Tag Archives: I’m cash poor but dream rich

Feeling better but not my best

Things have been up and down physically for me this week, but after spending 11 hours in bed (not necessarily sleeping, just in bed) my back is feeling pretty good. Good as in no pain sitting or walking, and just a tiny pain transitioning between sitting and standing. All in all I call that good.

Last night my brain wouldn’t shut down (again) as I kept on thinking about using the engine/trans from the donor car as a SCCA A/Mod Solo race car. It wouldn’t work from a weight standpoint, as the 620 pound engine and transmission only leaves about 80 pounds for the entire rest of the car, but would work great as far as fitting in the allowed minimum wheelbase without anything hanging out too far or having to add between the wheels. There would even be enough room to put a three gallon fuel cell between the engine and the driver without having my feet hang out past the front axle.

Contemplating the A/Mod car came from thinking about the packaging of the TGS2 fuel cell and electronics as the 32 gallon cell takes up a big hunk of real estate inside the car. There is lots of space on the outside of the frame rails but inside the body for the battery and electronics, so the balance left to right can be maintained while keeping the polar moment as low as possible. Polar moment is extremely important for an autocross car because much of autocross is change of direction from left to right and vice-versa, and polar moment is the measurement of resistance to change of direction. A lower polar moment is better which is why competitors try to get things as close to the center of the car as possible. Autocross is not just grip but the ability to transition from left to right and vice-versa. Interestingly enough engine power is not a major consideration in the equation as cars do not spend much time at speed or accelerating between turns, which is why lawnmower-engine go karts are frequent contenders for low time of the day.

Can anyone tell I’m really getting frustrated with the lack of progress on the TGS2? Not having $$ for parts and raw stock is not helping things any. Not having a viable method to obtain $$ is also not helping things any, PayPal is telling me that so far this year I made less than $10 in donations from the link at the bottom of the page. If you want stuff to read I need to have stuff to write about, and I’m just about out of things that don’t cost money to do. At this point I’m really close to writing about the dreams I have the night before just to have something to write about, and believe me you don’t want that. 😀 Everybody stay safe out there on this long weekend and avoid the drunk drivers.

Slightly sad today

This afternoon I cashed my last gift card from that mobile app I used to play. I checked last month and there were no more gift cards I could buy with my points, meaning I could only collect $1 every 3 weeks entering sweeps once a day instead of the more than $100 I used to get in a year collecting big points and cashing them in for $5 and $10 gift cards. And then I deleted the app from my phone. That means I no longer have an excuse to take my evening walk to collect check-ins.

And next week I’m leaving for the eclipse watching party in TN and spending a week with old friends. With the problems I have been having with my old laptop I’m leaving it at home and just taking my phone for whatever electronic contact I get. And since that phone is also not reliable I’m biting the bullet and getting a newer phone that has all its buttons working. Having a reliable phone when I’m on the go is a must.

I have troubleshot the problems with the laptop and isolated it to a bad battery. Unfortunately there don’t appear to be any available locally so I’ll have to go on the Internet to get one after I get back from eclipse watching. They are not too expensive, just not in local stores. But that means I won’t be able to update the blog until I get back.

On the TGS2 front I have been working on the new frame design and trying to find places to put everything. Moving the engine inside the body tidies things up but it also makes things cramped for things like batteries and gas tanks, mostly because I took 12″ out of the wheelbase when I moved the engine forward. If I put that back in I have tons of room for a gas tank and a battery. Heck 5″ would solve the packaging problems without making the car all that long. It would still be shorter than a Fiat 500 with less weight and more HP from a relatively slow-revving engine. I know a Fiat 500 is a low performance bar to top, especially when I’m looking at Caterhams and Corvettes as benchmarks, but with a stock 3.8l V6 pushrod engine producing 168 HP @4200 RPM I can’t get my hopes too high. But with the ongoing redesign I’m getting the polar moment (resistance to changing direction) even lower than my benchmarks, so given equal grip from the big tires on the flyweight car I should do pretty well at Goodguys autocross. And that is the goal for this car, winning Goodguys autocrosses, while being competitive at SCCA solo racing. And also capable of picking up groceries, and driving thousands of miles to and from the races without destroying the driver in the process.

