Southern Rock Racing 2013 Event #1 – Choccolocco Mountain

Season two of the Southern Rock Racing Series began at Choccolocco Mountain ORV park in Jacksonville, AL.  After last year’s success and publicity online and in print media, the series is picking up momentum and support from the industry.  2013 is going to be a good year for southern rock racing!

New for 2013 is qualifying on Friday for Saturday’s main event. Over 25 competitors lined up on Friday for their shot at getting into the big show.  The qualifying course was supposed to be an easier climb but the exit hill proved to be more difficult than planned and took out about 1/3 the qualifiers before they could finish.  Lots of broken parts and a couple rolls.  Derek West laid down the fastest qualifying time and once again proved his skills in navigating tight and technical courses.


Race day was hectic with nearly 1000 people trying to get through the gate to see the show. The first course was on “Playground”, a boulder field filled with sharp edges and big ledges.  The most difficult part of the course was a tree in the middle of the course that made competitors chose a tight turn or a big ledge.  This was a problem until Brandon Dillon came up in his Backyard Fab chassis full throttle and hooked the tree, uprooting it and ultimately rolling down the hill with it.  Justin Tune made the fastest time with his newly rebuilt “Hillbilly Deluxe” Smith Motorsports chassis after a bad fire last year took it out for a few months.



Course two was called “Boat Ramp” and it was a slick 30′ rock face that required fully throttle to ascend.  SRRS chose to add a little excitement with a bonus line at the top of the hill which proved to be a great way to gain extra series points, if you could climb it.  Bobby Tanner smoked the bottom ledge and the bonus line being one of just a few competitors to climb it.  Ken Blume was about to take the bonus line with ease with his light weight comp chassis to prove that it’s not all about raw power!  Dale Larson however punished his FJ40 buggy with a dozen full throttle attempts at the bonus line, one of which attempts he backflipped and landed right back on the wheels in perfect line to attack the hill again!



For the last several events Choccolocco has had, they’ve had a Bounty Climb event at the end of it to climb a hill called “pick your poison”.  Tons of carnage has been seen at this climb and after several dozen rigs have attempted it as of comp day it was never climbed.  Many drivers lined up for their chance to give the hill a shot and as the day went on and rocks were moved, one even rolling down the hill and knocking a wheel off a buggy on standby, the hill was eventually climbed by Kevin Posey in his Mast Motorsports powered Smith chassis.  Kevin took home a whopping $3500 from this climb and a huge smile!  After Kevin made the climb two more competitors, Bobby Tanner and Donald Hadden successfully climbed the difficult section only to time out at the top before crossing the finish of the hill.

At the end of it all Mr. Consistency, Peter Basler took the win in his BTF chassis, followed by Justin Tune and Luke Wilson.

 

Huge Air at RBD 2012 in Alabama

RBD  (RickyBDay) started out as a small, invite-only wheelin party in 2007.  In 2010, it was opened up to the public as an open event and it has grown exponentially from there!  This year, over 1000 people attended the event held at Morris Mountain ORV park in the small town of Delta, Alabama.

The wheeling community seems to always come together at RBD and you see the best of the best rigs from all around getting wheeled hard!

RBD is a three-day event with wheelin all weekend long, but a small competition on Saturday has recently gotten a lot of attention.  $1000 is put up to the fastest to the top of a trail called Los Primos.  This was the 3rd year of the comp and the course was dry and dusty.  The course is just a few hundred feet long but a big nasty double rock face stands in the way of the finish line.  With the dry traction drivers went HUGE!  Tim Cameron, who runs our new 2”, 47 spline RCV shafts in his custom Dana 80s, took the prize for “best show” with his big air launch.

Bobby Tanner was the fastest time at just over 11 seconds in his “Screamin Blue” ColeWorx buggy!  We used laser timers thanks to the help of the Southern Rock Racing Series guys (www.southernrockracing.com ), so timing was precise!

