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Howie's '68 world record TQ at "Cough City"


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#1 dc-65x

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 03:41 PM

"CALL THE PLUMBER!"

 

This build is a tribute to Howie Ursaner’s 1968 Cobra Invitational car he World Record TQ’d at Buzzarama in Brooklyn, NY.

 

It is going to be a team effort with:

 

Howie Ursaner - Team Leader

Steve Okeefe - Master chassis builder

Joe “Noose” Neumeister - Painter extraordinaire

Rodney Chew - Expert vintage builder and tuner

Sandy Gross - Cobra teammate and supplier of rare NOS motor parts

and Captain Rick putting all the pieces together

 

Here is Howie’s account of the Buzzarama race:

 

 

The Cobra Invitational race at Buzzarama in Brooklyn NY was a race held by Cobra, my sponsor, in 1968. It was one of the first big races after switching to anglewinders. This race attracted 116 racers from around the country. About every pro out there was in attendance. My car that I built for this race was one of 4 at this race using the latest plumber construction. I ran a Lotus 30 body and a production Cobra motor. Throughout 1968 Lou Graziano, head honcho at Cobra, forced me and Sandy to run production motors. I told him there is no way we would win any races and he said he didn't care and we had to run them. I did and was plagued at every race. What was happening is that they would get so hot the motors were melting.

 

Mike Morrissey, in the MCJ, described Buzzy's on this day as "Cough City". The power was so dirty, and the winds were getting so hot that almost all of the motors were blowing. I did TQ at this race with a time of 5.30 that Mike Morrissey claimed was a new World Record for a King track. It was amazing that so many big names were not in the A main. In the race I was in trouble quickly as there was no way to keep the pinion on. I was installing with high temp silver solder and in this race the pinion kept unsoldering itself and coming off. I never had pinions come off before this.

.

Brady had hooked up with Phil Ingles when he had no motor for the main after running the consi, and semi. Phil was building great motors that ran cool. That is how he won this race. After this, and a few more like it, Lou wanted me to win so I went to running Emott Chassis and Kean Cans. Bob was building a lot of his anglewinders and we won on Sunday and he sold on Monday. Sandy was under the same restrictions in this race and it shows in his finish as well. Sandy had pretty much disappeared at college at this time. Things were changing. Partying and girls had come into the picture and I was getting pretty distracted, and stayed distracted for 42 years.

 

 

Below I’ve included all 8 pages of Model Racing Journal, Vol. 1, No. 1 as it's a pretty cool issue. The race report starts on page 1 and is titled 1st Cobra Invitational, Jerry Brady Continues New York Dominance”:

 

(CLICK ON THE PICTURES TO ENLARGE THEM)

 

MRJ V1N1 p1_small.jpg

 

MRJ V1N1 p2_small.jpg

 

MRJ V1N1 p3_small.jpg

 

MRJ V1N1 p4_small.jpg

 

MRJ V1N1 p5_small.jpg

 

MRJ V1N1 p6_small.jpg

 

MRJ V1N1 p7_small.jpg

 

MRJ V1N1 p8_small.jpg

 

We have one very dark and very fuzzy picture of Howie’s car to work from:

 

MRJ V1N1 p5 Howie Car.jpg

 

Thank goodness we have Steve! He will be doing a post soon with all the chassis details he worked out with Howie and several of his wonderful Excel chassis drawings.

 

Stay tuned!


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Rick Thigpen
Check out Steve Okeefe's great web site at its new home here at Slotblog:
The Independent Scratchbuilder
There's much more to come...





#2 slotbaker

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 03:52 PM

:popcorm1:


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#3 Richard G With

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 04:01 PM

Excel chassis drawings?

 

The answer to the "why plumber" as I recall is that it looked like a "plumber's nightmare" with wires and tubes running every direction imaginable.


