Quad pedal race car - refurbish and improvement [ I hope ]

Hi all

OK so in this thread I am building a FWD twisting chain trike to enter BHPC racing events [ British Human Powered Club ] I have now put this build into mothballs, I think I have cracked the front twisting chain stuff and it needs a trike rear end and handle bars to be tested.
However things have been happening that have rendered it un-needed at the present time.

I have done 3 pedal car events BPCC [ British Pedal Car Club ] and quite enjoy them despite me being very slow , they tend to be a lot longer than BHPC events so better value for your money IMHO.
If I had a pedal car I can enter events run by both clubs , however the above trike would limit me to BHPC events as pedal cars must have 4 wheels.

So answer get a pedal car !

I found one under 40 miles from me at a very favourable price , it had been a successful car in it's day 10th in the 2019 24hr race despite being built in 2004/5.
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However some changes were made to the car and then Covid stepped in , the result being it laid under a tarpaulin turning it from a racer to a whole heap of work to make it ridable.
On it's way home :-
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and what I have :-

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I will try and add some pictures as I overcome the problems.
Currently:-
BB is to high - hence toes bulges
gearing is inadequate
seat needs to be lower.

I have not looked at steering nor the rear axle , have remove the hydraulic brakes as they are to specialist to be repaired in a race simple cable BB7 will do [ when I can find them ]
I need at least 5 tyres to race so that is £75 without the inner tubes , least it is 406 wheels so I can have a set for around town and a set for racing...

I was told it was ' heavy ' ? well un-bodied and with some ' extra ' steel in it , it weighs < 26kg interesting I though so I weighed the current Python spooky just >26 kg :)

car-python-DSCF7644-sm.jpg


Paul

ps DannyC will be along shortly to tell you why the above picture is exciting
 
Well, it's exciting in many ways. Paul has a new pedal car to fixup and race with and the "Lost Flags of St. Ives" can be seen adorning his Python.

On our recent trip to St. Ives I managed to leave my flagpole & flags (all furled up and ready to pack in the car) on the ground beside the car and left to go home.
Paul spotted them and retrieved them.
 
I like it. It may be heavy by racer standards but it looks about as light as you can go without resorting to stressed composite solutions. I believe I have 4 x barely used Nutrak 1.1x20 slicks in the garage. If you want them and I can locate them you can have them for nowt. They were about as light a tyre as I could find without going to excessive costs. Bugger all puncture protection but should be fine on a track.
 
When you take a good look at it, it is a relatively simple ladder chassis and some things could have been a lot better especially with AZ "skills" to call upon.
As far as I can see there is no usage of contact patch alignment on the kingpins nor forward angle of the kingpins for self centring.
So there are elements that AZ'ers would have got better I think.
But it's a frame and a set of running gear with a body-shell so it's 1000 times better than the one I don't have. :)
 
I like it. It may be heavy by racer standards but it looks about as light as you can go without resorting to stressed composite solutions. I believe I have 4 x barely used Nutrak 1.1x20 slicks in the garage. If you want them and I can locate them you can have them for nowt. They were about as light a tyre as I could find without going to excessive costs. Bugger all puncture protection but should be fine on a track.
Popshot

Sorry missed this , for some reason I have seen no emails from AZ about posts ?
Please dig them out , I will at least pay postage if you are sure they are free ?
Maybe I can send you somethink in return ?
Interested in the brakes I posted ?

Paul
 
When you take a good look at it, it is a relatively simple ladder chassis and some things could have been a lot better especially with AZ "skills" to call upon.
As far as I can see there is no usage of contact patch alignment on the kingpins nor forward angle of the kingpins for self centring.
So there are elements that AZ'ers would have got better I think.
Well, I am totally wrong it appears.
Paul managed to wangle a drawing of the basic frame of this model type and there is an 8° inclination outwards towards the contact-patch of the front wheel tyres.
The kingpin assembly places the axles BEHIND the kingpins, and I have no real idea what this will do for the steering. Is it like having negative trail?
It certainly cannot be bad, because the actual chassis Paul has was highly placed when it last officially raced so the original owning & building crew must have got things right. :)
When Paul gets it back on the track it should do well. :)
 
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OK

So sometimes an update is not physical progress [ yet ] so what I have learnt so far.

Jes Featherstone has build a whole series of cars for both the Apollo team and a scout team called Swebbelli Racing.

My car has been identified as an Apollo-H his latest cars built in 2019 are Apollo-R's , hasn't he been a busy boy (y):D

He has kindly put up a photo build of those cars [ 3 in total ] Swebbelli racing cars 2019 this is an unbelievable resource for me.

Whist Jes has offered me the CAD drawing for my car , the main frame is ok and the parts that need work would be better brought up to the standard of the Apollo-R car as it has the experience of the intervening years racing built into it.....

So first up general arrangement drawing of my car:-

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Currently working on the transmission from front to back.
This is how the car came to me :
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an attempt to increase the gearing I think ?

