Tech Tim joins us to share his love of learning, self-proclaimed luckiest man in the industry; friendships and gumption have offered a lot of opportunities. ARB to Northridge with some stops along the way; Tim Lund has been all over making friends. It’s a great story, tune in on your favorite podcast app.
5:56 – Beautiful bike, right out of Monkey Ward or Sears catalog
11:46 – “wow. You did really good, just like your older brother.”
21:31 – we ate like kings
35:20 – I had a neighbor with a first gen Toyota pickup…
47:20 – …there’s got to be more to a differential
57:17 – “understand, we buy the beer.”
1:17:57 – there was the honeymoon period, we had so much business
1:28:56 – that was the infamous Scherer and Campbell drag race in the Hooters parking lot
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Welcome to conversations with Big Rich. This is an interview style podcast. Those interviews are all involved in the offroad industry. Being involved, like all of my guests are, is a lifestyle not just to job. I talked to competitive teams, racers, rock crawlers, business owners, employees, media and private park owners, men and women who have found their way into this exciting and addictive lifestyle. We discuss their personal history, struggles, successes, and reboots. We dive into what drives them to stay active and offroad. We all hope to shed some light on how to find a path into this world we live and love and call off road.
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[00:01:46.860] - Big Rich Klein
on today's episode of Conversations with Big Rich, we have Tim Lund. Everybody should know him as Tech. Tim, if you've been around the offroad industry for any bit of time I first met him, he was working for ARB. He's announced at We Rock events and Koh. He had his own shop, Wild West Off Road. He's been a tech editor for a number of different magazines, and he now resides at Northridge. So, Tim, thank you so much for coming on board and discussing your life and history with us.
[00:02:23.990] - Tim Lund
Thank you for having me on. It's a big honor, especially to be included with some of the names that you have already done interviews with.
[00:02:30.290] - Big Rich Klein
Well, you deserve to be in there, so don't discount yourself. So let's get started right off with where were you born and raised?
[00:02:39.660] - Tim Lund
I am a Pacific Northwest boy, 100%. I was born in Seattle and lived in Seattle up until about the fifth grade and then moved over to the peninsula. So across the water from Seattle into the Poulsbo/Kitsap area.
[00:02:55.330] - Big Rich Klein
Okay, so when you were you said about fifth grade, you moved over there that's a little bit more rural.
[00:03:03.210] - Tim Lund
Definitely more rural, yes.
[00:03:05.690] - Big Rich Klein
And what was it like first growing up in the city? Up until fifth grade thereabouts and then over to the rural area? Was it a big change?
[00:03:17.610] - Tim Lund
In some ways yes, some ways no. In the city you walk to school, it was only maybe five blocks away, six city blocks away. And during the summer, my older brother and older sister and I would walk to the theater or down to the corner store to grab stuff. You had the boys club a few blocks away where you could go play ball or jump on a trampoline, whatever. So you have all the conveniences of city, right? But my parents like to camp, and so we camp all the time, and whether it was hunting camp or just out camping for the sake of it, and so we were always out in the woods. And when we moved to the country, it was awesome. We moved to a farm that was probably, I don't know, 40 acres, maybe a little bit bigger. And we were surrounded by woods. Our nearest neighbor was probably ten acres, 20 acres through the woods on either side of us, across the road from us, we had a couple of thousand acres that were just wooded. And behind us was, I don't know how many acres, hundreds of acres that were wooded nice.
[00:04:37.880] - Tim Lund
And so it was really cool. We had an old barn, hay barn to go climb in, and it was farm life. And then you rode a school bus to school, and if you wanted to go to town, if you needed something, it was jump on your bicycle and ride 4 miles away to get to town. And same with friends. If you wanted to go see a friend, your friends were a couple of miles away. So put lots of time on bicycles back then, right?
[00:05:06.130] - Big Rich Klein
And you're of the age where you start off with almost a cruiser bike. I mean, they had Stingrays, but they weren't like BMX style stingrays, at least at my age.
[00:05:19.040] - Tim Lund
Yeah, so my older brother had a Stingray, the banana seat bike, whatever you want to call it. And I remember that was stolen when we were living in Seattle. My grandfather used to find bikes at garage sales and discount stores, used bikes, and then he would kind of fix them up for us. And so we always had these bikes that were just conglomeration of parts. At one point in time, I had a bicycle with a funky seat on, and it wasn't until later that I found out that was a unicycle seat, one of those curved seats.
[00:05:53.690] - Big Rich Klein
[00:05:56.690] - Tim Lund
It was just interesting. And to me, it was always, okay, let's take it apart and put something back together and change it around. So, yeah, the BMX was just starting to come on big time when we moved out to the Peninsula, because I remember I was really wanting, like, the traditional Mongoose type BMX bike, right? And my parents got me for Christmas. Beautiful bike. It was right out of one of the Monkey Ward or Sears catalogs. It's definitely a bike that they styled to make look like a motorcycle, you know, had a big motorcycle style seat, had plastic fenders, front and rear, fake plastic fuel tank, but it was a bicycle. And of course, it weighed with all the extra gear on it. The damn thing weighed, I don't know how heavy it was. And within a couple of weeks, I had to strip right down to the basics and put a small seat on it so it kind of looked like a BMX bike. And my parents were so disappointed. Yeah, because they spent a lot of money. They wouldn't let me have a motorcycle, but they got me this bicycle that looks like a motorcycle, and I guess they thought it was cool, but it definitely wasn't cool for me and my friends, right?
[00:07:15.440] - Big Rich Klein
I know that. I can imagine that happening. I don't remember getting a new bicycle until I was probably close to ten or eleven or twelve. And I think I ended up with a Schwinn Varsity road bike, ten speed, but every bike before that was, I think, my uncle and my grandfather combined and got me in my first bike, and then it was stolen. And so my uncle went and got it back from the kids that stole it. I mean, they stole it while I was on it, you know what I mean? They just said, no, we're taking this bike. And I was younger and there was too many of them, so I surrendered the bike and my uncle flipped out, went and got it. But our parents back then did what they could for us, and it wasn't always brand new and shiny, but we appreciated it anyway.
[00:08:25.660] - Tim Lund
Oh, yeah. And it's really what got me. I like to tear things apart ever since I was a little kid. The more technical it was, the more fascinated I was with it. But bicycles was a way that I could take things apart, put them back together. I used to take my bicycle apart, like in the evening, and regrets the bearings and put it all back together and, you know, it was just something to do, and my bicycle changed it. I had multiple different bikes as we got into middle school and then into high school and got nicer and nicer bikes as I built them, and then was able to sell them to friends. And I worked on a lot of friends bicycles. They had a crank set that was making noise, and so you get in there and tighten it up, maybe regrease the bearings for them, joined a youth group, so that was probably 1314. And one of the older members had this old DG bicycle. Everybody knows DG from motorcycle parts, but they actually even made bicycle frames at one point in time. And he had an old DG that he used to race BMX in.
[00:09:41.140] - Tim Lund
And I think I paid $25 for it. And we were going to school, so we lived in Kingston. We're going to school in Paulsbo, and it's probably 20 miles. And so after school, I walked with him to his house and paid him his money, got on the bicycle and I rode it all the way back home.
[00:10:00.560] - Big Rich Klein
Nice. That's awesome. What was school like for you? Did you participate in sports or were you the guy that was always in the shop classes or band or what were you doing?
[00:10:17.760] - Tim Lund
A little bit of everything. I'm just fascinated with learning and fascinated with meeting people and doing different things, so always doing something different. I was in music in 7th and 8th grade, was guitar class. We had a great shop class in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. Middle school, very state of the art for the time. And at one point in time, the shop teacher came over and grabbed, I think it was three of us, and said I basically said, I'm looking for three students to do an advanced project. And he pulled out an old school push pole style saw, like an old logger saw.
[00:11:08.180] - Big Rich Klein
[00:11:09.590] - Tim Lund
And laid out a pattern of a a knife, hunting knife blade, and cut that out, sat there and we had us cut them out. And we sat there and made these hunting knives that probably had a six inch, seven inch blade on them right. In middle school, shop class.
[00:11:24.410] - Big Rich Klein
[00:11:25.490] - Tim Lund
And I would put it in my backpack and carry it back and forth to school. I mean, could you imagine trying to do something like that today?
[00:11:33.200] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, no, I remember in high school having kids that had rifle racks in their car. And I grew up on the San Francisco Peninsula. Country.
[00:11:46.490] - Tim Lund
Yes. That was fairly common for us with people, some of the guys with pickup trucks that have rifle racks in the back. So it was great. Shop class. Then high school, same thing. I took mechanical drafting. My older brother got me into that. I think he took mechanical drafting when he was in 9th grade, and it really bore the hell out of him and I loved it. My dad had built him a desk with we had a TSquare and a drawing board and all that stuff. So my brother would bring his homework home and I would do his mechanical drafting homework for him. So I probably would have been I think I'm three years younger than him, so I would have been 6th grade or so. Then when I started high school, that was a class I went into, and I just aced it. And my teacher was just he was kind of, wow, you did really good. Just like your older brother. Never wanted to tell him that. Well, that's because I did all my older brother's homework.
[00:12:53.690] - Big Rich Klein
So was that the only class you did his homework in?
[00:12:57.440] - Tim Lund
Yeah, and it's funny, too, when you looked at the two of us, he was the sports guy. He played basketball and I don't know what other sports he played.
[00:13:14.310] - Big Rich Klein
Is he tall like you are?
[00:13:16.280] - Tim Lund
Yeah, but he's kind of like a gorilla. I'm like the rent of the family, almost. He's, I think, an inch shorter than me, but outweighs me by good £50, maybe more. Big kid anyway, but he was sports, and I was mechanical, and so he took a class that was small engine repair, and my dad and I would sit there and try to work with them, trying to understand what a spark plug was and how spark gets through and all this stuff. And it was funny because he would just be like, I'm not getting this. And where me? I was I'm just absorbing it and just go, oh, this is so cool. I got to go to a class like that when I get into high school.
[00:14:07.940] - Big Rich Klein
[00:14:09.440] - Tim Lund
So I took welding class. I think I took two years of welding. It should say metal shop. You had oxy settling, you had arc welding, lathe and a forge. They had a Tig machine there, or Heliot back then.
[00:14:27.550] - Big Rich Klein
[00:14:28.090] - Tim Lund
But you had to be a third year student to your shop class student, to be able to use the Helio art machine. And after two years, I was pretty much done with it and wanted to go do something else.
[00:14:43.180] - Big Rich Klein
Okay. I remember that in our metal shop was very similar to that. I wouldn't call it a welding shop or anything, even though I never the only thing I ever did was spot weld, but which doesn't help with what I am into today. But we did a lot of sheet metal, bending the benders and stuff, so that was kind of cool, taking metal and just something flattening, putting the angles to it and everything, and then coming out with a box.
