Tag Archives: Church do-in’s

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

What a day for a Wreck-Free Sunday

Well, this has been a busy day even by Sunday standards. As far as church doin’s are concerned we had morning and evening services as usual and then a Board Meeting. So about 4 hours of the day was church or church-related. Nothing much to report about that as today was Pledge Drive Sunday, the day when members are “encouraged” to meet the “doors open” part of the budget or more if they can spare it. That’s pretty standard and boring.

The interesting parts of the day were the time between the morning service and the board meeting while I watched the Mexican GP and the Sprint Cup race from Martinsville. There was a lot of drama in the F1 race even though I didn’t see much passing on the track not caused by a wreck or near-wreck of the car being passed. Most of the drama was caused by pit strategy, who was stopping for tires and when, and how long they took to change the tires when they did stop. Now that the F1 driver’s title has been decided for Louis Hamilton all he has to race for is the total wins record, and everyone else is racing for a job next season either with their current team or a new team that picks up the pieces when their current team possibly folds at the end of the season. F1 is the most expensive form of motorsport on the planet, and some teams lack the financial muscle to compete.

The Martinsville race was typical NASCAR short track beating and banging, with many cars finishing with less than the number of fenders they started with or missing other body parts. The incident between Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth looked a lot like “payback” for the Kansas incident where Joey took Kenseth out of the lead and ultimately out of the Chase. There were a lot of other incidents that looked like just trying too hard in too tight a situation, and that wreck that knocked Kurt Busch about 3 feet into the air was an extreme example of that. I don’t recall the other 3 drivers involved in the wreck, but Kurt’s car was the last in that chain to get hit as one car hit another, that hit a third, that was sent violently into Kurt’s car causing it to climb over the third car’s tire and continue to climb on a ballistic trajectory for about another tire diameter after that.

And after all the beating and banging was done Jeff Gordon won on his final start at the track and his first win there in a long time and first win all season. So Jeff is in the final round in Homestead and waiting for the next two races to tell him who else is racing for the championship.

And it’s time for me to wrap this one up because I have a lot to do tomorrow.

PSA, Opus

Today’s agenda: Church, eat, Church, watch TV and then Church

Followed by blogging. Yep, I spent most of the day in the church building between services and congregational meetings. I did get home from the second trip to church long enough to catch Joey Logano’s victory circle celebration after the Talladega Sprint Cup race, but I have no idea who won the Formula 1 race down I-35 in Austin because I missed the whole race during the congregational meeting.

The congregational meeting was thrilling (not really) as we discussed the budget for the upcoming year. We then divided the budget into two parts, the “keep the doors open” budget required to well, keep the doors open, and the “everything else” budget, and used the “keep the doors open” budget to determine what the minimum pledge should be. With the number of members divided into the “doors open” budget we determined that we had to make the minimum pledge equal to $240/year, or about $5 a week. If we get more people we can reduce that, but I wouldn’t. We have additional bills that make us a church beyond just keeping the doors open.

The good news is we can make our budget, pay our national dues and still have money left over for building upgrades or buying a new building should we outgrow our current location. This is good.

On another front, I may be turning Mrs. the Poet around on buying a donor vehicle for building the Sprint-T. She can’t stand to lose the sunk costs of the items I needed to have to design the basic frame any more than I do. So I need to figure out how to build the car at the storage facility that has no electricity. Simple, huh?

PSA, Opus the Poet

Sunburned and tired, Wreck-Free Sunday

OK I know this is late but I have had a busy day today. I had just enough time to have coffee and get dressed before leaving to work a car wash at my church. Since I have all the flexibility and agility of a stone gargoyle I was part of the advertising team instead of the washing team. This means I was wearing various costumes during the day, including just bike shorts, a long flowing skirt with a flower print, various T-shirts, and unfortunately no hat. That led to getting sunburn on my face, scalp, and the most uncomfortable one, the whites of my eyes. Yep, I sunburned my eyeballs on the outside…

It was an interesting event, that was cut short when police came to take custody of a man having a medical episode. The bad thing is the guy was confused, and disoriented but the police treated it like a crime scene and blocked access to our car wash, effectively shutting us down about an hour early. We still made good money but we could have made more without getting shut down during the peak traffic period of the day. The customers had just started rolling in when this happened and we got shut down and we had to turn people away.

After we got shut down we couldn’t leave until the police did, which took until after our planned shutdown and go home time. Then we had to get fed as we had spent all day at the church, then come back for evening services.

