Tag Archives: Sprint-T

Glutes still hurt

That’s pretty much standard these days, but that doesn’t keep it from getting really annoying. If I had the funds I would be getting a massage every week, just my neck and my glutes, and a full body massage once a month to catch everything else.

I entered a contest for a 427 cu. in. small block Ford engine that puts out a smooth 450 plus crank HP. The only problem I have is the transmission to bolt to it for the Sprint-T. Ford overdrive automatics have a bad reputation for puking internal parts when they are bolted to high power engines like the one I entered to win, and I still don’t have enough space to put three pedals between the left side of the transmission tunnel and the inside of the body for a manual transmission. But there are people who say they can bolt any transmission to any engine given enough time and money. Time I sorta got, money, not so much. But if I win this engine it’s a huge step forward for the Sprint-T, and has the “advantage” of putting a Ford in a Ford. Some people think that’s important or something. For me in this car, an engine is an engine, power and weight are more important than brand. The frame has room for just about anything smaller than a Roll-Royce Merlin.

We are still waiting to know when the money from the trust is deposited to my account, and for my first Social Security check to hit the account. We are all on tenterhooks because of previous economic disasters that have befallen Casa de El Poeta, and kinda crossing our fingers that nothing else strikes before then. Between this influx of cash and Social Security we should be semi-permanently above water, assuming Trump doesn’t destroy everything on the way out the door. I know that’s a huge assumption, but we have to keep hopes up.

Currently listening to “The Pretender” by Infected Mushroom.

I haven’t been well lately

My sleep schedule is still borked, and I’m still getting muscle “not feel goods” and a bunch of other things. I mean nothing really hurts, just a whole bunch of things that don’t work anywhere close to “right”, and it really annoys me. I’m supposed to be able to do almost anything to my body and still have it work right, and this recent bout of “not working within design tolerances” is just really pissing me off.

On things that are not my body, I think I might have the mount for the steering box nailed down so it won’t flex under load and cause steering to be imprecise. I mean it’s probably overkill by several magnitudes, but I’m pretty sure I have enough bracing so that it won’t move when I make rapid changes in direction. Moving the box in front of the axle made a big difference, because now I have structure above the mount I can tie into and prevent side to side flex in the mount. There’s not even a possibility of other movement, because first of all there are no forces in those directions to speak of, and second because for all the other forces there are already massive trusses in place just because that was the easiest way to build the mount.

On the steering arm, still waiting to purchase cutting tools large enough to handle the 1/4″ thick stock needed for the forces involved, because basically I’m looking at buying everything I already have all over again, but bigger/heavier. I’ll need a new drill press, new saws, bigger drills, the whole shooting match. This means about a thousand dollars in tools, maybe a little less if I buy used. But looking at Harbor Freight, getting a drill press big enough to handle drilling the holes for the 5/8″ heim joints is the big $$ item. The cheapest press is this one. And it barely fills the bill.

I think maybe I can use my angle grinder and metal cutting wheel for rough cuts and the grinding wheel for the fine shaping, but it will be slow work and there will be many chances at messing up the part because of how thick the stock is. For cutting thicker stock they have a bandsaw that will do the work, faster than a cutoff wheel but still pretty slow. I’m going to have to think about the bandsaw, but the drill press is probably a must just because my other drills are not up to handling the size of the drill bits needed for the job. The biggest bit my hand drills will handle is 3/8″ and the drill for the 5/8″ threaded hole is 9/16″ while the non-threaded hole is the full 5/8″. I don’t know what the chuck capacity is of my current drill press, but the piece is pretty much worn out from building bicycles. If I try to drill too fast through even just thick wood the chuck falls out of the press. It worked fine for a long time, but it’s just worn out now.

And I guess I have run out of things to write about, other than because of the weather change it is now in the 60’s F inside my office. My thermometer/clock says it’s 67°F in here and my fingers are not as nimble on the keyboard as they are during the summer when even with the AC on it stays 76° in the house and my hands and fingers all work perfectly without hesitation🤣. That’s a joke, nothing on me works perfectly or without hesitation. Everything is out of whack to some degree, but most of me works best between 75 and 78°F. Above that and I start sweating, too much below that and things start getting stiff, and then they get painful. And we are at the upper boundary of stiff and painful today.

