Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Engine Team.

Since we here on the body/chassis team are a bit disconnected from the engine team Wes asked Nate Roy to create a bit of a summary of the engine work thus far. Here it is:

Well, we have the engine block cut in half and last night I sanded the two halves of the engine block so that they mate without significant wobble.
From GL2 Engine

From GL2 Engine

The block is ready for some aligning pins and bolts and then some final machining to square everything up. Dustin and Trent started to machine a new flywheel for a ring gear and starter. Also, Dustin chopped up and then trimmed a Briggs crankshaft for the crank sleeve. Matt and Ryan worked on designing a faceplate and made some mounting brackets for the flywheel side bearing support they machined last week. We mounted the Briggs stocker (a.k.a "old faithful") back in GL1 and she is now roadworthy.

Nate Roy

Saturday, February 24, 2007


2-23-07 Friday
When Earl’s weekly senior design meeting was supposed to start, Dr. Z. came in the room and said come to his office quickly. The boxes from Shell were in, and Earl checked out the tires. After the senior design meeting, Earl took one of the boxes over to the Projects, where we all opened it. After working 4-6, Earl went back to the Projects. Trent started tearing down a stock engine for test-driving the new car (hopefully soon) and he and Dustin put the flywheel on the lathe to turn it down and fit a ring gear on it for the starter motor. Wes was fooling around with the front steering, and Alan finished milling holes into the plates for the new steering connection. Nate McLeese finished welding the tabs for his new rear brake, and installed new, longer cables for both the throttle (so the engine wouldn’t rev when going around a sharp left turn) and his new rear brake. He’d gone to K&G earlier with the new tire, and they told him to use an inner tube or use that glue stuff to seal the tire to the rim. Earl got the stock engine back out for Gold Lightning, and put the clutch on after looking for the bolt. Then him, Wes, and Nate M. put the stock engine back in Gold Lightning, and bolted the engine down so the chain was tight. Mcleese modified the exhaust pipe from the ’05 edition of Gold Lightning, to make a permanent one. The pipe exits the body in the same slot as the rear wheel. Nate Roy was working on Solidworks and engine stuff; Earl left at midnight, and Nate M. left even later, cuz he was finishing the exhaust pipe.

2-24-07 Saturday
Wes and Nate M. headed over to the shop after lunch around 11:30 to finish the connecting rod on the GL2 steering. After about a half hour or so they were finished and Wes planned on heading back to do some homework but he stayed. Earl and Trenton showed up around 12:30ish and then the four of them prepped Gold Lightning 1 for a test run later that afternoon. Nate hooked up his break light and Wes replaced a tire and put fog-x on the canopy. Earl and Trenton attached the body and once that was all done, but had to un-bolt the front body because they forgot to put the wheels on before fastening the body. Then, they had to unbolt the body again so Nate M. could trim the right wheel slot so the wheel wouldn’t rub it anymore. Earl drove the car from the Projects, up bridge street, the back way to campus. Nate M. had brought his ear buds for our cell phones, but it was hard to hear inside the car with the motor running. Driving around the campus was eventful, to say the least. The entire car was very reliable even in the 37 degree temperatures and 12 mph winds. Nothing broke, and the engine started and ran very well…a far cry from the old days of Gold Lightning in May ‘05, when Earl and Alan worked for weeks to get the car drivable for 100 feet without something breaking. Once when Nate was driving we got stopped at the big speed bump by the SSC when some band concert got out. Needless to say we were stuck in heavy traffic for quite a while and got a lot of stares. Eventually we made it back to the shop with a few drops of Iso-octane to spare. Everyone was satisfied with the reliability and a bit cold, but at least we have a car to drive… Everyone left around 4:30. Earl did some more bondo and sanding on the plug a little later, around 8pm.

Friday, February 23, 2007


2-22-07 Thursday
Earl did some more wet sanding on the new car in the morning, and came to the conclusion that we need to spray the entire back half of the car with Duratec, and sand it down. After two weeks of sanding, there were still plenty of bad spots in the body. Earl went to Dr. Z’s office and asked him if he could bring his pressure gun in, so Dr. Kinsinger could spray the Duratec while Z is on his sweet cruise. Later that night Alan and Wes were in the shop working on the back half of the chassis. They were able to successfully align the back tire with the engine mounts in about an hour. After that Alan tried to find some pieces of sheet metal to make the front steering connecting rod. Once that quest was over he made a model of the pieces out of cardboard and plans to make the real ones tomorrow afternoon. As a bonus i'm throwing in a picture our our t-shirt design. you're welcome.
From GL2 Feb 07

