Saturday, August 25, 2012

why all police and law enforcement are regarded as assholes every day by people that aren't wearing a badge

Pensacola police officer Christopher Geraci was fired and arrested after a camera mounted in his car showed him slamming a hit-and-run suspect against her car multiple times.

 Based on the video, it seems Bonds did not resist Geraci as she stood outside her damaged vehicle around 2 a.m. on Aug. 2.

 Pensacola Police Officer Christopher Geraci has now been fired for 'Unreasonable Force' on Abbi Bonds, and arrested for battery.

Meanwhile, a woman in Houston was arrested and held in jail foe 12 hours for warning drivers about a speed trap ahead 

anyone else recall the incredible cop (Maine state trooper Stephen Murray) that was ticketing some drunk who screamed and tore up the tickets and verbally went nuts on the cop? Way back in 1992, it was in my military police training as the example of grace under pressure, and how us Navy police were to behave in a bad situation. That is the way cops should be. Professional under pressure.

Steampunk using car parts to make lamps

why not use that useless jack for a garage lamp, because it won't do anything good under the car when you need to switch tires. These small jacks are dangerously tippy

A whole gallery of them on a Romanian website devoted to all things made for SteamPunk... great site

the "Pep Boys Snowman" autogyro (Thank you Colby!)

 boxes of Tydol either getting loaded or unloaded... in the snow beside the landing strip... which made me realize that an autogyro has a shorter landing and takeoff distance than a similar size airplane, making it better for landing in showy areas

found on

Update Feb 2023:
Colby just commented and filled me in on what this photo is about!

This was a prototype autogyro that was brought by Admiral Byrd during the second Antarctic Expedition. 
The tower in the background was a wind turbine used to generate electricity for the base, Little America II. 
The front of the plane had a decal on the door that read Byrd Antarctic Expedition II, but the shadow makes it unreadable in this picture. It broke down and had to be left in Antarctica. 
 Source: Great Granddad went on the expedition and has a collection of slides that includes this autogyro

Thank you Colby!

A variety of the unusual from Yuripasholok Livejournal

 wow... wire rims, and aerodynamics...

Power was supplied by two Bristol Jupiter radial aero engines
looks like a bus converted to use as a car hauler, and though the step cut outs are great, the cab looks ridiculous

If the weather is so nice you can sleep outdoors, a bunkbed on your Pontiac might not be a bad idea for the kids to look at the stars

ever think about concept car designers being amazing at everything except the glaringly obvious rims and wheels? Always the most let down aspect of a cool prototype

that wagon must weigh a lot...

 the adjustable wings are suspect, but the fold up 4 wheels looks like brilliant engineering.

the best photo I've found of how people entered and disembarked a dirigible, and how the mast connected to the blimp

all from 

there is no end to the unusual in the vehicle world, just things I've yet to learn of... like the Richard Petty riding lawn mower from Lowes, thanks to Jay Phillips!

if you know of any more of these Richard Petty mowers, or paperwork about them, Jay would like to hear from you J Phillips <>

is this the most far out lawn mower you've seen? Sure, racing mowers are incredible... but a real sponsored RP mower, that he takes time to sign, sit on, and with the owner? That is amazing.  Thanks to Jay Phillips who filled me in about his collecting these

I was a 5-year old kid sitting on a school bus with a friend checking out the newspaper sales ad of a Richard Petty riding mower.

I grew up watching Richard Petty race at both Dover, DE & Richmond, VA.

In 1986, I purchased my favorite car a 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Superbird. Then a friend of mine purchased one for himself. He was (and still is) a Petty fanatic. One day, we were discussing our Richard Petty collections we've added to over the years. I asked him if he had ever stumbled onto a Petty Mower. He had never heard of one. This put me in gear to find one and prove I wasn't crazy.

Early 90's I finally found my first Petty Mower. Immediately I called Petty Enterprises asking for information. (This was before the Internet.) The woman that answered the phone told me that I would need to talk to Martha Jane, as she was the only one that would have worked for Richard during that time frame. Martha Jane was Richard's personal secretary. She was quick to inform me that she knew EVERYTHING about those little mowers as it was her husband that set up the meeting between Richard and those at Lowe's headquarters. dirt!!! She also told me that it was the VERY first sponsorship in Richard's career.

Busy with work and drag racing, I packed the mower away for 11-years.

Finally, I decided it was time for a complete restoration. First things first, I again called Marthat Jane asking her if she remembered our conversation 11-years ago. She said sure I do, you're the only one that's ever called here asking about those mowers. I emailed her pics to show Richard and it was enough for him to confirm it to be an authentic Richard Petty Special. He signed a "Letter of Authenticity" with the model & serial numbers.

