3 Aug 2008

The decision’s been made, out came the saw and off came the bottom radiator pipe. The decision was make easier after realizing that there are other radiator modifications that need welding, so what’s one more? To fit the radiator under the nose, the filler cap flange is being replaced with a low-profile water bleeder. (The cooling system will get filled through a header tank back in the engine compartment.) Mounts are also needed, too. All the welding can be done at one time and transform a nearly-impossible-to-work-with-awkward-assembly into something that fits really well. It’ll be well worth the bother.

Worked all day on the front chassis area, probably the most complicated part of the entire design. Kind of like juggling a bowling ball, flaming torch, chicken egg, frog, and a running chainsaw, there’s the nosecone, steering rack, cooling fan, duct-work, and suspension pickup points. It’s easy to deal with these one at a time, dedicating tubes to deal with them separately. It’s about 100 times harder to use one tube to do two or three different tasks at the same time, very tricky! It’ll be worth it – after it’s done – in the form of fewer tubes doing the work. No pictures; it’s just a bunch of half-finished wood pieces at various angles – not much to look at. I plan on taking a week off soon and will dedicate the entire time to finishing the mock-up.

After the mockup’s complete, is the task of getting it into the computer. It’s the only way to force myself not to cheat, taking measurements off the wood and going straight to steel without writing the numbers down. Come to think of it, that’s not all that bad… and might actually be a good idea. If I go to CAD first, then build the steel chassis, I risk following mistakes and wasting material – and forgetting to make the corrections on the CAD drawings. If I build the steel chassis first, then take measurements, it guarantees that what’s there is really what was built, not numbers that were later changed and forgotten about. Hmmm, maybe cutting steel is not as far off as I thought…