Tag Archives: mid bucket

Still working on the spindles

I spent hours working on one bushing last night and it still won’t take the kingpin. It’s getting close but won’t let me slide the pin through the bushing, and I have 3 more bushings to go after I finish that one. Either the stones are worn out or these are very hard brass bushings. I think they are actually bronze rather than brass, but still, not supposed to be that hard. I was using cutting oil and everything so unless the stones are worn out already from the axle boss I’m at a loss.

Moving on to the scale mockup TGS2 I found some more card stock to use for the floor. There was an expired TGIFriday mailer under my computer that was printed on extra thick stock. I have revised the clearance cutout for the front tires, so now all I have to do is find time to cut it out. I think if I skip a day blogging I’ll have the time to do a couple of floors, maybe?

I’m going to have to switch to my backup scale bucket body because I have already modified my first one to build the Mini Sprint-T. That means I have to open the chopped T-Coupe rod model. I really haven’t decided what I want to build from that one. There are so many choices… And I have really no time to build models. Models from boxed kits that is, mockup models are required for, reasons.

And because I need to get to work on something I’m closing this one down now.

The fur kids are starting to miss Mrs. the Poet, Happy 4th of July

Clint and Clyde have noticed that Mrs. The Poet isn’t here to sit on, on the couch. Actually I think they noticed she isn’t here to wait on them hand and foot.

I’m running out of paper cardstock for the scale mockup because we have recycled so much of our junk mail there was only one small sheet left, so when I screwed up the front wheel cutouts for the floor there wasn’t enough left to do another one. And now I won’t get any of that kind of junk mail again for a long time, because I actually want some.

I could make mockup tires from 1″ dowels sliced and painted black. The IRL tires I’m looking at are all 25 to 26″ tall which is 1″ to 1.04″ in scale, and 7″ to 12″ wide which is 0.28″ to 0.48″ in scale. Doweling is cheap and easy to work with, so that might be the tire solution, cut them slightly wide and then sand them to the correct width.

I need to get my act together this morning and get to Harbor Freight for their 4th sale. Mrs. the Poet wants me to get a screwdriver set because I left mine where I was working out in the garage and people have been moving things around and just putting my stuff anywhere in spite of repeated admonitions to not move anything so I could find it again. But nobody pays me any attention when I ask to leave my stuff alone.

Anyway I need to do a lot of travelling locally today so I had better get a quick nap in before I have to go.

Mrs the Poet has only been gone one day and already my diet has gone to pot

Just got back from my first walk in over a week. Slight right glute pain because that’s my “long” leg and has to work more, and in my left foot which takes more of a pounding because it’s on the short leg. But otherwise I’m good after 2.6 miles there and back.

Tonight I had frozen Mexican Pizza for dinner. Yeah, I know, but I wasn’t in the mood for beans and rice. I took care of most of the leftovers last night, the little half-servings of stuff that was too little to make a meal out of but too much to throw away earlier in the week. And I think I might be dairy-intolerant in my old age. I have always had gas that varied from infrequent toot to crime against humanity in volume. Well just for grins and giggles I stayed away from cereal and milk, used non-dairy creamer in my coffee and skipped my nightly dab of yogurt and had a gas-free 24 hours. Next test is soy milk on my cereal, and maybe in my coffee, and no yogurt. The no yogurt thing is what is gonna kill me since I have some almost every night.

I have been thinking about how to show you guys what I have been thinking about, since my (free) CAD program doesn’t output files that can be read except by that CAD program and a few 3D printers and I don’t have a 3D printer (yet). What I do have is a bucket body in 1/25th scale, some tires in various widths and diameters, and some card stock, both the plastic and paper kind. So I’m thinking that I can dispatch two avians with a singular lithic projectile and get some actual building done while I make a visual aide for the blog. And actually see my thoughts in 3D outside of a computer screen or my head. Mostly my head, but I have managed to get it once or twice on the computer.

