Rick Wianecki's velomobile project
Velomobile 6

A project by Rick Wianecki

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After I got the frame in the body and put the front wheels on I could see a problem with the shape. It has a lot to do with the foam wedge I added at the lower corner. So when I get back to working on the body I will remove the wedge and radius the corners like in the following picture.

Not very radical but this is a commuter vehicle not a racer. I will be adding wheel covers at lest on the outside of the front wheels.

Today I worked on making the body mounts. I decided that I will have one mount to the front
and a mount to the backside of the wheel wells and one up higher in the body just behind the rear seat mount.
The mounts are bent from 1/8"x1' 6061 aluminum with a nutsert added to provide the threads These brackets will be bonded into the body shell to provide attachment points for the aluminum struts coming from the frame.
Before I bond any of the aluminum parts I etch them to remove any oxidation to insure a strong bond. Here are the brackets etching away.

Next I will make the brackets that attach to the frame to connect to the aluminum struts

Worked some more on mounting the frame to the body. The 3/4" square aluminum struts were attached with some rubber bushings to help reduce the vibrations.
I next worked on some chain management issues. The return chain tensioner had to be removed to fit the frame into the body so I made a bracket to attach a smaller idler to at the location of the power idler. I can rotate the bracket to get the right amount of tension on the chain.
Next I need to remove the frame from the body and attach the brackets to the frame that will bolt to the 3/4" struts. I need to cut the foot hole or holes in the front, reattach the body and the frame and take her out for a test ride before I finish up on the remainder of the fiberglass work.
Today I was looking at the u-joints in my tool box. I have not looked at McMaster yet to see if they have any off the shelf ones that will work before I start to make one out of chunks of aluminum. I will also be cutting down the width of the handlebar. This picture is of the extra handle bar width when the wheels are turned full lock.
The velomobile is on it's own wheels for the first time. I brazed the mounting tabs on the frame and re assembled the lower tub to the frame. I also decided to make the seat tiltable so I can get to the battery and other things in the bottom. Here is the seat tilted forward, you can also see the rear mount.
Here is the lower tub and the frame on the ground for the first time.
Here it is with the top added, It is really looking good.

I sat in the vehicle and marked out where the foot holes need to be. I will cut them out next next and start putting the inner layer of fiberglass on the body.

I cut out the hole in the top section of the body.
Here I am going 120 MPH (In my mind)
So I have been able to sit in the vehicle and check clearance and other things. After looking at a side view picture, I decided to change the back turtle deck so it was closer to the back of my helmet and also make it easer to mount my version of the Felvo roof.

Here is a side view with me in the velomobile.
So I mocked up several back sections to see how I liked them.

First mock up still a little smaller then I would like. The carbon rod is used to simulate the approx. roof line.
Second mock up
I decided that the new back needed to blend back further. here is my first attempt.
I did not like how it was turning out so I redid it slightly smaller with a little more curve to it.
After I reshaped the back and before I broke out the epoxy and fiberglass, I got out the sanders and reshaped the front wheel wells. I tried to get it close to what was discussed earlier in the build.
Here is one of the modified wheel wells.
I removed the frame from the body and finished up trimming the openings on the bottom. I decided to cut one large foot opening instead of two smaller ones. I will eventually make some covers for of the chain line openings.

Next more fun with epoxy

Today I prepared the inside of the tub section for a layer of 9 oz fiberglass cloth At locations where I cut through the tub I beveled back the foam so I could get the inside layer of fiberglass to attach to the outside layer of fiberglass. That will stiffen things up nicely. I also added 45 degree bevels to the inside corners so the cloth would lay better.

Here is a picture of the inside of the tub just before I started to place the fiberglass cloth.
Next I lightly tacked (with spray glue) the fiberglass cloth the the inside of the tub. At this point I ran out of 9 oz cloth ( I ordered 15 yards to begin with) so I will need to order some more to the finish up.
After I wetted the cloth out I placed some weights to make sure the bottom of the tub would be flat against the work table while the epoxy cures. This should keep the bottom of the tub flat. The table is an old kitchen countertop on some saw horses.

I will order some more cloth tomorrow to keep the project moving along.

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