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Old 02-15-2017, 01:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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King of the Hammers Racer Stories

Hey guys, I am not sure if this thread is already going around but I thought it would be cool if racers posted some stories about their day. The good and the bad, just to let us spectators figure out some more info about the race. Or if the spectators have any good stories about the race go ahead and post them.
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Old 02-15-2017, 02:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I was hamming along at 50MPH and suddenly saw something flying in the air 20' off the ground and 60' in front of me... then I realized it was my front driveshaft.

I broke a 5/8 upper link bolt and it ejected the front driveshaft forward. I've seen and experienced a lot of breakage but I have never seen my front driveshaft beating me through the desert. My co-dog thought the front of the motor blew off.
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Old 02-15-2017, 03:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I posted my race recap and some updates in my build thread:
https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/toyot...-build-34.html
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Old 02-16-2017, 04:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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2017 King Of The Hammers Every Man Challenge February 9th, 2017 – Havasu Crawlerz
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Old 02-16-2017, 06:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The good story, dad did great.

https://www.facebook.com/MuddnuttRac...43323219030255

The bad, I didn't do so hot.

https://www.facebook.com/john.rants....=3&pnref=story

Both are public FB pages any one can see w/out being "friends"
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Old 02-18-2017, 10:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Team Jager2337 Early Bronco EMC stock'er

KOH 2017 wrap up. We built a great Bronco this year, best yet. Bertha had a fresh strong engine, new full width axles, gears, lockers and drive train, new steering geometry, and the list goes on. Our lakebed list of "to do's" was smaller this year, typically half the build still needed to happen on the lake bed. We arrived Monday.
Tuesday: shock tuning
Tuning went well, we made a few passes and the Radflo guys took notes. On the drive back a big clunking noise started... Drivers radius arm heim tore out of the arm leaving the arm just flopping away and the front axle pointing in a different direction than we were facing. A few ratchet straps and we limped her in. We got the shocks off to Radflo and they ultimately handled really well.
This was to be an easy day but turned out pretty labor intensive. Duncan R Ellico Steve Cowart Brett Maister Robert Nelson Matt Lovell Jordan Kelly Nick and my father in law Roger put in some serious time. Everybody dove in and got her done. Lot's of help out there so if I missed your name I apologize. Got her put back together and fixed a few other problems. i.e. the ram fitting was slowly punching through the oil pan.... We took Bertha Ford to Ruff Stuff and they worked their magic. Boxed in the front crossmember, built a jack mount, rear winch mount and tacked on the radius heims. They aren't coming off again!
The rest of the team started arriving that night, our pit was starting to look legit.
Wednesday:
We had a few more items to resolve and we had to put on the new Ultra 4 numbers just the way they wanted it. Steve Wedeking Cory Walden got to it and Chris Walden Ed and others changed all the fluids and checked all the bolts. Off to contingency and tech.
That night, Steve Cowart and Jason Martinez led the tire changing snafu and our to do list started to get bigger for some reason. All hands were on deck at this point. Even Luke (Fourtreks) got in there
Maggie Walden probably worked the hardest on this day. She made the team breakfast lunch and dinner.. Thank you!!
Thursday: Race Day
We started 12 and off the line we passed several trucks - I think 5 in the first 3 miles (gopro to follow). Had to pull over a few times due to steering issues. Each time Brett Maister jumped out of the car and found a jam nut or something that worked itself loose. We'd fix it and take off finding out that that wasn't the problem. Ultimately, we ended up driving Bertha into Pit 1 (the second time by) without power steering. My hands, fingers, wrists and shoulders are still feeling this.
The crew at Pit 1 watched us drive in with the ram flopping around. Tore that heim joint out too. The crew welded it up, fixed a few other bugs then off we went. After pit one we had some light rocks and some high speed sections, still passing trucks here and there. Bertha was running great! Then we hit Backdoor. Holy Crap. We got hung up a few times at the top and had to winch. The steering was whining so Brett added some fluid before we got to the 2 drop offs. The first of the drop offs was pretty unsettling, I got out and took a look. Brett was encouraging the whole time but that little twinkle in his eye told me he was glad I was driving . The first drop went fine but we hit the back end pretty hard on the ledge bending the rear shackle up. Getting to the second drop off..... Lot's of advise coming from all directions at that point. This ledge was probably 8 feet and dug out at the bottom. Matt Lovell videoed and gave us a 50/50 on going ass over nose. Brett said you got it, I said F it, got in the truck and dove off that beast. Brett jumped in and we were off to Main Pit. Main had a few things to work out, filled us up and we were off. More fast parts and rocky parts, the truck was still handling whatever KOH was throwing at her. Aftershock.... That took us a while to get up. The rock ledges weren't so bad because we could see what we had and had traction. The rocks that caught our diff were the problem. There was a ton of soft sand so we'd catch a rock and not have to traction to bounce over. By the point, Brett Maister had probably been in and out of the truck 20 times and we had winched 10 times. This was his version of the Murph (Murph is one of the toughest crossfit workouts named in honor of Navy Seal MOH recipient Mike Murphy).
Out of Aftershock and off to Pit 2a. We thought anyway... As Bertha Brett and I were doing 90+ across the dry lake bed we missed the stock bypass (which wasn't on our GPS, no flagger standing there and we didn't see a sign). So going from 2 miles of a country road to Pit 2a we opted to take some extreme rock trails that were cut from the stock class for a reason. Ultimately, we timed out and were running on fumes. 91 miles....
This entire adventure has been the experience of a lifetime. The amount of time, money, beer and Tylenol is immeasurable. I'm extremely proud of the team and the product we produced. This was Bertha's year to finish KOH and she could have.
I'd like to thank my wife Susan Goodell for everything she's put up with and being team mom. This whole ordeal has created a lot of havoc in our living situation and played a part in us having to move.
I'd like to thank team Jager2337. The amount of personal effort, time and money each member has had to deal with was substantial. Surf Johnson wrenched but couldn't make it to the race. Ryan Bundy came in on race day and Danny Bogner unfortunately couldn't make it due to health reasons. Get better DB!
I'd like to thank SoCalBroncos. This group has been my sounding board thoughout the years. The advise and recommendations has been greatly appreciated.
I'd like to thank Brett Maister with #Tuffstuff4x4. These guys were the first to support us in 2015, and each year they've supported us more and more. They invested a ton of time, money and I'm sure headache on me and I can't thank them enough. Brett is now an expert wincher and will handle the tech line at TuffStuff4x4 HQ!
A special thanks to all the sponsors below. I can't thank you enough.
#tuffstuff4x4
#NeoSyntheticsOil
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#kengrodyford The Ken Grody surprise - Race suits.... Awesome!
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#steellizardoffroad - Daniel Williams came all the way out from NM to help out. Thanks dude!!
In closing, we made if further than the last time, did it better than the first time, learned something from the worst time, built her stronger than the hurt time. What does 2017/2018 have in store for Jager2337? AG - On Vacation 91 out of approximately 114 miles completed.
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Our team is a solo(me) funded team of dreamers only 2 of the 7 of us have ever been to Johnson valley/KOH the rest were first timers. All active or veterans of the military. I myself have been active for 21 yrs in the worlds finest NAVY 2 of my other guys are active duty in the worlds GREATEST Marine Corp. My codriver and I were stationed together 20yrs ago and have been great friends since. Our last Guy just finished his tour and recently got out. Still leave 3 other huh.... my brother from a nother mother Lance His dad owned a offroad shop locally and I met him through his dad and have been brothers since. His dad came out to help and was worth his weight in gold. last guy was Skye our electrician picked him up 2 weeks before we rolled out and he's been a huge help getting everything wired up super clean and very safe.

