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Thread: How To Build A Pedal Car 2: A Thread

  1. #1
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    Default How To Build A Pedal Car 2: A Thread

    Well, the dang car thread.

    While I figure out to do with my glorious baby, the Opus to my Bill, I will start anew. An abbreviated, redacted version of the original, and more succinct.

    This will be a brief expositional overview, and then updates as I continue the build.

    So, update:

    The car has languished for a few reasons, mainly intellectual. I've been stuck on a few things. Interrelated things, too, so one change ruins everything.

    I recently received the axle beam end/spindle assembly from an amazing friend. They are so beyond any kind of slack jawed ding-dongery I could have knocked up. They represent a lifetime spent acquiring skill, despite the ease and nonchalance with which they claim to have been made.
    Anyway, they are far too nice to go on this civet coffee bean of a car. Geez, I really gotta step up my game.

    The transmission/clutch/final drive interface has been giving me fits. I thought of ways to simplify it, which made it more complicated, and ways to complicate it, which made it not work.

    However, through has been broken! All the changes appeared suddenly before my eyes yesterday as I hoisted her onto her new building stand.

    The pedals have to swing, so the floor needs to go, which frees up more room for the pedals and knees, but requires another frame in the body. The front half of the chassis will lose the pan, and gain a tunnel, down which the cords will run. I'll do wood sides and ply top and bottom to make the beam./tunnel.
    The front of the body shape will probably change a bit, but as little as possible. It all needs to be rebuilt, which makes it like every other part of the car. Ahem. These changes, though, fix the steering, seating, and clutch problems, really, because now everything HAS to go where it has to go, you know?
    The rear little boat tail will remain unchanged, but I recently scored a piece of 4" abs pipe offcut that will serve as the "fuel" tank once wrapped in copper flashing. Yea!

    Blah, blah words.

    Pictures to follow, I promise. Oh, and I'm working on the old thread, too. Just now I'm trying to figure out which picture is from which blank square. The upside is going through the thread and reading all the awesome banter. There is a lot of real knowledge on display in sections. Not mine, of course, but I served as catalyst.

    That's me. Catalyst. Why? Well, I'm not certain I precipitate things, but I'm pretty sure I am all wet.

    Peace,
    Robert

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    Default





    The spindles. They look cool.

    Peace,
    Robert

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    Default Re: How To Build A Pedal Car 2: A Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    Well, the dang car thread.

    While I figure out to do with my glorious baby, the Opus to my Bill, I will start anew. An abbreviated, redacted version of the original, and more succinct.

    This will be a brief expositional overview, and then updates as I continue the build.

    So, update:

    The car has languished for a few reasons, mainly intellectual. I've been stuck on a few things. Interrelated things, too, so one change ruins everything.

    I recently received the axle beam end/spindle assembly from an amazing friend. They are so beyond any kind of slack jawed ding-dongery I could have knocked up. They represent a lifetime spent acquiring skill, despite the ease and nonchalance with which they claim to have been made.
    Anyway, they are far too nice to go on this civet coffee bean of a car. Geez, I really gotta step up my game.

    The transmission/clutch/final drive interface has been giving me fits. I thought of ways to simplify it, which made it more complicated, and ways to complicate it, which made it not work.

    However, through has been broken! All the changes appeared suddenly before my eyes yesterday as I hoisted her onto her new building stand.

    The pedals have to swing, so the floor needs to go, which frees up more room for the pedals and knees, but requires another frame in the body. The front half of the chassis will lose the pan, and gain a tunnel, down which the cords will run. I'll do wood sides and ply top and bottom to make the beam./tunnel.
    The front of the body shape will probably change a bit, but as little as possible. It all needs to be rebuilt, which makes it like every other part of the car. Ahem. These changes, though, fix the steering, seating, and clutch problems, really, because now everything HAS to go where it has to go, you know?
    The rear little boat tail will remain unchanged, but I recently scored a piece of 4" abs pipe offcut that will serve as the "fuel" tank once wrapped in copper flashing. Yea!

    Blah, blah words.