[00:15:21.590] - Tim Lund
Yeah, that would have been neat. Never got a chance to do that in school.
[00:15:26.910] - Big Rich Klein
High school, shop some sports.
[00:15:31.860] - Tim Lund
Some my brother and I joined a youth group. It was like 13 to 18, and so we played a lot of sports in that. And the group that we had, the group of boys from our school, they were all very sports oriented. And so when we met the other groups in this youth group or other chapters, every year, they would have various sports tournaments, and our particular chapter in Pulsburg, Washington, just absolutely dominated. I think we were the state basketball champs, seven out of eight years. Volleyball champs, more often than not, things like that. I love volleyball, probably because of my height. Basketball was me. It was kind of my brother's thing. I just kind of let him do it. Baseball, to me was always too slow, and mom wouldn't let us play football.
[00:16:34.510] - Big Rich Klein
[00:16:35.910] - Tim Lund
And not that I had to build for it, either.
[00:16:38.290] - Big Rich Klein
So you were just tall and lanky and thin?
[00:16:41.020] - Tim Lund
Yeah, I was the beam pole.
[00:16:43.220] - Big Rich Klein
The beam pole, okay. And how tall are you?
[00:16:46.640] - Tim Lund
Five foot 18 inches.
[00:16:48.470] - Big Rich Klein
Five foot 18 inches. Okay. So I'm going to take that as six inch, right?
[00:16:57.850] - Tim Lund
[00:16:58.450] - Big Rich Klein
[00:16:59.270] - Tim Lund
So I think freshman year is what I got. It might have been sophomore year when I hit six. Six. But freshman year. I was definitely six, probably six three or so. And I think I wrestled in the 130 pound weight class.
[00:17:14.260] - Big Rich Klein
[00:17:15.230] - Tim Lund
So that can kind of tell you how skinny I was. And I didn't do very well. You're wrestling with guys who are much smaller and more muscular than you.
[00:17:27.220] - Big Rich Klein
[00:17:28.820] - Tim Lund
There you go. Compact.
[00:17:29.750] - Big Rich Klein
It seemed like wrestlers were compact.
[00:17:34.190] - Tim Lund
[00:17:35.000] - Big Rich Klein
They may have long arms, but they were still compact if you're 20 miles from the high school. Was it difficult to do after school? Things like dances and stuff like that?
[00:17:58.260] - Tim Lund
Not a ton. We did have after school buses for the first few years. They did end up with some budget cuts and took those out, but that was always nice. They would have a bus that was a couple of hours later or buses a couple of hours later to get everybody home. Basically, we would arrange it with our parents. Typically my dad, he worked in town. The only interesting thing was is that my dad was a lineman. And so during the during the fall and winter up here in the Northwest, we'll get our big storms. And so you might get picked up at 05:00 after school and you're sitting in a service truck as your dad, maybe another guy is out there up in a bucket trying to restore power, and you're watching lines come down and trees come down around you, and you might not get home till 10:00. As soon as dad could get a break to kind of swing the service truck by the house, he could drop us off.
[00:19:05.990] - Big Rich Klein
[00:19:08.160] - Tim Lund
The nice thing about having a dad's alignment is that, a, we are rarely without power for more than 24 hours, where kids around us would be out of power for two or three days.
[00:19:20.240] - Big Rich Klein
[00:19:22.340] - Tim Lund
Second was dad worked a ton of overtime during the big storms. You might not see him for two or three days. So Christmas was always spectacular.
[00:19:37.710] - Big Rich Klein
Nice. So what did your family do for you guys? Lived on the farm out in kind of pretty rural. What did you guys do for weekend activities or family activities besides just hanging around the house?
[00:19:56.620] - Tim Lund
[00:19:57.590] - Big Rich Klein
[00:19:58.450] - Tim Lund
And in the 70s, my dad got into scuba diving.
[00:20:02.690] - Big Rich Klein
[00:20:03.890] - Tim Lund
And before then it was typically we'd be out some place where he could fish or hunt, but in the have his original Patty card in one of my folders somewhere just because I thought it was cool. And he got into scuba diving and just get bit hard with that. And so then all our camping trips then revolved around being near the saltwater. And he kind of joked that we've been in every single campground in western Washington at one point in time or another, even the ones on islands and things like that, looking for places to dive. Yes. And my dad was his favorite thing was spearfishing. And so we literally ate fish a couple of times a week because the freezers would be full of fish and crab and octopus and whatever else that he thought looked good, that he could shoot or put stuff in his goodie bag. Scallops, and you name it. It wasn't until I got to be an adult and you're trying to make ends meet and stuff. And here we had a farm with cows on it, so we had our cows butchered. And you'd have a freezer full of beef and another freezer full of seafood.
[00:21:31.270] - Tim Lund
And you'd have steak, you'd have scallops, you'd have octopus, you name it. And we ate like kings. You really didn't think much of it until you get older and you're like, wow, I wish I could have steak almost every single night.
[00:21:45.890] - Big Rich Klein
Or lobster, scallops and shrimp or whatever. Yeah, no kidding.
[00:21:50.920] - Tim Lund
Yeah, that was pretty special.
[00:21:54.810] - Big Rich Klein
Get through high school and what was the next step?
[00:21:59.990] - Tim Lund
Get as far as away from a learning institution as I could.
[00:22:03.510] - Big Rich Klein
[00:22:07.560] - Tim Lund
I enjoyed school for the social aspects, but I just don't I was one of those that was just my mind goes way too fast, and school was way too slow.
[00:22:21.880] - Big Rich Klein
[00:22:23.390] - Tim Lund
If I could have figured out a way to slow things down, I'm sure I would have done a lot better math. And I loved English. That's probably the only advanced class I took, was they didn't call them AP back then, but I took advanced English just so we could read more books and get into the meat of writing and things like that. Okay, I really enjoyed that. But my thing was, I was really big in the martial arts, and I was really big in anything mechanical. I mean, it was bicycles. And then as soon as it was time to go for cars, it was cars. And my older brother bought a 1966 Mustang Coup that was his very first car. I want to say he paid about $800 for back then in the could buy muscle cars pretty cheap, seventies and early eighty s. And that was just like a love affair. Love that car. All of us did. It's a great car. And, yeah, tons of stories are around. Cruising somewhere with my brother.
[00:23:44.990] - Big Rich Klein
He'd take you along even though you were three years younger, huh?
[00:23:48.740] - Tim Lund
Well, we were involved in a youth group, and so we were always going to meetings, we had dances and then these sporting events and all this kind of stuff. And so it was always going someplace. It was fun. And that started a love affair with Mustang. So my dad then soon bought one, and then I bought a couple old junkers that I would pull parts off of and sell parts, or slowly repair the parts, fix them up. I didn't have my first I had a couple of other first cars, but my first Mustang, I was graduated from high school before I finally got one. And I got a 1965 Mustang Fastback GT, four barrel, four speed, and it was about as cool of a mustang as you could get without having a Shelby.
[00:24:45.430] - Big Rich Klein
Nice. What kind of trouble did that get you into?
[00:24:50.160] - Tim Lund
Very little, surprisingly. Okay. Country.
[00:24:54.490] - Big Rich Klein
[00:24:56.760] - Tim Lund
When I say country, the northwest is not rolling hills and fields. It's trees, woods.
[00:25:05.510] - Big Rich Klein
[00:25:06.320] - Tim Lund
And I'm really surprised that I hadn't really smashed up a car. I wasn't ever even in a serious accident until oh, boy. I was probably 2021 years old.
[00:25:22.090] - Big Rich Klein
[00:25:23.160] - Tim Lund
But we had just up the street from our house. It was going from over to the next town, and it was a good two and a half miles, 3 miles of just twisty turns through the woods. And that was my personal, you know, how fast could you get through it, timing it on an old stopwatch and to see how fast you could get through that section. And then it was, okay, how can I make this car handle better? So I guess my first four way into suspension geometry, and I soon found out that the Shelby's, you'd take the upper arms and redrill them an inch lower and an inch back, and you do that, and all of a sudden, wow, it really changed the handling of the car. And then it was, okay, well, let's lop half a coil off of the coil springs to set the front down just a little bit more, and that also stiffen it up a bigger sway bar off of, I think gosh, if I remember right, it was like off of a granada or something like that. And then it was the bigger disc brakes off of a 69 mustang because the 69 got bigger brakes, and it was a bolt on swap playing with leaf springs, replaced a lot of you joints, blew up the nine inch that was in the back of that car.
[00:26:52.640] - Tim Lund
And then we got another one that came from out of a cougar, and it must have been an automatic because it had 30 gears. And let me tell you, all of sudden, a that gave me an extra 20 miles, 30 miles an hour top speed.
[00:27:09.460] - Big Rich Klein
[00:27:10.250] - Tim Lund
And it was like, oh, my gosh, this is phenomenal. Yeah, sure, it wasn't that fast off the line, but if I could get into second gear before somebody was two car lakes ahead of me, I was gone. And then I had a lot more gear past that. So, yeah, as I started learning about gear ratios, like, wow, okay, these three o's are incredible. And then when I finally blew that rear end up, I had to go looking for another one that had three o's and to stuff it back in there.
[00:27:43.260] - Big Rich Klein
So when did the four wheel drive bite you?
[00:27:53.910] - Tim Lund
I'd been around it. We didn't have four wheel drives as a kid, but I knew people who did. My grandfather had one of the old first gen chevrolet loves, okay. And he lived out on the coast and he would cruise up and down the coast and cutting firewood and helping unstick people. I remember one time I was riding with them and here's somebody stuck in the sand. And so he comes tuling up to them and asked them if they'd like to get pulled out. My grandpa's hooking a rope up to him and starts to pull it out. And the guy is thanking him, and it must be really nice to have four wheel drive. And my grandpa looks at him and says, yeah, because then if I need it, I can shift into it. The guy was just surprised that Grandpa was driving all around on the beach in two wheel drive. Only shift into four wheel drive when you actually needed it.
[00:28:49.990] - Big Rich Klein
Well, that's a concept that's been lost. Don't open your toolbox until you need it.
[00:28:56.080] - Tim Lund
Yeah. And I remember one time, a couple of different times, there's friends of my dad, friends of my grandfather's who had jeeps, who had blazers. I remember one time we were down on one section of the beach out behind the jetty, and the sand was just all this black sand from the basalt rocks from the jetty, and it was really easy to get stuck in. And here, you watch the you watch this guy in this blazer and this CJ Five, you know, just tearing it up, just ripping back and forth across the sand. And there this black sand that you just sink in. That was really cool. And they used to do a big festival down there every year called the Fog Festival. And there was an old ship, an old cruise liner that had ran aground and when the tide was out, sand all the way around it. And they would do this big race out on the beach that went up and around this old cruise liner. We would sit there as kids. Grandma would always take us down there and we get to watch that. But that's not when it hit me.