We arrived on the lakebed on the 3rd. Did the rookie thing and went straight to the big tent and checked in and got our lowrance map. went back to camp to finish setting up and get the car ready for tech and drank beer! Woke up sunday with a full day of things to do. Headed over to Leadnav to get the IPAD loaded up with the good stuff then took the car to tech and hung out with Doug for about 20 mins Passing tech first time through big thanks to Keith 4821 and Dustin Towmley for the insights while prepping made tech a breeze! then back to camp to get in race form and head out with ADS shocks for tuning. Brian was very impressed with the car and didn't want to touch it so we went back to camp for more beer! Woke up Monday and took off on our prerun of lap1 pretty uneventful for the first 40 or so miles. Lost oil pressure but ended up being the sending unit..... we beat our pit crew to RP1 so we kept going out on the lap1 route back into pit 1. Something didn't feel right but car was driving just fine. pull into RP1 and did a once over on all links steering and topped off fuel and off we went. Only to make it about 3/4 of a mile or so when going through the whoops at around a comfortable pace of 60mph when the car shot left and sent us into a barrel roll. we counted 4 total rolls landing on our wheels. Myself and co driver didn't have a clue to what happened..... We shut the car off and got out. Walked around and was just in shock.....everything was going perfect until 2 minutes ago. From what we could tell car was flat out FAWKED! Both front shocks destroyed bent 1 upper link snapped the other clean in half, Lost a light bar busted the antenna(no comms for help) ripped a tire off a bead and folded the lower control arm mount back into the driveshaft which pushed into the trans shifter arm. So guys rolled up in a razor and let us use there phone to call our pit crew who ran back to hammertown and grabbed the trailer to come and pick us up. in the mean time we just hung out did some facebook live on what had happened and the razor guys gave us a beer to help calm the nerves! Just super pissed the go pro wasn't on.......

Got the car back to camp and started the tear down took the shocks over to ADS and brian had the boys tear into them to see how bad and called the shop to get the parts overnighted out to the lakebed and had the shocks rebuilt by Tuesday night. Headed over to Drew at Goatbuilt and he overnighted the lower control arm mount for Wisconsin! Still Tuesday morning at this point we tore into the front axle and found the culprit! the short side axle shaft splintered and had to have bound up in the housing locking up the front driver wheel. In turn breaking a pinion tooth off so now we're at a needing a new set of gears. Motive just happened to be camping with Drew and were kind enough to give us a set of gears on the spot. Still we needed the master install kit an short side shaft stub shaft and ujoint. We found Yukon gear and axle and they just happened to fill the void of everything else we were missing! Brian at Yukon flat out rocks! we received master install kit both shafts a super joint and 2 complete hub rebuild kits! Time to head back and get everything back together. Oops for got to mention Dan and Garrett at Ruff Stuff, him and the boys took care of us with some new hiems and tube to get the uppers rebuilt and a new lower cross member tube back in.

Moving onto Wednesday! Time crunch time for sure shocks are in cross member tube is welded up gears installed and hubs rebuilt Pro Comp delivered a fresh set of tires. Waiting on the overnight package from goat to show at wheelers. Headed over and it hadn't so headed to 5$ pizza for a bite (hope my crew doesn't see this) and whoof'd down a killer pizza then back to camp out at wheelers post office. Tada FEDEX arrives and he get the missing piece. back the lakebed blowing by the line and broke the law and entered through the exit cause we were on a time crunch. back to the tent to install the cross member. 10P.M. car is on all 4's filling front diff checking toe and making sure axles are all square. Midnight Wednesday we fired the car up and off we went for a ride to break in the new gears Car felt amazing almost better then before! Now time for a nap. zzzzzzzzz

Thursday morning grabbed the coffee stuffed the bags with snacks and headed to get lined up. Talk about the calm before the storm! Weather was amazing and people super friendly about 0745 loaded into the car and got strapped in and fired her up and slowly made our way to the start line. Man this journey's been amazing! Can't believe we pulled it off to make it to the start line. Off we went not pushing the car but using the skinny alittle we gained a favorable lead off the line and off we were racing in the KOH EMC 2017! #1 bucket list item checked off. Most of the day was uneventful got rammed for no reason and bent the shit out of a rear tube. I pulled over and they fallowed and rammed me. Oh well car has another battle scar! out to pit 1 everything was cool got water and took off for the loop everything was cool back into pit 1 for a splash then head back to main pit. Once again still boring passed a bunch and got passed a bunch cut down a tire for no reason so that was weird. Pulling into main pit we had no idea where our pit crew was. they said up towards back door ok so we head that way and nope. they were clear on the other side of the short course. We lost a good 10 mins looking for them. Holy Moly we finished lap 1!!!!!! off on lap 2 making good time again headed across a couple lakebeds and couldn't get over 60 damn driveshaft got bent somewhere..... So opt'd to save the car and make the time up in the rocks. We did good made some bad decisions cause of others not having a clue on how to crawl through the big stuff. made it over to RP2A for a splash and tire change and a potty break. Then back out we did so many trails I didn't have a clue which ones we were on. Figured if I had the chance to pre run the course I wouldn't go in the rocks cause I had to anyways so I'd find my spots then. We we're coming up wrecking ball and saw the water fall decided to take the by pass and shot a little to high and rolled the car....SOB!

