little-miss-sunshine Research Archives

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Racer Work Resumes…

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

UPDATE: Today I removed the tube bender from its box, only to find that the collar for the tube bender had irregular holes that had been “patched” by welding two spacers to the outside of it. But, that modification meant that the bolt was no long enough, meaning one of the two sides of the collar would be riding over the threads. Given the importance of the collar, this “fix” is unacceptable, so this bender will get returned.

Below you can see that both holes are irregular, so a spacer has been welded to the outside. What are these people thinking? 
affordable-bender-collar2 affordable-bender-collar1

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The bolt next to the collar is the stock bolt. I happened to have a similar bolt that was longer and better for this application. However, given the poor quality collar, I will be returning this device.

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As mentioned, a couple weeks ago we had the estate sale, which consumed WAY too much of my time. First there was the setup. Then, there was the rain, so then we had to re-setup using part of the shop (which meant moving stuff out of the shop like the race jeep), hanging tarps to hide tools, etc. In the end, the rain stopped Saturday at 4am and began Sunday at 3pm, which gave us a decent window to sell stuff.

We sold or gave away quite a bit, but there were still multiple trips to donation centers, a trip to recycling, and several trips to the dump. Then, once completed, we still had to reorganize the remainder.

The good news is that a lot of crap left the shop, which gives me much more room than I’ve had. Also. good news, the weather has finally warmed up, with blue sky and no rain.

So, I finally returned to work on the racer, though the work was mostly grinding/cutting off the remaining pieces of the rear front spring holders and the former mounts of the side bars. With that done, I can now fit the new side bars.

Before:

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After:

2022-06-25-race-jeep-grinding

I’d prefer to take the whole thing apart to better clean up and paint the frame, but that can wait until winter. For now, I am focusing on functionality over style (though the green will be painted black before the body is installed).

With the grinding done, I’m not far from being able to begin work on the roll cage. The new cage will be wider (for the wider Parkette body) and roomier (so I fit better). To build the cage I needed to get some new tools.

My plasma cutter arrived a few days ago, along with my tube bender (from Affordable Bender). I was going to build another bender, but I cannot locate printed copies of my bender plans nor can I find the password to the PDF I received from gotTrikes.com (locked PDF .. and no response from the gotTrikes website for a new password). So, after some research, I decided to take a chance on the AffordableBender, which as gotten pretty good reviews.

The thing I am awaiting now is my new MIG welder, which was supposed to arrive around June the 9th. It is now expected to arrive June 29th.

 
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Progress on the Racer

• CATEGORIES: Features, Racing • TAGS: .

On Sunday I turned 57. The years seem to be churning by all too quickly! To celebrate my aging, I spent more time removing parts off both the green chassis and the black chassis (no updated pics of that). While spending time thinking and measuring how to use as much of the existing green chassis and black chassis parts as I can, I made an unexpected discovery.

The green chassis is 5 inches wider than the black chassis!. The black chassis is a standard size (29.5″ from inner side to inner side) and seems to be most likely a CJ-3A chassis. The green chassis has the side mounts for the springs and was most likely a DJ-5 chassis as some point. For whatever reason, someone decided the frame rails should be widened, so all the crossmembers were removed but one (which was simply cut and patched using angle iron). The rest of the cross members are all rectangular tubing.

Given the widening, I don’t feel the need to outboard the rear springs at this time (perhaps a winter project). Unfortunately, the wider frame rails mean that I can’t just reuse the sway bar on the back of the black chassis (though I can reuse the mounts). I just need a sway bar that is 5″ wider than the one I have.

I am awaiting the delivery of an adapter so I can try out my new YesWelder plasma cutter to clean up more of the frame and am awaiting delivery of my new MIG Hobart MVP 210 Welder (I have a very very old arc welder that’s a big workhorse on heavy metal, but I wanted something for finer work). I had considered something as cheap as the YesWelder MIG (it is well-rated, but some folks complained about support problems) and something pricier as the Miller Multimatic 215 (which came highly recommended, but may be more than I need right now), but finally decided to get something more in between.

