18 Nov

A long day, I’m pooped.

I had put off upgrading the poor-quality rod-ends, guessing it was going to take a lot of time – it did. It took all day to get the front suspension done. What made it take longer was also twisting the steering arms to move the steering rod ends away from the brake discs. When Midlana was first assembled, I ground back the rod end housings to make them fit, but it always bothered me about how much they may have been weakened. I really wanted to use unaltered rod ends for the safety factor if nothing else.

It’s been years since I used the gas welder. The last time, the acetylene regulator failed, so bending the arms didn’t happen. With the regulator fixed and some time to myself, it went okay bending the first one. (Using a large rose bud tip with high gas flow is intimidating… it’s a ton of energy to be pointing about!) Twisted the arm to where it seemed about right, let the upright cool in still air for hours, and when reassembled, found it had been twisted a bit more than necessary, but it’s perfectly usable.

Heated up the second upright and got it twisted nearly to where it needed to go, and then the gas torch gave me a scare. The blue inner cones denoting the hottest part of the flame started getting smaller, which meant that either oxygen flow was increasing or acetylene flow was decreasing. About the same time I heard a loud pop, looked over, and the oxygen gauge was pegged (I’d set it to about 15 psi, and now it was off the top end of the gauge at over 100 psi). The loud pop was the pressure relief valve, keeping it from rising to tank pressure, which was around 1000 psi! Apparently the oxygen regulator has failed, probably the same way as the acetylene regulator did. I wasn’t bright enough to guess at the time that if one failed, the other probably wasn’t far behind, but no knowing what failed, it wasn’t obvious. Anyway, the good thing is that the arm had been twisted enough that it’s good, though it’s not quite twisted the same as the other side. Oh well.

I haven’t measured bumpsteer but hopefully it won’t be enough to bother messing with. I’ll probably just drive it and see if it’s detectable. By the way, the rust you see is mostly due to doing one track session in the rain. The lesson is to: buy plated rod ends, use stainless parts, paint them, keep they oiled, or don’t drive in the rain!