Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Finding Time

With the recent life affirming changes affecting my priorities, I think it's going to take some time before I'm really able to get back into a consistent pattern of both progress and updates again.  It's also that busy time of year for other activities and obligations filling our weekend schedules.  Another month has passed since my last update, but I am pleased to say that there has been at least some continued progress.

Three weeks ago I managed to get a handful of tubes cut.  The long pair with the angled ends are the forward top tunnel tubes, the mid length pair with the squared ends are the vertical tubes on either side of the transmission at the firewall, and the short pair with squared are part of the top and bottom transmission tunnel reinforcement.  My next update should be of these tacked in place.

Two weeks ago was a mini-meet of local homebuilt car (Locost) enthusiasts.  There were two with completed cars that showed up, and two (including myself) that are still slaving away in our garages.  I've seen the proof with my own eyes, that these cars CAN be completed!

And one week ago I picked up potential steering rack, as this will be a critical component in designing the front suspension. The most readily available aftermarket production-based racks are probably the Ford Mustang units, which works well with my Ford component theme as well.  It would seem that similar critical dimensions can be had with the right outer tie rod end selection on Mustang II, Fox Body, and SN95 chassis Mustang steering racks.  I've been looking at dedicated manual racks, as the depowered Mustang racks seem to get significantly more negative reviews than positive.  The Mustang II manual racks are simply too slow at 1.3 to 1.4 inches of rack movement per turn of the steering wheel.  The aftermarket manufacturers have "quick ratio" manual racks for the Fox Body, but they're still a bit on the slow side at 1.6 to 1.75 inches per turn and keep nudging the budget up.  The SN95 never came with a manual rack from the factory, but also has a similar "quick ratio" aftermarket manual rack that seems to do little more than use different thread pitch tie rod ends and add cost over the Fox Body Racks.

However, I do also know that depowered racks are popular with Miata drivers and typically get positive feedback.  So I when I came across an OEM power rack for a Fox Body Mustang at the right (low-cost) price, I jumped at the chance to buy it.   Before making any final decisions on the front suspension design, I will be attempting to disassemble this rack to get a good look at the internals and determine what modifications might be possible to use it successfully in the depowered state.  A preliminary check show that the Fox Body power rack appears to have ~2.2 inches per turn.

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