Schultz Engineering Project: Building an Electric Streamliner
Chapter 4 - Tilting Seat

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Rotating Shell Concept for BugE - December 2008

For speeds over 25mph, the rider is in reclined position with shell rotated horizontal.

For low speed navigation (and for getting in and out), the shell rotates up and the rider rides in an upright sitting position. This is made possible by having the under-seat steering controls travel with the seat.

Fender Concept - January 2009

Here is a start on fender and wheel dish building. The Fender is from BMI Karts for about $20 per fender.

The Dish shown on the wheel is .020" thick ABS, but, this doesn't have rigidity needed. A piece of a product called "Gator Board" that is a foam cored laminate (commonly used for making signs and large format pictures) would be just the ticket. It is lightweight, rigid and allows for easy advertising as professional printers commonly print on the face of the wheel dish. "Gator Plast" is a more durable and water resistant product, but I need to find a source for this and I'm not sure if this can be printed on.

Linear Actuator mounted: March 25, 2009

Playing with a folding chair to see how my 18 inch travel, Jaeger Superjack, 36Volt DC, linear actuator will work for tilting me and my bodywork. The actuator can handle a 600 pound load. It weights 9 pounds and draws .5 amps when running. It is relatively slow (about 5.6mm/second) but mine was free as I got it from a scrap10 foot diameter satellite dish mount. This puts the chair seat at 27 to 29 inches off the ground when fully upright. My 1994 Plymouth Voyager minivan seat is about 30 inches off the ground, so I should have some good visibility.

Rock and Roll in a LAZY BOY: April 2, 2009

Tilting works, remote cable operated steering functions up on jack stands, lazy boy chair foam works, it's really comfortable. Almost time to install some batteries and get it out on the road for some testing!

Cables Broke: May 6, 2009

The bicycle brake cables for the remote steering broke immediately. I ordered up and got some motorcycle brake cables that are better and went to the junk yard and got some automotive parking brake cables that are even better. I need to go with larger diameter cable (to increase strength) and with larger diameter cable drums (to reduce force).

But, that is a lot of work, so I will try something different. I'll just pivot the seat ABOUT the center of the handle bars and avoid the entire remote steering issue. Here is a picture of the BugE with the steering shortened up. It's a blast to ride. The dust on the rear tire is from doing donuts in the road turning it around. The improved power to weight ratio has enhanced the power to FUN ratio by a large bit!

The brake modifications I did in December seem to help alot. I am now able to lock up the front tires when I want to. The ability to stop quickly makes riding the BugE more enjoyable. But, some of the performance improvement is because the vehicle is 80 pounds lighter without the body making it more responsive to throttle and braking...

Trike Races - May 8, 2009

Here is a picture of my drivable BugE skakeboard chassis sitting next to the tilting-trike my buddy is building. On this day, he had a dead battery in his pack and we ran pretty much neck in neck for acceleration. He is a professional aluminum fabricator. He is selling these as rolling chassis if you are interested, check out his links on his EV Album.

Test Driving Tilting Seat: May 21, 2009

The concept works. It is very easy to get and and out of, and it is a comfortable ride at the medium height position. But, I need to build a seat with a higher back and neck support to make the reclined position comfortable.

Quicker Ways to Tilt: July 12, 2009

The linear actuator is an expensive, heavy and slow way to power the tilting seat. A lazy boy recliner demonstrates it can be done with mechanisms.

A gravity inversion chair like the one made by Stamina that I saw at Durham Sports this weekend also shows how simple it can be. It also demostrates where a persons center of gravity is. For those with HIGH speed internet a quicktime video (5MB file) shows it action.