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ITT we post and discuss badass machines (especially vehicles, but not exclusively). I fucking love machinery; most of the courses I'm taking involve automotive and/or welding.

So let's get started then.

TBM (Tunnel Boring Machine)

Tunnel boring machines are used to drill new tunnels for several functions such as highways routes through mountains/hills, subways, pipelines, and wells. The photos used in the following descriptions are of TBMs manufactured by Robbins.

Main-beam TBMs are used for standard boring jobs.cd_mb_detail.jpg

As the diagram illustrates, the drilling head is propelled forward to create the tunnel, while the workers follow behind to install supports. These are the fastest TBMs.

A Main Beam TBM’s open design allows quick access directly behind the cutterhead for the installation of rock support (rock bolts, steel mesh, ring beams, and shotcrete), making it an ideal solution for unlined tunnels. The reliable Main Beam design reduces maintenance and maximizes boring time.

Shield TBMs are used for rock that is fractured and prone to collapsing if disturbed.cd_ss_detail.jpg

Robbins Single Shield TBMs protect workers from broken rock until the tunnel lining can be safely installed. The body of the machine is enclosed in a shield that is marginally smaller than the diameter of the tunnel. The flat, low-profile cutterhead minimizes disturbance of the face as it bores, and prevents large blocks from collapsing and causing excessive boring stresses.

Double-shield TBMs are used for combining the efficiency and speed of the main-beam TBMs with the protection of the shield TBMs.cd_ds.jpg

This combination is achieved through the application of a second shield which telescopes into the primary (called a "gripper shield") which gives the machine the ability to erect supports while drilling at the same time.

The gripper shield remains stationary during boring. A segment erector is fixed to the gripper shield allowing pre-cast concrete tunnel lining segments to be erected while the machine is boring. The segments are erected within the safety of the tail shield. It is the Double Shield’s ability to erect the tunnel lining simultaneously with boring that allows it to achieve such high performance rates.

EPB (Earth Pressure Balance) TBMs are used when intense groundwater pressure is involved in the drilling project.


These vehicles are fully-sealed canisters to completely encase the work crew for protection.

Robbins EPBMs have an articulated shield that is sealed against the pressure of water inflows up to 10 Bar. Robbins EPBMs control the stability of the tunnel face and subsidence of the ground surface by monitoring and adjusting the pressure inside the cutterhead chamber to achieve a balance with the pressure in front of the cutterhead, hence the name “Earth Pressure Balance.”


The EPBM erects the segmented tunnel lining sequentially after each push. Specially designed high pressure seals in the tail shield effectively seal the machine to the outside of the tunnel lining and create a barrier against ground pressure.

These are essentially underground tanks.

Post cool machines now.

Edited by The Cereal Killer
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Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14

The ZZR1400 (Ninja ZX-14 in North America) is a motorcycle made by Kawasaki and is currently their most powerful sport bike. It was introduced at the Tokyo 2005 show and released for the 2006 model year as a replacement for the ZX-12R. The ZZR1400 is capable of accelerating from 0–60mph in 2.5 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 186mph (299km/h) as a result of an agreement between the major Japanese and European motorcycle manufacturers.

The motorcycle was featured in season 10 of Fifth Gear on October 30, 2006.

Motorcycle USA road tested the bike in its October 10, 2006, issue and posted the following stock results:

  • 60 ft.: 1.713 seconds
  • 330 ft.: 4.349 seconds
  • 1/8 mile: 6.447 seconds, achieving 117.39 mph
  • 1/4 mile: 9.783 seconds, achieving 147.04 mph

Motorrad magazine in Germany achieved the following test results:

  • Top speed 299 km/h (186 mph)
  • 0–100 km/h 2.9 seconds / 40 m (130 ft)
  • 0–200 km/h 7.6 seconds / 241 m (791 ft)
  • 0–250 km/h 12.5 seconds / 548 m (1,798 ft)
  • 0–280 km/h 18.5 seconds / 991 m (3,251 ft)

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The Soviet N-1 Manned Lunar Carrier Rocket

N-1 was a heavy lift rocket intended to deliver payloads beyond low Earth orbit, acting as the Soviet counterpart to the NASA Saturn V rocket. This heavy lift booster had the capability of lifting very heavy loads into orbit, designed with manned extra-orbital travel in mind. Development work started on the N-1 in 1959. Its first stage is the most powerful rocket stage ever built.


The M-1 Aerojet lox/lh2 Rocket Engine. This is even bigger than the F-1 Rocket Engine.

Engine developed 1962-1966 for Uprated Saturn and Nova million-pound payload boosters to support manned Mars missions. Reached component test stage before cancellation.


Also, this one doesn't actually exist, but I've always been fascinated by it.