Suffice it to say I hurt, I’m tired, and fortunately I had enough to eat so at least I’m not hungry. I need a shower something fierce because road dust sticks to sunscreen like glue. I have to go to the work meeting if the city council to try to get bike infrastructure rolling (there is a route change that needs to be made to make our infrastructure meet up with neighboring cities’ infrastructure, and there is some infrastructure needed to connect residential areas to retail and jobs). That means I might have to cut short the post or compose the post in 2 stages. So either I leave something out, or I make a late post (again).

PSA, Opus

Still recovering from the fund raiser, Wreck-free Sunday

Yes, it was a wild (sort of) night at the fund raiser last night, with spirited bidding on a mountain of donated merchandise and services. We had cloaks, jewelry, massages, party planning, wedding planning, lawn work, vintage clothing… and food, Food , FOOD! The bean counters are still tabulating the results, but it looks like we made a minimum of $1300, and maybe as much as $1400. Whoo-hoo! New chairs for the sanctuary!

Like I have been saying, this has been a busy week for me, particularly Thursday on at church, but also with the LRK and Samhain on Monday. and buying a few groceries during the week. I have also been working on the 20/20 crank-forward bike, still trying to stuff that swing arm and shock around the bottom bracket somehow without hitting the top tube of the frame. I have been reading the Feed and there are a few wrecks that did not make sense that I will talk about Monday.

Also I had a client ask for some research on just how far you could make a hub motor e-assist bike go by playing with the e-bikes.ca simulator I can share that with you now and say that if you want to go as far as possible with a hub motor you need to buy a Crystalyte 5302 with a 13.2V LiFePO4 pack and a 40A controller which gives a super efficient run on the level. When the road goes up less weight means more than less drag, but for going around in circles on a flat track you need as little aero drag as you can manage. In TX we have a 100 pound maximum ready-to-ride weight limit to deal with for e-assist bikes, so I have to design to that weight. What I do is make the frame as light as possible by integrating the battery box(es) as structural components and then adding as many cells as weight allows. This is another reason to use low voltage to the motor so that I could use as large a cell as possible for low internal resistance because when you have a large number of cells in series making small adjustments in weight is much harder with large capacity cells. By running a motor that makes power with the 13.2 volts of 4s LiFePO4 I can adjust weight in much smaller increments than running 12s cells. With LiFeBatt 20 Ah cells running 4s lets me adjust weight in 3 1/2 pound increments, where a motor that required 12s to make power the smallest increment I would have would be almost 11 pounds. The 5302 weighs a few pounds more than the newer HT3525 but makes the same power at 4s as the other motor makes at 12s cells and is as efficient as the newer motor. I mean if you only need 300 Watts why use a battery that has enough power on tap to make 2000? Make the pack give less power for more time so you can go farther.

And that pretty much sums up my philosophy in all forms of transportation, use less power longer to go farther. If I can make my bike do 20 MPH with 100 Watts I can do that pretty much all day without the use of any power assist, saving battery power for going up hills at speed. Now using cars for sport and entertainment the more power the better, but that is a far cry from transportation.

PSA Opus

After a church meeting that seemed to take forever, I get a few minutes to post

Well, that was interesting, something along the lines of the Chinese curse interesting, as in “May you live in interesting times”. One thing Unitarians have always been good at is debate, and there was much debate in the congregational meeting this afternoon. Between the Grammar Nazis, and the paralegals in the congregation, we would spend 20 minutes defining a single sentence in bylaw changes. But, we got it all hammered out, cleaned up and made presentable, and what couldn’t be made presentable was sent back to the BoD for further work. It only took us 2 1/2 hours to do it with an agenda scheduled to run 45 minutes. We were supposed to be heading home by 1330, but we didn’t end the meeting until 1530, and you’re right those numbers don’t add up. We had a late start because of serving issues with the potluck before the meeting, then the meeting went way over schedule on duration. Now I’m going to rest a bit, then go help with the evening service.

PSA, Opus

I need some help here

I need some assistance. My church is having our annual Patron Auction, where we chose the deity, abstraction, or person who best embodies our goals and aspirations for the coming fiscal year.

I am representing Hermes, and I need some help with my costume. I have the white tunic, form-fitting of course, but I need some help finding a white kilt or short skirt that could be worn as a kilt. I have a 36″ waist and no hips/butt to hold things up unless there is sufficient friction from a tight waistband. I would prefer something non-scratchy, but for the couple of hours I would have to wear this costume scratchy could be tolerated. This could be either a loan or a gift as you prefer. I’m having to do a lot of research on this, and the white tunic/kilt combination is the safest outfit I could find (from the classical statues and pictures on urns and vases, it appears Hermes wasn’t real fond of wearing clothing, the kilt and tunic seem to be the most clothes he wore at any one time).

If you can help me with this by this Saturday leave me a comment and I will get back with you ASAP.

Begging nicely, Opus