Tag Archives: car parts

I can’t wait any longer

As much as I do not want to expose my massage tech to infection, I’m to the point that if I don’t get a massage very soon I won’t be able to function. I had to take a break from dinner tonight because I was having problems getting food into my mouth, which is a sure sign I have something wrong with me. The neck problem is making it hard to use my phone, my laptop, watch TV, fool around with my wife. Basically everything but use the toilet, so far. I don’t want to jinx it because I know I’m going to have problems using the toilet at some point because of this neck problem, I just don’t know how at the moment. And right now it HURTS all the time.

No kidding, every once in a while I move my head just the wrong way and I get tears running down my face. It’s really sudden, I’m just tootling along minding my own business and WHAM! it feels like I just took a 2 by 4 across the back of my neck and everything locks up for a second and tears are running down my face. While the pain is going it’s like I can’t move because it might make things worse or something, like my fight, flight, or freeze kicks in and sets everything to freeze.

On more pleasant fronts, I got another package from Speedway Motors containing the seat mount I have been waiting on. Now I have something to bolt the seat to and mount to the inside of the car. And I will have a way for other skinny-assed people like me to sit in the car and it won’t matter if they have long or short legs because the seat can move forward or back so they can reach the pedals. The package also had the gas pedal, taillights, mounting pads for same, and some stickers and a Street Rod parts catalog. The gas pedal is really neat with a clockable arm to connect to the throttle cable and everything works smooth as butter and the whole thing costs less than the local cost of buying the raw stock locally and that doesn’t even count the bushings. Now if you’re wondering how they can do this, a big part of it is they buy raw stock in ton lots, while I have to pay retail prices for a few pounds of stock at a time and because of minimum purchases I wind up with a lot of scrap left over that may or may not be usable in another project down the road. Anyway for the Sprint-T the arm has to be on the right and the pedal on the left of the bracket to keep the pedal from hitting the transmission tunnel and also leave room for the throttle arm to not hit the steering column or the brake pedal bracket because there is just that little room between the transmission tunnel and the inside of the driver’s side of the body, even with the engine moved to the right for balance.

The taillights I’ve linked in the past, but basically they’re round and red with chrome bezels and a black mounting gasket and enough bulge to have some function as sidemarker lights. Obviously I need to install a red marker on the rear fenders and an amber marker in the fronts, but these have a little more for a little extra margin of visibility.

I’m still thinking about DRL and fog lights (which are allowed to be the same thing under the regs) but my Scrooge Genes kick in every time I look ones up that meet the regs for dual use. Seriously they’re like $60 a pair, which is more than I spent on all 4 headlights, which can also be used as DRL on the high beam circuit. So that one is still up in the air. I can buy a headlight controller that only lights the high beam part of the headlight while still leaving the rest of the headlight off, but the thing is I don’t know if the headlights I bought have that ability until I can get a 12V power supply/battery charger to test them. The web page didn’t make that explicit when I bought them, just that all 4 lights were high-low beam.

Something else I’m thinking about is getting the steering around the radiator and getting the radiator cap under the bulge in the nose so it can be filled without removing the nose by opening a flap in that bulge, and putting a funnel into the radiator neck… Woo. (Tom Slick unenthused crowd noise) If I have the numbers right I can sneak the pittman arm out in front of the radiator from the side without having to do anything that interferes with either cooling or steering, by putting the steering box right beside the radiator so the steering column is clear. Still thinking, still planning, still working…

Stuff arrived!

This is another unboxing blog post of stuff I got for the Sprint-T. I sold an article, which is something we writers do to make money. Don’t bother looking for it, I sold it without a byline because I made more money that way (no exposure), and I used part of the money to get parts for the Sprint-T, specifically front brakes. It was an article about computer history told from a first-person perspective, because dangit I’m that old that I can tell history in first person. I did have a computer with Windows 3.1 and before that a TI99/4A, and before that a Burroughs that weighed in just shy of 500 Kg. I also built a C/PM computer that I never got to use because I couldn’t afford the 8″ floppy drive… And those wirewrap sockets also cost out the yingyang.

But anyway, The Stuff! I got the biggest disc brakes I could buy for the spindles I bought way back before I evicted Chris Christie from my neck.
The box that was sitting on the porch.
As you can see I got excited and forgot my phone when I started to open the box.