We must all do what we must do, for if we do not, then what we must do does not get done.  Chung Mee

      Parkes, W. (Producer) & Meyer, N. (Director). (1985). Volunteers.[Motion picture]. United States: HBO.

 


#4 SlotStox#53

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 06:21 PM

The channel is locked and will be listening out for updates :D ;)

#5 Pablo

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 09:27 PM

Should be a simple build, Rick. Just find a vintage motor marked "Uncoughable" and you'll be good to go :good: :laugh2:


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#6 Bill from NH

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 10:26 PM

Excel chassis drawings?

 

Check the Independent Scratchbuilder forum here on Slotblog. You'll find numerous examples of Excel chassis drawings. :)


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#7 Steve Okeefe

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 11:18 PM

A few months ago Captain Rick asked me to produce a drawing of one of Howie Ursaner’s first plumber chassis from 1968.

 

The drawing was to be based on a single photograph published 48 years ago in the Model Racing Journal.  The photo itself is terrible; almost all of the finer detail is simply absent.  In fact, the photo looks like it was taken in the same dark room where the film was processed.

 

Fortunately, we have a secret weapon on this project; Rick has enlisted the help and support of the original builder.  Now we have a much better chance of puzzling out all that missing detail with only a minimal amount of guesswork.

 

Through a series of PMs we decided the chassis would be built as an analog copy rather than a replica or re-creation.  Not only is the completed car to be a potential museum-piece, but we all wanted it to be a functional slot racer as well, with speed and handling characteristics equal to or maybe even better than the original.

 

Mechanical style drawings of chassis have always fascinated me, so when I build a historically accurate pro chassis I also do a drawing of it to compliment the photos.   Being too cheap to buy CAD software, and too lazy to learn how to use it (my hobby is slot cars, not computers), I figured out how to use the “drawing package” in Microsoft Office, and specifically MS Excel, to make full color renderings to a fairly high degree of accuracy.

 

One giant advantage to creating a digital drawing is that you can email it to other people, in this case the original builder, and sort out even the most complex details (dimensions, angles, proportions, relationships, etc.) before cutting the first piece of brass or piano wire.  I’ve done this on past projects and it has worked great.

 

Howie was very patient with me for a couple of weeks while I bombarded him with a series of “what’s this?” and “how did you do that?” questions.  Between what we could figure out together, what Howie could remember directly (it was 48 years ago after all), and after dozens of large and small changes to the drawing, here’s what we came up with:

 

6808 Ursaner Plumber (a).jpg

 

Subtracting the motor and running gear (another advantage of a digital drawing) here’s the bare chassis:

 

6808 Ursaner Plumber (b).jpg

 

To better show detail, here’s the center section:

 

6808 Ursaner Plumber (c).jpg

 

And finally the plumber and side pans:

 

6808 Ursaner Plumber (d).jpg

 

In addition to the drawing, Rick has asked me to build the chassis for this project car.  So, that will be the subject of my next series of posts.


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#8 don.siegel

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 05:44 AM

You guys are amazing.... 

 

Don 



#9 dc-65x

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 12:06 PM

Amazing detective work and a great looking set of drawings Steve! :good:

 

I needed to send Steve the goodies needed for him to begin the build, but we had a problem.......

 

We needed a 1" wide Cobra stamped drop arm. I had a new 1 1/4" wide arm but I hated to cut it up. My buddy Martin Windmill came to the rescue sending me a 1" drop arm. Here it is before sprucing up next to the new 1 1/4" arm:

 

drop%20arm%208.jpg

 

I had to square up the overall length which was cut at an angle and re-cut the chamfers. But the biggest problem was with the guide flag hole. It had not only been enlarged but it was now off center. Mr. Milling Machine got the hole back on center and I machined up a little bushing for the new hole:

 

drop%20arm%207.jpg

 

The guide tongue was also reshaped and 2 notches cut to more closely resemble Howie's. Here it is all buffed up and ready to ship:

 

drop%20arm%2012.jpg

 

