HAVASU CRAWLERZ 4525 ULTRA4 OVERHAUL - Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum
 
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Old 07-22-2015, 02:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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HAVASU CRAWLERZ 4525 ULTRA4 OVERHAUL

Living in Lake Havasu City, Arizona for the last six years it was impossible not to get involved in the off-road scene. Starting off with a RZR-900 that I built up, then a Rubicon, then a buggy and now an Ultra4 4500 Class car. In 2014 my wife and I purchased a small commercial building that we turned into a toy shop. It is conveniently located by our full time business (motorcycle & car dealerships) which allows us to work there most evenings. It is a far cry away from a full fab shop but has the basics (lift, welders, plasma cutter, benders, drill press, etc.) The first project we did was my 2003 Jeep Wrangler that we linked and stretched in the summer 2014. I am fortunate to be surrounded with great friends that have a lot more talent/abilities and are always willing to help. Without them none of my projects would have gotten done!

After going to King of the Hammers for a few years and wheeling locally with the Parker Four wheelers, I knew that I wanted to try the competitive side of rock crawling/off-road racing. After looking at all the Ultra4/Dirt Riot classes I decided that the 4500 class was the best fit for me and would make a great recreational vehicle when I was done racing it. After searching on tons of internet sites I came across a 4500 car that was for sale. It was proven finisher as it completed the 2014 EMC and many Dirt Riot wins. I purchased the car from Paul Bickerton(was #4578) - and then fun began.
My thinking was it would be less expensive and less of a time commitment to modify a current vehicle. The vehicle I purchased was great starting platform: 2005 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, LQ4 motor,4L65E trans, Atlas 3.0, Solid Industries high pinion Dana 60 high pinion front axle with Detroit locker and 5:38 gears, Currie Rock Jock 60 high pinion rear end semi-float with Detroit locker and 5:38 gears, 14” Fox 2.5 coil overs front/rear(7” up/7” down,) PAC coil springs, 3-tube bypass shocks in the rear, Sway-Away 2.0 air bumps, 110” wheel base, with 4 link rear/3 link front(all aluminum links) 37” Toyo’s on Trail ready bead locks, Ron Griffin radiator, and PSC steering box/pump/ram.

So before I started to rebuild/build I knew I needed a lot of help! My co-driver/fabricator is Aaron Ada the main brains behind all. Aaron is one of the most talented people I have ever met and had lots of desert racing experience. Dennis Silvers and Wayne Sanchez are great friends that can do anything! Dennis is the local Ford dealer’s service manager and has raced just about anything with more than one horsepower. Wayne has never found anything he can’t fix or make go faster. We all know a build like this takes a ton of help and don’t have room to name everyone that is helping but I appreciate everyone. I really appreciate the support of my wife Carrie; this would not be possible without her.

Goals of the build: Make it as simple/reliable/ and easy to work on as possible! We started with a few shake down runs in the desert and some rock crawling to get a base line of what we had. Our first objective was to get rid of the original Jeep tub and build a new chassis off the original frame. Getting rid of the tub will allow us to accomplish a lot of goals: move the radiator up front, redo the exhaust, gain better visibility, better center of gravity, easier access for repairs, clean up wiring, etc. The new chassis is built out of 2” .120 chromoly and tig welded.

We tore the motor down to inspect bearings, pistons, heads, etc. The bearings and crank were in great shape, we re-ringed the pistons, honed the cylinders, new water pump, new starter, new alternator, balanced the injectors, BBK intake, full valve job on the heads, LS oil pan with trap door, and new gaskets/plugs/wires. We sent the harness to Wayne Hartwig to be shortened and tuned.

The transmission was in pretty good shape but we tore it down just be safe. Replaced most of internals, upgraded the torque convertor with a high performance from TCS with a 2300 stall speed, and a billet output shaft.

Tried to handle most of the weak spots of the 4L65.
We switched to a dual battery system from Total Power Source and really like the size and weight savings. The rest of electrical system is pretty basic with running a RacePak IQ3 for all the gauge duties. Plan on doing resettable circuit breakers similar to an aircraft with a simple harness. Planning on a simple light bar and headlights.

The fuel system consists of custom 25 gallon Fuel Safe set up for dual pumps (still undecided on running external or internal pumps.)

