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Matt O's Ultra4 Buggy - EOR Racing #4462

BamaTJ

Well-Known Member
Hardline Crawler
Joined
May 16, 2007
Messages
9,970
Location
Gardendale, AL
Jamie and I really appreciate all the support from this site! We had some tough luck out there and as hard as we worked to be ahead of the game, we were pretty much behind the 8-Ball all week. I want to thank Jamie Marsh for all his help, he really went above and beyond and did so with a great attitude and tons of energy. I wish I could say the same for myself, I bet those that talked to be on Tuesday or Wednesday agree the team should be Angry Arab Racing!

So we arrived Saturday afternoon prior to the race, within 15 minutes of unloading the buggy we had put the excess bolt threads from my front upper link through the oil cooler line. So there was a huge mess and had to make new lines. We were able to flip the bolt around to get the clearance we needed for it to clear the lines and accessory drive. Shock tuning with Bilstein took all of Saturday and Sunday. Too say we were baffled and tired of removing the shocks was an understatement. The shocks just would not compress, so instead of soaking up the whoops, we were bouncing off them. We tried lower spring rates, valving, etc. So finally late Sunday night we got drastic and dumped 95% of the compression valving in the rear shocks and they came alive! We called it good and set out to pre-run on Monday.

Our goal Monday was to cover the first 30 miles of the course, and we did that in about 2 hours. It was the fast part of the course with lots of high speed sections. The car was working great, and we were easily hitting 50-60 in the whoops. We got up to almost 90 on the dry lake bed. One thing we discovered was the new motor screamed and 2nd gear to the floor was too much fun to let off. I remember coming down past Elvis and it was basically straight, flat desert for as far as you could see. Jamie and I were stoked when we saw it and that was the best time I had all week. We checked the car over and all was good and Monday was full of meetings and seminars, so we took part in a lot of those.

Tuesday was a suck-fest, plain and simple. We started early and took off from camp heading to camp and RM30. The goal was miles 31-60 and one complete lap, which is all we cared about doing. We got to RM31 or so and came to the top of Wrecking Ball and the huge drop. In the process of trying to get lined up on it, Jamie noticed I was leaking fluid. Turns out the bolts on the bottom of the Atlas had worked lose and we lost all our fluid. We found a rig to tow us back to camp and Jamie worked on fixing the issue while I hunted for a gas cap since I lost ours. It took a long time to fix the Atlas bolts because of how tight the belly pan is, but we finished it up and went back to pre-run. We lined up on the drop in Wrecking Ball and when the front dropped down the rear unloaded and off we went. It was the hardest roll I have ever had and it turns out it cost us a lot more than we first thought. The body panels and hood/grille were of course ruined and we noticed the starter solenoid was cracked. Thanks to Jessie Haines and Little Rich we pushed it over and added fluid where needed. We continued down wrecking ball so we could get back to camp. At the bottom I hit the cutting brakes and split the rear caliper bracket and caliper in half. This was frustrating because I had just replaced the rear brackets with custom made ones. We limped back to camp and I had to go pick up the rest of our crew from the airport so Jamie starting fixing the damage. By the time I cam back he had most of it fixed.

We still needed some parts and the starter repaired, so I got up on Wednesday and went to town to get them. I found what I needed and we were fixed again by noon or so. We set off to finally get miles 32-60 under our belt. Pre-running started fine, it was all the rock trails so we just scouted lines and crawled through it. My rig was originally built for WeRock, and it shows in the rocks. Jamie was amazed at the lines the buggy could pull. We got done with the rocks and got to RM50 which is all desert for 10 miles back to camp. I told Jamie I could not control the buggy at speed and something was of. We got out and found another rear caliper bolt gone and the tire and wheel was walking off. We tightened it all up and set off again. At RM59 the buggy was out of control, it was dark and then we started to roll at about 30mph. I told Jamie to hold on and then we stopped and the tire and wheel went rolling pat us. We chased it down and found the wheel completely egged out and the wheel studs shot. At this time the crew chief, Jimmy Penner of EOR was there and he came to help retrieve us. We got back to camp and started fixing it again. The full pit crew was there so we were up and running in short order. All we needed was a replacement wheel from Raceline, which we would get Thursday morning.

Thursday included another early morning run to town for parts. We had to get ready quick and line up for Contingency and Tech. We got in line and it was pretty uneventful. The front accessory drive was making a horrible noise. We passed tech and got our Official CheckPoint Sticker. We had to fix the accessory drive; it was making too much noise to ignore it. We needed an alternator and tensioner pulley. That turned into an adventure because nobody had one, ended up bumming one from Woodlee’s display that didn’t really fit but we made it. The guys checked over the buggy and used LockTite liberally on all the axle fasteners.

