Thursday, September 30, 2010

Today I decided to tackle the seating problem. You may remember that I have the back bench out, the theory being that I am not toting more than one passenger very often, and the flat floor is much better.

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This is still true, but I do end up with a second passenger occasionally, and besides the lack of seatbelts in the back, they were complaining about the harsh ride, and no backrest. Picky, picky.....

First, the seatbelts. Pretty simple:

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Now for the seat back. At first I tried a simple board between the pillars. I even added a carpet 'cushion', church pew style. It even fits nicely in the passenger floorboard area, when not in use.

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Nope. It's OK for little kids, but most people want a little more support. So I decided to try and not re-invent the wheel, I still had the old backseat. I mounted the seat back on a board:

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Attachment is an issue. Here's what I came up with:

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The wire is sturdy, and a low profile connector when not in use . The seat leans against the metal brackets (which no longer line up to the old holes) and the base is kept from sliding forward by the taut wire. The seat cushion is a thick bathroom rug.

Some kiddies test the new seat:

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Adults fit fine as well, but headroom is limited. The back is as comfortable as it ever was, and now I can seat up to four for a short trip if I need to, while retaining the sturdy wood floor.

Seat back removal consists of:

1) Push seat forward.
2) Pull upright again.
3) Lift seat out.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cyclone Update

I have continued to email the Cyclone folks, and I have gotten several tidbits, although some are relative to the Mark V engine:

~The Mark V has 850ft-lbs of torque at near 0 RPMs

Incredible as that sounds, remember that these engines are designed not to need a transmission. A 114 HP Volvo engine producing 136 ft-lbs will multiply that torque 13 times at the wheel in first gear, for a max of 1,809 ft-lbs (not that you need it), proceeding to the overdrive ratio 2.61, for 355 ft-lbs at the wheel. So the Mark V likely needs a final drive ratio of 1.5:1 or so.

I can't wait to hear the torque numbers on the Mark II.

~Mark V burner has a firing rate of 7 gallons per hour

This is an incredible amount of fuel, but remember that's top capacity. Meaning with a mediocre fuel economy of 20MPG, this burner can keep you supplied with steam up to 140 MPH with 100% duty cycle. When you add the reserve capacity of the boiler, there's room for even faster speeds, in short bursts. Also means that normally, duty cycle would be 25 – 50%.

Not so useful to us perhaps, but food for thought.

~The expected cost is “similar to a gasoline engine of the same horsepower”.

What does that mean? Who can say.
A gasoline 20hp engine costs anywhere from $1000 to $1500+ off the shelf.

~They have temporarily ceased work on the Mark II in favor of better funded projects.

Well, I just wish them some success, and hope they get their business firmly established.

Waiting is so hard.....

Saturday, September 4, 2010

OK, those lucky members who convoyed with me to GeoPalooza will recall that my alt belt broke, and we got a new one in Liberty. On the trip I tightened that belt probably five times. It would be fine for a while, then start squealing when I stopped for a bit, then quiet down when I got rolling.

It has been pretty quiet since I got back (no big trips since) but now it has started back squealing a little when cold. I decided to have a look, and was a little surprised.

The belt is still fairly tight, but it is thin and flexible. I can pull the grooves together with my fingers. It also appears to be glazed a bit. There is black rubber powder all over the place. So obviously I need a new belt, but good grief, I have to get more miles out of a belt! 

Car Nut
Sep 1 2010, 08:46 PM
Worked on a Mazda Protege last year with a similar issue. Belt would squeal & stop. Squeal & stop again.....Alternator bearing froze up. Seems it was locking up for a second, then running free for a while, lock up again.....
I hope it's not the alt going bad......
On second thought, if the alt froze up, the battery light should come on, right? I know that hasn't happened.

Took the belt off:

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You see how flexible it is. Also smooth and not grippy, contributing to the squeal.

Well, all I can do is the obvious; try to line up the pulley, replace the belt, roughen the grooves, apply belt dressing.

If that's not it I guess I will replace the alt bearing.

(Edited and cross-posted from "Belt-eating" thread)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Painted the dash today......right in the car. Here's how:

1. Masked all the surfaces, using a combination of painter's masking tape, brown paper, and plastic dropcloths.
This is the whole job, in my view. As carefully as I did it, I still got some overspray on the windshield. :banghead

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2. First coat. I am using a flat black, actually some high temp engine paint I had left.

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3. Final result. Uneven gloss is from uncured paint, I expect it to even out in a few hours.

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This ought to lower the glare some, since it was a faded grey-white to start with.