Thanks to my awesome planning Winch Mob Just so happened to be right there! Made easy work to get us back over and on our way. Headed into RP2B with out our back up light bar took a splash and found that the rear axle was leaking fluid real bad. Must have happened during the roll cause we landed right on that rear pass wheel and ended up bending the spindle. Car still moved in the forward direction so we told the pits to clear hand us some flashlights just incase and we took off! headed back across the lakebed but couldn't get on top of that nasty washboard stuff cause we wanted to save our battered and beaten car. over to resolution we met up with Kevin Adler and I couldn't get my rig into low gear to go for the pass so we hung out behind him and he lead the way all the way to back door. Co dawg got out to spot me down. I missed the line and face planted the car into the big ass rock at the bottom bending the ram mount and front bumper pretty good. sterring still worked so pull over grabbed the co dawg and we finished the gate keeper and pulled over for him to get buckled in enough to pass Kevin. Shot up over short bus and the view from up there is fricken amazing when you can see the finish line! I wanted to show off and go launch the car off some jumps but we were hurtin so limped her in to the checkered flag! only took us 9:29 not happy but the fact that we finished our first race on our first attempt says a lot. Couldn't be more proud of the pit crew and the support from what I hope is a long friendship with the companies that came through! Thank you ADS#Racingshocks, #YukonGearandAxle, #Motivegear, #Goatbuilt, #RuffStuffSpecialties,#Winchmob #ProCompUSA#flatblack_fabrications. #4889 Active duty Navy/Marine Corp team with a racing problem! I'm done my fingers hurt!
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Old 02-20-2017, 11:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flatblack51 View Post
. So guys rolled up in a razor and let us use there phone to call our pit crew who ran back to hammertown and grabbed the trailer to come and pick us up. in the mean time we just hung out did some facebook live on what had happened and the razor guys gave us a beer to help calm the nerves! Just super pissed the go pro wasn't on.......

Glad we could help. Roll looked really not fun. Glad to hear you guys got it back together to not only make the race but finish. Congrats.


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Old 02-21-2017, 11:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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As a first time racer in the EMC 4800 class, this is my story.

My first KOH experience was simultaneously one of the most stressful and most fun experiences I have ever had. The week before leaving was a microcosm of the previous 3 months of working 6-7 nights a week in the garage. We had a major driveshaft issue which resulted in having to have a brand new shaft modified 3 days before leaving. Coupled with a leaking radiator which was supposedly fixed, I was not very optimistic. But we got the rig loaded on a trailer knowing that as soon as we got on the lake bed, we had work to do to even get to the starting line.

The drive out took us three and a half days, arriving on mid-day Sunday (the race was on Thursday). We set up camp and begin working. Some stop leak in the radiator and JB weld where we thought a crack was and the radiator was as good as it was going to be. Only time would tell. We had Ruff Stuff send some limit strap brackets to the lake bed to help protect our newly modified driveshaft. Parts in hand, we ran back to camp and mocked up a center strap with tabs. Unfortunately, our generator wouldn’t run the 110v welder we brought so back to Ruff Stuff for some welding.

Tech inspection was Monday morning and aside from 2 minor issues that we overlooked, we passed with no issues. The car came in right at 4200 lbs which was a major relief after I had weighed it at a truck stop in route and it came up at 4440 lbs, 40 lbs over the weight limit for my roll cage construction. Granted this was with a spare tire on which isn’t required for tech, but we still couldn’t account for the 240 lb difference.
Following inspection, we sought out Phil Licciardi of Liberty Mountain Fabrication, who I had scheduled shock tuning with. Finding tuners who could work on Profender shocks proved somewhat difficult but Phil would end up helping us big time later on. We made one tuning pass which beat us to death and ran back to pull the shocks for the first time. We repeated this process about 3 times the first day getting a little better each time but the limit strap we had to put on to protect the driveshaft was severely hurting the rear, preventing the shocks from being able to fully cycle.

Tuesday morning, we head out for one final tuning run. Scott and I had agreed the car was as good as it was going to get with the suspension limitations. We headed over and made a run up Chocolate Thunder with no issues, just to see how the shocks handled in the rocks. Thinking the worst was behind us, we head out to do some desert pre-running. We had decided to run the first 13 miles to remote pit 1 and then decide where to go from there. We made it through the first rock section around mile 5 then hit some open desert. The rear end started bottoming out on every bump. We pushed on to pit 1 where we met up with some of the other guys who had driven in from the road. Disaster, the driver rear shock had split near the top losing all of the oil and basically all of the dampening. With no spare shock, we begin the long drive out to the road to wait for a trailer. This was it, our trip was over, 13 miles into practice, 2 days before the race. During the 2 hour wait for a trailer, we entertained ourselves by playing “corn hole” with an old tire and some rocks.

At some point I remembered Phil mentioning that he had a set of Radflo shocks new in the box. We get in touch with Ken and send him over to check it out. We bought the new shocks and with them, a new purpose to get this thing going again. Never easy, the Radflo shocks had a different size mounting bolt and different lengths than the Profenders. Back at camp, we head over to the ESAB booth in Hammertown and have them plasma cut some new shock tabs for us. Back at home base, we go to work cutting all of the rear shock tabs off, upper and lower. We also send a couple guys into town to buy the correct size bolts for the new shocks. After some grinding and drilling, we have new shock tabs but again no way to weld them on. With all of the tabs and gussets mocked up, we call it a night at 12:30 Tuesday.

We are up early Wednesday morning and head over to the Ruff Stuff booth to get the tabs welded on. With the front shocks on and the rear sitting on the bump stops, I’m sure we got some weird looks driving in. We arrive before the Ruff Stuff crew is out but only have to wait about 10 minutes. Shock tabs welded on, we go back, install the new Radflo’s and take about 3 runs through the desert near our camp. With my confidence at an extreme low, we park the rig at camp and start prepping it for the race in less than 24 hours.

