Knowing your Center of Gravity

Center of Gravity Ford Transit
How cool to know the real center of gravity for your rig.

While working my way through the Ford Transit Builders Guide I came across the methods and formulas to figure out the Center of Gravity.

For a road going machine this is less of a concern, but with all the off camber fun we have in the dirt it will be great to know once the build is finished just where that imaginary point is at.

Sure playing on a RTI is fun and looks cool (Ramp Travel Index tells you how much flex your suspension gives), but knowing how if your Center of Gravity is high vs low or front vs back has much more value to the Overlander or VanLife world.

Looks like Martín our resident engineer will have to be involved with all this math, and we will need to borrow 4 wheel scales and a forklift, but in the end should be a good time and great knowledge to share!

Just part of the number crunching we will have to do.

Not “Girl Power” just normal

Female plugging a tire leak
Novice power is amazing, being a female should just be normal.

At a recent novice offroad training event we hosted there were male and female participants. Here at Peg Leg Garage, we treat everyone the same, male vs female, abled vs disabled, and race just doesn’t exist. The only time we label folks is novice, intermediate and expert. And that is more about helping each other than how we treat people.

Since this was a “novice day” we covered the basics of what to take when you first start, tire pressures and repairs, self-recovery items and such. I teach the same regardless of gender, if strength is a concern due to physical size or ability/disablity I will adapt the lesson for those folks.

group off road lesson
Gather around to play with cool toys.

Don’t worry I am getting to the “Girl Power” part. As an amputee, I have always been a bit bothered when someone tells me I am “inspiring”, or holds me up as an example to other disabled folks. Sure it is part of our marketing efforts, and I do look for products and methods that make life easy for the physically disabled as that helps me also, but I am not a fan of “amp life” or “amp power”. To me, it just is normal that a person adapts to their reality in order to do the things that need doing.

amputee moving rocks
1 Leg Lance stacking rocks, no big thing.

So when Alyssa called out on the radio that she was getting a low tire pressure alert I wasn’t excited that a “girl” would get to do something, I was thrilled a “novice” was about to test my teaching. Instead of “girl power” it should just be normal that a female can have the skills, knowledge and drive to thrive. If we want to get past sexism, racism and all the other “isms” then we have to make that thing normal. The phrase “girl power” started in the early 90’s, we are almost 30 years later, we should all accept gender as a non -issue by now.

extreme outback kit used by female to plug a tire leak
The Extreme Outback kit made it a breeze for “A” to plug a leak and get back on the trail.

If we want to celebrate anything we should be happy when a novice succeeds, or when someone overcomes a personal challenge. To me there was no “girl power” here, a female did exactly what I knew she could and would. The power was in her attitude to accept the problem, learn a solution and have faith in herself.

By the way, the Extreme Outback kit did make it super easy for Alyssa, especially since she needed 1 large and 2 small plugs to fix this hole/tear.

AzSolo Autocross baseline testing

Oh boy did we have fun with our Hyundai Veloster Turbo at the autocross and it was great to see how good Nathan did improving his times by the end of the event. I dare say that boy will be faster than me,  old man experience, by the time SEMA rolls around.

Here is a video we did explaining autocross and what we want out of it….watch for videos from the event soon, goofy to serious we had a ton of fun. Find an event local to you and have a blast.

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