Well I’m going to call this the end of the post, you should go have a nice day or something.😉

 

No game this week, again

Family tragedy struck one of the players in our group as her father-in-law died a few days before game. Also, I have been beset by allergies that have really upset my sleep cycle as my sleep aid is just a double-strength allergy pill, minus the buffers. So, instead of putting me to sleep, it just clears up my nose and eyes for the night until it wears off. I was awake after 0700 this morning even though I put myself to bed by 0500.

I ended up sleeping through most of the race today, but I did manage to tune in for the last 20 or so laps, watching Kevin Harvick chase Joey Logano and almost catch him until Joey used dirty air or lapped cars to slow him down to keep Harvick from passing. It was a master class on how to defend a lead in a Cup race. I’m not a fan of Logano, but I do give credit where credit is due, and Joey drove his butt off keeping Harvick at bay.

No progress has been made in the Sprint-T redesign. I have all the major pieces in place, and until I can get some raw stock, which is really hard to come by these days because of the one-two punch of tariffs and COVID19, I really can’t build anything. Even in the case that I was able to find the raw stock, the combination of the stock thickness and having tools sized for bicycle building and not hot rods leaves me with stock with the dimensions laid out but no way to cut and drill to the sizes needed and make the part. It is frustrating to have drills that won’t handle drill bits over 3/8″ when the smallest hole is just under 1/2″ and the big hole is 9/16″ to allow for the thread depth of the bolts and the tap that cuts the thread so those bolts can screw into the part. It’s a combination of lack of power in the motors and the chucks just not being physically big enough to hold the larger drill bits. And for my cutting tools the 1/4″ thickness is pushing the limits of the equipment because when I bought the tools years ago when I was building bicycles 3mm (1/8″) steel or 5mm aluminum was the heaviest stock I was going to ever cut. Building hot rods wasn’t even on my mind. Let’s just say I was in a bit of a state over cars since someone tried to kill me with one, actually several someones tried several times with varying degrees of success, but nobody actually killed me thank [$DEITY]. So for most of this century since the wreck, I have had varying degrees of antipathy about cars.

OK, let me take inventory of tools, parts and raw stock that I need to complete the Sprint-T. I need something that can make square or mitered cuts in stock at least 1/4″ thick in mild or chrome-moly steel. I need a drill press that can handle 3/4″ holes in the 1/4″ steels, and up to 1/2″ thick in aluminum. I need a welder that will weld over 1/4″ thick steel, and that will weld aluminum. I mean I can use oxy-hydrogen to weld aluminum now, but that is a very tricky technique for someone with cataracts to work with, and I’m not sure that it didn’t contribute to giving me cataracts in the first place. Anyway, after the tools I need lots of raw stock, DOM or chrome-moly seamless tubing in 1.5″ diameter and 0.120″ (7 sticks) and 0.060″ (5 sticks) wall thickness, some 1.25″ diameter DOM and 0.120″ (2 sticks) wall for making the tie rod, drag link, panhard rod, and the torque arm. Also needed is a metric buttload of hardware to connect things that have to be able to move in relation to other things, in various sizes from 3/4″ fine thread (pretty big) to 4-40 (tee-niny).

It’s getting late, so I’m wishing you a good night and pleasant dreams.

OK getting down to brass tacks on this steering business

First, an etymology of the phrase “Getting down to Brass Tacks” because I know it and I think it will add to the conversation about the steering. The origin of the phrase relates to custom saddles for horses and cowboys, and literally refers to the size and number of the brass tacks used to secure the final seating surface to the frame of the saddle. This was important because too few or too small of tacks would cause the saddle to fall apart, and because the polished brass tacks were a decorative touch and too many was considered to be low-class, or <i>nouveau-riche</i>. And that should be in italics but I have to switch back and forth between editors so fvque it.