Race day comes early. Up at 6am, we suit up, take a group photo, then head to the starting grid at 7am. The last hour before the flag drops is eerily calm. Deciding not to qualify, we drew a 41st starting position, out of 132 registered cars. The 4800 class would be first off the line, followed by 4500, then 4600. In a twist of fate, we end up on the starting grid right beside one of the two cars built by Phil at Liberty Mountain Fabrication. Knowing we weren’t going to be fast, my biggest fear was getting run over by one of the faster cars in the first 5 miles or so. The green flag drops and we are off, through the short course, over one small hill, then off toward the sand hill area over some rough rolling terrain. Several tight twists and turns and a couple hill climbs later and we are into the first small rock section on the sand hill. Committing the cardinal sin, I’m driving in the rear view mirror not wanting to hold anyone up. At one sharp right hander, I miss time the turn and nose dive it into a rock. I have to wait for 4-5 cars to pass before I can back up and make the turn. OK, first mistake out of the way. We finish the rest of the sand hill with no incidents and get out into the open desert. Sticking to the far right, several cars go blowing past us. Not a problem, we are running our own race. A finish is a win for us. Before we hit double digit mile markers, the side of the course starts filling up with broken cars. Scott begins counting off with each one. We pass Randy Slawson about 6 miles in parked on the side. We stick to our pace, not pushing it, at least through pit 1. At mile 13, we come down the hill into the pit area. Our plan was to roll right through if there were no issues. According to plan, we keep going, sticking to the 15mph speed limit in the pit area.

Going out of pit 1, we pick up the pace and not too far ahead, we come up onto a car on its side. The driver was shaken up but moving. They had been pushing too hard and rolled 3 times. Scott jumped out, I turned around and we strapped up to the rolled rig and pulled them back over onto their wheels. They gave us the thumbs up so we buckled back in and took off. We continue through the first all desert lap, being 60 miles long.

This lap consisted of whooped out cross sections, deep washes, and relatively smooth dirt roads. In one of the washes we come upon another car broken in the trail, tire balls scattered everywhere. On one of the longer straight stretches, I begin picking up speed and Scott has to remind me to keep it under control. The desert is very deceptive. It will change from a smooth dirt road to rough whoops in an instant. At mile 30, we make the turn and head back toward remote pit 1. According to schedule, we pull into the pits this time (near mile 47) for fuel and to give the guys a chance to check everything over. We took 9 gallons of gas, giving us a quick measure of about 5mpg. Knowing that we had 70 or so miles to go and a 22 gallon tank, the fuel situation was taking care of itself. This was another unknown going into race day with a new engine and drivetrain setup and only about 20 miles on it.

Out of pit 1 and back towards main pit, and the infamous Backdoor ledge which we would be going down, not once but twice. Before that though we had smooth sailing through a section of the marine base and then onto Melville dry lake. Coming off the lake bed, we would climb the sandy hill dropping into Resolution and then Backdoor. There was some traffic in the rocks so Scott jumped out to help spot. A car was stuck on the left line in Resolution with only 2 wheel drive. At the co-driver’s request, we gave them a bump to try and push them up and over the rock they were hung on. Unsuccessful, we then winched them backward about 10 feet and they then powered through. We continued down right behind them. At the big drop on Backdoor, our plan was to go down the right side which was a little smoother but a car was broken right at the ledge forcing us left and down the stair step. Scott climbed down and with great spotting, I drove down the ledge with no problems. I would later find out we were on the live feed when this happened which was pretty cool to be able to see it afterward. Lap 1 all but done, we crested the last small hill and dropped down into the short course at the start/finish line. Everything going well, we drove right through and headed back out to lap 2 without stopping.

Lap 2 would mirror lap 1 for the first 8 miles before turning off and heading toward Emerson dry lake. We hit our top speed here at 62 mph. Slow in comparison to other racers but things were going well and we didn’t want to push our luck. Along the marine base border, which was literally 10’ away at some parts, up and over the mountain on single track trails, we dropped into Aftershock. We ran into traffic at the big climb/pinch point on Aftershock and Scott once again jumped out to help. While waiting our turn, Shelby Gilstrap would take the bypass to our left and about 20’ up the mountain, almost rolling sideways down the hill in the process. Her car was 20’ above and leaning so severely, I could see her roof from my driver’s seat. From this point on, we would see the same cars over and over at most of the rock trails. We would catch them in the rocks, they would leave us in the desert, then we would catch them in the rocks again. Scott climbed the rocks to help a car 2 spots ahead of us through. Later I found out, the co-driver of that car was still strapped in! Get out and help people! Finally, when it was our turn, I gave it a couple tries then played it safe and winched through the last bit. At the top, I would get hung up, costing us several minutes getting unstuck. In hindsight, I should’ve cut hard right at the top of the climb instead of trying to go straight. The rest of Aftershock would be uneventful before dropping back into the valley on single track trails. Next we would head into Devil’s Slide, Hell’s Gate and Sunbonnet Pass. Once again, we would catch cars hung up with the co-drivers still inside. This was very frustrating. On Sunbonnet Pass, we would closely pass a car headed right as we went left. We rubbed his spare tire breaking the passenger side mirror off in the process. At least that’s one less thing Scott had to worry about checking. Following Sunbonnet were more single track trails up and around the mountains finally dropping into remote pit 2A. Here we pulled in once again to fill up with fuel and give the car a once over. Everything checked out and we took off again, climbing up Fissure Mountain. Fissure Mountain is about 4 miles of mountain passes with no obstacles, but some great views of Hammertown in the valley below. We were also informed we had about 3 hours to finish from this point.

Next up was Sledgehammer which we would go down with no issues and then over to Chocolate Thunder, a big spectator spot. At the bottom leading into Chocolate Thunder, the course had been gated off funneling us through a short section of rocks that we hadn’t pre-run previously. We got hung up a couple times before hugging the passenger side and popping over. We proceeded up the left side of Chocolate Thunder, crested the top, then dropped into the valley leading over to Wrecking Ball. Once again, we would catch the faster cars in the rocks. At one point, Lindsay Gilstrap had broken and Shelby Gilstrap was hung up in the line we wanted to take. Another car had tried to pass on the right and got hung up as well. Lindsay abandoned her own car to help Shelby through, then spotted us through the same section. A great show of sportsmanship as she could have easily left and gone back to her car, and also to give Shelby more of a lead on us. We worked our way up to the waterfall. Having wheeled at Johnson Valley twice before now, I was familiar with this area and we didn’t hesitate to take the bypass up and around the waterfall. The climb was easy with a slight off camber section at the top that would lean you back toward the bottom of the waterfall. Just past this, the trail would split again and again we’d hit traffic. I knew the left line was preferred as the right line could easily put you on your lid if you aren’t careful.

