Desert Turtle Racing Ultra4 Glen Helen 2016 Race Recap

adventures_dtrglenhelen

Since KOH we have been enjoying our rig, the Turtle, by going out wheeling a few times and also determining what we needed to do to get ready for our next race. As we worked on the Turtle we realized that we needed to spend some time better tuning our Rock Krawler shocks, in order to improve the overall ride and handling of the vehicle. We took the Turtle out for a few test runs and got the shocks dialed in pretty well. Being a couple of rookies, we know we are not going to get it perfect but we sure feel like we got it close, and none the less we are learning a lot about tuning. Race weekend came and we were as dialed as we were going to be, so we loaded up the Turtle and all our gear and headed for the Ultra4 4 Wheel Parts Grand Prix at Glen Helen Raceway. Friday morning consisted of several things — registration, drivers meeting, practice (2 sessions), qualifying, and then another drivers meeting. Saturday was filled with prelims, the main event, and then an after party.

01

GH2016-20160610_142117Friday morning, we got all checked in at registration, grabbed a bite to eat and then headed over to the drivers meeting. At the meeting they covered the course layout for the weekend, some things to watch out for on course, and the break down of practice groups. After the meeting Darin and I agreed that we would share the driving this weekend and alternate each session. He would drive Practice 1 and Qualifying, and I would drive Practice 2 and Prelims. We suited up and headed out for Practice 1. Basically this was to get a hang of the track and feel out how the car was going to handle. We picked up our speed a bit and were getting down in the 5:15’s by the end of practice. We headed back to the pits after the session and made a couple small changes and then got back in the Turtle for Practice 2. This was my turn to drive and the objective was the same — Get the hang of the track and feel the car work. We were both able to get our lap times down in the 5:15’s but we noticed that our temps were getting a little too high. We took the Turtle back to the pits to discuss a game plan to try to get the temps down. We gave the car a once over and swapped out the coolant for 100% water to help keep the temps down, and adjusted our sway bar setting to try and get the car tighter in the turns. Again we suited up, and headed out to run our qualifying laps. The Turtle ran great during the session, the temps were a bit cooler, but not the best. We were able to pull off a time to get us a 9th position start in the Prelims out of 17 other rigs. For only being our second race, and first Grand Prix, we felt great with our results.

GH2016-20160610_210126 GH2016-20160610_193508 GH2016-IMG_9888 GH2016-IMG_9904 GH2016-IMG_9916 GH2016-IMG_9913 Saturday, RACE DAY was upon us, and we had to get lined up early to run our Prelims at 8:45 AM. No time to change anything on our car but we were able to finalize our plan to try and get the temps down. We got lined up in our starting order, 9th back from the leader. We went into the race with the game plan of keeping the car safe and not over-pushing anything. We were OK starting 9th in the main and just wanted to get through the race. The green flag dropped and we were on the move. We were able to pass a couple of rigs and things were going great. We came over a hill leading into a flat section with a couple chicanes. We set the Turtle into a nice left handed drift to hug the inside course marker (giant Caterpillar tire) and then out of nowhere we hit a rut and hooked up. The Turtle was sent head-on for the tire. I tried to counter steer to the right to avoid the tire but it was to late. BOOM — We hit the tire like it was a wall, it sent us up in the air on the two right side wheels. So in a corrective attempt I cranked the wheels to the right and gassed it, hoping that we would be able to drive out of it, but to no avail. Over we went, rolling on the passenger side and coming to a haul back on the drive side. We had successfully rolled the Turtle for the first time. Darin and I checked in with each other to make sure we were good. The track officials rushed over to make sure we were OK and let us know they were going to flip us up-right. They got to work and we were back on our wheels quickly. We fired up the car and began to drive slowly to see if we could feel anything wrong. While I was sitting there on our side all I could think is “There goes our starting position”. I was feeling a little bummed but knew I had to get back in the groove of the race and finish it. We had time for a couple more laps in the Prelims so I started to pick up pace again. We brought the Turtle to the finish safely and then had to wait for the race results to be posted. To our surprise we stayed in 9th place, meaning we didn’t gain or lose any spots. It would have been nice to improve our starting position but we were happy to take the 9th spot.

GH2016-IMG_9932 GH2016-IMG_9927 GH2016-IMG_9925 GH2016-IMG_9912 GH2016-IMG_0114 GH2016-IMG_0094 GH2016-IMG_9969 GH2016-IMG_9979 Now that the Prelims were out of the way it was time to do some work on the rig to try and get the temps under control. Aaron from Fleet Works Services came up with a couple good ideas, top secret stuff. He went to work getting the car prepped for our main event. He was a great addition to the team as he has quite a bit of knowledge prepping race cars and working with teams at the races.

It was getting close to time to get ready for the main and Darin overheard on the PA that our class was getting lined up for the main. We were shocked as that was 30 minutes earlier than the original start time. We went into a mad scramble to get suited up and in the car. We sent one of our team members over to the track official to let them know we were on our way and his response was “We are all lined up, you can start from the back of the field.”  Oh boy — That meant we had to start 19th instead of 9th. We made it over just in time as they started rolling the field out… and yes, we were in last place with a lot of cars in front of us. Instead of getting discouraged with the officials or about being in last place,  we decided to take this opportunity to work on our passing skills and make the best of the situation. There were 6 rigs in front of us in the stock class and we knew we had to get past them ASAP to be able to run down the other rigs in our class. Our first pass came exiting turn one just after the green flag, and then our second and third shortly after that. We continued to work the field, making a couple more passes on lap one. By the time we finished our first lap we had gained 6 positions. Now we knew that if we were going to catch anymore we were going to have to push the Turtle as best we could. We were hoping that Aaron’s magical prep was going to keep the temps down and let us do the work we needed to. On the second lap we made another pass and then on the third we caught up to the lead pack of 4600 class rigs battling for position. Unfortunately for them, on the third lap one stalled on a hill and then two more got in a wreck just in front of us. That moved us into 10th during the third lap. On the 4th lap we caught up to another rig and were able race him down the front stretch of the short course and stuff inside to make the pass at the end of the section. By that point the leaders had us in their sights and were reeling us in. We knew that their cars were much better than ours and we were planning to just let them by. After the start line on lap 5 the leader was on our tail and he was letting us know with a few solid bumps on the triple up-hill singles, and then we let them pass to avoid getting taken out. Towards the exit of the short course section there was a rig rolled over, meaning for us another pass. Somewhere along the line we gained a few more positions simply by other rigs being in the hot pits or breaking out. Our temps were looking good and we just kept driving our race as though we were not in contention with anyone. We wanted to make it to the finish line and that is exactly what we did. We were able to bring the Turtle home to a finish on lap 10 in a VERY respectable 6th place… after starting 19th.

GH2016-JHooperHand-off 2 GH2016-IMG_9996 2 GH2016-IMG_9983 GH2016-IMG_9982 GH2016-IMG_9981 GH2016-IMG_9987 GH2016-IMG_9953 GH2016-IMG_9943 GH2016-IMG_9899 GH2016-IMG_0130 GH2016-IMG_0105 GH2016-IMG_0102 GH2016-IMG_0077 GH2016-checkerflag GH2016-20160610_182013 Oh yeah… a little exciting moment was that our in-car fire extinguisher got knocked loose and was bouncing around between the seats. We opted to swing by the hot pits and hand it off to one of our crew. No one needs projectiles in the race car. We would like to thank all of our sponsors for helping us get the Turtle to where it is today. ‪ProComp Tires, Rock Krawler Suspension, Axial Racing, Poison Spyder Customs, ‬ ‪Raceline Wheels‬, DJ Safety, Fuel Safe, Rugged Radios,‬ Magnaflow Exhaust, J. E. Reel Drivelines, CTM Racing, Rugged Routes,‬ Lasernut,‬ Currie Enterprises, sPOD, Artec Industries, PRP Seats, Luxwurx, A1 Higher Graphics

Desert Turtle Racing KOH EMC 2016 Race Recap

adventures_dtr

Sure this is going to be a long read, but there is now way to put this into just a few words. I could go on and on about each and every event that took place that day. The bottom line is we are one of the few first timers that actually finished the race on their first attempt.
20160204_073144

I encourage you to stick with it and read it all the way through. We are the Every Man, we have day jobs, and we converted a TJ into an EMC race contender.