[00:30:05.420] - Tim Lund
I just thought it was really cool. The Mustang Bug, that really had me for quite a while. But I wanted to cut things apart, change things, and do as much as I could give. My 65 Mustang, as cool as it was, it was never pretty looking right. It was mostly primer and stuff because to me, form follows function. Guess it would have been neat to have a cool paint job and all that stuff, but all my extra money went into better springs, better shocks, better tires, better wheels. It was about making the car better.
[00:30:37.060] - Big Rich Klein
Right. I understand that concept.
[00:30:40.260] - Tim Lund
Probably what ended that love affair was I had a lady come through an intersection and just t bone me right in the driver's door and just destroyed that car. And that's probably where being skinny saved me. When the cops got on scene and everything, nobody could believe that I was out of the vehicle and even walking or anything. The driver's seat was about maybe ten inches wide or so. I mean, the door was just pushed in and just squished the seat.
[00:31:11.480] - Big Rich Klein
Wow. But your scrawny butt fit in there.
[00:31:15.740] - Tim Lund
Yeah. And so, yeah, that really broke my heart, because that was my favorite car. It was so cool. Or at least to me.
[00:31:26.680] - Big Rich Klein
Right. No, I get it. There's a certain love affair that you have most people have with their first car, especially in the first car that they put time and effort into. It was just the first car where it was a hand me down from an older brother, from the mom or whatever. It's not quite the same, but when you have that first car and you're doing things to it, there's that love affair.
[00:32:00.440] - Tim Lund
After that was a 74 Mustang, two Cobra white with the blue stripes on it. I was just like, got a hell of a deal. I think I paid, like, $1,000 for it.
[00:32:11.380] - Big Rich Klein
[00:32:12.770] - Tim Lund
Yeah. Of course, then you soon realize that although the front suspension geometry was more advanced, it was heavier and slower.
[00:32:24.890] - Big Rich Klein
[00:32:25.820] - Tim Lund
Of course, it didn't help that I went from a pretty healthy 289 to a bone stock 2.3 Pinto motor. After that was I got into E body Mopar, so Challengers and Kudos. I had a 73 Challenger I loved. That was another car. Really, like, the handle great. And then I soon learned how to make adjustments to the suspension in that so that I could make it handle better. To me, I've never been a big fan of drag racing or circle track. To me, it's all about balance. And a car doesn't just go in a straight line, and a car just doesn't turn left.
[00:33:13.560] - Big Rich Klein
I think what got it for me to go that direction was there's two movies, first, Bullet Queen, and then there was Gator. McCluskey may have been Gator, or one of those, I forget which one it was, but he had a Ford Ltd that he was running shine in. And that car, to me, was just so badass because it would handle it was set really low profile, which you just didn't see that unless they were cars were running at, like, Luguna, Sega, Sears Point or something.
[00:33:53.840] - Tim Lund
Yeah, I used to on the Challenger, that was so easy to drop the stance. You just get under there and crank down the torsion bars. Well, of course, that would throw the alignment out of whack. And so you take a new alignment shop, and the first thing they do is crank the torsion bars back up. And then I'd get it back home, and it would be two days later, I'd mess the alignment all back up by dropping the torsion bars down.
[00:34:24.140] - Big Rich Klein
Did you ever find a middle ground?
[00:34:31.710] - Tim Lund
There were things you could do, but back then, people weren't cutting. You were buying expensive stuff.
[00:34:39.560] - Big Rich Klein
[00:34:39.910] - Tim Lund
And that was just never my thing. So now I ended up trading that. In on my first four wheel drive. Okay, so now you look back at it and you're going, wow, you actually traded away a 73 Challenger for gen Toyota pickup.
[00:35:04.710] - Big Rich Klein
[00:35:06.210] - Tim Lund
Yeah, and I think I got like, $600 trade in on it. That car these days would be worth fifteen K.
[00:35:16.940] - Big Rich Klein
Fifteen K if it was rough.
[00:35:20.310] - Tim Lund
Yeah. But that was my first Toyota pickup. I moved into a small, little house, and I had a neighbor, Lynn Adams, and he had this first gen Toyota pickup with a set of 33 inch super swampers on it. And he would come home, the thing would be come on a Sunday, the thing would be covered in mud, and he would be showing me pictures a week later after he got him developed. And it just looked like so much fun. Oh, my gosh. And so I went and found a first gen Toyota pickup truck sitting in a used car lot somewhere and traded my Challenger in on it. And that's the start of four wheel drive. And I've been in a four wheel drive ever since.
[00:36:08.760] - Big Rich Klein
And what were you doing for work? Either? Would you start working during high school or after high school?
[00:36:15.740] - Tim Lund
During high school, I had a couple of jobs, mostly odd jobs. I did a lot of mowing lawns for all the people in the neighborhoods. I'd fix things for people. But the first real job was washing dishes and prep cook at the local restaurants. And then I did during that must have been senior year of high school, so I almost kick started the four wheel drive a little bit earlier. I hadn't yet bought my fastback Mustang, and I was working for the Kingston Sandwich Emporium, and it was pretty much a sandwich shop. And we would work weekends, especially Sundays, because Kingston is one of the ferry hubs that goes over back over to the Seattle side.
[00:37:06.110] - Big Rich Klein
[00:37:06.740] - Tim Lund
And there'd be ferry wait times of a couple of hours to get back on the other side of the water. And so you would sit there and make sandwiches and serve soup. And if it was hot days out, we were scooping ice cream. And the owner of that company had a CJ Five. CJ five? Yeah, it must have been a CJ Five. And he moved up from Florida, and it had these big, wide 33 inch tires on it and had a V Eight in it. And he kept trying to sell that to me and kept trying to tell me, you know what? As much as you like to be out in the woods, you don't need a fast car. You need a four wheel drive, and you need a Jeep.
[00:37:48.380] - Big Rich Klein
You know, he's right.
[00:37:49.870] - Tim Lund
Yeah. I think it would have kind of changed it would have changed a lot of things younger. But once I got in, you know, later on when I got that first Toyota, then it just kind of snowballed from there. And I had a couple of Toyotas past that. Let's see, I was doing construction. I did apartment maintenance for a company that had multiple apartment buildings on a couple commercial businesses.
[00:38:20.720] - Big Rich Klein
[00:38:22.260] - Tim Lund
And I learned a lot from my dad and my grandfather about how to fix just about anything. And we had a big family, and we were definitely middle class, but there wasn't a lot of money to go around. So if you wanted something, you fixed it, you built it, or if something broke, you didn't buy new, you fixed it.
[00:38:43.990] - Big Rich Klein
Right. How did you end up at ARB?
[00:38:49.710] - Tim Lund
Well, after I bought my first Toyota, although it might have been when I got my second Toyota, there was a four wheel drive shop in town, but they weren't. It was a store that sold wood stoves. OK. And in the back, they had a counter with the old catalog racking and catalogs in it. And so if you want something for your four wheel drive, the owner of that company had I guess it was the owner, he had a big Ford with 38 or 39 inch Mickeys that was huge back in the day.
[00:39:35.380] - Big Rich Klein
[00:39:38.540] - Tim Lund
So you go in there, and you could go in there and open up a catalog and pick something out and order it if you wanted to, but you couldn't see any parts. You couldn't get your hands on parts. And being a mechanically minded, I wanted to hold parts. I wanted to see what they look like and how they work.
[00:39:59.240] - Big Rich Klein
Not just a catalog guy.
[00:40:00.920] - Tim Lund
Yeah. So it was just one of those things they did full size, if I remember right. That's kind of where their focus was. They did a lot more lifted pickup trucks.
[00:40:14.780] - Big Rich Klein
And wood stoves.
[00:40:16.000] - Tim Lund
Yeah, and wood stoves. And so I was just thinking, we really need a four wheel drive shop and a way to be able to get parts to enthusiasts. And you go out in the woods and you'd meet other people, and people weren't taking Toyota the Toyota's really seriously back then. Now, when you talk to people, what are the top four wheel drives? Well, jeep and Toyota and even Heft. They even take Suzuki Samurai seriously now. And back then, Toyotas were just like, oh, that's cute. You got an import truck. And so that's where the idea of Wild West off road came from.
[00:40:58.360] - Big Rich Klein
[00:41:00.740] - Tim Lund
Boy, we think we fired that up back in the early 90s. No, 80s. Late eighty S. Eighty nine ninety S somewhere right in there. And because I didn't have a huge budget or anything like that, I wasn't carrying stock, but I could show people parts of my truck, and I can order this for you. And we didn't have many sales back then. It was definitely a hobby business that kind of tapered out, and we started the Wild West off road club. And that actually got to be pretty big. I think at one time, we had over 20 members. And we would go around and we joined the local Pacific Northwest four wheel drive association. And we go around to their events and their runs, and you meet more and more people and you learn more and more stuff, and I get to put my hands all over more and more vehicles. And then I got into construction. Then I started working for a truck shop, a semi truck part store. That was my first, I would say my first real job, if you want to call it that, where I was actively really learning stuff about parts, ordering and making sure that you can take care of all your customers needs and all those kind of things.
[00:42:24.260] - Tim Lund
And you had to learn a lot about tech. I started there and I'm asking the boss, hey, can I take some catalogs home with me or whatever, to read through them and kind of start learning this? And he just laughed. He says, not with semi trucks. He says, they're all different. You're just going to have to start working and you'll soon get it.
[00:42:47.330] - Big Rich Klein
[00:42:48.960] - Tim Lund
And that's pretty much everything. Yeah, it really turned out to be. If it was Kenworth or Peterbilt, they were very similar. And even Mac trucks would have the same axles. It might be an SDHQ or an HQ or various probably screwed that all up. But it's been 30 years since I've worked for the truck shop, right? And now I could then apply what I was learning into Wild West. And then all of sudden, A, the Internet is a thing. And we went and bought our first big computer. My wife had a computer when she was going through college, but it was like, I don't know, 386 or something.
[00:43:34.640] - Big Rich Klein
[00:43:35.630] - Tim Lund
And so for the Internet, that wasn't going to cut it. So we went and spent way too much to have a computer that we'd all laugh at now, whatever size it was. And my wife immediately took to learn how to do web code. And then she was teaching me that. We got our first web page up and we started selling parts online. Not a lot, but still it was still a side job. But we had money coming in. I'm thinking I was at the truck shop when it happened. But anyway, my second Toyota had I an engine fire in it, okay? And it burned, burned up. And so then from there, I got in. I had a flatty for a while. It's either a 47 or 49. I've had both CJ two, like pretty much bone stock. And I went out, I bought it, I drove it home. Everybody tells you they only do 40 miles an hour down the road. And this one cruised really nicely at 45, but no faster.