Here are the goodies I sent Steve to work his chassis fabrication magic. Included were the Korrect size Riggen wheels/tires (though not the ones we'll be using) a Mura 16D jig motor with motor bracket, a Weldun 64P spur gear and the Cobra drop arm. :

 

Parts%20For%20Steves%20Build.jpg

 

We're off and running! :dance3:

 

 


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The Independent Scratchbuilder
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#10 SlotStox#53

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 03:47 PM

Howdy Steve :D

Amazing bit of detective work & designs :good: Great collaboration & team working all the details out. Going to be one sweet car!!

Nice little package you're sending off Rick.

#11 Half Fast

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 10:00 AM

What a difference a year makes!

 

Compare this angle winder chassis to the 1967 jail door chassis as recreated by Rick and Pablo. Amazing development in a very short period of time.

 

Build on.

 

Cheers


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#12 endbelldrive

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 04:20 PM

Thanks to the the team of Rick and SteveO for keeping it alive!


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#13 havlicek

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 05:21 PM

Lovely!  Rick & Steve is a pretty danged world class team!

 

-john


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#14 Noose

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 07:02 AM

I'm still cracking up over the Tony P chassis ad on Page 5 that says $14.95 Postage Included. 


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Joe "Noose" Neumeister
Sometimes known as a serial despoiler of the clear purity of virgin Lexan bodies. Lexan is my canvas!
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#15 SlotStox#53

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 07:33 AM

I'm still cracking up over the Tony P chassis ad on Page 5 that says $14.95 Postage Included. 


Wonder if that price is still valid? :laugh2:

#16 tonyp

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 08:05 AM

Not that far off. It's worth 105.00 in today's money,

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#17 Don Weaver

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 08:41 AM

Noose,

 

Were the $3.95 painted bodies with free lettering your work?

 

Don


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#18 Noose

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 08:45 AM

Probably.  But they may also been Mike Tango's wife Connie's work.  I was cheap but not that cheap. The ting that throws it off is the free lettering. So maybe they were mine because Connie never did lettering that I can recall.


Joe "Noose" Neumeister
Sometimes known as a serial despoiler of the clear purity of virgin Lexan bodies. Lexan is my canvas!
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#19 NY Nick

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 08:48 AM

When the car is done you going to run some laps at Buzzarama?

Looks like a nice project thanks for posting it.


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#20 Howie Ursaner

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 09:56 AM

Not that far off. It's worth 105.00 in today's money,

More like $150 in todays money 


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#21 tonyp

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 09:58 AM

Guess I need to raise my prices. Lol
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"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#22 Bill from NH

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 10:06 AM

I recall when the $25 chassis got free postage. :laugh2: If you bought them at C&C, you didn't have to pay CT sales tax either.


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#23 Pablo

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 12:52 PM

Guess I need to raise my prices. Lol

I'll second that :)


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#24 Uncle Fred

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 02:41 PM

On page 2 the Calendar list a Car Model race at Glen Oaks the say's " No Sidewinders".


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#25 Noose

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 03:01 PM

On page 2 the Calendar list a Car Model race at Glen Oaks the say's " No Sidewinders".

That's because it was a "GP" race.


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Sometimes known as a serial despoiler of the clear purity of virgin Lexan bodies. Lexan is my canvas!
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The only thing bad about Retro is admitting that you remember doing it originally.


#26 MSwiss

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 03:02 PM

Yeah, lots of cool info in that issue of MRJ.

Along with Howie and some of the other Pro's, some of the independent's from the Arco race, are still racing.

Dan D., now in Florida, and locally, Neal Isler is one the top hardbody racers at Chicagoland.

I also got a kick out of seeing Ray was still using a thumb controller.

Also, that Dave Bloom was called Designs by Dave.

