Remember when we asked that question? It’s been almost a year since the first AMSOIL Expedition Colorado, which sent veteran off-road racers Brad and Roger Lovell on a 550-mile trek from Colorado Springs, Colo. to Moab, Utah. Here’s a recap in case you missed it:
Well, the Lovells are back at it. But this time they’re retracing their steps from Moab back to Colorado Springs. And this time they’re inviting you to join them. Well, kind of.
Last year’s expedition drew an overwhelming response from viewers. As a way to further bring you along for the ride, the Lovells will be planting prizes from their sponsors along this year’s 615-mile course. After their trip is completed they will release a GPS map with the coordinates of all of the geocache locations.
Two sets of BFGoodrich tires
A WARN Zeon winch
A $500 gift certificate from yours truly (AMSOIL INC.)
A pair of $250 Rugged Radios gift certificates
An ARB 4×4 Accessories recovery kit
Pack your GPS and a lunch. You might also need a tent and a raincoat because finding the prizes won’t be easy. Once a prize is collected, the recipient must post a picture on either Facebook or Instagram using #expeditioncolorado to let others know the prize is claimed.
Keep your eyes on the AMSOIL Community website Aug. 3 for the release of the route with coordinates of the prize locations. Until then, stay up to date on all the planning for AMSOIL Expedition Colorado on Facebook. To see some of the AMSOIL products the Lovell’s use in their off-road vehicles, go here.
Finally, be sure to sign up for AMSOIL Signature Series videos sent to your inbox. Subscribers will get the video documenting this year’s expedition before it’s made public.
The Synthetic Warehouse will be relocating to the Tea Exit
One block east and one block north then a left turn to the west. 47073 98th St – Sioux Falls Basically just behind the SE corner of the Marlin’s parking lot. The store can be accessed (although not easily) through the lot and the weeds.
Stay tuned as we will be having a moving sale soon!!
Rent in Sioux Falls is constantly increasing and my old building I rent off of 12th street is no exception not to mention the extremely high heating and cooling bills.
The AMSOIL dealer model is partially one which supplies to local merchants and service centers so this move will help us with that transition as we cater to more retail outlets to meet the demand of AMSOIL locally.
I will still be open to the public but the hours may change after we get up and running. I am also exploring a limited delivery service to any customer ordering a case minimum.
Help Revive a Lawn Mower (and other equipment) that Runs Rough
Judging someone’s character can be boiled down to this key question: do they love going to the dump?
An affirmative answer indicates a visionary – one who sees a fashionably distressed dining set where others see a worn out table and chairs. One who sees the south wall of their new chicken coop where others see dusty old windows. One who sees his new (free) rolling shop stool where others see a ratty office chair.
Why drop $50 on a shop stool when you can get a sweet unit like this free at the dump?
So, while I salivate at adding a lawnmower, snowblower or other piece of equipment from the dump to my family fleet, I also burn with shame toward my fellow man for discarding something that might have been easily repaired.
There has to be a better way
One of the biggest reasons people junk their lawnmower, string trimmer, chainsaw or other equipment is because it starts hard and runs rough. A dirty carburetor is often to blame.
Over time, oxygen deteriorates the gasoline in the carb, leading to the formation of varnish and other deposits that stick the float, block the screens and plug the tiny fuel passages. The result? Fuel that doesn’t flow properly and an arm nearly ripped from its socket from fruitlessly yanking the starter cord.
Engine deposits are another problem
The combustion chamber grows intensely hot during operation. The heat breaks down motor oil, creating carbon that can lodge in the ring lands and cause the piston rings to stick. Stuck rings reduce engine compression, which makes starting more difficult and reduces engine power.
Gasoline byproducts can form deposits on the piston crown, which can lead to pre-ignition. That’s when a super-heated chunk of carbon ignites the fuel/air mixture before the spark plug fires, causing a shock wave in the cylinder that can lead to piston damage.
In two-stroke engines, deposits can block the exhaust port or spark arrestor screen, choking off airflow and leading to rough-running. If bad enough, the engine will quit running altogether.
String trimmer exhaust port plugged with carbon deposits, causing it to run poorly.
An effective way to prevent hard-starting, rough-running equipment is to treat gas with gasoline stabilizer prior to storage and to periodically clean the carburetor and combustion chamber with a good fuel additive. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself at the dump paying to dispose of your lawnmower, snowblower or other equipment while people like me lie in wait, rubbing our hands together with glee.