Now it's time to document, disassemble, restore or replace, and assemble. (I also spent nights at my local library going through microfiche newspapers, page by page, hoping to find the ad that I'd seen as a kid on the school bus. This is when I found the Richard Petty Special riding mowers were actually built in both 1971 & 1972. Mine was a 1972 and I gotta find a 1971 to complete the set.

I quickly found a second 1972 during the restoration of the first. So, I decided to restore them both side by side at the same time. All the best pieces went to the first, and the remaining parts to the second. (I also purchased 7 other similar, but non-Petty mowers that were used for parts donors.)

Since Martha Jane had a personal attachment to the mowers, and it was Richard's first promotional deal in his career, it was as simple as scheduling a meeting time, and place and an autograph session took place. Yes, Richard and those that work for him are the nicest people you'll ever meet. They're very down to earth people.

Since then I've found (3) 1971's and (3) 1972's, the original cardboard stand up of Richard Petty that was used for the promotion, the original roll of film of the commercial, and the prototype mower that was sent to Lowe's for approval.

Me and my much better half, Jeannie, display the RPS mowers along with many others at antique tractor shows. They've been featured in a MoPar magazine (Mopar Collector's Guide ~ Toys in the Attic), and were on the cover of Lawn & Garden Collector Magazine.

I don't know if Lowe's headquarters knows of their existence, as those that remember have long since retired.

Yes, many have offered to buy, making offers, and asking what it would take to let them go. I did not restore them with thoughts of resale.

Recently I was researching something automobile related, and my Google search took me to your site. I've been back every day for updates. So, thank YOU for that!

Not long after the restoration process, I uploaded images to the web showing before and after views. After seeing those pics, someone from Chattanooga, TN emailed me pics of their Richard Petty Special. Theirs was very different, and not at all consistent with the research that I had found on both the 1971 & 1972 models. I assumed it was a late '71 model that was never shown in the Lowe's ads. It was for sale, but the price was NOT cheap!!!

Fast forward to two years ago. A friend of mine calls me to tell me that he had just found (and picked up) a Richard Petty Special in Tennessee. My heart sank...I just knew it was the odd one that I'd only seen pics of. We talked about it's details, and thankfully I realized that it was not the same mower.

As soon as we hung up, I called the gentleman in Chattanooga. We came to a reasonable agreement, set a date & time for it's pick up, and off we went.

It's now loaded into the bed of my truck, and we're heading to Richard Petty's shop to pick up the other RPS. While making a fuel stop, I then had the time to check out the details of this odd RPS. And THAT was when I realized that the decals were without their part numbers! E.T. Rugg....the manufacturer always included part numbers with their decals. Then I noticed the hood stripe was wider and longer than what was used on the RPS. Then I noticed there were a couple of decals adhered in the wrong locations. Of course the "BY Petty" decals were all the way near the front of the hood, instead of aligned with the seam in the hood....where they were on all of the RPS's that have surfaced to date.

I called a friend that is very familiar with lawn & garden restorations. He explained that when a manufacturer consistently used part numbers on their decals, and they're NOT's a pre-production unit, AKA PROTOTYPE!

Then a call was placed to a retired Lowe's employee, that was the actual buyer for the lawn & garden department. He explained that when a new product was to be sold at Lowe's, the manufacturer would first have to submit a prototype for approval. Sometimes it was acceptable as-is, and other times changes would have to be made. Prototypes were then sold, without warranty to Lowe's employees.

The Chattanooga find was a gold mine to a collector of Richard Petty know....ME! LOL

It was found in the early '80's, in a ditch on the side of the road, somewhere in Georgia. Thankfully the guy was smart enough to stash it away for all of those years.


More 70's jacked in the back looking muscle cars from "UpInTheRear" tumblr

that fulfills my monthly need for slotted mags, Keystones and Cragars!

from the best source of 1970's era musclecar looks,

Have some spare headlights from pre 1938 cars? Here's an idea

10 years of Toyota truck evolution from an ordinary 2003 Tacoma Pre-Runner daily driver to off road soldier

2003 Tacoma Pre-runner, 2 wheel drive, 2.7liter engine w/stock automatic trans.  Began life with 265-70-16 BFG Rugged Terrains and a non-locked 4.30 open rear and now has 33's and an ARB locker w/5.29's. Rims are sourced factory spares which are hard to get a hold of in San Diego.  I paid $260 for the set which took 1 month to obtain.  I wanted them because the trial dents good things. I don't give a damn if they get dented, that is what hammers are made for.