Anyway, this part of the design is very detail-oriented, in that the same parts from different suppliers will require different fitting because while they might be the same internally (spline count and/or shaft diameters) outside they are very different. Like about a quarter-inch different in outside diameter between basically the same U-joints from different manufacturers means some will clear the inside of the bellypan without relief dimples and some will require about an eighth of an inch or so relief dimple to not foul the U-joints when the steering wheel is turned. So I have to do a lot of catalog and website browsing to find the outside diameter of the various U-joints, so I can pick the ones that won’t require extra work on the bellypan.

Actually there is only one place where the outside size of the U-joints is at all important, the place where the steering shaft goes under the radiator, between the frame rails, and above the inside of the bellypan. The current plan is running a 3/4″ shaft under the radiator in the 1 1/2″ gap caused by the radiator having to sit on top if the bottom frame rails, and tucking that shaft up as close to the radiator as possible. I can get bearings that can be mounted so the shaft just barely clears the bottom of the radiator mount, meaning the U-joints have 1.125″ radius clearance without having to dimple the bellypan. Most of the U-joints I’m looking at will clear that with no problem, but there are some that don’t and I have to make sure I don’t get those. So I have to mark the ones that I know will fit and then cross them against other considerations, like how strong they are, and how much flex they have. Price is also a consideration, but there isn’t much leeway there. They pretty much cost what they cost, and there isn’t much difference between suppliers.

Anywho I have also figured out what to do with some of the leftover heavy angle stock: the panhard rod (or track bar, the two are interchangeable) needs a sturdy mount on both ends, and the quarter-inch thick stock will be perfect for that, being practically inflexible for the size needed for that bracket, no deflection at all as short as they are. And because right angles and flat surfaces, it’s practically self-jigging.

And I don’t know if I mentioned it explicitly before but because of the thickness required to prevent flex in the steering arm, the part is thick enough to be threaded for secure connection to the rest of the car. No extra nuts required, but I will use a safety nut on the bolt through the heim joint at the end of the drag link, because that bolt will be hanging down and could fall out of it wasn’t safetied somehow, which could cause a total loss of steering control. I don’t think saying that would be bad is any overstatement. The safety nut in this application would be equal to a double nut safety, as the threaded steering arm would function as the first nut.

And I’m getting a notification from my computer that my OS wants a shutdown to update, I’m starting to glaze over and try to faceplant into my keyboard because trying to think about something on-topic to write about. So this looks like a good time and place to stop writing this and publish and reboot.

Still thinking about improvements

Yep, mind still churning about the Sprint-T. This time I’m thinking about how to mount the steering box.

There are two orientations the box can take and still turn the front tires in the correct direction as commanded by the steering wheel: the kit orientation was pitman arm pointed forward controlling a steering arm pointed back, or the OE orientation of the pitman arm pointed back controlling steering arms pointed forward. The problem I’m trying to solve is making room for the engine and radiator and also sneaking the steering shaft from the steering wheel to the box around the radiator without hanging out in the breeze.

Aero is not critical but it is important for freeway fuel economy. I mean there is going to be a lot of junk hanging in the breeze simply because T-Bucket, but that’s still not an impediment to decent but not fantastic aero. For examples of decent aero and exposed wheels see https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS809US809&sxsrf=ALeKk02olFWp4zhsrQs1tNKIuVFdAMTU0A:1602022917053&source=univ&tbm=isch&q=images+lakester+racers&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiP3JG3gKHsAhUEKawKHdSNBDoQjJkEegQIChAB&biw=1517&bih=694 “lakester racers” that are required to have exposed wheels. The old belly tank racers are a good example of that.

Anyway, I have been thinking about it and there is a 1½” gap under the radiator because it sits on top of the frame that would be good to sneak the steering shaft through without hanging out in the breeze. The closest to a problem would be clearance for the U-joints to turn that close to the bellypan. And something to block the air from going under the radiator, but that would be a great place to mount the bearing that guides the steering shaft under the radiator. I really need to find out how big are those U-joints that connect to the steering shaft. I may need to make a relief bump in the pan for the U-joints to swing, but if I need one it wouldn’t be very big.