I’m listening to my YTM channel while I’m posting this, and it’s almost as ADHD as I am. The last 4 pieces were a Charleston demonstration, “Les Toreadors” from the Opera Carmen, “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin, and Skynyrd’s “Simple Man”. There’s classic rock, classical, electro swing, ’60s surf rock, boogie woogie, psychedelic, ambient… and nearly every one was something I “liked” or similar to another I “liked”. I have probably caused the electronic equivalent of an aneurysm to the poor algorithm trying to decide what I like based on what I already liked and disliked. And now I really tossed a monkey wrench into the works by searching for the theme from the Alfred Hitchcock TV show under its real name “Funeral March of the Marionette”. And “liked” two of the pieces. My playlist “Opus’ fun junk” is almost as bad but I have at least listened to the whole thing end to end.

I have meandered on long enough, time to shut the brain down for bed.

Moving the driver forward completely changes the frame design

Moving me forward of the original firewall really changes the frame design. And I’m not just talking about swapping the seat and gas tank around, either. The original frame could be considered an exoskeleton as almost every part was outside of the body to some degree in order to increase torsional stiffness. Well the new frame is much smaller, only 27″ wide to fit the firewall on the body, up to the point the engine and drive bits mount which will have to be wider because of the transverse mounting.

Basically the part of the frame forward of the firewall are going to be like a ’50s Indy roadster. This is still going to be hella stout and light, but the frame members are going to be different than the Sprint-T derived frame. This frame is going to be designed for a mid engine from the get-go instead of trying to cram a mid mounted engine in a front engine frame. The other major change is all of the frame is going to be round tube, most 1.5″ diameter and most 0.060″ wall thickness except for the bits around me that have to be 0.120 by SCCA rules. This will lighten the frame by a few pounds, but nothing spectacular. What will do the most to lighten the frame is tucking everything inside the body and doing the engine and transmission mounts first instead of making them fit what was already there. Also the Sprint-T was designed around a roll cage that won’t be there because the driver isn’t where the roll cage is designed to protect.

I can make this frame as stiff and light as the Sprint-T, it will just take a bit more brain work to do so. Instead of spreading the frame as far apart as possible I’ll have to concentrate on using internal structure for stiffness. It can be done, and I’m the guy who’s crazy enough to do it. Incidentally, the changes move the fuel tank right over the center of gravity of the car so the balance doesn’t change at all between full and no gas. The Princes of Serendip are victorious again! (Look it up)

On other fronts I need to get that brake hone this evening so my walk will be extended to the auto parts store. And tomorrow’s walk will be by the pharmacy to pick up more not-sad pills for my brain. Tonight I’ll be walking about 3 miles to get some bonus check-ins on my mobile game. I haven’t been able to walk as a workout for 2 days now and I need to stretch out a bit.

More later.

Pushed my limits a bit today

I was out in the heat again today paying bills and I really cut it close this time. I had to pay the phone bill after getting to the office just after they closed yesterday, so I was out during the day in the sun and the heat. Well I didn’t get any water or hydrate before I left and I started getting nauseous walking around. I didn’t check what the temperature was, but it was over 90 and it felt muggy when I opened the door.

I think I might have saved enough money from various gigs to get that brake hone and install those spindles this week. I have 2 trips to the lab rat keeper and another trip to take movies of my heart beating. This time I’m getting driven to the echocardiogram so I don’t have to spend more than 7 hours on the roads to get a 20 minute procedure done. I have to wear that infernal Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor and carry a jug of my urine around again, but maybe by the end of the week I’ll have a mockup installation of the spindles on the axle.

And I was just taking a “think break” to let my mind put more words together and putting the kingpins in the axle bosses where they are supposed to go, and as the instructions warned they don’t fit. First installation in a new tubular axle and both bosses are out of round by a few thousandths, just enough to keep the pins from dropping in unhindered. Enough that I had to get a hammer and drift to get them back out. And the instructions also say that the only way to fix this is with the brake hone… Before anyone says anything, yes I had the grub screws all the way out before trying to install the pins.

