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 Post subject: Re: Reverse trike build
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:25 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:42 am
Posts: 28
Well, it's June 2017 now and I've got a bit more done. I bought a cheap Chinese lathe to make bushes etc. Cheaper to buy a little lathe like this than to farm out the work to a local engineering mob, and I still have the lathe. I've used Morel Engineering in the past and though he does excellent work, for my needs, a few pieces at a time, it's hardly worth his bother and he charges accordingly. So although this lathe is very small and limited it'll do what I need hopefully. It came damaged and I got a $40 rebate, It cost about $15 to fix it and while it was in bits I greased everything, slides, screws etc, and now it's good to go...


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Last edited by LoGo Trikes on Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Reverse trike build
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:47 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:42 am
Posts: 28
Finally got the seats sorted. Got them off a guy on Gumtree. He bought them for a project but ended up not using them, so they were new but dusty. Came complete with the seat rails, so all I had to do was weld in the box sections to bolt them to. I thought I would have shit loads of room to play with cos I've got short fat hairy legs, but I'm pushing for space now that I can actually sit in the thing, put my arms out to feel where the steering wheel needs to go. I used a Commodore VX column; robust but a bit long for this chassis. It'll mean that once I've allowed for 100mm of collapsibility in the column per the ADR, the knuckle UJ's are not as relaxed as I would like. They will still be well within maximum deflection, but since universal joints are not truly constant velocity, I'd have much preferred less deflection. I've seen production cars with much more deflection so it should be fine. If I could decrease the collapsibility to say 50mm (or move the whole column back 50mm) I'd be much happier. As it is though I'm restricted with sliding the seat back till it hits the rear frame. The answer is to move the column forward to allow more room in the cockpit but then that means the pedal box will have to move forward by the same amount. That's ok too, not ideal for me, but I might have to do that. All because the column is a bit long for this chassis. It wasn't my first choice. I'd already decided on a Holden Gemini column, but the guy waited so long for me to stump up the cash, he sold it on and offered me the VX column instead. Gemini columns are getting hard to come by and VX columns are plentiful and cheap...


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 Post subject: Re: Reverse trike build
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:42 am
Posts: 28
I had three goes at siting the column. You might notice in later pictures that I had to lower the box section cross-tube that the column is resting on. I was going to have to do that anyway once I'd decided to go for pushrod/bellcrank suspension. That cross-tube would have been in the way of the coil-over shockies, so lowering it 40mm solved two problems; gave me adequate room for the shockies, and allowed the column to drop by 40mm so it aligns better with the knuckle UJ coming out of the Ford Sierra rack. As it turned out, getting from a Holden column to a Ford rack was easier than I expected it to be. All I had to do was hack off the final knuckle of the column, which revealed a tube with an internal diameter of 15mm. From the UK I ordered an Escort knuckle to go on the Sierra rack and a piece of splined shafting to suit the Escort knuckle, with a 15mm diameter shaft to go down the guts of the VX column. It will be drilled and welded in several places to join the bits together. That's the plan anyway. I'm still waiting for the knuckle and splined shaft but when they come I can bolt it all together. The inspecting engineer shouldn't have an issue with this kind of cross-matching mischief; it happens all the time with individually constructed vehicles and is acceptable as long as it's done to a good engineering standard.

I've positioned the rack pretty much where it should go, all that's needed is a cross tube welded in to carry the rack by two 1/2 inch HT bolts and locknuts. That's the reason I chose the Sierra over the usual suspect, the Escort rack. The Sierra rack is beefier, wider than the Escort, and better yet, has robust mounting points. Sadly the Sierra is still not wide enough for my needs, or indeed any others with an extra wide track. The usual way to solve this is by fitting extension pieces to the rack ends. These can be bought online or home-made, and are an acceptable and recommended fix. I'll have a go at making mine in my you-beaut lathe. They should be made from something a bit stronger than mild steel, which although perfectly adequate for this task, can be made a bit tougher by using say 4140 or something similar, yet easy enough to machine. SS is an obvious choice but I don't think they would be acceptable. I'll ask around...