The other problem is properly bracing the top of the box to prevent it from rotating in reaction to the forces from the pitman arm hanging off the bottom of the box. Side to side is easy, just weld the mount to the top of the frame rail. Boom, you’re done! The other is a bit more tricky, because there has to be something to brace against to do the top part of the mount. On the kit the mount welds to the side of the frame rail, so the twisting moment from the force through the pitman arm is close to zero and is resisted easily by the sheer mass of the frame rail and the extremely short arm the force has to act through. It’s basically all sideways against the rail for the kit mount. Now there is another frame rail to run a brace from on the same side of the frame, plus its mirror on the other side of the frame for slightly better angle on the force. Which brings us to the actual point of the post, the reason why I mentioned the OE orientation of the steering box: I’m thinking of attaching the steering box mount to the front bulkhead with the drag link under the steering shaft and ahead of the axle.

If I move the box in front of the axle, then I could brace the top of the box against the front bulkhead at whatever place is convenient to mount the brace. The bottom of the mounting bracket still mounts to the frame extension that also acts as the mount for the panhard rod. As a point of fact, that was the original reason for the frame extension in the first place, someplace to mount the frame end of the panhard rod so the panhard rod could be the same length and parallel to the drag link for no bump steer. And now it looks like I only need to make a slight adjustment to the front of this extension to mount the steering box, because there are braces from the bulkhead in two directions to locate the front and triangulate it in two dimensions, and the vertical one can be used as the actual place to weld the mount.

So these are the pros and cons of moving the steering box in front of the axle:
Pros: simplifies the top mount of the box, lighter, gets the drag link completely away from interfering with any suspension links.
Cons: puts weight in front of the axle, increases to moment resisting changes in direction, susceptible to damage when hitting curbs while parking.

And that last one is only mentioned because it is a slight possibility, not because it’s likely to happen, and a curved skid plate in front of the box will prevent even the slight possibility from coming true. Or it might not even be a possibility because of how high the box has to be mounted for the drag link to be level, especially if I don’t drop the drag link at the steering arm on the spindle. I think mounting the drag link to the top of the pitman arm and the bottom of the steering arm will give enough offset to prevent binding. This will raise the bottom of the box to about 9-9½:” above ground with the street tires. Considering the frame is about 6″ above ground with the street tires that would be a very tall and vertical curb to hit the steering box. It would have to be a really tall and narrow parking bumper that didn’t block either front tire, a freak of parking bumpers.

And I still haven’t gotten this editor down pat, because I have no idea how to insert text to a link and not leave the URL all over the page, so I’m going to quit fighting it and publish the post.

Thinking about the Sprint-T again

Not a big think, because it’s a small but important thing. What I was thinking about was what to do about the top of the frame?

Just in case you missed it, there will be a structural bellypan welded to everything on the bottom of the frame for aero and structural purposes. The problem is that leaves an open space to catch water and debris that will lead to rust spots as the frame ages. Possible solutions include moving the pan to the top of the bottom frame members which has the advantage of making the body mount easier, but which requires mounting the engine 1.5″(38.1mm) higher and also leaves a nasty lower area as far as aero is concerned. Plus that just moves the rust out area someplace harder to inspect.

Anywho, what I was thinking about was using some of the HDPE plastic I have for the fenders and hood to cover the exposed gaps in the frame. Then as I was thinking about the bellypan on top of the frame it occurred to me that it would be much easier to make access panels from HDPE than from steel or aluminum, and I wouldn’t need to paint it. And if I did the HDPE on the bottom I could just hotknife the hatches from the HDPE and be able to reuse the cut piece as the hatch because a hotknife has a very small kerf. For the Mini Sprint-T it wouldn’t make any difference because I would do the same thing for either one, glue a piece of 0.01″ styrene to the frame between the tubes. Visually it wouldn’t be any different on the model, a flat surface outside the body is a flat surface outside the body. Flat is flat, model or 1:1 scale. The main difference is if I put the solid bellypan above the rails I would paint it to match the body color of Omaha Orange aka Schoolbus Yellow, and the HDPE is a different kind of yellow. On the bottom the difference would be the steel pan would be black and the HDPE would be the same yellow as the top, because it’s cheaper that way. Or I could go with the black HDPE because it ain’t that much more expensive, and I’m really not quite that big a tightwad. Or getting back to cheaper, the flanges and bits to mount the HDPE plastic might be enough to make the part of the frame that goes under the body smooth might be enough to not need to weld the pan to the frame for stiffness, and I could just go with HDPE top and bottom and save a few ounces. Not to mention HDPE is cheaper than steel for the moment because of the tariffs. We make HDPE here in the US so no tariffs.