[00:44:50.010] - Big Rich Klein
Had bigger tires on it.
[00:44:53.910] - Tim Lund
Yeah, I probably wouldn't meet Eric Filars version of stock. And then I had a scout for a while at an old school power wagon, 1962 power wagon with the great big huge fenders and the old military looking power wagons, right, WM 300 and legitimately wouldn't do more than about 45 miles an hour down the road.
[00:45:26.160] - Big Rich Klein
So with all these different vehicles you had and you being the kind of guy that likes to tear into things and going to do your own work and modifications and stuff like that or just repairs even, is where you've picked up a lot of the tech.
[00:45:43.410] - Tim Lund
Yes. So, like, when I had the Toyotas, I would go through boy, I think in a couple of years, I think I've gone through three rear differentials, three rear third members, and you go get one out of the wrecking. Yard for $150 and put a whole another axle in. Or maybe just a third member and I'd take it out and beat on it. And pretty soon bearings would go out, opinion bearings. And I had no idea at the time what was happening, but I had to start figuring it out. And there was a place up north, almost to the Canadian border up in Bellingham Northwest, off road specialties. And anybody out there who knows their Toyota will know that company that back in the day they did the coolest Toyota pickups parts. Their catalogs were phenomenal, and they had all the parts that you needed back then. And they built me. I've blown another rear end up and it had only been, boy, maybe a couple of months since I'd replaced it. And I said, what the heck, I'm just going to go buy one from these guys. They offered rebuilt Toyota third members. And so I went up there and it was like a three or four hour drive up to them and bought a third member all freshly rebuilt, put it in, and I'll be damned if that one didn't last probably a whole year and a half before I tore that one out.
[00:47:20.200] - Tim Lund
And it got me thinking that there's got to be more to a differential. How come I can tear up a stock one fairly fast? The one that these guys built lasted so long compared to all the others, right? Then we'll fast forward up into where I'm working at this truck shop. And we had a local shop a couple of miles away from us that they did work on semi trucks. And so they rebuilt transmissions and rebuilt axles, the third members. And so I got talking with the owner of the company and asked them, how do you put together a differential? How do you make it work? How do you make them strong? And he had no idea about at the time I was into Samurais. I think I'd gotten rid of the scout and we bought our first Suzuki Samurai. And I had a friend who wanted I think he tracked me down on the Internet because I was selling lock right locker for the Samurai. And he wanted a gear change too. And so the guy delivered me to third members. And I call up Paul, the owner of this truck shop, said, hey, I've got two third members.
[00:48:42.740] - Tim Lund
Will you show me how to set them up with gears and everything? And I'd done a few locker swaps, but I never messed with gears. And so I came up, I brought pizza and beer. We sat in his shop one evening and rebuilt both of these Suzuki Samurai discs with four, five, sixes and put the lunchbox lockers in them. That was the first gear job I ever did for a wild west. I actually didn't do it. I had somebody do it, and he was teaching me how to do it.
[00:49:18.730] - Big Rich Klein
That's okay. That's what it's all about.
[00:49:21.960] - Tim Lund
But we put them in the guys. I gave him to the guy. The guy put him in his Samurai and showed up to a trail run a couple of days later, and he went wheeling with us, and he wheeled back out of those things for quite a while. Never had an issue with them. And I took what I learned there. I tore into my differentials. I tore into other friends'differentials, and that's what really got me into axles, because then I'm realizing, wait a minute. There's lots of little things you can do to an axle to make it so much stronger, make them last longer, right? And then that also, wildlife really took a hard turn towards Suzuki Samurai. There was nobody doing parts for them back then, or at least not many. And so we were the first. There was a guy down in California, Mario. He used to run a newsletter you'd subscribe to, and he'd mail it, and it was called the Katana, and it was just about Suzuki Samurais. I got to be pretty good friends with him and learned a lot more about the Samurai. I got to be friends with Kai Serrano, which most people know him these days.
[00:50:30.050] - Tim Lund
I don't even know if he's still into him, but he got really heavy into unimaggs. But he was the one. Kaiserno and Mario were the ones that came up with how to do the original rock lobster TC, which was you take the front half of gears from a samurai and the back half of gears from an SJ 410, the prior samurai and you mix and match the gears in the transfer case and you come up with a 4.116 low range. And that was the start. Those are the two guys that figured out how to do that and they were actually taking you had the cluster gear, which had two gears on it and you'd actually have to cut those in half and then machine a little step in and press them together and then pig weld them together. Well, and that was the start. All the other Samurai gears that you see, especially these days, they do 65 gears, all that. Everything came off of what Kai and Mario had figured out. And so I did a bunch of those transfer cases, and then we started doing suspension. I got to be friends with the people up at ARB.
[00:51:43.180] - Tim Lund
They were just in Seattle. And I started doing old menu suspensions for Samurai. And then, of course, the ARB Bull bar. At one point in time, I was selling more old menu suspension for the Samurai than anybody else in the country.
[00:51:57.590] - Big Rich Klein
[00:51:58.100] - Tim Lund
And that may sound like a lot, but it wasn't. But it made a name for me is that people knew me as the Suzuki guy, and it gave me a name at ARB because everybody knew that I was selling lots of parts. And a good friend of mine, he would belong to the Boeing four wheel drive club. And somewhere across one of their bulletin boards, they came across ARB was looking for somebody to manage their tech department. And so he sent it down to me, said, hey, I don't know if you've seen this or not, but it might be something that you'd be interested in. And I was still working at the truck shop at the time and then running Wild West on the side. And we were doing fairly well with Wild West as a sideline business. It was definitely more spent more time on that. I could have taken more time off of the truck shop job just to do it on the Wild West side. Anyway, what the heck? So I gave him a call, and Jim Jackson, the president at the time, invited me up, and I interviewed with him and Chris Wood, who was the West Coast sales manager at the time.
[00:53:30.510] - Tim Lund
And they were first really surprised that I was interested in coming to work for them. They're like, wow, you're selling parts and you got your own website. And of course, it was back in. The people weren't just building their own websites, if you get what I'm saying. I mean, I know people were, but they were just kind of surprised that I wanted to come work for them. And to me, it was all about learning and learning more. Next thing I know, I found myself as a tech manager for ARB. Now, that may sound very high level or whatever, but back then, ARB, I was the 7th man in the door. We were pretty dang small. And you didn't just run tech because, first off, there wasn't enough tech calls coming in. Second, well, you had to be out helping unload containers or helping move things in the warehouse or taking sales calls. Everybody did everything. It was really, back then, one of those small businesses, and everybody pitched in on everything.
[00:54:38.860] - Big Rich Klein
[00:54:40.040] - Tim Lund
It was really neat. It was a great time to get into the industry.
[00:54:44.310] - Big Rich Klein
What year do you think that was about?
[00:54:46.160] - Tim Lund
Oh, that was 1997.
[00:54:48.100] - Big Rich Klein
[00:54:49.120] - Tim Lund
Yeah. I started, I want to say September 1, 1997, maybe September 2. Somewhere right in there. I spent nine years with ARB, and it was a phenomenal job. I met so many great people that I learned so much from, and I've become friends with so many people. I mean, you got involved with going to events, and so pretty soon you find yourself at a rock crawling event, and having that ARB shirt on opened a lot of doors for me. A lot of people wanted to talk to you because you're the ARB guy, because first they might have had a question or they might have had a problem. And I was carried around a small little you probably remember I always carried around a small little satchel type thing with motive, with solenoids and airlines and airline splices and switches and pressure switches and tools to replace them. And so you go from one car to the next helping people sort out any problems they had, right. And then you go to a four wheel drive event. The very first four wheel drive event I went to as an ARB representative was in, I think, February of 98 would have been 98, and I hadn't been there.
[00:56:02.330] - Tim Lund
I've only been with the company for, well, since September. And the boss says he comes up to me and stuff $900 cash into my hand and says, You've got a credit card, right? Yeah. Great. And hands me his keys to his exh Cherokee and says, I need you to go down to the very first this is a new event put on by the Southwest four wheel drive, the Chili Challenge. And this was down in Las Cruces, New Mexico. And he says, make sure you take extra time stopping at Moab. I want you to go say hi to people in Moab. He had a couple of other shops along the way. Stop in, introduce yourself, say hi, see if there's anything you can do to help him or answer any questions. And so I want to say that was like a two week trip to drive from Washington all the way down to Las Cruces, New Mexico, and stopping at shops along the way. And on the way back, I get down there. I have no idea I should reach out back out to these people. But there's a fellow down there, Huff, high tech auto, and that was Jim Huff, and he was our ARB dealer down in Las Cruces.
[00:57:17.260] - Tim Lund
And so I went and stayed with him and his wife Nancy. And then we went out to this event. And the very first night, standing around the campfire, the other instruction I had from Jim Jackson at ARB was he gives me the $900 cash. He says, well, that's some expense money. He says, but understand, we buy drinks, we're going to buy the beer. So when you show up at the campfire, make sure you have a case of beer and you're handing out beers to people.
[00:57:47.290] - Big Rich Klein
He knew the way to everybody's heart.
[00:57:49.130] - Tim Lund
Yeah. And he had done this for years. I've had a lot of great bosses, but he's definitely pop, too. He was a huge influence on my life and made a lot of things possible for me. Anyway, so first night around the campfire, I'm standing there, I'm handing out beers to people, and Frank Curry comes up and introduces himself. And everybody knows John Curry and Ray Curry and even Charlie Curry, but not a lot of people got it. Unless you've been in the four wheel drive industry for years, not a lot of people got to meet Frank Curry. And he finds out that I'm from a Orb and finds out that I'm basically brand new. And he says, well, you know what? Just stick with me, kid. The whole weekend, he kind of took me under his arm, him and the old Rat Pack back in the days, which was Frank Curry and then Pat Grammilian and Harold Off. You remember Harold?
[00:58:55.490] - Big Rich Klein
[00:58:56.450] - Tim Lund
There's a couple of other gentlemen in there. I don't quite remember the names, but those three really kind of took it serious that they're going to take me under their arm, or under their wing, I should say, and kind of introduced me to everybody and get to be friends with everybody. And down there I met at that event. That was a pretty big event back in the day, and it was the very first one. Met Marlin. Crawler. Met Ned Bacon. One day I'm switching from one trail over the hill to another trail, and I'm standing on the side of the trail taking photos as I'm watching a couple of rigs come by. And here comes this black Extra Cab Toyota pickup, comes rolling up on I think he was on 35. And this fellow leans out the window and he says, hey, brother, what are you doing? I'm just taking photos. Well, would you like a ride? Would you like to hop in? Well, you can probably guess who that fellow in a black Extra Cab Toyota pickup was. That was JT. Taylor.
