Tag Archives: making model cars

We’re 10-ish

Sometime this month back in 2006 I started this blog on another blog provider who has gone out of business. This year I stopped the daily updates and the bike wrecks, which after a while to decompress has done wonders for my mental health.

So, I have been doing this for a decade now and barely managed to hang on to a few shreds of sanity. I don’t even read bike wreck stories any more except by accident when I’m looking for infrastructure stories for personal reading. I have even stopped reading certain web sites known to have extensive coverage of bike wrecks. But I still enjoy writing blog posts without bike wrecks, I just wish I had more to write about.

I have been planning the Mini Sprint-T construction for a while now. I have raw stock that I can use to build the front axle up to a point, but not completely. I need the hubs, and rod ends for the tie rod and control links to mount the axle to the frame. When I build the axle, and the rest of the car, I will document it here in this blog with lots of pictures. Because that will give me something interesting (to me and I hope to you) to write about.

And because I have written all that I have to say for today, this post is ended.

Billed @€0.02, Opus


More parts came in

Well not parts per se, raw stock to make parts from. The .080″ stock for the front axle came in yesterday. Now all I need to make the front axle assembly are the Wide 5 hubs so I can get the geometry right for the steering and brake calipers. I’m still trying to decide if I want to put the steering arms on the back of the axle and the calipers and coilovers on the front, or vice versa. That’s one of the “things” about building a model first, you can find out what runs into what and move them so they don’t, for a lot less than starting out in full-scale or buying a 3D CAD program and then spending hours learning to use it. Plus when you’re done with the model you have something, something you can hold in your hands and say “I made this thing!” and feel proud of what you did. You can’t do that with a 3D rendering.

There’s not much to see of the raw stock, it looks pretty much exactly the same as the .060″ stock unless you throw the micrometer or digital calipers to it or put the two side by side. Otherwise it’s just two pieces of round rod plastic, one slightly larger in diameter than the other. The thing is that when you put them on the model and you don’t use different size round stock for the pieces it just ends up looking wrong, especially when you use the smaller size where the bigger should be. In my case it would be like using 1.5″ tubing to make the axle when it should be 2″, it would be obvious real quick that I had used the wrong stock.

The coilovers are being made but I’ll have to wind the springs myself over a blank because that’s just what you have to do to have coilovers in this scale without carving your own molds and casting resin replicas of coilover shocks. And besides being outside of my skillset, that would be a pain. Getting back to the springs, I’ll really have to wind 16 springs to match the 1:1 Sprint T in both versions I’m trying to decide on building. I was planning on using a dual spring with a slider to get the spring rate and travel for street use, with a jam nut that hits the slider between the springs to stiffen the suspension for racing or to reduce the impact if I hit something big enough to blow through the full 4″ of compression travel from static ride height. BTW the formula for finding the spring rate when the slider is unencumbered is A*B/A+B so the dual spring will have a lower rate than either of the two springs individually. The softest chrome spring in the catalog is 150 pounds, which is more than the 100 pounds I need at the front but less than the 250 I need at the front for racing. So plugging the 150 and 250 springs into the formula gives me an initial rate of 94 pounds at ride height, close enough for gov’t work. In addition to giving me more rate options using 2 springs is less expensive than buying a single spring long enough to fill the gap between the spring seats on the shock absorber when it’s extended fully at full rebound/droop. Seriously that’s like almost 20″ and those super-long springs are hella expensive. Also there is the esthetic to consider, having one chrome and one bright yellow spring at each corner is like saying “I can be civilized when the situation calls for it…”

And I have to get back to doing thing in the Real World™ so this is the end of this blog post.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

Doing more work on the Sprint-T

I’m still thinking about that car. I ran the numbers again for the PG transmission and it turns out I would only have to buy one extra set of QC gears for the SCCA Solo Racing. For the Goodguys Autocross series I could just swap the gearset over, that is reinstall the gears for underdrive instead of overdrive. Turns out there are no gears I could use that would get the final drive low enough (high numerically) to get to redline at 35 MPH in low gear with a PG transmission, and swapping places so the overdrive for highway cruising is an underdrive for racing gets me a 37 MPH redline in first gear, and with the gears in highway configuration 1800 (+/-) RPM in high. Thirty seven MPH is close enough in my book. If you want numbers the spur gears (set 30A, 26/15 teeth) and a 4.11 ring and pinion would get a 2.37 final drive in highway mode, and a 7.12 final drive in Goodguys mode.

