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.
OK I had another situation where I saw something on the internet that caused my mind to run around saying “This is perfect! This will fix all my problems!” and happily run rampant as I try to sleep. What started this was Cleetus finding a Renli 4X4 with nothing except the front and rear diffs left of the drivetrain. A little research tells me those differentials have 1:1 gears and are purpose made to turn a transverse FWD engine and transmission mounted longitudinally into an all-wheel drive drivetrain. And guess what I have with the Town and Country donor vehicle?
I could regale you for pages upon pages of discarded concepts and wild-assed ideas that I came up with while trying to get to sleep last night, and I still haven’t decided yet what I want to do. If I go with the AWD that destroys the sunk costs of the parts I already bought and/or built for the RWD version I have been working to build all these years. Basically the only thing I could use would be the fiberglass body, the windshield posts, and the steering wheel. All the suspension parts would be essentially trash as they couldn’t be sold for as much as half what they cost, especially the custom front axle and the steering parts. That loss would come to about $500 plus my time and labor preparing those parts for installation. In the grand scheme of things that’s not a lot of money, but it represents a ton of hustling for a buck here and a buck there to accumulate that money, like the job that makes $6/month, times a lot of months and a ton of other hustles like it that made $1 and $2 there, scraped together and hoarded to get me as far as I got so far.
Conversely I solve a bunch of problems with weight distribution and tire sizes by getting the mass more forward and centrally located. The Plan is mount the engine and transmission in the passenger side of the body and squeeze me in as best I fit on the driver’s side and all the main masses are right there in the middle of the car, engine, transmission, and fat-assed driver all in one place. Toss all-wheel drive into that equation and I get a race car that works, pretty much in any weather conditions. As a street car I get twitchy but controllable and decent gas mileage because everything’s covered in bodywork or a bellypan out of the wind. There are still some major compromises to finagle, like getting squeezed to the left by the engine and transmission or widening the body by 10″ so I can sit on the left side of the body with nothing intruding from the drivetrain. I am really divided about this, because on the one side I get comfort and space to spread out, and on the other side I get better gas mileage from reduced aero drag and slightly better handling, and a cozy cockpit that keeps me in place because there’s no room for me to move around 🙂
OK just from a performance standard cramming that engine and transmission into the passenger side of the body and cramming me into whatever space is left over will get both the best handling and the best gas mileage and is a lot less work to produce, so I’ll be seeing if there is enough room left for me after the engine is installed in the unmodified body as soon as I finally get said engine and transmission pulled from the donor vehicle, so basically … never. Even if I get the engine into the body I’m going to have to do a lot of work on the body to be able to service the engine for things like oil changes and tune ups. Because of the computer control tune ups are going to be few and far between and consist of removing the injectors and getting them cleaned or replaced and replacing the spark plugs every 60K miles or so. The most frequent service I’ll be doing is changing the oil and filter every 12 months or 12K miles whichever comes first. But I’ll still need to be able to do it without removing the engine first, so either the body comes off or I have to cut holes in the body where I can get to the oil filter and spark plugs on what is now the front of the engine that will be the right side of the engine as it will be mounted in the car.
And just now on my YTM app it pulled up one of my favorite “go get ’em” pieces, the Emerson Lake and Palmer version of Aaron Copeland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man”. That bass line, man it just makes me want figuratively to kick butt and take names. If you haven’t heard it, recently or ever, give it a listen on YouTube. The complete string to enter is “fanfare for common man emerson lake and palmer” don’t even need to use caps or punctuation. This is Montage Music, when I do the video of building the TGS2, this is the music I’m going to play while the pictures flash by.
And it’s about time to put this to bed so I can go there too.
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.
Yesterday was too much in my head to write properly, today I’m in my car instead.
As I was refining the design in search of further levels of performance I was getting further away from its identity as a Model T-based hot rod, to the point that it was no longer identifiable as based on a T-bucket. I had to get back to something that looks like a Model T, that looked like a hot rod. So the radical cockpit-in-the-nose design had to be shelved in favor of driving from the driver’s seat of a car that looks like a hot rod. It will still be a single-seat car with a huge fuel tank in the middle of the car, I’ll just be sitting in the normal position for a street car in the US. That means where the engine used to go will be available as a small trunk for carrying clothes and toiletries for driving to the races. It also means that I can tweak the aero in the nose for better cooling, less drag, and more downforce at the cost of less volume for clothes. Now if I was really bucks-up I would make a fuel tank to match the available space in the nose and carry luggage on the passenger side of the car except I really want the fuel load in the middle of the wheelbase. Since the fuel load is pretty much the largest variable in the car equation it makes sense to keep it as close to the center of gravity of the car to minimize the changes in handling on long trips. I mean we are talking more than 210 pounds of fuel from full to empty sitting next to the driver (me). The one thing that concerns me is I’m sitting next to more than 30 gallons of gas! OK it doesn’t concern me that much, just a little. And I’ll probably put the battery over on the right to balance out the lard butt in the driver’s seat when racing with the gas tank mostly empty. The tricky part is getting gas in the tank without overflow going all over the interior making the driver stink of gas, or E85 as the case may be. I have never smelled spilled E85 as the nearest station is outside where the bus goes, and I don’t make a practice of hanging out at gas stations without a bus stop. I keep checking and I don’t see any near me that also sell E85. Closest one with a bus stop is over in Richardson.
