Tag Archives: DAD dream assisted design

What does it mean when you have dreams about fabricating car parts?

I mean besides the obvious that you want that particular car part something fierce. The junction where the discharge ducts from the turbochargers merge together and connect to the throttle body on the truck intake manifold is one of the most important fabrication projects of the Sprint-T, and if I don’t get it right it will both impair the performance and look really ugly and both are deadly sins for building a hot rod. And last night I had a particularly detailed dream of how to build it, down to where to cut the feed tubes and where to make the first tack welds to get the best looking transition from two pipes to a single inlet.

There are usually 3 iterations in building a hot rod, “making it work” is the schematic stage where the parts are assembled into a functional order. After that is the “making it work right” refines the rough edges off the first stage and reduces any inefficiencies in the design, followed by the “making it look good” stage. A seasoned fabricator or experienced designer can usually combine the last two stages into a single build. A freaking genius fabricator or designer can sometimes get through all three stages in his/her head and produce a perfect part/assembly right off the bat, but that’s usually the result of a lot of thinking and mulling over of possibilities that usually not possible before the first stage unless the project has no deadlines to meet.

Well this build is one of those kinds of builds, it can’t even start until there is an actual budget to buy parts with. And right now there basically is no budget, there’s “I have money now, I will buy what I can afford from my build list” parts being bought. Since I never know when I will have money I can’t take advantage of sales unless having money coincides with a sale, like it did for the suspension parts I bought the beginning of this month.

That’s why I have been resorting to Dream Aided Design for this particular assembly. First because of the relative sizes of the parts, the two 2.5″ (63.5 mm) outlets from the turbochargers that have to merge and feed clean-flowing (non-turbulent) air to the single 84 mm (3.3″) throttle body on the intake manifold, and second because this assembly will be front and center on the engine out there in front of Gawd and everybody to see. I’m even thinking of putting the blowoff valve on the underside of this assembly to hide it somewhat, unless the valve I happen to get is especially blingy and worth showing off a bit in which case it goes on top. Which means the final version of the connection between the turbos and the intake may only get built after the blowoff valve is bought. Or it might get rebuilt later if a nicer-looking valve is bought or otherwise obtained after the car is “finished”.

Portions of this build get changed because I see a new part or a part that is old but I never saw before, like the swing arm that is normally used in dirt race track cars to both locate the rear axle fore and aft and mount the coilover spring/shock assemblies that I’m using to do what it’s designed to do in the dirt racers because it means I don’t have to make two separate brackets to attach the springs and the radius rod to the rear axle. Well it changed again when I saw THIS! over at the Speedway Motors web site. Intended for use in building radius rods and track bars, I’m going to weld this particular one into the chassis and use it as a place to bolt things on to the frame, this one in particular is going to be for mounting the front end of the previously mentioned swing arm. I weld the bung to the point in space where it’s supposed to go and then triangulate additional frame members to make sure it stays at that point in space. And I just realized the previous sentence made it look like I was welding a part to the fabric of the universe and then cutting it loose after I welded some parts from it to the frame, instead of what I was thinking and welding it to the frame and then moving the rest of the universe to get the bung where I needed it to go. I will use other sizes to get other bits onto the frame, in particular the 4 ends of the 4-bar that restrain the front axle in 2 dimensions/freedoms of movement.

Last thing, while using the bathroom the phrase “Pain is weakness leaving the body” drifted past my consciousness, which by the way is a total bag of bullshit. Pain is the body telling you that “something is broken, please stop what you’re doing before irreversible damage sets in”, or in my case “You have damaged ligaments and tendons, make an appointment with an orthopedist ASAP” and “You should apologize to the driver of the car truck about his insurance rates going up”. That part was true for 3 of the five times I was hit, one didn’t do a whole lot of damage to either of us and the other just triggered a panic attack for me and caused his driver’s side mirror to fall off and break, with some confusion as to the order of events because I might have broken it before it fell off when he started crowding me into oncoming traffic while I was setting up for a left turn into the bank parking lot.

Another day spent in bed adjusting to the new med

OK I took my med at about 0200 because that’s my natural unmedicated bedtime, and dropped off almost immediately into a sleep filled with psychedelic dreams I can’t describe because causality was not maintained, and didn’t wake up fully until about 1600.

Sometime while I was dreaming I solved the problem of getting the body installed without cutting it into a jigsaw puzzle first. That dream I remember fully, because it was similar to my precognitive dreams. The “trick” was to make the frame in two separate parts that bolted together after putting the body inside it. The tricky part will be getting all the bolt holes to line up after the frame is built. The top part will be the top tubes of the frame and will bolt on as one piece to the front and rear suspension pickups and the roll cage to make a fully triangulated structure in all 3 planes. The top structure will have plates that sandwich the roll cage hoops and tie the top into the rest of the frame. I saw two versions in the dream, one that had the top as a single unit that went on and off in one piece, and another that had the front and rear as separate components. The single piece was more rigid, but the separate front and rear sections made working on the engine easier as only the part over the engine had to be removed to get to the engine. I’ll have to weigh the options and make up my mind later. To give an idea of how unwieldy the single piece top was I was using the engine hoist to pick it up and carry it around in my dream. Or myself and a helper to unbolt it and pick it up from the ends, not because it was heavy but because it was so long, basically the same as the wheelbase plus a bit to go over the roll cage.

Another thing I saw in this dream was the top used much smaller tubes for triangulation because of the tubes being in the line of sight of the driver, 0.75″ diameter as opposed to the 1.5″ diameter of the rest of the frame members. I don’t know what the wall thickness was or how much using the smaller triangulation affected the overall stiffness of the frame, but I know using smaller triangulation is still miles stiffer than no triangulation at all where the driver’s line of sight may be impaired. I think I wasn’t fully finished with the design in the dream because the triangulation kept changing during the dream, particularly the front part which kept switching between X and V and inverted V during the dream. I think I was weighing the driver visibility of the various configurations to see which let me see out better. I think when it comes to over the road visibility the X from the top corners of the cage to the front suspension pickups would have the best forward visibility, especially with the smaller triangulation bits, with everything visible with just a slight head bob from side to side to get an eyeball around the intersection in front of the driver.

And I know how obsessive about this car this post makes me seem, but I have been thinking about owning a T-bucket since I saw The Lively Set on Tee Vee back in 1968. That’s over 49 years for my math-impaired readers. I think a half-century of desire qualifies for an obsession, or as an obsession.

I have been learning a new CAD program that lets me output drawings in *.jpg format so I can post them here, but I’m still at a very low level of proficiency with the program. When I get to a high enough level that I can save to *.jpg you’ll know it because you will see CAD drawings in my posts. I’m trying to learn OnShape, which is a free browser-based CAD system. I have used graphics and CAD programs in the distant past, and used the design program embedded in the flight sim “X Plane” to create things in this century, but this is a whole different kettle of fish. I have been reading the documentation for the program and what it says about *.jpg is I can screenshot the page I’m working on and save that as a *.jpg. Not quite the same as generating a *.jpg from the program. But handy to know.

Well I have run out of words to share for today so this is the end of the post, but not the end of the story.