So I would be swapping convenience at the track with better in-town performance for an extra 50 pounds weight. Installed costs would be similar, so that’s a wash. Basically with the 700r4 or the electronic equivalent 4l70e I could drive up and swap tires and adjust the suspension and be ready to go racing. That’s because of the 3.06 first gear and the 0.70 4th which gives me the RPM I want on the highway with the gearing I need to race in low gear. Running the PG I have to open up the QC and change the gears, in addition to all the other things.

The good thing about this is I have the ability to make models of both configurations. I have the SBC backed by a 700r4, and I have the LS7 and know where to get the 1/25th scale PG transmission for $2 plus shipping. I think while I’m at it I will order the Wide 5 wheels from the same vendor to spread the shipping costs over a larger order.

Speaking of Wide 5 wheels I have been thinking about how to better make those in scale, to any width desired. What I was thinking about was using a photoetched center like the Dirt Modeler 1/24th scale wheel that fits into a machined recess on an aluminum wheel half which gets superglued to the center and an outer half so that the center looks like it was welded to the wheel (or bolted depending on the particular center). The outside diameter of the wheel half inside the flanges is 0.6″ while the ID is 0.505 leaving .04 for holding the center and 0.0075 for a flange to center the wheel center while also giving something for the superglue to glue together. The wheel halves could be made whatever width desired to give correct backspacing and width for the model being built. Meaning there would be a way to build an accurate pavement sprint car or Supermodified complete with the 18″ wide wheel covered in 20″ wide tires. (Tires made separately.) Of course the drawback to this is a separate Wide 5 hub has to be built to mount the wheel on.

OK time to stop typing.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

I finally got to see the end of a Sprint Cup race this year, on Wreck-Free Sunday

And congratulations to Happy Harvick on his victory in Phoenix. I don’t know what it is about Kevin Harvick and Phoenix, but it seems the guy can’t lose there, even (especially?) when he doesn’t do well in practice getting set up for the track. They get it close with springs, shocks and swaybars during practice, then dial it in perfectly during the race just in time to win. I mean it’s uncanny how that happens.

In other news the raw stock for the various frames for the Mini Sprint-T just shipped, and is expected to arrive on Friday. I got 0.060″ square and round stock and some 0.01 sheet stock that will also be used to build the trunk besides building a lot of the frame. In scale it’s 0.25″ thick, but it’s the thinnest sheet stock you can buy and barely stands up to handling as it is. The other stock is 1.5″ square and round in scale respectively. I figured out how to do the bending for the round stock using a butane torch someone gave me years ago, so that part of the building problem is solved, now I just need to get some butane to fill it with.

Anywho getting back to the bending and getting everything the right size. What I will be doing is clamping one end of the stock on a form that is the right shape for the inside of the bends for whatever part I’m building and applying pressure at the first bend, then point the lit torch at the bend and lower it closer to the stock until the stock starts to bend, stopping and holding that distance until the bend is completed, removing heat and hold until set, then move to the next bend. I just need to find out what the inside radius for a 1.5″ tube on a mandrel bender to make the forms to bend the stock around. I think heavy paperboard or maybe balsa wood. It doesn’t have to be very thick, 0.060″ is just under 1/16“.

The round stock will also be used to make the exhaust headers for the SBC version of the Mini Sprint-T, so I really hope I bought enough for 3 frames and some left over. Otherwise I’m going to have to spring for another pack of product. Actually I will anyway because I don’t have anything to make the front axle from, so I will order the correct size for the axle, which is slightly large for the exhaust headers. So, that will be my next purchase for the Mini Sprint-T. Plus the other stuff I would need to model the exhaust headers.

It’s late now and I have to get up early tomorrow for “stuff”, so I’m calling this to a close.

