Tag Archives: model cars seldom kill people

I spent most of yesterday unconscious, also a large chunk of today

There is something out there that is trying to kill me, and not even aware of what it’s doing. Some tree, weed or grass is attempting to reproduce and in the process is making me miserable. I have burning eyes, a nasty post-nasal drip, and a hacking cough from the post-nasal drip. I have a treatment for it, but that treatment is also the same thing I use to go to sleep at night, and the known dose for treating allergies is twice what I use as a sleep aid at night. So I have a choice between awake and miserable, or asleep and not feeling like I’m stuck underneath a stampede of small cattle. That caught under the stampede feeling is because the intercostals in my chest are exhausted by all the coughing caused by the runny nose/post-nasal drip.

On the Mini Sprint-T front I have almost determined the length I need to cut the rear axle tube so that the rear tires track is the same as the front. The stock for the rear axle tube protrudes exactly 0.125″ inside the hub, and the brake disk has to be 0.1428″ from the front of the wheel mounting surface for a scale caliper to fit between the hub and the disk. Subtract the .0675″ thickness from the front of the mounting surface to the back of the hub as received and the back of the hub needs to have .0753″ of added material for the mount for the brake disk. That means the front axle will have (2 * .1428) + 1.92 inches or 2.2056″ between the mounting flanges, and the rear axle tube would be 2.056 – (2 * .0675) + .250 or 2.3206″ long, leaving .68″ for making the standoffs for the front hubs which would be the same 0.200″ as the rear hubs. Yay! for having more than enough raw stock on hand. I’m still pondering the choice of material for sculpturing the back side of the hub for mounting the disk.

Off on another tangent, I madecollected $6 this weekend from that game app on my phone that pays me to play it. So Yay! money from playing on my phone like it was a job. This is the same source of funds that I used to buy the rice cooker/vegetable steamer back in July, so perseverance and patience will get me good stuff. I have also used these funds to purchase most of the things I am using to make the Mini Sprint-T. The kits I bought for inspiration and as a source for making the body, the engine for the SBC version, the tires for the street version, and all the raw stock for making the frames, were all sourced through Amazon. The water pump and front engine mount, the LS7 engine and the 700r4 transmission for the SBC engine were sourced through VCG Resins, while the wheels, hubs, rotors, and rear axles were sourced through Ron Coon Resins . Those items were bought with money from other side gigs.

And that’s pretty much all I had to say today.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable Badass Poet

I live, I die, I LIVE AGAIN!

OK if that sounds familiar it’s a quote from Mad Max Fury Road. And it’s perfect for the day I started composing this post, because 15 years ago I died. Not that I try to keep that a secret. But yeah, one more year and I can drive again.

Now, I promised that my next post would have pictures of the new wheels and rear axle for the Mini Sprint-T.

First up, what fell out of the bag after I broke the seal.

Wheels and hubs and the brake rotors in a small plastic bag.


The rear axles, center sections and axle tubes. The 1/1 scale center sections are stout but light.

The brake rotor on the hubs as delivered does not leave room for a caliper.
If you look carefully you can see the hub resting against the rotor. Not good.

Wheel outer half, hub, and rotor sitting separately.

The hub in the wheel.

The axle tube will become the standoff for the rotor so there is room for a brake caliper between the hub and the rotor.

The hub on the tube with the rotor.

Now you can see how the standoff is supposed to work.

And you can see the problem with the wheels and tires as a team.

You can see how far the whole wheel sticks out past the tire.

As you can see I have a bit of work to do to make these fit the models, all the hubs need to be fitted with the standoffs and the axle tubes trimmed to the right width for the car, the standoffs need to be slightly sculpted to match the 1/1 hubs so I will be buying some Sculpy to bridge the gap between the hub and rotor. But this car build is moving along.

