Dec 2

Dec 2, 2004

Intricate details...

I am remaking the entire cable steering system and it's taking a long time, but I know it will be worth it.

I received my order of rod end swivel bearings from VXB just in time to incorporate those into the new system. Thanks to Bob Rohorn who pointed recommended them. When the cable housing ends, it has to terminate into a small metal sleeve with a 1/16" hole drilled in the end for the steel cable to run through. For smooth action and so the steel cable doesn't bind or rub against the metal sleeve, the sleeve always needs to be pointing directly to where the steel cable goes. If its part of a steering system, then that sleeve moves from right to left as the bike steers and those sleeves need to swivel in order to keep the steel cable pointing straight out the end and not grinding against the metal edge of the sleeve. That's what these rod ends are for - see the table below for photos and notes regarding how I installed them.

The other thing I did was to grind off the bolt ends that the steel cable grabbed onto on the struts. This was rubbing against my slots, so I had to move them to under the strut on each far side of the cross bar. Again, details and riveting photos below.

Finally the steering bar: I found one and only one position where that steering bar can turn a full 180 degrees without hitting the fairing top, my knees, or my stomach. It took me forever to find it, but I think I did it. Thanks to Ben Eadie for machining some UHMW bushings for my steering bar. They were a bit tight, so I had to file the ID down a bit, but they fit nice and tight now. The turning action is smooth, but firm - a great a very light weight alternative to a headset and steel ball bearings. See below for some photos and details.

AN important part of the steering bar are new cable housing terminators. Since my cable wraps around a cam on the steering column, I didn't need swivel sleeves, but I did need some method of adjusting the tension on the cables. Instead of winding the threaded rod up and down a nut to pull on the steel cable, I did it the way brake adjustors are done - by moving the housing sleeve instead of the cable. Hard to explain when I don't know what these things are actually called... Anyhow, I welded a steel sleeve to a threaded rod with a hole bored out of the middle and that seems to work just fine! Much better than the old method. Plus, it's really easy to adjust while riding because it's right in front of me below the steering bar.

All I have to do now is add the cables, figure out some way to secure the steering column that rises up from the main boom, and figure out some way to make those sliders on the fairing slots slip a little easier. Then I can start work on the fairing bubble tail fairing.

I'm gone to Tucson, AZ for the weekend where Helen and I are running the Tucson marathon on Sunday.

This was stupid. I tried to weld the cable sleeve right onto the ball on the swivel rod end. Of course, all the lube burned off and the steel warped and the ball seized up.

Actually, this is a great example of one of the benefits of a TIG welder - you can weld very intricate things.

Instead, I welded the sleeve onto a smaller tube that fit into the hole in the ball. I don't think I need to secure that tube in the ball because I'll have tension on the steering cables that should hold it in place.
On the far right of this image, you can see how the swivel rod end fits onto the curved steel plate that I used to use for the steering brake. The cable housing inserts into the sleeve and the steel cable runs all the way to the left side of the cross bar where I welded a small bolt to.

You can also see in this shot that when I cut off the old bolt, I left cut marks in the strut. I had to fill those cuts with weld so I wouldn't compromise the strength of the steel tube.

Then I grounded the welds smooth. You can also see the swivel rod ends in this shot
This is the cable sleeve for the steering bar. The sleeve is welded onto a threaded rod that has been bored out.
The threaded rods screw into long nuts that are fastened to the main steering column.
This is a sexy shot of my beautiful aluminum welds. The two 'dips' on the head tube are not because I melted away the aluminum there.

Really.

Oh, OK! but I evened both sides out with a file so they look like I planned them.

Here is a picture of an aluminum handle bar clamp that I welded to my steering tube


TCR2 (track) 2Do LIST:

1. Make a platform for the wind trainer (mini-rollers)
2. Add front caliper brake
3. Mount first fairing and all the work required with that
4. Make front wheel fairing
5. Make rear wheel discs
6. Make a new steering bar that rises up a bit higher - also takes up less room on the sides so fairing can be tighter
7. Adjustable seat height
8. Make fiberglass canopy top with acrylic bubble and tailbox
9. Paint this puppy!
10. Rear strut supports
11. lower and chop
12. Make sliders for the rear struts
13. Re-think steering. AGAIN!


TCR1 (cross country) 2Do LIST:

1 Add front derailleur
2 Run road, roll-over and watts tests for new suspension system
3 Worm gear steer prototype (Waiting for final design and parts list from Ben)

TOTAL distance on TCR1
826 km


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