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Gone and cleaned up with a spray of WD40 [ notice actually being used for it's intended purpose ;) other brands are available :sneaky:]

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I now need one of these to span the gap and hold the pedals in the right place , where ever that may be !

newer-chassis-sm.jpg


It wants to look like this when done , I know I need to get it as far forward as possible and the pedals as low as possible so starting with 155mm cranks.

all for now Paul
 
So where should the pedals go ?

From the drawing I think the BB should be 24.5cm from the front cross member and 36cm from the floor [ approx ].
So hunted out some 155mm cranks and a BB and the bodging began.
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I made up a lump of wood [ I like wood ] that held the BB in that position , the 3 black lines show where it started.
Sat on the car and it is much to short for me ? had a break this needed some thinking about , a cup of tea and some Yorkshire Curd Tart (y):D

So next up move it as far forwards as it could go , hence the wood and BB no longer on the lines, getting better with caveats ?

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The crank arm is about 1cm from the frame and the pedal between 1-2cm however only at a guessed pedal angle ?

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If the pedal is horizontal it hits the frame cross member , also as the front side rails slope inwards the space for my shoes becomes very very tight and you could not comfortably pedal.

Now part of the problem may be caused by my large inside leg measurement 81cm , maybe team Cranks drivers were all short in that department ?

I had re-attached the seat of course for this and was puzzled as there are 2 sets of holes for the seat , one set do line up with the mounting holes and one set if screwed down at the front the upper rear holes do not line up with the seat mount by about 1cm ? the set that don't work would move the seat back about 6.5cm just what I was after ?

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May be this is a clue a picture I think taken by Cranks when they were getting the old girl back on the road , so for some reason the car had a new seat mount welded on.
Time stopped play for me , however next up I will move the seat back and make an adaptor for the miss aligned holes.
I really need to get the BB back about 1cm and also see how narrow the installed BB is maybe I can get one narrower ? that will also help otherwise un-clipping could be an issue [ big feet as well shoe size 46 ].

Paul
 
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Daft as this might sound (apologies in advance) why not just chop the parallel-sided centre section and insert the required number of extra inches without disturbing the rest?
The rectangular centre is the flat and straight bit; so squaring it all up with steel and g-clamps to weld it should be easy enough.
The steering actuator rods and the bodywork might need similar treatment though. :)
 
Sorry to be brutal however ' daft ' it is !;)
This car was made for adults so should fit me.
Don't want it any longer than it is

Seems it came to Cranks without a seat mount , which explains them adding one.
Perusing the drawing last night I discovered the seat needs to be way back behind the steering levers , currently it is in front of them my ' lost leg length ' I think ?

Paul

ps it's great this is like industrial archeology , only unlike the ' how did they build the pyramids ' I have Jes [ designer & builder ] on tap :D
 
Problem solved then. :)
The other option was to have 3" removed from each of your legs. :)
 
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Getting closer I think:-
seat-fwd-DSCF7693sm.jpg

So this is the starting point which shows the seat in front of the steering levers and the lip of the seat is 13cm from the front face of the lower seat mount.
seat-less-fwd-DSCF7696sm.jpg

So this is the end point which shows the seat in behind the steering levers and the lip of the seat is now 5cm from the front face of the lower seat mount.
Giving me a whole extra 8cm of leg room.
I just had time to move the pedals back a cm which was still comfortable when it was time to walk the dog and join the family

Hey ho there is always another day.
Paul

ps I also tried the seat further back as there were signs of holes [ now filled in ] even further forward , the seat cannot be sat in at that point there is insufficient
bucket for the bum and the upper seat digs in your shoulders so this must be it's position
 
Well nailed it at last.....
Due to my stupidity I realised I have been given the answer to this by Jes [ the designer/builder ] a few days ago when he said the cars were designed for 170mm cranks:-
a) I had heard but not understood the implications of that statement
b) I was obsessed with using 155mm cranks
c) I was obsessed with getting the BB as low as possible and as far forward as possible

So if a car was designed for 170mm cranks that means the plans show both the cranks and the seat in a position where those cranks provide enough foot clearance for ALL riders and the distance between the seat and the BB is correct for the longest inside leg they anticipate riding it ?

Now I have found the seat position all I need to do is install 170mm cranks and put the BB back where the plans suggest it should be ? and viola it all works :whistle:

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Another advantage of 170mm cranks are that [ well the ones selected ] are straight moving the feet inboard help with clearance.

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Nice !!!

So next up get the wood out the way without disturbing the BB and make templates for the for and aft BB mounting tubes.

Paul
 
Looks very nice Paul.
It is a nice frame. I didn't know that the seat was so reclined. It looked always to me that they where sitting more upright.
 
Looks very nice Paul.
It is a nice frame. I didn't know that the seat was so reclined. It looked always to me that they where sitting more upright.
Seats are a very personal thing and differ from car to car and rider to rider [ if they can have a say on the seat angle ! ]
I suspect I will have to have it a little more upright , ok not good for racing , to see when driving it locally.

Have you recovered , bet you are itiching to get the build finished ?

