The Contraption 2010

Postby pinemom » Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:53 am

Morning Black Kitty!
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Postby LeChatNoir » Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:34 pm

The Mutant Vehicle and Flame Effect applications were submitted today. The official process begins!
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sun Feb 21, 2010 7:09 pm

Mid-Project Intermission


I wanted to make a note to all who may be reading the thread at some point with an idea of a project of their own. A whole lot of the things being done in this project can be accomplished with off the shelf items such a parts from you local tractor or farm supply place. There are loads of ready made couplings and fittings in the world of farm equipment, not to mention scrap yards and transmission shop junk rooms and your local hardware store. For instance, Elliot demonstrated on the previous page his take on a chain gang transmission and I think that approach will work rather handily.

Knowing that I could go out and purchase many components to make my job faster, I chose instead to make, via welding and/or machining much of the stuff for this project. Part of this is because I wish to keep the costs as minimal as possible and I have the tools and much of the material at my disposal. But bigger than that, creating these items is where I find much of the fun of the entire project… in the process of thinking about something for months, researching and designing it, and then making it from a piece of raw material.

That being said I sincerely hope if you are researching a similar project of your own, that you get a good idea for the steps involved. My goal is to give a good enough amount of information to allow someone to see the idea behind what is happening and adapt that to their own individual project. Not only that, I try to accurately represent both the successes and the failures of a given idea. You can learn from my experiences just like I have learned form the experiences of so many others on forums around the internet, including eplaya.

So if ever something is ever lacking in explanation or you want more information, please feel free to chime in a ask.

And with that being said, the next update is to follow.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sun Feb 21, 2010 7:50 pm

Here we go with the latest progress report.

Since removing the radiator, I’ve machined up a cover plate to go on the engine that will allow the use of an external cooling tank. This cover plate has a thermostat on the hot-out side that will open at 195 degrees. This will allow the engine to warm up a little faster and stay at a good temp range for running.

Top and bottom views of the engine plate and thermostat housing (note the space machined for a standard automotive-type thermostat):

Top
Image

Bottom
Image

Here’s a close up of the engine plate mounted up, low spots filled and dressed and ready to paint.

Image


The cooling tank is designed to mount on the side of the pump tower above the engine and use thermo-siphoning to circulate the water. The hot side inlet has a tube that reaches about three inches up into the cooling tank and the cool side inlet has a tube (see bottom of engine plate above) that will encourage the cooler water into the lower sections of the water jacket around the cylinder. The hot side feed hose to the cooling tank is 1-½â€
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Postby Elorrum » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:05 pm

Image
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Postby LeChatNoir » Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:01 pm

Heh heh…

He reminded me of a “Nerdâ€
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Postby LeChatNoir » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:08 pm

Lighting Update

I’m slow to remember stuff sometimes. It helps if someone smacks me with a board or other equally startling form of jogging the memory.

When I first began this whole process, my initial approach was to use CCFL's. But being human powered the first year, I ran into problems providing enough battery to keep them going for extended periods. Plus I cracked the plastic tube on one of them by installing it too rigidly, so I canned the idea in favor of LEDs. I reckon this is where my fascination with those little diodes began.

It hit me tonight that I still had the CCFL’s on a high shelf in the back of the shop so I went down to inventory what I had.

6 Purple and 4 Blue.

And now that the machine will have an alternator and a large enough engine to crank it, juice should be no problem and these can be incorporate as extra under-carriage lighting. I still want to do some tests to see how this blends with the existing blue LEDs. If it's satisfactory, this will offset some of the additional lighting costs and allow the purchase of a couple more UV lights so that we can make use ofthis very cool looking stuff.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:21 pm

Here’s an example of farm contraptioneering at it’s finest.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kt_rerErOmM[/youtube]
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Postby ygmir » Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:25 pm

"necessity is the mother of invention"
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Postby Elliot » Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:04 pm

:D
Here is a hot rod a shot a while back. Notice the seats.

Image

Image

The owner told me he grew up on a farm in Iowa, and they built all sorts of contraptions out of cast-off farm equipment. So now, 40 years later, when he could afford to build a half million dollar hot rod….
:lol:
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Sun Feb 28, 2010 2:47 pm

Here's some photos I took of that car:

Image

Image

Image
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:43 pm

Boy, that looks like it’d be a lot of fun to ride around in! The backrests look like they’ve got some sort of spring or mini-air shock type of support to them.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sun Feb 28, 2010 5:56 pm

The engine made it’s first extended test run this weekend. The cooling tank seemed to perform well. I could actually see the hot water rising into the tank so the thermosiphoning works as planned. It ran for probably 15 minutes and the water never got so hot that I couldn’t put my hand in it. This is probably due to the fact that I’m doing the first tests without the thermostat in order to simplify initial trouble shooting. This tells me that the aluminum tank dissipates heat fairly well, then.

