Tag Archives: unkillable badass

Lab Rat Keeper tomorrow

I get to go out and about with nothing but water until lunchtime tomorrow because I have a visit to the Lab Rat Keeper about the new study. I have been medication-free (including antidepressants) for about 2 weeks. My BP meds I have been out of since the end of July, and I have to be fasting since midnight when they take my blood.

I have been feeling a little better in my back since yesterday’s little walk to get the pain pills. I can actually bend over and tie my shoes without spasms. I think part of that is from staying in bed until 1500 and managing to get in a comfortable position early after going to bed. Also this particular brand of ibuprofen works better for me than the pills we just ran out of. As I have posted earlier this particular pain in the back is highly dependant on how tired that particular muscle is. Better rest means way less pain.

I looked up tomorrow’s payout for the TX Lottery after taxes, then sat down with Mrs. the Poet to discuss exactly what we wanted to do with it. She doesn’t want to move, not surprising, but she does want to travel some. She wants the house fixed but not torn down and replaced. She wants the AC fixed, the floors done, the bathrooms completely redone, the kitchen plumbing fixed… And she wants a new bed. I want a Japanese style bathtub, basically a hot tub without jets, done in tile with a bench inside to soak on. And a place to build things, I want to have for my place to retreat to what is basically a garage with a bedroom and bathroom attached to it within walking distance of a place to eat. And a place on the beach at Waikiki for wintering over, because Hawaii is wonderful if you have enough money, having lived there for three years. Of course I was only 4 when we moved there and 7 when we left, so a lot of what I remember is colored by the perceptions of a child. So we will be spending most of our time here in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell even after winning the lottery. We are just so exciting as a couple, aren’t we? The big thing for me is I would have the resources to actually make things instead of just thinking about making things. That would be so strange to actually be able to pay for materials and tools and skilled artisans to make things.

What brought this on is Mrs. the Poet got her statement from SSA about what she’s going to make when she starts getting Social Security. It’s not the same as winning the Lottery, but it is a huge jump up from what we make now as a couple. My pension doesn’t start for another 7 years, so until then we get to live on what she’s earned. Unless we win the lottery. Then we start to live like people who don’t have to worry about money.

Now, about the things I’m supposed to be writing about. I’m afraid I don’t have anything about that because of laying in bed for my back, and talking about pensions, Social Security, and Lottery jackpots, with Mrs. the Poet, and getting ready for going to the Lab Rat Keeper tomorrow. I haven’t even had time to check Twitter yet and … Oh My Gawds he fucking did it. Trump just deported almost a million people whose only crime was being brought here without proper papers. Who have been paying taxes, serving in our military, paying an extra fee on top of that just to stay here legally.

Excuse me I have to find something to beat on that won’t cost me anything to destroy, because Trump just got rid of DACA.

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I want to take a walk but my foot hurts

Physical health first. Sometime during my last walk I rubbed a hole in my left foot. Don’t ask me how, I didn’t notice until I was getting ready for bed. Kinda like I didn’t notice all those torn ligaments in my knee. But now I notice, you betcha I notice. It hurts like a sonuvagun. As a certain “reality star” would say, bigly. Now if I could just remember what I did besides walk… Nothing comes to mind.

Mental health, Mrs. the Poet will be leaving to visit her mother and the rest of her NY relatives on the 29th. She won’t be back until the end of August. She’s worried about the house, and what the cats would do to it. And what I won’t do to it, like mop the floor twice a day. I’m worried about not having a human to exchange physical affection with. Seriously that kinda stuff makes me a bit off, or rather not having that kinda stuff. I’m sure somebody will come visit me or invite me to dinner or some such.

Moving on to car-building stuff, I decided to confront my fears and install the kingpins in my spindles by myself using a brake cylinder hone . Of the three choices for fitting the bushings the brake hone was the least tool-intensive and only barely the most labor-intensive over the reamer. The one that was the most out-of-pocket was taking the spindles to a machine shop to have them Sunnen honed. The setup charges alone for that one would buy 3 new brake hones. And after I install the spindles to the axle I can measure to find the tie rod I need instead of guessing at it.

And I promise to take lots of pictures while I hone out the bushings and fit the kingpins to the spindles, because it will probably be funny as heck (not Hades because he’s really a dour dude). There may even be some blood involved, applied to the parts in some manner. The Big Thing will be Parts Assembled (like Avengers Assemble only without superheroes and the parts only move when I move them, so almost completely unlike Avengers Assemble).