If your engine and carburetor are already dirty and causing grief, clean them with AMSOIL Power Foam. It’s a potent cleaning agent that…
Cleans deposits from ethanol and degraded fuel
Removes gum and varnish
Helps improve fuel economy
It will not damage seals, gaskets, rubber or plastic materials commonly used in gasoline engines.
I’ve tried it a few times on my lawn and garden equipment, and it’s pretty simple to use. Just run the engine to normal operating temperature, remove the air filter and spray Power Foam into the intake as fast as possible without stalling the engine. You may have to rev the engine to facilitate the process. Make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area because an impressive volume of smoke will emit from the exhaust.
Then, shut off the engine and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
While you’re waiting, Power Foam‘s potent formula attacks and loosens the built-up carbon and varnish, helping free stuck rings, clean the valves and piston crown, and remove varnish from the carburetor. If the engine is especially dirty, you may want to repeat the process.
Replace the air filter, start the engine and pat yourself on the back for helping prevent the addition of one more perfectly usable piece of equipment to the local dump.
It may be unfortunate for scavengers like me, but it’s great for your wallet.
And here’s another Sioux Falls secrete for you lawn care customers!! A frequent weedeater problem easy to repair.
The primary difference between Dot 3 and Dot 4 is their respective boiling points.
I suspect I know your next question.
But first, some background. The U.S. Department of Transportation classifies brake fluid into four main categories:
Their primary differences are their wet & dry boiling points and their composition.
DOT 3 is the most common type used in cars and trucks today. DOT 4, however, is gaining popularity due to widespread use of anti-lock braking systems and traction control, which benefit from DOT 4 fluid’s lower viscosity.
DOT 4 is compatible with DOT 3, but features a higher boiling point. DOT 5 is silicone, meaning it doesn’t absorb water. It’s not compatible with the other brake fluids and is used mostly in classic cars that remain in storage for long periods and need a brake fluid that doesn’t absorb water. DOT 5.1, meanwhile, is used in high-performance and heavy-duty applications due to its high boiling point.
Bring it to a boiling point
So now we’re back to boiling point. What does it mean? After all, we’re not cooking this stuff.
Well, in the right operating and ambient conditions, you are cooking it.
Aggressive braking can lead to intense heat.
Braking generates intense heat between the brake pads and rotors. Maybe you’ve seen a race on TV where the producers stick a GoPro under the car to show the brakes literally glowing red when the driver depresses the pedal. The intense heat can vaporize the brake fluid, causing it to become compressible, which leads to a spongy feeling when you apply the brakes.
Braking also places the fluid under intense pressure, potentially causing the fluid to boil. That leaves gas in the lines, which is compressible, leading to a soft pedal. In racing and performance-driving circles, this is known as brake fade, and it’s something drivers actively want to avoid. To drive as effectively and safely as possible, the driver must be confident that the brakes will perform on lap 10 as they did on lap one.
Brake fade can also come from the brake pad/rotor interface. The pads release gasses as well, which reduces contact between the pads and rotors. That’s why high-end rotors are slotted and drilled – to release gasses quicker, limiting fade.
Brake fade isn’t just for racers
Brake fade can affect nearly anyone. Descending a steep hill, especially when hauling a heavy load or towing a trailer, can generate tremendous heat if you ride or pump the brakes.
PRO TIP: Next time, downshift into a lower gear before descending a steep incline.
By the time you reach the bottom, your pedal may go nearly to the floor, making your heart rate go nearly through the roof.
If you like to toss your vehicle around a curvy country road for a little therapy, standing on the brakes going into corners can create sufficient heat to cause brake fade, too. If you get a little too zealous, you may end up going right through a corner and into the woods.
The fluid’s boiling point indicates the temperature at which the brake fluid vaporizes. The higher the DOT classification, the higher the boiling point, thus the better the fluid is at resisting heat. That’s why racers use DOT 4, not DOT 3, brake fluid.
Boiling point is separated into dry & wet boiling points
The dry boiling point is determined using fresh fluid straight from a new container. The fluid’s wet boiling point is determined using fluid that’s been contaminated with 3.7 percent water, thus it’s always lower than the dry boiling point. Why would test administrators contaminate good fluid? Because it’s a reflection of what happens in the real world.
Brake fluid is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs water (except silicone-based DOT 5 brake fluid). DOT 3 fluid, for example, can absorb up to two percent water every year. Moisture can enter the system when you remove the reservoir cap to add fluid, through worn seals and even through the rubber brake lines themselves. Thus the fluid’s wet boiling point is the number that more accurately represents what’s really going on in your vehicle.
