Fantastic documentation of a 1974 Land Rover Series III restoration. Anytime you’ve got a heavily used utility vehicle that’s pushing close to four decades in age, you’re likely going to have a fair amount of rehabilitation work on your hands to get it into a reliable and comfortable state. Firman Ni of Indonesia chronicles the complete teardown and rebuild, with some after-restoration mud fun. Makes me want to loosen some bolts.
Fortunately, as my Wired Tormach 770 review revealed, the prices for smaller, serviceable CNC mills is starting to drop to attainable prices. Attainable for those who already bought their Sunday Porsche, perhaps, but still…
Late one night about a year and a half ago, I had a frustrating highway encounter with a big rig truck. Although, sadly, many others have fared worse in similar situations, it was still a sucky setback: three days in the hospital, a couple surgeries, and a few months to regain my strength.
The morning after the accident I gave myself a goal: I’d use it as a catalyst to finally train for and complete a triathlon. I didn’t want to ever feel held down by having an accident, and therefore strived for the exact opposite. Once able to move comfortably and push forward on my plan, I started discussing it with a friend at Triathlete magazine — who expressed interest in having me chronicle the journey for the publication. I agreed to do a three-part series, looking at the events leading to my decision to be a triathlete, the training experience, and then the race itself.
Triathlete helped make the training process easier by setting me up with some great gear and an amazing coach, Ian Murray, for which I’m extremely thankful — I highly recommend any first time (or even 31st time) triathlete to use a coach, it’s made such a big difference. At the point of my writing this, I’m just over two weeks away from the race. I’ll be competing in the Superseal Triathlon on March 18, in San Diego. An Olympic distance race, I have to swim 0.9 miles, bike 26 miles, and run 6.2 miles. Each of those distances is further than I’ve ever raced before, so the combination of all three consecutively will be pretty incredible.
Meanwhile, my first Triathlete segment hit the newsstands a few weeks ago, and became available online this week; check it out on the Triathlete site. And also check the fun video segment the magazine produced in conjunction with the article — more to come from that, too. Hope you enjoy.
Sure, there are Land Rovers, Landcruisers, Broncos, G-Wagens, Scouts. Even the original Hummer. But every now and then I stumble across something that I hadn’t seen before, something that makes my eyes widen and makes my feet want to step on some pedals. Case in point: my recent trip abroad, where I discovered the Portuguese 4×4 UMM. A French-designed truck that was manufactured from the late-70s until mid-90s (attempts to bring it back in the 2000s were unsucessful), it looks like an awesome mix between an early LR Defender and the VW Thing, with a French-70’s-retro-futurism slant. Leaf-sprung front and back, with a fully selectable transmission setup and body geometry that allows for steep approach and departure angles. Available in 100″ and 120″ wheelbases, and with petrol, diesel, or turbodiesel engines. There aren’t many of them, but it seems most have a utilitarian function, much like the Land Rovers in the UK.
My favorite UMM sighting occurred the morning after a stormy night in Baleal, a still-rural beach area north of Lisbon that is very popular with surfers (not far from Peniche and the world famous Supertubos beach). Watching the churning ocean while waiting for the bus to take me to my next destination, I jealously watched as a UMM pulled into the parking lot, scouted the surf conditions, then whizzed off. Something so romantic and ideal about that scene — rugged 4×4, relaxed Euro-surf lifestyle, energetic waves — I’m trying to figure out how to switch places with the guy driving that truck.
UPDATE: Here’s an offer to get a year of Popular Mechanics for nothing more than just a few pieces of personal information.
Once again (but only until December 3), Amazon is offering a $5 magazine subscription deal on some great titles. Perfect timing for your holiday gift buying needs — magazines are one of those gifts that are always appreciated, and they last a whole year.
When it comes to safety, sometimes you gotta spell it out loud and clear. “This machine will sever your hand at the wrist. This machine will crush your fingers like a garbage disposal.” You get the idea.
Take a bike with no pedals and a super low center of gravity, head to the top of the tallest hill you can find, and let gravity do the rest. Gravity biking, kissing cousins with downhill skateboarding, is a niche sport that attracts extreme racers who are happiest when they average 50mph and peak out as high as 80mph.
The basic standards are:
Wheel size – 51cm / 20” max
Bike weight – 34kg / 75lbs max
Axle to axle length – 127cm / 50” max
Many more rules can be found in the rule book. But where we race, none apply 🙂
Tools needed or have access to:
Metal cutting tools of some kind – Angle grinder and cut off wheels, metal band saw, hacksaw, hole saw.
Assortment of wrenches
The more the merrier!
We dig through metal scrap bins for most of our metal material and then let the material inspire.
We did buy 8ft of .75″ x 1.5″ x .125″ mild steel for this project.
x2 20 inch wheels
Old bmx bike to pluck any tid bits from
Rally racing, awesome as it is, tends to be a European phenomenon. Hilly, public tracks, often off-road. Rallies have been around since the advent of the automobile (mimicking horse-and-buggy races), and nowadays are high-speed, handbrake-turning, hump-jumping affairs. Outside of the European races, a few prominent rallies exist, with the Baja 1000 and the Paris-Dakar being two of the largest.
With that history behind us, here’s a fun way to show of how cultured and European you are: papercraft rally cars you can print and make to adorn your work desk. I’m fond of Volkswagen Touaregs, but the Mitsubishi Lacer with those all-terrain tires looks pretty aggressive too.
I found these and many more on the Czech site car-models.webnode.cz, via one of my fave sites, Paperkraft.net. You’ll need .rar software to unzip the files. If you make any of them, send me pics and I’ll post with your info for all the world to see.
A few days ago a friend asked me to help change a burnt out tail light on her Versa hatchback. Sure, piece of cake, right? Well, Nissan had other plans, and made it a little tricky. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting into your rear lamp console.