After a meal of chicken patty sandwiches, sweet potatoes, and some other vegetable we will celebrate [Monty Python] I’m not dead yet [/Monty Python] for nineteen years. I still have three bottles of Shiner Bock left from the last 12 pack we got in July I think(?) so I will have plenty for the party. Actually one will probably be enough, I’m not big on drinking. That will leave two more for celebrating my grandson’s and my birthdays this month, his is tomorrow, mine is the 22nd.
That reminds me I still haven’t made my birthday list of things I want. Well it isn’t a very long list, and some of the things won’t be ready in time for my birthday, but will be done in time for Solstice/Yule/Christmas.
1. World peace and an end to the pandemic.
1a. Trump’s political ass on a platter. The platter can be non-physical, you don’t actually have to put anything on a physical platter.
2. An LS or LT engine and matching automatic transmission and all the supporting electronics, and any programmer needed for tuning to run in a sub-ton mass car. Now I have been contemplating building a super-long runner intake manifold to get a super-wide powerband for an LS engine, but don’t let that color your decision if you have a screaming deal on an LT engine.
2a. If you stumble on a great deal on a Pentastar V6 and a manual transmission, the combined lower mass and shorter engine length would allow enough footroom for three pedals so I could use it in the Sprint-T. Basically the engine is short enough that if I install it with the front of the engine in the same place as the front of an SBC or LS engine most of the bellhousing would be in front of the firewall of the T-Bucket body and there would be plenty of room between the transmission and the inside of the body before offsetting the engine for balance to stuff in 3 pedals.
3. A rear axle with disk brakes in either a 5X4 1/2 or 5X4 3/4 bolt circle. There are several Ford axles in junkyards that would fit and also be strong enough to hold up to racing with any of the stock LS or LT engines. Now what I really want is a Winters V8 magnesium center and aluminum axle tubes with the 5X4 3/4 bolt pattern aluminum GN hubs in 60″ hub to hub and 3½” right offset so I could use the brake floaters and the brake calipers to decouple braking forces from the axle.
4. Buc-Ee’s Dark chocolate covered Beaver Nuggets Or you can save a bunch of money by stopping at a local to you Buc-Ee’s and spend like a third of the amount, plus shipping. The only reason I’m even putting these on the list is they are just outside of where I can get to by transit and it’s so annoying to almost be within smelling range, but out of reach.
And really that’s all I want that I can’t get for myself, excluding the Beaver Nuggets, I can get them I just can’t see spending that much money on something that is less than $5 in the store. Now go celebrate that you’re “not dead yet”. “I feel happy!”
Not much to say today. Mrs. the Poet’s incision from her back surgery is healing nicely and she may start PT as soon as they start allowing home visits by the Physical Therapists, which are stopped because of the COVID19 pandemic to prevent transferring the virus to people who are medically fragile. As the headline stated my allergies are bad this year, this was the first time my eyelids were so swollen that one split over next to the corner. Other than that and some pains in the reconstructed hip I’m doing good. I’m not sure but I think the pain in the hip has something to do with sleeping 14 hours on Wednesday followed by much walking around Thursday.
Speaking of running around on Thursday, on the way home the bus took me through the local large shopping area, what was built to replace the promised mall but is only several large retailers in close proximity and sharing parking lots. Anywho except for the places selling food with drive-throughs the place was a ghost town with literal acres of empty parking lots. Local retail has been clobbered by the shelter in place order for Dallas County, and will take years to recover if it ever recovers.
On the Sprint-T I have been designing a fairing for the front tires that also houses the headlights and supports the front edge of the front fenders. It’s simple, a half cylinder to split the air in front of the tire and a tapered rear fairing at the rear edge of the tire, with a flat or slightly curved top, all made from HDPE sheet. I checked TX regulations and purchased some headlights that are legal, LED replacements for the 4656 sealed beam headlight. The have both low and high beam and are above minimum and below maximum lumens so are legal in TX, about $40 shipped with tax for a set of 4.
Now to install them on my car I need to run by a junkyard when they open back up and get a headlight assembly for one side of a quad rectangular headlight car, because I only need one per side. I need to get the plate the buckets mount on, the adjusting screws and springs, the buckets, and the bezels that retain the headlights to the buckets. I just need to mount the backing plate to the vertical piece at the back of the half cylinder and between the side pieces of the fender in a place that clears the tire at full bump and full lock in both left and right. Nothing to it. I just need to make a drawing of the tire at full lock in both directions and on top of that drawing put the headlight at the height it would be in relation to the tire at full bump which is about 1.5″ higher than normal ride height. I know the vertical part of the front fender fairing will be a little forward of where the front of the tire will be at the straight ahead position so that it will clear the tire at full lock. I have been thinking about making this part slightly curved for more clearance at lock, and more rigidity. This is also why I was thinking about curving the top part of the fender, to make it more rigid in use.
