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Monday, December 6, 2010

SAM GOES STRAIGHT

NOTE SOLAR PANELS SHIFTED TO LEFT OF SAM'S FRONT WHEEL...INDUCES NATURAL TURN TO THE LEFT...How strange not to notice it sooner.


Took a bit of doing, but SAM now tracks correctly...the pull to the Left is corrected.

In the pic above, you may note the front drive wheel is off-center as to the Solar Panels above.

The Solar Panels weigh a combined 50 pounds. Being off center - to the left - was like standing on the gunnel (side) of a sail boat...or leaning into a turn while skiing or skate boarding...introduces a natural turn to the "heavy" side...in this case, to SAM's left.

The Solar Panels came to be off center when crossing the Rocky Mountains last Summer. When arriving at Little America, SAM's right-front telescoping pole supporting the 90 Watt panel, snapped in half (probably from bouncing around in the trailer when it was too hot to take SAM out).

I pushed SAM into the Little America Auto Repair Shop; showed the mechanic on duty the problem with SAM. He poked around a bit and came up with a threaded steel rod which fit EXACTLY into the inside of SAM's broken telescoping pole. The "fix" took all of 5 minutes (and it is still incorporated as part of SAM).

Putting SAM back together, however, I failed to notice that the "splint" raised the Solar Panel and tipped it to the left about 1.5 inches. Strange as it seems, I did not notice the out of alignment of the front wheel until our recent post of SAM DETAILS.

I fought SAM's pull to the left most of the Summer.

Today, I realigned SAM's Solar Panels. It required removing all mounting points on SAM's right-hand side and "twisting" both Solar Panels BACK and TO THE RIGHT. Also lengthened SAM's left front telescoping pole a bit. All this effort - about 4 hours worth - resulted in SAM's Solar Panels being once again centered (more or less) to SAM's front wheel, and fixed all four corners of the Solar Panels at the same height off the ground.

Then, SAM & ME went for a Walk and Roll. Using GREEN Pack - recharged to 38.8 volts - SAM tracked beautifully...straight as an arrow. WOW; what a difference driving. No more did Me have to keep steering to the Right to compensate for that pull to the Left. Took a considerable strain off the right hand/arm/shoulder and back while walking.

Just learned that another Bellinghammer took off walking to California a few days ago...better get on my horse and quit goofing around...maybe I catch up with him and walk together.

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