Barn Finds – Antiques


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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.

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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.


Crank was 8 dowelled and SPG.

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.


Installing the cylinder studs.

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.





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The 25th Annual Thing Rallye

Destination was Bandon, Oregon.

This pic was at Coquille Lighthouse. Total mileage on this rallye was 1350 miles.

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Gangrene at the beach near Bandon.rallye1.jpg (1 of 1)

Cousin It arrived soon after Green.

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Craig & Nancy’s Thing called Henry arrived.

rallye05.jpg (1 of 1)Doug, Andy, Bill, & Larry with their Things arrived.


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.

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Getting non-ethanol fuel near Glide, Oregon.

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We met our local guides Gary & Dawn near Glide for a back way through Roseburg.


A beautiful day for a great ride.

One of a few Filter Stops.

Oregon Coast!


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Thing Day Trip

On the road to the world famous Wrench Museum.

A stop at Map Rock …petroglyph….along the Snake River.



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.


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Things on the Playa

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. 12182015--IMG_5577-12182015Things 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.

12-18-2015--IMG_5630-12182015Zelda’s cockpit ready for the next flight!

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.

12182015---IMG_5699-12182015Fields Station, the gas and milkshake stop

Upon arrival at the playa we check the surface for holes and other debris that would cause damage.

12182015-IMG_5558-12182015Surveying the landscape

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.

12182015-IMG_3380-12182015Our base of operations for the day – shade, food, naps, and modifications

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.

12182015---IMG_5563-12182015Business end of Zelda

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.

12182015---IMG_5661-12182015Thing Babes performing their synchronized driving

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!

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Duke’s Thing

dukes_thing…..Cousin IT.  Nice bikini top!

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Thing Photo

Don Eddy’s COOL Thing.


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Nice afternoon BBQ after a Thing drive.


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Shredded Tire

photo01312015aKai shredded a tire coming out of the mountains north of Boise.


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Steens Mountain & The Lake Alvord Playa


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.


Steens Mountain & The Lake Alvord Playa                                          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.                                 The Playa…….also known as Lake Alvord



 Putting up the shade tent.  Steens Mountain in the background where we shot the panoramic picture from.


AUGUST2014_4                  Gary making a run by to test the surface


AUGUST2014_5   Larry Green running straight and fast (for a Thing)!  About 1 mile out.


AUGUST2014_6The surface wasn’t as hard as we like.  There had been some rain in recent days which made the surface slower for our runs.


AUGUST2014_7                                 Duke running by just off the damp spot.


                       Duke running the far east side of the Playa with Cousin It.


AUGUST2014_9                                     Andrew & Kai running far out and fast!


AUGUST2014_10                                  Tent for shade was welcome at the end of the runs.

AUGUST2014_11                                ……….Just asking Duke where lunch was



No car wash nearby.  Worked hard today!

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