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"Conquistador" �the Mexico build

261880 Views 716 Replies 218 Participants Last post by  Waterplay
"Conquistador" …the Mexico build

The word is out that we are working on a pretty “cool” build (no pun intended:D). This will not be a typical rockcrawler meant to tackle a few hours of trails and return back to the trailer. The idea is to build a very universal rig that will see a lot of trail time, sometimes 5 to 6 days out before returning. During these trail runs the rig must be able to crawl and climb the toughest of obstacles, yet be able to do some pre-running in the deserts of Mexico at the same time… A true all purpose “Dual Sport” rig. ...Oh, and it's going to be street legal too.

Before we even get started I want to thank all the companies and individuals that are working with us on this build.

On to some specs:

This will be a one off chassis that was originally designed for myself but will likely be added to our lineup soon.
It will be a 2 seater with lots of room in the passenger compartment for days of comfort on the trail
and a little extra room for all the gear. It will be 58" wide at the cowl, 20" belly at ride, the rockers will have 30" of clearance at ride, the top of the cage will be around 71" at ride. WB will be 111"

The engine is from TurnKey Engine Supply. 390hp all aluminum LS1 with the LQ9 intake

Part of the fun in driving is shifting gears… the owner wants it to be a manual.
What better choice than a Dodge NV4500 (5speed) with 6.32 first gear.
The input shaft has been swapped to the chevy style and an adapter from
Advance Adapters gets the output converted to 23 spline
with the traditional 6 bolt round pattern.

Transfer Case
We are working with Tony at Stak to be the first recipient of a passenger side drop 3 speed mini case:flipoff2:.
Gears will be 4.29:1 / 2.44:1 / 1:1 we added the parking brake, speed sensor, and HD case support.

Tires and Rims
Nothing less than 40”x15” Nitto Mud Grapplers mounted up on a set of 20”x10” Spiderlocks from Poison Spider Customs

9" housings narrowed to 62.5"WMS
front has SOLID inners with 1995 Ford F350 outers
the tops of the knuckles have been machined for highsteer arms that line up with the stock Ackerman arms. TERA 35 spline drive flanges. YUKON 4340 35 spline axles (inners, outers, and custom rears... all cut down and resplined for the axles. The front will use stock F350 one ton brakes and the rear is set up with chevy 3/4 ton calipers already. The bottom of both housings have already been shaved for additional clearance, and of course they will get trussed up for strength...

Front … due to the amount of up travel we are after I’m not sure a Hi9 will work, so if it doesn’t I talked quite a bit with Mike and Chris at TruHi9 about a backup plan. Turns out I can get a Nascar third with 5.42:1 gears (polished, lightened, and hardened) with a 35spline pinion to match up nicely and still have the strength and reliability we are after. I’ll fit it with an ARB in house. For the Rear, Mike set us up a MEGAHi9 with 5:40 gears and an ARB. We know going into this that the ARB will be our week link in the axles… but keep in mind, This is a dual sport rig, and the owner wants to keep it a long time. He’s not likely to be quite as hard on it as a competitor.

Drive Shafts by Tom Woods

Lance at PSC has been working hard to put us together a system that will meet our demands of higher speeds and streetability just for this build… Of course it includes nothing less than the best stuff they offer.


A very special thanks goes out to the guys at Polyperformance for working with us on getting the shocks set up to our needs… they in turn are working with Racerunner directly to get us dialed in and set up to perform the way this buggy will demand. I can't say enough how cool these guys are to work with and helpful they have been.. Here is what we have put together…

Front -3 link design with DOM control arms and QA1 heims. Dampening will be controlled by 14” 2.0 Racerunner coilovers, remote reservoirs, triple rate springs, and Racerunner 2.0 bumpstops with 2.5” stroke. Travel will be setup for 45% bump.

Rear -4 link design with DOM control arms and QA1 Heims. The rough stuff will be controlled by 16” 2.0 Racerunner emulsion coilovers set up to be triple rate coil carriers, 2.0 16” Racerunner external bypass shocks will help with dampening along with 2.0 Racerunner 4” bumpstops and a Currie Sway bar should handle anything we throw at it. Travel in the rear will also be 45% bump.

There is a thread in the desert section discussing “Suspension Geometry for Getting It” created during the design process for this buggy.

Creature comforts

Master Craft seats
Crow Harnesses
Wilwood pedals
Custom roof rack
Spare tire carrier
Speed Glass windshield
Enclosable soft top by Draper Customs
and A/C…. because this buggy wouldn’t be “cool” without it:flipoff2:

Enjoy -Tim
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Sounds cool. I'll be watching.
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