Well, this is the second post today, and there was a lot of stuff in the first post what with all the pictures, so I’m going to bliss out to my trance mix and get some meditation in.

Ouch! I got some exercise

I went out to get lottery tickets the long way and took the long way home for about a mile and a quarter walk. My old feet did not take kindly to the abuse and started to swell inside my shoes, and let’s just say the results were neither pretty nor comfortable.

I’m still thinking about the alternator and driving the stock water pump on the LS engine, and discovered after a few minutes that no matter which side of the engine I hung the alternator I was going to need an idler pulley to turn the water pump the right direction, because physics. The rib side needs to drive the alternator and the crank pulleys, the flat side needs to drive the water pump. That means the belt has to change direction twice to get everything running the right direction, and that means an extra idler, or two alternators with one placed in a strange orientation to be running the right direction while driven by the wrong side of the belt. Personally, I prefer an idler and a high amperage single alternator over trying to wire in two alternators to the electrical system. But it is feasible to run two alternators if you include blocking diodes to prevent power from trying to go into a dead alternator. I think the technical term is a “crowbar” diode to stop the flow of current if the alternator shorts out.

And this came in as I was composing this, Mrs. the Poet is doing some volunteer work for the election and has some information about us on the voter registration list, and there was a strange phone number attached to our names. I did a reverse lookup and it either is now or at sometime in the past was for a church in Grand Prairie, which is a few miles down the road, and about three cities are between us and the church. Looking further had my name and my father’s birthday attached to this number, which is understandable because we have different middle names to prevent me from being a Junior, but the same first name and middle initials. And obviously this is not in my stage and pen names because he was never “Opus”. He’s always been “John” or “Johnny”. But it was funny to see me listed as 85 YO, and a whole bunch of old addresses where we used to live. Further investigation shows another person currently attached to the number over in a different part of town who I never heard of. A quote from Alice seems appropriate: “Curiouser and curiouser”.

Now, back to the Sprint-T, I have also been thinking about that intake manifold and how to make it. One thing I was thinking about was to use carbon fiber around a positive mold for the runners and just doing everything into a single unit that will bolt to the heads. I have been thinking about mounting the injectors in the roof of the plenum aimed at the mouths of the runners for charge cooling, since the runners are all downhill to the mounting face on the heads. All of the fuel sprayed into the runners will get to the cylinder it was intended for, eventually. Now making sure the fuel delivered is the fuel needed will take some finagling in the tune, but I don’t see that as an insurmountable problem so much as a calibration issue with on-throttle enrichment. This is a programming function that acts like the acceleration pump in a carb, except in software. And calibration is similar to calibrating the pump shot on a carb set up, by trial and error on the street or track. The tuner has to start with enrichment disabled, then gradually increase enrichment until the engine runs smoothly even when throttle settings go from idle to wide open in a fraction of a second. The tricky part is a little too much enrichment acts like a little too little, a slight stumble on tip-in. That’s why taking very small steps is better, because the tuner is more likely to hit the sweet spot in throttle response before going past it.

And this looks like a good place to put this post to bed.

Doing more thinking

Still thinking about the LS powered A/Mod car, so you can get back out from under whatever it was you got under when you read I was thinking again. I was also thinking about making the Sprint-T less expensive by retaining the stock water pump while just using an alternator, instead of installing an electric water pump and just sticking the alternator on the right side of the engine.

