Not many people at this party yet. It's starting to feel a bit awkward. Maybe some running basset hounds would be a nice distraction.

bassethoundsrunning.com

I spent the day doing yard work today. It was pretty hot out there, but it was also nice to spend some quality time on my tractor, applying a low-pass filter to my property.

That was certainly the most eccentric vehicle in my motor pool. Sometimes I miss it a bit, but I sold it because I knew I had too many other projects to get around to giving it the major restoration that it needed in any reasonable amount of time.

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Since it has a hull instead of a body, there's no easy bottom access to the engine. An M561 Gama Goat owner works on the engine from the top side, and climbs into it like a boat. Crud easily accumulates down in the bottom... I found a nice ratchet wrench down among the rotten old leaves under the engine.

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So, yeah, it's an off-road truck with a bilge pump.

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But I haven't even mentioned the weirdest part yet... this truck is AMPHIBIOUS! Ok, in very smooth waters, with virtually no waves, and very little current, and it just paddles with its big balloon tires at a maximum speed of 4 MPH. And mine had a big gash in the bottom, even if we ignore that all of the seals were probably bad. But still... AMPHIBIOUS! 🐸

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Over on the left, we can see the bell housing of the engine, with the transmission mounted to it. Then the transmission connects to the transfer case on the right through a short jack shaft. That's all pretty normal 4x4 (or 6x6) stuff. But here's the fun part... the right side of the picture is the FRONT of the truck!

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The engine is in the middle. It's a Detroit Diesel 3-53... a 3-cylinder, supercharged, 2-stroke diesel engine. Other than the starter, it's entirely mechanical. Even the fuel shut-off is mechanical, and it'll happily run without batteries or alternator once started. Which is good, because mine was missing its alternator and alternator mount when it arrived! I had to fabricate a mount to add the alternator visible in this picture.

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The M561 is a weird old truck! It's a 6x6 with all three axles driven, and both the front and rear axles steered. But the rear axle is in the trailer, which rolls and pitches vs. the tractor, but doesn't yaw like a regular trailer!

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So, what do folks in Mastodon land think of dogs and military trucks? Here's a neat old picture of my dear, departed friend Lugnut, checking out my old M561 Gama Goat, which now lives in somebody else's motor pool.

Also, "Favourite" seems like a much bigger commitment than "like". I think I'll need to use them more sparingly.

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I'm having trouble getting behind the "boost" term. I think it really ought to be called "retoot".

I wonder if this shiny new command-line client for Mastodon works?

What is this strange new place that I've wandered into?

OldBytes Space - Mastodon

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