Pictures from the 4th of July, Cascade County FourWheeler's Rally


I already spoke about it somewhat in the Making my First Race page.. but after I pulled into Cascade, I had Blair putting my front driveshaft in for the first time. ;)

The drags were pretty bad since the front calipers were dragging badly. The obstacle was a lot more fun, but I found out the fan was on backwards so I sacrificed powersteering (fan hit the pulleys) and ran with the fan.. so the obstacle didn't go as well as it could have.

Blair ran the obstacle.. did well, but blew a tire. When I ran the mud pit the next day I borrowed a set of bigger tires. At one point during the obstacle racing, I pulled into the starting mud-pit, but went too far and couldn't back out.. no traction w ith the P235/75R15 all-season radials I was running.

I ran the Baja.. but overheated the motor badly.. even after the throttle pivot pin kept falling out and causing me to loose the throttle. I smoked the motor. Two main bearings and 2 connecting rod bearings on the crank are toast. :-( So I put Engine # 2 in before RMIHR.

This is the post I made to the IHC Digest EARLY that morning when I was headed to bed...

From tsm1@tmcom.comFri Sep 17 00:18:55 1999
Date: Sat, 3 Jul 1999 03:09:42 -0600 (MDT)
From: Tom Mandera 
Subject: Racing in the morning

(If I get *UP* in time!)

What a night.. but the front clip is mounted, hood pins are in.  Battery 
was bolted down.  Tow bar mounts are done.  I cleaned out the inside, 
zip-tied the gauges to what's left of the dash, zip-tied the safety net 
to the rollcage.. hooked up the trans cooler..

AND WENT FOR A DRIVE.  To the gas station (18.7 gallons of Premium into 
the stock tank!) and back.  It wasn't SUPER impressive since it was low 
on ATF (just hooked cooler up) but it was fun.

It'll make the stock tires make awful screeching sounds if you punch the 
accelerator.. they don't stand a chance. ;-)

When I get to the race, I'm going to have to change the U-joints on my 
front driveshaft, install it, and fill the front diff.

I can wire up the headlights temporarily if they insist on seeing them, 
and for the rear I bought another adapter for my magnetic tow lights.. 
I'll just stick the lights on the back and show they work.. that's all 
that's required for "tech inspection"..

No driveline loops or Neutral safety, but I'm allowed one freebie race. ;)

Now, getting up in the morning could be another battle.. :-)

Oh yeah, the stock (old) Chevy calipers are not doing so hot.. I was 
digging holes in the driveway and figured out why I had a hard time 
backing it in before.. the calipers are not retracting properly.  If I 
smack 'em with my sledge they work fine for a bit.  I'm HOPING it goes 
away with a little use.  If not, I guess it's time for new calipers.

Of course, if I lose a race, I can blame it on the dragging brakes, 

Oh.. no bump stops or cut down U-bolts.. gonna be some "nice" obstacle 
course racing...

-Tom Mandera, Helena MT
Hot laps start in 6hrs.. :-(

After that, I went racing. When I got home, I posted the following:

From tsm1@tmcom.comFri Sep 17 00:18:47 1999
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 1999 18:38:22 -0600 (MDT)
From: Tom Mandera 
Subject: IH Racing


I zipped up to Cascade Saturday morning and pulled in about 2 minutes 
before the Registration booth closed.  My friend Blair (previous SII 
racer) was there and I put him to work putting new U-joints on the front 
driveshaft while I registered, then attended the driver's meeting, then 
we finished putting things together.

I had it done just before they called my name for the drags.

First pass was in 4-hi, and it was bad.  The front Chevy disc calipers 
are dragging pretty badly, and the motor never hit it's power band.  
Round 2 I ran low-range, and lost a muffler clamp on the passenger side 
exhaust, so at least it *sounded* a whole lot better, even if I did lose 
again. ;-)

Back to the pits and we put the fan on the right direction.. but it would 
hit the p/s pulley.  So we removed the pulley and tried to run the belt 
offset but it kept throwing the belt.  No power steering the rest of the 

Interesting note - on my '72 304, the p/s pulley is secured to the 2 or 3 
crank pulleys by a handful of philips head screws.  Apparently, on the 
approx 1977 304 in my racer, ALL of the pulleys are  retained to the 
crank with 6 philips head screws.  Unknowing, I left the 6 screws and the 
extra pulley in my toolbox, and ran off to run the Obstacle course.