Now I have to get to bed because I have to go grocery shopping tomorrow.

This, That, and the Other thing, Wreck-Free Sunday

Today will be a bit of a meander as I just let my mind wander without a leash.

First of all I still haven’t found anything on the person that was hit by the train on Friday night, it’s like the wreck never happened. I keep Googling with a variety of search strings, but apparently nobody covered this wreck because of the other wreck involving a DART train just one station down on the same day. The only report I have found online was the one I made right after I saw the wreck. Since I have no idea of what happened to cause the person to get hit by the train I find this turn of events frustrating to say the least.

I have been using the Clif Mojo bars as a recovery after a ride, and I find them tasty if a bit rough to chew for a guy with no molars. The bars that work for the tooth-impaired of us just taste like an old tire, so I think I will take good flavor and hard to chew over the alternative.

Not much to choose from as the racing seasons are coming to a close what with IndyCar coming to an end a couple of weeks ago, Grand Am ending yesterday, and SCCA winding up their season last week at The Runoffs and most other sanctioning bodies either already finished or down to the last race in a couple of weeks. All I have at the moment is the Sprint Cup race from Dover.

I went to the church RPG meeting last night in a light rain that was cool enough that I could wear rain gear without being wetter with the rain gear than without it. I got some incredulous looks when I rode up, including an “Opus, what are you doing?!” from a couple of people. I think it’s a bit sad really that some people just can’t comprehend not riding in a car when the weather isn’t absolutely perfect. Or even when it is absolutely perfect…

Speaking of the RPG, I got a few licks in with my 5th level warlock but still didn’t make my character very effective, but that was because there were mist spells and Utterly Obscuring Mist spells getting thrown around like candy at a Christmas parade. Of the three spells used, one was a permanent part of the landscape before the party came there, one was a temp spell that was used in the battle, and one was an “Oops!” when a spell cast by a monster we were fighting came up a Natural 1 AKA a Flub, creating a permanent Utterly Obscuring Mist around his character and mine, and I wasn’t even the object of the flubbed spell, just too close to the monster when the spell was flubbed. I still managed to get off a “shot in the dark” so to speak that did significant damage to the monster, and also took some damage when the monster did the same to me.

The contract has been put out for bid for the bike path from Mesquite to Richardson through Garland, that seems to have significant amounts of profit built in to it…

I have been doodling on an “ultimate” car for me. My last car was a Hyundai Excel, this time around I would want something with more range and power, and fewer seats. What I have been thinking about was a LS7 engine (505 HP) and a shortened C6 drive train on a T-bucket with my own particular design constraints. The constraint that causes the oddest appearance is the one that the car still has to be able to roll with no tires on the car, nothing can drag on smooth pavement, and nothing under the bottom of the main frame rail except rims, but the engine has to be right at the bottom of that with maybe a skid plate under it. Obviously the taller the wheels the more room there is to work with inside the car. The C6 has 18″ wheels which gives 9″ from the axle center to the bottom of the frame rail or tub. For this build I would have a cross between a tub and a rail chassis with a small rail to mount the roll cage to at the bottom of the tub and mounting the body to a flange on the top of the tub, making the “tub” a very deep frame rail through the cockpit area and a full monocoque ahead of the firewall and a full space frame behind the cockpit. Now just because I would be using a Corvette drive train doesn’t mean I would be using the C6 suspension geometry. I mean I have a computer, I designed a spreadsheet template back in the AppleII era that would do camber curves and bump steer as long as the pickup points were known, and I have a bit of a renegade in me (really!). Also this car would be lighter and shorter than a C6, so I would need to tweak the geometry in any case. But I would be using the C6 uprights and brakes, because these are sorted components with a known high reliability factor. Of course this assumes a budget with pretty much no restrictions, which is a total fantasy in my current situation. I don’t even have the budget to replace the flush arm on the toilet without dipping into my B-Day money. So this little project is something I do to keep my mind off how little money I actually have. You aren’t poor if you can still dream rich. I’m rich enough that I can dream about using a Corvette to build my “ultimate” car.

I also have a plan for something less expensive using a FWD engine and transmission as a mid-engine like the old Pontiac Fiero or the Toyota MR2 on my T-bucket more Home> T-Bucket

PSA, Opus