We are going to move the Ron Davis radiator with built in transcooler (31”x16” with dual 14” Spal fans) to the front for better visibility and really don’t like the idea of burning hot coolant behind me. With going to the Warn RCI winch and the front chassis mods we have more than enough room. We are unsure where we are going to mount the back up Griffen 10X10 transcooler as of yet.

Went through both axles and replaced both rear shafts (the splines were slightly twisted.) Replaced all the seals and bearings in both the front and rear. The ring and pinion looked brand new and the lockers were in great shape too. We are still working on the brake set up but think we have settled on Chevy ½ single piston calibers, vented rotors and a power brake system from Dave’s Custom Jeep. Going to leave the suspension geometry the way it was on the links just going to replace all the heim joints with FK’s. Our goal is get the front shocks to tip in a little more and pretty much leave the rear set up alone. We are going to do away with the rear air bumps as they aren’t really needed with having three tube bypass back there. Once the car is back together we plan on visiting Brian with ADS in Tucson to look into switching from FOX to ADS.

We Sent the Atlas to Advance Adapters to be looked over and everything checkout. Sent the air bumps back to Sway Away to be rebuild. Both drive shafts went to Tom Wood’s to be rebuilt.

We are going to stick with PSC pump, box and assist for now and really focus on getting the geometry right so everything works in harmony.
For the interior we are running MasterCraft 3G-4 seats with a customer aluminum floor/center console.

As of today 7/21 the motor/trans/case are done and going back into the frame. The chassis is almost ready to get mounted to the frame. Next step is the rear suspension. There is a lot left to do with steering, wiring, etc. Our goal is to be done by Labor Day so we have the entire fall to shake it down. First race will be the EMC of 2016, go big or go home lol………
I would like to thank all my marketing partners to this point: Matco Tools of Lake Havasu, Bradley Ford, Gear Up Motorsports, Napa of Lake Havasu, Endura Steel, The Convertor Shop, ACS products, and Fuel Safe.

Follow this thread and Havasu Crawlerz | 4600 stock class vehicle for updates and of course make sure to like our Face Book page www.FACEBOOK.COM/HAVASUCRAWLERZ.com
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Old 07-22-2015, 02:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Some more photos

Some more photos
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Old 07-22-2015, 02:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 07-23-2015, 12:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Kinda hard to tell in the photos, but are you going to re-use any of the factory frame or are you going full tube chassis? Doesn't 4500 still require some amount of factory framerail to be "legal"?
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Old 07-23-2015, 01:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wubsor View Post
Kinda hard to tell in the photos, but are you going to re-use any of the factory frame or are you going full tube chassis? Doesn't 4500 still require some amount of factory framerail to be "legal"?
Nope
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Mike Johnson #43 7 time EMC KOH finisher, 6 top 5's
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Old 07-23-2015, 04:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Frame

We are still using the factory TJ frame due to time constraints and the suspension works pretty well already. We would like to make our own but don't have jig made up yet. The rules state it must have the appearance of the factory frame from the front motor mount to behind the seats and still be squared(no full tube chassis.) Currie/Savvy did a great job making their own frame that let them really push the motor back for better CG on their 4500 car. Maybe next year........
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Old 07-24-2015, 11:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The build is coming along nicely. I'll swing by your shop next week to take a look.

Hurry up and get it done so we can go play bumper tag in the desert.


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The fuel system consists of custom 25 gallon Fuel Safe set up for dual pumps (still undecided on running external or internal pumps.)

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for the 10th time, IN TANK pumps are the way to go. Don't let Aaron lead you to believe any different. The reasons have been beaten to death on this website, but in short, pumps are made to push, not suck. Sucking creates a vacuum. Under vacuum the boiling point of the fuel and it's additives drops from somewhere in the 200*'s to the low low 100's. Check out this video on boiling points under a vacuum. Making solid nitrogen. [VIDEO]

I know you've talked to Wayne Israelson about shock tuning. He is as knowledgeable as anyone out there on fuel systems. Give him a call and pick his brain on in tank fuel pumps, then buy one of his setups, or Aeromotive makes a nice dual in tank set up (called the Stealth something or other) that I know Currie and a few others are running. It's not cheap, but once you have a fuel pumps take you out of a race the price won't seem so bad.
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Old 07-24-2015, 11:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Fuel Pumps