This was the bottom layer of an incredibly Tetrised packing system.The box that holds the actual discs inside the box everything came in.

And there was stuff inside that box.That is a 12.19 inch diameter vented disc made from a proprietary iron alloy

By this time I had remembered to go get my phone and was taking pictures as stuff emerged from the boxes inside the delivery box. This is the hub.This was the least-blingy option for the biggest brake that would fit the spindles.

The front of the hub free from the plastic bag, isn’t it pretty?You can see the machining marks if you look closely that lets you know this was the as-machined front of the hub.

The level of bling with this part number was very high, but there were options that made this look plain. This was the as-machined back of the hub.Plain anodized and not even polished, I went for function but still, look at that machining.

This is what connects the disc to that gorgeous hub.I'm not sure how they made the adaptor that connects the disc to the hub, but the standard of machining was not as high as those gorgeous hubs.

This is what squeezed the pads together on those gigantic discs.Top view of the calipers in the safety of the storage bag. Gotta keep those sanitary if I want to make consistent stops.

Those pads are going to get really squished by that thing.Bottom view, with bubblewrap occupying the space where the pads go to prevent damage or contamination to the pistons.

Speaking of pads.This is a set of Street/autocross compound pads, near race level performance but with the durability needed for streets and highways

And the box those come in.I don't know if you can read that compound label from this angle, but that's a box

The unsung heroes of any build, the hardware that holds it together.Nuts and bolts without which this build won't get built.
Yeah that picture was taken in kinda low light and brightening it up enough to make it look the same as the others caused a loss of quality in my picture program.

And the bracket that holds the calipers to the spindle.This is a high-precision part that keeps things from rubbing together until it's time for things to rub together.

And those are all the pictures, but not all the post.

Besides being the biggest brake kit that would fit the spindles, this is also the biggest kit that would fit inside a 15″ wheel, meaning that’s the smallest wheel I can run. But if I’m serious about running Goodguys I can’t run anything smaller than 15″ anyway because that’s about the smallest wheel they still build high-performance street tires for. So, there are a few 200 treadwear rated tires in 15″ but the widest is 245mm section width and about 23.5″ diameter. Good diameter, but a bit skinny for hooking up 300+ HP coming out of a turn, that’s good for making smoke but not so much for going fast. My next choice is 17″ diameter wheels that have tires available up to 315mm section width but unfortunately 25.5″ in diameter. This is bad because extra diameter means more inertia to speed up or slow down because the inertia varies linearly with weight but as the square of diameter and did I mention the tires get heavier as the diameter increases? And I have been picking over the data from the LS Miata swap forums because same engine same power level and similar tire sizes, but I will have a much lighter car than a LS swapped Miata.

So, I need to get up before noon tomorrow but I’m having a heck of a pollen problem. and so is Mrs. the Poet, and she snores when her allergies kick up which makes catching Zs in the same room a bit of a challenge. I think I’ll hit the diphenhydramine and try to sleep on the other room with the alarm set to get me up, and put the post and me to bed.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Or happy get drunk and pretend to be Irish day, here’s some green food coloring to put in your lager.

I picked up a six of Fat Tire to celebrate since I got my Guinness last week, we have corned beef and cabbage, and we also got a lot of random food items because they were on sale. Now that we actually have a bit of income we buy ahead when possible for non-perishable items. Speaking of Guinness, a good pairing is chocolate ice cream and Guinness, they go really well together.

And the cat is demanding attention, so I have to move the keyboard out of the way.

And while I was moving the keyboard out of the way there was a NASCAR race in California, where Rowdy Busch won his 200th NASCAR Touring Series race, and another in Florida by tape delay, but NHRA instead of NASCAR so quarter-mile sprints at a time instead of 400 miles in one bite, and multiple classes so I can’t tell you who won because it was a bunch of people and I still have a terrible memory for names. I can remember Robert Hight won Funny Car, but that’s the only name that stuck other than Conrad Kallita as the car owner for the Top Fuel car because Connie Kallita was driver of the Bounty Hunter car back in the late ’60s and I used to see the car in the magazines of the day so the name stuck for more than 50 years…

This is going to be a busy week as far as getting out of the house. I have another check to deposit Monday and bus tickets to buy, then I have the many-times rescheduled fasting blood draw Wednesday, then Thursday I have an appointment to see if I can qualify for free Lasik, if I can even get the procedure. I won a drawing I entered at North Texas Irish Festival, so if I can get the procedure done, I may have to only wear glasses when I need to do close work like reading or using a computer. That’s only if I can actually benefit from the procedure, because I use a really strong prescription and there may not be enough cornea to sculpt to correct my vision. But anyway, lots of trips away from Casa de El Poeta this week.