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


2-16-07 Friday
Alan wanted to have the new car rolling by 5pm, which was the meeting time. Earl marked slots to be cut for the front wheels, and Nate M. went to a store for helicoils for our rear hub. Dr. Z. had a meeting with both our team and the senior design team at 5pm. Earl wasn’t there because he was working at the Hive, but apparently, Dr. Z. wants to leave on Friday, April 6 to go to the Eco-Marathon in California. And everyone agreed to the terms that if a vehicle isn’t ready by then, that it will get left behind (ie, the senior design team). So if we really leave on Friday, we’ll have like 3 days to goof off in Vegas, to go to Hoover Dam, and also go to the beach in Los Angeles. booya. Earl went with Alan in the EMS truck as Alan drove over to the SSC for CedarMania, and told him about the meeting. At the Projects, Nate Roy took the engine out back of the Projects and tried to start it. It was very cold. The engine did not start, and didn’t sound like it was even close to it. Nate is pretty sure that the cam gear on the crankshaft slipped, and the piston may have struck the valves. Earl and Trent did the shoe-shine-style sanding over the rear section of the car, using sanding belt that we cut open. It took out any bumpy spots. Nate M. made new spacer tubes for the front steering after making the steering level with that digital smart-level. Earl did extensive sanding on the Duratec, trying to get the rear of the car to look good for our paint job. Dustin Winchester took the head off the engine, and found that the valves were in fact bent. Everyone left around 11:20 or so. Earlier in the week, Wes found the orange color of the 2007 Lamborghini Murceilago on PPG’s website, and Dr. Z. later told Earl that Performance Paint could duplicate it for us. That would be to re-pain Gold Lightning, and we’ll have Dr. Z. do our decals for us.
From GL2 Feb 07

2-17-07 Saturday
Engineering Day…after talking to all the visitors, Dr. Z. came over and put some double-stick tape on Solar Splash’s long sanding block, and wet-sanded some of the rear section on the new car, to show Earl how great a tool it is for taking out waves in the body. The sanding Earl and Trent had done of Friday got rid of bumps if you ran your hand up and down over the top of the car, but not side-to-side. Dr. Z. said the side-to-side bumps are the ones that would show up in a paint job, not the up-and-down ones. Good stuff to know.

2-18-08 Sunday
Projects building closed. Boo hoo.

2-19-07 Monday
Earl got to the shop around 6:30, and wet-sanded most of the car again, this time with the long, flexible block from Solar Splash. It made the job go a lot faster because it covered a lot more area. Earl wanted to make the body as smooth as possible so the paint job would look good. And since the steering and rear chassis weren’t ready yet, he had time to do the bodywork before cutting off the rear section and ring for the canopy. The wet-sanding exposed about a dozen low spots, so Earl did some spots of Duratec, and left around 9:20pm. Hopefully the bodywork will be done soon…the nose is still needing work done, and Earl really doesn’t like the prospect of doing it.

From GL2 Feb 07

2-20-07 Tuesday
In the morning, 11:30-12:30, Earl did some sanding on the duratec he’d spotted on the night before, before working at the Hive at 1, subbing for somebody. After the Liberia team meeting was ended by a fire alarm at 6, Earl continued working on sanding. Dr. Z. came over, and talked to Earl about cutting the ring for the canopy, and how to strengthen the ring. He also told Earl to keep wet-sanding so no shiny stuff shows (mainly in the front). So, Earl used 120 grit paper to sand the front half of the car, and the bottom radius all the way around. The heavier sandpaper will take out any waves faster. Nate McLeese was working on measuring for a longer throttle cable for Gold Lightning, and working on how to mount the new brake handle, required for the Eco-Marathon. Dustin was tearing down the engine, and found that the cam gear was very loose on the crankshaft. That is what caused the timing to get off, and the piston to hit the valves. Just what they thought.

Friday, February 9, 2007


Around 7:30 – 8:00 Nate M., Dustin, Nate Roy, Earl, Wes, and Matt showed up in the EPL to finally separate the mold from the body. First we moved the mold to our bay and started unbolting to two halves. The University Photographer Scott Huck was supposed to show up to make us famous, but after waiting about 15 minutes for him we finally just tried to pull the mold apart regardless if he was there or not. One side separated fairly quickly but we had some trouble the right half. We believe that the tape on the seam attached to the mold was causing the body to stay firmly attached. After an hour of struggle, pounding, flipping, and shaking Alan stopped by to check our progress. Dustin was able to get a hold of a bit of tape and started to peal the edge off. Once most of the tape was removed, the body slid right out but not with out some severe static shock action towards some of our team members. After the body was weighed and set on our table Mr. K came over and admired our work and told us that it was the closest thing a man could do to compare to giving birth. Nearing 10:30ish we all dispersed.
From GL2 Feb 07

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

monday and tuesday updates

2-5-07 Monday
Earl glassed the bottom of the rollbar into the mold (on top of the WebCore) in the morning, to keep it in place for glassing the sides. In the evening, Earl made foam ramps to go between the rollbar and side wall of the body, so the glass could lay down at a 45 angle. He glued them onto the inside body wall.

2-6-07 Tuesday
In the morning, Earl glassed the right side of the rollbar onto the body.the Epoxy resin was really hard to get into the chop-strand mat, and really messy. Shell sent an email out, announcing the updates to its website. Registration for the Eco-Marathon was over, and the Technical Kit with the Michelin radial tires, decals, oil, and spark plugs will be sent out this week. Travel kits too. Earl and Alan both replied to the “share your story” link, hoping to get interviews and PR stuff at the race. Somehow, British Colombia didn’t register for the Eco-Marathon. Weird.