Tag Archives: Sprint-T

I went out and paid bills again yesterday

And suffered mightily in the heat and humidity, heat index flopping around between 106° and 101° as a popup T-storm moved through. Mrs. the Poet suspects that I might need to buy shoes because I could barely walk because the soles of my feet hurt so much and it has been a while since I bought shoes. Anywho, my bill went down again as they are no longer charging a “convenience fee” for me to go to their store to pay my bill. My total payment was only $15 this month taxes included. So my bill has gone from $33/month to $15/month since April. Color me happy!😌

Also on the agenda I bought a steering wheel and pedals for my PS3 and laptop, should I find a driving game that will run on this laptop. But it will work for GT5 and GT6 on the PS3, so I should be pretty good. It’s a 180° rotation wheel with a shift lever and two pedals, meaning it’s perfect for simulating the Sprint-T except the steering is a little (by orders of magnitude) quicker than the Sprint-T. The real thing will have either 2.5 turns lock to lock with the store-bought steering quickener, or 1 turn lock to lock with the home-made quickener, which is either 3 binary or 1 binary order of magnitude quicker than the game controller, but the 270° controller was like three times as much as the 180° controller and nobody makes a 2.5 turn controller. I suppose I could install a reduction drive between the controller and another steering wheel (I have 3 from various project cars over the years that I put the OE steering wheels back on before I sold them), but TBH I don’t feel like it and it would be massive overkill for this project. Now I need to go to Gamestop and find either of the two games to buy. I have GT4 for my PS2 which is how I know that I need to get a wheel to use GT5 or GT6 on my PS3.

On the Sprint-T progress has been slowed because I’m either out doing stuff, physically recovering from being out doing stuff, or working on my computer like I’m doing right now. But I have a plan for when time and being able to do stuff coincide. I need to drill the pilot holes in the 2 by 4s so they don’t split when I drive the lag bolts in. I need to screw the sides of the nose to the radiator mockup between the two pieces I’m using to simulate the radiator end tanks on either side. And it looks like I’m going to need to cut a 6″ by 8″ hole for the steering box to hang out 5″ from, or figure out some way of denting the sides to allow the tires to turn at full steering lock. Easier is letting the steering box hang out the side, more trick and smoother appearing is forming a recess for the tires to still turn. Another factor is the side panels can be replaced with HDPE which is easily heat formed for such things as tire clearance. A third consideration is this nose was designed to make downforce and force air through the radiator, and the wider I make it the more of both it will make, and the center panel will allow for a 45″ wide nose if I don’t trim it, which will make it the same width as the body, or I can make it 39″ which will make it as wide as the windshield and have the side panels up underneath the nose to smooth the flow to the body somewhat.

Speaking of the steering box, the one I ordered will ship 2020-08-10 or sooner. The ‘Rona has messed up restocking stuff as it gets sold, so I’m waiting on a literal slow boat from China for my steering box. Everything else is Made in USA, but the big part is wending its way to some West Coast port, probably Long Beach or Portland if freight volume from China is anything to go by, or Portland if closest direct truck route to Nebraska is a factor. But I won’t get to see it for another month or so. Also on a (different) slow boat is the steering wheel controller that may be here by my birthday if I’m unlucky, the last delivery date is 9/21. The first one is beginning of August so they haven’t even picked the slow or the quick boat yet…

Thinking about what I need to make an autocross-specific engine

I have been watching Richard Holdener videos on YouTube, for data on making the “best” engine for my Sprint-T. The TPI intake from the late 1980s had extremely long intake runners that made huge torque at low RPM, way more than what a “normal” engine of this size could produce.

TPI MEGA TEST-WHAT WORKS BEST? As you can see, Richard ran a “too big” cam for the stock TPI, and basically lost nothing at low RPM while the big cam prevented the engine from falling on its face as the RPM went past peak torque.

TURBO TPI-BOOSTED TUNE PORT Boost just made things more awesome

TPI TECH PLUS BOOST-FASTER THAN FORD? More boost makes more better.