The Positronic Brain

A positronic brain is a fictional technological device, originally conceived by science fiction writer Isaac Asimov. Its role is to serve as a central computer for a robot, and, in some unspecified way, to provide it with a form of consciousness recognizable to humans. When Asimov wrote his first robot stories in 1939/1940, the positron was a newly discovered particle and so the buzz word positronic, coined by analogy with electronic, added a contemporary gloss of popular science to the concept.


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I actually plan to buy a motorcycle in the near future (I'd love a rocket, too, but that seems a bit out of my price range). I'll be able to get one as soon as I get this Camaro restored. Speaking of which...

My 1989 Chevrolet Camaro RS+

Standard block size is a v8 305ci (5.0 L); mine has a 350ci (5.7 L) overbore, which puts it on par with the IROC variant Camaro in the same year (the IROC is to the Camaro what the Cobra is to the Mustang, basically a special variant which is more powerful).

Some piston rings are a bit cracked, which lets oil seep into the cylinders; this both reduces my MPG and creates smoke which chokes nearby pedestrians (which is sometimes funny but ultimately needs to stop). All rubber gaskets need replaced - the parts themselves are very cheap, but getting them where they need to go can be a pain in the ass. Spark plugs need replaced (misfires begin to occur when I get up to about 110 MPH, keeping me from accelerating any further; won't ever need to go that fast or faster, but want is definitely present).

Five-speed automatic transmission; I'd have preferred manual but I wanted to buy locally for convenience and automatic was all that was available. Transmission slips occasionally, mainly in third gear- needs to be rebuilt but it's not an urgent matter right now.

Upholstery and dash/console are in surprisingly good shape. Dashboard is cracked from the sun but nothing serious; only upholstery problem is a small tear in the driver's seat. Console needs rewiring. Heater core needs to be unclogged or replaced (not sure which yet). Driver's side door hinge needs a new tension spring. Pistons that hold up the hood need to be replaced. Last but not least, it needs repainted; the current paint is in itself still seamless, but the protective clearcoat has started to chip.

Pictured is the car when I first bought it. Note that the low-profile tires were the first things to be replaced. It has been drive-able all along, even with the numerous problems listed, and 300k+ miles on the engine. It's one tough son of a bitch.


When repainted, it will be a dark blue; something like this (minues the T-top):


All in all - I bought the car for $1300, have spent $2000 so far, and expect to spend possibly $3000 more on it (might be a bit high of an estimate). The car, when fully restored, can be worth $10k+, though I won't be looking to sell it.

Feel free to post your own restoration projects if you're doing any.

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The Audi Quattro


The Audi Quattro was the first rally car to take advantage of the then-recently changed rules which allowed the use of four-wheel drive in competition racing. It won competition after competition for the next two years. The idea for a high-performance four-wheel-drive car was proposed by Audi's chassis engineer, Jörg Bensinger, in 1977, when he found that the Volkswagon Iltis jeep, could outperform any other vehicle in snow, no matter how powerful. Bensinger's idea was to start developing an Audi 80 variant in co-operation with Walther Treser, Director of Pre-Development.

This car pretty much popularized the idea of AWD systems in cars. Today there are tons of AWD cars on the market. AND, this car ultimately lead audi down the path of their AWD systems.

(I know it's not much of an in depth post, but this car, or machine, makes me so happy cause of its awesomeness.)

Edited by Andrew_b
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Took the stick-on tint off my large glass canopy today (rear window). It had been on there since I bought the car, who knows how long before that. Also reinstalled a thermometer in the engine block - this is a valve that shuts to separate coolant into two areas. Some coolant is left in the engine block, to continue cooling the engine. The rest is trapped in the radiator to flow through the pipes in the grill, as the rushing air cools it down. When the temperature reaches a certain point (in my case, 220 degrees F) the valve opens and allows the coolant that was in the block to escape to the radiator so that it can be cooled for later use, while some of the coolant that just finished cooling off in the radiator is sent to fill the engine block. This ensures that the block temperature is regulated at a healthy level - it's still hot by our standards, to allow for interior heating if it's cold outside, but it's quite cool by the engine's standards.

The way I had it set up before, without the aforementioned valve in place, is a setup that many older muscle cars use for sake of ease. The entire coolant supply cycles continuously through the block and radiator. This minimizes temperature, and when I used this setup, the temperature rarely went above the first-quarter tick on the gauge (~160 degrees F). The disadvantages of this are mainly that you can't have interior heating, and that the engine's stamina is severely lessened which means that roadtrips aren't easy. The reason is pretty simple - the temperature stays much cooler under normal driving circumstances (let's say about 45 minutes or less of driving) since a lot more coolant is cycling through the block at all times; but, since no portion of the coolant can be trapped in the radiator for an extended session of cooling, the entire coolant supply steadily gets hotter until the time it does spend in the radiator isn't enough to compensate for the engine heat that it's absorbing.

Edited by The Cereal Killer


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