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Thread: Electrathon - A Different Kind of "Hotrod"
          
   
   

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  1. #106
    vara4's Avatar
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    Well guys I didn't want to chime in till Jim got his say.
    I went out to watch Jim saturday.
    Jim was defiantly the most Intimidating looking guy out there.
    Jim was shoe horned in the car, and at first glance I thought he was a biker.
    It's not that Jim is that big it's more that the car is that small.
    When Jim would go buy, you could not hear a thing, it was that quite.
    The car seamed to be floating around the track, just as smooth as could be.
    After the last flat I walked up and introduced myself to Jim.
    Jim's car truly made the rest of the cars look like erector sets.
    His car looked like something you would buy at a car lot not something he built
    in his garage. I'd say his car is the lightest and best looking car out there.
    Some of the cars went buy bouncing and making all kinds of noises with the wheels wobbeling. Jim was flying around the track and there is no doubt in my mind if he had not had tire issuses that he would have won. All the guys out there were really nice
    and it was a pleasent after noon. Thanks for showing me your car Jim, It's truly
    a little work of art. You can really see your car building experience in your car.
    Thanks again. Kurt

  2. #107
    J. Robinson's Avatar
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    Kurt - Thank you for the kind words and compliments. I think my car would win an appearance contest pretty easily, but, as we all know in any kind of racing, looks don't make it go. It was nice meeting you. We always have pre-concieved ideas of what someone is like until we meet face-to-face. Actually, I guess you could call me a part-time biker. I have a motorcycle and I have all the appropriate clothing and leathers for biker events... Here's a pic of me and "the ol' lady" (biker talk for my wife of 38 years) preparing to head to bikeweek a couple of years ago.

    Steve, Resto, & Evolvo - Yes, I know what the problem was and it was entirely my own fault. I am using double-wall rims on the front of this car. Getting tires on & off of double-wall rims is a real wrestling match and is further complicated by the rubber boot or rim strip. The spokes & nipples are recessed down inside holes in the second wall of the rim and I figured, since they are sort of out of the way, I could run with no boots on the rims... WRONG!! It was the edges of the holes in that second wall that was slicing through the tubes. Unfortunately, I went to Tampa and left the boots lying on my desk at school. My only recourse was the duct tape in my tool box. As we now know, it's not heavy enough.

    The season is over now, so I have a few months to fix all the "bugs" and get ready for the next one. The good news is, we stood the car on its nose on the scales today; it weighs 102 pounds complete minus batteries.
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    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  3. #108
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    ok Jim I'll bite...what's the attached photo from?
    " "No matter where you go, there you are!" Steve.

  4. #109
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    It's just what I said above, Steve. Kurt said "I thought he looked like a biker", so I posted that pic to show that I can look even more like a biker... That is me and my wife getting ready to head to Daytona during Bikeweek a few years ago. The picture was taken by a friend of ours who was going with us... Through the week I am just a mild-mannered school teacher. On weekends I am either a "hotrod hoodlum" or "scooter trash", depending on what I'm doing or where we're going. Fortunately, my wife is a good sport who likes hotrods and motorcycles and likes to play along.
    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  5. #110
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    Jim I must be losing it! I read your thread late last night and missed the entire first paragraph! Your wife is indead a good sport, mine won't even wear the leather halter top I got her!
    I actually tried to fire up the softail Sunday, only to find the new battery on 10 months, connected to the battery tender, dead!
    Thats what I get for neglecting it for the last 10 months!
    " "No matter where you go, there you are!" Steve.

  6. #111
    J. Robinson's Avatar
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    Here are a couple of shots from today so you all can get a better idea of the size of this car. As you can see, the top of the roll cage is just below mid-thigh on me (I am just shy of 5'10"). When I am in the car, I am almost fully reclined. It's a close fit in there, but it's fairly comfortable. When I have my helmet on, my head is propped up just a bit more.
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    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  7. #112
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    It looks like a great fit,way better then you mushed in to the OJ car that was smaller. So now that ya been running the new one a little,is there something size wise ya would like even better yet?for fit?

  8. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by stovens View Post
    ... I actually tried to fire up the softail Sunday, only to find the new battery on 10 months, connected to the battery tender, dead!
    Thats what I get for neglecting it for the last 10 months!
    Steve - I bought a new battery for my bike back in October just in time for Biketoberfest and got a new battery tender from Sears. In February, just before the beginning of Bikeweek, my battery tender malfunctioned and ruined my 4-month-old battery! I got rid of the battery tender; my last battery without the tender lasted 3 years, my first battery with the tender lasted 4 months!