Which makes it important to periodically flush the brake system and replace the fluid to remove moisture. Otherwise, not only will your brakes become spongy and unsafe, the moisture will slowly corrode metal components.
A good rule of thumb is to change the brake fluid every other year in passenger vehicles, and at least every year in racing vehicles. The AAA says 88 percent of motorists overlook brake maintenance, so you’re not alone if you haven’t changed brake fluid in awhile, like since you bought your vehicle.
It’s not too late to start, though. And when you do, check out our line of brake fluids for your vehicle. The easiest way to determine the correct brake fluid for you vehicle is to use our Product Guide.
Sioux Falls Webmaster note: AMSOIL’s Dot 4 outperforms it’s new 5.1 because the 4 is designed purely as a racing brake fluid where as the 5.1 id the latest for all uses yet still beyond the minimum standard.
Summer weather is finally here, at least for us in the northern half of the U.S. and Canada. The longest day of the year, June 21 – the summer solstice – has come and gone. As someone pointed out to me, we’re on the backside of long days here in Sioux Falls and they are only getting shorter. “Kind of depressing,” I said.
This can only mean one thing: we are losing precious minutes at the range to sharpen our skills. Whether you are a single-projective guy/gal sharpening your skills beyond 300 yards or you’re deep into the trap or sporting clays season, get out there and take advantage of the long days.
What? Hearing protection?
One topic of scrutiny and personal opinion is hearing protection. If you don’t wear shooting hearing protection, shame on you. Ask anyone in his or her elder years about hearing. You may have to speak up or repeat yourself, like I have to with my father. He or she will tell you long-term abuse of your ears is no fun in your golden years.
Unfortunately, everyone you talk to about the “best” hearing protection will give you a personal “best” answer. That’s why there are so many options for hearing protection. Wade with me into the deep end of the pond and we’ll cut through the “insider-baseball” information and try to simplify.
It’s all about decibel reduction
The end game with shooting hearing protection is decibel reduction. The greater the decibel reduction, the better.
What’s the threshold for protection? According to OSHA, a conversation is about 60dB and the threshold for pain is about 140dB. Anyone exposed to 85dB for more than eight hours must wear hearing protection. Exposure to about 110dB for just one minute can cause permanent damage.
What is the decibel level of a firearm?
Probably 95 percent of firearms produce more than 140dB
Even a simple .22-caliber rifle is about 140dB
Big-bore firearms and shotguns can produce more than 175dB
What was the threshold of pain again? You got it – shooting a firearm without ear protection puts you in harm’s way.
Now that we know what our ears can take, what is the best way to help protect them?
When shopping for hearing protection, look for its Noise Reduction Rating (NRR).
Every product marketed to help protect your ears and reduce noise has this rating. The higher the number, the better. If the product doesn’t list the NRR, stay away from it. Most of the cheaper foam ear plugs offer decibel reduction in the low 20s to low 30s. That’s not bad for the cost.
But be careful – the NRR assumes the plug is seated completely in your ear. Ineffective seating is the largest issue with these plugs, and most people don’t use them properly.
Simple foam ear plugs are fine for inexpensively protecting your hearing (if used correctly). Quite frankly, though, I don’t understand spending $3,000 on a firearm and only $1 on a 10-pack of ear plugs. What costs more, good ear protection or the hearing aids you will be buying in your elder years?
Custom-fit ear plugs are better
If you are looking for the Cadillac of foam-insert ear protection, look for custom-fit ear plugs. They come with instructions to insert the provided material into your ear and wait. The material dries and forms to your ear. They provide their claimed NRR since they fit properly into your ear. Instead of about $0.25 a pair, they cost around $15 a pair. But that’s still cheap for what they do.
Noise-canceling ear muffs
Looking for the best hearing protection available? Noise-canceling ear muffs are about the best you can get. They come in a range of qualities and prices, from about $20 to more than $100.
They electronically measure and dull sound in fractions of a second. Many allow you to hear a normal conversation while wearing them. When the bang goes off, however, they immediately compensate to protect your ears. You’ll find many brands out there with lots of options. Like to listen to music while shooting? Many options have you covered.
Beware the bulk, though
Although noise-canceling ear muffs are likely the best and most convenient, they are also the most bulky. Many people don’t like all that bulk at the side of their head as they shoot at the range or on the sporting clays course.
I could continue go on. The reason this topic is so complicated is because every ear is shaped differently and everyone has his or her preference.
In the end, find something that combines comfortable with the highest NRR rating you can find. A brand I like has the slogan, “Protect it, or lose it.” I couldn’t have said it better.
As always, happy shooting…and be careful, especially with those ears.