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2008 Rubberbelly Racing

10953 Views 49 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  JJ3
We are very excited about the start if the 08 season at Hannibal this weekend. I thought I'd share a couple of changes we made over the off season.
Here is the build link from last year.

Turning was a big problem last year. The combination of spools front and rear and not being able to turn lock to lock hurt us in some situations. Surprisingly we were abll to make due with it pretty well though. The first order of business was to build a front axle that would allow us to move the control arms inside of the frame so that we could turn lock to lock. I had just finished build a junkyard spidertrax "609" for the front of my bronco and we set out to build one our selves. It turned out the 9" housing would have to be retubed to make it fit. So I just bit the billet and ordered another spidertrax housing. The seals were really one of the things that makes these housings really nice. Nothing to fab to hold seals just put them and screw in the set screw. We machined out some stock d44 inner c's so that they would slip on the new tube diameter.

Some other things That went into the front axle we some alloy USA shafts and some Solid Axle Drive Flanges. Both from 4wheel Drive Hardware. Inner shafts are also alloy usa that were custom machined by Currie Enterprises.
Check out these drive flanges! These things are beefy! so is the snap ring too.

Another 2008 partner, Detroit Locker, Helped us out with getting the right detroit lockers for our 9" axles front and rear. This has already made a big difference in freeing the car up to turn. Getting those spools out of there with out getting into the extra stuff of selectables.

One last thing that we were able to do this year for RROCK was to add cutting brakes. We had already added one for the rear, thats all that RROCK allowed in 07, So we set about to add one for the front as well. We went with the 2-in 2-out CNC. While we were at it we upgraded the master cylinder. We started with a corvette master but didn't like the volume it was putting out. So we tried a 76 or mercury master with 4-wheel dick brakes. This one was the ticket. With an adjustment to the brake rod it bolted right up.
Here is a picture of the brake lines and the cutting brakes plumbed. What fun that was! We almost ditched the power brakes just so we could use plastic lines!

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Once the turning was taken care of we turned our attention to trying to keep us in the game when it goes upside down. We were very close to that several times last year thanks to toms awesome courses! We are not stinger fans but it seemed to fit to protect the radiator the best that we can.

We did our best to stream line the bumper and get our superwinch in there high and tight. The frame actually hangs down lower on each side than the bumper. Hopefully it will help our approach angle.

With the new control arms we had to build a new skid plate. Being really low to the ground we thought we could get some use from a plastic skid. We built a frame that holds the transmission and supports the front and rear skids. The plastic is some .5" UHMW. Trying to keep the heat away from the plastic we also made a change in mufflers. The flattest muffler we could find was a spintech which we bought from a vendor here on pirate. A little pricey but a 2.25" thick it was the best option. Talk about stout!

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4 Wheel Drive Hardware is back supporting us again this year. Their help has been awesome. We picked up some really bling parts from them. Check out these really nice Corbeaus and the bling KMC beadlocks. Don't forget to give these guys a call if you need something. www.4wd.com

Whats some really bling wheels with out some really sweet Cooper Tires! Thats right Cooper is going to make a big statement in the rock crawling world this year.

The KMC wheels are also brand new on the market and like most things will take time to prove to the pirate guys wether it's a worthy product to spend youre hard earned money on. I am very impressed with the wheels so far the finish was better than I expected. (yes I was unsure considering some of the things I had heard.) But for the money and new style it is definately a slam dunk. I'll let scott compare them to his walkers he just got for you guys.

As for the coopers we are very excited to represent these guys. They have been offering solid on road products for years as well as high quality off road products as well. They just haven't made the dent as a go to tire like goodyear and BFG have done. After looking at the specs it turns out the tire is softer on the durometer than our BFG's were. Being a 12.50 wide tire that will also help to narrow us up some as well. The lugs don't appear to be as agressive as a swamper or Krawler but the siping seems to really help them flex and grab. Jake and job were able to pull off a win with them last year in a 40" tire class with only 37's. There's alot to be said there.

Last couple of partners I really want to thank for this year is Brandt Fabricating in Bashor Kansas and BAM Diesel Performance also in Bashor.
Brandt is the one we take our tricky welding things too. All of our transfer case doublers and aluminum welding are done at Brandt Fab.

Also new on the Diesel truck scene is BAM Diesel. Ryan has tons of experience working on all diesels but has the most fun with performance parts on the light duty stuff. If you get out to any midwest diesel truck pulling you are bound to see some of his work leading the pack.

I'll have some more soon but for now I've gotta get some rest. Looking forward to the We-Rock season opener at Hannibal this weekend. See you there!
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I've been seeing those coopers quite a bit latelly, they remind me of a meatier mtr.
Looking good so far!!!

Carry on
its cool to see you guys making some improvements to stay competetive! its nice to see a tracker out there with all the jeeps too!
Good luck this season guys. You do an awesome job and I hope to make it to an event or 2 to watch you guys this year.
STT's kick ass... I have been running them on every thing for about a year and love them. You will not regret it!
i like that muffler alot. my flowmaster is taking a beating and starting to push into my floor.
is that muffler pretty open/free flowing? i'd like to know where to find those
tracker looks great. probably my favoriate stock mod comp rig to date.

One last picture I stole from deb while we were out testing. So ready for this weekend!

Thanks guys everything has gotten better over the last year, except for me. Gonna have to work real hard to keep up.

Search for Spintech on here and you should find the guy we bought ours from. Scott might chime in since it's his muffler... :)
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Good luck guys .... we'll see you on the course!
Hey Jake, The rig is looking good! Looks like you guys will be ready for Hannibal. Sorry I won't be able to make it, but I'll be getting updates from the 4WD Hardware Team.

Bryan @ 4 Wheel Drive Hardware
i like that muffler alot. my flowmaster is taking a beating and starting to push into my floor.
is that muffler pretty open/free flowing? i'd like to know where to find those
tracker looks great. probably my favoriate stock mod comp rig to date.
I got it from Scott (IROK Cherokee) here on Pirate. It is not a cheap muffler but it is stout, I was very shocked at the weight of such a skinny muffler.

alright i'll pm him about it. i don't mind spending the cash but my flowmaster is taking a beating
It looks like you guys have made some nice improvements to the tracker. I hope to make it out to the event this weekend. The rig looks awesome!
Thanks Bryan! Hopefully we put together a rig all of our sponsors will be happy with. Hope to see ya soon!

Can't wait to hang with you for a while dave! It's been too long!
Good luck this season ...I'll see ya in a few days !!!

I still can't get over the fact that a Bronco guy is competing with a bow tie:smokin:

Cheaper to wreck a bow tie!
Can't buy no broncos for $700. haha!
Or swap out the driveline by use of hands only!!! :laughing:

Good luck Scott and Jake. Will try to make a run or 2 to watch....

Saw you two work together last weekend. That Tracker did some interesting crawling.
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