    Pictures to follow, I promise. Oh, and I'm working on the old thread, too. Just now I'm trying to figure out which picture is from which blank square. The upside is going through the thread and reading all the awesome banter. There is a lot of real knowledge on display in sections. Not mine, of course, but I served as catalyst.

    That's me. Catalyst. Why? Well, I'm not certain I precipitate things, but I'm pretty sure I am all wet.

    Peace,
    Robert
    Mister EFL/Doodlerino man, I hope those spindles are even more than you hope for.

    As to Botophucket, they deserve bad juju.

    All this to say. . .

    BUMP!
    Rattling the teacups.

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    Believe it or not, this is the best picture of the whole car, basically, as it sits.
    The shape won't change, but it will have a larger "tank", and the internal framing will change.

    Peace,
    Robert

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    Default Re: How To Build A Pedal Car 2: A Thread

    Nice one Rob, it definitely has 'the look'.

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    Default Re: How To Build A Pedal Car 2: A Thread

    Doodle, oops I mean Google, Australian Pedal Prix, or HPV series. It's a huge race series of pedal powered vehicles. Ends up with a 24 hour race. 3 wheelers, kind of similar shape to yours, except much lower to the ground. Quite highly developed now.

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    Default Re: How To Build A Pedal Car 2: A Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    Doodle, oops I mean Google, Australian Pedal Prix, or HPV series. It's a huge race series of pedal powered vehicles. Ends up with a 24 hour race. 3 wheelers, kind of similar shape to yours, except much lower to the ground. Quite highly developed now.
    I may be the world's foremost authority on pedal powered cars at this point.

    The car I'm making is intended to imitate (loosely) an old external chain drive race car. I've devised a unique drive system and pedal and crank set to ease legroom constraints.

    The tall, spindly wheels are part of the look, and this car is intended to do nothing more than make my kids smile. And me. Of course a grown up can fit in it. Duh. It's going to have a head, tail, and brake light, too, so it can be driven on the bike path or on the road. Even at night.

    Peace,
    Robert

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    One of the original idea sketches.

    Peace,
    Robert

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    Default Re: How To Build A Pedal Car 2: A Thread

    I'm worried about the high centre of gravity on a narrow base. Also that those bike wheels are not designed to take lateral forces. If you don't tip over, the wheels will collapse. But a head on a pedal,car, that's a great idea

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    Default Re: How To Build A Pedal Car 2: A Thread


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    Default Re: How To Build A Pedal Car 2: A Thread

    Picture posting with iPad. How hard can it be? http://trisled.com.au/the-34-project/

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    Default Re: How To Build A Pedal Car 2: A Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    I'm worried about the high centre of gravity on a narrow base. Also that those bike wheels are not designed to take lateral forces. If you don't tip over, the wheels will collapse. But a head on a pedal,car, that's a great idea
    Wheel chair wheels ?
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

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    Default Re: How To Build A Pedal Car 2: A Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    I'm worried about the high centre of gravity on a narrow base. Also that those bike wheels are not designed to take lateral forces. If you don't tip over, the wheels will collapse. But a head on a pedal,car, that's a great idea
    A: You are aware the car chassis is sitting on a table and the wheels are leaning against it, yes?

    B: Yes, modern mountain bike wheels are designed to take massive side loads.

    C: Thanks for the vote of confidence.

    Peace,
    Robert

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    Default Re: How To Build A Pedal Car 2: A Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    Wheel chair wheels ?
    The wheels are not an issue. These are designed for a racing mountain bike.

    Peace,
    Robert

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    Default Re: How To Build A Pedal Car 2: A Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    A: You are aware the car chassis is sitting on a table and the wheels are leaning against it, yes?

    B: Yes, modern mountain bike wheels are designed to take massive side loads.

    C: Thanks for the vote of confidence.

