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AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
2/7/22 1:58 a.m.

Some more pics. Words another time...

200+ more on Flickr: https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjzBqbm

Billy_Bottle_Caps SuperDork
2/7/22 2:55 p.m.

patiently waiting for the words that go qith pics.. Looks like a really really good time 

bmw88rider UltraDork
2/7/22 4:12 p.m.

I have to imagine with the weather, it had to be a blast. Looking forward to the story. 

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
2/9/22 9:58 a.m.

Thanks, I'm planning to post the story tonight.

Last night I put together a video. I had the song by Jimi Hendrix, "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" stuck in my head so I used it as a sound track. The intro worked well and I liked the tempo for the video. After a few hours of sorting video clips and synchronizing them to the song, I posted it on YouTube, expecting that I would get a message about copyright and that they were going to include ads with my video. No such luck - it was blocked worldwide from playing. Rather than re-make the video, I used some of the free YouTube audio to fill in. It's a whole different feeling, but it works.  Maybe it's better that way. Not everyone is into Jimi and the new soundtrack fits.


AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
2/10/22 1:31 a.m.

The Texas Carnado '22

It was planned long before the event and waypoints were put out months in advance. That's different from the Gambler 500s that I've done in the past which keep the points secret until the start of the event. Although the name 'Texas Carnado' implies to normal people that it will happen in Texas, we are not dealing with normal people and all of the checkpoints are in Arkansas and Oklahoma (referred to as Far North Texas).

The day before everyone was traveling for the event, there was freezing rain and snow. The roads were terrible and some people suggested that it should be canceled. The organizers recommended preparation and caution, but were firm that they had no intention of canceling it. I had planned to drive down early in the morning on Saturday in time to attend the driver's meeting. With the weather, that became a bad idea. Instead, I drove to the nearest town with a motel, Poteau, on Friday night and only had to drive 40 miles on Saturday morning.  I have nothing against camping. I did it for much of my time in the Army in all weather and many locations across the globe. Still when given the choice of hot showers and warm breakfast or a sleeping bag and a porta-pottie, I default to Motel.

The roads were terrible for the first hour of my drive to Poteau. Oklahoma is not equipped to clear snow and ice from roads like in northern areas and secondary roads are often left to melt in the days following a snow. Nobody has snow tires. My biggest concern was other drivers, but there were few of those on the road. I reached the motel just after sunset and had a relaxing evening setting up my navigation app (Gaia GPS) and doing a little Walmart shopping for lunch and snacks for the road.


Saturday morning I was surprised how good the roads were getting to the 'Carnado Convergence Zone' at Gibby's Biker Camp & Dal's Jalapeno Garden. Highway 59/259 is a major truck route in the area and had been cleared. I arrived early enough to check out the other cars and find a few friends from previous Gamblers. After the driver's meeting we departed camp in groups of 5 to 10. I don't know the actual count, but my guess is that there were a total 25 to 30 vehicles, some with just a driver and a few full of people. About 1/3 of the Gambler rigs were towed there. I trailered the Dung Beetles to the Kansas Gambler events, but I'm pretty comfortable driving the CR-V anywhere now.

The driver's meeting emphasized the point that nobody was expected to hit all the checkpoints, but that we should choose where we wanted to go and just have fun in groups to stay safe. My group had a Civic, Montero, 4-Runner, Blazer, and Suburban. Later in the day we were joined by two Jeeps. We decided that we'd take some of the rough trails, hard routes, and not worry much about covering a lot of miles. I fell in at the rear of the group so I could get pictures of them and help out anyone that fell behind.

Billy drove the Suburban and he and I were the only solo drivers in the group (Mrs AAZCD opted out of this one). He is a YouTuber - 'DrinkSmokeBuild' and enjoys being a little extreme. The Suburban was in bad shape, but we pushed it along (literally) through the whole day and he made it home to the OKC area afterward. The oil pump is going out, there's a bad knock, passenger window held up with duct tape, the heater core is bypassed so he ran a generator on back to power an electric heater.... When we went to town for lunch and to gas up he ran to a parts store to get some Engine Stop Leak to thicken the oil.

