In this update: Mobilizer winch update complete; Start cart; More fuel lines.

Today’s Featured Sponsors



Today  Cory Mitchell, Von Armstrong, Les Holm, Keith Zanghi, Patricia Wood, Zac Hopkins, Kasey Poppe, Sam Yellowbird, and Jason Mitchell made up our Saturday work team. Working virtual this week were Brandyn Bayes, Chris Banks, Steve Rima, David Martinson, Steve Wallace, and Eric Wittler.

39 years ago today, the eruption of Mount St. Helens, May 18, 1980

USGS Photo

Libby-Garrett M32A-60B Start Cart

Les Holm was busy troubleshooting the unit

It was another day in the hangar, but for Washingtonians, it was the anniversary of one of mother nature’s powers that changed the face of our area.  It was the 39th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens.  Nearly everyone in the Pacific Northwest at the time saw the eruption as the cataclysmic plume rose to over 50,000 feet.

Les Holm got a new leg up in taking care of a problem with our Libby-Garrett M32-60B  start cart. Keith managed to find a source that had the complete service and operators manual for this vintage equipment.  We now have downloaded copies of the original manual.  Next weekend we will hook up power and air, and then do a functional test of the cart.

Cory Mitchell worked on a number of things. He first calculated the final plumbing between the new fuel filter and the engine.  We will have our welder, David Martinson, complete the gap and finish hooking up connections next weekend.  Keith Zanghi hooked up hydraulic hoses and throttle linkage to the engine.  Patricia Wood, Cory, and Les finished up the updates on the mobilizer winch.  We started working on this months ago and set it aside when other things came up.  It is now complete and ready to go to work.  The new Warn Industries VRx-45S winch is fully sealed and will work really well in the dusty desert environment.  We first saw it at SEMA 2018 sitting in an aquarium. We were sold!

Next week we will be removing the old seat belts and replacing them with a new 6-point Sparco Harness.  We will first mock it up then have brackets formed. We expect this task to be completed in a couple of weeks.

Cory Mitchell measuring the fuel filter to the engine line length

Updated mobilizer winch is now complete

Cory Mitchell completes wiring on the new mobilizer winch

Cory Mitchell installing final battery connections

Keith Zanghi takes a break while Cory and Patricia work

New Sparco Harness

The driver seat will get new belts

Eric Wittler – Back Up Driver New Helmet

Eric “Almost Famous” Wittler’s newly painted helmet

Back up driver Eric Wittler has been busy in Nevada.  He had his helmet sent out to be painted with a unique livery…looks pretty cool!  He also picked up more tables and chairs for the team eating requirements.  Zac Hopkins will join Eric this year in preparing the daily meals for the team.  Every year we all go to the test session thinking we are going to lose weight and it turns out to be just the opposite.  Don’t know if it was Napoleon or the Romans, but someone said “An army marches on its belly. To be effective an army relies on good and plentiful food.” This applies to land speed racing too.

More tables and chairs

Our favorite photo of Ed Shadle

Ed Shadle with National Instrument founder Dr. James Truchard

When this update is published it will be right in the middle of a large conference taking place at the Austin TX convention center by one of our sponsors, National Instruments.  It seems fitting that this week’s favorite photos of Ed would be some from our appearance at the 2013 NIWeek.

It was 2013 and our new sponsor, National Instruments, wanted to make a big splash for their new product, the cDAQ-9188XT data acquisition system.  It was designed for harsh environments such as RF, heat, dust, and vibration.  Ed made arrangements for us to put the car on display and give one of the keynotes presentations.  We took hundreds of photos as customers and employees stopped by the technology show in the Austin Convention Center to see the Eagle in person.  It was a big hit.  You can click on this link and see some of the photos.

Austin that week was really hot!  105 degrees every day.  Steve Wallace, Keith Zanghi, and Ed Shadle unloaded the Eagle by themselves…a process that took five hours in the Austin heat. All three men lost 10 lb in the process!  We had a great time that week, meeting many interested people and having fun on Sixth Street.

Ed gives Dr. James Truchard a tour of the Eagle

With Thor and Lisa Holder

Steve Wallace and Ed were interviewed on a local television station

KXAN Reported on the appearance of the Eagle

This week’s cover photo Copyright © 2018 Eric Wittler, Alvord 2018

Sponsor Feature: S&S Turbine Services, Ltd

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45,500 Horsepower from S&S Turbine Services, Ltd

Sponsor Feature: The LeMay Family Collection Foundation

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LeMay Family Collection is a long time sponsor of the North American Eagle®

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Ordinary people doing extraordinary things!


God Bless and Protect our Troops

Land of the Free…Home of the Brave