Obstacle is a short course, with bumps and hard corners and a hill climb 
and other fun aspects to it.. oh yeah, and you start off in a mud pit.

I drove up to the starting line and inched down and put 2 tires into the 
mud.  I'm running 2 235/75R15 recap snow treads on front, and two 
all-season radials in the rear.  NOT great tires!

I was trying to avoid locking the disc brakes up as I inched into the 
mud, and I also missed Reverse when I needed to back up just a little.. 
found D instead (hard to hit all those gears when you're locked in w/ the 
5-pt), and went deeper in.. tried to back out, and just stood still.  So 
they let me start from where I was.

Shifting the automatic took a little learning.  It's a semi-manual valve 
body w/o a kick-down linkage yet.. so all the shifting was manual.  I'd 
pull it down into 1st gear, stomp it off the line, and as I was treading 
mud, I'd just push the shifter forward and it would engage 2nd gear.. 
launch out of the mud, and then pretty much 2nd the rest of the course up 
the hill climb and around the turns.

My pinky fingers took a beating.  With no power steering, it was hard to 
control the Scout, and I'd hit a rock and the wheel would spin.. and my 
fingers would catch the spokes.  OW.  I have the cuts and blood blisters 
to prove it.

I did a respectable 2minutes or so around the course.  I made two passes, 
then I let Blair go for a ride.. he beat my time (1:45 plus 3 penalties), 
but blew out a front tire (trashed the rim) and lost the two remaining 
crank pulleys on the course.  

We found the pulleys and realized my mistake.  I went back and grabbed my 
spare tire and jack and my driver Scout II and we had the racer patched up.

Sunday morning I borrowed a pair of "Terra" rear tires and a fresh set of 
33x12.50 Cooper STTs for the front.  MAN the Scout looked pretty wicked 
with those tires sticking out as far as they did.. 

My first pass through the mud I was spitting and sputtering on my exit.  
I went back to camp and put Duct Tape around the front of the 
open-element air filter (I think I'll hafta snorkel it.. this was a "left 
over" from the motor's previous owner) to try and keep water out.. second 
pass I didn't go far at all.

One guy, Leonard Nelson, said he'd hooked the strap up and DOVE into the 
mud pit, giving ME and the inside of my helmet (hanging upside down on 
the 'cage) a nice mud bath. ;-)

1/2 hour later and the motor'd dried out, I changed back to my little 
junk stock tires, and prepared for the big race.. the "Baja"

The Baja incorporated part of the obstacle course, and was then expanded 
to include a long straight out in an open field, with a nice drainage 
ditch in the middle.  It was to be a wide-open throttle area.

6 rigs lined up.. one of which is my friend Don Gordon's '63 Scout 80 
(high compression 350/TH350).  We started the parade lap, and I heard a 
pop, and no more throttle.

Unbuckle, check things out.. did the cable slip on the carb bracket?

I shifted into Reverse, backed up, and Don's son Tyler (having solenoid 
problems on his '79 "Bronc-up" pickup body on Bronco chassis) rode up on 
his dirt bike and ran back for a Leatherman.  

Then I figured out it wasn't the throttle cable.. I had broken the pivot 
pin on the gas pedal itself.  I pushed it back in just in time for the 
race to start.

All 6 rigs, side by side, run at the same time for a 1/2 hour.  Most 
laps, or whomever finishes, wins.  Kathy Gordon informed me there's a 90% 
fatality rate on the Baja..  I think ONE rig finished the race.

I took next-to-last position from the start (I didn't know the course) 
and followed everyone in a cloud of dust.  I was racing for more practice.

A few times on the race I had to stop to put the gas pedal back 
together.  I came around the big corner at the end of the wide open 
straight away and bounced as I slid the grassy corner and lost the 
throttle again.. coasted to a stop and it died, and smoke started 
billowing.  Some folks thought I was on fire.

I fixed the gas pedal and started it again and the smoke slowed.  I took 
the opportunity to try things in high range (problems with the brakes 
dragging had kept me from it).