Taking the results and projecting to the LS, what I need is a super long runner manifold with as large intake ports as will bolt up to the heads, and as much displacement as I can get controlled by a 300° duration cam with big lift, about 0.600″. Basically what I’m looking for would be something like this intake with spacers to extend the runners or maybe 3d printed plenums with extended runners built in, plus a super rowdy cam and let the intake runners “fix” the low RPM problems caused by the too-large cam while the cam “fixes” the lack of power at high RPM problems caused by the intake manifold to make an engine that makes power everywhere on the RPM range. That is what I would do if I had an unlimited budget.

But because my budget is very much limited, I’m going to have to take what I can get and like it…

I accomplished something IRL today

OK it wasn’t much but I got the lengths of two by four cut to length for the radiator mockup. Holes still need to be drilled for the bolts to hold them all together. I then took a shower and passed in and out of consciousness for a few hours. Yay me/sarcasm/

I cut the 2 19″ verticals, the 2 31″ horizontals, and the 2 117/8” fillers between the horizontals that get attached to the verticals. The filler pieces make the part that goes next to the skin on the nose as wide as if I made the wide side of the two by four face the skin so as to get the skin to lay smoothly. The screws that hold the skin to the mockup radiator will go between the vertical and the filler and won’t require a pilot hole, like it would if I somehow managed to get the verticals turned flat side to the outside.

And it’s not much but I’m going to reset my sleep schedule so that I’m diurnal again so I can actually be in the bed with Mrs. the Poet when I sleep. Yesterday I was in bed by 0930 and finally got everything shut down and asleep by about 1030, but was awakened frequently by day noises especially the phone, which then required time to settle the mind and go back to sleep, so that by the time I got up at 1900 I’d had maybe 6 or so hours of sleep total. So, I’m going to stay up all day and go to bed after the race in Martinsville ends.

It was a productive weekend

Which on the face of it is kinda out of phase with how we have set up our society which is 100% consistent with my life. Most people are getting up when I’m going to bed and are getting off work as I’m getting up, and get stuff done during the week while I get stuff done offline on the weekends.

I finally got to the Lowe’s to get the blades for my cordless reciprocating saw that I’m not allowed to call a Sawzall™ because it’s not made by the people who own the Sawzall™ trademark. I got a package of 5 for an unreasonable amount of money, plus some heavy-duty wood screws for $0.32 each that I had to get because they were the only ones long enough to penetrate the second two by four after going through the first. But I still need to drill a pilot hole through the first one.

Tonight I will use the saw blades to cut the wood to make the jig to do the thing to the car. I will try to be quiet as I do it, but I have to do it when I’m awake. I can’t do it while I’m sleeping, obviously.

And we finally got done with the run wiping out a drug running gang in Arlington in Shadowrun, saved 5 people from the gang’s sex slave dungeons including 4 women kidnapped from Mexico, and destroyed their base of operations as well as took about 100K nuyen wholesale value of illegal drugs off the market in that area. I found a fully functional AK 97 in their arsenal along with tons of 39 round magazines to fit. I picked that because I lack light select-fire weapons in my arsenal, having been dependent on either shotguns or grenade launchers with much lower rates of fire of much more deadly projectiles, which while it is more effective against individuals or small groups limits my effectiveness against large groups.

The destruction of the base was really fun as the crater from the explosion was almost exactly equal to the remaining debris from the office building they had taken over as a base, leading to a nearly level empty space left behind. Not real safe to walk on, but throw some dirt and sod over it and it will be fine. And serve as kind of a testimony to the gang, “When all is said and done, you added nothing to the community”. The other houses we blew up were simple wood-frame buildings that left relatively little rubble as they didn’t require enough explosive to leave a crater to flatten them. Their rubble was widely scattered by the small amount of explosive required to knock them down, leaving only a concrete pad foundation and the remains of the roof. I only assisted in this part of the run, as my character’s experience planing explosives was nearly a century in the past. But watching those buildings disappear from the landscape was a joy, even if it was mostly a shared imaginary feat.

And I need to go cut that wood for the jig now.

I screwed up royal!

I bought something totally unusable for the Sprint-T.

