- Racers Edge
Trail Tough Products - Project 180
Sounds like Brent Bradshaw from Trail Tough Products
had an excellent time at Summer Convention this year...
This year Brent elected to take a break from professional Rock Crawling series - other than the Grand Nationals - which freed up some time for him to try some other interesting off-road type motorsports. We showed up at the Pacific Northwest 4 Wheel Drive Association Summer Convention . We really were not aware of what that meant. We showed up with our 2.3L equipped Suzuki Samurai affectionately known as “Scrat” - assuming there would be various Northwest 4 wheeling enthusiasts running whatever they brought. However once we arrived, we figured out that this was a Series with mostly purpose built 4 wheel drive vehicles. …slammed flat fenders with Rumpety V8’s and nothing larger than a 31” tire from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and who knows where else. These things look FAST - drifting like sprint cars, throwing rooster tails from here to next year!! I told Linda….”Let’s just go…this isn’t what I thought it was”. But Linda encouraged me otherwise and said “Let’s just have fun with this”. We knew that “Scrat” kicked ass in dirt drag racing beating out most V8 equipped trucks from prior experience. They signed us up for the street / trail class - we borrowed a helmet, and gave it our best shot. We beat all but one in the dirt drag races for our bracket, logged a very impressive time in the barrel races, as well as what they call an obstacle course - which I would call more of a dirt/mud autocross track and then blew away everyone in the offroad course . Low and behold we qualified - mostly with Scrat on 2 wheels with our 33” tires and flexy suspension for the final “Top Eliminator“ course. In this course, the top 9 contestants from all classes - Pro, street/trail, mens, womens, long wheelbase, short wheelbase, ATV, competed for the best time in an all new “obstacle course“. We were beat only by a fiberglass S10 LS powered tubed pickup - the same one that got us in the drags - and an RZR. We did not know the final standings until the awards stand and were completely surprised to be awarded the coveted First Place “Top Eliminator” trophy which is earned by achieving the best compilation of scores from each course. Needless to say we HAD FUN!! The thing of it is - Brent just cant leave it at that…….NOW his obsessively creative mind is reeling…now you may understand the madness behind his new - purpose built “Project 180”….using stuff we already have in our parts yard. After studying the rule book to see what we could get away with, we start by disassembling two O3 ZR2 Trackers then cut the frames in half. Now we put the two front frame clips together. This gives us a platform with the widest track width, independent front and rear suspension, an adjusted wheel base of 100” inches front and rear sway bars, and rack and pinion steering. The rear steering rack gets removed and we will fix the steering arms. We took the 17” Walker Evans beadlocks off of the old Honda rock buggy and install new Hankook M/T 265-70-17 tires. These wheels just cleared the large disk brakes on each corner with little grinding on the calipers. We plan to install the 2.3 liter Aerio SX motor and Sidekick 5 speed transmission. We figured out that we could move the engine, tranny and T case 11” inches back and 2” inches lower in the frame for improved weight distribution and roll canter. We also elected to use the 89 1.3 Sidekick bell housing and our adapter plate. This way we can use the lighter 1.3 flywheel and Samurai centerforce clutch for the best throttle response. We are also preparing the steel XL-7 3rd members and axle housings with ARB’s and 4.30 Ring and Pinion. The T case will be used in Low Range only with stick gears for this application. We have already determined that this engine gearing and tire size combination is optimum from previous trial and error testing. Stay tuned for more pics as this project comes together!
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