PSA, Opus

I’m a little choked up on a Wreck-Free Sunday

OK I just shut the idiot box off after watching the final 3 hours of Mythbusters on the Science Channel. I have to admit to being a little choked up about the end of the series, I was still recovering from the wreck when the show started, trying to force my mangled leg to do what I wanted it to do. I have been watching it pretty religiously ever since (I missed a couple seasons in first run along the way because of D&D, but I caught them in repeats). And now after blowing up one last cement mixer truck it’s all over. I read a rumor that the reason the show was ending was not low ratings, but because Jamie got a super-secret contract with the Navy to do super-secret things. I’m going to count that one as “Plausible” because Mr. Hyneman’s previous life experience before doing the show, combined with all the strange stuff he has done making the show, would make him a superb asset for numerous covert operations. Not Jamie out in the cold doing the covert stuff, he’s way too well-known to do that, but he would make a hell of a “Q”-analog for a US James Bond (who was a commissioned Royal Navy officer, BTW).

I haven’t heard any rumors about Adam, but he’s bound to find something to occupy his time in early retirement. I follow him on Twitter and he doesn’t seemed to have slowed down much since the show ended, he might just keep the Mythbusters stage show going for another 14 years minus The Walrus.

What I have been doing was building those engines I mentioned in an earlier post. Then I shot a comparison between the LS7 and the 383 SBC from several angles. Both engines are the same scale.
head to head
You can see that the deep sump on the resin kit’s wet sump pan is going to make fitting it under the hood of the Sprint-T tricky. I’m probably going to modify the kit pan to resemble the dry sump pan on the crate engine for a lower profile and better oil control IRL.
side by side with the LS in the back.
That angle makes the LS look a lot taller than the SBC when it’s not really that much taller. Some yes, but not as much as that angle makes it look.
Without the FEAD the LS7 is only a tiny bit wider then the SBC
Without the Front End Accessory Drive (FEAD) the LS7 is only slightly wider than the SBC, but that alternator bracket is hanging way out there past the hood side. Putting the alternator over where the AC is on the Corvette FEAD and tucking the power steering pump up closer to the block would get everything under the hood after completely re-engineering the entire FEAD. I love that acronym, it just blows the spell-checker’s mind.
This is a better way to compare widths
You can see the LS engine is just a touch wider than the SBC from these pictures, when the stock FEAD is left off both engines. The FEAD I’m building for the SBC will tuck the alternator up against the passenger side of the engine below the head, and also the power steering pump against the driver side of the block. I’m sure I could do the same for the LS7 engine, but that would require changing the water pump to one that rotated in the same direction as the crankshaft.

And I have to get up early tomorrow because I’m out of milk, coffee, and yogurt. That’s three things I can’t function without for very long, so I have to get up early enough to catch the mid-day pass so I can get to the bank for money, then get to the store for supplies. I have enough java to run one reusable filter through the Keurig, and that’s it, then I have to use the artificial creamer. It’s just awful, I tell yas…

PSA, Opus

Still batching it, and the Feed

I’m still alive and feeding myself (and using up some leftovers). I’m building the other engines I got from VCG Resins (the LS7 and the Ford Coyote) so that I don’t spend much time thinking about not being with Mrs. the Poet and doing my own cooking. Something I noticed is the LS7 engine is almost identical to the SBC, while the Coyote is slightly shorter but much wider than the SBC. I can foresee much wailing and gnashing of teeth trying to get that in the same chassis and especially under the same hood as the SBC. I mean the hood barely fits over the SBC when everything is above the bottom of the lower frame rail and the body sits on top of that 1.5″ square lower frame rail. And I just measured the thickness of the transmission pan and the thickness of the temp floor in the bucket and if I use the temp adhesive to glue the transmission to the inside of the floor without the pan it raises the engine to exactly the height it would be if the bottom of the body was sitting on top of a scale 1.5″ square rod. This makes mocking up much easier, and I will be able to take a picture showing almost exactly what I would see from the driver’s seat of the 1:1 Sprint-T.

Up first is Our Daily Ted for no particular reason (except I want to avoid the Big Story for a few more minutes). Morning Links: LACBC & SaMo Spoke up for national honors, CHP looks for driver in East LA bike hit-and-run

Still in CA. 2 Suspects Sought in Shooting Death of Man Riding Bicycle in San Bernardino Talk about stupid, if they had run the guy over and stayed at the scene and cried a bit how they never saw the guy until they hit him, there would have been no big deal over the dead guy and LEO probably wouldn’t have even put any points on the driver’s license. But because they shot the cyclist now there is a big manhunt going on and probably both are going to get charged with murder and conspiracy to commit.