Anyway, here are a few pics of the progress. There’s nothing particularly exciting .. just the drudgery of cutting, grinding, and smoothing areas …

The seat mounting frame (1″x1″) tubing was uneven and not the best system in my opinion, so I cut and grounded the welds flat:

2022-06-06-parkette-racer-pics1-lores

With the seat mount frame gone, you can see the floor base (also 1″x1″ square tube). It’s not welded level (ugh), so it will likely go away as well.

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The side rails needed to be replaced as they were built for the narrower body, so off they came. I also plan to do a side bar similar to the way the other frame is done (more on that later).

Also gone are the mud flaps on the back (racing requirement), as they were welded onto the inside of the rear tubes (ugh). I will cover the rear tube with plates to hide the parts welded inside, then will cut off and mount the flap system used on the other frame, which is a long tube welded under the rear bumper with flap mounts that are bolted onto the tube (again, more on that later).

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We plan to have a garage/estate sale this weekend, so work will slow for a few days. At least I will finally be able to get rid of a bunch of junk that has filled the shop. As Ann has been finalizing stuff in the house, more items have ended up in the shop, so I will be happy to have this stuff gone and have more room to work.

Finally, I am awaiting a new fuel pump for Patterson (which has taken more than 2 weeks to get here). Once that is here, I will test things out once more, then put Patterson up for sale (essentially trading up for a different jeep, but I will announce that later).

 

 

 
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Disassembled the Black & Green Race Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .

A couple days ago I took disassembled some of the black and green race jeep. The cage for the narrow body is tool small to be useful for me. So, I will bend my own cage, built for the yellow parkette body, and outboard the rear springs while I am at it. I will also swap out the current swing pedals for the ones on the yellow racer. Hopefully, I can get this project done by August, in time for Summer Convention. We will see….

Here is a comparison of the Parkette full-size body vs. the narrow body. The difference is enough to give a person more room at the feet (more room for gas, brake and clutch). The narrow body would probably work better for an auto transmission with just a gas pedal and brake (I prefer to have enough room to the left of the clutch to help brace myself.

The narrow body seems better built, perhaps a slightly thicker fiberglass job. The Parkette needs some reinforcement in my opinion (which I will do).

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Her’s the narrow body racer without the body. Thankfully, unlike the other racer, this cage was bolted, rather than welded, to the frame.

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Well, the seat support piece was welded to the rollcage and to the frame, but it was easy to cut. I will have a different setup for the seats. Note the broken driveline ‘safety’ loop, that wasn’t very safe. I have a much stronger one from the other chassis.

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Here is a trail run of Parkette body on the racer.

2022-06-02-race-jeep-2Besides the new roll cage and the rear springs being out-boarded, the side bar will need replacing (it was built for the narrower body). A new firewall needs to be built (it will be wider, thanks to the wider parkette body, than the current one). The steering wheel needs to be angled differently and will have a tilt column (my preference).

Thankfully, the power train can remain in tact, as will the front spring setup. So, that saves a bunch of work.

 
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Closer Look at “Little Miss Sunshine”

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: , .

Ann has dubbed the yellow racer “Little Miss Sunshine”, due to the yellow color. I don’t know if that’s the end-all name, but it’s a fine name for now.

Yesterday, I decided to remove the body so I could get a better look at the condition of the cage and the suspension.

Let’s take a look first at the rear suspension. The suspension in the rear consists of 2.5″ ranch springs that have been outboarded, to which a sway bar and arms have been added. In the pic below you can see the sway bar behind the axle and the arms in front, connected under the frame. The springs are outboarded six inches. For example, the spring holder in the back consists of a 2×4 rectangular tube, positioned horizontally (under which the spring holder is welded), was welded to a 2×3 tube positioned vertically, which was welded to a 1/4″ plate that was then welded to the frame.

The front of this rear setup is similar, only for additional strength, a 2.5″ tube was welded to the spring holder and frame, which is then welded to the side bar that sits outside and under the body.

2022-05-31-parkette-body-disassembled-suspension2

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