We have missed a few weeks of working on the car recently due to School holidays and a week I had away in Yorkshire but the last two weeks have seen us starting to get things back together again. We have lengthened our chassis by about eight inches and added two inches to the track. We have also tried to shorten the front section in a bid to place the pedals further forward and allow the seat to be moved nearer to the front wheels. This has the effect of putting the driver weight further inside the triangular footprint of the three wheels which should improve stability. All this sounds fine untill we actually tried to do it and came across one of Mr. Soddes' laws which states 'every action has an equal and opposite and totally unforseen and thoroughly frustrating reaction'. The details would be impossible to explain and pretty boring but suffice to say the steering system which was so successful on the original car has had to be totally changed to fit into the new front frame and has become more complicated in the process. Our simple straight track rod would no longer work because of lack of clearance so we now have a system similar to rack and pinion steering but without the pinion so direct operation is maintained. Having spent much time and effort on this unit I have come across a simpler method we could have used to the same effect (I think this phenomenon is explained in another of the aforementioned soddes laws). The lads rather liked the idea of changing our 'handlebar' for a steering wheel so the Yugo wheel has been grafted onto the top of the new column. On the plus side, we have achieved our goal of repositioning the seat. Since the engine is electric start and we shall be fitting a full electrical system we will make a battery tray between the front wheels which will put more weight where we need it and also help stability. All these measures are the result of the 'capsise' Mathew had on the first test drive.
BTW:-During a fit of energetic enthusiasm the lads offered to start dismantling the Yugo which is parked in a quad at the back of the school. I said OK and off they went. A few hours later I went to see how they were getting on.... The results can be seen in the pic. 'Dismantling' clearly has a slightly different meaning at their age. The glass however survived so if anyone needs a yugo window we have one for free.
We have two weeks left before John, Robert and Mathew leave school so it's all systems go to get the car up and running for a final test day the Friday after next.