    Peace,
    Robert
    A, pretty much, or at least I could see the wheels are no attached yet. But if the table is an accurate representation of the final height, I think you'll have stability issues. Even those trisled racing vehicles, in which your butt is about 2 inches from the ground tend to roll quite readily.
    B, they looked more like road racing wheels to my poor eyes. Yes, mountain bike wheels would be quite a bit more robust.
    C, sorry, I think it's a great project, I wanted to make a retro look car much like that when a bunch of us parents entered a car in the Pedal Prix race a few years ago, but I got voted down in favour of light weight and speed, as if we were ever going to be competitive! I'm looking forward to seeing your car completed. Very cool.

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    Default Re: How To Build A Pedal Car 2: A Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    A, pretty much, or at least I could see the wheels are no attached yet. But if the table is an accurate representation of the final height, I think you'll have stability issues. Even those trisled racing vehicles, in which your butt is about 2 inches from the ground tend to roll quite readily.
    B, they looked more like road racing wheels to my poor eyes. Yes, mountain bike wheels would be quite a bit more robust.
    C, sorry, I think it's a great project, I wanted to make a retro look car much like that when a bunch of us parents entered a car in the Pedal Prix race a few years ago, but I got voted down in favour of light weight and speed, as if we were ever going to be competitive! I'm looking forward to seeing your car completed. Very cool.


    Peace,
    Robert

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    Well, here are some flashback refreshers, to catch us up. This is the original driveline idea, stolen ruthlessly from a book. The belt was quickly poo-pooed by the esteemed Gallery of Peanuts, to whom this car really belongs. This is my life. I dream up something, or interpret some else's dreams, and then ask smart people how to do it. Sometimes I fumble enough, the smart guys just snatch the work away and do it themselves.


    This is what google did to me. The Constant Torque Treadle. Dang.


    So, I invented my own version of the CTT using off the shelf bike parts. This is the sketch of it all coming together in my head.

    Peace,
    Robert

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    Default Re: How To Build A Pedal Car 2: A Thread

    Off the shelf bike parts makes sooooo much sense. Reliable, available in whatever price point turns your ... uhm. Nobody ever said you had to use them exactly as intended, eh?
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

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    This is the original CTT driver I made.


    And here is a mockup with "pedals" to test the concept. It works great, but I made two changes. For one, the pedals are connected to each other, rather than springs, which helped eliminate the dead spot at the end of the throw, and allows for higher pedal cadence.


    The other change was more necessary. The nature of the CTT is that it cannot roll in reverse, so in order to move the car around in reverse, some sort of clutch was needed to disengage the drive.
    The meandering conversation had led past GN Fraser Nash cars with their dog clutches... so I cut myself a dog clutch. Hacksaws and files is how we do around here.

    Peace,
    Robert

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    Default Re: How To Build A Pedal Car 2: A Thread

    That CTT thing looks really interesting, although I don't understand the benefits. The flywheel scares me, if the drive from there to the wheels is fixed. Lots of momentum, no way to stop in a hurry. If there's a ratchet somewhere in there, then less of a concern. Might make handling really strange though, a gyroscope effect.

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    Default Re: How To Build A Pedal Car 2: A Thread

    It takes horsepower to turn a flywheel and carry it around, it does no work on it's own. Not needed... Humans are smart enough to keep pedaling.

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    Default Re: How To Build A Pedal Car 2: A Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    It takes horsepower to turn a flywheel and carry it around, it does no work on it's own. Not needed... Humans are smart enough to keep pedaling.
    Im thinking the flywheel is to do with the back and forth pedal drive?

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    Default Re: How To Build A Pedal Car 2: A Thread

    Sorry, the abbreviated tour is abrupt.

    The original car called for a weighted flywheel, driven by the chain, which would then drive the wheels by a belt.

    We all decided the flywheel added too much complication, so I was going to use a regular old pedal drive.

    Then I discovered the CTT which requires less leg room to operates than spinning pedals.

    A LOT is missing, but I thought to just add some refreshers here as I begin to progress again. Lots of work to restore the old thread...