This is a diesel engine, so it has a bit of a knock on the compression stroke and that’s normal. But every time I’ve run it, it seemed to be hitting just a little harder than it should. During the this first run, I was watching and listening to various areas of the engine to try and figure out where it was coming from. I noticed that this knock would increase and decrease in intensity at times and I could run may hands over the side of the crankcase and zero in on it as coming from the crankshaft. It would also hunt a bit for its speed, even though the throttle was locked in place. This prompted me to shut it down and begin a deeper investigation.

Back On The Table

After getting the engine off the test stand and back up onto the work table, the first thing I noticed was the flywheel was loose. I could rotate it back and fourth a little bit without the crankshaft moving. Apparently the nut that holds it on was never tightened completely and this was letting the flywheel slap back and forth with each power stroke. Yikes! This was likely at least part of the troublesome noise.

After removing the flywheel, I found that the crankshaft had some endplay in it, meaning I could push and pull it in and out and it would move a good bit. Setting up a dial indicator, this was measured to be 0.025â€
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Postby Elliot » Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:48 pm

:D
Very strange. Were these engines INTENDED to be "blueprinted" by their owners? Were they sold as kits, loosely assembled just to show the buyer/assembler where the various parts belonged? Weird.

Anyroad, that hot rod is no doubt fun to drive, but not comfortable. You have to either scrunch down to look thru the windshield, or crane your neck to look out the roof. The owner said he mostly looked thru the roof -- but he never drove it on public streets.

Image

I'm a little bit taller than him, and I didn't even try to look thru the windshield when I sat in the thing.

The car was built just three miles from my house. Who said Clearlake was a cultural backwater?! :lol:
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:16 pm

Elliot wrote::D
Very strange. Were these engines INTENDED to be "blueprinted" by their owners? Were they sold as kits, loosely assembled just to show the buyer/assembler where the various parts belonged? Weird.


Intended, no. But in practice... Heh Heh. At least I don't think it was intended.

These particular engines are of German design and manufactured in China. There are various manufacturers over there and I hear some are better than others. This type of engine has been in use for decades and is a tried and true design. Used a lot in walking tractors in both Asia and even Europe. They’re almost always marketed under the Name “Changfaâ€
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Postby Elorrum » Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:44 pm

ratfink always looked out the top
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Postby LeChatNoir » Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:58 pm

Were they sold as kits, loosely assembled just to show the buyer/assembler where the various parts belonged?


Before we get too much further into saying where the fault lies with these previously mentioned problems, It should be noted that the engine had something to say for itself about all this.



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Postby karine » Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:16 am

He he he he.
Easy to blame.

OH! I'm gonna keep that one for life.
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Postby karine » Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:56 pm

Look who I caught taking a break on the contraption this morning...

Image

(((Note the cut out in the deck,
to make room for the oil pan for the new engine.)))
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Postby ibdave » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:04 pm

karine wrote:Look who I caught taking a break on the contraption this morning...

Image



karine, thanks for posting this shot...Made me smile and reminds me of what great, great people all of you are... 8) 8) 8)
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Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:15 am

I love that shot, too.
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Postby pinemom » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:58 am

Meeee Tooooooo!

He is such a HANDSOME cat, at that!
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Postby unjonharley » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:15 am

Good looking shop dog
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:09 am

unjonharley wrote:Good looking shop dog

That's more than I can say about you!
(haha)

Hey LeChat... would it be anti-everything-it-was-all-about to suggest possibly eliminating the pump-handle people-power mechanism to make room for other stuff or people, since I'm kinda' betting it's always going to be under power when it's new engine goes in? Or should I be hanged for even thinking that...
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Postby Elliot » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:35 am

:D
Don't know if I'm registered to vote on this, but I would say no hanging for the captain. Bury him to the neck in an ant hill, maybe. :wink:

Seems to me, newcomers to The Contraption should (when practical) be initiated by propelling it with the pump handles, at least one "cycle" of the flywheel. That ritual satisfied, the engine can be started.

Just my 2 cents, of course.
:D
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Postby LeChatNoir » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:34 pm

I’d vote for the ant hill idea, but I’d rather not frighten the ants so much.

I toyed with the idea of removing it altogether in 08, but came to several reasons not to. The most critical one is the pump tower limit’s the number of people who can be on the vehicle to a manageable amount. I’m afraid that the frame couldn’t support it if it got crammed full and the pump is a good space taker to avoid this, limiting it to around 7 people including the engineer and pilot.

The second reason is aesthetics, since I’m striving to keep the look of an originally human powered vehicle that has been upgraded “turn of the centuryâ€
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Postby Oldguy » Thu Mar 11, 2010 3:10 pm

Magnetos, I have not heard that word since my flying days. Procedure: Left, right, and then both switched on and off, during run-up at the end of the runway prior to takeoff.
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Postby Elliot » Thu Mar 11, 2010 3:41 pm

:D
Magneto ignition is still used on some types of race cars. These cars carry no battery and are push started. It does not take much to light them off once the fuel starts flowing.
:D
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:26 pm

FUCK, cats are cool. :)
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Postby Tiahaar » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:17 pm

Agreed, and yay for keeping the pumper on, maybe I'll yet get a chance to give it a try. Everytime I've come across the machine its been parked with the crew off and about or taking a break. Love the diesel one-banger!
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