Jason Hitesman

My Sandrail

Since the day Matt told me about the sand dunes near Yuma I knew I had to see them someday. Then I got the opportunity to move to the area and came out to visit. During that visit Matt took me out to the dunes and I coulden't wait to come back.

Well now I live in Yuma and we visit the dunes at Buttercup and Glamis pretty much every chance we get. And although I knew I wanted a sandrail before I even moved to arizona I didn't realize how soon I would own one. I loved the dunes but a truck is not the best vehicle for exploring them. I woulden't trust myself on a motorcycle out there and quads just seem to exposed for the dunes. So I kept an ear out for deals on a rail.

Then one day just before we left for El Golfo this past memorial day I heard that a friend of ours was still trying to sell a Pinto rail he had. The price was a bit more than I wanted to pay but it was mechanically sound and the motor had some neat tricks in it. So we worked out a deal and I dragged it home.

It's now October and I've owned the rail for 4 months of break-in (with an emphassis on break) and dune season is about to start. I'll try to keep up with what I learn about the rail and what I think of it but I tend to get lazy about this site so no promises. If you really want to see more photos or something then e-mail me and I'll usually find something new to add.


First weekend
Yeah I know these links don't work yet. Wait till I get a few more photos scanned, retouched and ready to go. Then I'll move some stuff off this page and make these links real.

Warning: Although all of these images can be clicked on for a larger view any with a border around them are full size images from my digital camera.
CREATED 10/9/2000 - Ok so I still have to get photos from this years El Golfo trip up, and I've got to get some HTML wrapped around my Dodge City photos, and I've been dumping random photos in this directory for 4 months.

So here's the start of this page. I've got and will have lots more info about my rail and the dunes. I hope to setup an area for other Pinto Rail owners here eventually so we can share some knowledge as I learn about my new toy.

Sandrail Specs:
How I found it
2L Pinto inline 4
Esslinger worked over head
CraneCams racing cam
Custom frame
'63 VW Link Pin front end
'63 VW Swing-Axle rear
STU 1300+ Paddles
Custom front shock mounts
New seats and harnesses
New guages and wiring
Refreshed transaxle with custom gears
New 914 Disc Brakes
New Master Cylinders
What I've done
Installed the new Master Cylinders
Installed front shocks (Then broke...gone again)
Installed new harnesses
Rebuilt Clutch Slave Cylinder
Replaced turning brakes (With borrowed set)
Replaced switches with sealed ones
Broke and replaced drivers side axle
Flushed radiator - New Cap - Overflow can - Restrictor Plate - Overheating gone?
Had bottom of oil pan welded to fix leak
Added Supertrapp Spark Aresstor / Muffler
Painting things as they get fixed
Add the rest as I remember it
What I'm going to to
Find better rear shock mounts ASAP
Fix front bottom shock mounts
Get Miller FI when he finishes his Pinto kit
Make a GPS mount and mount my tach
Engine may need rings soon, lots of blow-by. But plenty of power and bottom end looked pristine when I dropped the pan to weld a hole in it.
Need better front tires

For more dunes photos see my original photos from my first vist to Yuma or the Glamis for Y2K photos.

Jason Hitesman
All text, images, ideas, and whatknot © 1996,1997,1998,1999,2000 Jason Hitesman