In 1996 we built an engine for Bill, one of the guys with the Boise Thing Group. It has gone 90K miles and is still making rallyes and day trips. Bill wanted to pull that engine and put it on his shelf as a back-up. We went down to Elko and picked up the engine he wanted rebuilt for this project. Tired but rebuildable.
Gut pile of tin heading to the powder coater.
Long block heading for tear down and machine work
AM Thing case back from the machine work. Cylinder ports opened to 92mm (1835)
Getting parts ready.
Counter-weighted crank was installed by Andrew along with rebuilt stock Con-Rods.
High Volume Melling oil pump was fitted & sealed. We put about an ounce of light wheel bearing grease into the body of the oil pump to increase the pressure on start up so as to lubricate the pump gears. We used Permatex #2 for all studs and Yamabond #4 for the case halves.
After we set the compression ratio (7.0 to 1) Larry & Kevin started setting the push rod tubes.
Final torquing of the heads
Andrew torquing the heads.
Yes….we use cool-tin. We use the aircraft quality cool-tin because most of the tin on the market needs to be cut or hammered on to fit. The aircraft application just snaps on.
When the tin comes back from powder-coating we will finish building and then install in a local Thing for burn in of the camshaft.
Destination was Bandon, Oregon.
This pic was at Coquille Lighthouse. Total mileage on this rallye was 1350 miles.
Cousin It arrived soon after Green.
We stayed the entire week here at Bandon rentals. 4 houses with enough room for all 25 of our group. Super nice. This was our third time at this facility.
Getting non-ethanol fuel near Glide, Oregon.
We met our local guides Gary & Dawn near Glide for a back way through Roseburg.
On the road to the world famous Wrench Museum.
Arrival at the museum.
Gettin close to lunch on this road?
Mr Rathbone had every agricultural wrench imaginable. All the male Thingers were impressed.
Some of the ladies liked other items he made. Wouldn’t fit in the Thing.
For quite a few years now I’ve posted pictures and some dialogue on this site about the activities we are doing on the playa. I’ve had a few requests to cover this subject more thoroughly, and to explain what exactly the playa is, and what in the heck are we doing there with our Things. Things at the base of Steens Mountain, which has an elevation of 10,000 ft
You may know by now we are always looking for ways to enhance the reliability and mild performance of our Things. The engines we build for these is our basic core long-blocks of 1835cc with counter-weighted crankshafts and high volume oil pumps and Engle Camshafts (110). We have settled on this as the base engine for the use we want for our Things. Other than setting our compression to 7.0 to 1 we don’t make changes to this platform. Just because we don’t make changes to this platform doesn’t mean we aren’t curious about exactly what can change with some adjustments.
We discovered the playa in the extreme southeast corner of the Oregon high desert at the base of Steens Mountain in 1999. The playa is a ‘dry’ lake bed 7 miles across and 12 miles long. It does flood in the winter months and access is determined by weather conditions and water level. It’s also known as Lake Alvord on some maps. It’s an all day run to get there from Boise, and requires a fuel stop in Jordan Valley, Oregon, and then again at Fields Station just 8 graveled and rutted road miles from the Playa.
Upon arrival at the playa we check the surface for holes and other debris that would cause damage.
After we are satisfied with locating soft spots, areas of vegetation encroachment, and debris, we set up a food/shade tent away from the center of the lake bed.
From this base for the day we go out and run our Things at speed and make adjustments or change out different carbs and distributors. We change dwell and timing when we are making these changes, then make a mile long run at top speed to see what effect the changes have made on real time performance.
This is what we do to get the best longevity & performance out of our Things for the way we use them. We clock our speed prior to and after making our top speed runs. We take some with the windshields down, and others with them up.
We make the most of our time, and spend the entire day there. We learn a lot about what kind of changes we can make, and how they affect the engines and oil temps. Besides that, it’s just plain cool to spend a day with Thing folks and mini Thing folks learning to drive in the great wild wide open!
This shot from the top of Steens Mountain shows the Playa in the distance. It’s 7miles across and 12 miles long. This is where we run our Things with our new improvements and changes to our engines. This is where we can test new ideas as to how to have longevity as well as mild performance.
Putting up the shade tent. Steens Mountain in the background where we shot the panoramic picture from.
No car wash nearby. Worked hard today!