    Peace,
    Robert

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    Default Re: How To Build A Pedal Car 2: A Thread

    You mentioned checking out the old thread when you talked about a CTT. I never checked it out prior, due to having no interest in Edwardian racing cars, so it was a surprise as to the actual content and a real bummer to find the photos had gone! Glad to see this. I was working on a skin-on-frame, Moran-esq type trike with a mate, that was to be battery powered velo bike, and we was working on having an onboard small capacity diesel generator to allow unlimited battery use, which by passed some laws about it being a mechanically driven vehicle. The powers that be decided to lower the top speed to something less than 7mph for something that could be classed as a battery powered bike, which upset our plans for a roadgoing trike. I lost interest in the project when my friend passed.
    I dont have the knees for a pure cycle driven car, and flashing back to my first car when i was 3, that had treadle type pedals directly linked into a bent crank/rear axle, i do remember you could go as fast in reverse as forward, once you got it rolling. Thanks for the flashback!

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    Default Re: How To Build A Pedal Car 2: A Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by skaraborgcraft View Post
    You mentioned checking out the old thread when you talked about a CTT. I never checked it out prior, due to having no interest in Edwardian racing cars, so it was a surprise as to the actual content and a real bummer to find the photos had gone! Glad to see this. I was working on a skin-on-frame, Moran-esq type trike with a mate, that was to be battery powered velo bike, and we was working on having an onboard small capacity diesel generator to allow unlimited battery use, which by passed some laws about it being a mechanically driven vehicle. The powers that be decided to lower the top speed to something less than 7mph for something that could be classed as a battery powered bike, which upset our plans for a roadgoing trike. I lost interest in the project when my friend passed.
    I dont have the knees for a pure cycle driven car, and flashing back to my first car when i was 3, that had treadle type pedals directly linked into a bent crank/rear axle, i do remember you could go as fast in reverse as forward, once you got it rolling. Thanks for the flashback!
    Oh, heck yes! The first thread was titled, um, poorly, let's say. The stupid olde tymey cars on the sports car thread got to me. The external chain drive is what sparked the idea for a pedal car.

    The youngest will drive this, but even the oldest can fit. We've got miles of bike path, and the kids will often drive bike alongside me as I run. Looking forward to a a run with the car.

    I always have too much going on, though, so sometimes things lag. The lag time just allows my mind to work. There are about 14 little hamster wheels going full time in there. My head, I mean. Hehe.

    Peace,
    Robert

    P.S. The next car project is to be a go kart style Morgan three wheeler, which will hopefully lead to a full sized Morgan type special. I have no idea why idea why I'd like to build my own car. I like to learn, I suppose I don't know.

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    Early sketches for a,cone clutch on a flywheel idea...


    Goofy sketches. Particularly noteworthy are the "dampers". These will control the "suspension" which will be ash leaf packs, and serve to locate the axle laterally. You can tell I know what I'm talking about, eh?


    And, here is a sketch for an idea I had to make a ratchet lever from some bike bits...


    And a crude demo model...

    Peace,
    Robert


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: How To Build A Pedal Car 2: A Thread

    I am glad you have retained your enthusiasm Rob, many would have given the thread away if not the idea.
    I cannot see that any of the pic alternatives are any more secure either.
    I am waiting for some of those 'confiscated' images to show up on commercials etc.
    A month ago one of my photographs, sold in a 25 copy framed limited edition, appeared in a large multi-magazine tourism ad. Unacknowledged of course, and I have queried their source? No replies yet.

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    Default Re: How To Build A Pedal Car 2: A Thread

    ^ I think if you read the small print on these host providers, by hosting your photos on their sites, you often give them permission to use your photos as they see fit, including to third parties. I was surprised to find a photo of my own boat on a website of a European builder promoting build services......was removed after i made queries.

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    Default Re: How To Build A Pedal Car 2: A Thread

    Well, like most things in my life, this car is a long suffering project. Keeping motivation is fairly easy, because I am so naturally scatterbrained, I often forget where I was.

    The other thing is, I only put them out in public space to share them here, but I had no illusions they were safe or private anymore.
    I tell my kids all the time: Once it's on the web, you've published it, and people will copy it.

    Ah, well. I don't know. The car really does belong to all those who helped design and create it on the other thread, too, so I do somewhat owe this build to a worldwide community of friends.

    Peace,
    Robert

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    This is a sketch of the latest basic drive layout.