I’m trying a different strategy on sleeping, going to bed early before I’m tired and just letting the brain do its thing until I fall asleep. I was up by 0800 today waking up all on my own. It really looks like the longer I wait to hit the bed the longer it takes to turn off my brain. I was asleep in under an hour last night and the night before and woke up before my alarm yesterday and this morning. It’s weird being up that early. My usual M.O. is to wait until I feel sleepy, then get in bed, and have the brain go crazy trying to solve all the problems I didn’t get to during the day. Then several hours later I finally fall asleep only to get awakened from REM sleep by my alarm. If I turn the alarm off and get back to sleep I drop immediately back into REM and either continue the dream I woke up from or move into another one. One recurring theme I have been having lately in my dreams is mountain freeways replaced by multilane fiberglass slides that go for miles. Everyone gets out of their cars and slides down the mountain to meet their car at the bottom of the slide. This says something, but I’m not sure what it is yet. It is loads of fun sliding down the mountain, especially at night. But anyway that doesn’t happen when I go to bed before I get sleepy.

And I was writing a paragraph about sleeping and guess what happened? Yep, faceplanted right into the keyboard. Can’t sleep when I want to but when I’m doing something and need to stay awake? ZONK!

And now I really need to leave and fill out my bag limit of check-ins on my mobile game so I can get what I can out of it before it goes belly up.

Well, dang, that doesn’t look like it will work

Two posts ago I speculated on moving the seat forward and putting the gas tank behind the seat. Well without making a custom tank or severely cutting the body, or both it won’t work. I just spent an hour climbing in and out of the bare body with the steering wheel. If I put the steering wheel inside the passenger compartment on the normal side of the dashboard even with the steering wheel in my chest there’s no room for a commercial fuel cell between my butt and the back of the car, except the 3 gallon tank , which would be great for racing, but pretty crappy for driving to and from the races. Especially with E85 which isn’t common. There is room for a big tank behind the driver’s seat, but it would have to be built custom for the space. I roughly estimated that a 30 gallon tank would fit with room to spare. If I got really crazy it would be over 40 gallons, but that would require basically making the inside of the body part of the gas tank, which like I wrote, would be really crazy.

Another alternative is to make a race-car like cockpit like this Lotus 49.Run that through the cowl.
Basically the cowl would be cut away where the windshield is on the Lotus in the picture, and my head will be just back of the original location of the dash. There’s lots of room to play with out front once the gas tank(s) is(are) gone, but almost none behind the body because of the engine and its systems. The bad part of this would be my feet would be right up against the radiator. The good part would be there would be room for a 32 gallon fuel cell behind me which would mean 700 miles between highway fill ups with some cushion for crossing Wyoming or west TX running E85. How often I would be doing that is unknown. The only thing I could think of would be the Goodguys Shootout for the year-end champion in autocross held in AZ.

Well I have about run out of words but not ideas which continue to run through my brain but not in a complete enough form that I can post them to this blog.

Working on the look of the front of the car

I have been looking for smaller headlights for the Mid-Bucket (aka Thunderbolt Grease Slapper 2) because the standard 7″ round headlights make the poor car look like it has a bad case of the Girly-Eyed Measles . A standard T grill and radiator look normal with the 7″ headlights, probably because the stock model T had 10″ headlights. But for some reason they are just too big when I put them on the TGS2. I would like to be able to just install a single high-low LED projector unit in a bullet housing but they don’t seem to be available as single units, and I lack the tools needed to spin a sheet into a bullet housing.

Getting smaller lights in a configuration that is street legal is not hard, but not cheap either. This is the best bang for the buck I have found so far. Drag Specialties 5 3/4″ LED Headlight Assembly . As you can see compared to a standard 7 inch sealed beam in an aimable housing it’s rather pricey, especially since I can go down to the local autoparts store and buy a sealed beam for under $10 (the previous link was just for the bucket but add $10 for the light and you see what I’m saying).