I'll have to ride by that address one day, and see if the original house exists.
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#27 dc-65x

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 11:36 AM

Yup Mike, that was such a cool issue I posted it all instead of just Howie's race report. Glad you guys enjoyed it. :)

 

Steve's been working on the motor box for the chassis and I've been working on the motor itself. Sandy Gross sent me this Cobra (Mura) 1-hole can, new in the package. Howie used a 2-hole can in the race but we think this period Korrect, Cobra can is the way to go:

 

Ursaner%20Sports%20Car%2089.jpg

 

Then this period Cobra RTR showed up on eBay and I saved the pictures. Check out the motor:

 

Cobra%20RTR-2.jpg

 

Cobra%20RTR-1.jpg

 

Whenever I can, I try NOT to open up rare sealed items. If I have to I will but this time I had a plan to make my own 2-hole can shown below. The Cobra can is for reference. I used a 2-hole Mura can, a piece of brass rod and nice fresh bearings:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%202.jpg

 

First the endbell and can were drilled and taped for 0-80 pan head stainless steel machine screws:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2011.jpg

 

Rather than using a clearance hole in the can I tap both the can and endbell at the same time. With the screw biting into the steel can it will be much harder to strip it, especially with fine machine screw threads. Also, the pin tabs that Mura originally used bit into both the can and endbell:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2010.jpg

 

Fresh bearings were epoxied into both the can and endbell...........

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2018.jpg

 

.............clear 2-ton epoxy on the endbell...........

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2016.jpg

 

..............and JB Weld on the can bearing (note the motor mounting screw holes have been filled):

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2017.jpg

 

Even though the can bearing was a tight press fit, I could rock it slightly in the can. I used an armature size pin gage to align the bearings before the epoxy set up. I forgot to photograph the actual process so a different can and endbell are shown below for these photos:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2028.jpg

 

Here's how much misalignment could be present:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2029.jpg

 

Here's the can modified to 1-hole style and masked off ready for paint. One area of the can got tinned with solder and masked off where it will be soldered into the chassis:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2022.jpg

 

I got super lucky with the paint color. This is virtually a perfect match:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2021.jpg

 

Here's the finished can next to the original:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2020.jpg

 

I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2025.jpg

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2026.jpg

 

Next up will be the "semi-can" and magnets...............


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Rick Thigpen
Check out Steve Okeefe's great web site at its new home here at Slotblog:
The Independent Scratchbuilder
There's much more to come...


#28 Pablo

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 11:52 AM

:dance3: :clapping:


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#29 SlotStox#53

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 02:51 PM

Wow! Talk about lucky color match :D

What did you use to fill the 2nd hole Rick?

*edit* looks like you used the brass rod :good:

#30 dc-65x

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 03:00 PM

I should have shown the process.............but I cut brass plugs and fitted them flush with the INSIDE of the can. They sat proud above the outer surface of the can and were soldered in with a healthy fillet of solder. Then I filed and sanded everything down flush. After priming, to my surprise, the seam disappeared. :dance3:


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#31 SlotStox#53

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 03:14 PM

It's like you leaded in the can/seam like in auto bodywork. Came out really well & those beefy Mura bearings look great!

#32 dc-65x

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 07:30 PM

Here are the components for the magnet setup. A .015" Mura "semi can shim" packaged by Dynamic, Versitec magnets and Certus top and bottom magnet shim spacers:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%201.jpg

 

My "Big Dog" zapper made sure the magnets were fully charged:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2030.jpg

 

The can, endbell and shim were all given witness marks so they could be reassembled in the same orientation. Then I used JB Weld to epoxy the magnets to the semi can shim. I was careful to avoid gluing those Certus shims in place. Once the epoxy had cured I slipped the shims out so I could use them to space the magnets on future builds:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%207.jpg

 

After the magnets were honed I could slip out the now "one piece" semi can and magnets so the can could be painted:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%208.jpg

 

Next up is the coming to grips with the hard to find Mura endbell........


