Tigger gets rear discs - May/June 2009

My rear drums had been dragging for some time and I thought robbing power. I could feel the heat from the driver's rear drum at times on the trail (with the doors off) and frequently struggled to get it moving from a dead stop.

The ebrake didn't work so well, either.. so it was time to do something about it.

Oh, say, rear discs.

1991 K1500 rotors are cheap. $15 each? But need redrilled.

F150 rotors are $30-ish but require you to grind down the axle flange, making replacements difficult in the field.

Late model (1999-ish) Dodge rotors were $45, but required no machining of the axle flange and no drilling.

AA Mfg supplied the caliper stands years ago, and the calipers are 1975-ish vintage GM front Dana 44, like a lot of other things I have around here.

Hoses wound up being GM D44 fronts IIRC.

New Tires! (Finally) April'09

I found some slightly used 36x12.50-15 TSLs on Craigslist in Billings, and Robert was kind enough to pick them up and deliver for me.

My rear 36x12.50 TSLs came from Bozeman years ago and were old and well used when I got them - at the wear bars - and I've grooved them TWICE.

It was getting to where I was a little nervous about the tires.

So.. new meats.

Divide Ride 2008 Prep - Tube "Doors"

July of 2008, we planned to head south to Whitehall for the M4x4A Divideride trail ride and jamboree.

Given it was July in Montana, I decided I needed to do something to keep us cool.

Unfortunately, I'm afraid to take the top off after porta-powering the body to get it back on.. so the only other option was to yank the doors.

I used some 1.75x.120 tube and some flat plate bolted to the hinge and door latch area.

The bars were installed as much to keep the body from racking as for protection.

I also mounted up a spare tire for the trip. Fancy mount and all.. LOL

I wanted the tire more forward or backwards (can't remember now) but positioned it right over the rollbar in the event of a roll, it wouldn't help compress the roof and cause more injuries.

Rear bump stop lowering - 4/2008

The 33x10.50 BFG ATs liked to rub with the 4" Triangle lift.

Lower bump stops were needed before a few different mild wheeling trips coming up.

First, weld a spacer into place.

Then new bump stops.

John Comer told me about this trick years ago - it was used with success on Terry Keuhl's Lil'Foot racer.

Ford Escort, Right front engine mount. Part #2558.

Cost is $20-$25.

Cut the little ears off, then cut in half.

You now have two trapezoid shaped bump stops, steel and rubber, with a 1/2" threaded stud attached.

Perfect for sliding into the stock front bump stop brackets, or in this case, for affixing to my new lowered bump stops in the rear.

They hold up well, too.

8/30/2009 - Another IH Win in Acton, MT

Finally put my gooseneck to use and hauled the family (plus one former Scout racer) to Acton, MT for some racing.

Other than last weekend's Monster Truck show (a 1st place finish), the last time I raced was in Acton a year ago in the stock class (also a 1st place finish). This time, I had to run "modified" class... and it's time to retire, since that's at least three 1st place finishes in a row. For years I was happy just to finish a race - let alone finish three in a row, or even win one.

Race was 20-25 miles. The Scout did better as the track dried out and got tacky - a few corners were a bit too slimy at the beginning.

8/22/2009 Monster Trucks with the Keuhls!

I haven't been racing since October of last year - I have a beautiful 7 month old daughter at home though (along with her 3yo sister).

Finally things settled down enough that I had some time to go play this weekend - particularly since the Monster Trucks were in town and the Fairgrounds are about 7 miles from my place straight down the road - that's close enough I didn't even need to stop for gas before coming home - a novelty with my Travelette.

This was also my first chance to really tow the racer with the new-to-me gooseneck I bought two years ago and refurbished (new springs, hangers, axles)

I guess the important bit is that I won the Tuff Trucks - a first place showing for the Binder in front of the home town crowd. Not only that, but I didn't even break anything (woo-hoo!)

The surprise of the evening, however, came when I was registering.