SRRS Finals – Rock Bouncing in Hot Springs

After seeing the SRRS racing in Summertown, TN in August, we had to see more.  The Southern Rock Racing finals were held in Hot Springs, Arkansas at the Superlift ORV park.  The trails at Superlift have been there for decades, before it ever was an organized park.  Many of the trails have washed over the years, providing perfect courses for these “rock bouncers” to launch their buggies up.

The first course of the day was a trail called “One Rock”; it was a long, winding trail with a significant double ledge at the top.  Most competitors had little trouble with this obstacle and were able to make some fast times.  The longer course allowed for a more level playing field for the guys with less horsepower.  Richie Keith was not lacking power as he launched his 755 horsepower Dart small block “Plowboy” buggy up the rocks with the cut 44” Super Swampers clawing at the rocks.

Course 2 proved to be all about the power.  It was a short rock wall appropriately named “Horsepower Hill”.  The climb had a nasty 3 foot tall vertical ledge that everyone expected to be a problem.  After the first competitor hit the wall with wide open throttle and easily jumped the ledge and ran up the climb smooth, it was obvious that full throttle assault was the best plan!

Highlight of the day for most was the bonus bounty hill called “Showtime”.  Cut for the Gorilla Run in February of 2012, this hill has only been climbed once by Tim Cameron in his “Showtime” buggy.  Everyone lined up and had 2 minutes to give it their best shot.  The hill has a 60 degree rock wall with a steep loose dirt section at the top.

Showtime hill promoted big air.  The soft dirt made landings easy so drivers weren’t scared to air it out. Bobby Tanner launched his buggy into the air attempting to land high in the dirt and make it to the top.   He landed hard on the throttle, breaking his rear 1410 heavy duty driveshaft.  Unfortunately, after many attempts and carnage, nobody made it to the top of Showtime hill.

RCV Dana 44 Install

I bought my Jeep, which I affectionately call the “Beater Digger”, as a project vehicle.  Unfortunately, it came with an odd year Ford “HD” Dana 44 front.  The axle is from an 8-lug 1976 F250 “High Boy”, and the stub shaft is about one inch longer than just about any other Ford Dana 44 front axle out there.  After breaking two u-joint style shafts and two u-joints in just 5 rides, and having to special order the odd length stub, I decided custom RCV axles were the way to solve my issues.

First step was to send axle shaft measurements and my 19 spline external locking hubs to get them to design a way to accept new the 30 spline RCV stubs.  The solution was to use my existing lockout housing with an RCV 30 spline slug. They machined a custom aluminum cap to hold it all together.  Very simple solution to what I thought would be a difficult problem.

My first impression of the shafts was “am I really going to install these in my beater rig?”  Without a doubt these shafts are the nicest thing my rig will ever see. The quality was only accentuated by engraving on the shafts and bells.  The stubs and bell are 300M which is what gives that maroon tint to the shaft.  I stripped down my front axle to the knuckles and started the install.

With the ball joint style knuckles of a Dana 44, I noticed I would have to do some considerable clearancing on the lower ball joint threads and nut to clear the new RCV boot.  I removed the steering stops and the tie-rod to allow room to turn the knuckle all the way and grind the ball joint threads down.

Next I assembled the shafts.  Make sure the lock rings are spread out enough in the grooves of the shaft to firmly engage in the bell’s grooves to secure the shafts together.  I had to pry my rings open a little just to be safe. I used a bench vise and a dead-blow rubber hammer to seat the bell into the boot, which was perhaps one of the trickier tasks.  After the axles were assembled install was straight forward.  The stub shaft have a grease fitting on the end to grease the bell which makes life much easier too.

If you’ve never swapped an axle shaft before, some special tools you’ll need:

  • Snap ring pliers for the stub shaft slug
  • Spindle nut socket specific for your axle type (44 or 60)
  • 4” grinder for the ball joint or air grinder
  • Grease gun


Southern Rock Racing Series – Summertown TN

You will see no worse punishment of equipment than at a Southern Rock Racing Series event.  This event was hosted at Wheelin’ in the Country ORV park in Summertown, TN.   These “rock bouncer” buggies compete for the fastest time up insane obstacles, and the hills chosen for this event would prove to be the most brutal yet.  Every rig in the series runs at least a 40” tall tire and usually well over 400 horse power motors, and many running the 300M RCV axle shafts.