Thursday morning came quick and I did not get very much sleep the night before. My brain was still processing preparation lists, my nerves were creeping up and I did not want to over sleep for fear of missing our line-up spot. But none the less 5:30 a.m. came and I had to get up and get the day started. I brewed some java and started sorting out my race suit stuff. Darin was up as well, getting all his stuff together, and we heard a knock at the door of the RV. To my surprise it was my best friend, Johnny, standing at the door. He took some time out of his very busy morning getting Savvy Offroad ready to stop by and give us some much-needed words of encouragement. I was shocked by his visit and it really set our day off on the right foot. We finished getting suited up and loaded up the last of our stuff in the Turtle, then headed for our line-up spot, Number 32, which was in front of 212 Performance Gloves.
643A1801

20160204_072826

20160204_073340

In the line-up we had several people swing by to give us some encouraging words. It was a bit surprising to see so many people wishing us luck the morning of the race.

20160204_073804

The time came for the line to start moving and I knew things were about to get REAL. Everything we planned for was going to be tested in the next few minutes. And the Axial SCX10 was strapped on the back for the ride of its life. We got to the start line and it was us against Lindsay Gilstrap from Texas. I knew she had a car with more power so I suggested we just let her go when the flag drops. Aaron from the Poison Spyder Pit Crew gave us a great countdown  through our Rugged Radio intercom system, and on his mark with the green flag waving at 8:07 a.m., we punched it… and then quickly let off the gas for turn 1, the sharp left-hander that can quickly roll your rig and take you out of the race.
643A1895

643A1904

I figured Lindsay would have left us in the dust, but she was still right there so we got back on the gas and the drag race ensued until the jump at the end of the short course section. We both hit the brakes and rolled through the jump and then she started to check out.
643A1905

At that point we were eating her dust and decided to back off a bit so we could get some clean air and see where we needed to go. The first hill climb (part of Short Bus) had become a dust covered canyon from all the previous racers, making it very difficult to see where we needed to be to avoid the rocks. We picked our way through and were headed down the backside in no time.  Finally passing RM01 we were picking up our speed to hit the first small sand hill of the day. As we approached the base of the sand hill doing about 50 — BAHBOOM!!! We hit this pot-hole in the dirt that came out of nowhere. We hit it so hard, it felt like we just drove up a curb in a SmartCar. We continued to drive up the hill without issue and got to the top. I decided to check with Darin and see if he felt a flat. At first he said “It feels good”, but as we approached the southern end of Melville Dry Lake, RM02, he said “It’s flat man, it’s flat.” I said “No big deal, let’s pull off the course and get it changed.” Truth be known, we only tested our scissor jack on the rear of the vehicle and it worked great. As we lifted the front of the car it would only go so far before the impact ran out of torque and would not lift anymore (maybe it’s the jack and not the impact). Anyways we busted out the ratchet and continued cracking. Of course we discovered that we did not have the ½-inch drive ratchet with us and had to use a 3/8-inch drive with an adapter (CREW CHIEF!!!!). But we were able to get it done and get back in the car and get going again. It was frustrating for both of us to get a flat so early but it was actually a good thing — it brought us down a notch and allowed us to get back in our britches, get our wits back and thinking straight. We were on our way and headed for RM03 and by this point the race had been going for about 20 minutes and we were only at RM03. I got on the radio to let Main Pits (Poison Spyder Pits) know that we had a flat and will need to replace the spare when we get back. At the north end of Melville Dry Lake we reached RM04. Just after that is the military base gate — on the base the course runs for about 6 or 7 miles before exiting again. Just after RM14 we reached Remote Pit 1. Knowing that we did not send a spare tire with the crew to Remote Pit 1 and our car seemed to be doing well, I radioed in to let them know we would see them on the flip side. We continued on, picking off mile after mile. Along the way a Legends car or two would pass us but we also saw more and more busted cars off to the side of the course.

Clip1To us it was a little sign of encouragement to keep going and be thankful we were still in the race. The course along the way would vary, from some whoop sections to some goat trails, to some sand washes, and then to some high-speed smooth routes. The mix of terrain was relentless and would change at a moment’s notice. Darin was on his game reading the terrain and checking-up when needed to avoid damage and/or additional flats. Reaching RM31 we checked in on the radio to let the crew know we were at the half way mark and headed for Remote Pit 1 for the second pass. There were some tricky turns on the way and attention had to be paid to the GPS so we wouldn’t miss the marks and stay on track. I think it was at RM32 where we finally got our first Check Point sticker. For us, that was a major mile marker and reassurance that we were still in it. We made our way through the rest of the RM’s periodically calling in to Remote Pit 1 that we were getting close. We finally heard from them about RM46 and we let them know that we were hearing some clanking noises that we wanted them to check on. When we pulled into the pits, a little after RM47, Craig W. stepped up to the window and said he had our spare tires there for us and asked if we wanted it. I was shocked! I am not sure how they pulled it off but I was sure glad to have him and the Poison Spyder Pit Crew supporting us. I was not expecting to have a spare tire there. But my response was quick, “Heck yes I want the spare one! You guys rock!” They continued to check the rest of the rig and give us a splash of gas.

Clip5They found some shock bolts loose and cranked them down tight then sent us on our way. Clicking off the next several miles, it was smooth sailing. The noise that we heard was gone and the car was feeling strong.
Clip4

As we approached the next checkpoint I knew we were going to have to make a game-changing decision soon. There is a split in the race course and you have to make a choice to take Alternate 1 or stay on the course, which leads to a rock section covered in sand, making it a very difficult route. Beyond that is Alternate 2 which is even more challenging as it is a steep sand hill with rocks strewn about. Darin and I talked for a bit about our options but without haste and with pure confidence he chose the sand hill (Alternate 2).

Clip6We had avoided this route during our pre-run because we did not have anyone with us to help out if we got stuck. I’m sure Larry McRae’s pep talk in the Poison Spyder trailer the night before helped make this decision, and we were counting on him being there to help us navigate the line. I called out on the radio to see if Larry was at the sand hill and he replied “It’s all clear, come on up.” Passing RM57 and then passing the race course, I knew there was no turning back and we were going to tackle this hill head on. Larry chimed in on the radio giving us the approach line and the “go for launch”. Darin hit the hill like he had done it before and I could hear Larry on the radio calling the driving line for us “Driver, Driver, easy throttle, passenger, driver, driver, passenger, passenger… You made it!!! Nice work boys.” … or at least it sounded something like that. We were caught up in the moment and we just crushed that hill, hitting it blind and in race mode. It was a bit sketchy but really not all that bad, if you avoid the big rocks. Moving on, the next task at hand was navigating some more tight twisty turns in the sand and rocks, and heading towards Main Pits, a little after RM60. There’s not a whole lot of room for speed between the sand hill and main pits but we punched it when we could, trying to make up some of the time we lost with the flat and extended stop at Remote Pit 1.

