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    Re: Rockhound IV ~ Z-434-powered woods buggy
    Despite the best laid plans ....
    July race turned out to be a non event after arriving only to find a torn sidewall from loading it on the trailer which still had some unfinished grinder business from the modifications to get the jeep and buggy to fit on it.

    Final race of the season this past weekend saw me finally getting the new HD chain and taper lock sprockets install. Headed up to Line mountain with high hopes since it was probably in the best condition reliability wise since I've started racing it.

    Arrive at dusk Friday night, during the unload I moved the buggy clear of the trailer and was working on getting the jeep off when someone comes around asking if I owned an Odyssey ...
    I'd knocked the ignition switch off and thought it was in gear (no indicator lights) when it was actually in neutral. It decided to take a trip on its own across the camp road. down a small bowl in the next field and drove under another racers flatbed trailer. Left side front shock took the hit, folded in, bumper smashed and front tires wedged under the frame rails. Yanked it out with the jeep and was just glad no one was in its path.

    Had fun with the jeep Saturday until I sheared the front pinion then buried it in the same mudhole i buried the buggy in during last year's 7 miler. Literally stuck in the same spot to the inch. dug that out like a little kid playing in a stream then blew the rear driveshaft out trying to climb the step shelf out of that area to reach a drier bypass route.

    Come Sunday morning, I decided that since the buggy still turned left and right, I might as well make something happen with it and entered it in the short obstacle course event. Despite no fan working, leaking rad, occasional steering lock up, left wheel stuck in 3/4 droop, I went 6 rounds with it and collected my first piece of Line Mtn. hardware and got my entry fee back Also tried for the overall run against all classes but got clipped by a quad by a few seconds --old girl was getting really stubborn about shifting, starting and turning by that point anyway ....
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    Re: Rockhound IV ~ Z-434-powered woods buggy
    Had to dig deep into the depths ... page 4 ! FB has spoiled me a little bit. Not much has changed except that I'm still fighting steering rack issues. Installed a new rack and remade the steering arms to get rid of the little bit of bump steer the old setup had. However, using a rack designed for rear steer in a front steer position that requires the tie rod clevises to be "inside" the end-to-end dimension of the rack has led to the "narrower" (as opposed to rack spreader) rotating upwards and pulling on the tie rods giving a ton of toe-in at any given time while driving. So back to the drawing board. I'm essentially going to have to mimic the inside framework of a Saco rack externally with bolt-in stop frames on the narrower to hold it in position. have about 3 weeks to get it done.

    Also had the jackshaft shift over causing it to toss a chain, the small set screws on the bearings aren't enough to reliably hold it so some keyed lock collars should put an end to that nonsense once and for all.

    Keihin FCR flatslide needs a rebuild, finally discovered that the mid body gasket is fouling the pilot circuit and is likely the cause of all my hard starting issues.

    Race one of the season back in June lasted all of 1/8th mile when first setup of the rack failed. Race 2 went much better, finished one lap with some help after loosing the chain very close to the end of the lap. almost rolled it in the first corner when i turned into the steep side of the hills with the sun in my eyes.
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    Re: Rockhound IV ~ Z-434-powered woods buggy
    The amount or refinement and evolution you've been through with this buggy must set some kind of record. I love reading about it and watching the videos. The engine and exhaust sounds nice, especially on the straights when you open it up!
    I race, therefore I am
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    Re: Rockhound IV ~ Z-434-powered woods buggy
    Thanks ody! Kind of funny you mentioned the sound, no matter how many times i drive it thru the camp fields everyone turns and looks--even the guys with LTZs. Dang thing is so loud, has to be the Bassani muffler on it along with the hot cams. When i looked into their line, the particular muffler on it was a pretty high end piece. I've never done anything to determine the compression ratio, when the bbk was added they might have changed it a couple points, the exhaust thumps one pretty good 6 feet away from it.

    despite all the work, I still don't think I'd build one from scratch for what I'm doing--or step into a production SxS if one were to drop in my lap. The thought of running against today's SxS's with a yerf go kart platform is what keeps the fun factor alive despite being completely outclassed now.

    Next race is Sept 21, think I have "corrected" my steering issue for now. Problems with that go to the roots of the build, using golf kart hubs and pushing the suspension parameters beyond what the original frame dimensions had room for. Add in 14 degrees of caster, tires/rims at 50-pounds each plus hanging swept-rearward tie rods off a big heavy plate out in front of the rack =

    And on that subject here's some pics of what the last race did to the spreader/riser plate. Version number 4 of the plate -- identical to the bent one but with a box tube added. Then the latest "sandwich job" I'm pretty confident will keep things straight. It all looks a bit crooked and off center here and there, but there's no bind/gaps and the riser plate runs true in both planes. I just got a little sloppy doing late night/early morning work on it. And it uses parts from an Electro Freeze soft serve ice cream machine, so yet one more repurposed item that no one ever dreamed would be used in such a manner

    Also found that the left side caliper's banjo bolt is contacting the top of the a-arm at 3/4 left turn while in full droop to about 2.5 inches of initial travel. Missed it because it doesn't hit at ride height. Might have to throw some limit cables on pretty quick, not liking the dent in the tube and it causes the a-arm to rise on that side as it finishes that last 1/4 of left turning input.

    Glad to say too, that with gasket kit in hand I opened up the center of the carb and found quite the molten mess of gasket material. My friend's advice at the local shop -- insert blatant plug for Rosini Racing Products (RRP) in Sterwartsville NJ, old family owned motorcycle shop -- was spot on. Pilot jet passage was fouled with gasket gunk. Of course, i had the wrong mid-gasket in hand, the right one is on its way and hopefully I will not be setting my idle to 2600 rpm with a 52 pilot to just get it to start.