Now I desperately want to walk to the parts store and get that brake hone and some grease fittings for the spindles, but my foot still has a hole in it so I can’t.

Opus the Unkillable

We interrupt the post I was working on for another terrorist using a motor vehicle as a WMD

As I was composing the next post I got an alert about another terror attack in London using a motor vehicle as the primary weapon. The initial report had London Bridge “covered in mangled bodies” with another 20 transported with serious injuries. Multiple People Dead After 2 Potential Terror Attacks In London

While the headline classifies this as 2 separate attacks later reports have it as moving the attack from the bridge to nearby establishments and renewing the violence.

And stuff like this is why I keep asking how long we are going to allow WMD to roam freely on the streets. Words fail me in communicating my anger and sorrow. I mean seriously, from long past posts and recent posts you know I love cars, but I hate the things people do with cars. This is just another example of the things people do with cars that I hate so much.

Opus the Unkillable (but not the Unfeeling)

Walking and thinking

As I take my daily walks I think about things. Politics, sexual fantasies, how to run a Cox TD .049 on FAI fuel (been working on that one for almost 30 years now and still haven’t solved it satisfactorily, the last attempt set the model airplane on fire and me, too), RPG characters… Anywho I was thinking about making the blog better. One thing I could do is write better posts, but alas I’m writing at the best of my ability as it is. Another thing I could do is change the graphics theme for the blog, but I wouldn’t want to do that without input from my current readers. So I will put a poll up and see what you want.

How do I make this interesting?

I’m trying not to sound like a whiney, self-absorbed blogger here. But every try so far at describing this problem comes out exactly like that. Well it’s a real problem, just not a real big problem.

It appears I am losing another source of spending money. The mobile game I play has cut way back on points payouts. The costs in points to redeem for items has not gone down at all. I’m still clearing enough to collect my weekly $1 certificate, but I’m not clearing enough to buy anything else. I’m beginning to feel a bit like a teen on an allowance I have to earn that is shrinking in buying power. It’s the early ’70s all over again, only instead of massive inflation in the things I buy it’s reduced payout. Same effect, just a different way to get there. The net effect is I’m losing about $50 a year in income or basically about half what I was making from the game. By this time of year I would have already bought several $5 certificates and so far I haven’t had the points to buy even one yet.

And nobody seems to be using the PayPal button on the sidebar to send money directly. Raw stock metal doesn’t buy itself, if you want better content I need to be able to build something rather than just talk about building something. Or just buy the metal online and have it delivered to Casa de El Poeta, address on request. Speedway Motors also has my addy if you want to get something through them. I think other people can look at my Build List to find the parts. Nope, just checked with Speedway and the only people who can see my build list(s) are me and them.

Seriously, I need some help here. Money, parts, raw stock, it all helps.

Opus the Unkillable

Still thinking

One of the things that has been gnawing on me a little is I missed another Ride of Silence this year. For those new to my blog since I dropped the bike wrecks click on the tag RoS or Ride of Silence to see previous posts about it. I started missing the RoS when the tumor on my neck got so big that I couldn’t ride any bikes. But after Chris Christie was removed from my neck I got to the point I could ride bikes with a very upright riding position or recumbents, but not very far. Well now I can’t ride anything except a bus or car because Arthur Dent is causing troubles. I have a pain that starts in the middle of the dent and radiates to the end of the trapezius in one direction and up the back of my neck in the other, and makes my deltoid and rotator cuff tingle like they are trying to go to sleep. It’s very annoying but not much of an impediment except to bike riding at the moment, but it feels like it is trying to get worse.

I’m stalled on the Mid-Bucket (aka the Thunderbolt Grease Slapper 2) ATM because I lack cash for parts or raw stock. I still haven’t replaced my ID since the last time I lost my wallet, because I needed my ATM card to get the cash to pay for it. ATM card should finally get here this week and I will renew my ID early so I can go to Nashville and see the eclipse this August. When I get stalled on one project my mind starts on a new project immediately, in this case a lighter weight version of the Sprint-T with the Pentastar V6. Basically it is just the same as the V8 version with lighter components because of less weight and lower power. Remember the vicious circle of too heavy so other parts have to be stronger and heavier making the car heavier so other things need to be stronger…? Well this is the benign circle of less weight allowing for less heavy supporting and connecting parts. And the weight came to under 1400 pounds with the balance almost 50-50 I can use all the same size wheels and tires on each corner. If I could have gotten one of those free things would have been a lot easier.

