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A real steering gear?

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Denny Graham Silver Member Dennis Graham
Sandwich, Illinois, USA   USA
Just fishing for some ideas this morning. I'll throw out a line and see what I can snag.
Sure it's simple, that is...the standard "gokart" steering setup. In fact it's just short of a
2x4 with a center bolt that you steer with your feet. Can ya tell, I'm not nuts about
using gokart type of steering in my project. That's what I used 60 years ago when I
built my first gokart as a green teen. Now a days, since I'm much more particular, I'd
like to use a real steering gear with a Pitman arm and drag link.
Over at Getterville one of the guys posted some pix of an MTD type 1/4 segment open
bevel gear 90 degree steering box to route his steering out the side of the kart instead of
between his toes. Now that's a good idea and inexpensive as there are lots of old junker
MTD based mowers around and a brandy new one from Sears is under $60.
But.....I was looking for something more along the lines of a Schroeder steering gear as
used in a ton of the full sized race cars and hot rods. However, a Schroeder is WAY to
expensive and is really overkill for one of these karts, unless you're one of those
guys with unlimited funds. But.....a Ross steering box, isn't big bucks and is within the
budget of most of us.
The John Deere garden tractors use a Ross enclose 90 degree steering box. With a bit of
searching (bout two weeks worth) I've come up with one that I can modify for my use. By
cutting down and splicing the the shaft and mast jacket and extending or making a new
output shaft it should work out just right.
One of the problems I'm facing is it doesn't have a steering wheel and the shaft has a
fine spline on it and blank splined hubs aren't readily found or easily machined at home.
I think, but I'm not sure since I haven't got one here to look at, that the quick-change
hubs that Summit sells have a splined weld stub that comes with the unit. Most of those
are big bucks but there is one for about $30 plus another $15 for shipping, that
I believe I've seen Dennis T. using.
Like to hear any thoughts on this.
DG

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Pierro Taruffi Rhys Nolan
Tamworth, Staffs, UK   GBR
1923 CycleKart Vintage "Voisin Laboratoire"
The steering box on Johhny D's Austin was to be close to the inspiration car. Others have used sand rail steering rack and pinion. Personally I am happy with the KISS principle.

Denny Graham Silver Member Dennis Graham
Sandwich, Illinois, USA   USA
Which is why I'm going to try to modify it for the GM Gnome I'm planing Rhys.
In all the pictures, which are very few, there is a very distinctive upright on the
outside of the frame where the steering gear is mounted. The Gnome is sort of
an exoskeleton design, where much of the frame is exposed between the
body panels.
The rack an pinion gears are still mounted between your feet and that's what
I'm planing on eliminating.
DG.

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Pierro Taruffi Rhys Nolan
Tamworth, Staffs, UK   GBR
1923 CycleKart Vintage "Voisin Laboratoire"
I just googled the GN Gnome, loads of pics, and then I realised why it rang a bell, I saw the car recently in the UK. Yes the steering pedestal is very obvious.

Denny Graham Silver Member Dennis Graham
Sandwich, Illinois, USA   USA
Wish I knew where you found the "loads of pictures" Rhys. I've found them to be quite limited.
I've only found one shot straight on and that was taken from a screenshot off a youtube video,
and that wasn't even a straight on shot but off to one side. I've not been able to tind a good straight
on shot of the rear so I'm guessing at what it looks like. I'd kill for an overhead shot to see where the
frame was tapered. I'll bet they never had drawings for those, there sure weren't very many made so
I've pretty much convinced my self that they weren't a production item, rather a small number of
specials. But I've really fallen in love with the stance of the car that Garry Whyte had.

dg

Pierro Taruffi Rhys Nolan
Tamworth, Staffs, UK   GBR
1923 CycleKart Vintage "Voisin Laboratoire"
All I did was google GN Gnome and looked at images. As far as I know there is one Gnome, just like there is one Mowgli, one Spider yada yada There are around 20 pics, several showing the rear, and a number almost straight side on.
GN was a small car with almost nothing of merit except that it had a good chassis, front suspension and drive system. As a result they were, and are, the special builder's "holy grail". You do not get to buy one in the UK, you may be invited to take over custody (for a large number of pounds)

Denny Graham Silver Member Dennis Graham
Sandwich, Illinois, USA   USA
Not a sports car guy Rhys, so the pre-war British specials are quite new to me. I wasn't
aware that Nash only built one Spider. I've seen two versions of the Gnome, the one that
Garry Whyte had and one the Nick Topless owns which he says he bought from James Holland.
I don't think they were the same car.
I've heard there is a lot of information in a book titled "The Enthusiasts Guide to Vintage Specials" by John
Bateman but I've been unable to find a copy in our library system. The book is out of print and
a collector item now at hundreds of dollars. I'd love to see if there is any info on the Gnome in there.
Thanks for helping me understand the car that has inspired me. Poor performer or not, I still like
the lines of the car, which is very similar to all the later Frazer Nash cars.
Denny G

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Pierro Taruffi Rhys Nolan
Tamworth, Staffs, UK   GBR
1923 CycleKart Vintage "Voisin Laboratoire"
Denny, the specials built from GNs are almost always great performers. Just the original cars were somewhat anaemic. Bear in mind too that almost every competition car, and that's what they were, was evolving week by week. If you read the link here //www.bonhams.com/auctions/16251/lot/337/ it will help your understanding.
If you can find any of John Bolster's books on "Specials" there is more. Coming out soon is a book named "Spiders Web" which is specifically about the GN based Spiders. I am hoping to get a copy when it's released, which will be "when it's ready" !