OK, now that Big Story, more on the drunk driver that hit a group of 10 cyclists waiting in a bike lane for a red light in AZ. 2 bicyclists killed, 2 injured on Tucson’s NW side and Santa Fe bicyclist killed in Arizona; truck driver arrested also 2 bike riders dead as pickup hits New Mexico group in Tucson this too Santa Fe cyclists among those killed, injured by impaired driver in Arizona Again, there were 10 bikes in the group, 4 cyclists were injured enough to not be able to walk from the wreck site, one was pronounced dead at the scene, one died after reaching the hospital, one remains in critical condition, and one may already be out by the time I hit the “publish” button on the composing page. There was some speculation that the driver may have been distracted in addition to being drunk, which would make his loss of driving skills drunk2. Actually I don’t know that is true, I’m extrapolating from the MythBusters episode where they compared driving with a cell phone (hand-held and hands-free) to driving with a BAC of 0.08% and found cell phone driving to be slightly worse than drunk driving, so combining the two would be either 2drunk or drunk2. It all depends on if it is a linear or exponential relationship. And I just went full nerd on you, sorry.

It took FL LEO long enough to charge this guy. Driver charged in death of Weston bicyclist I mean he only killed the guy back in July, the victim died at the scene so they were not waiting on tox screens or anything.

Bad news about infrastructure from OR. Negligent driving bill won’t pass this session This comment encapsulates things perfectly.
Anne Hawley March 3, 2016 at 1:57 pm
“In their mind,” Rhoades continued, “this bill just criminalizes distracted driving.”
That was the whole damn point.

More infrastructure news from America’s Copenhagen. Mayoral candidates make cycling part of green policies at environmental debate Everybody put bicycles as a major component of their environmental policies.

And what will be good news to some in the Power Assist Yahoo Group, and bad news to other members. Shop Visit: Pedego Electric Bikes now open in downtown Portland The guy that owns the Pedego company used to be quite active on Power Assist, but not so much any more, maybe because his little empire is expanding.

A distinctly NYC hazard. SUV Driver Shot In The Head, Crashes Into Utility Pole In Astoria Don’t know that any cyclists were involved, it might have been an Uber or Lyft that someone attempted to hijack and everything went to crap.

How do you hit-and-run a building? Knucklehead Cops Allegedly Fled After One Plowed A Car Into A Hair Salon Oh, you get shitfaced celebrating your cop promotion.

An important part of WI infrastructure. Teaching Safe Bicycling Couse Misspelled word is a cut-and-paste from the headline, I know where to put the “r” in “course”. It does slightly worry me that such a major typo got through.

Ranking cities by bicycle safety and Dallas doesn’t even crack the top 20. D.C., Boston Tie for Cycling, Pedestrian Commuting Rates and Safety But, a city I used to live in when LBJ was president did well in the medium city category.

Want to know how much walking and cycling really mean to your city? Snow and the Walkable, Bikeable, Accessible City Look what happens when it snows.

Scary video from Jolly Olde. Glasgow cyclist shows why you shouldn’t always ride in a bike lane Yep another door-zone bike lane.

Another link to the man convicted of careless driving for killing a cyclist while driving drunk. Seven years behind bars for West Molesey man who killed a cyclist Once again I say this was a case of serious under-charging when they called driving drunk “careless”. Seriously, drinking and driving is a deliberate act, not “careless”.

This is one thing about UK jurisprudence I really like. Cyclist won payout from TfL after hitting gaping manhole on cycle superhighway ‘that hadn’t been fixed’ Here in TX government has “Sovereign Immunity” from being sued over sub-par infrastructure even when it was deliberately done that way.

More infrastructure news from Jolly Olde. Commuters want better cycling infrastructure – even if it creates delays I guess people weighed 5 minutes from their day against permanent injury or death for someone else, and decided their 5 minutes were not worth someone else’s life.