The Blazer had transmission issues and couldn't go any faster than about 35 mph on the streets. On the trails it kept overheating. Following them, I smelled foul smoke and thought they had a brake caliper that was dragging. At the next stop he explained that it was the combination of engine oil and transmission fluid leaking and burning on the exhaust. Perfectly normal. He loves his Blazer and intends to keep fixing it up over time, but for now it is what it is. They left the group and headed back to camp in the afternoon when they couldn't keep it from running too hot on the trail.

The Civic was awesome on the trails. It had been wrecked from every angle, the left front wheel had an extreme positive camber from a bent frame, tractor lights for headlights -canted at odd angles, and trailer lights for tails. Whatever visual flaws it had, it tore through the trails easily and seemed to do well on the highway too.

The Montero needed to be towed through a few areas where the tires (2WD) were slipping on ice but other than that it did well. The 4-Runner had a crew of three and they did a lot of the work helping the others along, towing them at times and taking my chainsaw to clear downed trees. At first, when we reached a tree across the trail, the guys in front would get out to wave and do the 'start the chainsaw' sign. I'd run from the back of the line with the saw to clear the way, then back to the CR-V at the tail of the convoy. We got smart after a few trees and I left the saw with the guys in the front. Eventually, everyone who wanted got a turn with the saw. Normally at Gambler events we pick up trash. This time we didn't see any trash, but cleared trees from the trail instead.

The CR-V was amazing. Smooth and comfortable on the highway, decent gas mileage, and flawless on the ice covered off-road trails. I thought of using the winch a couple times to pull Billy's Suburban back from the edge, but figured that it would probably pull the CR-V to his 8,000+ lb vehicle rather than move him anywhere. I have a 2-1/2” lift kit that arrived in the mail the day I left. I don't really feel that I need it now, but I'm going to install it and see how it effects the ride. If it still handles well on the highway I'll keep it.

There were other groups going in different directions and we didn't meet on the trails except for the two Jeeps that joined us later. Everybody can keep within their comfort zone or push it as hard as they care to. You create your own experience and the 'Gambler 500' just provides the place to play with other people who will be happy to help you out if your 'Full Send' is a little too Full. The next event in the area is going to be the Lime 100 Mini Bike race. I've decided that with ...let's just say “too many” motorcycles, I don't need to buy a mini bike too. I intend to go to the venue, but to take pictures/video and do a little Rallycross with the North Texas Rallycross guys. Maybe get some seat time in AnthonyGS's Subaru. Maybe put a Boxster together if I get time.

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
2/12/22 12:58 a.m.

Billy's video of the Carnado, first of two. He does more of a Documentary Style:


Like, subscribe, etc...  yes

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
2/14/22 12:09 a.m.

Since the title of this thread includes, “Whatever Else Shows Up” ...

There's been a 2004 Porsche Boxster sitting in my driveway for a while. I did a poor job of buying it back in June 2021:

AAZCD (Forum Supporter) said:

The '04 Boxster is terrible. I bought it based on the information they had told me rather than really looking at it. I should not have trusted them.

There was a tornado sky on the way to get it. I should have seen the omen and turned back.

It had sat outside for at least a year with the windows down and a small tarp that only partly covered it. The interior looked worse than the flood car I restored. The body had plenty of minor dents and blemishes. It had settled into the lawn deep enough that I couldn't see under it.

Thunderstorms were rapidly approaching. I just wanted to load it on the trailer and get out of there.

I made it home just ahead of a storm and got a cover over it as the rain grew heavy.

What do I have?

Not so good: A car that they said had under 60k miles on it, but when I powered up the cluster showed 192k miles. A bill of sale and a promised title. No key. A biohazard interior. The bottom of the engine covered with oil. Two tires that don't hold air.

The good: Somehow the immobilizer/central locking module under the seat has stayed dry inside with no corrosion. The top is in decent shape with a good glass window. Most of the electronics work when powered up. Doors and windows work as they should. It has a style of wheels that I haven't owned yet. The engine, transmission and brakes might all be good. One headlight is damaged, but the other will be worth some money after I give it a good polish.

Given the high mileage and the cost in time and money to make it right, I don't plan to make a project out of it. The only thing that makes sense is to part it out and scrap it. I can easily get my money out of it between the 986Forum and eBay, but I really set myself up for failure on this one, trusting the sellers and not looking the car over in detail before handing over the cash.

I started parting it out to get my money back. And got an easy $500 without taking anything significant from the car. Eventually out of curiosity, I fixed it just enough to get the engine running – not planning to ever drive it, but just to know what I had.