We reached Main Pits. Darin had finished the first lap and kept the car together. It wasn’t an easy task but he kept his cool and composure and got us through the first lap. Main Pits is where Poison Spyder stepped up the most for us.
20160204_105726

20160204_110237They went to work looking over the car and making sure it was ready for the second lap — the rock sections. Darin and I climbed out of the car to trade seats, as this was the plan after we looked at the course map. We had learned each other’s strong points and both agreed he would do best in the desert and I would do best in the rocks. We took a moment while we were out of the car to take a breath, grab a drink and a snack before getting back in the car.

643A20042

There had to be at least 8 guys combined from the Poison Spyder crew and the Desert Turtle Racing crew working on the rig, making adjustments and some slight changes to the car for us to hit the rocks. We climbed back in the car and got strapped in with our DJ Safety Harnesses.
643A2027

I was a bit nervous at this point, thinking to myself “I’ve got a lot of work in front of me”, but I was focused and knew that we on a pace to cover some ground and get through the rocks with our Raceline wheels and ProComp Extreme MT2 tires. So with all pit hands cleared we took off for lap 2 heading across the Start/Finish line and making our way to the hill at the end of Short Bus.
643A2037

Climbing over the hill we were cruising along. Click! There went mile one, and here comes the pot hole that Darin clipped on Lap 1. So I let off the gas in an attempt to save the tire, which I did, but that lead to not enough momentum to get up this lame worn out sand hill. The Turtle gave it all it could in 4-Hi and petered out just shy of the crest of the hill. It was a no go and we had to roll backwards down the hill. We gave it another attempt with no luck and then decided to give it a go in 4-Lo. Success!! We made the hill but I was pretty well frustrated at this point. I had done this hill in my JK a number of times and never had a problem. Knowing it was just circumstance and with a few calm words from Darin I got my composure back and we were headed around the desert to Remote Pit 2A, located just after RM70. The car was doing well and we opted to pass right by. Heading up the hill after Remote Pit 2A the rig bounced on the trail a little from left to right and back left again and of course it hit another rock. It didn’t feel like we were losing air but it was in the back of my mind that the front left might be going down. We drove into the canyon and into our first rock trail, Boulder Dash. It’s not a really hard trail but it does have a couple small challenges. I felt this was a perfect trail for me to get in a rhythm of reading the terrain and navigating the rocks. We made quick work of the trail and passed a couple rigs on our way over to run down Upper Big Johnson. This trail has a couple of nasty spots if you’re not careful, but it also has a couple of bypass lines if you can spot them. We were careful coming down the trail as to not beat up the front end too much. We were also able to take a bypass line and make up another position. At the bottom of the trail we hit RM72 and headed for the next trail, Claw Hammer. On the way into Claw I hit a few more rocks a little harder than I liked and was again concerned about the front left losing air. We made it to the water fall and climbed right up. Then at the V-notch there was a rig stuck in the line and we had to negotiate an awkward line up the side of the canyon wall to make a hard passenger pivot turn. It took a couple of tries to get up the V-notch, even with the help of the guys that were part of the stuck car. During the process one of the guys shouted to me “You’ve got a left front flat.” Great!!!! Just what we didn’t need — another flat. I opted to pull to the side of the canyon out of the course line and change the flat to avoid any further damage. With our first flat experience we knew exactly what we needed to do and so we got to work. We made quick work of this change and were back on our way climbing out of Claw Hammer. At RM73 Darin radioed in that we had experienced another flat but were still moving and were headed into Wrecking Ball.
643A2116

Picking our lines in Wrecking Ball we knew we had to negotiate the waterfall or the bypass line. We had ran the bypass line during our pre-run and were confident we could pull it off again. As we approached we noticed a rig stuck in the waterfall line and that meant we were forced to take the bypass. We got into the bypass line and had to make a quick stop because I overshot the downhill turn. The sketchy part of the bypass is when you stop, at that point the rig slides sideways about three feet which puts you very close to the cliff. We were able to get a good backup and point the Turtle down the hill for a successful pass at the bypass line. Shortly after making it down the bypass we passed another rig that was broken, and then down the trail just a bit further we passed another rig, and another.
643A2118 643A2125 643A2128 643A2134 643A2138 643A2153 643A2157

I was feeling relieved that we were making good time down this trail and others appeared to be having difficulties. We approached the bottom of the trail and realized that we had, yet again, another flat on the front right. We finished running the trail and pulled over right near the cross-over at RM74. We were bummed, we had already used our spare in Claw Hammer and now we had another flat. We talked about driving on the flat but I pointed out that we had 5 more really tough rock trails to go through before we would get to Remote Pit 2B, not counting the mileage that was ahead of us between the rock trails. We continued to weigh our options and I suggested to Darin that we could possibly plug the tire with the tire kit we were carrying. Darin looked out the window and said “Hahahaha — No we’re not, there is a 4-inch gash in the sidewall.” So we checked the tire on the carrier and it had a smaller 1-inch hole. I grabbed the plug kit to start plugging the tire, and Darin grabbed the tools to start lifting the car to change the tire. Thankfully, we outfitted our ARB Compressor with an NPT fitting and packed our air hose. We were able to plug the tire with seven plugs and get 20lbs of air in the tire and the tire held the air. We pulled it off the rig and swapped out our third flat. This seemed to take forever but we were back in the game. Darin said “We are in this race until we aren’t!” That was probably the best thing he could have said at that time. I noticed a few of the rigs that we passed in Wrecking Ball had caught up to pass us, so I knew we were losing ground again.
643A2174 643A2200

We got back in the car and Darin called it in, “We plugged the flat and are on the move towards Chocolate Thunder. We are going to need a spare at Remote Pit 2B.” At this point I knew I really had to change my wheeling game and preserve the last chance tire we had left — We could not afford to get another flat. We got over to Chocolate Thunder and started picking our way through. There was a 4600 car in front of us, up at the cross section, having trouble. We watched and waited for him to get through and then made our way up the stair steps.
20160204_132647

We cruised up the steps and while doing so I noticed the 4600 car take a different line that looked way easier than the line I am used to taking. So I half opted for that line and wound up getting the Turtle turtled on some rocks. It was time for Darin to get out and pull some winch line so we could get moving again. This is like the worst place to get stuck because there are a ton of spectators there to give you a hard time about your poor line choice. Darin made quick work of the winch line setup and we were un-stuck and on our way again, climbing the rest of the way out of Chocolate Thunder. Moving on to the next trail, passing RM76, we hit Jack North. At the entrance of the rock canyon for Jack North we caught up to the 4600 that was having problems on Chocolate Thunder. He was struggling pretty badly in a spot and ended up having to winch his way out of it. By this point there were a few rigs piled up behind us so the 4600 car let everyone pass him by. We made our way up to the top of the trail and there was a rig stuck in the main race line, so everyone else had to go around on a bypass line. I looked at the line and told Darin, “That’s not an easy bypass.”  There was a line of about 4-5 rigs ahead of us and we watched a couple make it through the bypass line. Then one guy just about flopped his rig over. Now the main line was blocked and the bypass line was blocked and there was still a car ahead of us that had to get through. Not knowing what they were going to do about the rig that was almost flopped, Darin jumped out of the Turtle and started talking with another co-driver about alternate lines. Darin pointed out a line through the middle of the rocks that he thought might work as an alternate. I don’t think any of us had much faith in the line but Darin called up the next rig and spotted them through. They got through it with a little bit of work and some really good spotting from Darin. Next he called me up. I was wide eyed as I could not believe that the rig before me made it. These rocks seemed as big as the rig and once on top you could not see anything around you because it was all underneath the car. Darin again did a great job spotting and got me through the spot. As I exited this alternate line I could feel the Turtle was getting light and tipsy, but we were able to make an adjustment and pull on through. Thankfully another trail down and no tire issue. We took off and headed over to run down Jack Hammer.
643A2231 643A2240

