Rick Wianecki's velomobile project
Velomobile 6

A project by Rick Wianecki

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So a little more progress Once I got the top all adjusted and the clearances where I wanted them, the inside of the top where I built up the lip to accept the hinges rubbed in the top of the bottom section when the top was being opened. So I removed the fiberglass and sanded out some of the foam and re glassed the inside of the top. now everything clears when the top is being opened and closed.

Currently the weight is just under 40 lbs.
Next I changed the seat mounting so that the seat will be able to tilt forward. I used some bar stock and a couple of front axle skewers, one quick release and one not.

Here is the mounting with the seat fixed.
And here is one with the seat released and tilting forward.

Next I need to figure out the mods to the steering.

Today I worked on making a box to place my Headway 24v 20 ah battery.
Here is the battery and the BMS
I made a box out of 1/2" foam. What!? Do you think I would use something else?
Here is where the battery box where it will be located on the frame. This is why I needed to make the seat tilt forward for access.I also rounded over all the corners of the foam box.
Here is the box ready for epoxy

Next I need to finish the battery box and mount it to the frame. I still need to work on the steering also.

I continued to work on the battery box today.

I first marked the sides where I will be cutting the box open.
Next I used a vibratory saw to cut the box open. This is one tool that is a must for doing any kind of composite work.
I added a layer of clear packing tale to the lower portion of the box. This will prevent the fiberglass and epoxy from sticking so I can create a lip.
I used some spray glue and stuck the box back together and wrapped the seam with 2" fiberglass tape. I overlapped the bottom with the tape by a 1/2 inch and then wetted it out with some epoxy.
I ordered some sanding blocks and some peel and stick sanding paper so that I can try and get a nice straight finish on the body. This will be coming up next on the to do list, after I work on the steering.
Well I did some work on the steering I cut the handlebar width down.
I had marked where the handlebars hit the tub section at full lock and used a pipe cutter to cut the end sections off.
I then added some rubber grips the the bare tube ends.

I am going to take the frame out on some additional test runs to determine the range with no pedaling and with human power added and continue to work on the battery box and the steering u-joint.

I continued to work on the battery box.
I removed most of the foam from the inside of the box.
I left some of the foam in the corners to provide some stiffness.
I then added some draw latches to keep the top and bottom together
I also decided to stiffen up the front suspension by changing out the front springs.
I removed the 3 screws that hold the spring retainer.
I then changed the springs from ones rated for 110 lbs to ones rated for 150 lbs

I also think I need to change the steering ratio and slow the steering down some. At 22-25 mph over rough roads the current steering ratio feels too quick and the trike is a little squirrelly. There may also be something not right with the way the steering works. I will have to look into it.

I have been working on the steering. The trike had a lot of bump steer when traveling over rough patches in the road (around here that is everywhere) at speeds over 20 MPH. I spent some time researching bump steer and e-mailing John Tetz since he built a trike that also used sliding king pins several years ago. I believe I have everything sorted out now.

I rebuilt both spindles and center steering pivot to make the tie rods perpendicular to the suspension travel. Here is one side with the new tie rod layout.

Here is the modified center pivot.
I then turned my attention to the u-joint for the steering.

I started with a Sears 1/2" u-joint
I cut and brazed it to a couple pieces of 1 1/8" tubing and added some pinch bolts.
Installed it on the trike.

I need to put things back together and take the frame out for another test ride before I mount it in the body.
Well I think it is time that I get back to finishing up the body. I have the frame working nicely now.

I added some bearings to the top of the springs in the front suspension to help reduce the turning stiction. Here is a picture if the bearing and the 2 hardened washers I used.
I also ordered a quick release for the torque ram on the Rholff hub. I had to get them from England. Fast service got the parts quicker then some fabric I ordered from Georgia
Here are the parts.
I had to add a small tube offset from the rear swing arm to get the quick release receiver to line up. This will make installing the rear wheel a lot easier when the frame is in the body.
I also mocked up a windscreen. I am not sure about this so this is as far as I am going to proceed until after I get some miles on the completed vehicle.
So I have been showing close up picture of the mod to the frame I thought I would post some pictures of the finished not painted frame.

Here is the drive side of the frame showing the battery location. I am still working on finishing up the new battery box.
This picture is of the e-motor side of the frame.
And here is a front picture.
Finished the battery box, except for final paint. I installed a 50 amp automotive switch in the box to be able to disconnect the power from the controller. I still need to finalize the attachment to the trike. Bungee is only temporary.
Finally got back to working on the velomobile body. Garrie Hill drove up to partake in the fun and games. The plan was to spray the body parts Duratec polyester high build primer. This was to fill in the cloth patter and make the parts one color to get a visual on the final shape.

The first step was to clean up and drape the inside of the garage with plastic to keep the over spray off the tools and stuff. I worked on that Friday and Saturday
Garrie arrived Sunday morning and we finished getting the top and tub ready for the primer.
We then got all the supplies ready for the mixing and spraying
We sprayed a little more 1/2 of the gallon can of primer in 4-20 oz batches. Cleaning the spray gun between each batch.
Here is the top after the Duratec has started to set.

I will let everything cure for a day or so and start block sanding and filling in the low spots. I will then do one more spraying of the Duratec before the final paint color.

So I started on sanding the Duritec primer to find the low spots on the top of the body. I used several different sanding blocks and 80 grit paper.

After sanding the low spots start to revile themselves.
I then mixed up some glazing putty and applied it to the low areas. I then sanded and applied more putty. This putty on putty off lasted for almost 4 hours.
I then applied another coat of primer to see the progress. It looks like I still have several areas that will need a little attention. But I am pleased with the progress.

Next I need to do the same thing to the tub portion of the body.

Spent some more time sanding the last couple of days and I have the body in pretty good shape. Here is the top waiting for me to finish the lower section of the body.
Here is the tub section before I primed it.
Here is the body ready for me to mount the frame. I should be able to do that in a day or so.
View from the back.
and looking straight on the front
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