We cleared Wrecking Ball and dropped into Full of Hate, a fitting name. I was not familiar with this trail and the course was roped off funneling us into the harder lines. There were a couple steep drops that rival Backdoor that almost sent us end over end. I’d hear in the speaker “Gas! Gas!” from Scott and drive out of it. This was in my opinion one of the more difficult trails on the course, but it also may have been fatigue and the pressure of time setting in.

Full of Hate would empty into another valley and then over to Big Johnson and Upper Big Johnson, neither trail overly difficult on their own but the aforementioned pressure setting in lead to a mistake at the top of Upper Big Johnson. I would get hung up and Scott once again jumped out to spot me through costing us more time to get unstuck.

At this point I knew we were short on time and with remote pit 2B coming up, we agreed to not stop since there weren’t any issues we knew of with the car. We rolled into pit 2B, it almost dark, with the crew all cheering us on. We had 26 minutes to go 10 miles, and one more time down Backdoor. This time in the dark. Not much was said on the comms this last 10 miles. It was dark, we had mostly open desert in front of us, and nothing but our lights to see by. Driving on the edge of my comfort level, we actually passed a car in the desert! In the dark! I believe the only words spoken during that last 30 minutes were “55”. It would be the 55th car we had passed that day. Dropping into Resolution and Backdoor in the dark was interesting. The lights and shadows would play tricks on you making it hard to navigate. Solely focused on the finish line, I don’t remember much of those trails. I knew we were coming up to the big ledge and lined up to come down the “small” ledge just before it. I didn’t realize it until we hit the bottom but the “small” ledge was actually the big ledge! I do remember seeing a couple volunteers in orange vests still on the course and hearing a cheer as we drove away.

We had been battling brake issues all day. With the pedal sticking, I was two-footing the brakes, pushing it in with my right foot, and pulling it out with my left foot. This had caused us issues on some of the hill climbs earlier in the day when in high range so we decided to finish the last half mile of the course in low range. One big climb, one small climb, then into the short course. The tachometer wasn’t working but we were probably turning 4000 rpm or more coming in. Left turn, right turn, table top jump, S curve…There it was, the finish line!

We would find out that we missed the official finish by 10 minutes and 1 second, being the first car outside of the time limit. A 10 hour race and we missed it by 10 minutes! Miss it by an hour and you can chalk it up to it wasn’t meant to be. Miss by 10 minutes and it just makes you mad and fuels the fire even more. All in all, we did what we wanted to do. We finished the King of the Hammers Everyman Challenge, even if it wasn’t official. Not bad for a 116 mile shake down run in a trail rig that we just finished putting together less than 48 hours before.

It truly was a team effort from all the nights in the garage working on it to all of the people that helped us on the lake bed and during the race. I can’t thank them all enough.

The Race Mile One Motorsports Team
Randal Holmes, Scott Roberts, John Herr, Steve Fischer, Craig Scibetta, Ken Carter, Sam Glazier, Dave Hendrickson, Mike Ferree, Doug Johnson, and Lucas Hardin

Special Thanks to Phil Licciardi of Liberty Mountain Fabrication for saving the day with the shocks, Jack Losco Jr for letting me borrow his brand new beadlock wheels for spares, Randy Young of the Louisburg Fire Department for pit fire extinguishers, and Ruff Stuff Specialties and ESAB North America for fabrication help on the lake bed!
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Old 02-21-2017, 12:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Our team is a solo(me) funded team of dreamers only 2 of the 7 of us have ever been to Johnson valley/KOH the rest were first timers. All active or veterans of the military. I myself have been active for 21 yrs in the worlds finest NAVY 2 of my other guys are active duty in the worlds GREATEST Marine Corp. My codriver and I were stationed together 20yrs ago and have been great friends since. Our last Guy just finished his tour and recently got out. Still leave 3 other huh.... my brother from a nother mother Lance His dad owned a offroad shop locally and I met him through his dad and have been brothers since. His dad came out to help and was worth his weight in gold. last guy was Skye our electrician picked him up 2 weeks before we rolled out and he's been a huge help getting everything wired up super clean and very safe.

We arrived on the lakebed on the 3rd. Did the rookie thing and went straight to the big tent and checked in and got our lowrance map. went back to camp to finish setting up and get the car ready for tech and drank beer! Woke up sunday with a full day of things to do. Headed over to Leadnav to get the IPAD loaded up with the good stuff then took the car to tech and hung out with Doug for about 20 mins Passing tech first time through big thanks to Keith 4821 and Dustin Towmley for the insights while prepping made tech a breeze! then back to camp to get in race form and head out with ADS shocks for tuning. Brian was very impressed with the car and didn't want to touch it so we went back to camp for more beer! Woke up Monday and took off on our prerun of lap1 pretty uneventful for the first 40 or so miles. Lost oil pressure but ended up being the sending unit..... we beat our pit crew to RP1 so we kept going out on the lap1 route back into pit 1. Something didn't feel right but car was driving just fine. pull into RP1 and did a once over on all links steering and topped off fuel and off we went. Only to make it about 3/4 of a mile or so when going through the whoops at around a comfortable pace of 60mph when the car shot left and sent us into a barrel roll. we counted 4 total rolls landing on our wheels. Myself and co driver didn't have a clue to what happened..... We shut the car off and got out. Walked around and was just in shock.....everything was going perfect until 2 minutes ago. From what we could tell car was flat out FAWKED! Both front shocks destroyed bent 1 upper link snapped the other clean in half, Lost a light bar busted the antenna(no comms for help) ripped a tire off a bead and folded the lower control arm mount back into the driveshaft which pushed into the trans shifter arm. So guys rolled up in a razor and let us use there phone to call our pit crew who ran back to hammertown and grabbed the trailer to come and pick us up. in the mean time we just hung out did some facebook live on what had happened and the razor guys gave us a beer to help calm the nerves! Just super pissed the go pro wasn't on.......