Last link looks at the connection between bicycles and early feminism. First The Bicycle, Next The Vote: The Story Of Bicycles And Feminism

Now it’s time to put this to bed in time for Gigi to review it.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

More stuff about making model cars, and the Feed

OK I don’t know how much you have been paying attention to the Mini Sprint-T build, but the exhaust that came with the engine kit is going away for something more like what the real thing will have. What the 1:1 Sprint-T will have is what used to be known as a Tri-Y header or now as the 4-2-1. The main reason for that is what I’m going to be using the car for and how. The car will be used for SCCA Solo and Goodguys Autocross racing, plus transit between races and general around town grocery-getting (that’s why I’m including a trunk with a locking lid). The “how” is the car will be geared to hit 60 MPH in 1st gear so no shifting during a run in Goodguys and very little in SCCA Solo, just gas, brake, steer (or gasbrakesteergassteergasbrakesteer…). The reason for the Tri-Y over the cheaper and easier to find 4-into-1 is torque curve, specifically the curve below the peak torque. Tri-Y headers use an effect of resonance to get more torque below the peak without hurting power above peak torque. They are also not the best-looking thing to have on an exposed engine, but I can fix that during fabrication.

But to do that I have to make a set of scale headers to fit the car, and to do that I have to decide which cylinders to pair up for most equal flow. On the SBC there are 2 cylinders on each bank that are right after each other in the firing order and would interfere with each other if they were on the same branch of the second Y of the header. So the trick is to set them up with a second cylinder that is as far apart as possible in the firing order so there is no interference (actually there still is unless you have a flat crank or a straight 4 engine). That is easy to determine, just write the firing order vertically twice in a row so that you have a column of 16 numbers. Even numbers are right bank, so you put a tick mark on the right side of the column next to all the even numbers, ditto the left side on the odd numbers. You will easily see the adjacent cylinders because there will be two tick marks in a row on the same side of the column.

Now the almost-tricky part. Since there are 4 cylinders per bank you have to start with one of the adjacent cylinders, and pair it with the non-adjacent cylinders and count how far apart they are in the firing order, then do it again for the other cylinder, then do it again twice more for the other adjacent cylinder. You will find there are two pairs that are 5-3 or 3-5 and two other pairs that are 2-6 or 6-2 and that if you pick the 5-3 pair for one adjacent cylinder then the other adjacent cylinder is 3-5 with the remaining non-adjacent cylinder. You now have which cylinders to pair up when you build the headers.

The tricky part after that is making it look good where the primary tubes join the secondary tubes, and not like a bundle of unhappy snakes. What I’m going to do is put the secondaries side-by-side so that from the side it looks like a short-tube 4-into-1 header.

Now if I had a big budget I would build 3 sets of headers, one using 3-5 5-3 pairs, one using the 2-6 6-2 pairs to see if there is any difference, and a third 4-into-1 with super long primary tubes to see what running the longest primary tubes I have room for will do in comparison. And maybe I would also build a pair that had the adjacent cylinders on the same branch just to see if what everyone says is true about the adjacent cylinders interfering with each other and killing torque. Because if it didn’t make any difference I would run the tubes the way it packaged easiest. Or I could do the same thing with different slip-on collectors for the 3-5 and 6-2 headers and the 4-into-1 and build a separate set for putting the adjacent pairs on the same branch. That would be a lot of header swapping at the dyno, but it would be an interesting experiment.

Up first is a wreck in TX. Bicyclist killed in Crosby, family seeks assistance Nothing about the mode, but with no intersection mentioned nor salmon cycling it seems like hit-from-behind is a good candidate for the wreck. If you have the inclination I suggest going ahead with the goFundMe donation.

Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: LA River bike path closed through Memorial Day, and biking & walking are booming in the US

Still in CA. Operation Firefly shines a light on night-time bicycle safety I am a big fan of lights for riding at night so you can see wheere you’re riding. Also because drivers are generally blind as bats and will run over anything not lit up like Times Square on NYE. And sometimes even if it’s lit like Times Square on NYE.

How in Hades’ name do you run into 4 cyclists waiting at a red light unless you aren’t watching the road in front of you? Two dead, two injured in Northwest cyclist involved collision Oh, he was chemically impaired, that’s how.

So the kid got hit because he wasn’t wearing a helmet, or because the driver was going too fast to stop in a residential area or? 8-year-old boy killed while riding bike in Indian Land The wreck scene was two turns inside the residential area and should have been traffic-calmed with a low speed limit since there were childrren playing in and near the street.

