Building the Badwater Solo SSC Cart – part 2

I continue to build my Badwater SSC cart on day two. The morning started off with planning and laying out the rest of the cart and figuring out where can I save weight and keep the strength? Two hours later I am cutting and getting ready to weld. As the old carpenter says goes, “measure twice, cut once” is sage advice.

David Boyajian and Croix Sather working on Badwater Solo Cart

David Boyajian and Croix Sather working on Badwater Solo Cart’s base frame at David’s art sculpture studios The cart is a one-inch square tubing aluminum frame. It would seem like a simple build, but this cart turned out to take more time and effort than anyone expected.

David Boyajian joins me and we begin to weld and assemble. As we put together the frame around the wheel, we realize that during the assembly yesterday the space is too small. I didn’t put a temporary spacer in to keep the needed space and it was now an eighth inch to small. That might seem like a miniscule amount, but when it comes to wheel fitting, and eighth too small is way too small and the wheel won’t fit. So we spend an hour fixing my mistake. Grrrr.

I was hoping to have the cart ready for a test run. Tomorrow is going to be 100 degrees. That would be great training weather. But I didn’t get far enough and the cart will need one more day. So instead of running, I will be working on the cart.

Croix Sather's Badwater Solo cart taking shape

Croix Sather’s Badwater Solo cart taking shape. It is not rolling yet, but this is essentially what it will be like when finished. At this point the wheels are simply resting. Next step is to weld in permanent wheel mounting brackets.

As the day comes to an end, the cart is starting to look like something. The frame is nearly complete. The wheels are not mounted yet, but the cart balances on the wheels and you can see what it is going to look like. The cart will be about a foot longer than Lisa Bliss’cart and higher off the ground. I could have dropped the overall height of the cart, but didn’t see the benefit for the increased difficulty in building. It seemed easier to build it on one plane even if the coolers will be a little higher. Wind resistance is a big concern, but this seems to be as efficient as a lower cart height.

Testing the frame strength of Croix Sather's Badwater solo cart

Croix Sather is standing on the base frame of his Badwater Solo cart. Tipping the scales at close to 180 pounds, Croix is the same weight as the amount of water that he will be pushing through Death Valley in August 2012

It has a stationary front wheel. This means that on any turn, I will have to lift the front wheel off the ground to turn. I am still concerned that the center of gravity is not in the optimum place. Too much weight in the front and it will be a lot more work to lift the wheel for turning. Too little weight in the front and the wheel will too easily pop off the ground and the front brake becomes useless. I’ll find out on my first test run.

Image … pushing this cart weighing in at 250-300 pounds through Death Valley to beat a 13-year old Badwater Solo ultramarathon record

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One Response to Building the Badwater Solo SSC Cart – part 2

  1. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

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