If I had a project like the Sprint-T sitting in my garage, instead of scattered around my office, I could distract myself from the idiots in power by puttering around on it instead of mentally screaming. At the very least I would be doing something useful to somebody.
Well I have been trying to get some work done on the Mini Sprint-T, as much as I can do given the condition of my cutting tools and measuring instruments. I really need to get new blades on my hobby knives and saws, and the battery in my calipers died making reading the distances more accurately than 1/16” a guessing contest. On a project where that scales as 1.5″ on the full scale prototype that degree of accuracy ain’t gonna cut it. But at least I can visualize where the bits will go on the real car. But yeah, 1/16” is the diameter of the frame tubes so I need to measure much more accurately than that. I mean .01″ is a scale 1/4” and you would notice in a heartbeat if the wheels were mounted that much off on the real car.
Tomorrow is the Daytona 500, aka “The Great American Race” aka “Opening Day”. Also my 40th wedding anniversary. But Mrs. the Poet has already said we aren’t celebrating tomorrow but rather on Monday, so I can watch the race and enjoy it without fear of reprimand especially since I’m buying dinner and paying for the bus passes to get there. I’m using the money from that one gig that pays in multi-store gift cards that work for the Red Robin in my neighborhood, and other places. This is also the same card I used to buy the lights for the kitchen, and the candy I gave her on Valentine’s Day. I can’t spend it everywhere, but I can get pretty good use out of it anyway.
My mind won’t let go of the plans for the Sprint-T, mulling over bracing and suspension pickup points. I know I have no chance of making enough money to build it at this time and for the forseeable future. I still want to build it. I have fifty years of unrequited pent-up desire that refuses to let go of the dream to build a T-Bucket, and over 30 years of wanting one to race in SCCA Solo racing, dating back to when it was called Solo2 to differentiate it from track days.
And that pretty much covers it for today. Nothing going on and not much to say.
I went to bed way early for me, shortly after 2400, then woke up way, way early at 0340 and couldn’t get back to sleep. I have the IMSA app on my phone so I plugged my earbuds in to catch the race while there is no TV coverage. The TV coverage doesn’t start back until 0700 and it’s only 0556 right now.
Clyde spent the night sleeping in my office on a pile of drawstring bags I got as promotional items, apparently quite comfortably. We have been trying to get Clyde to eat more by not letting him back out as often when we can get him to come in. He has lost a lot of weight during the cold weather we recently had, so we are trying to get his body fat % back up to a healthy range. One thing we have been doing to get him to eat more is to put treats on top of the food in his bowl when he gets treats.
After adding the vertical brace to the torque arm mount no more progress has been made in the design of the Sprint-T, but I found a potential rear axle in the 7.5″ Ford which was under several 1990s and early 2000s. It’s fairly lightweight, has mounting points for a torque arm and some were made with rear disk brakes with parking brakes, so it’s a strong contender to be the rear axle. Another strong contender is the 7.5″ Chevy which is within a few pounds +/- of the Ford depending on the model year of the axle. The Chevy also has provision for a torque arm which was standard on the Camaro for over a decade. Point being there are a few thousand of both in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell so they’re pretty cheap, and they can handle about 300-350 HP on street tires or 250-300 on race slicks making standing starts. The weight of course is highly dependant on the width and brakes. Wider is heavier by a few pounds, and some brakes are very heavy. I’m not sure if the drums or the disks are heavier, but I’m going with the disks anyway. I prefer to keep the unsprung weight as low as possible but I have to take what I can get weight-wise.
Right now I’m surrounded by sleeping cats, which sounds like my cue to publish this post.
Since I’m back to square one on the T bucket build, I’m contemplating how to make enough room in the footwell for 4 pedals including the dead pedal. Now installing a mid engine leaves tons of room for a clutch because everything is behind the body so all I need to worry about is linkages. But as low as the Sprint-T is the transmission and bellhousing will be fighting for room with the gas, brakes, and if I get a manual transmission the clutch pedal.
So one thing I was thinking about was my 210 or so pounds sitting halfway between the center and the outside of the body has a moment of 2362.5 inch pounds. I can off set the engine and transmission by an equal moment and get a perfectly balanced car for autocrossing, and that many inches will be available for pedals and feet to push the pedals. My worst-case is an all-steel SBC with a TH 350 transmission that weighs a total of 695 pounds that is 19″ wide at the crankshaft, and much wider at the heads. The tricky part is I only have the width of the front firewall to work with because of how the body pinches down to the firewall on a T-bucket. On the driver’s side I have 3½” of room without offsetting the engine to the right. Add in the offset and I’m looking at 6.9″ (175mm) of side-by-side foot room to fit feet that are 173mm wide the pair without shoes. My absolute worst case is the 4.6 Mod motor by Ford that weighs a ton and is like 22″ wide where the footbox goes, same size as the Coyote but 200 pounds heavier and half the power. The moment for that engine alone is almost the same as the SBC engine with the TH350 transmission. It’s a good thing that engine is so durable because otherwise it sucks as an engine.