Not that the vote would change things as the petition was disallowed for lacking valid signatures, but the outcome was unexpected. BURLINGTON VOTERS SAY ‘NO’ TO KEEPING FOUR LANES ON NORTH AVENUE, SCHOOL BUDGET PASSES Really, who in their right minds puts a technical infrastructure upgrade to a popular vote?

CT wreck LEO are blaming on a salmon cyclist. Police: Wrong-way cyclist seriously injured in crash OK the narrative sounds really dodgy on this one, he was riding against traffic and then crossed to the opposite side of the road to get hit from behind? Does this sound like the wildest SWSS report since the cyclist hit on the right with the left side of the car after “swerving” from the right shoulder in Texarkana?

Hit-and-run in NYC. Hit-And-Run Driver Knocks Elderly Man Off His Scooter In Brooklyn Not a bike, but there was a bike nearly hit by the driver during his escape. You can see it in the video. Also sending healing to the victim on the mobility scooter.

Some parts of NYC are being dragged into the 21st Century kicking and screaming. The Boulevard of Life, Phase 2: DOT’s Plan for Queens Blvd in Elmhurst And people are fighting this because parking will be lost?!? How many lives is a parking spot worth? How many broken bodies?

Hard to make change in car culture when you still devote massive amounts of space to storing cars. Guest opinion: To make paradise, stop putting up parking lots

Another blow against automobile-centric hegemony by the DIY DOT. ‘Agents of transformation’ help spread traffic cone activism in Portland

They are trying to change things in FL. 3-Mile Bike Ride With Mayor Haynie Seriously, 2 years ago I would have dismissed a story like this as an opium dream, now it’s reality.

The country of Bermuda is too poor to stop killing people. Making roads safer ‘cost prohibitive’

Rider down in Jolly Olde. Father-of-three killed in cycling crash ‘after hitting pothole that had not been repaired despite repeated warnings’ The first report of this pothole was filed in 2009, seven freaking years ago. How many broken bodies can be attributed to this hole? And now a life has been lost.

How is killing someone while driving drunk “careless” and not “dangerous”?!? Van driver jailed for seven years after cyclist killed in multi-vehicle crash How many vehicles did this doufus hit and how many hit the cyclist?

This was a hard video to watch. Not because of the content, but because by the time I pulled this link up my laptop was stopping and eventually crashed while trying to load the video. I heard a lot of bleeping profanity, but the video wouldn’t show. Cyclist crashes avoiding pedestrians who were crossing when they shouldn’t have been

You’re riding your bike wrong, say scientists. How to ride a bike the right way, using science

And it’s almost 0400 and I’m feeling like I was run over. And believe me I know what that feels like, at least 3 times. Time for bed. If I hadn’t been tagging this as I composed it there wouldn’t be any tags.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Happy Daytona Day, on a Wreck-Free Sunday

Congratulations to Denny Hamlin on his exciting win of the Daytona 500. This was Toyota’s first Daytona 500 win, so double thumbs up for them. This win puts Denny first in line for the 2016 Chase for the Sprint Cup.

The congregation, at least the part of it that meets for morning service, has tasked me with helping the homeless people who used to hang out near our church. Specifically I was tasked with making living on our little plot of land easier for them with a suggested porta-pottie and garbage can for their use. I checked and as a church we don’t have the resources to support that kind of thing. Renting a portable outhouse runs into the $ hundreds every month. We might be able to afford the small charge for an extra garbage can so they don’t wind up leaving piles of trash on the property (like they did the last time we allowed homeless to live on property), but that would be the extent of it. Unless we get a whole lot more money coming in I don’t see anything we could do as a church besides asking GPD to not harass homeless people on property at night. But I will bring the subject up with the Board in 2 weeks. One thing I see as likely would be getting local shelters to send us a couple of people who won’t live in a shelter and letting them stay at night on our property on a regular basis. There would have to be documents made on some kind of waterproof paper that whoever we gave permission to would be able to present to GPD as proof that they were there by permission. I shall have to cogitate upon this further.