The difficulty lies in that the stock water pump is designed to be driven opposite engine rotation with the back side of the serpentine belt. Now for the Sprint-T the problem is that puts the alternator to the left side of the engine where other things want to be. For the A/Mod car this puts the alternator where the driver’s legs want to be. For the Sprint-T this can be overcome by not putting the stuff where the alternator needs to go to drive the waterpump in the correct direction. I’m not sure how to fix the problem for the A/Mod car because the interfering components can’t be relocated away from each other, there are limited options for the alternator and for the driver’s legs. The front of the engine will be about just below the knee which if this engine didn’t have the exhaust going over the driver’s legs the solution would be to have the driver in a knees up position. That puts the driver’s knees in the middle of the exhaust header, which is another unworkable design. Moving the engine forward or the driver back have other problems, like bad balance if the engine is moved forward and hitting the rear axle for moving the driver back.

OK I just got finished watching the NASCAR Gander Truck series and the Indycar series from Gateway, and while I was watching the Indycar race the solution to the alternator problem on the A/Mod car just jumped out at me: if the driver is obstructed on the left side of the engine swap the driver and engine sides and put the driver to the right. It’s so simple, which was probably why I didn’t see it at first. There are no rules about driver position left to right, just that the driver’s feet have to be behind the centerline of the front axle and ahead of the centerline of the rear axle. I can hang the driver outside the wheels in an armored pod like on a Indycar design by Smokey Yunick if I can get it to balance. But this time all I need is to put the driver on the right like I was making a UK road car. The driver’s feet can be in front of the engine without having any issues with the alternator. Now if I had an unlimited budget I would put the electric water pump on it and stick the alternator on the right and the driver on the left like my original vision for the car, but driver right and saving $$ will work, too. I also took some measurements and the left side alternator will clear all the parts I was concerned about clearing for the Sprint-T.

Another thing: at 0119 Monday (tomorrow as I compose this) it will be exactly 19 years since Some Asshole driving a pickup truck tried to kill me for the “crime” of riding my bike on the same street he was driving on in the opposite direction I was riding. He had to drive down to someplace he could cross the median separating the two directions of travel so he could be on the same side of the street and hit me from behind, or he could have just ignored me like I ignored his outburst to “Get off the F***ing road!” and lived whatever kind of life he would have lived. Instead he hit me and then less than 2 years later he died in a single vehicle DUI wreck with either a tree or a telephone pole depending on who’s story you want to believe. I want to believe in Dharma (which is kinda like Karma, but it bites your ass in this life instead of the next), but I also want to believe in a criminal justice system that puts people like that in prison, but they probably were never even looking for him. His dying from a DUI is probably the most “justice” I could expect to get. So anywho, to celebrate the fact that I survived someone trying to kill me, tomorrow we are having brownies and ice cream, and next year to celebrate 20 years [Monty Python]”I’m not dead yet!”[/Monty Python] Mrs. the Poet wants to throw a proper party that we couldn’t this year because COVID and because next year will be two decades, a full 20 years “not dead”. As I explained to Mrs. the Poet, the celebration is not because I died, it’s because I didn’t stay dead. Here’s to another 20 years of “not dead”.

My steering box is on indefinite backorder

AFAIK Speedway Motors is having similar problems with China as I am in that what used to be a Sure Thing is now Vaporware. My steering box can no longer be considered a viable option, and the people I used to work for no longer have a working web site. E-mails sent to them come back as undeliverable and there is no solid date on stocking my steering box either. Both of us are up the proverbial unsanitary tributary.

Which means I can stop sweating about my bank balance getting below the amount due for the steering box order because it won’t be due any time soon. The good news is Speedway will honor the price I placed the order at including discounts in effect at the time of the order. The bad news is they have to get a new supplier and won’t be able to ship my order until they get the parts from the new supplier.

