Back To The Future

14 December 2007

I’m making pretty good progress on Peyote. Okay, it’s more like three steps forward, two back, but it’s coming together. I made a set of decisions that were kind of painful. Mainly, that I would try to use as much of the damaged body as possible since the frame couldn’t be saved. It’s a kind of silly thought, since Peyote has been reskinned at least three times that I know of–four if you count Peyote MkI, so it’s not like I’m preserving much of the original body (though there are three pieces of metal that I’m fairly certain come from the original incarnation). But the body skin from the roll cage forward is from the Peyote that I’ve had so much fun with over the past eight years, so I’m determined to save as much of that mojo as I can. Turns out of course that saving original bodywork with a new frame is twice the work of simply reskinning, but I’m glad that I’m trying to do it.

Here’s the new frame with some rear skin on. The old rear skin was too thin and oil-canned badly. I made this out of .040 aluminum and rolled a little crown into the aluminum with my new english wheel. You can barely see the crown but it makes the panels much more rigid and makes the entire structure far stronger. I’m not very good with the wheel yet, so the metal looks like an aluminum bag full of walnuts, but for now it’s done and in place so it’s going to stay.

Original nose skin laid in place. As you can see, there’s not a lot to work with here, but I’ll make it come together.

My el cheapo harbor freight English wheel. I reinforced it with a lot of added steel and it’s still one fourth the cost of any other source I found. It’s amateur crap, but hey, I’m an amateur.

Borgeson steering shaft with telescoping section–no more Zulu spear pointed at my chest. I did a very careful job building the steering. I’ve had an incident in the past when the steering wheel got disconnected. Not fun.

The “wideboy” chassis. These tubes used to be straight back to the rollbar which resulted in a seating position tilted to the right. Just like my politics–rigid, but uncomfortable. Now I can put a seat in that points down the track instead of driving down the track sideways.

I checked”everything” on the front suspension for bends and cracks, found one lower arm was bent, no cracks. When I installed the suspension the right side (the one that hit the tire wall) I could feel binding and the lower arms moved apart when I stroked the suspension. Turns out the lower trunnion axle was bent. So now I’m waiting for a new one. Late TR4-TR6 trunnions (with 3 degrees of caster) are not interchangeable side to side, so my big stack of TR3 suspension stuff was worthless. I do, however, strongly endorse caster in TR3/4 race cars.

Someone needs to clean this shop. Ah well, back to it. More pictures later. I’m getting kind of frantic, I only have until Jan 3rd, and there are a few days in the middle when I can’t work–like Christmas, and a trip to Yosemite for a ridiculously decadent dinner put on by a good friend.

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