Vintage car photos from the Great Race 2011

We followed the Great race from Chattanooga, Tn to Bennington, VT working checkpoints along the way. Here are a few of the photos of vintage cars that we shot along the way.

Rally Tires for sale – SOLD

Rally Tires for sale _SOLD
Kumho R700 205/60R15

Kumho Rally Tires for sale

For sale 4 used Kumho Rally Tires. They have about 70% tread left on them. They would be good for stage rally or rally cross.

Average tread depth

Currently they are mounted on Jeep wheels. I can include the wheels or pull the tires depending on what you need. The wheels are 5 on 4.5 with fits the Mitsubishi Eclipse and many other cars as well as the Jeep.

I also have one brand new Kumho Rally tire on a new wheel for sale separately.

New Kumho Rally tire for sale
Kumho R700
Mounted on new Jeep ZJ wheel

SOLD

100 Acre Wood rally

Trip to the 100 Acre Wood

I was once again given the job as Steward for the Rally America 100 Acre Wood Rally. It was held in Salem Missouri, the last weekend of February.

I headed out on Thursday and after driving through some huge thunder storms arrived in time to observe registration and Tech inspection. Both were held at the Dent County fire Station which shows the kind of support they get form the community there.

It was fun to connect with some rally people that I have not seen in a couple of years. I found out that the former organizer of the even Kim Demotte was driving his old Datsun 510 in the event. It as fun to see Kim behind the wheel and in a very well prepared old Datsun.

I caught up with my fellow stewards and we made a plan for the weekend. I went back to my room at the holiday inn and studied the maps and route books. I sat in on the Novice driver class and part of the worker training meeting.

The first day of the rally started in Potosi which is about a two hour drive from Salem. I plotted a route that would take me past a couple of the stages that were to be used later in the day so I could check them out.

I enjoyed the delicious Holiday Inn Express cinnamon rolls while I chatted with the other stewards and other people from Rally America. I looked out and saw that it had snowed overnight. Eventually I headed out to Potosi.

I turned off on TT to check out stage 6. I was quickly met by Road Closed signs and after driving past them, I saw the cause. One of the many low water crossings was flooded by the huge storms that had passed through the area the day before.

In this part of Missouri, they don’t build bridges much. They just pave the bottom of the creek beds. Sometimes they build a small elevated concrete platform to with some culverts so that some of the water can flow under and the rest flows over when it rains. Due to the heavy rains, the creeks were very deep.

I made my way to the start of the stage and was able to get through. The stage road was fine but I then became trapped by the high water again. I had to reverse my course and find another way out.

I met up with the Safety Steward who was looking at the spectator area on stage 5. We both found that we could not follow our proposed route due to very high water on one of the longer crossings. We had to plot a different course that took us out of the way but generally toward Potosi.

I made it to the Parc Expose in Potosi just as cars were starting to arrive and helped set up the first MTC and the start of the Super Special Stage. The Super Special was a rally cross like course around the fair grounds there.

There was a big puddle of water on the inside of the final turn right at the finish line. It was fun to watch the cars splash through. The finish control workers eventually decided to move to the other side of the road to give the competitors more room.

After watching a few cars run the Super Special, I headed out to the first forest stage. Due to some flooding o the transit, the rally master rerouted the course. I observed to make sure every thing was handled correctly and it was. We received a report that Travis Pastrana had crashed on the stage. After the stage was run, I followed the sweep team and helped them drag what was left of Travis’s car to a safe place off the road.

Travis’s Navigator remembered me when he saw me. I had towed his car back to service in one of the Cherokee Trails rallies.

Near the end of the stage I came across one of the participants in our rookie school from the night before. His car had a coolant leak and the engine computer had shut it down on low water. I gave him a jug of anti freeze from my Jeep and some bottles of water. He filled it up and drove to the end of the stage.

I stayed at the finish and watched the second pass through the stage. It was much less eventful than the first.

After that I headed to Steelville to check out service. Along the way, I saw one of the competitors disabled along the transit. I picked them up and gave them a ride to service.

After service in Steelville, I checked on the control checking crews out and then headed back to Salem. I was dark and late when I got back. The stewards met with the Rally Chairman to make adjustments to the procedures for the next day.

Saturday started early with a 7:30 am stewards meeting. I enjoyed the delicious Holiday Inn Cinnamon rolls again. Then I headed to the downtown Parc Expose. I wandered up and down the street looking at the cars and talking with the competitors.

After Parc Expose, I headed out to observe the start of the stages. This stage was repeated directly and I was concerned that they would not get it cleared in time. However, the Rally Master had prepared well and the stage was restated on time.

However after just a few cars started, one crashed blocking the stage road. The remaining cars were turned around and sent to the next stage. I transited the stage and ended up assisting the sweep jeeps with moving the car and a a huge rock that the car had moved into the road.

Luckily then Jeeps were equipped with winches and we were able to easily winch the car off the road and then move the big rock out of the road as well. Moving the rock was a bigger challenge than moving the car but with some simple rigging of a strap and a snatch block, we were able to get it clear of the road.

