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    Re: Rockhound IV ~ Z-434-powered woods buggy
    Millenium Member Xbird's Avatar
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    Came across this little vid today, staging area shots gives a good idea of what I'm up against in the UTV class. My engine idle is in the background at about the 1 minute mark and there are a couple of pass-bys of my buddy Ron in his Teyrx--black plastic flat panel sides during the race.

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    Re: Rockhound IV ~ Z-434-powered woods buggy
    Millenium Member Xbird's Avatar
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    Soo, finally have a few minutes to type up a lead up and race report ... Can't have a race weekend without a oh so fun filled lead up to it, can we now? Surprisingly, the work i did to the Rockhound went pretty smoothly. Raised rear shock mounts 5 inches, bored out my old 32T rear drive sprockets and welded those into 39T ones to get the gearing into a more usable, clutch friendly range in the rough stuff. No big deal there, also split the steering arm tube where the tie rod ends attach and welded a longer piece of tubing over the old ends to allow for hi-misalignment bushings -- nice improvement on turning radius. Shock change gave her a bit of an upward rake so i jacked the seat up about an inch and a half. Set the shocks a little softer pressure wise and she was good to go.

    Transportation to the race on the other hand, needed some serious TLC. So the old Dodge puked her master on the way home last race coming out of the mountains, which included a mega pucker red-light she ain't gonna stop dodge-em test of my driving skills. Thank the lord for small towns and light traffic! So it got treated to brake master, wheel cylinder and shoes to pass inspection which was also coming due. Unfortunately, it uses a 13x3.5 shoes that had to be dug up from tennesee, and the wife needed the camper the weekend before the race, so I got to do the pull the 1-ton rear axles greasy fun brake job 2 times in 2 weeks. Wife got to clean the tub ring both times.

    Friday comes, half day of work, camper inspection, touch of buggy final work, load up and get going.

    Lot of heavy rain, knew it was gonna be a wet weekend of racing. As I'm driving I'm thinking it's soon going to be time to drop the trans and go thru it. Lots of highway hills followed by even worse grades on the roads through the coal hills leading to the race. Get to the race/camp driveway, a fun 120 turn up a red shale/clay drive that has had lots of soaking rains the previous days. Soon as I hit it, I thought the tires were spinning, but I got her up the mountainside---barely. Get out and one sniff tells me everything i need to know, smoked it so well that she wouldn't even move when i went to try and level things up etc. How bout we just dump a little stress on the weekend before it's even underway?

    Race wise, about the usual turnout of 15 or so. Got the luxury of 2nd off the line, right behind the fastest guy on the mountain in any class except motorcycles. Took lap one at about 75-80 percent to find out and get used to the new gear ratio and what gear i should take the rough in etc. Everything felt great until I blew a corner at the top of the hill climb (each event runs the course mostly in a different direction and uses different sections) Lost about 5 minutes bushwhacking back to the proper line and kept it at about 3/4 pace for the remainder of lap one.

    Lap 2 I started pushing it a lot harder throughout, at one point pegging a cooler-sized boulder with the right front side and putting it into a half a barrel roll with a hard bottom it out landing on the left rear that I later found cracked the engine cradle. Handling was feeling a little off out back throughout, and i though i lost a chain with that hit. According to some friends spectating I lost the chain either lap one or early lap 2 because they said it pulled the hillclimb the second time with the missing chain already dragging behind the rear, which I did not believe until a couple other people said the same thing. Either way, one wheel drive and Line Mountain do not go well together, hit the biggest mud hole on course, dug a hole and there she got parked 3/4 of the way around lap 2 with retrieval not occurring to after all other racing was done ---and a very wet retrieval at that!

    Managed to get a chain while the big guns were racing and got it all back together to run Sunday's event, which was a combination figure 8/short obstacle. head to head start on the dirt dragstrip in opposite directions, one side runs the strip and a tight crossover circle first while the other heads off the end of the strip and up the hill for a short version of the inner obstacle course loop with a lot of tight turns and berms before dumping back on the strip to run the crossover circle with the finish at one's original starting point.