Got the car back to camp and started the tear down took the shocks over to ADS and brian had the boys tear into them to see how bad and called the shop to get the parts overnighted out to the lakebed and had the shocks rebuilt by Tuesday night. Headed over to Drew at Goatbuilt and he overnighted the lower control arm mount for Wisconsin! Still Tuesday morning at this point we tore into the front axle and found the culprit! the short side axle shaft splintered and had to have bound up in the housing locking up the front driver wheel. In turn breaking a pinion tooth off so now we're at a needing a new set of gears. Motive just happened to be camping with Drew and were kind enough to give us a set of gears on the spot. Still we needed the master install kit an short side shaft stub shaft and ujoint. We found Yukon gear and axle and they just happened to fill the void of everything else we were missing! Brian at Yukon flat out rocks! we received master install kit both shafts a super joint and 2 complete hub rebuild kits! Time to head back and get everything back together. Oops for got to mention Dan and Garrett at Ruff Stuff, him and the boys took care of us with some new hiems and tube to get the uppers rebuilt and a new lower cross member tube back in.

Moving onto Wednesday! Time crunch time for sure shocks are in cross member tube is welded up gears installed and hubs rebuilt Pro Comp delivered a fresh set of tires. Waiting on the overnight package from goat to show at wheelers. Headed over and it hadn't so headed to 5$ pizza for a bite (hope my crew doesn't see this) and whoof'd down a killer pizza then back to camp out at wheelers post office. Tada FEDEX arrives and he get the missing piece. back the lakebed blowing by the line and broke the law and entered through the exit cause we were on a time crunch. back to the tent to install the cross member. 10P.M. car is on all 4's filling front diff checking toe and making sure axles are all square. Midnight Wednesday we fired the car up and off we went for a ride to break in the new gears Car felt amazing almost better then before! Now time for a nap. zzzzzzzzz

Thursday morning grabbed the coffee stuffed the bags with snacks and headed to get lined up. Talk about the calm before the storm! Weather was amazing and people super friendly about 0745 loaded into the car and got strapped in and fired her up and slowly made our way to the start line. Man this journey's been amazing! Can't believe we pulled it off to make it to the start line. Off we went not pushing the car but using the skinny alittle we gained a favorable lead off the line and off we were racing in the KOH EMC 2017! #1 bucket list item checked off. Most of the day was uneventful got rammed for no reason and bent the shit out of a rear tube. I pulled over and they fallowed and rammed me. Oh well car has another battle scar! out to pit 1 everything was cool got water and took off for the loop everything was cool back into pit 1 for a splash then head back to main pit. Once again still boring passed a bunch and got passed a bunch cut down a tire for no reason so that was weird. Pulling into main pit we had no idea where our pit crew was. they said up towards back door ok so we head that way and nope. they were clear on the other side of the short course. We lost a good 10 mins looking for them. Holy Moly we finished lap 1!!!!!! off on lap 2 making good time again headed across a couple lakebeds and couldn't get over 60 damn driveshaft got bent somewhere..... So opt'd to save the car and make the time up in the rocks. We did good made some bad decisions cause of others not having a clue on how to crawl through the big stuff. made it over to RP2A for a splash and tire change and a potty break. Then back out we did so many trails I didn't have a clue which ones we were on. Figured if I had the chance to pre run the course I wouldn't go in the rocks cause I had to anyways so I'd find my spots then. We we're coming up wrecking ball and saw the water fall decided to take the by pass and shot a little to high and rolled the car....SOB!

Thanks to my awesome planning Winch Mob Just so happened to be right there! Made easy work to get us back over and on our way. Headed into RP2B with out our back up light bar took a splash and found that the rear axle was leaking fluid real bad. Must have happened during the roll cause we landed right on that rear pass wheel and ended up bending the spindle. Car still moved in the forward direction so we told the pits to clear hand us some flashlights just incase and we took off! headed back across the lakebed but couldn't get on top of that nasty washboard stuff cause we wanted to save our battered and beaten car. over to resolution we met up with Kevin Adler and I couldn't get my rig into low gear to go for the pass so we hung out behind him and he lead the way all the way to back door. Co dawg got out to spot me down. I missed the line and face planted the car into the big ass rock at the bottom bending the ram mount and front bumper pretty good. sterring still worked so pull over grabbed the co dawg and we finished the gate keeper and pulled over for him to get buckled in enough to pass Kevin. Shot up over short bus and the view from up there is fricken amazing when you can see the finish line! I wanted to show off and go launch the car off some jumps but we were hurtin so limped her in to the checkered flag! only took us 9:29 not happy but the fact that we finished our first race on our first attempt says a lot. Couldn't be more proud of the pit crew and the support from what I hope is a long friendship with the companies that came through! Thank you ADS#Racingshocks, #YukonGearandAxle, #Motivegear, #Goatbuilt, #RuffStuffSpecialties,#Winchmob #ProCompUSA#flatblack_fabrications. #4889 Active duty Navy/Marine Corp team with a racing problem! I'm done my fingers hurt!
AWESOME! .. Thanks for sharing
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Old 02-23-2017, 08:40 AM   #11 (permalink)
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KOH2017 Recap. Well the night before the race was a little stressful I lost my co-driver due to him working on his own car for the Friday race. After searching around I found someone willing to drive with me, thank you again to Matt for jumping in at the last min. After getting that figured out we went on to figure out our pit strategies. We teamed up with lumberjack racing James Hubbard and Kranker with all of them the pits went extremely smooth. Starting 47th off the line due to me being dumb and not qualifying we had some work to do. At about mile marker six trying to work my way through the pack I hit a G out which made the car start making a horrible noise. I thought our day was done at that point. Called into pit one and told them the problem when we pulled in they took over like a NASCAR style pit crew they all went to work looking for the problem. Nothing could be found and I was sent out on my way. Still working our way through the pack and coming back into remote pit one for the second time they asked me if the car was still making noise and I said yes, they asked me if I was going to stop and I said no haha. I figured if it made it this far it was going to continue on. Getting out on the lake was pretty fun as we had speeds of 105 mph while passing up the helicopter, that was cool. Made our way through resolution and down back door and headed into main pit to get fuel and the car looked over. They found the passenger side rear axle bolts were backing out so they tighten those up put in bolts in my front drive flanges due to missing some, got fuel, and checked the car over and didn't find any more problems. Sorry to the person that was under the car why I had to relieve myself I had been trying for the last 15 miles with no luck. With the perfect pit we headed out on Lap 2. With the car still making a crazy noise through the bumps we continued on. We came up to remote pit 2A and decided to just do a drive-by but a rookie mistake I didn't realize you didn't have to stop at that pit. I did the drive by and then headed out the back and at about 80 mph I get a call on the radio saying I was going the wrong way. I get turned around and do my parade lap through the pits waving at everybody saying yeah that was me the dummy, that was a little embarrassing. On our way through some of the rock canyon as we came across some cars needing some help we tried to pull a Bailey Cole off of a rock but wound up breaking his winch line sorry about that and if you're reading this by the way happy birthday. Next we came up to James Hubbard needing a pull got him unstuck and headed out. Then we came up on Kyle wickam and attempted to give him a hand but with some miscommunication that didn't go well sorry for that. At about mile marker 80 the transfer case start making a horrible noise in 4 low so I had to do some crawling in 4 high which made the transmission get hot. Put it back in four low and the noise was gone very strange. After miles of hell through some crazy rock canyons I was ready for the race to be over. I kept asking my co-driver how many miles do we have left of this crap. I believe this was at about mile marker 90-100 and I was just really ready for to be over. We pressed on and next thing I know we were at resolution getting ready to head down back door for the last time. we came down and hit the short course and came across the finish line with no flats and really only one major pitstop. I was just happy to finish and then when they told us we were in 4th place it made it even better. I would like to thank everyone that helped us we couldn't have done it without you.
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Old 03-07-2017, 02:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
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A new but faulty $2,500 Monster Transmission SS caught us on fire and took us out of KOH.

