the rain, wait for the bus for the trip home in the rain, then walk the 0.4 mi home from the bus stop in the rain. Ain’t gonna happen, Mrs. the Poet is almost 5 years older than I am and has suffered through more physical jobs than I had, and her body just does not work that way anymore. It hurts her and she won’t put up with it anymore.
Now this offer can be redeemed until the end of the month so we might try to do this next week, when the weather forecast is better. I have a card that is good for the place we are going that will cover her meal and my drink and dessert so all I need to cover in actual money is the bus too and from.
I stopped thinking about the engine for the Sprint-T, because I was thinking about the aerodynamics. Specifically I was thinking about the underbody aero, and the design requirement that nothing hang lower than the tire bead at normal ride height to prevent damage in case of a flat tire. The specific issue is streamlining the center section of the rear axle while leaving room for the axle to droop to full travel. I have to leave room for 1.5″ droop plus a little extra for the drain plug or access to allow the gear oil to drain when changing the quick change gears. According to my catalog of rear axles of the likely choices the Ford 9-inch is the one that comes furthest from needing a hole because it already hangs 5½” below the axle centerline eating up the entire 2″ travel and clearance, but everything else is worse. The V8 QC center section hangs 5.75″ below centerline, and the standard sprint QC center section hangs 6.0625″ below axle centerline. The belly pan hangs just 7.5″ below the axle centerline and the axle droops 1.5″ so anything hanging more than 5.9375″ below the axle will need a hole to pass through or it will make a hole on its own for me. The other alternative is to let the bellypan terminate where the center section would protrude, or use a different rear axle.
Just opened a container of ice cream and within a few spoonsful I managed to drip it on my shirt. What, you think I would let a moose walk on me? Where would I find one? Anyway, the ice cream was very
chocolate I mean good.
I’m still refining the design for the Mid-Bucket. Now that I have decided to use the rack out of the minivan I need a place to mount it where it won’t interfere with the suspension but still line up with the steering wheel, and if the mount could do a couple more things like hold the radiator, hold the shocks and springs, and keep the body panels straight… that would be one busy steering rack bracket. Well mission accomplished. The crossmember that holds the steering rack will be integrated into the spring mount and body mounts, for a more rigid structure and better handling. And less weight.
The crossmember sits in front of the front axle leaving enough room for the axle to move up and down with the steering rack suspended above the axle and the drag link going between the axle and the tie rod. A nice compact arrangement, that gets as much of the moving parts of the suspension away from things like gas tanks and body panels and leaves as much room as possible. The radiator mounts to the front of the crossmember and the cooling fans behind the radiator will be protected by the crossmember from the axle. The bellypan will go all the way forward to a splitter, with air going above the splitter ducted to the radiator and what goes below to the rear diffuser to make rear downforce. The splitter will be as wide as the wheel angle at full lock will clear with the side strakes from the splitter blending into the running boards and rear fenders for more downforce over the whole car. This will also clean up the airflow down the sides of the body and give highway gas mileage a tiny boost.
I think I mentioned how finding a 16 X 12 wheel in a 5 X 4.5″ bolt circle was driving me slightly crazy? I’m giving up on maximum grip in favor of sanity. The one (1) wheel I have found in that size and bolt circle is a heavy steel wheel meant for modern-day lead sleds. That leaves me with the 15 X 4 front and 15 X 10 rear option with a rear anti-roll bar for balance between the skinny front and massively wide rears.
And other things are calling me away from the keyboard, so it’s time for Nighty-Knight the dream warrior to take the stage. And if you get that reference you are really weird, and you should give yourself a pat on the back.
Opus the Unkillable
What more can I say except that alcohol, diphenhydramine, and exhaustion are a bad mix every time? I took the allergy pill about 3 hours before I started typing, went for a 2.6 mile walk, then had a beer when I got home. Then I sat down to post what profound thoughts had come to me on my walk when the world started tilting and the keys on the keyboard started moving around. I think the straw that broke the camel’s back was piling the beer on top of the mild dehydration I had following the walk. That made me more susceptible to synergy from the allergy pill, the alcohol, and maybe my antidepressant.
Anyway, what I wanted to talk about Sunday was thoughts about getting the rest of the car skinned out as cheaply as possible. I can form this material about as easily as I can sheet metal and have it hold that shape after forming. The trick is to heat it before forming then holding it where you want it until it cools. I don’t even have to paint it because it comes in colors that are all the way through the material. I can use heat from a heat gun to weld it to make parts that are bigger than the 22″ wide rolls it comes in. I can use that same heat gun at a lower setting to form the material around a buck to make body panels. In fact that is the intended use as sold for this product, body panels for race cars. Add in the fact that this stuff is about half the weight of aluminum and that all of the body panels on my car are non-structural and I think I have found the perfect material for my hot rod.
There is a downside to this, the material shows scuffs and scratches and is easy to scuff and scratch. That means I will have to replace the plastic panels more frequently than if they were painted metal. But even that downside has an up side. I don’t have to replace the damaged panels with exact duplicates, I can change them to change the styling of the car. Or just the color if that’s what floats my boat. And I can also change the rear aerodynamics at a whim.
That last sentence is also one of the things I have been thinking about to reduce the inherent oversteer of this car. Understeer to neutral is what is desired for highway driving, and planting the rear end with aerodynamics is a good way of getting that. I have also been thinking about a “billboard” rear spoiler to create downforce and pull hot air out of the engine compartment. The way that would work is the rear fenders would sweep up from the running boards to a 45° angle that will be continued in a full-width rear spoiler across the engine compartment with screening keeping debris out of the engine and transmission as the low pressure area behind the spoiler sucks air from in front of the fenders through the engine compartment and out the back. I’m still working on that one so the rear fenders are subject to change.
Something else that the plastic could be used for is making a roof hatch to keep the rain off. Run the windshield to the same height as the roll cage and leave a strip across the top that I can pop-rivet the plastic to. Run the plastic over the cage and use Velcro or similar to hold the back of the roof down against the roll cage. Voila! Sun and rain protection. And it would keep the bird poop out of the interior. 😀
And things are getting late around here and I have things I would like to do on the computer that don’t involve using the keyboard.
Opus the Unkillable