[01:00:03.610] - Big Rich Klein
[01:00:05.170] - Tim Lund
And he was home on a break from the military. And I got to meet JT. Taylor back before he was known for his epic mustache. And I got to give a shout out, love you there, JT. It's been a long time, brother.
[01:00:23.910] - Big Rich Klein
[01:00:26.010] - Tim Lund
And that's kind of the way ARB became. I got to learn so much about Axles. I got to meet people who really knew Axels phenomenally and taught me so much. And you just threw out the industry across the nation, from the West Coast to the East Coast up into Canada and then down. We also covered this whole side of the Earth. So I traveled extensively through Central America, Mexico and South America.
[01:00:58.040] - Big Rich Klein
[01:00:59.030] - Tim Lund
And to this day, I still have some very good friends who are clients in different countries. I've fourwheeled in, I want to say eight different countries. I'm sure Or Sal will remember the story if he's listening where we blew through a gorilla roadblock in his Hilux Toyota pickup in Guatemala.
[01:01:33.360] - Big Rich Klein
Do you get shot at?
[01:01:35.460] - Tim Lund
No. That's why they're all dressed. We come flying around the corner, and here's all these guys in olive drab fatigues holding M 16, and they have coffee cans full of gasoline out, blocking the road off. They're on fire as kind of like torches, right? And as soon as he sees them, he downshifts, and he goes flying right through, and they step out of the way, and we go flying and headed up the hill. And I'm going, Dude, what the hell are you doing? He's like, what? I'm like, you just, like, blew through the government? Are you sure they're the government? Are they shooting at us? I said, no, they're not shooting at us. He goes, that wasn't the government. He says, they probably only had maybe five or six bullets amongst all of them.
[01:02:31.340] - Big Rich Klein
None chambered at that point.
[01:02:33.290] - Tim Lund
Yeah. Lots of stories of Central America, South America, travel like that. I have four wheeled up in the Himalaya. Not Himalayas. Excuse me. The Andes Mountains. We were down in Argentina taking care of a client down there. And let me tell you one of the things that's always impressed me with mechanics. So it doesn't matter what language you speak. If you speak, if you have a mechanical mind, you get it. You can always tell people who get it and people who don't. And I was down in Argentina instead of this guy didn't own the shop. He was just a distributor for us. So he was supplying all the shops with ARB parts. And I was doing a seminar on how to install an airlocker and what to look out for. And I didn't speak very good Spanish. I took Spanish in high school, but it had been quite a few years since over ten years since I was out of high school. And so I was all the whole flight down, I'm reading, trying to learn. This trip was kind of a last minute trip. So it's like, okay, learn as much Spanish as you can.
[01:03:46.600] - Tim Lund
I end up down in Argentina giving a talk about how to put in an airbn air locker to a bunch of people who do not speak English. And I have an interpreter there, but the interpreter is not a mechanical at all. So he had no idea, basically, what to call most of the stuff. He didn't know what a ring and pinion was. He didn't know what an actual shaft was. He didn't know the name for a bearing. And so they supplied me with a few parts that I could have on my bench as I'm talking. And as I'm talking, I'm talking in English and letting this interpreter than talking Spanish. And there'd be sections. I'm talking in English. And you could just see the mechanics out there shaking their heads up and down. They got it. They totally got it. Even though we didn't understand each other, they understand how important backlash is, how important bearing preload is, all the various things. So that was really kind of open my eyes, going, wow, this is really neat. And it just made me want to learn more and more and more tech and really then kind of start pushing the envelope on how could you make things better?
[01:05:13.110] - Tim Lund
Even though I want to say that A or B, yes, they were perfect and never had a failure. We know that's not true. Everything breaks, right? And so we spent a lot of time figuring out how to make things not break. And at the time when I first started for ARB, there was only one person in that department, in the Air locker department. And he wasn't an engineer, he was a draftsman. And so he would draw up the new designs. We would send him axle pieces and they would measure them up and he would draw it up, and then he'd figure out how to fit existing Airlocker components into make this all work. It wasn't until later that they hired a young fellow, Daniel Bongarten. I think you've met him. He comes out to Koh quite often.
[01:06:13.270] - Big Rich Klein
[01:06:14.080] - Tim Lund
And Daniel was a new kid on the block at ARB. And he remembered he has his Masters in Gear design and he knew nothing about differentials. I knew nothing about engineering per se, but we just hit it off because I wanted to make the Airlocker the best I could. And he wanted the same thing. And so over the course of the next few years, we really work together great. Really just making the product solid. ARB continue to grow. When I started from Forum, I want to say that if we had a $500,000 month, that was a big month. And nine years later when I left, we were having $2 million month. That was in part because of the team that Jim Jackson put together. The sales crew was great. The shipping department, they were busted their butts to get everything out the door. Tech department, we did whatever we could to help people get their stuff fixed and get them back on the trail. That was always our first thing. The most important thing is to get somebody on the trail. Marketing worked their butts off and it was always a shoestring effort. And it was a very family it had a feel of a family ran business, right.
[01:07:45.430] - Tim Lund
It was really neat.
[01:07:46.540] - Big Rich Klein
And now you left ARB and you were still doing Wild West, right?
[01:07:51.980] - Tim Lund
Yes. So what happened was during while I was at ARB, that's when all of sudden a vehicle competitions, four wheel drive competitions really started kicking in. That's when you had the rock crawl competition starting up and moving along. And then now all of sudden A, people are trying to figure out their finding out that a lot of the axles and the vehicles out there aren't. Strong enough to take a lot of abuse, especially with bigger tires and more horsepower.
[01:08:21.290] - Big Rich Klein
[01:08:21.920] - Tim Lund
And so I started figuring out how can we tweak airlockers to make them even better and how to tweak axles to make them stronger and better. And so that's when we started doing bigger spline airlockers. And I'd met a retired gentleman who had a small machine shop he ran as a hobby. And he had an EDM machine so I could take gears to him, side gears from an ARB. And he would EDM them out to a larger spline for me. And then I would chuck the housings up in Lays and cut out meat out of the bearing journal so that we could put a bigger shaft in them. So now I'm doing big spline ARBs. And over the years, ARB then started making their own big splend versions. But back in the day, the only way you could do it was either through me or through Sandy cone was the other one who was doing them quite a bit. And there's another person I met through ARB with Sandy Cone and Camo. So back if you remember the old Camo 40, camo 40 flying 60. So they got me involved in that whole deal. Camo called me and said, well, I'm going to have my actual guy call you.
[01:09:32.440] - Tim Lund
I had no idea who Camo was. And then he was from Pirate, but I didn't realize how big Pirate was at the time. Well, they were still growing back then.
[01:09:40.150] - Big Rich Klein
[01:09:41.690] - Tim Lund
So that got me onto pirate four by four. And then the Axle guy that called me was Sandy Cone. He's desert Racing axle guru from way back. And him and I just hit it off. I haven't talked to him in a couple of years, but he's still one of those fellows that I would stop in if I was in California, I'd stop in at Sandy's house to see him and stop at his shop, I should say. He was always on my short list of call if I had a question. Same with Jason bunch. There's another fantastic individual that you should throw up on your podcast if you get a chance to talk with him.
[01:10:23.050] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, he's like, you take forever to get you guys on the phone.
[01:10:29.240] - Tim Lund
You just get busy.
[01:10:31.340] - Big Rich Klein
[01:10:32.990] - Tim Lund
So Jason and I became just very good friends. As a matter of fact, when I come to La. Jason would pretty much, okay, you're staying at my house. I'm like, no, ARB is paying for my hotel. It's like, no, you're staying at my place. And I love the heck out of him and his wife. They were great people and tried kind of gear. They were always known as pushing the envelope, making things better. And I learned a lot of stuff from Jason Bunch, not only just on axles, but also on suspension, especially suspension geometry.
[01:11:07.460] - Big Rich Klein
[01:11:08.410] - Tim Lund
Gosh, there's so much we're not even scratching the surface. I still had a samurai. I was really into Samurai back then. I had a local shop, local to me. This is when I first started for ARB. I was tired of blowing up Samurai axles, and this was before Bobby Long doing the high strength Toyota joints. And I didn't want to put Toyota axles in, which is what everybody was doing, into a Samurai. And so I had a local shop up here, well known in the Northwest, but I don't think much beyond Northwest. And that's rears and gears. And at the time, he was building custom axles. If you asked him, he won't do it these days, he's now just so busy doing ring of pinions. But he built me a high pinion 44 front and shortened up a nine inch van housing for me. And then we put in one of the I want to say it was the first run or second run of the Curry high pinion nine. So that was a very capable rig. And also now I had axles that could hold decent tires. And somewhere in there, when I met Ned Bacon, I rode with Ned Bacon for a day on the trail down in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
[01:12:34.720] - Tim Lund
And Ned had just done a coil spring suspension on the killer B.
[01:12:38.860] - Big Rich Klein
[01:12:39.820] - Tim Lund
And so now all of a sudden, I had something new to do to the Samurai. So next thing you know, my Samurai sitting under coils. I had YJ springs in the back, old, many new, of course, coils up front, and then a 44 and nine inch combination with 35, the big 30 516 wide boggers. And it ran in that configuration for quite a while. It wasn't enough gearing. So I called Marlin up. I got to be really good friends with Marlin at the time. And Marlin, can we do doublers in a Suzuki? And he says, no, I looked at it. Somebody brought me this stuff and wanted me to do this. And he said, there's no way in hell it could be done. So Marlin looked at it and just didn't see how it could be done easily, right? And so, boom, all of a sudden, I had a new challenge. So I think I'd rebuilt a couple of airlockers for Marlin, something along those lines, whatever. Anyway, he was feeling a little bit embedded to me or whatever you want to call it. And next thing I know, I have a double or Toyota doubler set up sitting on the tech bench at ARB.
[01:13:50.610] - Tim Lund
So it's like, okay, I'm going to get this in my Samurai. So if you look at a five speed Samurai transmission where the shifter sets and the shift rails are, that hangs out about five inches past the output shaft. So you actually have, like, this box that comes backwards from the transmission above the output shaft. And so your Ujoint, your yoke slides into the transmission. Your U joint is actually sitting below underneath the box that holds your shifter in it and your shifter rails. So I pulled out a sawzall, and I cut that box off, slice an opening in the top of the transmission, basically shortened the whole shifting housing and shifter rails just over four and three quarters of an inch, I think it was. And now the back of my transmission was flat. And then we could well, the A plate on there that happened to have the Toyota bolt pattern, and now all of a sudden, doublers could fit in. And so the Samurai had dual Toyota transfer cases and then couple it with the 44 front and nine inch rear and the 35 inch boggers. And the thing was just incredible.