My last lap was miserable.  I almost didn't make the hillclimb in 1st.  
On the wide open, I pushed the shifter into 3rd/D and never felt 3rd kick 
in.. tranny slipping??  

I slid arond the corner and lost my accelerator again.. coasted to a 
stalled halt, and the smoke was REALLY blowing.. a crew was still sitting 
at the corner from my previous lap, and they came over, "Oh, about 350 
degrees, huh?"  "Dunno.. temp gauge isn't working" (DUH on my part, but 
Summit was back ordered).  A cool-down bottle was used to cool the motor 

10 minutes later it started again and I drove gently back to the 
announcer's booth to see what had happened to Don Gordon's Scout 80.  He 
had lost power steering halfway through and was strong-arming it like I 
was, until he broke his rag joint.  Got that fixed and he was running, 
but mine wouldn't re-start.  I hitched a ride across the field to 
"camp/pits", got my grey '77, drove over w/ the tow bar and coolant.

3 gallons went into the racer's 3-row radiator.  At about 2.5, I paused, 
and then I heard a gurgling and coolant GUSHED out of the filler neck 
since it had entered the hot block.  I then finished off what coolant I 
had, cranked it up, and it sounded much better and closer to "normal".. I 
put the tow bar on, packed up what was left, and headed out. (I spent the 
night in Great Falls camping and came home today)

What did I break/learn?

One of my "temp" rear shock mounts (A U-bolt n' plate around the rear 
axle) broke during the Baja.. the lower shock mount might not have been 
*quite* low enough.  I never felt the suspension bottom out, but there 
are marks on the passenger front (from running a driver's-uphill sidehill 
then turning hard left up the hill climb) where the un-trimmed U-bolts 
scraped the bump stop bracket, and where the un-trimmed center-pin 
punched a dent into the same bracket.

I need to get the right fan spacer and regain power steering.. my fingers 
demand it.  It should also help my times a LOT.

I need to put a fixed fan on, and a shroud, and get rid of the close-mesh 
screen on the front clip that's blocking air flow.

I need a snorkel and/or some inner fenders to keep the mud out.


I think the trans was slipping because of the way-too-hot engine temp, 
getting transferred to the trans inside the radiator.  I guess I should 
change the motor oil and the transmission fluid now..

PADS for my shoulder harnesses.. my right shoulder is a bit bruised.

The auto-tranny took a little getting used to but it was very much fun.. 
just clicking the shifter then feeling it kick into the next gear.. and 
it'll down-shift and compression brake as well.  Many thanks to the 
Comers for all of the help on the auto.  It works great.  Just get the 
kick-down linkage hooked up, and maybe that'll be even better.

Oh yeah, my spring-over RACE Scout rides MUCH MUCH better than my 
"Softride" '77!  *MUCH* better.

One of the best parts was watching Blair drive my racer.. I could watch 
the suspension from outside the truck, and see how it worked.  I also got 
his feedback - he said he'd had his doubts about my spring-over 
full-width approach, but that he was very impressed with how well it 
worked.  Bumps that his old race Scout would've HURT on, mine soaked up 
with ease.  Said there's a video of him racing and all you hear are the 
bump stops slamming the axles over and over.

I still have lights n' drive-line loops to install, and a few other things..

BUT WHAT A BLAST.. and I didn't break anything serious!  I was amazed it 
held together!  Yee-haw.

3 or 4 rolls of film need developed ASAP. ;-)

I didn't win, place, or show.. but I sure had fun.  Next up, Missoula on 
July 24th weekend..

Oh yeah, my flat-black racer is now flat-MUD color and needs a serious bath..

-Tom Mandera, Helena MT
'76/77/78 Scout II - spring-over, full width axles, 4.88 gears, full 
'cage, tilt front clip, 304/built 727/D20.. can't wait to hit the dirt again!

Little did I know then that'd I blown the motor and would spend a week or two getting the new one in. :-(

Now the pictures.. sorry there are so many.

Here I am, didn't even start on the Parade Lap and I broke the pivot pin in the gas pedal... getting some assistance to get it repaired. I thought it'd slipped on the carb at first.