Trike Update, May 16

Some more progress to report on the trikes!!

* One transmission unit was completed last week! Another will need to be fabricated.
* One Ackerman link rod is done, and the rod end mounts are on - the steering is PERFECT!
* At least one seat frame is complete - I think Joe has another one done as well, so that's enough for one trike.

This evening, we completed the Ackerman link, and I coasted the seatless trike down the street, steering it side to side a few times with the temporary steering unit (stem and half a handlebar in the right-side headset). It feels GREAT!!

Some notes on the steering system:
* The ball joints are 5/8" male units, with nuts welded to the end of the rods as described in the plans.
* The Ackerman rod itself was welded up from matching CHAIN STAYS from a single bike frame - they look great and are the perfect diameter! We're also using the curve in the rod to gain a bit more clearance between parts.
* The rod end mount points on the wheel hubs are cantilever BRAKE STUDS that have been filed down slightly so that they fit inside the ball joint ends. This works brilliantly!

Also, a tip on locating the Ackerman link mounts:
With the front wheels straight ahead, draw imaginary lines from the STEERING AXIS of each front wheel to the CONTACT PATCH of the rear wheel.
You now have a V, that connects the 3 wheels. The ball joint mounting studs should be ON THE LINES of the V.
The head tubes are not straight up and down, so the exact positioning side-to-side will depend on if you put the studs high or low on the steering axle assemblies.

Next up:
* The rear gear clusters will soon be ordered, as will the TWELVE chains we need to make these things go.
* A second link rod needs to be fabricated to connect the center steering unit, then both replicated on the second trike.
* Fabricate handlebars that won't hit the frame, seat, or tyres (this promises to be quite a challenge!)
* Make some adjustable seat mounts
* Chain runs need to be figured out - possibly requiring some idler wheels here and there, and some chain tubes to keep the slack chain from dragging on the ground.
* Derailleur (front and back)
* Brakes