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Oliver Monk

  'Workshop Ramblings'



January 2019

I am typing this to the smell of oranges cooking. Every January I make a year’s supply of Seville marmalade, so it must be the new year, with lots to look forward to. I had been lacking a bit of motivation since I broke the 2.5cc British tether car record and the follow up run in Poland at a similar speed but I have now ventured back into the workshop.

This is a Russian 2.1cc Junior tether car kit produced by Lev Sprints, I collected it in Tallinn last year. It is powered by a Novarossi 12(2.1cc) size engine, the cars are quick capable of over 100mph. It has been suggested it might be a good introduction to tether car racing for seniors as well.

It comes with a full set of drawings and instructions in Russian, I have a Google translation of the instructions but as all men do, I will only look at the instructions as a last resort.

This was the first task, drill a hole for the gear drive pin through the crankshaft. If I could do it the project was on, I bought my Novarossi from Ebay less than £90 so it was worth a try.

Filed through the case hardening with a diamond file and then drilled through with a 2mm tungsten carbide drill nice and slow with plenty of lubricant.

The pictures are a bit dark, I have put some LED lighting in parts of the workshop, nice and bright, but my camera doesn’t seem able to cope. The lights are a big improvement but take a bit of getting used to and they have a bit of a stroboscopic effect on the machines.

The engine and axle mount comes fully machined and predrilled and tapped for the Novarossi and my 2.5cc Picco engine also fits.

The engine sat a little proud of the bearers so I milled a slot so it fitted. Next job was to press in the bearings for the axle.

The axle was a very tight fit in the bearing and the diameter had to be reduced a little, the easy way to do it in the lathe with emery paper on a flat strip of metal. With the axle in the bearings wheels and gears fitted something was not right the flywheel was fouling the wheel (you will see I have shortened the crankshaft).

After a bit of thought and fiddling about I realised the hole in the axle for the drive pin was in the wrong place, drilled a new hole and made a couple of spacers for each of the axles.

Problem solved.

In the picture below is one of the spacers I made and the brass flywheel that needed a small mod so the gear on the crankshaft fitted. The cylinder head about to be modified.

Below is the chassis plate, comes as a blank and needs all the holes and cut outs doing. I have cheated and set up on my milling machine and did the lot. This kit is for juniors and it would be made at an engineering "youth club" where they would be learning basic engineering skills and would be done by traditional marking out techniques and files.

Next month I will continue with the front suspension and shut off.

The picture above is what the finished car will look like, to me it’s not pretty. The car on the right is better looking. Plans are afoot to make it look like an American hot rod. Don’t rush out and buy the kit yet unless you want the basic model. Lev has a website where you can buy the bits separately and build something different using the parts, more to follow.

I enjoyed last years pulse jet flying, this is the new model for this year, a new more powerful jet. The milling machine has been pressed into action on the aeromodelling side as well. Getting all the flying surfaces and engine lined up correctly is important, the mill makes it a lot easier.

The workshop is not the warmest place at the moment but will continue with the junior car. I have to do some work on a new 2.5cc engine I bought in the summer ready for this year racing season. Some new pistons for 1.5,2.5 and 5cc engines to do. And finish the jet model.