Now I'm thinking about a car to drive in the Rallycross on March 5th. The Fiero is too far from running, I don't want to drive a SUV or one of my nice Boxsters. The 2019 Challenge Boxster is far from ready, with blown front struts and a bad engine from running in the HooptieX. The '04 Boxster is actually the best candidate.

This afternoon after a visit from family, I had about two hours free in the afternoon before I had to get ready for work. I decided to get the car off the jack stands and see if it drives. It just needed:

  • The ignition switch installed.
  • Seat.
  • Air in the rear tires.
  • Battery.
  • Steering wheel.
  • ...and some minor reassembly.


AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
2/16/22 12:56 a.m.

Today I removed the convertible top and swapped a hard top onto the 'parts car'. I also modified the intake. The engine computer that I installed in the car has a tune for a Porsche 996 which has a larger diameter intake at the mass airflow sensor. After some discussion on the 986 Forum a while back, I decided it would be better with the 996 sized intake tube at the MAF. A little plastic surgery and I think I have a solution that will work:


Billy_Bottle_Caps SuperDork
2/16/22 10:02 a.m.
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) said:

Today I removed the convertible top and swapped a hard top onto the 'parts car'. I also modified the intake. The engine computer that I installed in the car has a tune for a Porsche 996 which has a larger diameter intake at the mass airflow sensor. After some discussion on the 986 Forum a while back, I decided it would be better with the 996 sized intake tube at the MAF. A little plastic surgery and I think I have a solution that will work:


Jon:  I love where this is going! Always great project ideas you have! Best of luck!



AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
3/23/22 3:37 a.m.

Last Saturday we went to the Big Meat Run at Disney, Ok. We had a great time. My daughter and 'pretty much son-in-law' drove the CR-V and I was on a motorcycle.


AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
4/11/22 5:08 p.m.

A series of unfortunate events led me to Rallycross on Sunday. I couldn't go. There was a family birthday party to attend and had to work night shift until 7 am the morning of the event. Even without the party, there was no way I could load up and drive nearly four hours after getting off shift and arrive in time. 

Late on Friday I was informed that earlier in the week I had been exposed to a patient with a serious, deadly disease. Close physical contact with people should be avoided for a few days. That made going to my two year old granddaughter's birthday party a bad idea. The nurse on shift at my location couldn't work Saturday night due to an injury. There was no night pilot available at a location half way to where the Rallycross was being held.

I was asked if I could drive to the other location and work the night shift. I trailered my beater-Boxster with me, covered the shift and was paid for time and mileage. After work (and about 3 1/2 hours sleep) I made it to the Rallycross just in time. I was not competitive, but had a great time.


AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
5/6/22 9:44 a.m.

*I have enough open build threads that I'm Not going to keep making new ones every time a car comes along. This is my Dirty/RallyX/Gambler car thread*

The last four Boxsters I've bought, I've said to myself and to Mrs AAZCD that "This is the last one!" A few days ago a long time online friend and fellow Boxster salvager called to ask me if I wanted his Rallycross Boxster. I closely followed his build over the years and it's an awesome car.

How could I say no?

The engine blew a few months ago and he is moving on to UTVs for racing. Without plans to race it, it's been hard to get motivation to fix it. He is including a good engine and transmission with it that I just need to install. ...along with a couple bad engines (repairable?) and as many Boxster parts as I can load and carry. All at just over Challenge car price (and I don't need another potential Challenge car).

I'm planning to pick it up next weekend.  !!!

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
5/7/22 10:58 a.m.

In reply to AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) :

Rallycross is just too much fun.  Once you get a taste of it, you want more.  It's fun, challenging, and no one really cares who wins.  You win just by doing.  

docwyte PowerDork
5/8/22 8:49 a.m.

Doesn't look like your friend would pass the 2" broomstick rule there!

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
5/8/22 9:13 a.m.
docwyte said:

Doesn't look like your friend would pass the 2" broomstick rule there!

I think that in that pic he was actually 'floating' above the seat. In normal driving his helmet is below the windshield frame.


AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
5/13/22 12:10 a.m.

It's about an 8 hour drive to Bastrop, TX to pick up the Boxster. I don't want to do 16 hours of driving in a day, so I drove to Canton, TX  this evening after a full day of catching up on yard and house work. Dinner stop at Brahm's in McAlester, Ok. Easy driving staying East instead of going through Dallas.