Pole Day for the Indy 500 is on the idiot box so this is time to wrap this up. Congrats to Kyle Busch on winning the All-Star race last night in a masterful performance. Condolences to Sebastien Bourdais on that wreck at Indy yesterday and wishes for a quick recovery.

Opus the Unkillable

It happened again!

I was thinking while walking again, and I wondered if a single 3″ OD 0.120 wall tube weighed more or less than the complex truss of half-inch tubing I designed for the de Dion suspension that still needed more work to actually support putting a spring on it. So when I got home I looked up my truss calculations and found I was putting just shy of 15 pounds of tubes in the version that just kept the rear wheels pointed in the right direction.

Then I ran a quick bending load calculation on the 3″ tube and it won’t need any extra support aside from the gusseting action of the spring mount (I mount coilovers in double shear mounts and tie them with bulkheads). Then I looked up how much it would weigh…18 pounds for just the bare tube, 20 with the brackets to make the upright adjustable.

Five pounds, I spent hours with a calculator, and paper and pencil for a design that saved 5 pounds and still needed more work to get right. Five freaking pounds, at minimum wage those pounds cost me about $20 each, maybe more. Probably more. A classic case of over-design. Now granted it would take a huge shunt to make a rear wheel point in the wrong direction and there is a good chance the tire would get knocked off the rim or the rim bend or break first, but the fact remains I couldn’t mount a spring anywhere except the upright or trailing arm without redesigning the truss, and adding weight, when I discovered that there was no way to balance the handling without moving the rear springs inboard. Now the fun part is moving the spring mounts on the frame inboard to prevent frame flex.

There are a couple of ways I can move those mounts in to get the springs off the ends of the axle. One is just change the mounting point to the crossmember and make that a truss to handle the bending load. Or I could continue to mount the springs to the heavily triangulated intersection of the upper frame rail, lower frame rail, center top hoop of the roll cage to upper frame rail brace, crossmember, lower crossmember to watt’s link center mount brace and taillight mount (that’s the intersection of 5 tubes in 3 different planes triangulating the mount to kingdom come) and move that complex intersection inboard a few inches as needed. Right now that intersection exists only on paper, not in steel, so moving it is just a matter of changing a drawing. This would also have an effect on the engine mounts as the tubes they mount on get moved inboard an as yet to be determined amount.

Now I’m going to open up a beer and eventually go to bed.

Opus the Unkillable

Design is getting down to brass tacks

That is a very archaic turn of phrase in the headline, it means discussing the ornamentation on a custom saddle and dates from at least as far back as the 17th century. Today it means getting to the fine details of a deal or design. As of this point the front end is approaching brass tack territory.

I went back to earlier drawings of the front end and found a couple that placed the crossmember above the front axle, but not as high as the one I discussed yesterday. So I went back to that and moved it higher, and also added the radiator mounts and body supports in front and hung the rack off the backside. I dropped the MD3 nose from the design in favor of making less drag and downforce with a nose made from the same HDPE panels the rest of the body is going to be made from. The right side of the rack might protrude from the body at full left lock but I don’t care at this point. That is a minor aesthetic point that is overridden by making the damned thing work right. There is nothing for it to interfere with on that side.

At this point I have started thinking about the cockpit design, specifically protecting the instrument cluster from the environment while parked outside, and making the cockpit tolerable at highway speed. Putting a roof on took care of most of protecting the instruments from condensation, rain, and bird poop. Further enclosing the environment with some kind of side windows will do a better job of preventing condensation and blown rain from getting to the instruments. I don’t know if that would be enough to allow driving in the rain, but it will probably do a lot for making the interior livable at highway speeds by reducing cockpit wind and turbulence. The original cockpit had no windshield or side windows with the driver wearing a helmet with a face shield all the time, even on the street. That was back when the car had a V8 in the front and the driver sitting on the left side of the cockpit. Now I’m even thinking about heat and AC 😇. There are races in FL during the winter that might be fun to run in, which means driving in winter, which means a heater. Driving in the rain means a fogged windshield which means a defogger which means AC of some kind.

