ACORA Family Fun BBQ 2016

adventures_acora

October 21st – 23rd 2016

In true family fun attitude, ACORA puts on a BBQ that is supported by family and friends. The event is held at Azusa Canyon (San Gabriel Valley OHV) with approval from the US Forest Service. Vendors from the off-road industry have joined in to support the event and were set to move in Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. The volunteers of the event were also welcomed to roll-in Friday and camp for the weekend.

First up on Saturday was the Renegade Rock Runners RC Club hosting an adventure run that was styled after the best in the west AXIALFEST. Several people showed up to have some fun on the course for the day and enjoy the gates that the club laid down. Later that day the club also hosted a sled pull and sumo fight for the RC cars.

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As Saturday progressed it was time to drop the cones on the course for the full scale amateur rock crawl competition taking place on Sunday. We spent a couple hours getting the preliminary courses set up for each of the classes (Stock, Modified, Open).

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20161022_173551The competition format this year was a simplified version of the W.E. Rock Rules; there is no point violation for reverse. Another change we made this year was to have the competitors run course 1 and then upon finishing head to the back of the line to run course 2. The courses were designed to give them the opportunity to think outside the box to avoid hitting the cones and achieve the lowest score. Once everyone was finished the scores would be calculated to show the top five from each class and they will be given the opportunity to run in the shootout course. In the shootout the 1st guys run the risk of losing the top podium if the other competitor have a better run. This means that you need to have a clean run in order to retain your top standing.

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Stock: (No Shootout)
1st – Jason Konczak
2nd – Jamie Duncanson
3rd – Tyler Soderman
4th – Brandon Burdett

Mod:
1st – Steven Soliz
2nd – Brandon Barberena
3rd – Jeff Chapman
4th – Marclino Sanchez
5th – Adam Mark

Open:
1st – John Rocha
2nd – James Williams
3rd – Chris Miller
4th – James Gibson
5th – Brandon Cortez

We set up a Shootout course for each class and the competitors were ready to go. They got a few minutes to all walk the course and then it was game on. The courses were longer and designed to challenge the driver and the spotter even more. When it was all said and done, the leaders were able to maintain their top spot.

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14691980_10155372860352995_4204352989583091178_oFinal Standings at the ACORA Amateur Rock Crawl

Stock: (No Shootout)
1st – Jason Konczak
2nd – Jamie Duncanson
3rd – Tyler Soderman

Mod:
1st – Steven Soliz
2nd – Brandon Barberena
3rd – Marclino Sanchez

Open:
1st – John Rocha
2nd – James Williams
3rd – Chris Miller

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RD’s Adventures – Final Destination… of 2012

Earthdate: 12/30/2012
Location: Big Bear, CA

Feeling the need to get away from the city for a few days we, my family and I, decided to head up to Big Bear, CA  for a relaxing vacation of snow and playing. After spending time with my kids in the snow and playing family games…. IT WAS TIME TO WHEEL!!! We met up with a couple friends Chris and Steve and headed out for a mellow/moderate adventure to the back roads of Big Bear. I planned out a route that consisted of running Gold Mountain Trail, Little John Bull, and the Jeep Squeeze. As we arrived at the trail head the snow barely started to come down but by the time we were up and over Gold Mountain the snow was really falling. The snow was not too thick to make the adventure really difficult but it was enough to give us a good time. After running down Little John Bull we paused for a photo-op and then headed over to Jeep Squeeze where we found fresh un-tracked snow. One of the challenges of snow wheeling is losing your way and missing the trail. That is just what we did half way through Jeep Squeeze finding our selves hiking around looking for the trail. We quickly found our way using a GPS system and wheeled on through. Here are a few pics that we took along the way. Happy New Year!!!

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RD’s Adventures – Chasing Summer

Earthdate: 11/17/2012
Location: Bradshaw Trail


Feeling the need to get out, away from the city, and not wanting to embrace the cold yet, we decided to plan a trip out to find a place that I haven’t been in a while. In 2007 I went out wheeling with a couple friends, Brian and Rob, and we came across a canyon that seemed to be just a basic wash canyon, until we found the start of some good obstacles.  As we passed each obstacle with our somewhat limited Jeeps, our confidence was growing but our common sense was kickin in. We finally reached a point that we thought was our limit and the daylight was running out. We headed home with a good day of wheeling done but my curiosity had me wanting to go back.

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Now 5 years later, I finally had a plan to go back and explore a little to find that canyon. I called a few friends and put a group together to take on the adventure. Six rigs met up early in Mecca, CA to head out the Bradshaw Trail in search of a place I had only been once.