    Race one, me and an xp1k, was through the finish before he came out of the obstacle course. Race 2 against my buddy Ron, i dumped the clutch in 3rd gear stalled and that was that, he clipped me at the finish by under 1 second. $5. for a second and putting a polaris on the trailer = priceless

    Despite Sunday growing late in the afternoon, (we had the Eastern motorsports sanctioned group at the mountain for a sanctioned drag and short course event, so their stuff came first since they rent the area off our club) I tossed my name in the hat to run for the overall. Only open to the top 2 in each race class, they toss all the race numbers in a can, pull out two at a time, and that's who you race against.

    Race one put me against a Honda 200 sx 3 wheeler, he didn't stand a chance. Race two put me against a 4 stroke quad, saw him at the finish, but had him by half a straight. Race 3 was for the top 4 spots, me, a very nasty vw woods rail, a bike, and a long wheelbase anything goes class truck-572 cubes and running it in 2wd. I drew the truck, got a great start, hit N, got gear, got going, but put me on the trailer by about 3 seconds. Bike beat the bug = 1st, bug beat the truck =2 and 3rd and I grabbed 4th with my loss. Well worth the worry of "how the bleep am I going to get the wife, me daughter, dog camper and trailer home" stress .....


    how'd that all end up? Well, never try for a rental car on a Sunday in a region with no economy! Thankfully my buddy Ron lives fairly close by and he agreed to follow me to a shop i found for the camper about 20 miles away and give us a ride home. The shop is owned by an older local racer who knows my uncles who live up there, so I left it in good hands. I burned the convertor up, so she had drive in manual mode starting from 1st gear only. No way was i gonna risk running it the 70 miles home like that. My trailer with my daughter's and my buggies on it ended up hauled to a track neighbor--who just happens to be the guy who beat me in the short course overall race.

    We've got a camping trip in that region scheduled for Sunday, the camper looks to be done tomorrow and I just finished doing an exhaust job on my truck from the manifolds back to the tailpipe, so finally time to finish the race weekend and get it all home tomorrow.

    So the novel is done, got some vid for visual pleasuremente, clipped out the too muddy to see parts.
    main event, ran a 23 and change first lap, around an 18 with the screw-up missed turn removed, top of the class was running 14s. I think i could have put it in the 16s if i hadn't tossed the chain. Getting used to the joy of the power steering, managed to handle a towel to wipe my visor while driving, which will help my times in a big way as I have the instinctive reaction to slow way down for the mud holes to protect my vision.
    Ended up 7th overall in class, Mr. speed starting ahead of me broke it on lap 1.



    Also some good shots of the class and me in the same turn in the race on this page, pretty interesting to look at the suspension at work on mine in comparison to production based.
    https://cmoyerphoto.smugmug.com/Line...ler-71517-UTV/
    Last edited by Xbird; 07-20-2017 at 10:51 PM.
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    Re: Rockhound IV ~ Z-434-powered woods buggy
    Millenium Member Xbird's Avatar
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    Well, here's the final race report of 2017.
    Pre-race --- mostly a thrash on the camper and trailer in the weeks prior to the race. alternator replacement, power steering pulley clean-up, new belts, a coolant flush and the old girl was good to go. trailer got a winch and a battery system to power that and its electric jack.

    With a few days left to go, I went to attend to a few minor issues on the buggy only to discover the swingarm pivot point inner bearings were pretty well broken up and allowing a lot of side to side travel of the swingarms--not good for keeping the chains on to say the least! Local bearing house had what i needed in stock, so i got dirty and greasy on that deal, but no big deal. Primary drive chain was pretty shot, so I went to install a new HD 50 series i picked up locally only to find I'd lost the master link in the month or so it was in my truck. So i freed up some tight, rusty links, cleaned up all three chains and ran it as is.
    Made myself a neat little feature for the go pro that i really wanted to show off here, but come arrival at the races, discovered I'd forgotten one important item ....the camera LOL ... Also added some rear mud flaps, a new piece of windshield and a cover made from perforated steel soffet to keep some of the mud off the air filter/radiator area.