 

First course was an obstacle called “Axle Hill”, best time from two runs would take it.  All eyes were on Bobby Tanner in his ColeWorx chassis when he pulled up to the line to make his run, he launched off the line full throttle and instead of letting out at the rocks the throttle hung and he hit the ledge with enough force to break the steering arm off the knuckle and take out the front driveshaft, but the 300M RCV shafts held strong!.

Another highlight on Axle Hill was Randall Key, who pilots his rig with just hand controls.  It takes incredible skill to maneuver this four-wheel-steer buggy at these speeds.  Randall took a bad bounce and ended rubber side up!

The 2nd course was on “Flipper”.  They decided to pump water onto the course to add a challenge but after the first few competitors ran this was unnecessary as the skies darkened and the rain poured for the next couple hours.   This didn’t slow down the event at all, competitors are dedicated and kept pulling up to the line to attempt the near impossible climb.  Shelby Tanner and Lori Shirley were the only competitors to make it to the top of Flipper for the first round.  This put the pressure on the boys as the girls really showed them up!

Jordan Tanner stood watching at the bottom of the hill as most competitors failed to make the climb, so when his turn was up he stood on the throttle off the line and never lifted!  When he hit the ledge both front tires blew out and launched him 15 feet into the air, if he hadn’t blown the tires he would’ve be at the top!  He quickly swapped out the tires and was able to line up in time for his second run and ended up being one of only 5 competitors to make the climb.

Most competitors ended up upside down on this course, “Flipper” really lived up to its name.

Justin Tune, a new competitor in the SRRS series showed no fear as he gave one full-throttle attempt after another on the slick ledges of the Flipper course.  After several beat downs his Smith Motorsports chassis finally caught some traction and sent him to the top!  Being one of the fastest on Axle Hill as well as one to successfully climb Flipper, Justin was able to take home first place in his first SRRS race!

For more information on the Southern Rock Racing Series check out www.southernrockracing.com
of visit them on facebook at www.facebook.com/SouthernRockRacingSeries

What’s New at RCV?

Our new website has been up and running for over a month now, and we appreciate all of the positive feedback we have received.  If you have any suggestions or questions, we would love to hear from you!  RCV Performance is also excited to announce the release of our monthly newsletter.  If you haven’t subscribed already, don’t worry, it’s simple, and it is never too late. Click the ‘Subscribe to Newsletter Link’, under the ‘News & Media’ heading.  Once you have opted in, you will receive monthly newsletters from us.  Don’t wait! Be the first to hear about new products, off-road news, upcoming events, and much more!  In addition to our monthly newsletters, we are going to keep posting blogs; so when you are not on the road, or should I say off the road, be sure to check in with us!

GM Pickup and SUV Owners with IFS. Don’t Worry. Be Happy.

Many owners of 2006 and up GM pickups and SUV’s are a bit hesitant to apply too much throttle when off-roading, and especially when the steering wheel is turned. They don’t want to blow up their CV axles. Either they have done it before, or know someone who did (“Aye..It was a cold dark day, and my cousin was at full lock…”). We certainly can’t blame them for being nervous. However, we can help. The solution is to get rid of the stock OE CV axle shafts. They need to be taken off, put on a shelf, or sold, or whatever. The key is to just take them off. Then install our Ultimate IFS CV Axles. Our stuff is ultra-high strength and has an articulation range that makes the original equipment CV axles resemble al Dente spaghetti noodles. Very al Dente.  The inner joints have 28 degrees of articulation, while the outers have 45. Hey, we’re articulate, and stuff! Even if the vehicle is lifted, has big tires, and is high powered, our axles operate smoothly, and without vibration. And they don’t break! RCV Ultimate IFS CV Axles provide the strength of a straight axle swap, while keeping the traction, smoothness and control of IFS. So, to get awesome strength one doesn’t have to hack-up their truck to install a straight axle. Our CV axles simply bolt right in place of the originals. As you might expect, our design is different than the original equipment. Instead of the tripod inner CV joint design that distributes force over three roller bearings, we use beefy 935 inner CV joints, which distribute power over six ball bearings. More surface area to handle the power = stronger. For the outer CV joint we use the same Super Duty Chromoly Dome-Mass Cage and Race with Spherical Sealing Technology that is used with our Ultimate CV axles for Dana 60. Which provides Superman type strength, and has the Spherical Sealing Technology that is far more resistant to punctures and tears than a rubber CV boot. Plus it looks really cool. These axles are basically the same units that are run by racers in Ultra4, and TORC. They are low maintenance, run really smooth when used on the street, and come with our infamous “No Questions Asked” limited lifetime warranty. So, if you GM Pickup and SUV owners are your using your rig for hard core off road action, or even as a utility vehicle (like as a snow plow): Don’t worry. Be happy.