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#33 dc-65x

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 12:25 PM

Mura 16D (A-can) endbells are as rare as hen's teeth.....at least in like new condition. :dash2:

 

The used ones have often had a soldering iron melted into them by inept attempts at lead wire installation. The plastic spring posts will melt even on the second generation "white" versions. They are also cut up, ground on, acid stained, have the screw holes stripped out and otherwise turned to junk. :o

 

The first version of Mura "unmeltable" endbell was a very dark grey color and the plastic that was used, well, melted! A short time later, Mura changed to a "white" color plastic with a higher melting point.

 

Some time after that Mura came out with another version with the screw in spring posts and sheet copper brush hoods we're used to seeing even to this day.

 

Here is a new REH assembled motor which used the later version endbell and a loose endbell that I acquired a decade or so ago. Unfortunately, these motors are now gone:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor.jpg

 

I'm going to use the loose endbell above but make it look more like the "plastic spring post" version as you'll seen in a comparison photo coming up.  It will also need a color change to black.

 

Here are the parts I'll be using, the new endbell and hardware, a fresh Mura bearing, stainless steel machine screw hardware (no self tapping junk), vintage Mabuchi brushes, Certus light brush springs and teflon tube brush spring insulation:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%204.jpg

 

First up, all the screw holes are tapped 2-56..........

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2019.jpg

 

...........and the holes chamfered with a 1/8" carbide counter sink:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%209.jpg

 

Whenever possible, I install a fresh bearing even on a dissembled new motor. In my admittedly limited experience, new motors had the bearings "line bored" (read hogged out) to make the armature spin freely with the factory installed (read out of alignment) bearings. The difference in "fit" between a fresh bearing and one removed from a "new" motor is pretty dramatic.

 

OK, next up it's time for the color change to black. My second attempt at dyeing vintage plastic parts. The first attempt failed. This time I have some instructions and I'm feeling lucky :crazy:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2012.jpg

 

Stay tuned............ :)


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#34 SlotStox#53

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 01:22 PM

Are you making sure Mrs. Rick is out of the house before dyeing plastic parts? Or do you have permission? :laugh2:

Shame you missed out on that listing for the 2 unmeltable endbells :shok: would of had a nice fresh one to work with .

#35 dc-65x

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 02:55 PM

Hi Paul,

 

Those 2 endbells went for REALLY big money on eBay. Weren't they close to $200? :shok:


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#36 SlotStox#53

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 03:16 PM

Hi Paul,
 
Those 2 endbells went for REALLY big money on eBay. Weren't they close to $200? :shok:


Something crazy like that or there abouts :( Sooo not fair :laugh2:

Thought you'd be in with a good chance but last minute sniper saw to that!

#37 dc-65x

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 03:53 PM

SUCCESS! :dance3: And I didn't even destroy the kitchen. :crazy:

 

While the pot of dye was bubbling away I even threw in a couple of white guide flags. Everything turned out great. The funny color in the picture is just lighting weirdness. The parts are a deep black color:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2013.jpg

 

My first test piece was an old endbell that had blotchy orange stains. It came out looking like new! I don't know yet if other colors of dye would restore old endbells but black sure does.

 

My technique for future projects will be:

 

First of all, forget foil lining the pot and the little strainer to hold parts. Use a simple piece of piano wire attached to the part.

 

1.  Pour dye into pot

2.  Heat dye until it bubbles

3.  Put in part

4.  Look at part every few minutes

5.  When part looks good rinse it off with water

 

DONE.......I love it. :)

 

 

 


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#38 dc-65x

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 04:59 PM

Before assembling the endbell the stock brush hood on the left got squared up as shown on the right:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2014.jpg

 

The brush spring retainer gets a "hooked" shape and the brush spring slot is opened up a bit and chamfered:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2015.jpg

 

Most importantly, the screw and brass cup that act as a brush spring post need to be replaced with something that looks like the brass spring post protector used on the earlier version endbells. I lathe turned brass bar stock into a spring post that hides the screw:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2024.jpg