Basically I bought something that was non-returnable from Speedway’s Garage Sale section and it turns out that I got a partially machined spindle set. I couldn’t get the kingpin to fit through the bushings no matter how much I machined the bushings. Then I checked to see if it would fit over the boss on the axle, and there was negative clearance with the thrust bearing in place. Near as I can tell the spindle snuck through QC before getting the back side fully machined. The insides of the bore for the bushings was undersized by a bunch and the spacing for the kingpin boss was way undersized by a couple hundredths when clearances are in the thousandths and the tolerances are in the ten-thousandths. So that just screams incomplete machining that somehow got through QC. What it means is I have an expensive set of bookends or paperweights and I have to buy new spindles and bushings and probably kingpins, or about 210 dollars worth of stuff, which is a major bummer. I really should have bought this the first time instead of trying to go cheap on it.

And that’s pretty much all I have to say tonight as we try to get ready for a Mother’s Day gathering in the time of COVID-19. Logistics is the big thing as Mrs. the Poet is only just now been cleared to leave the house as long as she only walks on perfectly flat surfaces (ignoring the slight step to get past the threshold on the front door) and she stays away from hills to climb. So we are going to park inside the garage at my daughter’s house and just have to negotiate the minor step from the garage to the house there, and the step over the front door threshold here at Casa de El Poeta. I’ll be back Monday with all the blood and gore from the trip.

Christmas came early

I wasn’t expecting this until tomorrow or Monday, but having it now is still good. “This” is my stuff I bought with my part of the stimulus check. And this is a picture of “This”.
big boxes, what could be in them?

Boxes usually have things in them, and while the one box was mostly empty space there was something interesting in there making the space “mostly” and not “entirely” empty.
The yellow on the screen is much brighter than the yellow in person, think School Bus rather than raincoat

There was also a T-shirt in the smaller box with the roll of fender material. And yes those are actual catalog numbers in that graphic.
the graphic is an homage to the model car kits we used to build as kids too young to work on real cars

There is also a roll of HDPE sheet in yellow but that was visually uninteresting so no picture. You’ll see it when I show the stages of building the fenders.

Speaking of the fenders, I have finalized the design for the rear fenders, but building them will have to wait until I get the frame built. That’s because I don’t know how much rear overhang I have yet until I get the rear axle and the fuel cell or tank I’m using. I’m pretty sure I’m using this fuel cell or this same capacity fuel cell . Those are just for driving around between races but this cell is for racing with. The big tank gets pump gas, the little tank gets E85 and a more aggressive tune on the controller to make full use of the octane and charge cooling effect of the fuel.

I’m about to mock up the radiator and use that to mock up the nose to the right width. That means I’m going to cut some two by fours and nail them up in a rectangle the size of the radiator and use that to figure out how much to cut from either side of the center part of the nose. I’m going to do woodwork, pray for my survival. 😂

Today I spent my share of our stimulus on parts for the Sprint-T

Basically I bought a modern-day track nose and a roll of fender material and a T-bucket T-shirt .

I was thinking about the rear fenders and how the rear parts of the front fenders would not work for the rear fenders because they have to be a minimum of 30″ behind the rear of the rear tire in order to minimize wake and skin drag and that was Just Too Long for a Bucket. Buckets are supposed to be fenderless or cycle fenders at most, but I’m just using the Bucket as a leaping-off point.
See? No fenders.
But anyway, the rear fenders will probably share the front design with the fronts, except no headlights or mounts. In fact I think that up to the rear of the tire the front and rear fenders are pretty much the same. behind the rear of the rear tire things are different. I really need a flat surface to mount the tail lights . Having a flat surface on the back of the rear fender does that and makes for a visually cleaner and more modern rear presentation. I was going to go for mounting the lights on the the back of the bed, but really the fenders will work better. Mounting lights to the tailgate just exaggerates the fact the bed has no cargo capacity, I mean above and beyond the visible lack of a floor. But you have to either be close enough to look down and see there’s no floor or get underneath to see there’s no floor, but with lights flush mounted to the tailgate it makes it kind of obvious. Also the slight amount of side area on the back of the rear fenders provides a space to mount some kind of side marker light. Thinking out loud again…

And something that was in this morning’s paper a study I was part of as a test subject showed an extremely strong correlation to a blood marker and having many forms of cancer. In other words it looks like there may now be a simple blood test for cancer. No more biopsies, invasive exploratory surgery, or radiometric body scans needed, go straight from finding a lump to getting a simple blood draw to removing the cancer, or just getting the blood test once a year and then getting scanned to find the cancer.

