Sitting on the Suspension

Since the last update, I’ve added the sway bar, steering, and shock towers. I installed the knuckles, differential, and the brakes to sit the trike down on its suspensions to test what it looks like.

I should note that the shocks are air suspension from an 86 Honda Goldwing GL1200.  They have springs inside, but the internal air bags are currently not inflated.   It is worth noting that the camber on the wheels is off as well. This was on purpose so that they can be shimmed to the correct camber later.  At the last second, I decided to modify the shock towers.  They were originally designed to be about 4 inches apart across the top.  I decided that I wanted the trike to sit as low as possible.  At the last second, I changed my design so that the shocks would instead be about an inch apart.  This resulted in the trike having a much more aggressive stance, but now the A-Arms are not sitting at a good angle and the bottom knuckles are bottoming out.  I need to either lower the shock tower or widen it.  The other option is to move the differential lower into the subframe, raise the subframe up and move the upper A-arms up as well.  I’m currently leaning toward the second option.  Tomorrow I plan on researching the amount of air required for the suspension and see where the suspension sits at that air.  I plan on doing something more fun in the mean time while I wait on my decision on how to fix the suspension as well as the results of putting air in the shock.

Front Sub-Frame Almost Done

The steering rack took a little more time than expected.  Not only does it require precision, but it is also a rather expensive part to mess up.  With a little time, I was able to cut it to the correct size and drill – tap it for the tie-rods.  The knuckles are from a VW Jetta MK4 (99-05).  The outer tie-rods that connect to the knuckle are also from the Jetta.  The next step was to find inner tie-rods that had a small enough bolt to fit into the small steering rack, but also have the same bolt and thread as the Jetta’s outer tie-rod.  Thanks to MOOG’s excellent catalog, I was able to find such an inner tie-rod.  The inner tie-rods are MOOG EV414 (1998-2001 Honda CR-V)
I placed the sub-frame back onto the chassis to start designing the steering and suspension.  I realized I needed to start getting an idea of how the seats were going to be before I could mount the steering wheel.  As you can see in the photo, the 2 pieces of wood against the rear firewall are the two seats.  The trike was original designed to be a single-seater, but part of the way through, I figured that it would be slightly more practical with two seats.  With this design, it is possible to fit two people in the trike, but they better be a pretty good friend because there isn’t a whole lot of room.

Front Sub-Frame Update

Here I have the rear mount installed. The rear mount still need to be triangulated. The differential mount will provide much of the strength.

Here the sub-frame with the new rear mount install. The left control arm is also installed for mock up. It appears the control arm touches the rear mount. I will have to make clearance to fix that, but it also needs clearance so that the control arm can be greased via the grease fitting on the rear.

Though I meet my goals for today, I don’t believe I will have the engine back in tomorrow. I forgot about modifying the steering rack and mounting the steering wheel.

Goals for tomorrow:

  • Make clearance for the control arms on the rear mounting bracket
  • Triangulate the rear mount of the sub-frame.
  • Increase the diameter of the mounting holes to allow some tolerance.
  • Mount steering wheel.
  • Mount the knuckles.
  • Modify the steering rack and mount the tie rods.

Front Sub-frame Mounted

I just got the front sub-frame mounted on its front mount. The next step will be the design the rear mount. The idea I currently have is shown by the yellow lines in the picture. Plate steel will attach to the “hockey puck” (shown in red) under the pedal box. The sub-frame is used to mount the steering rack and the front-differential for the electric motor. Since the front differential may need to be serviced, I came up with the sub-frame design to house the differential so that it may be removed. The differential and its large cast iron body will also serve as a structure member for the front suspension. My goal is to have the trike sitting back on its suspension by tomorrow morning and have the engine back in it by tomorrows end.

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