20160204_145229We made great time coming down Jack Hammer until we got to the second waterfall section and I again got Turtled up due to a lack of forward momentum. Darin quickly jumped out and pulled the winch line. We were unstuck and on our way again in no time.
643A2251 643A225420160204_150011643A2261

After Jack Hammer there was a check point at about RM78 and then right after that was a big sand hill. We attempted to power up this sand hill and almost got it, but the Turtle petered out just before the crest. We had to back down the hill, but this time I knew there was an alternate, so instead of trying the hill again, we opted to go around and keep on the move. We made our way around the mountain and were headed for Sunbonnet Pass. Still, I was keeping in mind that we needed to preserve the tire and could not afford another flat. We spotted a few key lines on Sunbonnet and were able to capitalize on a couple of passes in the rock trails. Quickly another trail was completed, now the only thing left in our way of reaching Remote Pit 2B was Hwy 19/20. This trail just after RM85 has a few tricky spots that can really cause some problems. We remembered some of the bypass lines here and took advantage of them. We even passed another rig that was struggling right were the bypass came back into the trail. We nailed this trail and even took a line that Johnny Rocha told us about, saving us more time. We were on our way out of Hwy 19/20 and were excited to crest the hill and see Remote Pit 2B. It was like a breath of fresh air for me. I was feeling stressed but the sight of the pits gave me focus and reenergized me for more racing. We got to the pits and the guys went to work on the car again.
DSC_592420160204_160757

Poison Spyder Pit Crew and Desert Turtle Racing Pit Crew were working together to give the car a good look over and make sure we were going to make the rest of the race. I grabbed a couple more snack bites from Kimmie and we were on our way. I asked Justin Z. how much time we had left and he said we still had about an hour and a half. Knowing that we had Aftershock Trail ahead of us, we would have to nail the bypass on that trail to keep in good time and be able to finish the race. I felt like we really still had a chance to finish. We just needed to keep the car together. We peeled out from the pits and were off and running.
DSC_5941

We headed down into Aftershock just after RM88. We picked our way through the rocks and caught up to a rig that was struggling in the rock garden, and that was when we noticed the bypass line. We broke right and skated on by, passing another rig. We got to the bottom of the trail and came across another rig that was broken and passed by him as well. We were on the move and clicking off the miles between Aftershock and Emerson Dry Lake. As we came down the hill approaching Emerson Dry Lake, around RM92, we prepared for our final high-speed run across the lakebed. We were all alone out there and completely dust free. The conditions were perfect so I smashed the skinny pedal and let the motor sing. We were up to 80mph and still climbing. We knew our motor did not have much more and we were running out of space on the lakebed. But knowing there was a bit of a run-out at the end, I stayed in it getting up to a final top speed of 88mph and then let off. We cruised through the next several miles of the flowy desert trail leading up to RM99. Safely making our way there, it was time to cross a totally whooped out section on the course. At around RM100 to RM103, this is where I could lose my lunch and the Turtle if I wasn’t careful. The sun was staring to come down and as we made a slight left around RM105 it put the sun right in our eyes. Through the next couple of miles of whoops, I had to drive with one hand on the wheel and one blocking the sun. It was unsafe to get any sort of speed built up with only one hand on the wheel, so we just cruised keeping the Turtle safe and intact. We made the left a little after RM106 and were headed back on to a portion of course that we ran in Lap 1. It was nice to be back on some familiar trails. At RM55, we reached the final checkpoint and they informed us that we had only 45 minutes to get back to the finish line. Darin said, “There is no way we are timing out after coming this far. Hammer down buddy – Let’s do this.” I was unsure of the distance that we had left and how long it would actually take. But I recalled that the final section had a lot of sand and rocks strewn about, and we would have to tackle the nasty sand hill after RM57 from Lap 1. Picking our way through the sand and rocks, we kept moving along — Sometimes, at what seemed to be a very slow pace, but we were still moving. We came to the sand hill that Larry coached us up before and Darin called out to see if Larry was still there. Nothing but radio silence, so it was up to us to conquer the hill. We hit it hard and screamed up the hill, but at the top the Turtle started to peter-out and was barely creeping along. I worked the rig with a little sand crawl, turning the tires left and right, and we were able to make it up and continue on. Picking through the rest of the rocks and sand we made it out and were headed across the last desert section towards the finish line. I can remember driving along and thinking to myself, just keep it together we are going to make it. We made it to a point where we could see Hammertown and the Start/Finish line – We were just moments away from completing our goal. We were at the bottom of the last hill climb and on the other side was the Finish line. Up and over we go, zooming down the hill to take the checker flag at the Finish line at RM114.
643A2280 643A2285 643A2306

I was beyond excited and was feeling mentally drained at the moment from driving the rock trails. I was stunned and could not believe that we had just finished the 114 mile course of the 2016 Smittybilt Every Man Challenge on our first attempt! Darin and I were absolutely amazed at the accomplishment. I couldn’t wait to get out of the car and find out if the Axial SCX10 had made it through the journey with us. Yup, it was there! — All covered in dust, but it made it with us. The first ever Axial SCX10 to run the hammers and cross the finish line.
643A2331 643A233420160204_173210 20160205_142923 20160209_100603

Axial at Off Road EXPO 2014

blog_expo

Off Road EXPO at the Pamona Fairplex is an event that you must attend if you live in the So Cal area. This is the big off road show where you get to see all the latest and greatest off road equipment. We were on the scene checking out some of the awesome rigs on site and snapping photos of the Axial rigs we could find at the show.

This year was different for Axial as we had quite a lot going on. We had demos going in the Poison Spyder booth, the Icon Vehicle Dynamics booth, and the Yeti XL was attracting eyeballs in the BFG booth for its first public appearance.

Many of the Axial marketing partners were also on site showing off their latest goodies…. Check it out!

Icon Vehicle Dynamics just picked up a big rig to take their products and show on the road. This beautiful rig grabbed tons of attention. Those that ventured over to see them got to try their hand wheeling some SCX10s. You would have the option of running the Ram Power Wagon, the Honcho or the JK.

ORE 2014

ORE 2014

Have we mentioned we Love the ICON JK?

ORE 2014

and check out this awesome machine!!! I want this body for an SCX10!

ORE 2014

Camping anyone?

ORE 2014

Walker Evans Racing on site with this super clean JK!

ORE 2014

and of course Walker’s beautiful pre-runner buggy

ORE 2014

Rebel Off-Road always brings a crowd of people, and they should with their awesome selection of JK’s and other fun toys

ORE 2014

ORE 2014

ORE 2014

Does anyone else want 20 minutes alone in the desert with Method’s TT?

ORE 2014

Speaking of Method Wheels, check out this Shannon Campbell Replica Rock racer using Wraith and EXO parts that is almost completed. We found this in the Magnaflow booth

ORE 2014

ORE 2014

Also cruising around the Magnaflow booth was this little desert package, ready for the dirt this winter season!

ORE 2014

ORE 2014

They even had a Yeti on site!

ORE 2014

Our friends over at Rock Krawler made the trek from New York

ORE 2014

The Poison Spyder booth was a hit as always, completely jam packed with Jeep enthusiasts all day long!