[01:15:08.610] - Tim Lund
We could do all the northwest trails. Didn't have any issues. Coils only lasted for so long, and then now it's coilovers. Another great person I met through ARB. Randy Ellis.
[01:15:23.010] - Big Rich Klein
[01:15:24.100] - Tim Lund
I was down, and I talked to Randy a few times, helped him troubleshoot a couple of ARV issues, air locker issues. And so next time I was in Phoenix, he says, well, stopping at my shop, and he was working out of his house at the time. And so I stopped in there, and he's got this Jeep of his. It's on coilovers. And matter of fact, this might have been when I first might have first met you. I think you were doing a We Rock maybe. It was an Arc event that was out in Mesa, Arizona. Okay back. Pat Gramilion was there. Randy Ellis. Shannon Campbell. Las Cruces, New Mexico. Also, the very first time I ever met Shannon Campbell and his wife Tammy, and they had one of their kids with him who's in a baby seat, might have been whaling, must have been Wailing. Anyway, so Randy had coilovers on this Jeep. Well, that's a whole another thing for me to do. So as soon as I got home, coils came out, and coilovers went in the Samurai. So my dad the first coilovers in a Samurai Might Have been I definitely showed up to, like, Moab Easter Jeep Safari the very next year.
[01:16:40.190] - Tim Lund
And the only people there with coilovers was Randy Ellis and me.
[01:16:44.310] - Big Rich Klein
[01:16:47.090] - Tim Lund
And it was so neat, metric, and you name it, all the movers and shakers, the guys who are really pushing the envelope. And it was so nice to be on the phone with these guys all the time, learning what's new? What are they doing? And I was able to take that, put my own little spin to it. And that kind of what helped really drive my leading ARB, was that I had so much side work that, okay, maybe I can make this a go. I can do a bunch of custom stuff. And my brother in law was really pushed. That my wife's brother. He basically did a lot to help him and his wife did a lot to help my wife and I open up Wild West off road, seriously as a full time gig. And they were just fantastic. So huge shout out to Darwin and Nancy. And so we started that, but we also started that in 2007.
[01:17:56.690] - Big Rich Klein
[01:17:57.680] - Tim Lund
So the first there was the honeymoon period. It was great. We had so much business. We were building roll cages for people. We were doing a lot of suspension work for people, axle work. And then I got involved with an industrial company that I was doing a lot of welding on semi truck trailers and semi trucks and all kinds of stuff. That was great. That brought a lot of money in, and we were doing really good. And then the crash hit. And then it's the same old story with a lot of companies that you heard you ride great, really nice waves, but then you also have the very bottoms of those waves where you're trying to make a paycheck to employees and trying to make rent payments and trying to do all kinds of different things. I definitely kept a lot of quite a few employees longer than I should have, which means that you get a job done. And everything you put on the credit card, you did get it paid off, because then you were using the money that you made from the job to pay salaries to your employees.
[01:19:08.010] - Big Rich Klein
[01:19:09.360] - Tim Lund
And so I definitely should have gone to business school or I don't know. You get into racing, then racing king of the hammers come along. And now next thing I'm doing, I'm doing 40 spline, 14 volts, 40 spline axles of all sorts and helping people make really good axles, make the axles in their Koh cars. They're 4400 cars last, whether it be nine inches or what. Well, Bruce Seller, there's a great example for you. Bruce Seller, he was having his nine inches put together by a company and he was blowing them. Almost won every event that he would go to. And he ended up we got to be friends, talking over the phone on the ARB tech line. And he said, well, hey, would you take a chance at building my discs for me? Sure, what that? Send them up to me. So he ups nine excuse me, five nine inch third members up to me. And I took them all apart and made a few changes and put them all back together, sent them all back down to him. He put one set in. He ran the whole season on that set. And that was the year that he, him and Tracy Jordan were fighting out for the championship.
[01:20:38.330] - Big Rich Klein
[01:20:38.950] - Tim Lund
And they got right to the very end on the shootout. And Bruce Eller's, one of his deaths, he breaks something in the death. And I think they tied in the shootout. But because Tracy had more wins during the season, tracy got the championship, bruce Eller took second. Something along those lines, okay? And of course, as he calls me, and he tells me, well, we broke one of your dishes. And I'm like, I'm asking, well, I want to see it. What broke? What broke? And he's like, well, don't worry about it. I ran that same differential the whole season long. And I'm laughing at myself thinking, Wait, I built you five. The whole idea is you are going to be changing these out and I could get a look at them and see what's wearing funny or see what's changing and can we make it stronger or whatever. And he laughed and he told me, well, they were working so good, why would I pull one out?
[01:21:47.090] - Big Rich Klein
Because when it did break, it was at the wrong time.
[01:21:50.290] - Tim Lund
Yeah, when it did break and I wasn't at the event, so I didn't see all of stuff. But anyway, that was really interesting. So another thing, though, one of the things that really kind of helped me, help me get through some of the tight times at Wild West was right at my last year at ARB, dave Zarkman had started four wheel drive Toyota owners magazine, right? And so we've gotten to be friends and I asked him a couple of times because magazines, I mean, back in the day, you didn't get on the internet, you read magazines. And I had a huge four wheel drive magazine collection and I kept asking, let me write an article for you, let me write an article for you. But for some reason, he didn't want the tech guy who was known working at ARB to write an article for him. He didn't think that was going to be good sport or whatever. Anyway, but after I left ARB, all of a sudden he's like, okay, you can write articles for me. I started writing tech articles for him. And that's how I got into writing for the magazines right off the bat.
[01:23:04.450] - Tim Lund
So I started writing for him and everybody got to know me as the guy who wrote for the Toyota magazine and then Tim Peele back in the extreme offroad days.
[01:23:20.090] - Big Rich Klein
Right, I know all about those days.
[01:23:22.510] - Tim Lund
Yeah, that's when we first met, too.
[01:23:26.510] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, well, extreme offroad XOM was my baby. That's what I wanted to start when I started Calrox. So I wanted a magazine because there was nothing out there for hardcore enthusiasts.
[01:23:40.700] - Tim Lund
Okay. I didn't know you were tied in on that angle.
[01:23:43.930] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah. The name and how the layout was going to be and everything. And I got a call from Tim's partner, Dave Fuel, I'm still friends with him and he calls me up one day and says, hey, I understand you're going to start a magazine. And so we talked for hours and I said, here, why don't I do this? Why don't I just send you everything and you run with it? Just show us some love during our season. And that's what happened. But they only got three issues out.
[01:24:15.670] - Tim Lund
Yeah, I still have those three issues oh, nice. Then Karl started with Tim. Peele. Peeley. Whatever it was.
[01:24:29.760] - Big Rich Klein
They had to change the name. That failed again. And then that's when John Harris stepped in.
[01:24:35.990] - Tim Lund
And so I wrote one article for him. It was about making your own jack stands, and that was higher jack stands than what you buy in a store. Something for the four wheel drive market.
[01:24:50.160] - Big Rich Klein
[01:24:50.740] - Tim Lund
And that was real popular. And so then I wrote a few more form, but I don't think any of the others got into print. John Harris and I have talked a couple times about writing form, and I'd still like to write for Crawl magazine, but that just never happened. Of course I wrote for you. That was really fun to get back into one thing. I love writing for the Toyota magazine, but I'm not a single brand conscious person. I think there's good things about all vehicles. So it was neat to write things that were non Toyota for you, for Low magazine.
[01:25:24.160] - Big Rich Klein
[01:25:25.260] - Tim Lund
And then it was kind of another big shift. So we're going to go back, if you remember, off road expo in Pomona, and you were talking with a guy named, if I remember, Howard Pearlman.
[01:25:43.930] - Big Rich Klein
[01:25:45.130] - Tim Lund
Pearl, okay. And that's when we first met Ian Johnson. And that's when David Fiola had come back out of hiding after the failure of XOM. He was working with a company to do a four wheel drive TV show. And David Fiola called me out of the blue and said, hey, would you be the host of the show? So we were there, and I interviewed Howard Pearl for the show. We shot a whole pilot walking around interviewing various people in the four wheel drive industry. That's what got me. I'd already known the guys from Inner Code. If you live in the Northwest, especially back in the day when everything we ran was mud, you ran swampers. Anytime you show up to an event without swampers, you kind of got laughed at because you weren't going to go very far.
[01:26:43.340] - Big Rich Klein
[01:26:44.460] - Tim Lund
And so I've been friends with Warren, the old man, forever, and then got to be friends with Dave Giddry, the current I believe he's still CEO of Interco, dave Cole, which I'd met through one of your Wee Rock events, or Anna Over Pirate. And Dave Cole is standing there. That's when he had that I think it was that FJ cruiser looking buggy. And he was in the Interco booth. And I go walking up there, and we have the camera, and I'm going to interview these guys, and both of them are like, no, we don't do interviews. That doesn't work. That's not going to work. We're not going to do it. And so I said, okay, well, do you mind if I just ask you a few questions? And I kind of made a little motion with my hand behind my back, and I started asking both Dave Giddy and Dave cole questions about what's going on at Interco, what's going on with your rock crawling and all that. And after a couple minutes, I said, okay, great. Interviews over. Both of them looked up and realized that the cameras were up and rolling, and they said, you just did an interview with us.
[01:27:50.210] - Tim Lund
Yeah, that's it. It's a wrap. You guys were great. And they couldn't believe it. And so then, not the unofficial Koh, but the very next Koh, the very first official Koh, dave Cole, called me and asked me to come down. And if you watched the very first Koh video and it always cuts to the racers in a race trailer or someplace, and they're basically like answering questions, but you never see the interviewer. That's you that was me, the interviewer. So Dave Cole gave me a nice little credit in the video, but nobody knew it was me asking the questions. And so then that kind of that went on for a couple of years, and then somehow I think it was Jeff Knoll, he did a little announcing for you. I really got to meet him and got to know him at Paris We Rock, one of the Paris We Rocks.
[01:28:55.160] - Big Rich Klein
[01:28:56.170] - Tim Lund
And I was spotting for Rob McKinney, so we went down there, and that was the infamous Jason Sheer and Campbell drag race in the parking lot of Hooters.
[01:29:09.430] - Big Rich Klein
He was in his Campbell buggy.
[01:29:11.480] - Tim Lund
Oh, no, I was there's a lot of people who claim that they were there, and I was there. So it was after Tech and everything, everybody had pretty much left because I had hooked up Rob McKinney with the Campbells. That's where that whole relationship came from, because Rob's a Northwest boy. He's right up here, just about an hour from me.
[01:29:32.600] - Big Rich Klein
[01:29:33.110] - Tim Lund
And he used to stop in at A or B all the time. We got to be friends. And then he got into rock crawling. And there's another fun thing. You remember his subaru powered buggy?