Something else I have been cogitating upon was how to build a scale Tri-Y header for the Mini Sprint-T. I had decided to run such a thing on the 1:1 version many months ago because that configuration would move the torque curve higher in the lower end of the RPM range and work better for the racing this car was being built for. If I was trying to make it optimal for SCCA Solo racing, and just barely drivable to get from one race to another between races I would build it with a Powerglide transmission and a semi-manual valve body that would allow manually shifting between low and high gear, and swap out the transfer gears in the QC between a lower gear for racing, and a very tall gear for driving between races. This would take almost 100 pounds out of the car, at the risk of making it really lazy on the street and run as fast as 110 MPH in low gear. I mean with the calculated race gear the car would hit redline at 150+ MPH in top gear but would only go 60 MPH in low. The downside would be cruising above 3000 RPM on the Interstate between races without changing gears in the rear end, just swap out the race tires for the street tires and go. That is clearly not a good option. So the way to make the car race and livable on the street and the highway is to go with the heavier 4 speed slushbox and accept the weight penalty, or accept a car that might as well not have a high gear on the street. But anyway, the Tri-Y header would let the car accelerate harder at speeds below the torque peak, and get better cruise economy, and now I have to figure out how to make them in scale for the Mini Sprint-T.

And it’s getting late and this was entirely too much technobabble about cars in a bike blog.

PSA, Opus

I hope you had a happy Valentine’s Day on a Wreck-Free Sunday

For those of you not in a candy coma yet, Happy Valentine’s Day. Or as some of my friends put it “Single People Shaming Day”. Mrs. the Poet and I exchanged favorite chocolate concoctions, hers was Reese’s bars and cups, mine was semisweet baking chocolate (I prefer my chocolate to taste as much like the original recipe as possible). Mrs. the Poet also found some pink bunny Peeps to go with my chocolate because otherwise she wouldn’t have had any excuse to buy them and I’m the only person in my immediate family that likes Peeps (remember that “hanging with my Peeps” picture from the post I did on recovering from getting the tumor removed?).

I’m still working on the Mini Sprint-T model, with rounding up the body color spray paint at an auto parts store and re-sending the order to VCG Resins for the alternative engines and the front end accessories needed to finish off the SBC on the main model. I still need to get the glazing putty to finish making the lower curves on the back of the bucket, make the first mold and cast a second plug, then recontour the second plug to match the Speedway body in 1/25 scale, then make a second mold to use as a negative mold to draw a vacuum on so that the details of the body are on the outside rather than on the inside where it gets covered by the interior bits. There is some transfer of exterior details over to the interior on the 1/1 version because the way it’s made with chopper gun fiberglass sprayed into a negative mold follows the contours of the mold with a more-or-less uniform thickness material. This is similar to what I’m planning on doing except instead of applying a spray of material I’m stretching a uniform (more or less) thickness of material into the mold with a vacuum.

I think the plastic sheet and rod problem has been solved by searching Amazon for hobby supplies, all I need to do now is beef up my gift card account a bit more and maybe wait for a sale. This will take some time, but hey, it’s not like I was doing anything else right?

Yesterday we celebrated 3 family birthdays at the Cheesecake Factory in Frisco (TX, not the nickname for San Francisco CA). Mrs the Poet and I shared a burger and fries and a Kahlua Chocolate cheesecake for dessert. The family birthdays we celebrated are in order they fall in the month, Youngest Daughter on the 4th, Only Son and eldest child on the 8th, and Husband Of Youngest Daughter on the 14th. The meal was good but expensive with the burger alone coming in a $14 plus the drinks and the cheesecake. Fortunately Mrs. the Poet and I aren’t eating as much as we used to when we were more physically active so we are still a cheap night out for dinner.

This morning I did the service I posted yesterday. I managed to get all the videos to play at comfortable volume and visible on the church’s HD TV by running the HDMI cable from this computer to the TV. There was some initial consternation because the remote that turns the TV on and off had been moved to a different location than the last time I did a service with A/V recorded materials, and the HDMI cable had been removed from the TV and also had to be tracked down. The only bad thing was the lack of attendance for whatever reason. I put a lot of work into finding those videos and writing the service so that I could do it with my emotional and mental problems, and having only 5 people show, 4 not counting me, 2 not counting Mrs. the Poet, me, and the guy that brought us. Well, since I was the only one who had seen the finished product prior to this morning that means 4 people got to see it for the first time this morning. Worse things have happened, to me even. I’ll live.

And I think it’s about time to put this to bed so I can go to bed as I’m sleep-deprived from getting up early the last 2 days, and I would say it shows but by this stage nothing short of getting major facial wounds is going to make much difference in my appearance.

PSA, Opus

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