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VIDEO: Stupid Idiots Ruin Trucks with Tug-O-War

I’m a Tundra fan, but I definitely wouldn’t mind having a cool lifted 80′s domestic pickup with a big block and a gigante (pronounced he-gone-tay) set of mudders. That would be a fun truck to own.

What I’m saying is, you wouldn’t see me ruining my truck like the Rhodes scholars below…

About two years ago, I railed against the stupidity of “tug-a-truck” competitions because ultimately they’re about destruction. While one driver appears to win, the truth of the matter is that both trucks are damaged by the competition. As you can see in the video above, something broke on the truck on the right at the 16 second mark. At 18 seconds, the shirtless referee starts waiving off the “competition”. Nearly 7 seconds later, the other driver finally becomes aware that his buddy’s pickup is destroyed.

What, exactly, was the point of that little exercise? The loser just ruined hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of parts and accessories. The “winner” just ruined someone else’s vehicle…and truth be told, the winner also strained some of the components in his truck’s powertrain, suspension, and frame. How these strained parts will hold up long-term is a question mark – one that the winner brought upon himself.

The Eliminator Project Begins – Initial Dyno Test

The Eliminator started out as a phone call. Mark, a contributor to the site, had a chance to get his hands on a nice little used 2007 Tundra regular cab 2wd with the big motor and only 57k miles. The question was, would I interested in putting the time in to making this an official project truck?

I said, “Uhh…ya. Let’s do it.” Little did I know it would become the biggest TundraHeadquarters time-soak ever. Bigger than writing/editing posts and moderating comments. Bigger than heading to SEMA in 2010. Little did I know that not one but two different companies would promise parts but then never deliver.

But listen to me complain.

Thanks to the generous contributions of BedRug, Extang, DynoMax, Belltech, and AIRAID, plus generous help from Mountain States Toyota, we have a nice little dropped Tundra with even more power than a factory truck at our fingertips. Of course, mad props to Mark for making this happen and doing so much to move it along. Very grateful for that too.

Here’s our initial dyno test data:

Announcing the Eliminator

We’ve been absent over the last two weeks, and the Eliminator is partially to blame.

It’s our project truck, and it’s been a bit of a time soak. Here’s our initial press release – more posts to follow over the next couple of weeks.


Press Release:

Electric Superchargers: Still a Scam

Electric superchargers are one of the biggest scams ever perpetuated on drivers looking to increase their vehicle’s horsepower and fuel economy on the cheap. The builders of these inexpensive devices prey on the willingness of people to believe in seemingly reasonable claims couched in pseudo-scientific explanations, and they are marketed by companies no more reputable than the snake oil salesmen of the Old West.

One of the fundamental disconnects between an electric supercharger’s advertised benefits and its real world performance is that these products are not actually superchargers at all. Superchargers by definition cram more oxygen into a given volume of air by pressurizing it, a process that takes a considerable amount of energy to accomplish. This additional oxygen adds more power to an engine by allowing for more fuel to be combusted without increasing the motor’s displacement.

The Turbonator: It's a scam.

Most electric “superchargers” (like the Turbonator) are actually just electric fans

How Toyota Recovered From The Earthquake Twice As Fast As Anyone Thought Possible

Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Lexus, Scion, Suzuki, Acura, Infiniti…they were all hurt in some way by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Some manufacturers were hit harder than others (Honda might have been hit the hardest), but all of these companies suffered as a direct result of this disaster. In fact, a lot of American automakers suffered from the earthquake too.

Toyota Earthquake Damage

Toyota, and Japan in general, overcomes setbacks from a massive natural disaster faster than anyone expected.

The reason? Automakers don’t build cars – suppliers do. Suppliers build just about every part of a vehicle except the engine, and then the automaker takes all those parts and puts them together. Toyota might get credit for the final product, but 10,000+ suppliers build the wire harnesses, wheels, wood grain interiors, etc.

When Japan suffered from a natural disaster, thousands of suppliers big and small suffered too. Some plants completely collapsed, most suffered some kind of damage, and all suppliers had to deal with a complete loss of electrical power for weeks on end. Toyota’s assembly plants across the world depended on Japanese suppliers, so production of American-made vehicles like the Tundra, Tacoma, and Camry slowed to a crawl as Japan recovered.

Some of Toyota’s executives said that recovery would take the rest of the year – that full production wouldn’t resume until 2012. Amazingly, those predictions will not come to pass. Toyota anticipates full production capacity by September or October. Here’s how they did it:

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