I got some parts for the Sprint-T in yesterday but I’m holding off on taking the pictures until I get the nuts and bolts together to show how they fit in the rest of the car, a little bit. These are the Heim joints that connect the front ends of the 4-links to the axle brackets, and allow the axle to articulate as the car leans in turns. When I get the bolts I’ll bolt the brackets to the rod ends and take the pictures.

I have to do some things early tomorrow, so this is time to put either this post or me to bed, and if you’re reading this then I decided to put the post to bed first.

Good race today

That used to have “and the Feed” back in the day when I was still covering bike wrecks every day, but since I stopped doing that my mental health has improved considerably. That’s a little on the scary side that this state is “improved” over where I was just a few years ago.

Anyway, the race was in Las Vegas and was 400 miles long, and Joey Logano won. The new package has slowed the cars way down on the track but they still have the same pit road speed limit they did at last year’s Las Vegas Spring race which means the pit crews are still facing Certain Death if they get in the way of cars moving at or near highway speed, but the cars are now going slow enough on the track that there is very little possibility of one leaving the track and going into the stands and killing a bunch of people. The last time they had a car going too fast for the retainment system they got really lucky and there were only minor injuries to the spectators hit by debris. The new rules can be summarized by “Big spoilers, tiny spacers” as the Big Tracks (basically anything over a mile long) have tapered spacers between the throttle body and intake manifold that reduce engine power to about 550HP or a bit less, partially because that was the cheapest way to do it and partially because the cars were Too Fast everywhere except short tracks and road courses. So now they have most tracks limited to 550, Daytona and ‘Dega are going to be about 400HP if I’m remembering that right, and short tracks and road courses are going to get full effective use of the intake system to make the 750 HP those engines are capable of. To make sure everybody stays inside the track fence and out of the crowds they bumped the rear spoiler from less than 3″ to almost 8″ tall and added a bunch of front downforce to keep the cars aero balanced with about the same downforce on each end. Teams are still trying to figure out the suspension settings that work with the new package because this was a major change from last year even though they kept trying to say it was only a “minimal change.”

One thing that is changing on the Mini Sprint-T and Sprint-T is how the rollover structure integrates with the frame structure. Simple terms the upper frame rail is getting moved back out to the furthest edges of the frame again by squaring off the corners of the roll hoops but also leaving the hoops inside exactly like the SCCA wants it. The hoops will be bent from a single length of tubing as specified in the rules, but there will be short stubs of frame-size tubing welded to the outside of the bends to pick up the upper frame rail. The diagonals will still be rollover structure wall thickness and also have the bends to catch the top of the rear hoop, a bent gusset to catch the vertical leg of the hoop, and a frame thickness stub to catch the intersection of the tangent stubs from the vertical and horizontal legs of the hoops and tie everything together in a lightweight super triangulated space frame, and also what I hope is a rule-complaint roll cage. I’ll have to wait until tech inspection to find out, though.

So many ideas, so little resources to execute them with

Right now I’m staring at my laptop writing a post, but last night I was staring at various bits and pieces of T-Bucket waiting to become part of a whole. And I discovered why I was $75 in the hole last week, so that first.

It turns out when I tried to get out of the free month of Amazon Prime I got after cashing all my gift cards in from Christmas it didn’t go through, and my checking account got dinged for another month. I got it turned off this time but not until Amazon took almost every penny left in my account after Mrs. the Poet twisting my arm to get me to pay for the dinner for the kids pretty much drained my balance down under $20. Bus fare took care of the rest and instead of having $14 in my account when I bought my comic books I had less than $1, “earning” me $70 in overdraft fees. So that dinner ended up costing me $150 for hamburgers and pizza, and my Barbecue sandwich.