ORE 2014

Crispy was out attracting people to the booth complete with a G6 mini Crispy

ORE 2014

ORE 2014

Still one of our favorite JKs

ORE 2014

The Demo at Poison Spyder was fun all around.

ORE 2014

ORE 2014

We stopped in to visit the Currie Family and check out their goodies. They had all their latest equipment on display along with their very high end Axial JKs

ORE 2014

ORE 2014

ORE 2014

ORE 2014

Only Casey Currie would do this……

ORE 2014

and then do this 20 mins later….

ORE 2014

The infamous Jerry from U4RC made an appearance

ORE 2014

The BFG booth had a steady flow of people all day, most to see the new KO2 tire, and a few to check out the Yeti XL!

ORE 2014

ORE 2014

BFG has an awesome 2 door, we want this one too….

ORE 2014

We bumped into sPOD in the main hall. They are using their SCX10 as part of their display system. So9 cool to hit the buttons on the sPOD, and the lights on the SCX10 light up!

ORE 2014

Our buddies at Nitro Gear getting ready for the crowds…

ORE 2014

Holy Billet Batman!

ORE 2014

Alex at AOE has been busy, his JK is looking ready for action!

ORE 2014

Here are a few parting shots for you, these kids have no idea how cool they are!

ORE 2014

ORE 2014

Oh and did you want any Jeep with your tires?

ORE 2014

Scale Wheeling in Moab, Utah at EJS2014

blog_scalewheeling

Every spring Axial heads out to beautiful Moab, Utah for Easter Jeep Safari. This is one of the most beautiful places on earth to enjoy outdoor activities. If you are into Jeeping, RC adventure crawling, mountain biking, hiking, or just plain amazing scenery, then Moab should be atop your list of places to visit and enjoy. For the entire week preceding Easter Sunday, the who’s who in the 4×4 industry converge on this little town to share their latest off-road equipment, and their time with their clients and friends from within and outside of the community.

For Corporate Jeep, their week begins the weekend before, where they publicly unveil their Jeep concepts for the year. The “Underground” teams of engineers get to take their dreamt up creations, share them with the world’s press and test them in the ultimate mecca for 4wd enthusiasts. These are the vehicles that we all drool over, and wish we had a 1/10 scale body to mount on our SCX10. Even if we can’t have the bodies yet, we can still take inspiration from their creations. This year had some very cool vehicles, check them out here

In downtown Moab on Wednesday night, Axial builds the Jeep R/C adventure course. This event is put on by Jeep as a customer appreciation night for all the loyal Jeep fans. Part of the lot is set aside for the Axial crew to come in and build a fun demo course. All you have to do is wait in line and you get to try your hand at some scale Jeeping in Moab! This year’s course was a little simpler than previous years, though the man-made obstacles were very cool!

20140417_191141_resized

20140417_191125_resized_1

20140417_190756_resized_1

Just after the official Jeep BBQ event, the Axial staff heads off to the “Secret Spot” as it is affectionately called. There is really no secret about it, as it is located right off the main road on the way to steel bender. This spot, however, is absolutely perfect for some scale wheeling. This is the one time of the year that Axial gets a chance to spend some time with all their “Full size” marketing partners. So at about 9 pm, somewhere in the neighborhood of a half million dollars’ worth of Jeeps turn up for a little scale adventure crawl!

DSC00035

After a brief safety chat regarding the cliffs we were about to crawl next to, we fired up the Rigid duallys (powered by 3S lipos of course) and shot a quick group pic before hitting the trail…..

DSC00031

In all, there were 22 of us representing Axial, Poison Spyder, Currie Enterprises, Icon Vehicle Dynamics, Raceline Wheels, CRC, Pull Pal, Rigid Industries and Savvy Offroad. There is something about enjoying this hobby with this iconic group of guys that can’t be beat. This was probably the time of our lives, certainly when it came to our R/C Careers. We were amazed at how much transferred over from full size to scale. Some of the guys had never driven an R/C vehicle before and picked it up right away. We assume it helped having 20 of their closest friends there helping (Heckling).
Check out a few of the shots we were able to catch throughout the evening and during the rest of the week ….…

IMG_0629

IMG_0624

IMG_0606

IMG_0618

IMG_0611

The new Vanquish lights for the RC Jeeps are amazing!! These babies are stupid bright!

DSC00034

The guys at Poison Spyder put together an awesome little video of the nights action, check it out here!

We were able to get out and do a little full size wheeling with the guys from Icon Vehicle Dynamics. They were kind enough to allow the Axial Grocery getter to come along for a little Hell’s Revenge adventure..
IMG_0551

DSC_0013

IMG_0543

IMG_0565

IMG_0569

IMG_0564

Here is a cool test shot we did with Icon Vehicle dynamics

Jeeping with Casey Currie at EJS2014

blog_jeepingcasey

Casey Currie is an absolute Jeep fanatic. Anyone who follows Casey can see this plain as day, though until you spend a few days with him, you can’t truly know how bad he has it. All hours of the night, in the worst weather conditions, regardless of what is going on or what time it is, Casey is ready to go wheeling. At this years’ EJS, we jumped in the Axial grocery getter, soccer mom mall crawler, whatever you want to call it, and headed out to meet with Casey. He said he had both of his JKs and he was ready to have some Moab fun.

DSC_0022

DSC_0036

DSC_0038

Upon arrival, we see that Casey wasted no time modifying both of his Jeeps. His full size rig was all decked out. We also noticed his Scale JK was equipped with Vanquish Currie Rock Jock axles, Vanquish Rigid Industries light bar, Vanquish front dig, RC4WD Warn Winch. He chose the 55t Axial motor running on 3s for smooth crawling. Once we arrived on Hell’s revenge, he immediately jumped out of his full size JK and started attacking the rock with his SCX10.

DSC_0074

Casey always immediately goes for the “Man’s Line”

DSC_0062

DSC_0067

We just had to get some video to share with you, check it out!

Full Option RTR Poison Spyder Wraith

Axial offers several optional upgrade parts for the Poison Spyder Wraith RTR. Here’s a quick run down of what is installed and why you may want to use these items.

A couple shots of the fully optioned Poison Spyder Wraith RTR in the studio.

In this shot you can see you can see a handful of upgrades. The first upgrade is aluminum shocks, part number AX30092. Aluminum shocks provide better dampening than the stock plastic shocks, especially when mated with our polyoxymethylene – (POM/thermoplastic) shock pistons. The aluminum shock body and cap have less flex than plastic versions. Aluminum shock bodies also dissipate heat better than the stock plastic bodies. The shock shafts are oversized (3.5mm) for rigidity. They’re great for high power applications and long run times! We also offer a complete line of various springs to fine tune your suspension as needed – see the complete parts list below for more info.

Another parts upgrade is the front sway bar, part number AX30781. Designed for high speed this system will let you soften up your suspension for jumps, while keeping torque twist and body lean to a minimum during acceleration. A sway bar’s main function is to control body roll, yet still allow your shocks to move vertically with the changing terrain. What does all this mean? It means more stability at high speed. A must have upgrade for any would-be rock racer. Installing sway bars does limit articulation, so this is an option best suited for high speed applications. Great for use with our Vanguard brushless system, part number AX24010 and AX24260.

Moving on to the next part we installed a 25T aluminum servo horn, part number AX30836. Axial’s HD aluminum servo horn provides more responsive steering with less chance of stripping the internal splines over the stock plastic servo horn. Clamping style head for secure mounting in high stress applications. Available in 23, 24 and 25 tooth spline counts.