And you know what, I’m all written out now that I’m unmedicated. I really can’t wait until I can start taking the new med that doesn’t have the sexual side-effects but still keeps me from being depressed.
Long story short, I’m in the process of changing meds and there will be a period where I’m not taking the old med but haven’t started the new med, and I’m in the process of tapering off the old med. This will make my depression worse, on top of the broken toe not helping my disposition. Mrs. the Poet and the cats are already leaving me lots of room around the house, except when Clint decides I need some lap time.
I’m still working out the packaging for the TGS2. If I don’t try to get the driver forward for better balance, and put the fuel tank in front of the bucket body instead, it’s pretty easy to put the powertrain in the fake pickup bed and still have a fairly normal-looking T-bucket. Well as normal as a mid-engine bucket can look when they are usually front engine. The proportions would be sorta normal, close to that of the original Model T front to back, but much wider because of the minivan donor vehicle axles and driveshafts. And the front axle made so the widths kinda sorta matched. This is on the assumption that I’m going to get the minivan donor vehicle.
Now if I’m not getting the minivan donor vehicle then things get… different. Then everything depends on the donor vehicle or the crate engine and transmission combination. I can say I would love to get a flood-damaged front engine RWD car as a donor vehicle but again that would require resources to buy and then get the car home, in fact I found a Corvette listed for $700 but I would need a flatbed to tow it home. I also found a couple of V6 Chargers and Challengers with $100 or less prices. But again I would need a trailer, something to tow that trailer, and gas money for the tow vehicle. But now we are getting into the real pipe dreams, unless I can find something in a local auction with some kind of cash for seed money to buy the car. I might as well wish for working wings on my back. And yes that is the depression talking, but it is also realism talking. Which is another reason why I’m taking a break until I get my meds under control, you guys don’t need to be dealing with my depression any more than I do. Now that I have ways of not being depressed, I really want to not be depressed.
I’m starting to repeat myself and having to delete things, so this would be a good time to quit.
And I have been applying the data from scaling the picture to checking the fit against the actual body sitting in the living room. The engine will fit with both ends hanging out by about an inch from the bottom, or about 2″ on the left only if that’s the way it balances out, or whatever way it works out. Or, thinking again, there is enough room to fit the whole mess inside a stretched pickup bed . It will be wide enough but I will need to stretch it to fit the front-to-back. Then I can sit inside the actual bucket instead of a pod out in front of the body. It will still be center-steer, probably with my feet through the “firewall” of the original body.
The trick will be making sure the front tires don’t hit the body at full steering lock, and finding someplace to put the fuel tank or tanks. If I can get enough room I might be able to stuff the gas tank behind the driver like on the pod in front setup. The only difference is instead of 34″ width to the axle for the footbox I’ll use the 26″ firewall width for the footbox. Still a ton of room for my brogans or combat boots, or my usual walking shoes, and the steering shaft. The critical thing on the front is keeping the tires out of the bodywork at full lock, and turning the tires parallel to the axle gives me 34″ between the tires. So if I keep the firewall on the body far enough behind the axle then the tire will not hit the body at full steering lock, and there will be room inside the body behind the driver for the 32 gallon fuel tank.
I might have to cut the back of the bucket off to get the engine and fuel tank in the available wheelbase. A bucket has 100-102″ of wheelbase normally, they run from 87″ to 116″ historically for buckets made from old passenger car frames, my bucket will be 100″ even. As mentioned in an earlier post, with the 32 gallon tank all the pieces and I take up 97″ with no extra space between the bits for bulkheads, which means I can use the same 1.5″ round tubes for the bulkheads and crossmembers that I plan on using for the frame rails.
While I was letting the cat out for the night I tripped on where the cats had wrinkled up the hall runner in the dark, and I think I broke a toe. It hurts constantly, and gets really bad when I touch the side of the toe, like really intense. The toe is swelling up and I guess I will find out in the morning if I broke it if it’s all black and blue. This really sucks because I need to walk to the store to get a lottery ticket later and that will be difficult with a broken toe.
Update, it’s a few hours later and I definitely have injured the toe next to the big toe on my left foot. As in swollen, and black and blue, and very painful and sensitive to touch.