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    Class E Here I come!
    So, we've officially closed our driving range down permanently, which along with all kinds of lovely difficult to sell range equipment, left me with my ball picker jeep. When we got it 10 years ago, it was street legal and it's titled in my name, so that fact made it a simple decision as to what its fate should be.
    Line Mtn. RACE JEEP!

    Plans are very basic, if i can scrape together the time and cash over the winter months.
    Roll cage, spring over axle chop job, a little lift block work with that and some "new" used tires that i'll probably sipe to better deal with Line Mtn's mud.

    It's a 1991 wrangler 4-cyl stick, a few years back I locked the front diff in with the bolt trick after the transfer case/diff switch crapped out on it.

    Been using it to bash open my old mini buggy "course" on the rock pile as a way of testing what it can handle, and yes, i high sided it on my berm

    Line's rules for the big boy toys over the years have changed, anything non-VW buggy is now classed in A thru E based on points assessed for particular modifications. E is the slowest class, I beat its class lap times with my buggy so I'm leaving it basically stock and looking forward to running a similar pace in the afternoon with this as I do in the morning with the buggy.

    Hardest part of the whole plan? How the hell to get all my junk on the trailer! And a name ...Mr. Picker? Lil' Ball Picker?? LOL

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    Re: Class E Here I come!
    Keeper of the Asylum K-fab's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Scottsdale, AZ. 10.9 miles from the trailheads
    Love the pic. It looks like it’s hiding in the bushes.

    Sounds like an interesting project. Build thread?
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    Re: Class E Here I come!
    Not quite sure where to put a build thread since it's a jeep, i figured here in the lounge would've been preferable. Going to be mid december or january til this thing finds its way into the garage to pull the body and get to work on the suspension and reaches "build in progress" status. One thing i have been thinking about is removing a leaf from each spring pack to soften it up, but i'm having visions of that causing a break. The "main" spring already looks a little "iffy" at the contact point of the next spring. Might swap in truck springs with the same "remove a leaf or two" approach to get something stronger with a lighter rate in it.
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    Re: Class E Here I come!
    Super Moderator Wheels's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Baton Rouge area
    I didnt know you owned a driving range... pretty cool. Bummer about closing it though.

    I look forward to seeing the build... and reading the race reports. And if ya ask me... the thread should go in the projects in progress area. My two cents.
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    Re: Class E Here I come!
    So the mini buggy sits awaiting TLC and the jeep has found a new home over the past couple months. We added an April race to the Line Mtn. schedule at an area called the AOAA, running in conjunction with Ultra 4 which is returning to the northeast this year. got 1 month deadline, but I'm also getting thru township approvals/meetings on a go kart track at work, so I may be too busy with work to go racing. No UTV class, so I have til June to tend to some issues on the mini buggy. But this new event is a points deal for the jeep if I get it done and have the time to make it.

    Anywho, poor lil thing needed a lot of basic maintenance, pulled the body and got into it. SOA, front and rear with the stock axles , anti-wrap bar, TC cross member drop, new brake lines, hardware, shoes/pads, new shocks, replace rear cross member and added another for the ladder bar. set of used 30" tires that are decent but not ideal size wise--too wide, but at least not dry rotted and cheap! Outriggers for the roll cage mount are just about done and i fixed up and rerouted the exhaust yesterday.

    Shackle reversal up front is also on the to-do list and I have to mod both driveshafts.

    Ready to throw the body on temporarily to open it up for cage mount access and have to find a way to fund the cage tubing, seats and harnesses.

    Couple of misc. pics.

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    Re: Class E Here I come!
    Been awhile, password disappeared for march like the Spring weather did around here ....

    Grabbed a used cage off the club president,I think this is the third rig it will have been in. Was rolled and has a little rack/ slight bends at a couple points, but nothing dire. Slowly picking away at making it a drop in bolt in 6 point. Got the engine cage along with it, chopped that up for extra tubing. It's all .120 DOM.

    Came up with the ultimate "blow a FB page up on April Fools day" device for doing a couple quick shallow bends. Worked like a charm and no real danger with it despite looking like a mad max rotor launching weapon.

    Gutted dash area and pulled any and all excess wiring and the electrical inside.
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    Re: Class E Here I come!
    few more of cage additions. working in diagonals now that with make a pair of X's behind each seat, then need to diagonal down to the base corners to support the center of the rear and complete the main X of the rear cage. Don't like Vs dead ending at the center of the main cross bar.

    Also have to drop down from the front hoop center supports to the front seat "bridge." Still trying to come up with enough material to make the rear cross piece.
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    Re: Class E Here I come!
    Update time on the non mini buggy machine. April, May and the start of June turned into a way beyond typical thrash session as my go kart track build and the start of the heavy business season at work ramped up into the construction phase making for 80 hr work weeks with 20 to 40 hours a week in the garage on the jeep. Despite the pressure I managed to get the jeep together and make the June 10th race. I was literally still making the last parts in the race campgrounds as my start time approached ... and passed by. oops!