Axial’s next option part install is the Universal Light Bar, part number AX30709. Axial’s light bar is a great way to add realism and working lights to your Wraith with this universal light bar. Another option part that we plan to install is Axial’s NVS Light System, part number AX24251. The ultimate level in detail you can now add the NVS light system which features controls for headlights, tail lights, brake lights, and right / left turn signals, as well as some extra auxiliary lighting. Great for those night time expeditions. We also offer a 5 string LED light set, part number AX24256, to fit this light bar and it is compatible with Axial’s simple LED kit, part number AX24257, and our NVS System.

Another great upgrade is the Wraith Stage One link kit, part number AX30797. Add even more durability to your Wraith by upgrading your stock plastic RTR suspension links with our HD Stage 1 Aluminum Link Kit. Replaces all the stock plastic suspension links with high quality 7mm diameter aluminum links. These links eliminate axle wrap and unwanted axle steer, especially in high power applications. Axial also offers machined heavy duty aluminum straight links, part number AX30790, to replace the stock plastic lower links as an alternative the the Stage One link kit.

Axial’s HD motor plate, part number AX30860. Our heavy duty motor plate is for any vehicle running our AX10 transmission. CNC machined from 4.5mm thick billet aluminum, with integrated heatsink fins to help motors run cooler on those all day expeditions. A must have for any R/C overland adventurist! Axial also offers 13T, 14T and 15T steel pinion gears and an 87T spur gear to give end users an array of gear ratios to choose from. Add more torque for low speed crawling to your Wraith by installing one of Axial’s optional brushed motors available in 27T and 55T configurations. Another option part that we installed here is Axial’s dig system for the Wraith transmission, part number AX30793. Axial’s dig system allows you to lock the rear wheels, while powering the front wheels only for a tighter turning radius. Shift servo sold separately.

Axial’s HD differential covers, part number AX30829. HD diff covers protect ring and pinion gears from being damaged by rocks, just like their 1:1 counterparts, all while adding a little bling to your ride.

Another option part that is usually hiding behind the HD cover is Axial’s HD ring and pinion gears, part number AX30395. HD ring and pinion gears are more efficient than the stock aluminum ring and pinions. CNC machined for precision, hardened steel for durability – great for high power applications. Axial also offers hardened steel overdrive ring and pinion gear sets, part number AX30401, for a little extra wheel speed. We also offer an underdrive ring and pinion gear set, part number AX30402, for a little more torque in binds.

Axial’s HD lower link mounts are another noteworthy upgrade, part number AX30830. Our HD lower link mounts allow users to fine tune ride height and wheelbase by providing more adjustment holes than the stock plastic units.

This shot also shows a few options parts. First option is aluminum knuckles, part number AX30760. Aluminum knuckles provide more responsive steering and helps vehicle track better at speeds and in the rocks. Another option shown is the Axial Aluminum C-hubs, part number AX30762. Aluminum C-hubs also help your vehicle track more consistently in all situations, especailly when used in conjunction with our aluminum knuckles. Also notice the AR60 universal axles, part number AX30780. Axial universal joint axles increase steering angle to 50 degrees, that’s 60% over the stock dogbone/drive cup setup. These universals provide smoother action for a higher performing, efficient drivetrain. The universal is oversized; typical for 1/8 scale vehicles and made of hardened steel so it’s capable of handling extreme power.

Next option is the rear sway bar, part number AX30782. Designed for high speed this system will let you soften up your suspension for jumps, while keeping torque twist and body lean to a minimum during acceleration. A sway bar’s main function is to control body roll, yet still allow your shocks to move vertically with the changing terrain. What does all this mean? It means more stability at high speed. A must have upgrade for any would be rock racer. Installing sway bars does limit articulation, so this is an option best suited for high speed applications. Great for use with our Vanguard brushless system, part number AX24010 and AX24260.

Aluminum axle lockouts are another great upgrade, part number AX30789. Axial’s aluminum axle lockouts are more rigid than the stock plastic lockouts, which will allow the vehicle to track better in all situations.

We left the wheels and tires stock on this build. But, if you are looking to upgrade your wheels, we suggest our VWS beadlocks, part number AX08061. VWS wheels allow users to tune foam set-ups and change tires at will for varying terrain and conditions. Another wheel option offered by Axial is our black 8 hole beadlock wheels, part number AX8097. These wheels offer a little wider overall stance which equals stability at high speeds. For low speed rock crawling you can increase your Wraith’s climbing abilities by adding Axial’s 2.2 Internal Weight Rings, part number AX30545. Add even more weight by utilizing Axial’s 2.2 Internal Wheel Weights for the Internal Wheel Weight Rings, part number AX30546.

You can see our R35 Ripsaw tires pictured here on the full option RTR Wraith, part number AX12015. R35 Ripsaw tires offer both a realistic look for the image-conscious scale crawler and for those looking to up their performance game. This 2.2 Ripsaw offers an aggressive tread design, greater ground clearance, and is made from a R35 sticky compound. The VWS wheels include black aluminum rings, but I swapped those out for our Grey beadlock rings, part number AX08133, just to match the grey colored suspension links.

Complete Poison Spyder Wraith option parts list:
AX8097 – 2.2 Black 8 Hole Beadlock Wheels (x2)
AX08061 – 2.2 VWS Beadlock Wheels (x2)
AX08133 – Grey VWS Beadlock Rings (x2)
AX12015 – 2.2 R35 Ripsaw Tires (x2)
AX30545 – 2.2 Internal Wheel Weight Rings (x2)
AX30546 – 2.2 Wheel Weight Inserts (x2)
AX30797 – Stage One Link Kit
AX30790 – Machined Heavy Duty Aluminum Straight Link 101mm (x2)
AX30469 – Machined Heavy Duty Aluminum High Clearance Upper Links (x2)
AX80057 – XR10 Linkage Set (x4 for all 8 links)
AX30395 – HD Ring and Pinion Gear Sets (x2)
AX30401 – Overdrive HD Ring and Pinion Gear Sets (x2)
AX30402 – Underdrive HD Ring and Pinion Gear Sets (x2)
AX30571 – 13t Steel Pinion Gear
AX30569 – 14t Steel Pinion Gear
AX30573 – 15t Steel Pinion Gear
AX30672 – 87t Spur Gear
AX30829 – HD Differential Covers (x2)
AX30860 – HD Motor Plate
AX30830 – HD Link Mounts (x2)
AX30834 – 23t HD Servo Horn
AX30835 – 24t HD Servo Horn
AX30836 – 25t HD Servo Horn
AX30762 – Aluminum Axle C-hub’s
AX30760 – Aluminum Knuckles
AX30789 – Aluminum Axle Lockouts
AX30092 – Aluminum Shocks (x2)
AX30780 – AR60 Universal Axle Set
AX30781 – Front Sway Bar
AX30782 – Rear Sway Bar
AX30709 – Universal Light Bar
AX24256 – 5 LED Light String
AX24257 – Simple LED Kit
AX24251 – NVS Light System
AX24010 – Vanguard Brushless Motor
AX24260 – AE-3 Vanguard ESC
AX24007 – 55 Turn Motor
AX24004 – 27 Turn Motor
AX30793 – Dig Component Set
AX04027 – Wraith Clear Body Panel Kit
AX30223 – Black Springs 1.04 lbs/in (x2)
AX30224 – Purple Springs 1.43 lbs/in (x2)
AX30225 – Orange Springs 1.75 lbs/in (x2)
AX30218 – Red Springs 2.07 lbs/in (x2)
AX30219 – White Springs 2.47 lbs/in (x2)
AX30220 – Green Springs 2.85 lbs/in (x2)
AX30221 – Yellow Springs 3.27 lbs/in (x2)
AX30222 – Blue Springs 3.55 lbs/in (x2)