    Future mods still include coil overs, adding about 6 inches to the rear trailing arms with a move of the mounts and jackshaft to nearly under my seat. rear sway bars (they were on this season's list) and finding a way to modify rzr or other SxS hubs to take a 1 inch axle so i can get some used and much lighter 14 inch rims with 30s on them. Then i can change the front suspension to get rid of the rack issues.
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    Re: Rockhound IV ~ Z-434-powered woods buggy
    Carb rebuilt, grabbed an o-ring seal for the slide plate and glad I did, old one was missing chunks along the edge. maybe a test ride later today. still have some camper work to do then focus on the jeep's steering ... and a pressure-side hose replacement for my truck. hate doing that one.
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    Re: Rockhound IV ~ Z-434-powered woods buggy

    Pop goes the weasel. Exhaust valve seat dropped, yummy photos ensued. Didn't make the race, this was 2 days prior.
    Have since bought another 400 for a buck a CC and merged that lovely disaster with parts from mine and am back up and running.

    Latest version of the steering spreader seems to be working fine, have very little run time on the whole affair, too busy winterizing the biz.
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    Re: Rockhound IV ~ Z-434-powered woods buggy
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Upper Peninsula, MI
    Yowza, had the same thing happen this year at competition to my Formula SAE team, we run the 2 cyl 5 valve 500 phazer motor with a turbo. One cylinder was good, the other had intake valves in the runner and an exhaust valve in the turbo. Ironically it happened during the brake test (for proving your brakes have enough power to lock up all four tires) and we didn't quite get to the brake point, but we certainly got to the break point lol. We swapped in the spare motor and turbo in about two hours and were up and running again for the next morning.
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    Re: Rockhound IV ~ Z-434-powered woods buggy
    Well, given that the lil beast is sitting in the garage all innocent like and really not needing anything major done to it for next season, I'm getting ready to tear it all down and chop it to pieces for the next change up.

    Plan is to lengthen the trailing arms 8 to 10 inches, but still keep the same wheelbase. It's a more difficult approach but will yield the added benefit of better weight distribution and not impact the turning radius.

    As it sits, the hub center to pivot length of the arms is 18 inches. I addressed the anti-squat issue (back end kicking like a rabbit hopping up steeps an in the rocks) i had a few seasons ago by moving the upper shock mounts higher. With the short arms though it's still too "choppy" in the rocks and the front end is doing most of the work.

    Played around with good 'ol paint and a picture from before the rear shock mount relocation (arrow shows actual mount point) to give an idea of the changes.

    Green line is the existing hub-to-pivot though it's on a shallower angle now at ride height.

    Orange circle is a very close approximation of my jackshaft driven sprocket diameter at the 10-inch added length position, that one's going to be fun to deal with because it's going to end up right under my seat.

    Pink is the chain run to the driven sprocket and can be "managed" with an idler sprocket to have the chain run at a lower level, or if the sprocket is just too big, i can put it on a second shaft and carry forward to the jackshaft with smaller sprockets on a 1 to 1 ratio. (desperate measure approach, i don't want to do because of short chain runs)

    Red is the drive sprocket jackshaft chain runs, I made those too large of a diameter in the picture but didn't want to wipe out all the layers to correct them, so the intrusion up front is not quite as severe as shown.

    Yellow is the extended trailing arm, will most likely set it up with dual heims on each arm to allow for final chain tension adjustment and angular correction
    2020 modifications.jpg

    To pull this off I'm going to have to keep the center of my 2x2 1/4 wall rear tube in place for the engine mount, but cut away the rest of it. I'll have to put a cross tube in essentially under the middle of the seat for the arm mounts and cut away the old mounts and tubing in the lower corners and a bunch of reinforced flooring. Where it gets really tricky is the narrowness of the frame area between the chain runs, I may have to widen the rear track a couple inches. I want to keep the sprockets tucked under and inside as much as possible so i don't have to put too much protection underneath that might snag in the rocks if i have to back up over any.
    Weight-wise, I'm trying to get as much as possible acting on the rear so i can get the front end over the rough stuff better. been averaging 5-7 mph in the roughest sections and want to step that up into the 7-10+ range. The rock gardens are long enough on each lap (course is starting to turn into nothing but--TY my 40-inch+ tire friends) that an increase there equates to a lot of time off per lap. Likewise, getting the rear action smoothed out with a larger travel arc that doesn't hit me so abruptly will work towards this goal, or so i hope.

    On the wish list miscellaneous side of things is converting the air shocks to coil overs. Someone gave me a lowish cost basic idea for that which might be feasible. Ultimately, such a conversion would be ideal if i could add a reservoir tube with an IFP in it to carry the conversion fully through so it's not an emulsion setup. Would be very similar to the old arctic cat foxes with rezzies that i ran on it a few years back.

    Somehow i have to get some kind of anti-sway bar going out back, when it takes a roll set with as soft as i have to run the air shocks, it has a bad tendency to hold that angle too deep thru and out of the turns.

    If i have to bump the seat height up to fit the jackshaft, then a quick release hub and smaller diameter steering wheel are pretty much necessary. It's been hard enough dealing with the tiny cockpit. Would make getting in/out and strapped in and my helmet on a lot easier.

    Set of front hubs for 1" axles with a different bolt pattern so i can get into sealed bearings and UTV or VW rim choices. Right now I'm 50-pounds each on 26" tires on 12" golf cart rims up front. would like to get taller, skinnier and lighter. Wishful thinking, eh?

    What do ya'll think?
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