 

I also found some little fiber washers in a Strombecker Hemi Rewind Motor Kit that fit under the spring post to insulate it from any current flow and thus any heat when used with Teflon brush spring insulation and shunt wires shown below:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2031.jpg

 

The finished endbell:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2032.jpg

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2035.jpg

 

Here's a comparison of what will be seen when the motor is installed in the car. Early endbell on the left and my hybred version on the right:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2034.jpg

 

Now, where's that Sandy Gross Cobra armature............. :)


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#39 dc-65x

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 08:45 PM

Time to finish off this motor............

 

The Certus .014" brush springs needed tweaking as shown on the right:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2033.jpg

 

Shunt wires are from strands of modern lead wire:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2023.jpg

 

The shunt wires can be tucked in nice and tight and don't have to stick out past the sides of the motor like rabbit ears:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2019_1.jpg

 

The brush springs and spring posts are completely insulated from current. You can touch the power supply leads to the brush spring coils and the motor will not run:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2023_1.jpg

 

Hopefully this will help keep the motor together. It still seems to run hot though.............

 

Here's the heart of the beast, a Cobra (Mura) 27-28 double wind from Sandy Gross:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%204_1.jpg

 

She's a beauty and really sings on the power supply. I gave it one light "fuzz cut" on the comm lathe to clean up 50 years of corrosion:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%209_1.jpg

 

Here's the finished motor:

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2014_1.jpg

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2013_1.jpg

 

68%20Howie%20Motor%2015_1.jpg

 

Wheels and tires coming up.............


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#40 SlotStox#53

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 09:51 PM

Looks like you just stepped out of the wayback with a motor fresh from Cobra :D

#41 dc-65x

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 08:50 PM

Thanks Paul. The motor is all NOS parts except for the "faux" one-hole can. This motor really does "sing" on the power supply.

 

I experimented with 3 similar but used arms in the same setup. I cleaned them, polished the shafts and trued the comms. They all suffered from vibration or "buzzing" at various RPMs. I hate to mess with the "look" of these vintage arms but I think it's time to break down and send them off for re-balancing for future builds.

 

Anywho, for wheels and tires I found some "re-purposed" REH fronts. They appear to be Weldun wheels with an unknown hard rubber front tires:

 

Howie%20Wheels%201.jpg

 

I'm also using some "mystery" rear wheels that look very similar to Weldun's and some "Crispy Critter" blue donuts. I cut off the inside flange and thinned down the front flange as shown on the wheel on the left:

 

Howie%20Wheels%202.jpg

 

Here's the finished product:

 

Howie%20Wheels.jpg

 

Okie Dokie, there's much more to come but for now, my work here is done.................. :D


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#42 SlotStox#53

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 12:14 PM

Crispy critter blue donuts!? They really were inventive with the names of slot car parts back in the day :D :laugh2:

With a bit of buffing those wheels really come to life .

#43 Howie Ursaner

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 01:16 PM

Wow , that motor looks like it just came out of the factory, only better. Really love watching this project come together. This one should be a good runner . 


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#44 Steve Okeefe

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 10:15 PM

Bend on a Wire

 

Time to get the chassis started.  First will be the foundation of nearly every early anglewinder chassis; the motor box.

 

However, bending a precise motor box out of 1/16” piano wire depends on being able to bend piano wire precisely.  Let’s address that first.

 

One reason why it can be so difficult to locate bends exactly is something fabricators call “bend allowance”.  Bend allowance is the amount of wire required to go around the radius of the bend, which must be more than zero.  Even though it is a very small amount, it is subtracted from the length of the wire, so it shifts the bend inward, and off the bend mark.

 

You can see this yourself by bending a piece of scrap wire and measuring the result.  Take a straight piece of 1/16” piano wire and place two marks exactly one inch apart near the center of the length.  Now, bend the wire precisely at each mark, forming a “U” shape.  Tweak the legs parallel and measure the distance between them; you will find it is always slightly less than one inch.

