Wednesday, December 4, 2013

TerraTrike Velomobile Headlight Mounting, Wheel Caps And Hood Lock

Great progress over the past couple of days with all that I want to show you today.  I have managed to install the new headlight assembly into the front hood of the velomobile, work out the locking setup for the hood and create new wheel cover center caps!  Now I can catch my breath and show you what I've put together for this post.  We'll start with the mounting of the new headlight assembly into the hood of the velomobile.

 This is a photo of the front hood for the velomobile.  I took a piece of painters tape and marked off where the underside of the bracing is in the assembly.   The oval circle is where I needed to cut and I did not want to end up cutting through the front cross brace.

Here you can see where the tape is in relation to the cross brace. 

 Using a Dremel tool with a carbide blade and a sanding drum it was an easy task to cut the hole to match my drawing. 

 The underside of the hood took a bit longer as I needed to cut through the next cross brace and two sections of the center brace to allow room for the headlight enclosure.  I had to be extra careful not to grind to deep into the area where the center brace was as there is no fiber glass covering the outer skin yet.  It would have been a pain to have to patch a hole I never wanted in the first place with this part of the job.

Here I'm test fitting the new headlight assembly.  I wanted to make sure that I had no fit up problems and that there would be no interference with being able to remove the headlight from the outer housing when I needed to recharge it.

 A triangular piece of Styrofoam was added next to keep the headlight in the proper orientation for fiber glassing. 

 I also had to fill the void that now appeared beneath the headlight enclosure at the center brace.  I added two smaller pieces of Styrofoam to cradle the headlight housing to keep it from moving from side to side.  Once I was happy with the fit up off all of this I hot glued the parts into place to secure them into position.

 I then hot glued the headlight housing into place on to the foam triangle.  This held it secure so that I could put a fillet of epoxy micro-balloon mixture around all of the mating edges of the assembly.  Then all of the parts were fiber glassed with several layers of three ounce fiber glass cloth.  

 After the fiber glassing had cured overnight I inserted the headlight assembly back into the newly mounted housing.

 Here is how the light looks switched on with the assembly retracted inside the housing.

Another shot with the light extended out through the outer opening. 

 This gives you a good idea of how it will look during the night time.  The light pattern is now unobstructed and it will give me the light I will need to see the way down the street easily. 

 With the completion of the new wheel covers for the velomobile I originally was going to leave an opening in the cover to access the center wheel mount.  The look was ok but I thought why not make a removable center cap.  

This is what I came up with.  The cap could be printed on my 3D printer.  I originally thought I would like it in red and white but this turned out to be a bit more complicated to make than just printing the parts.  As it turns out the red plastic over time will fade with age, sunlight, weather etc. So I decided to make the parts in black and white plastic that holds up better over time. 

The new name for the TerraTrike Velomobile will be called the Radius T-T.  Radius for all the curves that are in the body and a T-T designation for TerraTrike.  I thought it sounded good and so the name is born.  The first cap on the left I printed just using white plastic.  Again I was going to paint this part red and show the white lettering.  Just got more complicated just thinking about it.  So I set up my Makerbot 3D printer with the dual extrusion heads and printed the center cap in black and white all at the same time.  Fast, simple, and best of all easy to do.  Looks great and it's ready to use.  The last part on the right is the mounting ring that fits into the center cap to hold it on to the wheel cover.  This last part will friction fit with the center cap and keep everything in place. The center cap can easily be removed with a screw driver if need be.

 Here's a closer look at how the center wheel caps look side by side.  Both would be good but the black and white cap stands out much better than the white one does so it's go my vote.

 The last assembly that I want to show you today is the simple locking mechanism that I set up for the hood assembly.  This strap assembly is exactly how a motorcycle helmet is held on to someones head while driving a motorcycle.  A strap of nylon webbing is looped through two "D" rings so that when it is pulled tight it stays put and does not move until you move the strap in the opposite direction and it loosens the strap that was originally pinched between the two rings. 

 Here is a good view of just the smaller "D" ring strap mounted to the underside of the hood. 

 A small wooden block is mounted into one of the cross braces of the hood. Inside the block is a threaded rod connector that has been inserted into a hole and bonded into place using my favorite material..... epoxy micro-balloon mixture.  This is used for one of the mounting points for the hood strap assembly.

 Here are all of the pieces for the two strap assemblies for the hood lock.  I had my sister Rose do the sewing needed to hold the two "D" ring straps together.  A nice job of sewing that I simply do not have a sewing machine for nor intend to buy one for such a little job. 
  So that's about it for this post.  At this point it looks like the building of parts and assembling them on to the velomobile is done!  Next I will be working at getting the body of the velomobile into shape to get the outer skin finally fiber glassed and ready for paint.   Total hours now on the project have risen up to 480 hours.  I suspect there will be many more hours to go before I am ready to drive my creation down the street.  Lots and lots of sanding and puttying is in my future but the more time I take with this portion of  the project better the body will look once I am done.  All part of the plan. Enjoy the photos!

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