AX90031 Axial’s Poison Spyder Wraith

Axial’s latest Wraith™ release is fully licensed by Poison Spyder Customs. The new Axial Jeep® Wrangler Wraith™ also comes with a new fully licensed Jeep body, that is painted to match the real 1:1 Poison Spyder Ultra4 buggy driven by Larry McRae and Shad Kennedy. Ultra4 Racing combines the best of both off road racing worlds including high speed desert action and hard core rock racing. The Axial Jeep® Wrangler Wraith™ appeals to fans of this event series because it offers some of the same spectacular abilities. Featuring a full tubular chassis and a detailed interior just like the full size counterparts, the realism offered by this vehicle is second to none. The Jeep® Wrangler Wraith™ is built with traditional straight axles allowing for maximum suspension articulation. This vehicle features differential lockers front and rear, just like its full size counterpart. With lockers and maximum articulation, there isn’t anywhere you can’t take this rock racing machine! Let’s take a look inside the Jeep® Wrangler Wraith™ and see what new features it has to offer.

A photo of the 1:1 Poison Spyder Customs Ultra4 buggy tearing it up on the dry lake of Johnson Valley! Poison Spyder lives and breaths the off road lifestyle, just like Axial! On their days off Larry and Shad can usually be seen around the Johnson Valley area testing and tuning their latest line-up of products in a real world environment.

All new Trail Ready 2.2 beadlock wheels! Officially licensed Trail Ready HD Series beadlock wheels dressed in an aggressive all black style are easy to assemble and they work with most 2.2 tires. The hub design allows this wheel to mount to any Wraith, AX10 Ridgecrest or SCX10. Our IFD™ (Interchangeable Face Design) wheel system makes it easy to dress it up with a new look. Serrated wheel nuts provide plenty of bite to keep the wheel securely in place and they’re anodized blue for great looks! The new Trail Ready HD beadlock wheels feature a 3 piece wheel design, plastic hub adapters that eliminate the need for an aluminum hex hub, adjustable breather holes and a simple six screw system for ease of use. These wheels are also compatible with Vanquish Product’s popular SLW hubs, which allow you to change the offset of your wheels to fit your needs exactly.

A photo of the new wheels before assembly.

Assembly order.

A few shots from the backside of the new wheel. Notice the adjustable breather holes, and new hubs. The breather hole adjustments are controlled by how the backside ring is timed to the main body of the wheel. Clocking the backside ring to various positions adjusts how much your tire and foam set-up are able to breath. Expose more breather holes for a softer set-up that will work great for crawling, as it allows the tires to conform to the terrain better. If your Wraith is set-up for high speed trail running and bashing less breather hole exposure will be the desired set-up, which will stiffen the tires up and lessen the chances of the sidewalls folding over at speed. The new hub design eliminates the need for a 12mm drive hex, as the hubs are designed to mate directly to the drive pins in the outer axles.

Next new feature that is included with the Jeep® Wrangler Wraith™ is licensed BF Goodrich tires. That’s right, officially licensed BFGoodrich Krawler™ T/A® KX tires! In the full-size offroad world, they are the winner of more rock-crawling championships than all other tires combined (Race spec tire, Years 2004 through 2008). The Axial version captures the same aggressive look you’ve been waiting for.

Another shot of the new wheel and tire combo!

Axial has lowered the overall ride height on the new Jeep® Wrangler Wraith™, by flipping the lower shock / link mounts on the axles 180 degrees. This helps keep the overall center of gravity lower on the new Jeep® Wrangler Wraith™, for better handling in all situations.

The next new feature is a fully licensed Jeep® Wrangler body, which is compatible with any Wraith, and is guaranteed to add some style to your ride!

Close-up shots of the Poison Spyder logos on the new body.

The Jeep hood sports the Poison Spyder logo, as well as the roof panel. Pretty slick!

That covers the biggest changes that have occurred to this new Jeep® Wrangler Wraith™. Keep an eye on your favorite retailer to see when they will be available!

Axial Teams with Poison Spyder – 2013 Season

Axial is proud to announce the continued partnership with Poison Spyder for 2013 and beyond. The partnership between Axial and Poison Spyder is a perfect match. Poison Spyder is a company built around the off-road lifestyle, much like Axial. The McRae family and the entire Poison Spyder family for that matter, are enthusiasts. When they are not in the shop with their noses to the grindstone producing top shelf Jeep gear, they are out on the trail, enjoying what nature has to offer with friends, fans and customers. This business philosophy is shared by Axial, as we all love what we do, providing the equipment for like minded individuals and families to bring smiles and endless fun.

We are fast approaching one of the most anticipated events for 2013, the Ultra4 King of the Hammers. This event has been called the toughest 1 day off road event in the world, and attracts off-road enthusiasts and press from all over the planet. Last year, Larry McRae and co-driver Shad Kennedy were the masterminds behind a new race vehicle. The Venom Chassis dubbed BFH (Built for the Hammers)was a success out of the box. The Poison Spyder crew are not starngers to competitive rock crawling events, though this was quite an undertaking. The crew competed and won the EMC (Every Man Challenge) in the modified class, in the vehicle’s first outing. This year, after countless days of testing, the Poison Spyder racing team is back and will contest the unlimited class in the same vehicle with a few modifications.

Here is a shot of the BFH in the shop being prepared

On the ground and ready to be loaded for testing

Out in the desert with “Daddy Long Legs”

Larry doesn’t just race this rig, he also brings it out to some events such as TDS (Tierra Del Sol) as seen here

A little over a week ago, Larry traveled to the 4Wheel Parts HQ in California for the live drawing for starting/qualifying positions. This year he will qualify for his KOH starting position. He will be 62nd in line to get his qualifying time. He spent some time on the air talking with Dave Cole and all of his fans about his efforts.

We wish Larry, Shad and the entire crew the best of luck at KOH 2013!

Rumor has it, the race vehcile will have a new graphic scheme this year, if these shirts are any indication, it should look awesome!

They have these shirts for sale on the Poison Spyder website, if you are interested, get yours here.

Larry’s week out at KOH will not end on Friday with the KOH main event, he will stay through Saturday and compete in the Axial RECON Ultra4 G6 at King of the Hammers. Larry will be piloting an Axial Wraith in the 2.2 Adventurist class. This is your chance to rub paint with one of the big boys! For more information on the G6 event click here.

To check out Poison Spyder’s efforts at the King of the Hammers last year, click here.

Axial “SCX10JK” s-POD Source and Rigid Industries Lighting

We have been slowly working on finishing up some final touches to the SCX10JK. As we all know, the work is never really done on a trail rig, but it is cool to get to that point where everything is in good working order, and you have some time to do some stuff that has been on hold. In our case, it was time to look at turning night into day.