 

If you bend several pieces of wire precisely and consistently, you will find it is always the same amount less than one inch, plus or minus a few thousandths.  That means you can determine the exact bend allowance and build it into your measurements when you place the bend mark.  It depends entirely on precision and consistency and that’s why it is so important to use a purpose-built wire bender and not just a heavy-duty pair of pliers.

 

Here are some photos of the wire bender I use:

 

6808 HUPA 101 Hangar 9.jpg

The box – this is a “Z” Bender, marketed by Hangar 9.

 

6808 HUPA 102 Wire Bender.jpg

The tool itself – long handle, high mechanical ratio pliers with massive jaws intended for bending hard wire.

 

6808 HUPA 103 Stock Jaws.jpg

The “stock” jaws – as the name implies, this will make a “Z” (double) bend in the wire and must be modified to make only one bend

 

6808 HUPA 104 Modified Jaws.jpg

The modified jaws – these have been shaped so I can bend up to .078” piano wire.

 

Now, on to developing the motor box for Howie’s chassis.  Two other things are needed to get the job done:

 

6808 HUPA 105 Sharpie & Ruler.jpg

A Sharpie Ultra-Fine point marker and a good quality six inch straightedge rule with 1/32” graduations.

 

Like most builders, I use the R-Geo jig block and I am also partial to using my own mechanical drawings.  Here I’ve made a drawing of part of the R-Geo block in the same scale as the chassis drawing.

 

Superimposing a line set at 18 degrees, I look for the pin positions needed to duplicate it with my straightedge.  Looks like position 10 with a brass tube sleeve on the left and position 5.5 on the right.

 

Next I extract the motor box from the chassis drawing and place it on the R-Geo block drawing:

 

6808 HUPA 110 MB Layout 01.jpg

 

Seeing that the motor angle lines up, I calculate the left and right spacing and draw all these lines, in pencil, on my R-Geo block:

 

6808 HUPA 111 MB Layout 02.jpg

 

Going back to the drawing I calculate the distances between the bends, add in my known bend allowance, and I’m ready to start the iterative (aka trial-and-error) process of working out the final dimensions.  I’m looking for the “sweet spot” where everything fits comfortably within the lines.  I measure, mark and bend, measure mark and bend, etc.

 

Several iterations (about two hours) later:

 

6808 HUPA 112 Iterative Approach.jpg

 

Each one of these motor boxes is an experiment that didn’t produce the result I wanted, so I would tweak the dimensions and try again.  There are three tweakable and two fixed bends with four straight sections between them.  I’m sure that produces Umpty-Jump Gazzilion combinations. However, with each experiment I gained a better understanding of the geometry of this motor box and closed in on the dimension set that produce a motor box identical to the original.  Here’s one I like:

 

6808 HUPA 114 MB On Marks.jpg

 

 Now, before I forget, I document all the dimensions.  As MythBuster Adam Savage once said: “Remember kids, the only difference between screwing-around and science is writing it down!”  Here’s the drawing set:

 

6808 HUPA 115 Bend Diagram 1.jpg

 

6808 HUPA 116 Bend Diagram 2.jpg

 

6808 HUPA 117 Bend Diagram 3.jpg

 

6808 HUPA 118 Bend Diagram 4.jpg

 

But… we’re not done yet.  This is a team effort and the other members have to be happy with the results.

 

Here’s the side gap I built in:

 

6808 HUPA 130 MB Side Gap.jpg

Looks like about .032” or so.

 

Here’s the end gap:

 

6808 HUPA 131 MB No End Gap.jpg

About the thickness of a piece of paper.

 

Here’s the knee bend position:

 

6808 HUPA 132 MB Knee Position.jpg

Right on the corner of the motor.