[01:29:43.840] - Big Rich Klein
[01:29:44.360] - Tim Lund
I did all the design work to hook a Subaru up to a Turbo 350.
[01:29:48.680] - Big Rich Klein
[01:29:50.610] - Tim Lund
Anyway, so I'd ridden down with Rob to Paris, and we were waiting around for the Campbells to show up, and then Sheer shows up, and that's when I kind of really got to know Shear. And then the Camels show up and in the parking lot, and then they unload the new car, and Sheer's buzzing around. And then that whole incident that started with the infamous hot rodders. Yeah, the hot rodders. The guys in the Mustangs driving by, revving engines, thinking they're really cool.
[01:30:25.260] - Big Rich Klein
Jason smoked them in the parking lot with 39 pies with water in them.
[01:30:31.630] - Tim Lund
Yes. That was pretty funny. And we all just sat there and laughed. And then that's when I got to meet Nick Campbell. Jeff NOL was announcing at that race. Jeff Nolan, Dustin Webster were announcing at that event. Jeff NOL kept trying to get me to come up to the announcer stand and do some announcing, but I was spotting for Bob McKinney, so that kept me real busy. And then somehow that turned into me announcing for you.
[01:31:00.440] - Big Rich Klein
Probably had something to do with Dustin then.
[01:31:03.060] - Tim Lund
Yeah, could be. Whoever it is, big shout out to thanks there. And then where I got actual announcing at Koh was the year that Hammer King Productions hired Pirate Four by Four to run their live feed. And that's when it was Camo and Lance and Jeffrey Combs.
[01:31:32.110] - Big Rich Klein
[01:31:33.590] - Tim Lund
And I was walking through Campbell, got really sick, lost his voice, and I was walking through Hammertown, going to visit somebody, and all I heard over the intercom was, Tech Tim is out there somewhere. I saw him, peck him, come up to the pirate booth, and I get up there and hears Camo saying, man, dude, I can't do this. My voice is gone. And we still got days of qualifying in the big race. And so next I know I found myself with a microphone in my hand. And since then, I did a couple of races for John Goodbye. I did a few years with the Hammer King Productions. Not just King of the Hammers, but also a few other events and what. I did two years with you on the West Coast for the weirdo events. And then again, you just continue to meet people. And instead of hiding out to me, I had to have stuff to talk to. So I always went in the evenings after the racing is done, I'm going from pit to pit or wherever just to meet people to find out about their vehicles. And inevitably that led to talking about the technical side of it.
[01:32:49.330] - Tim Lund
And it just kind of grew and snowballed. And so then it ended abruptly and I was burned out a lot of things. One of the things was the business. I just had to close the business. I was just losing money hand over fist, and I wasn't doing anybody any good, especially my wife and mine financial situation. So I had to go do something. So I had a couple of jobs here and there, worked for a water jet company. At one point in time, I really wanted to just get a water jet table and just start doing water jet cut parts. And so I worked for a water jet company for a few years, learning how basically, the insides and outs of how to take these machines apart, put them back together and all that. I work for a couple of fab shops. I even worked a couple of months for a company that builds hovercraft, doing SolidWorks designs for them.
[01:33:44.840] - Big Rich Klein
[01:33:45.700] - Tim Lund
And so I got to learn about the world of hovercraft. And should we even go back to when I was working at the truck shop days? A lot of the truck drivers are into circle track racing. We had a couple of small circle tracks down the Olympia area where I was living at the time. And so I worked with some circle track teams. Even though I wasn't a huge fan of Circle Track racing per se, I love the tech behind it. And so it was always about, okay, how do we make a car hook up harder? How do we make a car go faster into the turn, brake really hard without overheating the brakes, and then get off of it and back on the gas?
[01:34:28.340] - Big Rich Klein
All about learning that tech, why and how things work.
[01:34:31.390] - Tim Lund
Yeah. So that's just the way my brain works. I love that technical challenge, I guess. One little thing we got to throw in there, where I got the name Tektim.
[01:34:47.090] - Big Rich Klein
There you go.
[01:34:48.200] - Tim Lund
So I got the name Tech Tim working at ARB. We had another Tim working for us, tim Burris. Everybody knew him as T r. Burris, but his name was Tim also. And people would call and ask for Tim. Well, then it was always what, Tim? And we had a receptionist. I wish I could remember her last name. She was great gal, Lisa. And she would be on the intercom, call for Sales Tim, or call for Tech Tim. And so then when people call up and they would say, hey, I've got a problem with my air locker, she would say on the phone, oh, you want to talk to Tech Tim? Well, so then pretty much people were just calling from the very get go, hey, can I talk to Tech Tim?
[01:35:34.840] - Big Rich Klein
[01:35:35.480] - Tim Lund
And then that just stuck. And then when I joined Pirate, which is the very first four wheel drive forum that I officially joined and became active on, although I had lurked on it for a couple of years, but I hadn't really got into it. And of course, well, I'm still working at ARB, and everybody knew me as Tech Tim, so that became my username. And then it just kind of grew from there.
[01:36:03.210] - Big Rich Klein
How did Northridge come about?
[01:36:05.910] - Tim Lund
Well, again, the meeting people and just being in the right place at the right time. So I was down at SEMA, and it must have been 2017, SEMA, 2017. And I was down there. It was for the Toyota magazine, and I'm standing in the line of security of the Las Vegas airport to fly back to Seattle. And I've turned out I'm standing in line next to David Amalo. David Johnson, the owner for the CEO of North Ridge four X four. And we both knew each other. We didn't know each other well as friends or anything like that, but we knew who each other were. So he looks over and he's like, hey, text him. I look at him and oh, hey, David Johnson. Then it turned out our flight got delayed. We were on the same flight and the flight got delayed. So we're sitting there in the airport and we're just chatting. And I had my laptop out because I was editing an article for the Toyota magazine and he kind of asked me what I was doing and I told him and he says, well, hey, I've got a studio at Northridge. That's being unused, would you have any interest in coming to working for me?
[01:37:27.890] - Tim Lund
I met Dave when he was running the business at his dad's garage, right? And I'm just coming off of shutting down my business a couple of years prior. Nothing is ever a failure because you always learn from it. But to me it was a dismal failure. I helped a lot of people, had a lot of fun, but in the end it wasn't financially successful, which all businesses, that's the goal anyway. So I'm thinking to myself, wait a minute, you have a studio? Wait, you're working out of your dad's garage? And he's like, we've grown a little bit.
[01:38:02.090] - Big Rich Klein
[01:38:02.660] - Tim Lund
And now to come to find out that they have this huge big building warehouses across the United States because they're tied in with the APG Group. And so that was SEMA coming home from SEMA. And by February I started the first week, second week of February at Northridge four by Four. It was originally to do video, but I didn't know enough about video. I had shot a bunch of video, but editing was definitely my weak point. But I basically took over their blog site and then just started doing how to articles on their blog site. And that immediately translated into sales of products and traffic to our site, which of course eventually leads to sales to product. That went on for a couple of years. And then they got an intern in for a couple of months who was just to get their video department up and rolling. And next day I know I find myself doing she would help me basically be a hand model for holding parts and stuff as I'm shooting an install article for the blog. And then I helped her do a video and I was basically doing the install of I think our very first video we did was Cold Air Kit on a jail.
[01:39:33.530] - Tim Lund
Then it just kind of snowballed from there and so that's what I do most of the time now is we pump out a video a week, video every other week right in there. And then it's pretty much how to so if you want to see parts for your jail, a JT or even the new Bronco, you can head over to Northridge Nation on YouTube and you'll get to see my ugly mug showing people how to install parts onto the newer vehicles. And then I also take care of all our forums. So we do like JL Wrangler forums, gladiator forums, Bronco forums, and I'm on there helping people out and questions on various products and posting up here. We have to have this sale or that sale. I do a little bit of our social media, a little bit. Of Facebook, things like that. And that's where I'm currently at, and I love it, even though we're a very big corporation, another place that feels family like, the people are really good. A lot of people there have worked there for many years, and it's just a great people to work with and a great atmosphere.
[01:40:54.660] - Big Rich Klein
That's what Steven said.
[01:40:56.360] - Tim Lund
Yeah. Hey, there's somebody. I hired him back into the tech department back in the ARB days, and we got to be friends. You talk about having friends, meeting people. I would have. This guy called me up on the ARB techni, and instead of telling me how his grandmother broke his airlock or backing up in the 711 parking lot, he's telling me stories like, dude, I sailed off the lip of the sand dune, man. I was higher, and I went farther than I ever went. When I landed, everything just went boom, and parts went flying. And so he'd send his airlocker in, and I wanted to see it break because I wanted to see catastrophic failure. I wanted to see what really tears these things apart. And so I would fix his airlocker for free. It doesn't matter that he admitted it. I'd fix or replace his airlocker for free because he was straight up about it. It was amazing how many people would try to deflect. When they call in and say that they have a problem, it's always your product's fault. Not that I'm running 35 on a day and a 35 that's bent.
[01:42:08.990] - Big Rich Klein
[01:42:11.090] - Tim Lund
And so I got to be really good friends with this fellow, and he became a very well known photographer and videographer photographer for the Detroit Lions for years, and I hooked Steven up with him, and that's how Steven got to shooting for the Seahawks.
[01:42:30.210] - Big Rich Klein
[01:42:32.010] - Tim Lund
But again, friendships. You meet all these people through the industry, and everybody's always helping out. You've helped me out, meeting different people and getting my foot in the door in various places, as has so many other people. It's just a great industry. It's definitely changed over the last ten years. Yeah, definitely. Way more corporate, way more monetized, if you want to call it that. Yeah, it has.
[01:43:00.370] - Big Rich Klein
And some of that is the new marketing. People that come in that only understand digital. Everything's got to be digital. They don't understand that people want something in their hands.
[01:43:18.100] - Tim Lund
Yeah, but they're coming back around. I mean, last time I was at SEMA, not only was I working for North Ridge four by four, but I was also hitting up some of my contacts that I normally dealt with for the magazines. And it was amazing because two years prior, everything was all about social media. Yet that last FEMA I'd been to, and I haven't been to the last three because of the whole COVID thing. The last one I went to, people were then, oh, you write for a magazine. And I was getting the same response that I'd gotten ten years prior.
[01:43:55.480] - Big Rich Klein
Well, I think people were surprised that there are still magazines out there, but Harris and us are not going to give up on that.
[01:44:03.260] - Tim Lund
Yeah. And as much as people love to drag an iPad into the little boy's room with them, magazines still have their place because it's in your hand. It's a tangible item. Although I got to say, even I don't read magazines as much as I used to. I had a huge magazine collection.
[01:44:29.760] - Big Rich Klein
[01:44:31.260] - Tim Lund
Because now, honestly, you can look everything up on the Internet, but it still doesn't have that feel.