We got up bright and early Friday morning to line up for the race. It was extremely cold and we hung by the fire to get warm. It was a surreal experience lining up among so many top teams. We started 51st next to Jason Pickett in the carnage crew car and Tom Wayes was in the row behind us. We chatted with the other teams and got ready to race. Off the line we were full throttle and hung with Jason till the first turn, that stroked LS6 got the best of us. The first 10 miles is pretty slow, lots of turns and goat trails. We passed probably 10 cars that were broken or rolled, and a few more that were just slow. We got passed by some fast cars like Shannon, DSI, Wayes, JT Tayor, etc. but really held our own. RM10 to 29 are pretty fast, with the exception of a rock trail named Elvis. We were making god time and followed Mike Coleville for a long time to pace off him. At RM 29 we got to Outer Limits, we passed some guys at the bottom like Nazir and JR who were hung up in some rocks. We settled in behind Wayes and waited for 30 minutes or more. There were 3 different bottle necks in the trail with broken or stuck rigs on all of them. At the top it split 3 ways and we followed JR out on a harder line.

We skipped the pits since we were good and proceeded to dominate Wrecking Ball, including the big drop that rolled us. We were finally in clean air and no other cars were in sight. We did Chocolate Thunder with ease and at the CP before Jackhammer, we had moved up to 28th place. At Jackhammer we came up on Casey Currie. He was on the easy line, so we chose the harder line that we had pre-run with no issues. We flopped and it was all on me for picking a bad line and then being too stubborn to back off it. The recovery crew was non-existent and it took 45 minutes to roll us over. We were passed by a ton of rigs in this time and we were pretty bummed. We made it a few more miles and lost steering. We found a cut line and our only choice was to walk to pits for parts. Jamie hiked 4 miles to pits and turned down a ride in the big JK in the process. We limped to pits and new there was a problem. The Atlas was moving several inches side to side. The crew found a broken motor mount on the driver side, our race was done. We hung out at remote pits and helped other teams out like DSI and JabNasty. We had fun and just relaxed for the first time all week.

We started talking after the race that the motor mount had to be broken already and we looked back to the pre-run roll as the culprit. The flop during the race was nothing, but we think the sheet metal gusset was the only thing holding the mount together and it split then and then the drivetrain was freely moving all over. We just never saw the broken motor mount, but it makes sense because after the initial roll the car was all over the place in turns and at speed, it was very hard to control. In the end, we had fun and learned a lot. We will never pre-run that hard again in the race vehicle, it did more harm than good.

Thanks to our team of Jamie Marsh, Jimmy Penner, Adam Ragland and Adam Adair. Also this could not have happened without the help of our title sponsors: Essentially Offroad and James O’Neal Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep. Also we had many parts sponsors that helped out also: Bilstein, PSC, Raceline, BFG, Liquid Iron Industries, BTF, RuffStuff Specialities, and Viking OffRoad. We have inspected the car and other than cosmetic damage and the motor mount there is nothing major. We plan to replace the Jeep body with a simple aluminum hood and fix some minor issues. We plan to race some local events and hopefully qualify for KOH 2012. Thanks for reading!
 

draggbody

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
1,214
you mean you didnt have a cross bar running under the engine tying the mounts together??? thats as silly as hooking your fan up backwards and trying to desert race... :flipoff1:
 

BamaTJ

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Hardline Crawler
Joined
May 16, 2007
Messages
9,970
Location
Gardendale, AL
Yeah the mount at the motor and the frame are both reinforced. No romm under the motor for anything. Just a really hard hit, **** happens
 

Neal3000

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Joined
May 14, 2009
Messages
3,183
Location
Temple, GA
Matt, had you ever done any racing before you got this buggy? or did you just jump into it when you took it to the lcq a few years ago?
 

BamaTJ

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Hardline Crawler
Joined
May 16, 2007
Messages
9,970
Location
Gardendale, AL
Neal3000 said:
gotta hand it to him.....fawkers got balls

Thanks. I wheeled my old TJ a lot, like 2-3 times a month. I did King of the Hill a few times in it and did pretty well. After watching Shannon win KOH in 2008, I had to try it. First large scal competion of any kind was 2009 LCQ where we placed 9th and qualified.
 

kid rok

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Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
1,460
Thanks. I wheeled my old TJ a lot, like 2-3 times a month. I did King of the Hill a few times in it and did pretty well. After watching Shannon win KOH in 2008, I had to try it. First large scal competion of any kind was 2009 LCQ where we placed 9th and qualified.

****it,, I'm buying a montecarlo..............Nascar hear I come.
 

InDaShop

Dont Tread On Me
Joined
May 18, 2010
Messages
3,690
Location
Sugar Land
Read it last night, way cool. Good pics as well. Congrats!!!

Can I get an autographed Angry Arab next time I see ya? :flipoff1:
 

Elliott

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2010
Messages
2,430
That makes your power numbers even more impressive, Bet you could change heads and up the compression a point and get 50 more horses easy then, don't you think?You got to love these new motors.
 

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