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The weather report could not have been better; it called for clear skies, highs in the upper 70’s and a slight breeze from time to time. Back home and in the mountains it was rain, rain, rain. Leading up the day of the adventure, I spent quite a bit of time searching maps and satellite images trying to find the canyon, and I was able to narrow it down to a couple of choices. I dropped the coordinates in my GPS and was ready to go. From where we met in Mecca to the start of the Bradshaw Trail there was not much to do but it was still interesting covering some of the eastern side of the Salton Sea. At the end of Parkside the pavement turned into dirt, so we aired down and hit the dirt road paralleling the Coachella Canal, which along the way bordered the Chocolate Mountain Gunnery Range. We reached the Bradshaw Trailhead and took a moment to regroup and discuss the next destination which would be known as Red Canyon.

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Red Canyon looked promising on satellite images but when we got there we quickly found that the boulders in the path were the size of dump trucks and made it impossible for our rigs to continue. We headed back out of the canyon and explored a couple off-shoots on the way out but none of them seemed to have what we were looking for. I was feeling a bit discouraged not finding what I was looking for but I was not giving up, as I still had another mark on my GPS to head for. As we approached this second canyon it was pretty flat terrain and was not looking promising, but the surrounding canyon walls were changing, so we kept trekking. We crossed over some simple obstacles along the way and I started getting a good feeling about the canyon so we just kept going.
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After a short bit we finally reached the obstacle that I was thinking about; it’s this under-cut ledge thing that requires a bit of a throttle bump to get up.
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There is a bypass line for the limited vehicles but that too proved to be a bit of a challenge. We all made it through without issue and continued to the next challenge, which was to get around a ditched Suburban.
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And then it was on to the Nutty Bath Tub where there are a few different lines to choose from. That section made for some great photo opportunities.
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On and on, we kept coming across obstacles that would require a little extra navigation to get past.

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The scenery was stunning and some people were saying it had a Moab-ish feel. I have yet to make it to Moab but their reference made it all the more fun as this is my “backyard”.

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We finally reached an impasse point in the canyon and had to turn around and head back. The canyon brought a great adventure to us and everyone was excited with what we found and would do it again.

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20th Annual Big Bear Jeep Jamboree USA – May 10-12, 2012 – Recap

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

It is an absolute honor to be invited to join the Inland Empire 4 Wheelers club as a trail guide for the 20th Annual Big Bear Jeep Jamboree USA. The club has been the host of this event since the first ever Big Bear Jeep Jamboree 20 years ago and still has active members that were at the first event. The event keeps getting better every year and the attendance keeps growing. This year with just a few vehicles shy of a sell out it was sure to bring some large trail groups and a lot of smiling faces. You could tell by all the participants that were at the drivers meeting Friday Morning that they were ready to hit the trails and get their adventure on.

Everyone that gathered for the meeting was able to enjoy the insightful comic, George “P-Diddy” Biddlecomb, educate them on treading lightly and other helpful 4-wheeling tips, like proper tire pressure and proper tire placement, for the first time off-roaders.

Blue Group Trail Leader: Mike Moore
Mid-Gunner: Rob Rogers
Tail Gunner: Randall Davis

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree Day 1

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree Day 1

Day 1:
I made it a point to get a group shot of everyone in our Blue Group so that we could look back and reflect on the new friends we met and the good times that we were about to have on trail. This picture is at the Old Baldwin Mine as we were on our way too run Little John Bull and John Bull 3N10.

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree Day 1

Some rigs are so big they just don’t need a spotter’s help. I took this opportunity to get a drink of water and watch Trail Guide, Rob Rogers, run over the rocks at the John bull Rock Garden.

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree Day 1

Axial’s VP, Jeff Johns, was able to get after the rocks as well and make some quick work of the entrance. And then the others followed.

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree Day 1

Here’s a few pics from a spot that used to be a tree squeeze. You can see that the tree on the passenger side of the vehicles has fallen…. This line used to be a Jeep top biter… but now… not so much.

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree Day 1

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree Day 1

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree Day 1

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree Day 1

It is great to see how perfect strangers get comfortable and become friends on the trail as the day goes on.

Day 2:
On our way to the next trail of the day, Holcomb Creek 3N93, we stopped by the dam to hear a little history from our Trail Leader, Mike More. He is well educated about Big Bear history and it was great to hear what he had to say about the area and it’s history.

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

Another group shot, but this time I tricked them all into playing a little Simon Says, I never said Simon Says. It is great to see how we develop friendships from Day 1 to Day 2. And it is even better to be able to share the good times and smiles with each of the participants.