What’s really annoying is there are 4½” LED spot and fog lights available that look like the larger 53/4” lights but are either spot or fog not high/low. The manufacturer even calls them “headlights” in the part description, but they’re not, they’re just driving and fog lights.

Well I have to get up early for another trip to the Lab Rat Keeper in the morning so I’ll end this now.

A minor breakthrough

Still thinking about making the TGS2 lighter and simpler to build and I had a minor revelation. If I lower the 3″ tube until it is on the axle centerline that will reduce the bending moment enough to not need any bracing other than what is provided by the double-shear spring mounts (that’s a plate on either side of the coilover heim with the mounting bolt going through both plates) welded to the top. That unloads the top radius rod on the 4 link allowing for higher loads from restraining the brake rotation etc.

Someone asked me IRL how I know there is going to be so much weight in the back of the car. That one is simple: The engine and trans combined weigh 620 pounds with the CG about 10″ in front of the rear axle centerline on a car with a 100″ wheelbase that will weigh about 1600 pounds. I’ll let you do the math yourself, after I set the equation up for you. The arm for the drivetrain is 90″ and the weight is 620. The arm for the rest of the car is going to be 40″ if we are incredibly lucky, probably real close to 50″ split the difference and call it 45″ and the weight is 980. Moment is weight times arm. Add the moments together and divide by weight. That is the total arm of the car, between 63 and 65.5 and since we used the front axle as zero datum and we have a 100″ wheelbase that makes the rear percentage equal to the momentarm, I.E. between 63 and 65.5 percent. I learned this one when I was taught weights and balances for flying. Yes, I used to be a pilot before the wreck. Sioux this one was for you 😀 Math IRL for your students. Oh and the reason I don’t know the exact arm for the rest of the car is there are a bunch of parts I don’t know the exact weight for nor where they will go on the car when it’s finished. So I had to use a SWAG for the arm of the car without engine.

Excuse me I zoned out for a moment listening to an old piece from the ’70s on YTM; Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells (Pt.I)”. They had just gotten to a part of the piece I call “The Procession of the Instruments” that starts about 17:00 into the piece, and continues to the end of Side One of the LP. This was one of my first experiences listening to polyrhythmic music, which my mind finds very relaxing. Anyway, Mike says the name of the instrument and they bring it up in the right channel then mix it over to the center front then over to the left and back but still up enough to hear if you focus on the sound. I didn’t know this at the time but polyrhythmic music has a calming effect on people with ADHD and PTSD. At the time there wasn’t any such thing as PTSD by that name, it was “Shell Shock” and didn’t happen to kids (that they knew), but I had been diagnosed with “something” tied to my high IQ, that we now know as ADHD. Anywho, when I listen to polyrhythmic music I zone a bit and get real calm.

Back to the car, I’m really feeling torn between totally enclosing the roof and windows and saving weight. Putting a roof and windows on it will make the car look more complete, but will need A/C in the summer. Or I could figure out some other way to keep dew and rain off the instruments and save about 50 pounds, most of it off the back of the car, by leaving the A/C in the donor vehicle and cooling the car by leaving the windows off. That would save even more weight but lower the gas mileage on the Interstate a bit. Basically all I really need is something to cover the cluster and seat when I’m not driving. I could make a snap-on cover like old hot rods and sports cars used in the ’40s and ’50s, called a tonneau. These days a tonneau is basically the thing that goes over the pickup bed when it’s empty, but back then it kept the interior clean and dry when the roof was down or if there wasn’t any roof at all. I bet I could make something with the HDPE sheet and some Velcro™ and get the same effect and roll it up inside the car when I was driving.

And I think I have meandered across the screen enough for today.