Actually I don’t need to fit my feet in that space, just the master cylinder(s) and linkage. I have an entire 7½” to put my feet, side by side with the SBC engine mounted on centerline, or 11″ with the engine offset. Which leads me to ask how small were my parents’ generation’s feet, because I know there were Track Ts with the body mounted down low over the engine and the driver with his backside inches off the racing surface sitting beside the transmission, using a frame that had been heavily “Z’d” to get the engine and body down low.
I was also thinking about using the kit brake mount and a false floor over the master cylinder to move the pedals out of the way. I’m not sure how I would get that pedal hooked to a balance bar pushing two master cylinders to adjust the brake balance, but I can figure that one out after I get up in the morning.
I was hoping I would get the corpse of a RWD car or pickup to use as a donor vehicle for a Sprint-T, or maybe a dead minivan for a TGS2. But, alas, such was not to be. I still have no powertrain to use building a hot rod.
All I need to do to keep Mrs. the Poet happy is find a perfectly clean engine and transmission and not spend any family money buying it. Yeah, and to quote my elder daughter, “And maybe flying monkeys will fly outta my butt”. To say the least, keeping Mrs. the Poet happy will be a challenge.
So if anyone has an old car, pickup, or minivan that has a good engine and transmission and a wrecked or rusted-out body, I will give the engine and transmission a good home.
OK so it was late and my meds had just started to kick in and that last paragraph got a little… confuzzled? rambley? around the bend? I don’t know the right word for it, but whatever that word is that was what happened. Basically the Front-engine Sprint-T got mixed up with the TGS2 design and I was trying to mash them together and came up with something that was both and neither and a major mess.
N E way, the TGS2 has been pretty much designed except for the parts I need to have hands-on the engine and transmission for. I didn’t calculate exactly how stiff the frame is, but it looks pretty stiff if a bit difficult to get in and out of. The driving position is slightly cocked to the right and pushed up against the left and back sides of the body because there was too much going on in the footbox of the frame even with the engine out back. The reason the footbox was busy was keeping the frame bits aft of the firewall and forward of the rear of the bucket inside the body so they wouldn’t hang out in the breeze too much. This caused the front hoop to run just behind the dash, and that meant the diagonal brace from the front spring mount had to run to the bottom of the hoop inside the body instead of in front of the firewall like on the Sprint-T. I mean the Sprint-T has its own reasons for not having any room in the footbox, but running multiple diagonals through the space is not on the list.
So, now what? I have done most of the design work on 2 versions for this car leaving only the detail work of brackets and stuff that requires actually having the objects that need the brackets to do the design from. So until I get a donor vehicle this project is going nowhere. Or a huge stack of parts from Speedway or Jeg’s or Summit or someplace like that. So if anyone reading this has a rusted out front-engine RWD car or truck with a decent V-8 or V-6 engine, transmission, and rear axle. or a minivan in a similar state less the rear axle of course, leave me a message and I’ll get back atcha on how to get it to me. Because at this point either build is pointless mental masturbation, thinking to keep my brain from atrophying from lack of use.
And it is late again and the cats are out in the cold and damp and won’t come back in. So either way, more electronic scribbles in this blog are useless, so this post has come to an end.
I accidentally took my meds twice night before last and spent more than 12 hours having really strange dreams.
Seriously, very strange dreams, but nothing resembling a nightmare, which is a minor blessing in and of itself. I haven’t had a nightmare since I started taking the new med, which is fantastic, since I have been dealing with nightmares almost every night for more than 3 decades to go along with my PTSD. Getting a change in my nightly mental programming from horror to farce takes some getting used to. The good part is the new med works at keeping me from being depressed, I’m almost completely non-depressed now.
But the bad thing is my sleep schedule has been majorly disrupted by being unconscious for 12-14 hours and waking up around 1700 yesterday. So I’m doing another all-nighter and staying up all day to get back on a normal schedule. Seriously, I’ll be clunking along semi-conscious all day today until my normal 0100 bed time Tuesday morning. And I’ll be using the down time to just kinda do a random write post overnight. I’m also watching YouTube videos of people building cars of various types, including a guy putting an OHV head on a vintage Briggs and Cleetus trying to put an engine into a side-by-side designed to use a FWD engine turned sideways so the wheel diffs are 1:1 and the reduction is in the gearbox of the donor engine.
