A Novice with Passion

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding the building and creation of mutant vehicles in Black Rock City
Miisha
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:32 pm
Burning Since: 2012
Camp Name: Duane's Whirld

A Novice with Passion

Postby Miisha » Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:52 pm

While I've been to the playa myriad times, I've done no more than donate to the building of the mutant vehicles of others. But in 2018 at the age of 58, I'm taking a "gap" year to break away from the default world (or perhaps immerse myself more deeply into it to figure out what the hell is going on) and taking time for rambling, listening and reflecting as I traverse the states from my home in Washington, DC.

My passion is to build a mutant vehicle as part of that adventure with my daughter, boyfriend and others in San Francisco. My preparation is nada - hence why I'm posting for basic advice on whether there are willing guides for my journey and/or garages/warehouses where my dream could become a reality. Since I missed the Burn this year, I'm all the more anxious and figured I'd count on the blessings from the Temple Burn this evening to consecrate my plea.

User avatar
Admiral Fukkit
Posts: 274
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:44 am
Burning Since: 2000
Camp Name: Camp I'm going to Hawaii instead

Re: A Novice with Passion

Postby Admiral Fukkit » Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:06 pm

Well... San Francisco is probably the most expensive place you could pick to do this.
Next thing is, what are you capable of transporting to the playa? Have you got a big trailer?
How much mechanical aptitude, tools, etc have you got?
Who's paying for it, you or a group? Is it shoestring budget or big bucks?
These are the initial basics that the rest of the project depends on.

Miisha
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:32 pm
Burning Since: 2012
Camp Name: Duane's Whirld

Re: A Novice with Passion

Postby Miisha » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:04 am

Thanks Admiral.

We need to be close enough to San Francisco so that the rest of our posse can participate. Most work will be done over weekends so up to two hours drive but no more.
I haven't factored in transportation yet since I don't have a clear enough sense of what we are building. I want this to be modest enough to actually complete. Which of course goes to the rest of your questions - this will be paid for by a small group with heavy subsidies from me but $25k would be my max. Some of my colleagues have mechanical aptitude and basic sets of tools but I'll need to find a garage/warehouse within which to work.
I know it is crazy but I assume many who start down this path are running from the default world. I am the ultimate planner and am committed to this adventure. I just need to reign in my own ambitions and get some help by experienced burners like you.
Miisha

User avatar
Dr Helix
Posts: 945
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:38 pm
Burning Since: 2008
Camp Name: Interaction Cafe
Location: Hayward, CA

Re: A Novice with Passion

Postby Dr Helix » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:26 am

It it's me, I'd start with fleshing out your concept. One main questions here; Big or little? Sounds like it's fairly big (Car or truck frame) if you have others involved. Go wild on design first. Remember it has to get through DMV review to be allowed on playa. But once you get your design up, the rest just starts to flow.
"Love, Rockets and write when you get work"

Miisha
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:32 pm
Burning Since: 2012
Camp Name: Duane's Whirld

Re: A Novice with Passion

Postby Miisha » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:41 am

Not THAT big. Definitely possible to have a car frame but not a truck (or bus). We are fleshing out ideas so that we can wow them on the design concept. THEN I need to actually build it. Hence keeping it within bounds. Beyond cars or golf carts - anyone else seen a sound base upon which to build a modest mutant vehicle?

User avatar
Token
Posts: 3439
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 2:55 pm
Burning Since: 2001
Location: Gold Country, CA

Re: A Novice with Passion

Postby Token » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:18 am

That's the kind of thinking that leads to failure.

Inspire greatness! Deliver the impossible!

Go to the gallery on the BM site, look at mobile art over the decades.

And just say NO to any unibody base vehicles.

Miisha
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:32 pm
Burning Since: 2012
Camp Name: Duane's Whirld

Re: A Novice with Passion

Postby Miisha » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:35 am

I've certainly been inspired and transported by others in the past.

User avatar
Admiral Fukkit
Posts: 274
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:44 am
Burning Since: 2000
Camp Name: Camp I'm going to Hawaii instead

Re: A Novice with Passion

Postby Admiral Fukkit » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:13 pm

Well the first thing I'd do is figure out how you're gonna get it out there, then work within your ability to haul the thing. I'm probably not alone in having more work and money invested in my truck & trailer than in any MV.