    Bat - I'm stretched out more in this car than I was in the orange one, but they are about equal in driver comfort. The main problem with the orange car was that there was a vertical frame member right at my elbows. Because of my physical size, those uprights would beat and bruise my elbows and upper forearms pretty badly over the course of a race. This car doesn't do that. Also, although twin-lever steering is used successfully in a lot of Electrathon cars, I really prefer the steering wheel arrangement like this car has. If I were to change anything at all, I might raise the roll cage an inch just to make getting in and out with my helmet on easier.
    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  9. #114
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    Herer's a pic I missed posting before. After I was done installing all the controls and wiring on the "steering wheel", I installed 1" heat-shrink tubing on the grip areas.
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    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  10. #115
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    For the race last week, I hurriedly made a couple of simple brackets from 1/16" x 1" aluminum to hold the rear view mirrors (required by the rules). Unfortunately, the brackets were too short and using the mirrors required me to raise my head up and lean to the side to see them... Instead of just making longer brackets and sticking the mirrors further out into the airstream, I decided it would be nice to make something a little more aerodynamic.

    I began by making a pattern from poster board. Once again, I made the pattern more than once before I was satisfied with the shape and fit... Next, I transferred the shape to a piece of aluminum. I traced the pattern once, then flipped it over for the second piece so they would be exactly opposite each other (one for each side).

    To form the flanges on what would become the bottom of the mirror nacelles, I used a piece of hard wood with a straight edge and a rubber mallet.

    I formed the shape of the aluminum pretty much by bare hands. The stuff bends pretty easily, so I just kept working it until I got the shape I wanted. When I was satisfied with the shape and had them as identical as I could get them with "calibrated eyeball", I made new mirror brackets form 1/16" x 1" flat aluminum. I replaced the old short brackets with the new longer ones (2" longer) and then installed the new nacelles in front of them.
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    Last edited by J. Robinson; 05-18-2009 at 09:03 AM.
    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  11. #116
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    Neat-O mirror aero,I like that a lot. Super clean.
    You noted "although twin-lever steering is used successfully in a lot of Electrathon cars,"
    I'm not sure were that came from?a missread maybe, But I was only talking a few post back about one vs two brake levers for 2 front wheels,and showed one that dose that cheep and EZ in one lever. Go back and check linkjust yet another way of doing stuff.
    You could of been thinking about how Rolling Thunder steers like airplain/feet and or hands.

  12. #117
    J. Robinson's Avatar
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    I was just saying that I like the steering wheel arrangement in this new car better than the twin lever design which is what I had in the orange car... The steering in your Rolling Thunder car is ingenious to say the least. It is amazing to watch that car work on a twisty course.

    Yes, I noted the dual cable brake handle in that previous post; I didn't know there was such a thing! I will probably have one of those before the next race...
    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  13. #118
    Roc8Ray is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Hey Jim,

    I live in T-ville as well, any chance on taking a look at your EV car. I have been thinking about getting involved in building a car and racing. I am kinda in to the whole green thing these days. Built a landsailor and think an EV racer would be a cooool next project.

    To be competitive, what are you seeing at the track? As far as controllers, motors, gear ratios resulting in top speed/distance.

    Wil

  14. #119
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    Sure, Wil, I'll send you a personal message with my phone number.

    As for what is competitive, there are numerous combinations that work. Apparently, reliability and consistency are the keys to winning. A few years ago there seemed to be a big movement toward using the Briggs Etek 3 1/2hp motors; everybody was buying them. It seemed if you wanted to be competitive, you needed an Etek... Then, one of our long-time participants came to a race with a new Etek motor on his car and won the first race; no surprise there. Interestingly, between races that day, he took the Etek off and replaced it with his old Scott 1hp and won again! That certainly proved a point!

    Dana "The Bat", who posts on here, is using an old Scott 1hp that I gave that team and a used controller from a golf cart. They have been consistent winners since they started running...
    Last edited by J. Robinson; 05-22-2009 at 09:14 AM.
    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  15. #120
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    Wil,
    "gear ratios resulting in top speed/distance"
    First is top speed is not the ticket,but distance is for a full hr.
    Here in Fla, ;
    Except for the Fiveflags Speedway race,the tracks so far are about 1/4 to 1/3mile per lap in collage parking lots around the cones and that for the most part holds speed to around 25 to 28 MPH.
    So your gear is wheel size and sprockets to try and get what ever motor you've pick to run at it's best rpm for it.
    What I'm saying really is all the tracks can be run with pritty much same gear,except I think Fiveflags Speedway could of used a taller gear by a little as I see that the speed looks like it was about 30mph,but then I didn't get to run there,just my guess.

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