On the TGS2 I’m still looking for street tires for getting to and from the track on wheels that don’t break the budget. Seriously the tires that would balance the car require wheels that run $250 and up each meaning we are looking at about a $3000 budget just to get wheels and tires for the street, with the race wheels costing maybe $500 for all 4 and another $1000 for tires. Whoever heard of a dual purpose car where the street budget had consumables more than 3 times as much as the race budget? That’s insane.
While I was prowling YouTube I was thinking about how badly I was hamstringing this build by using the T-bucket instead of making a decent body around the frame to streamline the car and generate downforce, especially since I’m building what’s called a monoposto or center seater. I could make the car a lot shorter without the Bucket body also, but I wouldn’t be able to run Goodguys like that. Goodguys doesn’t really want sports racers running their autocrosses, and there is a class the TGS2 fits as long as I use the bucket body and pickup box (Truck). I could make it street-legal without the bucket body, but all that would get me would be I wouldn’t have to trailer it to get to the next race. I would be faster in A-Mod but at the cost of not being legal for Goodguys.
Also I have still been thinking about sitting on the normal driver’s side even though the car would be a single seater, just to make it a bit more “normal” going down the road. The frame would be slightly more complicated, but mounting the top separately from the rest of the frame as a bolt-on takes most of that out of the situation. Making the rear hoop part of the bolt-on part of the frame makes putting the driver on the left less complicated than trying to wiggle the body around the full cage less the fore and aft braces when it has to be offset to protect the driver in a roll-over wreck. Making both hoops bolt-on also would have made building the Sprint-T a simpler task as the frame would have bolted together around the body instead of trying to finagle the body around the frame, but I never got the drivetrain to build a Sprint-T full scale.
I just got a reminder call I have an appointment with the lab rat keeper tomorrow. I will have to get up early to catch the bus for a 2+ hour trip across town because DART still doesn’t understand what “frequent headway” means. I’m only spending a little over an hour on the bus, the rest of the time is walking to and from the bus stops and waiting for the next bus. I live about as far from a bus stop as I can and still consider the bus as a viable means of transportation, but still the next-largest chunk of time is waiting for the next bus to show up.
The toe looks worse today, but feels better. I mean the toe looks seriously ugly today between the color and the swelling, but as long as I don’t mess with it it feels pretty close to not-broken. As in most of the time I can’t feel it at all unless I do something that causes pressure against the toe. So basically if I don’t do anything stupid I feel pretty good.
On the bucket, I have been “what-if”-ing the car for more than 50 years, there is literally nothing I haven’t thought about doing to the car. About the only thing limiting me now is previously-purchased parts. The big thing is the 58″ front axle and the early Ford spindles and steering arms that I bought to match the hub spacing for the minivan donor vehicle I was expecting to use. Now what I seriously want to do is a V8 front mid-engine semi-traditional bucket with 4 equal-sized tires instead of bigs and littles. If I had the resources that is what I would do. Right now I have absolutely no idea what kind of car I’m going to be building, it all depends on the donor vehicle or getting a crate engine and transmission.
And as you might guess I didn’t win the lottery last night, so the build will still be as cheap as possible. Unless I win on Saturday, of course. First time through the “o” didn’t take and “course” became “curse”, I wonder if that’s an omen. Not that I pay actual attention to omens. I still need to get financial resources and the most likely way of that happening is winning the lottery, or finding a job, but to be totally honest I have a better chance of winning the lottery than I do of finding a job at my age and state of disability. That is a sad statement to make, but even sadder is that it probably is true. Winning the lottery is strictly based on chance, but getting a job requires convincing another human being that I deserve to get the job, or in other words I have to overcome any prejudices against my age and/or disability and the source of my disability (the bicycle wreck). All I need to win the Texas Lotto is beat 25827165 to one odds against. Compared to overcoming ageism, ableism, and automobilism all at once that’s nothing, and even slightly better than the odds of surviving getting hit by a truck doing 60 MPH.
So, question time. Anyone out there need a slightly damaged blogger to do something that pays money, or should I keep buying lottery tickets? Leave a comment.
The numb spots, or the spots that used to be numb are now uncomfortable to the touch, and it takes much longer typing before my hand gets too painful to use the keyboard. so, improvement and definite signs of healing. I have equal spread from my left hand compared to the right again, another sign of healing.
While I was looking for something else on the web I found a couple of images that were… interesting
If you look close you can see Wide 5 hubs on the front suspension, but unlike recent NASCAR Modified class cars it has a 5″ coil spring and a separate shock absorber on the lower A-arm. I guess it could be an IMCA or other sanctioning body car that has been changed over to Wide 5, or it could be a Late Model car. Either way that body has been widened a ton, at least a foot if not more. The deets on the build are here . I also found some more pictures at the original listing, that I might put up later.
And the hand is starting to hurt again after downloading all the pictures I didn’t put in the post today.
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.