There aren't really any "rules" about designing an MV. The ideal base vehicle depends on what fits your concept, mixed in with a little of what you happen to get your hands on to work with.
It also depends how scratch-built you're going. Mine hasn't got a "base vehicle".
If you're gonna use one, pickup trucks are a logical choice because they have a nice strong frame and the body relatively easily unbolts from it.
Vans also work well, they provide a big flat platform after you cut the body off.
$25k is a lot of money! Seems you could build something pretty great with a budget like that... but you could also use up most of all of it just on the truck & trailer to haul the thing. Infrastructure is everything.

Biggest piece of advice when you get this built and are loading up for the playa: SPARE PARTS!! Bring spare everything you can. Bring more than one spare tire, too. Shit breaks, fails, goes kaput, gets corrosive playa dust in it, pops, and 'splodes. You did all that work, spent all that money, and you get ONE shot at playing with it each year. You need to be ready to fix it on-playa. And tools... bring every tool known to man.
Failure is not an option.
I've spent many nights at burning man being a one-man auto shop.
I've replaced starters, alternators, wheels that cracked and tires that went flat, I've welded and grinded and patched and re-fabricated, to keep my MV cruising the playa. It's usually not as easy as it looks, be ready to handle all this shit.
Electrical parts suffer the most. Have a spare alternator, have spare belts for it, have wire and connectors and a gas soldering iron... test meters...
Just think like you're sending this thing to a hellish corrosive planet and you MUST keep it alive.

User avatar
Admiral Fukkit
Posts: 274
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:44 am
Burning Since: 2000
Camp Name: Camp I'm going to Hawaii instead

Re: A Novice with Passion

Postby Admiral Fukkit » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:26 pm

So yeah, uh, tools and parts.

maladroit
Posts: 2285
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:37 pm
Burning Since: 2012

Re: A Novice with Passion

Postby maladroit » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:59 pm

I have 10 years of mutant vehicle experience (predating my own first trip to the playa) as part of a larger team, and want to build my own someday. I have a complete mechanical and art concept and a partial design in CAD. However, I am painfully aware of how much they cost just to own and store the rest of the year, let alone build, transport, and maintain. You might get lucky and knock something together that works on the first try, but you really have to bring your best game in order to get invited and approved by the DMV.

To put it in perspective...the idea was floated at one point that I could own the 10 year veteran art car if the previous team built a new one. I couldn't let that conversation continue, because even with a fully complete playa-tested working art car dropped in my lap, I can't afford to store, maintain, fuel, or transport it.

All art cars are just like boats in terms of ownership cost, it's just that the Capt-- *cough* Admiral's vehicle makes that a little more obvious.

User avatar
Admiral Fukkit
Posts: 274
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:44 am
Burning Since: 2000
Camp Name: Camp I'm going to Hawaii instead

Re: A Novice with Passion

Postby Admiral Fukkit » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:41 pm

Yeah goddammit I was promoted.

User avatar
BBadger
Posts: 5575
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:37 am
Burning Since: 2018
Location: (near) Portland, OR, USA

Re: A Novice with Passion

Postby BBadger » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:22 pm

I have a friend who was spending about $500/mo to house his MV. So $6,000 just to store the damn thing throughout the year. Then comes transportation costs that drive MPG ratings into the mid single digits, the cost of gasoline, the team of individuals ready to man, set up, tear down, etc. the vehicle. It's a huge production.

The MVs I tend to like the most are those that are compact, recognizable, detailed, and have a big impact. They also tend to hide the base vehicle really well. Your MV doesn't have to be big to do that. In fact, I'm least impressed with those big decorated trucks that look like they're those decorated trucks out of India. They seem more like personal party vans rather than legitimate mutant vehicles.
"The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law." -- Christopher Hitchens

Hate reading my replies? Click here to add me to your plonk (foe) list.

User avatar
FIGJAM
Posts: 9909
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:39 am
Location: apache junction az.

Re: A Novice with Passion

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:32 am

fm171012.gif
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

"If I can't find an answer, I'll create one!!!"

Fuck Im Good Just Ask Me


Return to “Building Mutant Vehicles”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest