There comes a time when you have to nudge the baby from the nest and see
if it can fly on its own. This strange vehicle was never meant to be
mine. I learned a lot from it, but the final preparation and painting
will be done by the real owner, my oldest brother. He came to pick it up
on June 20, 2005.
We took it out the road for its first test, hitched behind a Z24. It was
empty and bounced some for the first few hundred yards. The tires have
nylon plies so they will cold-spot. Everything smoothed out quickly and
it tracked perfectly behind the car. Since it is so low, only the top
showed above the deck of the car, so I used a video camera with a
swivelling LCD to watch it while brother drove.
That video is extremely boring. The only action is my wobbling from side
to side as he tried to get the trailer to slide, jump or flip. He
managed to get it to chirp the tires during a hard right into a dip with
a hard left. The bottom heavy design seems to work. The only bouncing it
did was when the tires were cold and when we passed over some rough
patches at 75.
Photos 1 and 2 show it leaving and photo 3 shows it after arriving in
that suburban wasteland he lives in. How do people breathe with
neighbors that close and no trees?!? He reported that the egg followed
nicely for the 70+ miles up I-65 at er, um, 65 mph, which is the posted
speed limit, y'know.
Warning! People with any sense of aesthetics
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aesthetics ) should avoid the first
photo. My daughter caught me working in the egg. Kids with cameras have
The same junked '80 Renault LeCar that provided some of the sheet metal
for the trailer base and the locking latch also provided the
weatherstripping around the lid opening. It's a little too stiff,
though, so it will likely be replaced with some soft, spongy stuff. For
now, it seals the opening and causes the lid to pop up enough to get
your fingers under it. That saves having to cut a hand-hold in the edge
of the lid.
Photos 2 and 3 show the seal and give a good idea of the slightly
compartmentalized (is that a word?) space inside the egg. The date-stamp
tells on me; I'm still a month behind on this journal.
Everybody knows eggs have 1 leg, right? It's also common knowledge that
you have to shackle that leg or it tries to either hold back a
motorcycle or imitate a pogo stick. Ok, so it's a very strange egg.
The tongue has a fold-up leg to stand on when it's not attached to a
ball hitch. This folds backwards so it will just bounce, spark and make
lots of noise along the highway if forgotten instead of doing something
nasty to the trailer, motorcycle and rider.
The first photo shows the bracket I made from a section of a car wheel.
That valve stem hole is just right for a category 1 lynch pin. The other
hole was drilled to allow bolting it to the flange of the tongue using a
5/16 inch bolt.
Photo 2 is a view from underneath the tongue. The leg is in the down
position, stopped by another piece of a car wheel I welded to the tongue
for that purpose. The bracket from photo 1 is showing to the right in
Photo 3 shows the bracket holding the leg up inside the tongue. The
lynch pin is in place to keep it there while rolling down the highway. A
chain of nylon zip ties was added to the loop of the pin (after this
photo was taken) so it wouldn't be lost when taken out.
It took a while to round over all the sharp corners and edges on all the
fabrications throughout the egg. I'll bet I overlooked some, though.
The lower edge of the egg was raggedy and ugly and had to be trimmed
before it could be attached to the trailer base. The two photos show the
slight improvement made and the sheet metal screws used to hold the two
ugly parts together.
Photo 1 is a close-up view, from a slight angle, of the fabricated mount
for the locking pushbutton. The edge of the pipe has been ground and
filed to the contour of the egg's body.
Photo 2 shows the view of the mount from inside the egg. That bracing
length of 1/2 inch EMT is tack welded to the base plate of the button
mount and bolted to the latch mechanism. This serves a couple of
purposes. It transfers any pushing force on the button or its mount to
the heavy C-channel that holds the latch and it protects the actuator
rod from being bent or jammed by any cargo stuffed into the egg. The
whole thing is ugly but cosmetic refinement can come after the function
is tested. The mount was fiberglassed into that position.
Photo 3 shows how it looks from the rear after the mount was
fiberglassed in and the pushbutton assembly installed. I replaced the
brass actuator rod with a heavier steel one. I threaded the end of the
rod for 10-32 nuts and fabricated a small bracket that attaches to the
business end of the pushbutton with a tiny cotter pin. The rod fits into
a hole in the end of the bracket and the threads allow fine adjustments
in the free play.