I then moved down to stage nine to make sure that the lack of transit times had not caused too much trouble for the control workers. After the stage I decided to follow the sweep vehicles again to see if they were doing their job correctly. Just a short way into the stage, there was a Honda stuck just off the road. The fast sweep had stopped to give them a chance to get back in the rally. I Pulled off the road well behind all the sweep vehicles and assisted in the recovery as well as checking on the competitors.

When it was all cleaned up, I walked back to my Jeep and noticed that the door would not open. I looked closer and realized that the Sweep truck had backed into my fender pushing it into the door. I had to dig in the back to find a pry bar to move the fender so I could get in. I caught up with them later and asked the guy about hitting my Jeep. He tried to deny he had hit it but them I showed him the matching scrape on the side of his truck.

I drove on to Viburnum to check on service there. After service, I headed up to Stages 12 and 14 which was a turn around stage. I assisted in setting up the finish control where the start had been. The control workers offered me a sandwich. I guess I looked hungry and I was.

I worked my way back to Salem in time for the champagne spray for the winners. They can’t use real champagne due to Salem’s laws about open containers of alcohol so they use sparkling grape juice.

The awards party at the eagles lodge lasted well into the morning. I made it back to my room and fell asleep around two am.

The drive home on Sunday was pleasant with much better weather than the trip out. I missed a turn. I ended up north of my intended route but found an interesting mining museum. It was not open but I took time to explore outside the fence and found it very interesting. It did not say what they mined there, but since the towns have names like Steelville, Iron Town and the like I assume they mined iron ore.

I crossed the Mississippi at Cape Gerardo. The Mississippi river was much higher than it had been on the trip out.

Tire Rack Review

Tire Rack Review

I buy almost all my tires online. The latest exception being my Maxxis Buckshots that I bought through a local wholesaler. I have my own tire mounting machine and a balancer so I just order them and install them myself.

Tire Rack has given me by far the best service. They have always delivered the tires on time and in good condition. They usually arrive via UPS and my driver knows to stack them by the door of the shop. He still gets confused when I get five tires instead of four.

The latest set of tires delivered to me from Tire Rack was Jenny’s Dick Cepek Crushers. She is an internet bargain hunter but also shops by reputation. She was able to get the Dick Cepeks for just a few dollars more than bargain tires and they were delivered in time for a very important off roading trip.

I have also purchased tire and wheel combos from Tire Rack. I bought a set of OZ wheels and Yokohama tires for my Eagle Talon. They arrived nicely packaged to protect the wheels from scratches. The lugs and centering rings were included. Since I purchased the set, they mounted and balanced the tires for free.

I have bought several sets of Michelin tires from Tire Rack as well as the Yokohama Geolanders that I just put on my Suburban. They always have very competitive pricing and excellent shipping rates. In fact, when comparing prices, I noticed that some places quoted a lower price for the tires but the shipping and handling charges were outrageous.

I ma not sure how they do it but Tire Rack ships faster and cheaper than any other tire store I have tried. The only way to get tires faster would be to drive to the distributor and pick them up myself. And that is only if there is a local distributor.

I have become a big fan of Kumho tires ever since I got a set of their Rally Racing tires. I have run these on my Cherokees and my son has a set now on his Cherokee. Tire Rack has much lower prices on the Kumho tires than the local tire stores and they carry a larger selection of sizes.

If you are in the market for tires for your Off Road Jeep, your street SUV, your sports car or autocross car, I highly recommend Tire Rack. Please share your experience in dealing with Tire Rack in the comments.

Power Steering Pump – Jeep Cherokee

My power steering pump started growling at Harlan. When I backed my Cherokee out of the barn last week, there was a huge puddle of power steering fluid on the floor. At first I was not sure it was from my Jeep but after cleaning it up and parking the Jeep back inside again there was another puddle of fluid.

While testing the new trails Saturday, I lost all steering assist for a moment and tagged a tree. I decided to put Scuffy away for the day and let Princess play by her self.

I checked the lines and the reservoir for leaks and found none. It must have been leaking through the pump seal.

I have a 94 parts Jeep but the part number for the power steering pump is different for the 88. I looked at the pump and it appeared to have the same mounting bracket. The reservoir is visibly different but the pump itself looked the same. But they have different part numbers.

In the process of removing the pump from the parts donor XJ, I broke off the return nipple. It was very cold and the hose stuck. The brittle plastic snapped before the hose slipped off.

I removed the reservoir from the 94 pump and inspected the connection point. It mounts in a hole sealed with an O ring. The tank is held on by a couple of tapered clips that come off easily with a hammer and punch.

I removed the pump from my 88 Jeep and noticed that the mounting bracket was exactly the same. The pressure hose looked the same. Only the routing of the return hose was different.

Since the donor reservoir was broken anyway, I decided to see if the tanks would swap. I removed the tank from my old pump and saw that it had the same O ring connection. I simply installed my old tank on the donor pump. I even used the bracket from the donor since it was easier to leave it assembled to the pump.

With it all bolted back up, I filled the reservoir with fluid and started it up. There seem to be no leaks. There was a bit of fluid slung off the belt but I hope that was from the old leak. I will give it a full test run later.

I was very happy to have saved $170 that a new pump would have cost. I was also happy not to have to remove and replace the pulley.

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