Today is the Big Day. Johnson Valley Final Environmental Impact Study to be Released

Over the years California off road enthusiasts have seen dramatic reductions in public land available for off road use. Whether its budget cuts, legal issues, or environmental issues, the bad news keeps coming. Reduction in public land for off road vehicle use not only limits where enthusiasts can practice their sport, but restaurants, hotels, gas stations, and other local businesses that depend on visiting off road enthusiasts suffer too.

One of the prominent proposed OHV land use reduction issues is the expansion of the 29 Palms Marine Base. The Marine Corps is planning to annex approximately 160,000 acres of the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle area. This is the largest open OHV area in the US and adds over $70 million dollars to the local economy annually. Johnson Valley is also home to the King of the Hammers, the premier Ultra4 event. The expansion has been contested by the off road community for a couple of years now. As part of this effort the California Motorized Recreation Council (CMRC), an umbrella group of the eight largest OHV access groups in California, recently agreed to contract terms with lobbyists, the Livingston Group, LLC in Washington, DC to help stave off the expansion of the 29 Palms Marine Base. The next step in the Marine base expansion hinges on the outcome of a Final Environmental Impact Study (FEIS), which is to be released today April 27th, 2012.

We, along with quite a few Californians, are very interested to see the outcome of the study.

Dana 60? We don’t need no stinking Dana 60! – Or, how to make your Dana 44 as strong as a Dana 60

The Dana 60 is a beast of a front axle. The Big Kahuna. We love it, and make CV axle shafts to make it even stronger (more beastie?). Plus it’s cool to tell people your running a Dana 60. Folks often swap a Dana 60 in place of their Dana 44 because they need the extra strength when they go to bigger tires, or add more power, and especially when they do both. However, some are unhappy that the Dana 60 doesn’t have as much ground clearance as a Dana 44, and it weighs more. We found a Dana 44 can be built to be as strong as a Dana 60. Dana 60 like strength without the issues. You can have your cake and eat it too (and we bet you just love cake).

Here is how one person did it: http://www.jkowners.com/tech/axle/index.php

RCV Performance Products Supports “Topless for TATA’s” Breast Cancer Awareness Program

RCV Performance Products is pleased to support the 4th Annual Topless for TATAs Wheeling Event Benefitting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Recently, we helped to promote the upcoming event by displaying the Topless for TATA’s promotional Jeep in our booth at the 2012 Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah.

Topless for TATA’s is an organization that serves to increase awareness of breast cancer, educate the public on the latest breast cancer research findings, as well as promote preventative measures that help to avoid the disease, such as regular breast exams, and doctor visits.  The 4th Annual Topless for TATAs Wheeling Event is an off road event that will be held on August 4, 2012, at the Rausch Creek Off Road Park in Tremont, PA. All proceeds will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

“The event is where Jeeps go topless, and all proceeds go to breast cancer eradication” says Topless for TATA’s spokesperson Chantelle Kern. “Four years ago we started the event to teach our children that they need to give back to society. Since then our children have started their own charities at school. We are pleased the Topless for TATA’s events have had the continued support of RCV over the years.”

For more information on the event please contact Chantelle Kern at contact@toplessfortatas.com  or 240-925-5026.