Now something else I have been thinking about is making the front fenders quick-release for when I’m racing, because light weight is way more important than reduced drag in the kind of racing I’m building this car for. The courses will never allow anything even close to top speed where drag reduction is more important, all of the sanctioning bodies require top speeds on course be no more than normal street or highway speed and one body requires no more than 30 MPH. So especially for that one sanctioning body, light weight is more important than drag reduction. On the street drag reduction is less important than light weight, on the highway light weight is less important than drag reduction but I need fenders and headlights either way. Now for this kind of racing being able to see my front tires is a slight advantage for placing my car on the quickest line, maybe a half second on a 1 minute course. That is a good enough reason to make the front fenders and headlights removable. But I’m still cogitating about how to do that and not change headlight aim when removing and replacing the fenders. More thought is required and maybe wasting some raw stock on different prototypes to test for rigidity and repeatability when removing and replacing.
And that is one convoluted headline that wraps up my life in a sentence. I’m just reading and doing stuff, practicing making exhaust tips and things. I haven’t made any real good tips yet because I keep collapsing the tubing against the bending post, because the differences between soft enough to bend and soft enough to collapse are this much (holding fingers almost touching) and I haven’t got the touch down yet. I need to get the spatial relationship between the heat source and the bending post better, but ATM I have zero idea what that should be. What I’m looking for is close enough to get the soft tube to the bending post while it’s still soft and so I don’t have to let it get too saggy and stretch it out and make it too small. There are literally thousands of ways to screw this up and I’m finding most of them.
Mrs. the Poet wants me to be in bed at the same time she is, and so do I. It’s getting close to the time she gets up, so I’m putting this to bed now and me shortly after.
Whichever deity(ies) has(have) been trying to get rid of/scare me has missed again. The tornado missed Casa de El Poeta by about a mile if I’m reading the storm track map right. Updated tracks have the tornado not on the ground as it went by the house to the north and on Lake Ray Hubbard to the east of us as it approached Rockwall as shown in the Twitter Video from Athena Rising.
Casa de El Poeta is just a bit north and west of the Athena Rising video.
Seeing the WFAA Storm Track map the tornado was just over a mile from the house, but not on the ground, and now I’m seeing there was a second tornado just to the south that was captured on video by several people on Twitter taking video in Rockwall as the storm tracked east just north of State Route 66 with Casa de El Poeta sitting squarely between the two tornado tracks. So anyway long story short there were two tornadoes, both missed by a smidge on either side, I’m still Not Dead Yet [/Monty Python] And I didn’t win the Powerball Saturday, not even a small prize.
Yeah, that time of year again. I do the Monty Python sketch montage (I’m not dead yet/I got better), drink to the dude who killed me and himself inside a year, drink to the people who didn’t come back from the dead, do a quick check to see if any scars have faded away completely, and a final toast to fuck you immortality without invulnerability.
That’s coming in 9 days, while Mrs. the Poet is back in NY celebrating our niece’s 2nd wedding to the 3rd father of her kids. Nice kid, not a good judge of character, we hope she’s got this one right. Funny thing, of all our extended families between all of the brothers, sisters, and cousins, Mrs. the Poet and I are the only ones still working on a first marriage, and everybody thought ours was the worst marriage because I proposed to the eventual Mrs. the Poet while she was recovering in hospital from delivering our son at home by herself. That’s right I married a true badass woman, because for the third kid she did it again.
But as much as I would like to say that I got up and punched the lights out of the guy who tried to murder me, 1) he wasn’t there to punch, 2) I was blind because of all the flipping and tumbling on all 3 axis I did, and 3) I had one leg that was just barely hanging on and also bleeding profusely and broken in multiple places. So the most badass thing I did that night was to ask if anyone got the number of the truck, because it was too late at night to be a bus. Oh and explaining monkey butt to the EMT who cut off my bike shorts and discovered I wasn’t wearing underwear. That’s badass I guess. Or not having monkey butt is goodass badass. I’m rambling now, sorry.
So anywho, party at Casa de El Poeta 8/31 1800. Chips, dip, and Shiner, RSVP so I know how much dip I need to buy.
That’s basically all I have to say right now. I have been looking at an engine controller that costs less with the tuning software than the OBDII Dongle to control the factory controller for the LS Family of engines. But I still don’t have an engine to use it on, so …
As I type this it is exactly 17 years to the minute that I died from getting hit by a truck going 60 MPH. The fact that 2 minutes later I was complaining to the people scraping me off the street that the upper end of my femur was broken is why I celebrate that.
