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Salt Torpedo Chapter 17: Cable Mania

Wild Action Every Day: Where’s Our Fiberglass Guy?

By Bandit with photos by Wrench
4/21/2019


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I'm trying to find the company responsible for my last patches. Need another batch.
I'm trying to find the company responsible for my last patches. Need another batch.



This chapter will contain lots of questions. I always wanted to be able to adjust the height or ground clearance, but that’s becoming more of an issue. So initially I would like to know if I can buy larger diameter front wheels, which I will research today.



Micah wants it as low as possible. “Less air to deal with going under it,” he says on a regular basis. I’ve looked at some of the fastest vehicles on the planet and they are slammed, so maybe he’s right.

On the other hand, Dennis Manning recommended allowing lots of ground clearance. “To allow the air to flow easily under and around the liner,” he told me. His liner, number 7, has amazing wind tunnel-tested aerodynamics. It’s proven to slip easily through the air.

We may not be looking at the full equation. If you’re a Land Speed Record fan, you know which vehicles are slammed. They are designed to be very flat on the bottom; we’re not. We are trying to be a sleek fish slipping through the air unobstructed. Dennis built his number 7 to look like a Salmon. We’ll see. In the meantime, I would like to research larger diameter wheels to give us more ground clearance. I don’t mind having two sets of wheels on the salt for testing purposes.



THIS JUST IN FROM KENT RICHES AT AIRTECH STREAMLINING:
Hey Bandit,

holy moly.... that is some trike.... sure, i would be glad to help...

1) if you put a taller rear tire on it for ground clearance, you will increase the rollout which will also give you more traction...

2) i would keep the front tires small (17") i see the front axle is all welded up, but maybe you can do some dropped spindles to get ground clearance

3) if you change the front tire size dramatically (17 to 19) you would alter the scrub radius and pretty much guarantee twitchy handling

4) i would recommend enclosing the wheel/tire as much as possible... i have these wheel covers that should work for you.. http://www.airtech-streamlining.com/images/SCWC1.jpg I can help with ideas on how to mount them

Yours in sport!

--Kent
 
We will order a set of his front wheel covers next week. 





We finally got the transmission PBI 1.060 offset sprocket lined up with a ½-inch sprocket spacer for an aligned rear chain. I’m going to ask Yelvington for a 1-inch longer set of rear shocks to see if we can raise the rear some.





It’s not so much an issue on the salt, but loading and riding this puppy around the block could be a serious issue if we only have 2 inches of ground clearance.



I won’t get into to cable mania just yet. The Salt Torpedo is sort of the ultimate artistic endeavor. It’s the ultimate custom trike. I bought the smallest available belly tank based on a few measurements, and we went for it. It’s working for the most part once we shrunk the pilot from me at 6’5” to Micah at about 5’8”. Then we faced the rear shocks, but so far, the driveline is not an issue, except maybe the carburetor and the exhaust system, which you will see.

Bassani was kind enough to supply us with a tight, two-into-one header system. Micah mounted it and made a transmission mounting bracket. I welded it and painted it, but I needed to know about the collector, and I reached out to Lee Clemens of Departure Bike Works in Richmond, Virginia. He had a 25-year top fuel drag bike team and worked extensively with one of the best tuners/engine builders in the industry, Giggy, who passed away after moving to California and working with Ben Kudon.

The Paughco tank arrived and with Lowbrow bungs we mounted it. We need to scrap that gas cap for a flush mounted job.
The Paughco tank arrived and with Lowbrow bungs we mounted it. We need to scrap that gas cap for a flush mounted job.



I sent him a photo to access the needed length and he immediately said, “That won’t do at all. You need to cut that collector off and put on a collector that’s a diameter twice the size of your pipe diameters.” They were almost 2 inches. I reached out to Tim at San Pedro muffler and took the system to him. In a hot flash, he made us just the system we needed with a turnout to push the exhaust outside the body.



Monday Micah and I made more cuts to the body.
Monday Micah and I made more cuts to the body.



Lee also pointed out that we needed to lose the S&S Super G for a D with several Thunder Jets. He constantly tells me about making top end speed over anything else. It takes a completely different formula. Lee may send me another carb. I switched from Carl’s massive Typhoon carb with one thunder jet to the G because of the lack of space and aerodynamics. Micah is comfortable with the G. We will see what happens next. More questions. As you will see, most of the exhaust system will be exposed, but I believe that’s okay.