Monster Transmission has admitted that it was faulty and built improperly but has only come to the table with a $250 reimbursement offer. If I accept the $250 I have to sign something stating I won't discuss the matter. I have been holding off on sharing this while I was in discussions with Monster Transmission but they fell through.

We went from NY to southern-Cali only have a brand new transmission start a fire 4 miles into a 160+ mile race. I am glad we are safe and the buggy is not a total loss.

Run, don't walk, away from Monster Transmissions. They told me their standard operating procedure for a transmission starting a car fire is a $250 reimbursement. That's right... I have it in writing from them. They have this issue so often, they have a policy to pay back a measly and pathetic $250.

If you want to learn more about Monster, call them. If you want to talk to sales they answer immediate, every time. If you have a warranty issue, you go to a voice mail box, every time. I left 3 voice mails and 1 email at the start of my issue. All 4 were not returned. After weeks I had to call sales to get someone to answer and sales told me that the Warranty department is overwhelmed.

The product is so bad... their warranty department can't keep up.

And it cost me my chance at even getting 1 lap done at KOH.
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Old 03-07-2017, 06:14 PM   #13 (permalink)
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King of the hammers 2017 is in the books and once again we were forced to walk away in disappointment. We had a very good run going and are getting faster every year, even with a car that has been surpassed by many in the 4800 class. Apparently 2.5 Coilovers mounted to the axle, junkyard axles and 500hp are SO 2015. The evolution of the 4800 class has come quick as trailing arms, 3.0ís, IBPís, fabricated housings, and 650hp seem to be the new norm, but I digress.

We got to the lake bed with the car ready to rock. We pre-ran 0 miles of the course and just took the car out for a 10 mile cruise to make sure all was good, wrapped it in the tent and waited for race day. Starting 59th because our budget didnít allow for us to throw down to qualify meant that we were going to have a lot of slower cars in front of us. Per usual there was an amazing amount of carnage in the first 5 miles. Broken and slow cars everywhere. We started picking cars off 1 by 1 just running our pace. Fast, but being careful to go easy on everything and save the car. About 3 miles in there were about 4 cars stuck and backing down or waiting to go up a sand hill, but we said screw that and blasted through them all laughing and having a hell of a good time. We settled in to our pace and stopped to splash gas at Remote pit 1. Being a 4 seater trail car we only have a 16 gallon cell and wanted to make sure we didnít run out. Got going again and were having a fairly non-descript run through the desert until we had an incident about 2 miles out of remote 1. The #23 car of Justin Day pulled over let us by after some serious horn blowing, but as we made the pass he drifted back into our path launching us into the air at 40mph. At the time we thought it was awesome and we were laughing about how he must have crapped himself with our rear tire right next to his head but it turned out to be the defining moment of our race. Because we were still hard on the gas the left front axle let go but we never noticed. Rolled in to pit 1 and main pit for a splash of fuel. We posted the 19th fastest time out of 69 cars in the 4800 class.

Continuing our pace on lap 2 everything was great except we kept noticing the car wanted to understeer. The sway bar mounts on the axle had broken so we just chalked it up to the car doing weird things because of it. Made around to aftershock and started heading up trail only to find that we were 3 legging it. Pulled over and started to diagnose. The cover on the slug was so hot you could not even touch it with gloves so we waited a few minutes to pull it off and instantly saw the broken stub, wasted spindle. Without the spare onboard and not wanting to screw up the 100 cars behind us we decided to call it at MM88.

Thanks to my family, mainly my wife Toni, for putting up with the amount of time and money I put in to the buggy to chase a dream. She really does put up with a lot and I still am not sure why. Thanks to my crew that came over countless days and nights to prep the car. Alesha & David Steinke, my co-driver Kris Revallier, and my dad Alan Ratzburg. Huge thanks to Bernie Martin and George Olinger for making the trek down and running comms for us. We had Bernie on the radio for the entire race and it was an invaluable resource. Thanks to Chris Ashton & his FlatBlack Fab crew for their assistance in the pits as well as Edwin Abd #4475 and his crew.

Last and certainly not least, thanks to the vendors that took a chance on our little rag tag team to help us with the costs of racing. Wayne Israelsen and Fox Shocks. Steve Johnson at South Bay Driveline. Drew Burroughs at Goatbuilt. The crew at East Coast Gear Supply. Greg Mulkey at Raceline Wheels. Kevin Adler at ProComp & Smittybilt. Rugged Radios. Lugnut4x4.