[01:44:37.940] - Big Rich Klein
So what's next for Tim? What's next for you guys?
[01:44:41.890] - Tim Lund
That's a hell of a good question.
[01:44:44.610] - Big Rich Klein
You just got done doing a bicycle thing with your son.
[01:44:49.410] - Tim Lund
[01:44:50.350] - Big Rich Klein
[01:44:51.320] - Tim Lund
Yup. So that was so we got Dallas into riding bikes when he was he was riding a bicycle, no training wheels by the time he was four.
[01:45:02.010] - Big Rich Klein
[01:45:03.010] - Tim Lund
And he loved it. He loved riding bikes. And all throughout high school. All throughout middle school. High school. That's when I started Wild West. So he was working for me. He learned SolidWorks. He learned how to weld, he learned how to wrench. He was doing a lot of stuff. Like, we even had an article series in the Toyota magazine where he had an 84 Forerunner and I had an 86 Forerunner, and it was live axle versus solid axle. I mean, live axle versus independent. And we built them up identically. Both had doublers, both had air lockers, of course, the same tires, everything. And then we'd go out and we'd wheel them side by side. And what are pros and cons of a live axle versus independent for a trail vehicle? I think it's been hashed out many times on the podcast, the big difference in competition. But trail wheeling is very different than competition.
[01:45:59.470] - Big Rich Klein
[01:45:59.920] - Tim Lund
And of course, it depends on the trails. There's going to be guys out there, oh, geez, I wheel harder than any of those racers would ever think. It's like, okay, great. You're not who I'm talking about. I'm talking about the normal trail wheelers.
[01:46:10.790] - Big Rich Klein
[01:46:11.910] - Tim Lund
And there's huge benefits for independent on a regular trail rig. And one of the things is you don't get beat up as much. You can just cruise through a trail. The nuisance stuff is just you don't even notice it anymore. All those baseball sized rocks, you just roll over them. So that got my son really into the four wheel driver world, was he'd go to school all day and then come home and work for me, working Wild West for the afternoon and the evening. And then when he went off to college, he'd always wanted to be a mechanical engineer since he was about seven or eight years old. He got involved in that whole Baja SAE Baja thing where they built a little tiny Baja rigs with a lawnmower engine. And that was a full chromoly tube chassis with an independent suspension that he had designed in SolidWorks. I mean, when he took his first SolidWorks class in college, he knew more than the professor because he'd work for me at Wild West. He ended up being the teacher's aide and answering questions that the teacher couldn't answer, the professor couldn't answer. And then his very second independent suspension he developed was Jason Sheer's first independent car.
[01:47:38.090] - Tim Lund
And then it's just steamrolled from there. He had bikes in high school and stuff, but he really got into the whole four wheel drive scene once he got to college and he was living in Portland, Oregon, he found out that running around Portland on a bicycle was much easier than driving and finding parking and all that. And then he got into mountain biking, and then he decided to do 100 miles race. It's around Mount Bachelor's, 100 miles mountain bike race in one day. And so he asked if Debbie and I'd come down and hit for him. We had to meet him at, like, the 20 miles pit, the 40 miles pit, and the 80 miles pit, something along those lines. And I'm sitting there, I ride BMX bikes all throughout my younger life, and here I am watching these guys older than me, competing in 100 miles race. Well, of course, that meant that within a couple of months, I had a very high end mountain bike sitting there, and I started riding, and I was training for that race. It was him and I were going to go do that race together. And then he works for Nike's, an engineer for Nike, and he flies all over, all over the world, and he ended up not being able to do the race.
[01:48:58.330] - Tim Lund
They had him on a trip someplace when that 100 miles race was coming around again, and next thing you know, it's like, okay, well, instead of racing, let's just go do a Tour. We are going to go do this tour across the Highlands and the islands of Scotland. And given my mom's side was all Highlander Scott, and given that side of me wearing the kilts from her, yeah, sure, I'll go to Scotland with you. Heck, yeah. Let's go. Well, that was 2020 when we were going to do that. 2019. I think 2020 is when it was something that he and Debbie were working on. They were going to surprise me with it while they surprised me. And then it's like, okay, great, let's do this. So I really got into mountain biking. Seriously. Then all of a sudden, COVID hit.
[01:49:46.940] - Big Rich Klein
And you can't travel anywhere.
[01:49:49.190] - Tim Lund
They were even shutting down. They put ribbons and blockades across our local trail. I have a huge trail system just about five to 6 miles from my house. And there's nobody allowed. Nobody allowed because they didn't yeah, because.
[01:50:05.680] - Big Rich Klein
Outdoors, where you're all separated by your 6ft anyway, you can't do anything.
[01:50:11.090] - Tim Lund
Gosh. Well, when they finally got us back on the trails, you probably would believe the stuff that I thought. It was incredible. Basically, it was all holdings from a timber company and then between the county park system and the local mountain bike association, they purchased this land, made it a county park, and then put all these mountain bike trails in between the logging roads. And so you do a mountain bike trail and you're back on the login road down to the next trail. And one time I'm riding a bike in between on the logging roads, and whenever I'd see people, I'm not going to wear a mask or anything like that because you're out there breathing heavy and all that, but I'll stay on the far side of the road. I don't want to make anybody uncomfortable, blah, blah, blah. And here's this lady walking down the side of the Logan Road with her kids, and the kid was pretty small. I have no idea what age, but just size wise. And she sees me and sees I don't have a mask on, and she grabs her kid's arm and yanks the kid right up against her and then swings her coat over the top of the kid's head while I pass.
[01:51:20.840] - Big Rich Klein
She goes total Karen on you.
[01:51:22.630] - Tim Lund
Oh my gosh. I'm thinking, of course, I just feel sorry for the kids. What's that doing to the kid's psyche, but we should leave all that out of them.
[01:51:32.760] - Big Rich Klein
No, we like that. I don't know.
[01:51:35.840] - Tim Lund
Anyway, it just Covet rolled on and I continued to ride, but not religiously. And it's like anything, if you're doing an endurance sport, you have to be out there all the time. And you couldn't go to the UK. Comes around 2021, you couldn't go to the UK. And so 2022 comes in and you still can't go to the UK. And I'm just like, okay, you know what, I'm just going to take a break. So I was actually off the bike for a number of months and then all of a sudden, boy, April ish May, all of a sudden the UK opens, you can go there. You know what, I actually have to say you could go there if you're unvaccinated. So that was the big key for me. Boom. All of a sudden, okay, we're going to go and we better go do it now before they close it down again. And so I had like three months to train and it was on the bike. While you and I talked a couple of times about I was literally on the bike four or five days a week doing ten mile days, 20 miles day, 30 miles days.
[01:52:45.680] - Tim Lund
I think one day I talked to you, I just finished like a 42 miles day. It's no big deal. On the well, I shouldn't say so big deal. It's a lot easier if you're a road biker as opposed to a mountain biker. 40 miles on a mountain bike is tough. And this particular group we went with, the tour we were on was listed as an advanced and you better be used to climbing. And it was like the first day was going to be nine to 12 miles. Second day was 20 miles, three days, 25 miles. And then like a couple twelve mile days and then a big day like a 25 miles day. And so that's what I trained for.
[01:53:29.030] - Big Rich Klein
[01:53:29.830] - Tim Lund
We show up in Scotland and we toured Dallas, I toured all over, had a lot of fun. And then we show up for this mountain bike tour and on the very first day we get out there, well, it's a checkout day. They want to see what your skill level is and how in shape everybody is. And we're going to do nine to 12 miles is what they said. Yes, we did 30. Oh, you guys are doing so great. Let's just keep going. Let's go hit another trail. Let's go hit another trail. And the next day was 25. And the next day was 25. And then we did an easy twelve mile day. But it was the hardest 12 miles I'd ever done. And the next day was another twelve mile day. And that was even harder than the one before. And at that point in time, that's when I broke. I took the next day off. Day five broke me. Day six broke everybody else. Yeah, that was phenomenal.
[01:54:32.690] - Big Rich Klein
So after that tour, are you still on a bike?
[01:54:35.630] - Tim Lund
I haven't been on it much because we got back and then we had all the smoke from the wildfires and everything. You don't go riding that stuff. Yeah, but we're going to get back on it. It sounds like Dallas is going to go do that 100 miles trip. The High Cascades 100, I think is what it's called. And last time you did it in 14 hours. So think about that. 100 miles in 14 hours down in Bend, Oregon, around Mount Bachelor.
[01:55:10.860] - Big Rich Klein
[01:55:12.100] - Tim Lund
He said he thinks he pushes probably about, I think he said about 20 miles of that 100 miles just up the hills and stuff because some of them are so brutal anyway, so, yeah, I need to get back on the bike and start training if I'm going to go do that race with him.
[01:55:28.880] - Big Rich Klein
Cool. Well, you know, Tim, I think we've touched on a lot of bases today.
[01:55:35.230] - Tim Lund
Yeah. Wow. 2 hours. Yeah.
[01:55:38.140] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah. So I want to say thank you so much for coming on and sharing your life and your history and all your stories. It was great.
[01:55:49.270] - Tim Lund
Well, thanks for the time. Or thanks for you putting the time and effort into it again. I'm still kind of shocked that you wanted to talk with me after listening to a lot of the other people that you've done. Those are the people I'm proud to say I'm friends with because of all they've done. And a lot of times I think what I've done and the pales in comparison to some of them.
[01:56:11.760] - Big Rich Klein
And that may be the case with some of them, but also you have what a lot of people aspire to have, OK? You have those that experiences and those associations and stuff with a lot of our listeners would hope to one day be able to do.
[01:56:30.890] - Tim Lund
I've always said I'm lucky. Sometimes I think I'm one of the luckiest individuals in the four wheel drive industry just because of all the opportunities that I've had and all the people that I've got to know and all the information I've learned and all the people I've been able to help. It's been phenomenal. So, yeah, I probably go down to say that I'm definitely the luckiest person I've ever met in the four wheel drive industry just because of all the various things I've been able to do.
[01:57:00.060] - Big Rich Klein
Excellent. With that, I'd like to say thank you and we will talk some more.
[01:57:06.230] - Tim Lund
All right. Thanks, Rich.
[01:57:07.630] - Big Rich Klein
All right. You take care.
[01:57:08.750] - Tim Lund
You too. Bye bye.
[01:57:10.150] - Big Rich Klein
Well, that's another episode of Conversations with Big Rich. I'd like to thank you all for listening. If you could do us a favor and leave us a review on any podcast service that you happen to be listening on or send us an email or text message or Facebook message, and let me know any ideas that you have or if there's anybody that you have that you think would be a great guest. Please the contact information to me so that we can try to get them on. And always remember, live life to the fullest. Enjoying life is a must. Follow your dreams and live life with all the gusto you can. Thank you.