 

I sent these photos off to Rick for his input.  He asked for changes.  This is no problem now that I’ve got the geometry figured out.  I sat down and bent ONE additional motor box with modified dimensions calculated to produce what Rick was asking for.  Here are the results:

 

Slightly reduced side gap:

 

6808 HUPA 140 MB Side Gap.jpg

Only a few thousandths difference, hard to see, but note the rail is farther from the pencil line.

 

Increased end gap:

 

6808 HUPA 141 MB End Gap.jpg

Rick wanted .015” or so; there you go, Rick.

 

Knee bend position moved slightly aft:

 

6808 HUPA 142 MB Knee Position.jpg

About .032” to accommodate adjustments in the motor position.

 

Rick’s happy, I’m happy, Howie’s happy.  As my daughter-in-law says, “Life is good”.

 

Motor boxes are not hard if you adopt a disciplined approach and have a good wire bender.  Write down what you discover and don’t forget the bend allowance. 

 

Next time I’ll install the motor bracket and brace, can-side brace and build up the center section.


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#45 SlotStox#53

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 12:21 PM

Steve, thanks for showing the maths,science and trial & error that goes into motor box creation! :good:

May have to invest in a pair of those wire bending pliers.

#46 Eddie Fleming

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 12:28 PM

Steve

 I ordered a set of those pliers today. 

Do you get a full 90 bend in .062 wire or do you tweek it after?


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#47 Steve Okeefe

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 06:22 PM

Paul,

 

You're welcome

 

I too struggled with motor boxes (using the big pliers) same as most everyone else during the time period this chassis comes from.  Wow; if only we had easy access to these kind wire benders then... :good:

 

 

Eddie,

 

Just a reminder, you will have to modify the "stock" pliers to make only one bend at a time.  It's very important that you shape the jaws as close to the photo as you can.

 

To answer your question; yes I can get more than 90 degrees.  That brings up another detail, and another word: "springback".

 

Apologies in advance if I'm explaining something you aready know about, I'm just expanding on my post.

 

Springback is where you bend a piece of sheet metal (or piano wire) to a certain desired angle, but when you release the bending pressure, the bend in the workpiece "springs back" a few degrees.  It's normal for this to happen.

 

When you bend any piece of metal, you're stretching the outside of the bend and compresssing the inside.  In hard wire (such as piano wire) it sets up tremendous stresses in the bend (explaining why it so hard to bend it in the first place) and the "springback" is the metal trying to relieve as much stress as possible.  If it didn't spring back a little it would likely fracture.

 

For a 90 degree bend, I normally bend a little past 90, let it spring back whatever it wants, then tweak to the final angle. 

 

One more thing - watch out for the "Gotcha" gremlin!

 

After I fabricate chassis parts out of piano wire, I usually tin them to protect them from rust (and as a bonus it makes soldering later on MUCH easier - it's worth the effort).  In the process of heating and cooling however, the bends will usually creep a little; so a 90 degree bend becomes 92 or 93 degrees.

 

It's just the wire trying to relieve more of the stress, and an easy task to tweak the bend back to 90, but if you forget to check, that beautiful motor box you made, that fit in the jig a few moments ago, now may not fit at all... :dash2:


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#48 SlotStox#53

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 07:40 PM

Tin the wire and watch out for the Gotcha gremlin, check :good: :laugh2:

Had a few attempts with regular pliers and marking off my Ricks Jig with the lines you did in the Texas two rail thread :good:

#49 Half Fast

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 07:45 PM

Orthodontists pliers will bend piano wire quite nicely as well. .062 is tough on your hands though.

 

Cheers


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#50 Howie Ursaner

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 08:31 PM

This is some very intersting stuff.I love to see "the process"  that this project requires. Steve and Rick are true masters. I just laid out the metal, cut it  chopped it, cobbled it as fast as i possibly could, ran to the track and raced it. Then i cut it up to build the one for next week's race.lol 


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