Finally a positive message about self-worth

Something Positive “Someone” in my case is Mrs. the Poet and my credit union account. Yes, my credit union account is listed as the beneficiary of my credit union life insurance policy when Mrs. the Poet dies. That way I don’t have to update the paperwork as relatives die off, whoever gets control of my finances after I die gets the money. Whoo hoo! big money. I think I’m up to $10K now. After the cremation that leaves about $7K for the beer bash.

I got the locks sheared and am now sporting a fresh flat top haircut with the little bits of hair still going everywhere. I think I will need to take a quick rinse under the shower before bed tonight to get a good sleep. I was upset to find out the stylist who has been cutting my hair the last couple of years is quitting the end of this week. Now I have to find another stylist/barber that knows how to do a flat top. I tried the #1 all over and it makes me look like I’m on my last week on death row with the shape of my skull. Or that someone is getting ready to break the rack (cueball). I think between the flat top and my winter beard I do a pretty good job of disguising the shape of my head most of the time.

I was thinking about the front axle, that if I have the ability to make it I could have saved a bunch of weight. I ran the numbers and the 2″ X 0.25″ wall tube is massive overkill for my application. Emphasis on “massive”. The whole unit less brackets weighs 28 pounds, the bare tube just over 23 of that. With the coilovers mounting as close to the ends as I plan I could build a 6000 pound front end and it still wouldn’t overstress the axle. That’s about 4 of my whole car sitting on the front end and no damage. If I had the tooling to make an axle I could make mine from the same tubing as my roll bar and still not bend it. That would weigh right at half of the one I bought, but nobody else could use it if it didn’t get put in a Mid-Bucket. There would be plenty of safety margin for a car with only 500 pounds on the front end, considerably less for a front-engine bucket, and none at all for a fat-fender rod. Now if I really wanted to go light I would swap the 2″ steel tube for a same size one in a weldable aluminum alloy and get an 11 pound axle instead of 28 pounds. But it wouldn’t last long with the forged steel spindles because of dissimilar metals corrosion.

It has been a long day today, I’ll write more later.

Still thinking

One of the things that has been gnawing on me a little is I missed another Ride of Silence this year. For those new to my blog since I dropped the bike wrecks click on the tag RoS or Ride of Silence to see previous posts about it. I started missing the RoS when the tumor on my neck got so big that I couldn’t ride any bikes. But after Chris Christie was removed from my neck I got to the point I could ride bikes with a very upright riding position or recumbents, but not very far. Well now I can’t ride anything except a bus or car because Arthur Dent is causing troubles. I have a pain that starts in the middle of the dent and radiates to the end of the trapezius in one direction and up the back of my neck in the other, and makes my deltoid and rotator cuff tingle like they are trying to go to sleep. It’s very annoying but not much of an impediment except to bike riding at the moment, but it feels like it is trying to get worse.

I’m stalled on the Mid-Bucket (aka the Thunderbolt Grease Slapper 2) ATM because I lack cash for parts or raw stock. I still haven’t replaced my ID since the last time I lost my wallet, because I needed my ATM card to get the cash to pay for it. ATM card should finally get here this week and I will renew my ID early so I can go to Nashville and see the eclipse this August. When I get stalled on one project my mind starts on a new project immediately, in this case a lighter weight version of the Sprint-T with the Pentastar V6. Basically it is just the same as the V8 version with lighter components because of less weight and lower power. Remember the vicious circle of too heavy so other parts have to be stronger and heavier making the car heavier so other things need to be stronger…? Well this is the benign circle of less weight allowing for less heavy supporting and connecting parts. And the weight came to under 1400 pounds with the balance almost 50-50 I can use all the same size wheels and tires on each corner. If I could have gotten one of those free things would have been a lot easier.

Pole Day for the Indy 500 is on the idiot box so this is time to wrap this up. Congrats to Kyle Busch on winning the All-Star race last night in a masterful performance. Condolences to Sebastien Bourdais on that wreck at Indy yesterday and wishes for a quick recovery.

Opus the Unkillable