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Getting on trail of Holcomb Creek is a nice little drive from Fawnskin, CA out the 3N14 to the turn off for 3N93. The first challenge you get to is a dandy of a right hand turn into a bed of big boulders. After a good bit of spotting for each of the rigs we were all though and moving on.

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

The best part of Holcomb Creek Trail is the rock garden that is about half way down the trail. Back in 2006 this was one of the most picturesque places on Holcomb Creek…. but the fires of Big Bear left this area ravaged and desolate looking. It is still a challenge to get through and the trickle of water has kept it just muddy enough to prevent any real good traction. There are plenty of challenging rocks to choose to drive over or around and it makes it perfect for all levels of drivers to step-up and test their skills a little more than normal.

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

The bottom of Holcomb Creek has the last big challange we would face, again, and choose the rocks we want to drive over…. we found one that was a pretty good rock for posing and some of the participants chose to to do just that.

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

And what would a day of wheeling be without breakage!!! We we had our fair share this time. One participant broke a sway-bar mount, another broke T-case shifter linkage, both were fixed. We also had control arm mount failure and Front Axle U-Joint failure a snapped rear track bar. The day was full of mechanical hardware challanges but not one of them left us discouraged….. we were determined to continue to have a good time and raise the bar for trail adventure. With the major breakage occuring to my rig and the fortunately prepared participant, we were able to see first hand how awesome and benifical the Hobert protable welding system is to have on trail. And then later got to witness it in action again making a brace for the rear track bar that broke on another rig. We were able to handle all the repairs on trail and get everyone back to the the Elks Lodge safely…not really in a timely manner, but in-time for dinner.

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

With another Jeep Jamboree in the books and another experience under my belt, I am excited and delighted at what I was able to be a part of. The response we got from every participant in our group was positive and they left with more Jeeping knowledge than they had before.

2012 Big Bear Jeep Jamboree

For additional information, check out these sites.
Website: http://jeepjamboreeusa.com/
Event Schedule: http://jeepjamboreeusa.com/forms/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jeepjamboreeusa
Inland Empire 4 Wheeler’s: http://www.ie4w.com/

Join Us at the 20th Big Bear Jeep Jamboree USA – May 10-12, 2012

Big Bear Jeep Jamboree Decal

The 20th annual Big Bear Jeep Jamboree is coming will take place on May 10-12th and we are looking forward to participating this year.
2011 Jeep Jamboree USA

If you own a Jeep, of any kind, you should look into attending one of these events that Jeep Jamboree puts on in conjunction with various 4X4-Clubs all across the country! They are fun, informative, family friendly and sure to provide a good time.
2011 Jeep Jamboree USA

Here is a brief History about Jeep Jamboree USA:
Jeep® Jamborees are off-road adventure weekends that bring together the outdoors, down-to-earth people, and their Jeep 4x4s. These treks have been a tradition since 1953 when 4×4 pioneer Mark A. Smith organized the first ever Jeep Jamboree and voyaged across the Sierra Nevada Mountains by way of the old Rubicon Trail. In 1954, Willys Motors – then manufacturer of Jeeps – became involved and Jeep Jamborees have been an off-road tradition ever since.

This year I personally will be acting as a Trail Guide for Jeep Jamboree USA with the hosting Jeep club of Inland Empire 4 Wheeler’s, this will be my second appearance as a Trail Guide to this event. Last year’s event brought me great pleasure and excitement as I was able to use my off-roading experience and skills to help others in attendance get through the challenges and broaden their off-roading skills. Some of the attendees have never put their Jeeps in 4-Lo or even been on a dirt road.
2011 Jeep Jamboree USA
2011 Jeep Jamboree USA

Go to these websites for more information.
Website: http://jeepjamboreeusa.com/
Event Schedule: http://jeepjamboreeusa.com/forms/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jeepjamboreeusa
Inland Empire 4 Wheeler’s: http://www.ie4w.com/

If you’re going….See you on trail.

Those Left Behind

Easter Jeep Safari is the biggest Jeep Event of the year. But lets face it, not everyone can drop what they are doing and go to Utah for a week. However that doesn’t stop the rest of us from doing what we love most. So Randall from Axial Racing put together a small Jeep run to Big Bear, CA. Nine Jeeps Started out on Gold Mountain and after some breakage, seven Jeeps went on to run John Bull Trail. Here is the day in Big Bear of…..THOSE LEFT BEHIND

video by Tom Benitez

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RC Truckfest and ACORA BBQ

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With a personal invitation from Mike Bishop, president of ACORA, I decided to make plans to attend a BBQ at the Azusa Canyon Offroad Park which was being put on by ACORA and a few other willing compadres on March 31st, 2012. Though the course is not open to the full scale rigs yet, due to some political mess that Mike is dealing with, he had it open to RC cars and was hoping to have a classic show up and throw down comp. So with that in mind I loaded up my RC’s, chargers, parts and gate markers and the family too and headed up for the BBQ. When I got there several people were already there including Wayne from CORVA. It turned out to be a really fun event that had a laid back competitive touch. I threw down enough gates to run 3 courses that were fun enough for the variety of rigs we had on hand. I got to meet some great Axial fans at the BBQ and also make some new ones. The weather was windy and chilly at times but nothing the jacket couldn’t handle. We had burgers, dogs and carne tacos for lunch.