Still thinking about building the Sprint-T

And also its scale replica, but that’s pretty much a given. I think all the time, either building things in my mind or writing stories about things and people not in this world. It’s a good thing I’m not a billionaire, because if I had the money to build some of the things I think about… Well let’s just say the world would be very different. I like to think it would be better, but only from some points of view, for other people it would be Hell, so yeah, good thing I’m not a billionaire.

So, anyway, thinking about things, like how long the legs on the hoops for the cage should be, how to build the fenders, how if I made the front fenders from HDPE I could make them a bit shorter than if I used something like carbon fiber or any of the metals because I wouldn’t need to have any clearance to the top of the tire from the inside of the fender at full bump because HDPE flexes instead of breaking or cutting the tire. I was thinking that the structure needed for the headlights would basically work for the front part of the fender, because the headlights needed a rigid and vibration-free mount so the light only goes where it’s supposed to and I was already putting the light at the top front of the fender for aerodynamics and because it was out of the way, oh and because making one thing do the job of three or four without having to be any heavier is my jam (air guitar sounds). The kit version of a T-Bucket from Speedway uses the front shock mount as a headlight mount, so it’s not like my idea is unprecedented. It’s a little different but not completely out of left field.

And my YT Music app is playing “The Song That Must Be Played At Full Volume” aka “Won’t Be Fooled Again” by The Who. So excuse me while I Rock Out a bit here. (Full Throated Scream) Yeaaaaahhhhh!!!!!!

(8:31 later)Yeah, rear fenders, important bits, still trying to figure out what shape they need to be. There are many problems to be solved here: 1) keeping stuff from getting thrown on my car and other cars when it rains, 2) streamlining the rear tires, 3) fitting into the look of the rest of the car, 4) cooling the rear brakes. Of those parameters only 3) is optional-ish because if I get 2) and 4) right I basically cover 3). One option I’m considering is making the rear fenders a copy of the fronts minus the headlights, because that would be easy since all that requires is making 2 more fenders exactly like the fronts except without lights in the front. I guess I could use a repro ’59 Caddy tail light to finish the back of the fender. The downside of making the basic shape of the rear fenders identical to the front is while it ties the car together there is a bit of visual monotony in having what amounts to boxes over the tires with streamlined front and back bits on both ends of the car. But that’s what the Mini Sprint-T is for, trying out ideas to see what works and what doesn’t.

And my neck is sending scatalogical telegrams right now because I have been sitting at the computer for too long, so this is a good place to end today’s missive.

OK the 411 on the trip, and a primer on how to build a car

Things were bought, (way too much) money was spent. Legs were worn out, and my butt hurts from way too much sitting on deliberately uncomfortable benches. Not joking on that, DART was forced to buy benches that are only comfortable for the short duration so as to discourage homeless people from sleeping on them.

Now for what I bought, I had a coupon for kitchen shears for only $0.39 so I had to get a pair because our current set has gone walkabout. They work OK and did a decent job at cutting the clamshell packaging on the rest of my purchases.

I also had a coupon for a battery charger for $4, but that was a not-so-good purchase. There is a circuit that detects if there is voltage present before sending current to the terminals to prevent overloading the trickle charger, which basically turns it off if you aren’t maintaining a fully charged battery. It works great for the purpose it was built to perform, not at all for the purpose I bought it for which was to test various lights and noise makers for the Sprint-T. I had to buy a 12V power supply because the one I had also went walkabout. I guess this means another trip to buy another battery charger that wasn’t built to keep a charged battery from discharging.

The big, expensive, and hard-to-carry home part of the trip was the cordless reciprocating saw, the HF version of a Sawzall. It’s wonderful, cuts heavy steel stock like butter, and cost me roughly $120 after I bought all the extras needed to make it work, like a battery and a charger for same. Unfortunately that’s just the way things are. I needed a power tool to cut headlight buckets from a car in a junkyard, and that’s how much the cheapest tool that would do the job runs. On a brighter note I now have a tool that will do the rough cuts for the frame stock when I can get to the metal shop again.