    Man. This is hard. It is just not feasible for me to go back through the old thread and restore it, and this thread is doing a poor job of picking up where that left off.

    Sometimes I feel posting any of this stuff is a huge waste of time. It is impossible to communicate exactly what I mean or want to say, impossible to take decent pictures to show what I mean, and nigh impossible to want to keep on.

    Basically, I am re-hashing all the dumb mistakes and dead ends in order to play catch up, because I feel obligated to finish this car in public. I've received so much help from the rats here. A few I owe HUGE debts to.

    The car is currently half apart. The whole frame is coming apart, some new joints are to be cut (a few are, already) in some pieces, and then fitted together again. Still no glue, just yet.

    I'm debating whether the drive cord tunnel will be square or round again. This time it will be a full tube, and a structural member. The drive tunnel will connect the seat/tranny crossmember with the front of the frame, leaving either side of the tunnel open for pedal swing.

    The pedals can now hang and swing just a bit below the frame rails. Well. They will Can, whenever the stuff is built for them to swing from. Hehe

    Peace,
    Robert

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    Default Re: How To Build A Pedal Car 2: A Thread

    Sometimes you just have to build something and let it evolve. Or, that works for me!

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    Default Re: How To Build A Pedal Car 2: A Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    Sometimes you just have to build something and let it evolve. Or, that works for me!
    Sometmes? Hehe.

    Want to know something crazy? I don't see pictures in my head.

    "Close your eyes and visualize a meadow..." Nope. No images ever come into my head. When I dream, I see stuff, but I simply cannot make an image in my head. It's all words and numbers.

    Consequently, when I draw stuff (not doodles, but serious stuff), it is often a surprise what it REALLY looks like, you know?
    Sometimes it's just wrong, but sometimes it's right enough to lead to evolutions.

    Sometimes it is a matter of hindsight, and not being afraid to start anew.

    I haven't even broached the abandoned body. Which. Far from being abandoned, I'm gearing up to fart around with it. All these distractions revolve around my boat. Just now I'm working on it in preference to everything, but I'm also collecting scraps of cloth...

    I have been futzing a bit with the swoop you body, and I'm going to try and lay up half of it. Mostly as practice for a cafe style fairing for the scoot, but also as preparation for building the proper gokart.

    And, please, nobody misunderstand. The failing and retrying is actually pleasant to me. I like to solve problems. The part I hate is the dumb computer interface.

    Peace,
    Robert

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    Default Re: How To Build A Pedal Car 2: A Thread

    Failing and retrying is a good trait to have. Failing and not being arsed to have another go does not get one so far in life. Dont sweat it though, it will come good when its supposed to.
    Unlike many Morgan trikes, we was working on having a body style more similar to the F type, as we was going to hide the generator under the bonnet. Much as i like the big V twin up front, engine options for a motor under the bonnet are huge in comparison.

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    Eventually, I got a bare frame together. Nothing is glued or screwed, but the corners are all dovetailed. Why not?


    Then I started working on the body. This is the form for a real swoopy body I planned to make.


    So I sprayed foam into all the little cracks, smoothed it off, slathered it with spackling plaster, and worked it down to a shape I decided not to use, after all.
    The body has been relegated to a future project. It will be laid up from fiberglass over the male mold in three pieces that will be joined after molding.


    And, eventually, I failed my way into this bone simple design. The cloth is what the body will be, eventually. There will be cloth mache laid up over stringers. Sort of a plasticized skin on frame.

    Still more to catch all the way up, but these gigantic leaps are getting us closer to today.
    If I stall out long enough, I may be able to actually have progress to record when I return to the present on this trip. Hehe.

    Peace,
    Robert (Or so I'm told)

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    Default Re: How To Build A Pedal Car 2: A Thread

    I rather like the organic way that this project is progressing. Like building your own house, the drawings are just a starting point, and changes occur as you go along even to the point of building some parts with an eye to possible rebuilding in the future. A bit like restoring an old book or binding a new one, wherever possible do nothing that cannot be reversed and reworked if you change your mind or a better idea comes along.

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