Mrs. the Poet thinks I’m way too morbid about getting killed, but I keep trying to explain I’m celebrating the coming back, not the getting killed, but also you can’t have Easter without Good Friday, so why not have a party for the day I got killed. And since we be p’ (can’t buy a vowel poor) the party is coupon burgers at the Burger King. The rest of you celebrate however you like, don’t mind what I do.
Also I’m taking a shot at the LS1 engine that Cleetus McFarland is giving away so I have an engine for the Sprint-T. FYI Cleetus is a YouTube channel that defies description beyond “rednecks having too much fun with cars”. Garret Mitchel is the guy playing Cleetus and he’s a decent drag racer and project manager and the current project is re-engining the Dale Truck, an old Craftsman Truck Series (Cabella’s Truck series starting next year) race truck painted to resemble Dale Sr.’s #3 race car he was driving when he was killed. Anyway he’s swapping the LS1 that replaced the small block race engine when the truck was converted for street use to an LS7 with about 50% more HP. The LS1 would be a great engine for the T, first and foremost because it would be an engine I would have in my hot little fist(s) and I could build the rest of the chassis around it. I need to buy something off the web site to qualify for it but I really need another hat so that’s not a problem.
And that pretty much covers it.
I’m getting tired of waiting. I want “Chris Christie” off my neck. I got tired of the “ugly lump of useless fat that is a pain in the neck” months ago, now I’m tired of waiting for it to be gone. I started this trip back in June 2014, when I was for sure I had health insurance (I had to fill a prescription for antibiotics and presented my insurance card and got $50 worth for like $4) and it took until now to get scheduled. Now I just have to wait until there is a free spot in the OR.
I’m still working on the Sprint T, mostly as a distraction from waiting to get my neck sliced open. I used a hunk of tubing from a bike project that got stalled when my source for another size of tubing I needed to complete the project went out of business to plot where I would put the body mounts. The tubing is not the same size as the frame rail it represents, but I was able to get a good idea of where the mounts will go under the body. The manual for Speedway’s kit that uses the same body suggests 6 mounts, 3 to a side. I can get to the far corners of the mounting flange and keep the frame rail under the body, and also for the middle of the body so I’m good to go on that front. I also go one up on the Speedway kit by putting the mount directly to the body instead of through the plywood floor that is glued to the body. You can see roughly where the mounts will go by looking at this picture.
The front mount will go right behind where the front of the body is resting on the floor about 3/4” from the outside and front edges, the rear mount will go about even with the back edge of the floor cutout in the body and likewise 3/4” from the outside edge of the body, and the middle mount will go on the line connecting those two about the middle of that run. I wish Chrome had a decent photo editor so I could make those marks and lines and show you where the mounts will be rather than just telling you.
There is a method to my madness in this. I’m trying to simplify the frame construction as well as knock as much weight off the build as possible. So, I’m changing the frame design again so that I have 3 distinct sections that can be built independently of each other so I am not filling my entire workspace with the full length of the frame all at once. The front part of the frame, the part where the engine goes and the front suspension is attached, is two parallel rails on the bottom with a front and rear tubular bulkhead and a diagonal from the top of the front bulkhead to the bottom of the rear bulkhead. The top of the rear bulkhead and the top of the front bulkhead are connected by the upper frame rail when the front clip gets welded to the passenger compartment section. The rear part of the frame is also two parallel rails on the bottom, with a front and rear vertical bulkhead made from a tube structure braced with a sheetmetal diaphragm, and an upper frame rail made from the same material as the lower connecting the two bulkheads and likewise sheetmetal used to brace that assembly as the rear of the frame makes the trunk/fuel cell container completely separated from the passenger compartment. Those two assemblies define the width of the frame where they meet the rest of the frame. The rear bulkhead of the engine compartment is also the front hoop of the roll cage that defines the upper frame rail, and the rear hoop is mounted to the part of the frame that connects the front and rear clips together and runs under the body. The real fun part is the entire roll cage runs outside the body to protect the driver and any passenger that might be unlucky enough to be on board in a wreck, and as I wrote earlier use the largest possible dimensions for the frame to use the d4 principle to make the frame torsionally stiff. And this means I will have to figure out a way to get the body inside the frame after it gets finish welded and everything painted without having to cut any diagonal braces or scratch any paint. I think maybe I should build a couple of “ship in a bottle” models to get ready for this. The old style, where the ship was built except for the rigging outside the bottle and then rigged inside the bottle.
Actually, I’m thinking that the diagonal braces inside the body are going to have to be bolt-ins that are installed after the body gets finally installed through the side or top of the frame. If I have to go through the top that means the top braces are going to have to be bolt-in as well, so I might just make the whole mess bolt in as a single unit if it makes it any easier to do. Or not. 😮