Appreciate all the input Ryan! Like everything else many options and opinions. I am working with Wayne and Fuel Safe on the best option for me. Thanks again!
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Old 07-24-2015, 11:58 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Bracing

Some of bracing was welded in last night. Still need to weld in some grab handles, floor bracing, etc
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Motor/Trans/Atlas Back In Frame

Motor/trans/Atlas back in the Jeep frame. Now we can start mounting the chassis on the frame and getting the floor laid out!
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Old 08-09-2015, 08:33 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Old 08-09-2015, 02:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Fitting chassis To The Frame

Just need to make some cuts for the trans and all should be good!
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Old 09-09-2015, 09:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Rear Shock Mounts

Rear shock mounts are in.......
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Old 09-24-2015, 12:59 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Updates

Rear section is almost done, just need to do some bracing. Dash is coming along. Hope to have it all tabbed and covered by the weekend. Looking for a mid November completion.....
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Old 10-01-2015, 03:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Fuel Tray/Dash work

Rear end is almost done, interior is getting there too......
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Old 06-22-2016, 05:14 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Some Photos From this Years Races

Some race shots......
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Old 06-22-2016, 05:38 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Nitro Gear & Axle New Marketing Partner

Havasu Crawlerz/Team 4525 is super excited to announce Nitro Gear & Axle as our newest marketing partner! We know that their superior gears, axles, u-joints and differential covers will help take our race program to the next level. Watch for updates on our new Solid Industries rear axle install with all Nitro's great products!
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Old 06-22-2016, 05:41 PM   #18 (permalink)
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New Solid Axle Industries Rear Dana 60 High Pinion Axle

Our new Solid Axle Industries rear Dana 60 high pinion axle is coming together! Almost have the back truss all done and new shocks mounts will be cut out of 1/4 molly soon......
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Old 07-08-2016, 01:42 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Axle Update

All set up and ready to weld! Appreciate the support from Nitro Gear & Axle, Solid Axle Industries and Aaron Ada.....
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Old 07-13-2016, 07:36 PM   #20 (permalink)
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New Rear Solid Industries HP 60

All welded up! Just waiting on our shock mounts to come back from the ACS water Jetting and we will get hung under the car:-)
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Old 11-04-2016, 12:39 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Changes For 2017 Season

Attached a few photos of the changes we made for the 2017 Season, here is the list of changes:

1. Moved the Howe Steering Ram up further on the axle for a better clearance and approach angle.

2. Changed the torsion spring in our steering back to a heavier weight to have a little better feel at high speed

3. Move the shifter up 3" for a better position for the driver

4. Installed Super 60 ring & pinion gear sets from and rear with ARB airlockers, powered by Powertank CO2 System

5. Installed a Safecraft fire suppression system

6. Installed a Atlas Race transfercase with 3.8:1 gearing

7. Rebuilt the 4L65E transmission with lots of new upgrades for better strength and reliability

8. Installed JE Reel drive lines front and rear

9. Reworked our rear axle to gain three inches bump travel

10. Replace our front sway bar with a 300M one made by TCS in Lake Havasu

11. Installed RCV 300M shafts in the front axle and replaced the knuckles, spindles, and hubs from Solid Industries.

Looking forward to bunch of pre-running over the next two months and then to a great 2017 KOH!
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Old 02-16-2017, 03:48 PM   #22 (permalink)
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2017 KING OF THE HAMMERS EMC RACE RECAP

2017 King Of The Hammers Every Man Challenge February 9th, 2017 – Havasu Crawlerz
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Old 02-17-2017, 07:42 AM   #23 (permalink)
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looks awesome! what is the thickness on that rear backbone set up?

I have one of the Artec ones for my 14 bolt, but its thin...1/8th material. It is not on there at the moment and I am wondering if I even want to go through the trouble
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Old 02-18-2017, 06:33 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Great job!
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Old 02-18-2017, 01:08 PM   #25 (permalink)
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It's .25" Chromoly plate, not light but gets the job done for sure. Not a lot of options with using standard 60 3rd member instead of a drop out.
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