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Last edited by LoGo Trikes on Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:36 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Reverse trike build
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:42 am
Posts: 28
Another view of the rack and column. I've severely altered the column to get rid of the up/down in/out adjustment found on modern racks. Not needed for this application, but, just in case the engineer wants to see a standard column that hasn't been buggered about with by yours truly, I'll buy a spare rack and it'll be a straightforward swap. All the other functions have been retained; collapsibility, steering lock by key, and the important breakaway mountings in case of frontal impact. They're designed to break off from the steel mounting bracket, allowing the column to telescope forward.


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 Post subject: Re: Reverse trike build
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:44 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:42 am
Posts: 28
This one shows where I've lowered the cross-tube that the column sits on. I should have removed the seat for all the grinding and welding going on, but I put a bag over the seat which worked well. Should have removed the seat all the same...

The piece of brown tube supporting the column will be replaced with a piece of gal-tube welded to the frame sides and will be the lower dashboard tube. I'm expecting that the support tube, yet to be fitted, for the coil over shocks will double as a terminating point for the tubes which will support the breakaway section of the column, and will continue backward to the lower dashboard cross-tube. I'll probably have a curved hoop piece for top part of the dashboard, though I haven't figured that bit out yet. I really need to know exactly where the steering wheel is going to lie..


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Last edited by LoGo Trikes on Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:03 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Reverse trike build
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:42 am
Posts: 28
Another view of the rack loosely in position. As can be seen the rack ends (drumsticks) are nowhere near long enough to reach the steering arms on the uprights, hence the need for extensions. Pleased I didn't go for the Escort rack. Haven't figured out how to centre the rack in the chassis. Logically the two mounting holes will be concentric, but I'll need to double check the measurements with the rack turned to each extreme to see if in fact the holes are concentric. I expect they will be, no reason for them not to be, but don't know for sure yet...


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Last edited by LoGo Trikes on Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Reverse trike build
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:42 am
Posts: 28
I've done some work on the pushrods. As can be seen I used thick-wall 4130, which had to be drilled out slightly to tapping size (29/64ths) for 1/2 inch UNF. I started the tap in the lathe for a few threads to get it straight, and then hand-tapped in the vice. The old Trefolex, probably the best tapping compound on the market, is a must for tapping, especially chrome-moly, which is a lot tougher than mild steel and gives taps a flogging. Luckily I only have to make 4 threads. The rod ends used came from McGill Motorsports in the UK, and they're the dogs bollocks. Chrome-Moly body, teflon lined, beautifully made and not expensive, like say Aurora, which are good but expensive. You'll see in later pictures that I have to use high-misalignment washers to get the maximum potential deflection of 24 degrees total out of the bell-crank end of the pushrod. Not that I'll need that much but it's better to have the washers in place. Rod end movement at the bell-crank end will take up much of the available 12 degrees +/-, and the washers will allow for all of it. It's always worth noting how rod ends will behave in suspension designs, and they should really only be used for radial loading. You could hang the Queen Mary off them radially, but they're not real flash at axial loads, and the ball can pop out sideways if they're overloaded axially, though some builders use them that way, which I think is a bit sketchy. They're open to the elements too, so to avoid wearing them out super-quick by them being contaminated with grit and road crap they need to be protected with rubber boots. In fact my signatory quite rightly insisted on it. They're easily available and cheap to replace, and you can lob some grease inside to keep them well lubricated. Mine came from another UK mob MD Motorsport. McGill had them but MD were a lot cheaper.


Haven't cut the pushrods to size yet. For that I'll need the bits for the bell-cranks. I was going to make these myself, but they're a little more complex than brackets I've made so far, and I wanted repeatability and the accuracy that only laser-cutting can give. They're being done by Action Laser, the best mob in the business I reckon. Once I have these parts to hand I can make the pivot tubes for the bell-cranks and weld everything together. Again I'm hoping the lathe will prove its worth. Pictures to follow...


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