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It was great to see every model of Axial rig even built at the BBQ. Honcho, Wraith, AX10.

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It has been a long time since I have seen a super class crawler.

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Part of the course, including the newly built obstacle sponsored by Falken.

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If it could crawl, it could compete.

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Wayne from CORVA getting busy at the start gate of course 2.

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AX10 cousins, RTR and RTC, having a little fun.

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A little tunnel action never hurt nobody… fortunately no one got stuck.

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Mike Bishop of ACORA taking a gate… better luck next time Mike.

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Pulling the corner with dig and a little help from the rock.

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Angeles Natiaonl Forest has some really cool OHV trails. If you get the chance, get out and go enjoy what they have to offer. There are plenty of places to go exploring with RC’s and have some fun.

You can find more info about the park here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Azusa-Canyon-Offroad-Park/114943321929617

RD’s Adventures – 2012 Griffin King of the Hammers – Part II

RACE PREP:
In just 20 very fast weeks Johnny’s shop, Road Race Motorsports, with some guidance from Poison Spyder, was going to miraculously have a race car evolve from the Poison Spyder Venom 2 Chassis, built ready for the first ever 2012 Smittybilt Every Man Challenge taking place at the Griffin King of the Hammers event on Feb 3-10, 2012. Since Road Race Motorsports’ background was in on-road and rally racing some of the guys had never heard of King of the Hammers and were intrigued by the stories that Johnny and I were telling them. In their spare time (like they had any) they started watching videos on YouTube to see what it was all about. Their opinion quickly became, “You guys are nuts, but let’s do this”. The order was tall, but everyone was on-board with the challenge at hand. George called on his “go to guy”, Jimmy, and he was quickly bringing parts in to Road Race Motorsports from various vendors and from George’s dismantled “Ridiculous JK”. The pile of parts at the shop was growing and the amount of work was building. Every time I stopped by the shop there was something new from somewhere and was ready to find a home on the car. The crew at Road Race Motorsports was getting antsy and laying down some great ideas while they were doing some final finishing touches on the bare chassis. I had never been part of building a race car and was really looking forward to lending a hand no matter what it was. I had no idea that a build like this can have unknown hurdles pop-up along the way and each one brings a new challenge and learning opportunity. We seemed to be getting hit with many of them but the great part of these hurdles was being able to solve them quickly and build past them. One of the first hurdles that we hit was our 4 speed Atlas II was not going to fit in this car and we were going to have to get a 2 speed version. We had several resources to call on and were tapping into each of them as we needed. One of the resources was Rock Krawler Suspension and they built us some big stout links for the suspension. Time was simply flying by and even though we had several late night dinners provided by eNet Components the rig was not looking close to being done…. The axles were still on the welding table but every time I came by there was more steel on them, the shocks were still in the bags but I could tell that they had been test fitted on the car and some alterations were made, the race chassis still on jack stands but the roof was on and brackets for the Wurton LED Lights were on and several other components had been mounted as well, the interior parts were all over the shop but they were taking shape and getting done. The custom made fuel cell was still at the manufacturer curing. Even though it looked like total disarray, things were clicking right along. Even with time flying by all the parts were being dealt with prepared for final assembly. Amongst all the building of the car we still had to coordinate how we were going to get all the race support stuff out to the event and what we were going to do for food. So we asked for help from none better than “the girls”, Jacky, Kimmie and JK, to make sure that the 21st Century Programming sponsored meals and other over-sighted necessities were being taken care of. As Murphy would have it, we hit the struggles that would delay some key tasks that needed to be completed in order for us to have a fully prepped and race ready rig. So the scramble began and the thrashing ensued. We finally had the Transfer Case in and secured, we finally had the brakes plumbed, we got the tires on the car and the Warn winch mounted, but we still did not have everything ready so we missed our pre-running dates. We regrouped and surveyed what needed to be done to make the car safe and to pass tech. So back to the thrashing we go. The engine was fired and sounding good with our Magnaflow Exhaust, the custom steering was functioning but not completely and we finally had the Reel Driveline drive shafts hooked up, but we still missed another key day for tuning our King Off-Road shocks. And then it really hit us, Friday, February 3rd is here, it’s time to load up and get to the lake bed and the rest must be done on-site. Stay tuned for my next blog post, RD’s Adventures – 2012 Griffin King of the Hammers Part III, as I write about the experience of race day and what went on in the car while we were in the race.
Here are a some pictures from the build:

Holy Moly Racing KOH Build
Holy Moly Racing KOH Build
Holy Moly Racing KOH Build
Holy Moly Racing KOH Build
Holy Moly Racing KOH Build
Holy Moly Racing KOH Build
Holy Moly Racing KOH Build
Holy Moly Racing KOH Build
Holy Moly Racing KOH Build
Holy Moly Racing KOH Build
Holy Moly Racing KOH Build
Holy Moly Racing KOH Build
Holy Moly Racing KOH Build
Holy Moly Racing KOH Build
Holy Moly Racing KOH Build
Holy Moly Racing KOH Build
Holy Moly Racing KOH Build
Holy Moly Racing KOH Build
Holy Moly Racing KOH Build
Holy Moly Racing KOH Build
Holy Moly Racing KOH Build
Holy Moly Racing KOH Build
Holy Moly Racing KOH Build
Holy Moly Racing KOH Build
Holy Moly Racing KOH Build

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Holy Moly Racing KOH Build

RD’s Adventures – 2012 Griffin King of the Hammers – Part I

Since I first attended King of the Hammers in 2009 I have always wanted to compete in the event and test my skills. There has been a lot of history and stories built out of this event since it started in 2008. I have been fortunate through recent years to really work on improving my navigation and spotting skills and have become friends with several of the other competitors, including some of those OG13 (Original Racer) guys. Now I am finally getting my opportunity with George Kane, to be the co-driver in his race car. I don’t know what sparked George’s interest in getting a race car, or the details that laid the foundation for it to be built for the 2012 Griffin King of the Hammers event on Feb 3-10, but at some point Johnny suggested to George that I would be an excellent choice for the Co-Dog seat in his custom built Poison Spyder Venom 2 racing chassis. As I talked to George about the opportunity and expressed my confidence in what was taking place, we were quickly developing a great line of communication and were excited about working together as a team. So the team, Holy Moly Racing, was formed with a core of 3 people, George Kane, Randall Davis and John Rocha. George and I made some quick plans to take his Class 1 desert car out to get our in-car communications established and spend some quality driver/co-driver time together out at Johnson Valley OHV. We had been wheeling together at other events in the past, but it was always just for leisure and not for competition. Johnny started getting busy and focused on the fabrication he was going to be facing soon, and getting his crew at Road Race Motorsports ready for what was coming down the project pipeline. And so it was on!!!… Holy Moly Racing was going to bring it full force. I was set on making the most of this opportunity and I took on a few duties to help-out in the ways that I knew I could.
Stay tuned for my next blog post, RD’s Adventures – 2012 Griffin King of the Hammers Part II, as I write about the build and preparation of the race cars, and what really went on during the build.
Here are a some pictures I’ve taken from past events:
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Wraith RTR Spare Tire Mod

I wanted to create more of a two-seater race style buggy. Something with the looks along the line of an Ultra 4 racer or KOH racer.

First I chopped off the back of the cage by cutting at the base of the C and D pillars and then at the back of the center support between the B pillar of the roof cage.

Trim the Lexan roof to fit the shortened roof cage.

Sand the rough cut edges of the cage to a smooth finish.

Using 7x60mm grey posts (AXA1429), M3x16mm set screws (AXA186), rod ends (AX80005), and flanged balls (AXA1331), I created the new rear down tube supports.

I trimmed the center support of the roof to make room for the ball flange. I bored out the rod end to slip over the rear shock brace tube. I trimmed up a piece of flat Lexan to create a cover for the battery area.

Next is to create the spare tire carrier. I started by using the spare tire mount from the Axial SCX10 Trail Honcho. It already has a really good angle to carry the tire.

I used a couple spacers 4x6mm (AXA1453) and 6x6mm (AXA1355) to lift the carrier up to fit the Ripsaw tire. I also put cone washers (AXA1104) underneath the Lexan to add strength. The last thing I had to do was trim the tire mount post of the carrier and add a hex hub (AXA30429) to keep the tire in place.

So there ya have it!!!! One Axial Wraith with an Ultra 4 style setup that has an aggressive unique look. With a little patience and a open Saturday afternoon you create the same look.