Denny Graham Silver Member Dennis Graham
Sandwich, Illinois, USA   USA
Been reading as much as my old eyes can take on the history of the GN and Frazer Nash cars.
Tons of stuff out there on the Spider, the Wasp and such, just not that much about the Gnome.
Having a hard time finding where the frame tapers in from on it. I've been able to scale it pretty
well so far but even at 74" wb it still looks a bit stubby.
dg

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Antioch Bob M
Langley, BC, Canada   CAN
1929 CycleKart French "LR2 Special"
Denny, looking forward to seeing what you come up with. I do feel your pain however about the lack of info on the car you are working on.

I ended up getting bamboozled into the Austin build off with Johnny Dumfries & Dennis Thomas...& for a brief period Rhys (who ended up judging it). I sweated bullets trying to dig info up. Until the Rosengart museum told me there were no records in the museum on what the specials were or how they were built. So I was stuck with one picture of the original & two existing that had similar parts in certain areas.

With that I moved on to w a more reasonable 'that looks about right' & that spot is ok, but moving it a few inches so I fit will be better.... That Became the norm. In the end my car looked good & like it was supposed to.....it just never ran well given it was finished & rolled onto the trailer at 7 the prev night & off to Tieton the next day. But I never felt overly embarrassed by the fantastic builds the other two entered.

So you will find what works for you & probably end up guessing a bit on a few areas as there won't be enough info to get it perfect.... But if it looks good you will be happy with it as you are the builder & the one who really has to be satisfied.

In my case this year is for fixing things & the annoying fidley bits there just was no time for.

Bob



Rosengart LR2 special

http://rosengart.rzaplaser.com/rosengart-lr2-build/

Denny Graham Silver Member Dennis Graham
Sandwich, Illinois, USA   USA
Wasn't there a full set of factory plans posted to the internet a while back
for the Austin 7??
It was such a popular sports car and the factory turned out thousands of
cookie cuter models for so many years that I would have thought
there would be a ton of info available.
The problem with a special is that it's an evolutionary vehicle, usually
one of a kind and changed many times over the years.

dg

Pierro Taruffi Rhys Nolan
Tamworth, Staffs, UK   GBR
1923 CycleKart Vintage "Voisin Laboratoire"
Which Austin 7 Denny? There were not only a number of different models from the English factory, Bob made a great job of his interpretation of the Rosengart version IMHO, just his lack of performance that let it down when I had to judge the 3 cars. There were US versions of the A7 (bantam) French, German and then an absolute myriad of specials, still being built to this day, and well into the future, so nothing is "wrong".
Don't sweat it too much. CKs don't scale. I don't mean well, I mean at all. So if someone in the future looks at your CK and a pic of the Gnome and says, (as they will I am sure) "Wow that is a great version" then you have cracked it! Don't get too bogged down, study as much as you feel comfortable, draw a line in the sand and get out into the shop smiling smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016-03-13 01:33 PM by Pierro Taruffi.

Nuvolari T Avatar
Nuvolari T Robin Johansen
Richmond, Tasman, New Zealand   NZL
Denny,

I am increasingly of the view that there is only one GN Gnome - owned by Nick Topliss who is on Facebook if you wanted to try to contact him. He also owns ERA R4A.

There is also a GN Cyclecar group on Facebook which might be quite helpful to you if you have not already contacted them.

I don't know which photos you have already found on the internet, but much as Rhys reports, there are quite a number available. I have captured a few and added them to this post - mostly because they show the chassis or the rear of the car relatively clearly. Based on these photos and the general approach seen on GN cars, my guess is that there is no taper in the chassis of the Gnome. I'd say that it is parallel sided and quite short, extending only between the attachment points for the front and rear quarter elliptic springs.

Regards

Robin



Knowledge, grounded on accuracy, aided by labour, and sustained by perseverance, will finally overcome all difficulties


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Denny Graham Silver Member Dennis Graham
Sandwich, Illinois, USA   USA
Thanks Robin, the top two I hadn't seen, the bottom two I have.
Every little bit helps and I'll download them and add them to the
reference file.
The top and the bottom full side views help as I can scale off of them.
It's not like I haven't looked, I've downloaded literally several thousand
pictures in the last month, many I took as screen prints from videos.

I'm an Ooooold dude so I don't know facebook. May be my young daughter
could get me goin' with it. I've also got hundreds of ERA pictures. I looked
at a lot but I kept coming back to the Gnome, it just looks right to me.

Thanks for the help guys, I do appreciate it.
Denny Graham
Sandwich, IL

BigM Wane Miller
Moville, Iowa, USA   USA
This is the rack we are thinking of using in our build. Any experience with this style out there?
We are thinking of mounting it forward of the radiator just be hind the the front wheels.


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