MAX Update No. 74: Reducing Impact

Reader Contribution by Staff
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I’m not talking about reducing my impact on the planet, I’m talking about reducing the planet’s impact on me. 

After two back-part-of-the-car impact involvements (rear ended in city traffic once and back into a mountain once) it dawned on me to give MAX some crash protection from the back. 

Basically I’ve added a roll bar (same dimensions and materials as the roll bar MAX had when it had its green body…see earlier MAX Updates for photos) mounted horizontally behind the cockpit–and behind the fuel tank too, which could be important in some situations. And while I was at it, I added a pair of removable roll hoops, one for each head, which fits in the antique race car theme. 

Here’s my friend Charles welding the rear-end-bumper-bar to the chassis. If MAX used a gasoline engine he’d remove the fuel tank first, but since it’s diesel he said “Don’t bother” and just draped wet rags over the tank to protect it from sparks. I’m not so sure, which is why I’m standing back a ways, holding the camera in one hand and a fire extinguisher in the other.  

So that was Thursday morning, and that afternoon I made a temporary tail-light-and-license-plate mount, and that evening I drove from Cave Junction OR to Creswell OR, and at at sunset I filled it up with diesel (2.118 gallons FYI) and headed to Puyallup WA to the Mother Earth News Fair. I was the first speaker on Saturday morning and I didn’t want to be late. 

Here’s MAX from the back, after its arrival at the Fair (and after I gave my slide show). I figured that seeing the crash protection would interest folks more than seeing a cover anyway, and frankly I didn’t want to drive nine hundred miles (round trip) without the rollover and rear impact protection so I gave substance priority over style and didn’t mount the stern cover…which had to be modified to fit the triangulating brace (also not shown) between the top of the roll bar and the back-of-the-car bar. Man, I’ve gotta come up with a better name for that thing. I don’t know what to call it, but I like it. 

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