Thursday, April 19, 2007

Built & Installed Drivetrain Chain

Another learning opportunity, this time in working with chain. I had purchased 10 feet of ANSI 35, 3/8" pitch chain. I didn't even know there were ANSI standards for chain until this project. Tonight I worked on getting the chain installed on the drivetrain.

First, I lengthened the slots on one of the wheel housings with the Dremel, to allow more room for chain-tensioning.

I used an awesome chain breaking tool that I purchased from McMaster-Carr. It's a bit pricey, but to me it was worth every penny. It made unlinking the chain effortless, and it came in handy several times tonight.

Once the chain was of the the approximate needed length, I had to install connecting links and sublinks to get the chain just about right. I adjusted the wheel housings away from each other to tension the chain.

Four lengths of chain (two for each drivetrain) were installed. The motor drives one wheel, and then the other wheel is driven on the other side of the drivetrain with gears and chain. I tested the setup with the battery, and all the wheels are spinning like they should. A four-wheel drive droid.

My only concern is that due to the overhang of the axle bearings on the outside of the wheel housings, I had to slide the small gears out a bit to clear them. I'm worried that the gears will have trouble fitting into the foot shells now, but I haven't test-fitted them yet.

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