The next issue to take care of is the differences between Henry’s Tin and Speedway’s Fiberglass. As I was laying out the frame I noticed the body wasn’t lining up properly, so I did a bit of measuring on the model body and the Speedway body and a bit of research on the Internet I found out that the kit body was pretty close to the 1925 car it was modeled on, and the Speedway body had been “stretched” a bit to fit “late model” humans in width. With the cowl problems I already noticed that means I need to do a lot to make the kit body fit my frame. So what I decided to do is a 3 step process to go from the AMT kit body to the Mini Sprint-T body.

Step one is filling all the holes in the AMT body with plastic Goop-ed in place and pulling a mold off that. Then I can remove the fill pieces and use the kit body as intended for the kit. Using this mold I cast a hard resin plug to use for stage one of the body mods, work the plug over to correct the contours of the cowl and back but don’t widen it yet.

Step two is taking the cleaned up plug and pulling another mold from it, then pulling a vacuformed body from that mold. The vacuformed body is then corrected for the width issue, filled with resin and cleaned up to make another plug for another mold that I can use to vacuform the final body. If I like the way the final body turns out I might do a run of bodies until that final mold wears out. If there is enough interest I can then use the final plug to make another mold and the process continues until I get tired of it or people get tired of buying the body. Step 3: Profit! 😀

And a little late posting, but here we are.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable Badass Poet

The parts came in today!

The hubs, wheels, brake rotors, and rear axles for the Mini Sprint-T came in the mail today! Yay!

Everything is going to require some kind of modification from the delivered state except the brake rotors for the front wheels, they are within a couple thousandths of an inch of being the right size and only the rears will require any change in diameter since they are about a half-inch smaller in 1/1 scale and that would be noticeable in 1/25 scale.

The wheels measured out as 10″ wide bead-to-bead in scale, with the street tire wheel needing to be 8″ and the race tire wheel needing to be 14″, some work needs to be done on all of them. The back half of the wheel measures out about 2″ too wide for the street version, so narrowing that to the right width will get most of the adjustment for the street tire. The back half measured too narrow for the race wheel by a couple hundredths of an inch and the front half was over 0.1″ too narrow for the race tires. Both of those will require some finicky work to get the right width.

One thing that will require work is getting the rotors the right distance away from the back side of the hubs. As delivered the rotors mount to the rear face of the hub with no clearance, but 1/1 the rotors are spaced away from the hubs in different widths depending on the brake calipers being used. The solution for that is very easy. The rear axle tube is just the right size material for this and the tube will have to be trimmed a large amount to get the width right in the back. So the hubs and rotors will be glued to the rear axle after trimming for the right width and brake rotor offset, then the leftover bits of the rear axle tube will be used to build the front spindles to the right size and brake rotor offset. The tires won’t roll, but that is a small price to pay to get the offset right. That does leave me with two metal axles that run inside the rear axle for the tires to roll that are redundant. The front wheels won’t turn left and right either as my tools won’t let me work that small.

Naturally all of these modifications will work much easier with a lathe for making square cuts in round parts. Hint, hint.

I’ll have pictures ready for tomorrow’s post, I promise.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet

More on not being depressed, this might get a little repetitive

So far this week I have gone to the Lab Rat Keeper, and bought a stamp and mailed a letter at the post office in one day, taken a 2 mile walk to buy cat food, fixed dinner (beans, rice, and vegetables) and had a conversation with Mrs. the Poet on another day, took another two mile walk and had another long conversation with the Mrs. on another day, had a shorter conversation with Mrs. the Poet, went grocery shopping, had another two mile walk and stopped to correct a $0.40 mistake on the grocery bill yesterday, and so far today I had a conversation with Mrs. the Poet plus all the regular maintaining life functions stuff and the day’s barely half over. The conversations are what has Mrs. the Poet excited the most. Seriously this is like meeting an all new person for her as I was already depressed (but didn’t know it) when we first met.

The letter was an order to Ron Coon Resins in NE for 8 Wide 5 hubs, 8 disk brake rotors, 8 wheels, and 2 quick change rear ends. I’m at the point I can’t do the front axles without the actual hubs I’m going to use, so this will let me move on with the build(s). Yes that was a plural on the build, I’m making the “ultimate” build with the LS7 engine at the same time as the “most probable” build with the Small Block Chevy, so I have a 3D blueprint for making either one of them. I’m still trying to find brake calipers for the rear brakes, I found some good ones for the fronts but GM Metric calipers are very hard to find in 1/25 scale. In contrast 1/25 or 1/24 scale 4 piston calipers are common. Most are not cheap (except the Model Car Garage die-casts at $5 a set of 4) but they are available.