Pride stickers under the hood because nothing is on the outside of the truck to give info about the parts I've put on. The Toyota badges are removed too. It's a Mike Truck, nothing Toyota did made it this cool.

Redline hood struts make it nice to perform modifications as the original hood prop has been removed.... a hood prop makes a fine child beater, but suck as decent hood openers

Grille-craft insert looks much better than the OEM. Easily modified with a hack saw and a drill to install.

Icon extended length coil-overs and Total Chaos Upper Control Arms (UCA)

nothing in the shot above is all that out of the ordinary.

Off Road Warehouse brand limiting straps which are 9".  Welded to the frame is a 2" billet steel bung and I slid the stainless clevis through it.  Purchased from Toyota are new splash guards to give it the factory look.

Here we see an above shot of the ARB twin compressor (left in blue), remote solenoid tank for the ARB locker (on the firewall upper left, looks like a silver thermos with black end caps) and air tank hose (blue line with orange fitting) routing.  Also, the custom non OEM air intake tubing and re-built throttle body. Intake tubing was bought at Napa Auto parts (its the stuff that looks like a slinky)

My original Throttle body was gummed up and needed a re-build.  I ordered one from Pick-A Part to keep the truck running while the original (above in the photo) was getting the full treatment ... these throttle bodies are so in demand, LC Engineering never has any onhand to use as a donor core.... they cost $1100 at the dealership for a new one.

 I sent the original unit to LC Engineering.  They over-bore it 4mm and cleaned out all of the vacuum ports, rebuilt the shaft seals and installed a larger butterfly.

Here we see the results of what LC Engineering does to their 'Big Bore' throttle body kit. It does wonders for this underpowered beast. Lots more stamina instead of constant use of the Overdrive "off" button to get into a lower gear for freeway hills.

 Simple to install and far cheaper than going with a re-built unit from any junk yard and definitely cheaper than the dealer.  Paid $225.00 for the rebuild and added the other parts to it which resulted in 2 more MPG and improved performance. The junkyard throttle body is now held onto for use as a spare... for me or anyone that has a problem on the trail

Solenoid on the front of the cylinder(square thing) in the above photo is for actuating the ARB locker.  The right angle fitting to the right of the solenoid was shipped from Poland for $27.00.

It feeds the driver side slider which is the actual air tank. 

That fitting is specific because the cylinder is tapped with British Standard Pipe Thread (Metric) which has a different thread pitch than what we get in the USA.  The pitch is 45 degrees versus 55 degrees.  PITA to figure out when you're just a car guy.  Who knew. 

You don't need a right angle for most applications in trucks, but I did a unique thing, that gets expensive.

ARB is from Australia so be prepared to order some hard to find parts.  Get most of your parts from in the Fresno area of Califinia.  Good guys to work with and very knowledgeable too.

In the above photos the brass right angle fitting is connnected to the air intake for the twin compressor, I changed its connection from the factory filter that is connected to a short line, just filtering air near the compressor... getting the filter dusty, dirty, and hot air (hot air into a compressor = you buying a new compressor when it gives out. Compression creates heat, so you need the coldest air possible for the intake side of the compressor, so now I plumbed it to pull outside air from the filtered side of the factory air box... past the filter, on the throttle body side... not hot air from around the engine exhaust manifold/headers

120 amp alternator from Napa... a 80 amp was stock, but it was replaced cause it can't run a compressor and the truck at the same time... the compressor is 56 amps.. you have to upgrade the alternator. I tried a cadillac alt... but all 3 I tried failed at the shaft bearing. Cadillac? Crapilac

Odyssey battery is awesome.

Corbeau GTII's for comfortable seating.  Notice the LED Mag-lite mounted to the console.

Behind the above badge is the "Airbag" pressure molded words... not interesting. Out of site... now it's a 20 dollar bitchin' looking tag of TRD.

Alpine CD/DVD/Nav system performs flawlessly.  Nothing better when out on a trail, maybe a fun type of "lost... I don't care where I am, it was fun getting here", then reverse yourself out by hitting a button to use GPS to go back on your trail heading out to population.

Custom switches are in a factory location.  The CB cable on the far left side is inserted to a special socket,  which I hard wired to the far right switch (labeled) side for on off. The socket is the foremost part of the CB module, the cable has a special quick disconnect that I had put on instead of the CB factory fitting that twists in like a BNC connector, quick connects, and quick disconnects, are pleasant, not time consuming when you are on the trail. Notice the silver tab on the top of the CB cable...

The slider switch operates the solenoid to allow the air compressor to fill the driver side slider... for airing the tires or air tools

Here you see the alternator gauge and mechanical oil psi gauge on the A pillar.