I even looked up what sender to use on the gas tank so the gas gauge works right (10-90 ohm). Really this started when I discovered the entire instrument cluster came out as a unit. And that the engine and transmission controllers expected to find the instrument cluster before they would let the car run. Since I need a tach and speedometer and the computers know how to use the ones in the cluster and everything will need to be “unconfused” L8r, why not use the OE cluster? It saves having to buy those instruments later and figuring out how to make everything work together which is even a bigger hassle than telling the computer it isn’t in a minivan any more.

And now it is about time for my walk, so more thinking about random things.

Opus the Unkillable

I have Moose Trax on my shirt

Just opened a container of ice cream and within a few spoonsful I managed to drip it on my shirt. What, you think I would let a moose walk on me? Where would I find one? Anyway, the ice cream was very chocolate I mean good.

I’m still refining the design for the Mid-Bucket. Now that I have decided to use the rack out of the minivan I need a place to mount it where it won’t interfere with the suspension but still line up with the steering wheel, and if the mount could do a couple more things like hold the radiator, hold the shocks and springs, and keep the body panels straight… that would be one busy steering rack bracket. Well mission accomplished. The crossmember that holds the steering rack will be integrated into the spring mount and body mounts, for a more rigid structure and better handling. And less weight.

The crossmember sits in front of the front axle leaving enough room for the axle to move up and down with the steering rack suspended above the axle and the drag link going between the axle and the tie rod. A nice compact arrangement, that gets as much of the moving parts of the suspension away from things like gas tanks and body panels and leaves as much room as possible. The radiator mounts to the front of the crossmember and the cooling fans behind the radiator will be protected by the crossmember from the axle. The bellypan will go all the way forward to a splitter, with air going above the splitter ducted to the radiator and what goes below to the rear diffuser to make rear downforce. The splitter will be as wide as the wheel angle at full lock will clear with the side strakes from the splitter blending into the running boards and rear fenders for more downforce over the whole car. This will also clean up the airflow down the sides of the body and give highway gas mileage a tiny boost.

I think I mentioned how finding a 16 X 12 wheel in a 5 X 4.5″ bolt circle was driving me slightly crazy? I’m giving up on maximum grip in favor of sanity. The one (1) wheel I have found in that size and bolt circle is a heavy steel wheel meant for modern-day lead sleds. That leaves me with the 15 X 4 front and 15 X 10 rear option with a rear anti-roll bar for balance between the skinny front and massively wide rears.

And other things are calling me away from the keyboard, so it’s time for Nighty-Knight the dream warrior to take the stage. And if you get that reference you are really weird, and you should give yourself a pat on the back.

Opus the Unkillable

Dangit, that won’t work!

Remember when I was writing about lightening the power steering rack and pinion out of the minivan to take more weight out of the car? Well it turns out if I do that I won’t have power steering any more. Allow me to present a couple of images I found when trying to find dimensions of the rack.

The power servo is part of the rack instead of on the input shaft like on a PS box.

And this one off an actual 1996 Chrysler minivan.

Not much room to be cutting stuff off on that one!

So, minor change of plans. Since the hydraulic servo is part of the rack and there isn’t enough room to remove anything without destroying the servo, I’ll just be removing whatever still sticks out of the right side of the rack at full right lock (rack all the way to the left, turning the wheels to the right) and then sealing the end of the rack like before. The drag link will go on the left side of the rack so the axle will have less side-to-side motion as it travels. I mean sure I could run the drag link off the right side but that would require a very short drag link, which in turn would require a very short panhard rod to prevent bump steer from the steering. But this would then cause another form of bump steer as the short panhard rod moved the axle side to side on the 4 bar links. There are just so many sources of bump steer that the best you can do is eliminate the worst and minimize the rest of them as best you can. And in this case the biggest can be eliminated by making the panhard rod the same length and angle to the axle as the drag link, with most of the rest minimized by making the panhard rod (and thereby the drag link) as long as possible and as close to level as possible. And yes after considering the clearances involved the drag link is going top of the stack on the steering arm. That way I don’t need to worry about the tie-rod hitting anything like the gas tank or the steering rack.

And that cerveza? Bien. Even without the lime.

Opus the Unkillable