The deal with the car is much harder to relate. Not hard to explain, “I ain’t got no money!” pretty much covers the explanation. But emotionally it is much harder, because this build has been starved of resources from the beginning back in the late ’80s when the first iteration was conceived in a Nashville TN quick dining restaurant during a particularly creative bench racing session after the TRSCCA business meeting, right before I got the job in TX. Basically the new job paid for a nice apartment and covered food and utilities and some stuff for the kids, but not enough for the race car, and I had another ADHD thing going with homebuilt aircraft so the bucket went on the back burner again for about a decade. I have a drawing from winter 1997 of a version made with a riveted aluminum monocoque pontoon structure that acted as a frame and also housed the cooling system(s) for the engine and transmission. That version was dropped because of construction difficulties (I didn’t have the tools or space needed to build such a structure then) and because I got fired when word got around I was a witch and some people started messing with my work whenever I went on break, causing misprocessing. Technically I was fired for the misprocessing, but I wasn’t misprocessing it was the people doing things to my equipment when I was on break. That’s long ago and already litigated so that’s enough about that.

After the monocoque bucket I was riding bikes and building recumbent bicycles and trailers and working as a computer help desk operator until I got hit with the truck and lost my job. Then years of recovery and rehab, and eventually my fire to build this project flared back up, and I bought an actual bucket body. I thought I had a much larger budget when I bought the body, by about $50K, but life happened and here we are. I have a tiny budget of about $150/month before I take care of everything I need to take care of like phone and meds and toes and haircuts and massages to keep my neck working and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl comics. Of the listed needs I can live without the $4 comic book, and toes and haircuts are not every month things although they really need to be. So by neglecting my appearance I can sorta pay for parts every now and then. My next purchase is scheduled to be front brakes that will work with just about any rear axle I can buy, or the front heim joints for the four link between the front axle and the frame. I can afford the heims quicker than the brakes, so I might be showing those off earlier…

A good race, and a good game

The Rolex 24 hours of Daytona was quite the race. There were 2 out of 3 classes that were separated by seconds after more than 2000 miles of racing over 24 hours, and the leading class was only one lap apart. And every class set a new class record for speed. I mean what more could you ask, tight competition at record speeds, and the reason they set the records was there were very few wrecks, so more tight racing and less wrecking. It was perfect, or as perfect as it could get.

Then we played Shadowrun. We finally finished the run to take a magic artifact to be analysed. My character, “the Old Man”, doesn’t do much, and that’s good. When I go into action during a run, I’m pulling asses out of fires and people are getting hurt. I’m armed to the teeth even in my sleep, there is a thought-controlled shotgun in my left arm, the one I lost fighting to save my TI pension when TI called up the troops to fight off a really hostile takeover. Someone from the other company threw a grenade into my machine gun nest. Like I said, really hostile takeover. Anyway, I spent the whole run standing in the door of the chopper ready to literally drop into the battle, while our tech people did their sneaky tech things sneakily avoiding conflict so I could only kibbitz over the commlink. That’s my role-playing part of the RPG.

And I got paid from one of my gigs today, the gift card came in the mail, $100 I can spend in literally dozens of places, but not everywhere in compliance with the tax law that just expired. I think there might be a buck or 2 left in my account, but not enough to cry about if Trump takes it away. First place I’m going to spend it is the Red Robin a bit over the way when Mrs. the Poet and I celebrate 40 years of wedded bliss(?) over burgers and shakes. Plus I have the app that gets me discounts and free food from Red Robin. So spending money there is not like spending somewhere else. But it still pisses me off that the new tax scam takes away my compensation for this job. Damn you, Donald John Trump! I get paid little enough, almost nothing, but now you’re taking that away from me. I average $6 a month on this gig, but the new tax law makes that illegal. Not because it violates minimum wage laws, but because they don’t take taxes out of it. I mean how much tax are you going to take from $6/month? The accounting costs are going to be more than I get paid on average.

I have been looking at the weight for the Chevy 7.5″ rear end compared to the Ford, and the Ford is like 30% lighter than the Chevy rear. I mean the weights between the Chevy 8″ 10 bolt and the 7.5″ are within a few pounds of each other and the 10 bolt is so much stronger, the 7.5 must have been a ton cheaper to make, because otherwise I can see no justification for building it otherwise. I mean the reports are that it sheds teeth from the ring gear from a 200 HP 305 SBC smog motor with a 2 barrel carb on street tires. Not what I’m looking for when I can get stronger for less weight. I’ll keep you posted as more information becomes available.