    So with no race video, a broken camera, and no race photographer, words is all I've got.

    Final race is always the biggest, the 7-miler, which is the full course, and is now actually 8.5 miles per lap.
    11 of us showed for UTV, with some of the top points position racers absent, much to my benefit since I went in sitting tied for 7th in points.

    Class is pretty well settled in giving us 1 hour to run before the ATVS and bikes go off the line, so 2 laps is the max one can get in on the 7-miler.

    Got off the line fine, settled into a pretty normal pace for me which meant staying a bit conservative. More comfortable with the new gear ratios, definitely was able to stay in 3rd a lot longer andsmooth out the rough stuff by running faster. Water and mud on the course was normal, not as bad as last race, but conditions were as expected--rough rocky and worse than the last race in regards to loose boulders all over. Within mile 1, I passed the first who went off the line, a Yamaha out with a broken tie rod, good dude named jason who's had crap luck this year and is on engine #3 in his Y. got picked off shortly there-after by two who'd started behind me. not much later, i pulled over to let another by only to have him catch a tree next to us and rip off his entire front left. Avoided his wheel and nearly flipping ride, made sure they were ok and continued on.
    From that point and pushing it maybe a little harder than ever, I didn't have anyone else get by me, ran through the rocks a lot better but began hearing some noise from the left rear (chain again) within a couple more miles.
    Close the 8 mile mark i came across my buddy Ron stopped in the middle of a downhill off camber right hander--he'd rolled it and couldn't refire. Trying to get by him i caught the left front on his rear tire followed by the left rear on the same. a couple yards later I got stuck in a muddy rut. DNF??? Damage assessment time.

    Upper front A-arm snapped at a weld near the kingpin, left rear sprocket loose and no chain. About a half a mile to the finish, no way was i gonna call it quits. Ronnie killed his battery trying to refire--i found my chain, intact, a couple feet past his rig. knocked the master off with a rock and spent a good half hour trying to get the muddied up master link in place. mud grit kept it from closing up enough for the snap clip to seat in the grooves so i kept at it by pouring handfuls of muddy water on it and managed to push the clip home with the snout of my fire extinguisher. With the chain on, albeit on a very loose sprocket, i was off again for the last bit of the course which included the hillclimb. Babied her around it the last rocky sections, pulled the hillclimb and crossed the finish line at the 1 hour and 46 second mark.

    End result was an 8th place, First through 5th made 2 laps, 6-8th got 1 done and 3 dnf'd.

    Final series points have yet to be posted, but the first place finisher was out of the points all season so I stand a good chance at picking up a couple spots--gonna land somewhere between 4-6th. No rewards for it, but nice to have the bragging rights for the only "Built Not Bought" racer to be well inside the top 10 out of 30-plus entrants on the season.

    one of the locals welded up my a-arm sunday morning, I tightened the sprocket and called it good to go for some short course fun. Only ronnie and I had at it in the UTV class. Racing started with the V-8 trucks, which kept getting stuck in one corner. Come our turn, and with no pre-walk on the course I found where they were getting stuck alright. about a 4-foot deep pottery clay thickness mud rut in a right hander that swallowed my front left so deep that it put her on her side. No damage but to the ol ego, drove it out of the mud under it's own power (unlike the trucks) and got clipped by Ron by a second or so on round 2.
    Fun way to end the season, still running, largely all in one piece and probably my best points season yet.

    Did find yesterday that at some point during the 7-miler I ripped the engine guard (3-foot 2x4 aluminum C-channel) off the underside and put a pretty massive dent the right front lower A-arm.