In other good news (really good, not sarcastic “good”) I got in contact with the person I got the LS7 I’m using to make the Mini Sprint-T to purchase another and a scale Powerglide transmission to build the A/Mod SCCA Solo Racer. I think I might have mentioned the LS/Powerglide combo a few weeks back when I was thinking about how to balance my weight against the powertrain weight from side to side with my legs in a pretty narrow footwell next to the engine and letting my shoulders hang out over the transmission so the total polar moment was as low as possible. Anywho, I decided to build a model because I’ll never be able to build the full-scale version while I’m building the Sprint-T. The plan so far is to have the left side exhaust run over the driver’s legs like the right side of a supermodified. And also to have insulating blankets between the manifold and the driver’s legs, like in the supermodifieds. With the short runs in SCCA Solo Racing that’s probably overkill, but it doesn’t weigh much and it increases the safety margin over just wrapping the pipes with exhaust wrap which I was going to do anyway because of the performance benefit.

Last thing before I drop this on you, the remnants of the hurricane passed far enough to the east that we only got one brief shower here that was dried up before I finished. The walk was dry when I went to get the mail, that’s how brief the shower was. Also someone dropped this link on me and I liked it, so I think I will pass it along.

Another round of “Not dead yet!”

I took an extended break from social media and my computer to try to do something about my mental state, and it turns out the only thing helping my mental state was connecting to people through social media and this blog.

OK a big part of my problems are related to lack of touch, and a lack of access to people who would touch me in ways that were beneficial for me, and that is something I can’t get from social media. But it is something I can get from massage. Which is another reason why the closing of massage places was so hard on me. At this point between social distancing and so many of my friends passing on for many reasons, finding someone willing to touch me for free is pretty much impossible. And given my current economic state finding money to pay people to touch me in ways that help me is another impossibility.

I guess if I stop buying things online I could save my money for my phone, meds, and massages. But seeing that stuff I buy online is allowing me to go outside (masks), and/or is contributing to the goal of building the Sprint-T by paying for components that will eventually go into either the full size or scale version (Mini Sprint-T), so obviously I need more money to be socially adjusted, and have more than a fat chance of finishing the Sprint-T. But if I get more money I also have obligations that suddenly appear as a consequence of having money. It’s like the universe conspires against my ever getting the car I have been dreaming about literally for a half century. The car has changed as the technology has changed and as my preferred form of competition has changed, but the only thing that has changed about my preferred form of competition has been classification and the existence of the Goodguys sanctioning organization strictly for vehicles like hot rods like the Sprint-T and traditional street rods. So I have more places to play with the toy I have been wanting for more than a half-century.

I saw a movie on TV in 1968, and knew I wanted something like that, not the turbine car, or the jet dragster, but the cheap hot rod from the start of the movie. As I grew up, I understood the engineering and physics behind the T-Bucket and Sprint cars, and their inherent economy of form. Basically the design ethos of the two cars is “does it make the car faster? is it necessary to make the car go?” and if there is not at least one “Yes” answer it doesn’t go on the car. Now before someone jumps on me about the full cage around the bucket body and asks are they required, the answer is they are “yes” to both questions. I drive faster when there are reduced dangers and I drive faster when I’m comfortable. The cage protects me and makes the suspension work better by transferring weight from one corner to another with no losses from twisting or bending, by making the entire chassis stiffer because the forces are reduced on individual frame members by the geometry of integrating the cage as a crossmember of the frame. Certain parts of the frame are going to be heavier than required from typical loads imposed because of rules requiring roll cage members be of a certain minimum thickness to prevent distortion from crash loads, but the change in weight is a few pounds out of a couple of hundred more or less for the full frame.

The brakes being as large as they are even though this adds a few pounds in a very bad place to add weight, brakes being both unsprung and rotating weight, the additional stopping power will let the car stop quicker, which will lead to lower lap times because less time and distance stopping mean more of the lap is under power. A bigger proportion of the lap under power means that part takes less time, and that means the whole lap takes less time. That means bigger brakes make the Sprint-T faster. That’s why I have the biggest brakes that will fit the parts I have already bought because those parts make the car I build a T-Bucket. And unless I build a T-Bucket, this build is stripped of much of its meaning.

And that looks like a really good place to stop, because I’m paying more attention to Michelle Obama on TV than I am to my writing.