While doing an extensive amount of research about off road lighting, we found this company called Rigid Industries. These guys are at the forefront of the LED light bar movement. It appears as though many of the lighting companies are going the way of LED, and most looking at the low profile option of light bars instead of the traditional round lamp and reflector housings. At the front of this pack sits Rigid Industries, innovating and setting the benchmark. The light bars they have developed have paved the way for almost every off road light manufacturer. The Jeep JK has been the most popular vehicle to showcase this lighting option, so there are lots of options for Rigid lights and mounting systems.

null

null

Once again we headed over to Rebel Off Road to discuss these options for our JK. While discussing the options for the lighting the subject of power distribution arose. Rebel promptly recommended the s-POD Source.

null

The s-POD Source is a dream come true for those looking for the perfect way to power accessories without having to build a complicated wiring system or worry about having a negative effect on the factory wiring. Most new vehicles these days have a very sophisticated wiring system that is built for diagnostics. This means that almost every wire is monitored in the amount of current that passes through it. This means any extra demands of that wire over and above its intended purpose will throw a code warning the driver that there is a potential problem with the vehicle wiring system. The s-POD Source is designed to take power directly from the vehicle’s battery and distribute it to 6 potential aftermarket options. This was exactly what we needed!

null

We promptly ordered up the components to get the job done to include:
[1]s-POD Source
[1] Rigid Industries 50” E-Series Light Bar Combo
[1] Rigid Industries 10” E-Series Light Bar
[3] Rigid Industries Dually lights
[1] Poison Spyder Roof light bar mount
[1] Set Poison Spyder A-Pilar light mounts
[1] Fairlead mount for bumper light

Once the components arrived, we sent all the parts and the Jeep to Rebel Off Road to be outfitted. To start, Rebel mounted the s-POD and ran all the wiring, as well as mounted the mounting brackets for the lights
The Poison Spyder A-Pilar Mounts

null

The Poison Spyder front Fairlead mount

null

The s-POD comes with a direct fit mount for the Jeep JK vehicle.

null

You simply hook up the positive and negative included wiring, and you are ready to power whatever you want.

null

There is then 1 wiring harness that you run inside the vehicle to a vehicle specific switch panel. This panel for the Jeep JK is placed in between the sun visors, a perfect out of the way spot, yet easily reachable by the driver.

null

The next step was to run the wiring to the lamp locations. Here is a shot of the a-pilar wiring location. Notice the awesome waterproof plugs that are provided with the Rigid Industries Lights

null

With the wiring completed and the brackets in place, it was as simple as bolting the lights up and plugging them in!

The A-Pilar lights are small but offer a ton of light, as well as some quick side to side aiming options

null

The 10” E-Series light mounted on the front bumper is a great light to illuminate what is directly in front of the vehicle

null

null

The roof mounted Rigid Industries 50” E-Series lamp puts out massive amounts of light, and will be used to illuminate longer distances for higher speed night travel. This combo bar offers reflectors that also light up to the side of the vehicle for a wide range of viewing at night. It is mounted to a silver powder coated Poison Spyder LED bar mount.

null

null

We are very much looking forward to hitting the trail at night, now that we will be able to see! These things even blind you during the day time!!

null

For more information of these great products, please visit Rigid Industries here and s-POD here

To get the history on the Axial “SCX10JK”, please check out the following links! Be sure to check back often, as we will continue to build up the SCX10JK and fine tune it for maximum performance!

Axial “SCX10JK” Wilwood Brakes- Massive Stopping Power!

Axial “SCX10JK” tested – Moab, Utah for Easter Jeep Safari 2012

The Full Size Connection

Axial 2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited

Axial Visits Rebel Off Road

Axial “SCX10JK” – Icon Suspension

Axial “SCX10JK” Armor – Poison Spyder Crusher Flares and Crusher Corners

Axial “SCX10JK” Armor – Poison Spyder Rocker Armor and Rocker Knockers

Axial “SCX10JK” Armor – Skid Plates from Rebel Off Road

Axial “SCX10JK” Walker Evans Wheels – Maxxis Tires – Rebel Roof Rack

Axial “SCX10JK” Armor – Poison Spyder Front and Rear Bumpers – TJM Winch

Scale Details – SCX10™ 2012 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon

Axial’s latest SCX10 release is an officially licensed 2012 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon. It is an RTR vehicle, which means it is ready to go as soon as you remove it from the box. The detail and realism of this latest release is awesome to see in person. The molded plastic rollcage, fenders and bumpers are all realistic features you would see on any hardcore 1:1 trail rig. Also included are molded plastic tail lights, side view mirrors, steering wheel, gear shifter, D-rings and even a fuel filler assembly for the Fuel Safe fuel cell which adds even more realism to the overall look.

For this article I will cover how you can add a little more detail to your new SCX10, with parts that are included in the RTR box. I will also go over a few other mods that you can make that require no out of pocket cost and really add to the overall look of your new Jeep.

One of those mods that can be done for free is cleaning up the inner fender wells front and rear. You will notice some extra Lexan around the inner fender wells, where the Poison Spyder Crusher Flares meet the Lexan Jeep body. We will trim this excess Lexan away to give the inner wheel wells a cleaner look.

First thing we want to do is use a marker inside the body to color the excess Lexan that hangs below the Crusher Flare’s inner plastic mount.

Once all 4 inner wheel wells are marked, you can remove the Crusher Flares with a 1.5mm driver.

Now you can see your cut line is clearly marked on the inside of the body.

Use a pair of curved body scissors and a sharp X-acto to clean up the excess Lexan. Be sure to leave plenty of meat around the mounting holes, you will only be trimming away a small amount of excess Lexan.

After the trim job is complete.

Next I used my marker again to color what little excess body still remained, and hide the silver from being seen once the flares are bolted back into place.

Now you can bolt your flares back up on all four corners. It looks a lot cleaner now.

Next we will add some detail to our SCX10, with parts supplied in the RTR box. In the plastic parts bag that comes packed in the RTR box you will find a molded plastic fuel filler cap.

Installing the fuel cap, and other scale details, will be easier with the roll cage removed.

Using a 2mm driver remove the eight screws that hold the cage to the body.

Now set the fuel cap in place on the tank to sort out exact placement. I am going to mount it centered left to right on the fuel cell, and slightly closer to the rear of the gas tank.

I measured the overall distance between the molded studs on the bottom of the fuel cap. These stud help hold the cap assembly in place, and you will need to drill clearance holes for them in the fuel cell.

Now, using my calipers again, I measured the overall width of the center section on the fuel cell to find center.

Cut your previous fuel cell dimension in half and mark the center point with a marker.

Our spread on the molded studs from the fuel cap assembly was about .600 of an inch. Cut that in half and you get .300 of an inch from the stud to the mounting hole in the center of the fuel cap. Measure .300 out from the mark on the center of your fuel cell to get your drill points. Mark those points with a marker and drill them out with a body reamer.

Take your time when drilling / reaming the holes. Make sure you test fit the fuel cap assembly as you go. Once everything fits properly, you can move on to the next step.

Before we bolt the cap assembly into place, I will add the officially licensed Fuel Safe fuel cell sticker included in the RTR box.

Using an X-acto gently trim away the small pieces of the fuel cell sticker covering the body mounting, and fuel cap mounting holes.

Insert the fuel cap assembly into place on the fuel cell and secure with a short M3 screw. I used a shorty plastic self tapping screw to tie the cap to the tank. If you don’t have a really short screw, you can use something longer if you have a spacers to take up the extra slack. The screw I found was slightly longer than needed, so I used an old SCX10 shock piston as a spacer.

All done!

Next we will add a few more interior details, with decals that are supplied with the RTR. Remove the molded plastic gear shifter located between the front seats.

Located the interior decals on the sticker sheet.

Apply the decals to the center console and arm rest.

Use an X-acto to cut the mounting holes for the shifter.

Bolt the shifter back in place.

The sticker sheet even includes a Jeep decal for the center of the steering wheel.

Last thing we will add is the exterior hinge stickers for the doors and the rear tailgate.

Now we can bolt the roll cage back onto the body.

Close-up shots of added details.

Stay tuned for more……