    Substitute video from a V-8 Class A jeep for those wanting some kind of video action LOL
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    Re: Rockhound IV ~ Z-434-powered woods buggy
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    Good on ya, Xbird! It's good to see you out there racing. Thanks for the race reports and the vids, too.
    I race, therefore I am
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    Re: Rockhound IV ~ Z-434-powered woods buggy
    Millenium Member Xbird's Avatar
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    Thank you Odys. Final overall points were posted a couple days ago, ended up 5th place out of about 30. Not bad for the only "Built, Not Bought!"
    There has a been a lot of discussion and attempts to push UTV to 2 classes, 850cc and under and over 850cc. Myself, Ron with his Teryx and the two little old ladies with the polaris 850 are just so outgunned right now by the upgraded level of the rest of the class (nearly all are running GNCC and other race series and are modded to the max). the two ladies quit racing 2 years ago, they want to come back, but won't with the way things have been going. We think we can entice a lot more people to jump in with older stock 850s if we split the class. The club rules committee is finally giving it some consideration after seeing Ron and I up against 150-200hp turbos running 33-ish inch tall tires. Our class times are only seconds off overall fastest laps of the day, which are being set by the motorcycles.

    A few years back they got away from "type" based classes in the main event and pushed everyone except VW buggies into classes A thru E, based on points assessed per upgrades installed. (shocks, suspension, tire balls etc.) They've got problems with that as well since it's putting 4 cyls up against 6's and v-8s, so a rethink of the rules is a hot topic.

    As far as my plans go, I'm going to address my chain issues, go with KMC HD chain, maybe revise the front steering setup a little and skin around the engine area to get the mud under control back there since it's roaching shaft bearings every race. I had to disconnect my 2 center jackshaft support bearing housings from the mounts, relock the bearings on the shaft and race with the housings spinning away back there LOL. Where the rockhound ends up class-wise doesn't bother me too much. Now that i've identified the real culprit on the chain issues I can fix it and up the pace a bit more. Also looks like I may have a 4-cyl jeep wrangler in the garage in a month or two, going to cage it put a set of tires on it and run class E in the main event----that whole class runs slower than the Rockhound. Just have to figure out how the heck to fit 3 rigs on the trailer!
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    Re: Rockhound IV ~ Z-434-powered woods buggy
    Super Moderator Wheels's Avatar
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    Hey Xbird... do you mind showing a pic of your clutch setup? wondering how it does in the mud.


    The other day, I was re-reading your race reports and thought it would be cool to try something like it. Turns out, there is series here in my state for GNCC type racing. They actually have an 800cc or lower class. Might have to check it out and try it out. http://www.acadianaracing.com/LACC.htm

    congrats on the 5th overall! pretty dang cool.
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    Re: Rockhound IV ~ Z-434-powered woods buggy
    Millenium Member Xbird's Avatar
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    Clutch is internal basket. i ran it for a few seasons with whatever was in the engine when i got it. Unknown age, miles and use--i'd say it was well abused when i got it. I completely burned it up at the last race last year while brutalizing reverse gear. What I did to it at that particular race I dont' think any clutch would've lived thru. I've been really really happy with the LTZ engine. has the 434cc athena jug on it, old school hot cams cams. pipe and honda 450 41mm kehin FCR carb. With the gear ratio I'm running it has no issues whatsoever in dealing with the mud and hillclimbs. I fare better in the mud and on the hill than a lot of the 4x4 trucks/jeeps and the 2wd VW buggies. It surprises a lot of people in that regard. Those that run factory SxS don't seem to have any slippage probs with their belt drives/clutches, they tend to rip off the front or back suspension more than anything else.

    If you decide to race your Teryx, the one mod I would suggest as an absolute must-have would be EPS if it doesn't have it already. My buddy Ron with his Teryx has manual, he's a building contractor with his own business, broke his right thumb mid season this year. He's still hurting, both of my hands are still fubar from 2 seasons ago and EPS is the best thing i ever did, plus the level of control out there goes up massively. Next on the list would be to soften up the stock suspension. Ron's stock setup is too stiff, he's on a budget like mine and I'm still trying to beat into his head that he has to get softer rate springs in that ride of his. he keeps looking at take off Rzr shocks, I think he keeps missing the point. A bit of lower cost spring swapping will help him just as much --- of course he's my closest competition LOL. He did a radiator relocation this year, overheated it a couple times and his rad was beat to hell sitting up front. too much mud and abuse for that location.
    Last edited by Xbird; 11-12-2017 at 12:16 PM.
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    Re: Rockhound IV ~ Z-434-powered woods buggy
    Millenium Member Xbird's Avatar
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    Wow, been awhile yet again. Poor ol buggy sat all winter while i built the jeep. Had plans to replace the plain keyway jackshaft sprockets with taper locks and find someone to do me up a hub sprocket for the one that's eccentric a bit and kept loosening up every race last year. Pop on some KMC HD 530 chain and my drive setup would be dialed in. Instead it was parked untouched until 3-4 days before the first race of the year last week.