And as always have to give a shout out to the Friends of Fordyce . Obviously donít get any money from them, but it is an organization that I believe in strongly and highly suggest that anyone that loves wheeling should support. Friends groups and hard working land use groups like them are in constant need of support in order to keep trails open to the public. Support your local/national land use groups!

#foxshocks #ridefox #ECGS #Eastcoastgearsupply #southbaydriveline #goatbuilt #procomp #smittybilt #ruggedradios #lugnut4x4 @racelinewheels #teamraceline
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Big thanks to the vendors that have helped us out!
Goatbuilt, South Bay Driveline, East Coast Gear Supply, Rugged Radios, 150tunes.com, Pro Comp, Raceline Wheels, FOX Shocks
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I thought that now since KOH is over why not bump this thread and for the racers to tell their stories about the goods and bads of their days.
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Old 02-13-2018, 08:30 PM   #15 (permalink)
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2" 7075 with 1 1/4 rod ends. Broke on wrecking ball at RM 84, letting the front axle roll out from under the rig. Took out the coilover, the limit strap, the hoses to the ram. Had the parts to get it fixed at pit 2B. Driver walked 2 miles to get a 150 pound back pack and hike it back to the car. Cost them 4 hours of time before they got going, DNF'd about RM 100 when the course closed.

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Old 02-14-2018, 10:46 AM   #16 (permalink)
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After seeing multiple broken aluminum links over the past week, I don't think I'd ever want to run them on any type of crawler Is that about the consensus?
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:15 PM   #17 (permalink)
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a well greased rear drive shaft seized at mile 10. for what ever reason the spare was a few inches too short. We ratcheted the rear down until the spare shaft would work. flipped the limit strap hardware upside down to keep it limited. a mile later the limit strap hardware broke. so we pulled the ratchet straps off the spare tire and used them as limit straps. until we hit a bump and they fell off, separating the rear shaft again. so we tried again and again.

After a long time of messing around we timed out.
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:46 PM   #18 (permalink)
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After seeing multiple broken aluminum links over the past week, I don't think I'd ever want to run them on any type of crawler Is that about the consensus?
THIS!

I was volunteering at backdoor and saw an aluminum link take out a guy during the EMC race and then my buddy was volunteering for the big race and he said another guy lost an aluminum link at backdoor that day as well.

I get that it's light, takes the load and bends back which is great but if people are cracking them and wrecking a ton of other stuff in the mix is it really worth the benefits it has to offer?
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 06 H3 View Post
THIS!

I was volunteering at backdoor and saw an aluminum link take out a guy during the EMC race
Saw the same one - guy passed people that were lined up in front of him, then landed on passenger front lower on the first ledge and snapped it. Guess if you're running alluminum links, better carry spares (at some point the weight savings is a moot point)...
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Old 02-15-2018, 06:45 AM   #20 (permalink)
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The link in the 4531 car had several seasons and multiple rolls and hard impacts on it, but showed no external signs of cracking during off season prep or pre race inspection. It's true aluminum will flex and return but only to a point and as proven time and again, everything no matter how strong it is, will break. Not sure what the answer is.
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Old 02-15-2018, 07:23 AM   #21 (permalink)
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At 2 min 57 sec in this video we did a cart wheel that in retrospect probably should have changed all the aluminum links afterward. The link that broke at KOH survived this tumble. We were going 70 when the A pillar hit the ground.

https://www.facebook.com/KingofTheHa...K_ekm5mTpf-8V8
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Old 02-21-2019, 06:59 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Our race story in a video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuEqf3x7KTU


So first half of team leaves out Jan 28th. Get there early for shock tuning, engine final tune, general test running. 3 trucks towing out, race car in enclosed, goose with buggy and 2 RZR for pre running, and bbq gril and kitchen on 3rd trailer. We gonna set up our camping compound outside of Hammer town and leave the pits for race car, pre run rigs. Well, enclosed trailer blows 2 tires, the tow rig looses 2 wheel studs and other lugs are loose. So much for taking truck to get tires rotated and balanced before trip. Guess we will fix that stuff on lake bed.

Get camp set up, test run car, get maps and start pre running. So good so far. Shocks need to be rebuilt or at least revalved for this track, shock mfg brings the suck award. No help, bad info, general lack of support. Sponsor says lets try King. New shocks and bypasses ordered one day, everything received and installed by King the next day. Car picks up 20mph in the desert. Money well spent. Thanks King and the shock tuner!! Top notch effort and support on last minute notice.

Fancy dancy high output alternator shits on us a couple days before race, friend of a friend find one and delivers to lake bed. Thanks!!!! Next day Wilwood master for front brakes starts being slow to return, spongy pedal. Wilwood swaps out. Thanks!!! You guys rock!! Final test run day before race and front 300m shaft breaks, got a spare. Full diff teardown to make sure no contamination. Problem solved. Car running good, just need to go through tech and we are ready.

Tech is no prob, car comes back to pits, driver and wife hop out, wife falls hits head, says "Who are you?" to husband. Oh crap!! Off to hospital. Pit crew hits the sheets for 4:30 wake up to drive to remote pit one. Race morn watching tracker and our car is in pits when it should be on starting line. Mass confusion!! We need to improve pit comunication. Car flys past pit one with no probs. Stupid tracer failed and last know location was in the pits.

Return to pit 1 on way back through, flat tire swapped, fueled up, back to going. Rest of coarse runs good, couple more flats, scramble to put new tires on beadlocks. Wheel vendor, tire liner, and spare tires were never delivered to lake bed as arranged. We made do, shuffled stuff between pits, need more fuel. RZR's really helped with this process.

Tracker swapped out on lap one, leaders are now crossing finish line. Tracker showing we are on lap 2 as we come near finish line. Dave Cole involved and all is good. Cross line 14th in our first team race.

About 25 team members contributed to our finish. Our goal was just to finish our first race. Much excitement!!

On way home, enclosed trailer blows 2 tires and trashes 2 wheels at same time. Torsion axle failed. No more torsion axles. Load stuff on various other trailers and come home. Tomorrow fly out to repair then rent truck for 10 hours of fun to get trailer home. Under 30 days till next race in Rancho Cordova.

All in all, good times. Can't say enough about the team and it's goal to compete to the best of our ability. Hope for more sucess in future.

Last edited by jeepkevin; 02-21-2019 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:42 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Nice job. Good video.
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