    I didn't get to the front shackle reversal yet, that got nixed in the final week prior. For this season, I'm still running the stock Dana 30/35 axles, welded up the rear, the front I locked years ago by moving the shift fork to the other side of the collar when the transfer case vacuum switch went bad. A mower throttle cable set i bought to make it a manual locker got left on the kitchen island when i packed for the race---i would have had time to install it anyway.

    The computer and pdc have been moved into the tub, mixed up and shot some leftover rustoleum on the tub and front end metal and slapped it all together. Some pics of the stuff "in between" my last post and getting it done.

    fvbare final.jpg
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    Re: Class E Here I come!
    Hanging this sucker off the ceiling trusses for the install was a bit of fun. panels are old road signs.



    Fire extinguisher sits on the wheelhouse top and i have my porta power for a jack + tools in the box, held down with bungy and a pair of exhaust clamps bolted through the floor. ammo can between the seats for visor rags and small tools.
    front bump.jpg
    Last edited by Xbird; 06-13-2018 at 11:09 AM.
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    Re: Class E Here I come!
    Friday before the race, got up at 2 am to modify the trailer to get the jeep and buggy on it together. by 4 am i had it figured out, and by 9 it was done and off to work. got home at 2pm, loaded and made it to the race 15 minutes before the registration closed at 8:30. Since the cage came from the club president and I'd updated him along the way with some pics, tech inspection was a non event. Didnt' like the buggy's tail hanging off the side so much, so I took the airbox/exhaust section off before I left and had to get it back together as light ran out on the day--didn't even have time to level the camper or set up camp. and my work light got left sitting on the bench at home .... Another Friday afternoon job was installing a wider power steering belt on the RV and tightening up the alternator belts, she made the run through the mountains like a champ, had to be pulling somewhere between 6 and 7k pounds. Finally no belt squeal issues!
    Both of the shots below are post race after a hose down. Go pro didn't take a charge, my co-pilot has a full file on the jeep race, write up is below ...



    Between the UTV race and the jeeps, trucks etc i had about a 2 hour window to finish the jeep or so i thought. Wired my horn and light switches, wrapped the harness, got my number plates made, swapped over my window nets and race transponder, fitted the harnesses, put the tires at 25 psi and missed my start time anyway, which is no big deal, so me and my co-pilot were still strapping in when they hurried me to the head of the line. 1 minute start intervals, I drew # 114, but there were 75 runners total hence the hurry up on the run order.

    Race went as expected ....sitting on the trailer at camp were the rear spring bump stops ... ooops . 6 5-mile laps or 2 hours, whatever comes first if one makes it that far.

    Lap one, 1/4 mile in, bounce the tail real hard three times in a row over something and pop goes the weasel ... that being the pass. side rear shock mount. tore the factory welds off the side of the frame, my single weld on the plate i put in held, but didn't matter, shock was wasted then and there.


    Despite the now really loud, rough banging from the back end, we didn't stop to check it and kept on rolling. From my morning race I had the course layout pretty well dialed, but we started after the heavy hitters (#1-40--think a lot of near ultra 4 rigs on 40 inch tires and you get the idea what happens to the course) and the loose rock was as bad as i've ever seen it. Stopped a lot to let others by and continued slamming our selves silly.

    About half way around in some very dusty, fast fields the engine started missing and seconds later the lovely smell of fuel came wafting forward. Killed it, fixed the loose hose clamp on the filter and back on course after about 10 minutes.

    Finished first lap, pulled into the pits and gave it all a look over for about 5 minutes and decided to keep going. 29 minute lap.

    Lap two, same as the first back end beating us silly and i started getting better with gear selection (4-low everything perma-locked) got better at getting through the rough in 3rd, but any large hits in 3rd really started launching the back end and bottoming it out. And then it died again. No voltage. So after getting love tapped off course i crawled out and found i'd missed tightening the new positive clamp i put on the battery cable. bolt and nut were gone, slapped it on and stopped 2x more to reapply power. finish line and in the pits to scavenge bolts to put it on properly. 54 minute lap
    Lap 3 and most of the runners were done on course, backed it off somewhat as things were really getting noisy here and there and brought it home in 36 minutes. That time includes the pit time for the battery.

    Finished 12th out of 22 in the class and 50th out of 75 overall. Given that class E is the technically slowest of the lot, I was really happy with its first outing. Max possible laps was 6, once i have the go pro file and weed out all my "stopped" time for the minor stuff i'll have an ok idea as to what it's capable of. Rear shock mount will get repaired and both sides reinforced and bump stops installed for next race. if i have time to do the shackle reversal. that will help a lot, was really squirrelly under braking on the downhill sections. a set of 10-inch 33s would do wonders too.

    Now for the best part. Last year, goal was a budget of about $1000 to get her to this point. While I haven't done the final tally, I spent around 700 and sold around 300 in parts. Seats were $20. pair of used harnesses $75. Total is in the $400-500 range and it doesn't look like an utter pile of crap and it made it to the checkered despite damage. I think i won the cheap ass racer award!
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