Following the progress made on Saturday, and a good night’s sleep or two to think about it, I sat down and did some more building this evening. Rather than trying to connect the front axle directly to the engine block and then connect that to the rest of the car, I realised it would be far stronger to build a solid front subframe and place the other components into it. The engine is therefore now situated behind the front axle rather than almost on top of it, which if nothing else will make the profile a little more streamlined. With that sorted out it’s actually starting to come together!
I’ve made a start on the rear of the car too, building the rear axle. Rather than tackling the complexities of independent driven suspension at the rear I’ve gone for a live axle with movement in only one direction. It makes it a lot simpler, though considerably less realistic – movement on one side of the car will affect the other side just as much, which isn’t ideal. Still, at least it works. There’s a differential in there too, and the drive shaft has been connected to the engine at the front of the car. I wanted to have the engine spinning at a good speed when the car is moving, so I’ve geared it all up accordingly. Unfortunately that does mean that there’s a fair amount of resistance, but I may be able to live with that. It may be that I’ll be able to connect in an electric motor later on to drive the engine directly and have it drive the car at a manageable speed.
I’ve also been trying to address the problem of the steering. While the steering/suspension system that I took from the other model does work, it’s proving a little imprecise. This is largely down to the ultra-compactness of the steering mechanism, compounded by the big heavy wheels I’m using. I’ve geared it down as I’ve routed the steering shaft past the engine, but now there is so much play in the action that it’s pretty hard to keep in a straight line, especially when one wheel hits a small bump – the front wheels just turn on their own. I think I might have to re-think the steering mechanism and try to build a little more control into it, otherwise it’s going to be undrivable.
No idea what sort of car it’s going to be yet, or what it’s going to look like, or even what colour it’s going to be. I guess that’ll present itself later when the chassis is done. This project is very evolutionary – it feels like the model is instructing me on how it should be built rather than the other way round!