On the subject of the Sprint-T, while I was waiting the roughly 1:40 total time between buses because of the headway change, I had the chance to think about getting to the drain plug for oil changes, when there is a belly pan in the way. I thought of various ways to remove the belly pan, and also ways to provide access without removing the pan. What I came up with as a final solution was to cut an access hole and reinforce the hole with a thicker backing piece that also functions as a flange to take the access panel as a flush fit instead of hanging underneath with overlap. Since the belly pan also substitutes for diagonal bracing the bottom of the frame any holes have to get reinforced edges so as not to be a source of failure either from fatigue or catastrophically in a wreck, this just makes the reinforcement also serve as the place the quarter-turn fasteners tie into. And as there has to be reinforcement for the hole anyway, make it do two jobs instead of just sitting there being heavy until the car gets hit.

Now I went through some variations involving hinges and magnets because I wanted something tricky for car shows and just prying against a strong magnet to open the panel instead of using a tool to turn some fasteners seemed appropriately “tricky”. But I weighed (literally) the alternatives and went with the reinforcing flange and quarter-turn fasteners over tricky hinges and magnets, especially as the T. H. and M. still had to have the reinforcing flange anyway.

Also while I was contemplating all this stuff I was thinking about fabrication for the panel that plugs the hole made to get to the drain plug. Now you may be thinking that I could just use the piece of metal I cut out to use to block the hole I just cut, and you would be Very Much Not Right. In order for the hole to not be a stress riser and cause failure in the belly pan the corners have to be radiused. The easiest way to do this is to drill holes at the corners before cutting the access which makes for some rather ugly and odd-shaped gaps when reusing the cut piece as the hatch. The solution is to use the finished hole as a template and then cut the hatch slightly oversize so that it fits flush with the rest of the skin of the belly pan. So, order of operations would be locate hole in belly pan and mark the corners, drill holes at the corners, connect holes with cuts tangent to the outside of the holes, clean up the cuts and drilled holes to have the final outline of the hole, use the hole to mark the stock for the hatch and also the stock for the reinforcement for the hatch, cut the various bits to the appropriate size and clean them up so the hatch fits flush against the edges of the hole, dimple the hatch so the fasteners also fit flush, weld the reinforcement flange to the hole, install the springs to capture the fasteners on the flange, paint, and stand back and admire. One small step among thousands of small steps would be completed.

And that’s the thing about building a car from scratch. When you look at it as a single thing it’s overwhelming, but when you look at it as a bunch of little things none of the little things is that big a deal, a day or two each to complete. Just think “Today I’m doing ‘X’, and that’s all I need to get done today” and after enough one or two-day jobs are completed you actually have a car. That’s how I have been doing it, getting the stuff together, making one thing at a time, and accumulating sub-assemblies until I have a car.

Planning a trip

I’m going to make a trip to Harbor Freight tomorrow to pick up some things. I need a new 12v power supply (battery charger) for electrical testing, and they have a sale on kitchen shears ($0.39). Also I need to get a cordless version of their take on a Sawzall . This will be necessary to cut the headlight buckets out of a car or truck in the junkyard so I’ll have a way to mount my headlights in the front fenders.

Along the way I’ll also pick up lottery tickets and some candy for Mrs. the Poet because she’s getting a little stir-crazy from not being able to leave the house. She’s been stuck here since she was released from the hospital back on 3/8. I need to get some stuff before I can do anything more on the Mini Sprint-T.

Speaking of which, I have maybe solved a problem with the Sprint-T. One of the things I want to do is use a Tri-Y exhaust manifold, which is expensive as Hell for LS architecture engines. The reason I want to use this is the Tri-Y configuration improves low and mid-range torque without restricting flow at higher RPM for peak power. Well what I want to do is use a dual inlet, single outlet muffler on both sides to act as a large-volume collector and massively boost low and high RPM power because that’s what theory says it will do. Another thing this will do is quiet down the engine a bunch without restricting it any. For the model there are muffler bodies without inlets or outlets available that can be customized exactly for this application. Unfortunately I can’t link to these because the web site they’re sold from doesn’t let me link to individual parts and when I try the links just go back to the products page. parts See?

So, after lunch I get to catch a bus, wait a while to catch another bus, ride for a while, shop, and wait again for the bus home, unless I time my shopping trip right, then wait some more to catch the bus home. [Yay!/s]