Monday, March 6, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 59th Installment

For the next couple of weeks we put every spare minute in working on the Whiz Gizzy. The fabricating was fun, the inventing (figuring out how) was fun, but looking through all the junk piled up around the farm to find a piece of metal that could work, wasn’t fun at all.

I’ve calculated that we should cut the frame here,” I directed, pointing to a spot by the back of the front seat and in front of the leaf spring connector clevis.

Then how can we make the suspension work?” Russ asked.

We could cut each of the leaf springs that we took off the car and clamp the cut end to the frame with two of the 4 inch square ‘U’ clamps. Instead of having a full spring with all the weight we would have a half spring carrying half the weight.” We cut; fit, refigured, cut again, clamped, bolted, burned our fingers, skinned our knuckles and swore until the half springs were installed to the differential and the frame. Next came the proposed traction masters making a triangle design to keep the Whiz Gizzy’s rear end from rotating when we applied torque and welded them in place. We’d been trying to think through how to make a drive line short enough. There was a problem: making a typical drive shaft was impossible. Because of the way we did the half springs, the drive line had to be able to increase and decrease its length an inch or two as the spring moved up and down. We found a power take–off shaft that was on an old piece of farm equipment that had short radius universal joints and a solid square shaft inside a square tube shaft allowing it to slip in and out. Just what the doctor ordered.

This PTO will work as our driveshaft if we can weld the yolk of the transmission to this part and weld this part to the rear end plate,” I told the Old Man as I pointed out the places to weld on the PTO shaft I was holding.

I don’t know,” was his response as he went back to his work. Vernon hardly ever told us how to do anything the first time we asked. He made us work out all our problems ourselves and most of the time we could. However, he was interested in what we were doing and would watch when we were working on a project. When we were doing something wrong, he would show up. “Okay dumb heads,” he would always say. “This is how you hold it straight so when it’s welded the finished shaft will balance and grind here and here before you weld. Weld in layers, cleaning out the slag between each layer. Here, give me the stinger, I’ll show you.” It was at these times we would learn how to do things most adults couldn’t do. The Old Man would explain the

500 more words tomorrow

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