    Annnnddd as I sat in my smoking chair like i have so many days since sept. with my feet propped on its front wheel while brainstorming the jeep, what do my eyes see? A crushed lower A-arm front tube (1/18th .058 wall chrome moly) and shattered steering arm/heim through bolt bushing. Ohhhhkay, couple days to race, have the jeep, trailer and camper all still needing work and now this

    So I just happened to have a piece of old yerfdog 1" tubing that had been a handle for a can crusher I made long ago. Did a quick chop out of the crushed section plus a little extra, cleaned the tubing up, trimmed it, smacked it inside the arm right next to the heim bung and burned that beautiful work in place. Got a couple little new bronze bushings for the steering arm (have a funny feeling I raced the 7-miler without one of them) and all was good up front.

    a arm.jpg


    Out back i bored out the "bad" hub sprocket from 8mm to 3/8ths, put in some grade 8s and magilla'd tightened on some old chevy rocker arm nuts with lock washers. All i could do with the countershaft sprockets was tighten the set screws and called it done.

    2 am next day, dreamed up this for the trailer. worked fine until it was loading time post race in the rain .... nothing like old, lichen/mildew/algae whatever covered pressure treated 2x10s for ramps!
    trler.jpg

    Race went well, 5 mile course, one hour for play time. decent pace first lap until i mudded myself in an unexpected spot with the visor up and had to stop for a couple minutes to clean my glasses and visor. Course was dusty as hell. ran an 18 minute lap with the fastest rolling 15s, so close enough. Lap two was interesting to say the least. With one downand all the chains still holding, I pushed harder. hillclimb was pretty bad wash out and i was running a left up, diagonal transition the center wash then right up to the top. right aat the transition start rear wheel spun and i actually kicked the rear up the hill a bit while turning across it ...Not good idea kemosabe! Over I went. guy helping flip it said it was the slowest roll he ever saw, ended up near the bottom. took a while to refire, cut off a broken fender, buckled back in and hit then end with no time for lap 3 ...yeah, it was that long thanks to a roll. nonetheless, finished in 7th out of 9 and put points in the book.
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    Re: Rockhound IV ~ Z-434-powered woods buggy
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    That's an exciting race...must have been exciting for a few others, too, if you managed to still place after rolling.
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    Re: Rockhound IV ~ Z-434-powered woods buggy
    Millenium Member Xbird's Avatar
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    And here we go again. little over a week to next race. Have cracked tubing at both trailing arm mount plates on the inside side, outside ones have cracks just starting at the base weld. Right side through bolt holes are blown out where i bushed them, left has 1/4 plate from last year and is ok, so right side gets same fix and both sides are getting tied into the 2x2 cross tube at the bottom. getting my bits and pieces for taper locks and 530HD chain, that upgrade is going in now.

    After this race, the bottom half of the back end is getting completely chopped out with the plan being to put in a 1/8th wall 2.0 round tube across the bottom right by the rear of my seat base. Going to lengthen the trailing arms and use paired heims for pivots. wheelbase will stay the same, pivot point will move forward about 8 inches to right under my butt. I will be able to tab on the jackshaft bearing mounts and heims dead on the money before the tube goes in. a bit of cage rebuilding and end result will be an improved motion rate, smoother working rear suspension. Will likely end up lighter, that 2x2 1/4 wall is nearly 30 pounds iirc. Also need to get someone to make me some new kingpins for up front, they're long worn out, as are the spindles.


    engout.jpg
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