The gal working the registration paperwork seemed a little familiar, but I wasn't sure why.

Turns out, she thought I looked a little familiar as well, but passed it off.

Until I handed her my paperwork with "Tom Mandera" and "1977 Scout II" and "Little Devil" along with "Super Scout Specialists" and other things.. and she looks up, "Tom??!"

Turns out, the Kuehls, of Terry & Michelle Kuehl and Lil' Foot racing fame were the entire "crew" for this Monster Truck Show.

They'd come up from Greeley to run the show, and there I walked in.

For those that don't remember, Lil' Foot is a Pro Arena Tuff Truck Scout II that Terry raced in the "Pro" circuit for several years, starting a year or two before I started flogging my Scout II around Montana.

We've conversed online a bit back then, and Terry and Michelle made a few Rendezvous in Fairplay with Lil' Foot in tow. I haven't seen them in a while, though.

But there they were.. at my fairgrounds..

Since Terry was the announcer, at least he got it right when I pulled up to the line - "Tom Mandera in an International Scout" - NOT a Bronco, like I hear so often.

My camera crew was at home with the baby, but I did find a friend's pit-crew member that was willing to run the video camera, but haven't had time to take the video off the camera.

My $25 entry paid back $40 for first place. Including fuel to and from the FG, I guess I came out ahead on the day - barely.

I need to get back to work on the new racer.. I have done a *little* work on it lately - the block is on the stand, and I've actually put a wrench on the chassis now.


Thanks everyone,

-Tom Mandera, Helena MT

Montana GSE

8/31/2008 Powell WY Racing

I completely botched the obstacle race - missed two turns and had to back up, and then the transfer case jumped into neutral just to add insult.

Tied for 3rd in the hour-long Baja out of a field of 6.. but I'm happiest that I got the hole-shot on everyone else, and was leading the field by a bunch for a lap.

Blew a corner badly about 1/2 way through the first lap, and wound up out in the scrub grass (at least on all 4 tires.. it was a long straight shot up hill with a slight jog to the left that then turned into a dropping hard right in silt) and got back on course before the guy in 2nd could catch up to me, but I let him gain enough ground that I got passed a little while later.

I had to pull off after the first lap - still with a big lead on everyone else. The ground wire on the Taurus fan pulled apart and the radiator was singing at 250F.

Got that fixed, went back out, and a few laps later the air cleaner stud broke off (d'oh) and had to pit again. I grabbed a shorter filter and used what was left of the stud.

Willy Cunningham came up from Lander to watch. I don't have ANY photos - I have video that I'm still working on, but Michelle and Joleigh stayed home, so no good still photos.

Now to patch up the one broken shock mount and get ready for this Saturday night.

Oh, to make things interesting, the trailer blew TWO tires this trip.. one just outside Powell, and the other on my way home, late at night, in the dark rain, in Livingston, MT - after the driver's head light failed and I was stopping anyhow.

Willy Cunningham made the trip up from Lander to watch and took the only photos.

Willy: Had a great time watching Tom flog his junk through the Sage Brush, silt,sand and rocks.

Willy: The holeshot was a sight to behold, off the line like a scalded cat...

FELT GOOD, too. :D


Tom will not be allowed to touch the wiring on the new rig

If the fan ground hadn't come apart... I had a good lead going. Drat.


Nice to catch up with Tom, Robert and Leona, good folks and well worth the 7 hour round trip.

Is that all? 8-10 hours round trip for me. 300 miles or so. With a 15gal fuel tank in a Travelette, that's 2 or 3 fuel stops. :D

I *think* I managed 8.5 mpg on a few legs, driving ~63mph and trying to hold 10" of vacuum.

Photos thanks to Willy:

Thanks for the pictures, Willy, and thanks for coming - and for the entry money. :D

I have all of the DV footage off the camcorders, but no editing yet, and I haven't pulled the Hi8 in-car footage off the tape.