Paul
 
More progress[ish]

I have to cut and grind outside and the weather has not been good for that , so this has all been old school mark/drill/hacksaw/file rinse and repeat....

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First up we need a template so to make this less hard I cut a strip of plywood longer than the tubing however the same width as tubing and halved it.

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On one end I cut a 40mm hole using a hole saw , the other end I cut several angles from cardboard till I was close transferred the shape to the plywood then overlapped them and nailed them in situ.

I realised it would be better to make the front part to [ template ] size and make the rear part ' to fit ' however it would be very hard to cut the fish-mouth on the rear part if the front part was already welded together as I found the fish-mouth was easier to get accurate if I wrapped some emery paper around the BB and used that as a gauge/file so they were both cut out at the same time.

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So on the bench for a look , just propped up at a suitable looking angle front to the right.

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Gap is acceptable for TIG especially as I think it may need 2/3 passes to get a strong join.

May try the first weld over the weekend ?

Paul
 
So been a while since I welded anything and this is not going to be easy , differing thickness and round a corner .....
I call this Sharpie accuracy they are great for marking wood and steel however slowly loose their point and the line gets wider and wider as a result.

bb-frame-1-DSCF7730-sm.jpg


Jigged up and ready for the first weld it was suggested weld the 2 corners and flip it and weld the other 2 ?

I wondered if welding the first corner it would pull it out of line ? so instead I planted a tack where the 2 lines joined.

bb-frame-1-DSCF7736-sm.jpg


I then flipped it and added a tack in the same place on the other side where the G clamp could close the gap , then as pictured above I welded the whole length.

bb-frame-1-DSCF7738-sm.jpg


Got the Tungsten out and a touch more current and did both curved welds , turn out really good for a non-welder/engineer me thinks.
I then marked the other end using the template and carefully cut the notch to big and gradually filed it to a good fit.
Now comes the hard part the second frame part , still figuring how to get a template and mark this as the whole assembly can only be fitted by lowering it into place.

Paul
 
Now comes the hard part the second frame part , still figuring how to get a template and mark this as the whole assembly can only be fitted by lowering it into place.
If you know where the one end is anchored at its furthest point then surely if you know where the other end anchors at its furthest point then all you have to do is clamp the thing on its side on the bench with the BB shell as the "hinge-point" and swivel the second piece round the BB shell until the far ends/edges are the correct distance apart? This puts it exactly where it is meant to be because you have constructed the same triangle as on your mock-up on the frame? HTH. :)
 
Ok so the BB as shown welded to the piece of 1.25sq is pants ! The weld has penetrated the threads which is bad[ ish ] however even worse is the fact that despite having cups in for the second welds [ around the bends ] the shell has distorted that badly I needed a vice to wind in the left hand thread cup and the leverage of the welded on tube and right hand one needed to be held in a vice and extreme leverage on a spanner to get it in.

Obviously this is not doing Jes or the car justice if I was to weld it to the chassis , yes a threadless might work however they are a last resort for a existing frame , we cannot start from that point and expect it to end well !

Now as they say ' every days a school day ' , I have done a weld like this before :-
DSCF5830.jpg
with no problems.

the one that failed was a new BB shell from DannyC that he had also welded into his Python trike so what is going wrong ?

First prong of attack - was quiz my engineer friend who said you are using pulse to do the welding ?
Well actually no , I do remember trying it once and it not working very well so I have left it well alone.
His advice set the max amps about 40 the min amps about 5 and try for about 60hz pulse frequency ?
Now I remember why I did not purse it , my R-Tech welder is a very early TIG160PDC and the only pulse controls it has are Pulse/No Pulse switch and frequency between 0.5zhz and 25hz no way of setting the low current or pulse length.

Second prong of attack - I contacted R-Tech Technical support who ' think ' the welder may drop current to 50% in pulse mode then said:-
You should have a "pulse time on" which increases and decreases the length of the pulse compared to the peak amps,
Nope so looks like I am on my own with that.

Third prong of attack - was to get some new shells so I asked DannyC what he ordered :- BBSLEEVE68.38 SLEEVE 68mm Mild Steel.
These were not on Ceeways web site so next it was an email to them were I received this answer :-
We have them with the same dimensions, although these are considered light (38.1mm OD), so if it is for a heavier application 39mm OD or 40mm OD may be in order. Which would you prefer? they're all of a similar price
So measuring DannyC's yes it was a light one , slowly the light is dawning DannyC has a foot pedal and so could get away with a light shell , I do not.

Fourth prong of attack - so what do I have ?
New shell from DannyC 38.1mm failed - considered light
one I have to reclaim 39.7mm better
The Python I did weld 39.4mm worked
one I have reclaimed 40.0mm cleaned up now and ready

So plan A
try the remaining fish mouth and the 40mm [ reclaimed ] after trying pulse welding on some scrap to see if it reduces the heat pattern and penetration

Plan B
make a jig for the 2 straight tubes and get my engineer to weld them to a new shell

A way forward will be found Paul
 
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