Listening to a sci-fi audio book for the trip, 'Mars Nation' trilogy by Brandon Q. Morris. A good story so far.

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
5/13/22 7:20 p.m.

On the way to Bastrop I came upon a roadblock. At first I thought it was construction. Then the police approached and looked in back of the Touareg as they told me that there was a murderer on the loose in the area. The highway I was crossing was closed and I should not pick up any hitch hikers. If I saw a middle age balding Hispanic man by the road,, call 911.

I just found this news: https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/13/us/tx-escaped-murderer-manhunt/index.html

I continued to Bastrop and did not pick up any hitch hikers.

I arrived at Woody's place a little before 11:00. He was out in the shop and had the car ready to go except for needing the two wheels that I had brought put on.

He gave me a tour of his place, offering me pretty much any Boxster parts I wanted. He was a fairly major Boxster dismantler for about 5 or 6 years, but has moved to other things. I would have taken everything he offered,  except I already have limited space and too many projects.  We tried loading  a third engine on my trailer,  but decided that it was too much for a safe 8 hour drive.

I'm a little more than half way home now. The Touareg has had a >$50 and >$110 stop for diesel at $5.29 and $5.19. Getting around 20 mpg with the load and riding well as long as I don't go over 80 mph.

I had to make an early stop to strap the trunk down better. Big wings don't like being towed backwards. Other than that, smooth travels.

I'm just finishing up a long sit down McDonald's meal now and getting back on the road. Home in about 4 hours if I take it easy.

CrustyRedXpress HalfDork
5/13/22 10:13 p.m.

Drive safe! That CRV looks pretty great.

Billy_Bottle_Caps SuperDork
5/20/22 4:25 p.m.

Love the CRV and the new to you Boxster

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
5/21/22 10:33 p.m.

Thanks, I made time to do a little Gamblin' in Oklahoma today. Some parts were impassable due to flooding, but we had a good time.

The Volvo ended up with a one-sided sway bar:

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
7/9/22 10:55 a.m.

I sold Debbie, the '03 Honda Element today and picked up '87 Fiero GT that 'just needs the gas tank cleaned'. The Fiero also come with a V6 parts car which I need to grab a few things from before giving it to one of the local Gambler 500 guys to build back better.

I'm picking up the parts car tomorrow and it is literally full of stuff including a pair of pristine tail lights which are nearly impossible to find. These magazines were in the '87 and just browsing through them they look pretty awesome.

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
7/10/22 3:11 p.m.

I picked up the parts car Fiero from Ronnie this morning. We started at 9 am before it got too hot. Do I want a parts car Fiero? No not really, but it is packed absolutely full of parts some of which are very desirable.

It has sat where it is for about ten years. There is no key for it. It has an automatic transmission locked in park. The steering wheel is locked and Ronnie hasn't been able to get the doors opened for years. If I was going to Challenge budget this, it would be $1,600 for the '87 GT and two hours of labor for the parts car and whatever it contains. (-None of it is expected to go on the Challenge car.)

I had expected that we were going to have to find a way to extract it across his back yard, but when I arrived he explained that he had other plans. Ronnie asked if I was willing to help him move the short fence from in front of the parts car to behind it. That made it an easy straight load onto my trailer.

With a jack and air compressor powered by my winch battery we got the concrete blocks out and the car resting on tires. To get it out of park, I disconnected the shift cable from the transmission and moved the selector on the transmission to neutral, counting clicks from (P), (R), then (N).

I angled the trailer and ramps slightly to compensate to the steering lock and pulled it onto the trailer. ...almost. The winch battery died when it was about half way. Disconnect the trailer, turn Tow Pig around and get out the jumper cables to power the winch. Boom, done, almost like I knew how to do this stuff. We decided that I didn't need the extra 2.8L 6 cyl engine that he has buried in the back of his shop, but if I ever change my mind, it will still be there for me.

I helped Ronnie finish moving the fence and was home by noon. The trailer is now behind my garage and I may just leave the car on it. My hope is that I can unload and sort all the stuff that's in it, then give the untitled, no key car to a guy who will have some fun working on it most likely as a Gambler 500 Fiero project. Will he take it for Free if I deliver? Who wouldn't..?

Billy_Bottle_Caps SuperDork
7/11/22 7:03 p.m.

Great stuff as always!




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