On another note I have been thinking of how I could get some pedal time in while I’m on the computer, but I’m at a technical impasse. Anyone know how to make a Chromebook shut down gracefully when the voltage is taken away from the charge port? I think this would be a software thing. I’m trying to get my computer to run on a pedal-powered battery charger and use the battery to keep everything going in sleep mode when I quit turning the pedals. I’m thinking connecting the pedals to a car alternator to make dirty 12VDC then filtering that to the clean 9VDC the computer needs with lots of caps and “stuff” to make an LC filter and a linear regulator for the final output with another filter cap across that output to make it absolutely ripple-free, and then plug that into my computer.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

One week until my Death Day celebration

That’s right, next week will be 15 years since I died. I’m trying to decide how to celebrate it, I’m thinking another zombie theme party complete with Jello “brains”. But I am open to suggestions. This is a celebration that while I died, I didn’t “stay dead”. I think the same thing that enabled me to fight through 40 years of depression without giving up completely also wouldn’t let me stay dead in the street after I got hit.

This year I would like gift cards to Starbucks or Amazon, or a small lathe if anyone has one they want to get rid of. I could do so much with something that would let me turn stuff up to 2″ diameter and down under 1/16“. I could make my own tires as a fer’instance. I could make my own rims from aluminum barstock, or widen and narrow kit wheels to fit other tires. There would be a lot that I could do with a small lathe, things that I could monetize. Building a model race car and need some oddball size race slicks? Easy peasy. Making road tires would require turning the tire to size and somehow carving the correct tread pattern into the blank, I’m not sure I could do that as I’m not a sculptor. Thinking about it I can follow a pattern that I could print off and transfer to the blank, by making the pattern from a picture of the tire in question. That would be time-consuming but doable. And then cast a rubber tire from a mold made from the blank. Thinking about it some more I could also make tires that don’t exist but could, like a 26X16.50R-15 Hoosier Pro Street. Currently the shortest 14″ wide tread Pro Street is 29” tall, that nobody makes a scale replica of anyway.

But enough of lathes and what I could do with one. What kind of party do you suggest?

PSA, Opus

Sorry I haven’t written…

OK catching back up, I’m on antidepressants long enough to have them adjusted twice now, and I’m “officially” not depressed, and the side effects are easing off. This particular med has some side effects that are distinctly unpleasant if you have had a UTI and that’s all I’m going to say about it.

I took several days off right when Mrs. the Poet got back from NY to go to my 40th HS reunion. I found out my face hasn’t changed much since I graduated based on the number of people who recognized me at the pub during the pre-reunion meet and greet. I also found that there were a number of girls wanting to go out with me if I had just asked, but since I didn’t…

I’m finally getting enough parts to start building the Mini Sprint-T. The order for the wheels, hubs, brakes and rear axles goes out tomorrow. I’m building two versions, so I’m getting the running gear for both in the same order. The main difference is one car I will have to narrow the wheels for, the other I will have to widen them. One will have 10″ street tires on 8″ rims, the other will have 14″ race slicks on 14″ rims. One car will have the LS7 and the other will have the SBC backed by a 700r4 automatic transmission. Both will have EFI, it’s just that the one on the SBC looks like a 4bbl carburetor with an extra fuel line and electrical cables.

I have found the steering box I’m going to use Classic Performance Products VEGA-PSB Power Steering Box. This box has almost the same ratio as the $600 Sweet 800 box for a lot less money and is a lot easier to integrate into the front end. The Vega box is much smaller than the 800 box and fits the same mount as the Vega manual box. I went to the manufacturer’s web site and downloaded the dimensions so I will be able to accurately model it.

And that’s pretty much everything I didn’t mention last time I posted. Opus

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

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

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