Note the factory rear diff switch which has been cross connected with the ARB compressor switch, it operates the locker after you turn on the compressor first... then the locker

The home-made slider on the driver side is capable of holding 6.5 cubic feet of air.  

Here again, this step is removeable for off roading.  

It was installed because my GF drives it to work daily and has a hard time getting in without exposing too much leg.  So, when she insisted that someone could get an up skirt shot of her getting into this 'Monster Truck' after work, that resulted in my installing this step. 

above is is a photo of the bottom of  a 2012 Peterbuilt fan clutch solenoid (silver round thing) which is fed from the ARB remote tank under the hood, in previous photos.  The switch in the cab controls whether is it on/off.  Reason being, should there be contact with rocks or is punctured, it can be electrically shut off , allowing the air locker to be retainied for use.

Here we have a shot of the 285-75 /16 General Grabber AT2 on the stock spare rims.  Behind those rims are a set of 2005 Tundra 4 piston calipers and larger discs.  Stops on a dime, gives change.

As noted on most forums, the OEM brakes for Tacomas are crap, there is one size/type for all models for this generation. Fine for city driving maybe, not when you are coming down a 60 degree slope and you would rather control the speed of your descent.

Here you can see the 1/2" wheel spacer behind the rim which required the installation of 2007 Toyota Matrix rear wheel studs.  These are for clearance when running the 33" tires.

The 'pinchweld mod' was not necessary as so many people mention hacking and cutting around the front tires to prevent rubbing when using 33 in tires....

Using the spacer,  longer studs, and a stock wheel is better than hacking /cutting /welding

 Full steering movement is attainable without any kind of cutting.  There is a 1/2" piece of steel welded to the rear of the lower control arm where the lower balljoint makes contact, this small change to the distance of steering angle barely affects the amount of turning radius, but eliminates frame rubbing by the front tires at full lock turns.

  As all Tacoma owners know, these things turn on a dime and I don't miss a degree of more steering angle.  And, running a tire this size eliminates stress on the weak steering rack.

Here is a standard Hi-Lift Jack, nothing special.  The Tradesman toollbox, that is a story.

 It took a year to get this specific tool box by tradesman because they said it was specific to this step side Tacoma, it isn't. The salesman who was asked at SEMA was wrong, or misinformed by his company brochure... ! And you can see the wheelwell intrudes on the tool box space, so I cut and welded to make it all fit.

  Do your research before you buy any tool box. Check the size specs and verify before buying a tool box that it will fit between the wheel wells, and the truck bed rails
To the left of the jhack, above the wheel well, you see the CB antenna.

This is a home-made antenna holder. Total cost was $8.00  A piece of aluminum, a Stainless steel spring, teflon nut and washers, good to go. The hook is nothing special, just a J hook. Marshalls hardware in Miramar

Inside the fuel door is the air fitting which is fed from the rear end of the slider on the driver side.  It allows me to run air tools and air up after a run.

Hand made the rear bumper because no one makes an after market bumper for a step side.  This was necessary because the OEM bumper was damaged coming off Pancake Rock (in the Eastern part of San Diego county).

Note that the step-side Tacoma fenders have the step (far left of the photo) at a level higher than the tail gate bottom. whereas the fleet side version is flat across the entire width of the truck.

If you make a bumper, you can use it to store air, parts, or whatever you want to design it to do, hold your jack, store bottles of stuff, emergency kits, flares,  rope, or chains... whatever you might want extra storage space for

Here between the bumper and tailgate, you see the connection for operating electrical tools.  From this point, you can plug in jumper cable or welding electrodes.
Here is the bottom of the uncovered plug.

Jumper cables  with a quick connect. Why waste time driving to their truck front bumper to front bumper, the trail might not be wide enough to maneuver, just back up to the person you are helping. Connect to the special quick connect under the truck and then to their battery. Done deal

Welding gear.  To perform any welding on the trail, like broken a arms, spindles, steering link, tie rods...    this system, incomplete in this photo waiting on parts,.  yet complete today, allows you to plug in to the rear of the truck and use the jumper cables connected to the assisted vehicle's battery allowing you to weld any damage getting them/him back to civilization.

Here is a shot of the hitch receiver, a hitch with 'D' rings slides in, with a quick diosconnect pin

Photo of the blue ARB locker line and red extended brake line from you don't want to pull a brake line apart... get a long one

ICON rear reservoir shocks.

Deaver 8-pack leaf springs... broke the factory ones having a fun time on the whoops at the Sand Dam at Superstition Mountain