Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Thumbs Up! - I'm on fire!

Sadly, I had to retire my old XLarge sweat shirt today.  It had a nice parody of the old Bultaco logo.

I got a bit carried away grinding and didn't stop until I noticed my sweat shirt was on fire.

I've been working on a rear disc brake conversion.  It's snowballed into new bearings, paint, gaskets, master cylinder and brake lines.  Generally going over the whole rear differential and then some.

Hopefully, I'll be done by the end of the week.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Drawn to Television

For this race is turns out Car 23 is going to be Car 28.  So, I spent an episode of Top Chef doodling a 28 design.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Giant Fuel Cell Installation

I've decided to go with a 32 gallon fuel cell.  A 22 gallon fuel cell would fit so nicely but I think we need a little more gas.   Off road, 8 miles to the gallon is a reasonable assumption (maybe even optimistic).  32 gallons would give the car a 250ish mile range.

It turns out a 32 gallon cell is giant.  Inorder to keep the top of the cell below the lip of the bed I had to cut out the floor.

 This allow the cell to rest on the frame and gave the plumbing fittings on top plenty of room.

 It would be nice if it sat lower but that would involve cutting the corner gussets on the frame.  I'm really not up for that level of experimentation before the race.

I built a basket for it and a brace to hold the front.

and to line the basket and give it a bit more protection I used a chunk of my wife's thesis show.  Almost twenty years ago it was a vices and virtues roulette wheel.

Now, it will give me a little more protection.

Now just to finish up the straps and this cell is going nowhere....

...now just to figure out how to plumb it.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Album(s) of the Week! - a hobbit fiesta

I found myself humming The Hobbits "Down to Middle Earth" earlier this week and decided to give the entire album a listen.  

It's an okay album, almost good, far from great.  "Down to Middle Earth" is the best song with it's trippyness, distortion and of course lyrics about Middle Earth.  Being the first song it gives you too much hope for the rest of the album.  


There are a few good toons, "Treats" stands out and by far the creepiest song is "Clap Hands til Daddy Comes Home."  It's as disturbing as the title sounds and, if you really need to, you can give it a little listen on Amazon.

Like all the albums this weeks "Down to Middle Earth" suffers from the old hobbit bait and switch.  One song about Middle Earth and that's it.

Continuing the hobbit theme, I went with the "Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy."

You might know the campy "Ballad of Bilbo Baggins" video but the rest of the album is a mess.  Side one is sung in the voice of Spock with songs like "Highly Illogical" and "Spock Thoughts."  The weirdest track is "Amphibious Assault" which is basically a spoken word science fiction story with an anti war angle.  You have to be a really big Spock fan to enjoy side 1.  Side 2 is Leornard Nimoy doing folky pop songs like "Gentle on My Mind" and "If I were a Carpenter."  Not too shabby.

For the hobbit trifecta, I decided to explore "For Christians, Elves and Lovers" by one of the earliest christian rock groups,  The All Saved Freak Band.  I was surprised to discover this album wasn't released until 1976.  At the time it must've seemed extremely dated.


In this case the hobbit song, "Theme of the Fellowship of the Rings," is the worst song on the album.  Which means it's aweful.  One of the band member sings the whole song in a raspy imitation of Golum.  It's a slow dirge that neither rocks nor rolls.

I've also learned that rock needs a big dose of negativity to work.  This album suffers from a level of earnestness and positivity that just destroys music.  They really needed someone in the group to say "hey, maybe you should learn to play guitar before doing a solo" or "a song about Jesus and witchcraft might be a bit much, especially as a blues jam" or "Gollum, really?" Sadly, there obviously wasn't that negative voice around during the recording session.  It wouldn't have made for a great album but at least it might be be listenable. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Map of the race 2010-11

The course map for the Mexican 1000 isn't released until right before the race.  They don't want people prerunning the course which is fine with me.  But this is making it hard for the chase vehicles.  So I dug up so old maps on the internet to get an idea of the route.  I only found one page from the 2011 rally.

And here's the entire 2010 race.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Drawn to television - welding edition

Okay, so this isn't a drawing and it wasn't made while I was watching television.  But, I was listening to a podcast and it felt like a drawing.  Just a sketch playing with materials and seeing what they would do.

Basically, I finally bought a welder.  Something I should've done years ago and yes, I'm way out of practice.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hella Gone!

In 2008, just before Car 23 travelled to the Miami Art Museum I bought a cheap pair of Hella lights for the fenders.  My dad had always run lights on the fenders, I was running out of time and I thought they looked good.   

Now that the car actually runs,  I've had a chance to mount a camera to the fenders  and have realized something.  The fenders flex and torque like crazy (see the Chocolate dip video).  Lights on them would be as useful as mounting a disco ball to the front of the car (although, the disco ball might be interesting...).

So, a little bondo and a little paint and the Hellas are hella gone.

Maybe, they'll reappear on the bumper.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Dunked in Chocolate

Okay, we're in trouble if it rains.  The inside of the car gets as wet as the outside.  And we're not going to have a windshield during the race.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

Before and After

We took the car out on Saturday.  Tested some suspension upgrades and everything went great....then I found the mud puddle.  So, I washed the car today and now it's time to edit the video.

Friday, February 3, 2012


I really need to clean up the rats nest of wiring but they work!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

ratty bumper fix and grind house video

My Fj40 stock-esque bumper isn't going to do it for the Mexican 1000.  Besides  being crumpled up from a parking garage pillar, it doesn't abide by the rules.

"No hazardous front or rear bumpers, nerf bars, frame heads or other protruding objects from vehicles are permitted. Ends must be capped and rounded to prevent any sharp edges. Bumpers and protective bars must be designed in a way as to reasonably inhibit two vehicles from becoming locked together. A safe front and rear bumper is required on all vehicles. "

Luckily I had the old bumper the car came with. 

I didn't like it because of the bull bar on the top and the double tubes made it hard to put stickers on.  But it was free and the bar part could easily be resolved with a saw-zall, grinder and can of spray paint.

Here's a camera test/grind video.


It turns out it was made be Con-Ferr, a now defunct Burbank company that specialized in Fj40 bits and pieces.

In the end it turned out pretty good.