We will add foam and safety wire during final assembly.
We will add foam and safety wire during final assembly.



Last weekend, I spent a lot of time mounting the coil, moving the regulator for more accessibility and mounting the Altmann electronic ignition system. Frankie came over and we spent a lot of time lifting the torpedo to remove the under-body to make fiberglass cuts and replacing it. We are getting damn close to actually mounting the body to the frame with Dzus fittings.





We finally received the cool rear shocks from Yelvington, so now the rear is suspended, but the front shocks still elude us. Yelvington is kind enough to make us custom shocks, but it’s a daunting process when you’re set up to make shocks a certain way and our configuration doesn’t fit in their manufacturing process. Plus, the team is jamming from show to show to build their business. We appreciate their efforts.

We finally got the balls to let the rear axle ends hang out. This will afford us several benefits.
We finally got the balls to let the rear axle ends hang out. This will afford us several benefits.



Paughco has bent over backwards to send us parts and pieces, including lots of bungs, which come in very handy and the gas tank, which is too cool.. I needed one specific bung for the front rubber-mounting alignment adjustable Heim joints.

We needed the Barnett clutch cable to reach into one of these.
We needed the Barnett clutch cable to reach into one of these.



This is the clutch cable end they sent. I'm not familiar with this style.
This is the clutch cable end they sent. I'm not familiar with this style.



We have only a few elements left before we can make fiberglass mods and ship the body to a paint shop. Gary Maur, from Kustom Fab in Detroit, coached me on fiberglass. My confidence is growing. Then we will tear this puppy down, finish welding it, spray-can the frame behind Dennis Manning’s recommendations not to powder coat it and start final assembly.



We ended up making a gas pedal.
We ended up making a gas pedal.





Okay, so hang on for the cable story. We are working with Barnett’s for our clutch and throttle cables. Both called for custom applications and 90-inch outer liners. No problem, and Ivan at Barnett’s has been very helpful. For some reason, I thought some of these other rule requirements would come with high-tech components, like electronic-activated solenoids, but not so fast.



This shot shows the Pingel shut-off and the Shrouds parachute release handle. Three more cables are coming.
This shot shows the Pingel shut-off and the Shrouds parachute release handle. Three more cables are coming.



The required Pingel remote shut-off fuel petcock must be closed from inside the cockpit. As it turns out, it is spring-loaded and cable activated. That’s not all. Our Shrouds parachute comes with a handy lever and a cable 12 feet long and get this: The massive fire-suppression extinguisher bottles are also cable-activated and we will have two of the massive bastards. All must be launched from inside the cockpit.





Okay, so we’re flying. And here’s the list for this week:

Guess what I made the dash out of? It's stainless steel.
Guess what I made the dash out of? It's stainless steel.





I used aluminum channel to install two circuit breakers and the starter relay.
I used aluminum channel to install two circuit breakers and the starter relay.



We need to consider a small dash with a tach, and a pushbutton for the starter which I ordered from Pingel. We need an on/off ignition switch, and Micah requested only a tach.



The FIM book requires front wheel fenders and I will reached out to Kent Riches. You saw his response above. I bought 50 pounds of lead shot and it arrived in canvas sacks. We are going to install it into the front sections of our frame before final welding takes place. Jeremiah came up with a way to capture the shot from slipping deeper into the frame. You'll see more about CG or center of gravity in the news this coming week.

I made a battery mount.
I made a battery mount.





You’ll see that operation in the next episode. When we jump into that operation, the engine and trans will be out of the Torpedo and the frame will be upside down on the bench.



We were going to push in lead rods, but they were too spendy, almost a grand. We bought 50 pounds of shot for $122. I ordered a set of head-breathers for the JIMS 135-inch twin cam. A short velocity stack arrived this week and my grandson mounted it. Hang on for the next report.

In the meantime, Jeremiah scrambled to build a roll-up door maintenance platform. I painted it gray.
In the meantime, Jeremiah scrambled to build a roll-up door maintenance platform. I painted it gray.







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Sponsors:

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S&S
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Bassini Exhausts
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The 5-Ball Pit Crew, Ballistic Nylon, light vest. Click to check the Leathers and books.
The 5-Ball Pit Crew, Ballistic Nylon, light vest. Click to check the Leathers and books.


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