Richie Keith is one of the guys who helped put "Rock Bouncing” on the map. He is a fearless driver that will put it all on the line every time. He has assembled a fleet of awesome off road vehicles, including “Plowboy” rock bouncer, a 1,200 horse power mud truck, and a custom built RZR XP900. He is the only person to pull off a back flip in a rock bouncer and he says he wants to go bigger and better this year.
Richie approached us to build his next rock bouncer, using his top notch parts list he had already begun acquiring. The overall look of the buggy was a one of the hardest aspects of the build. Richie wanted a tractor theme, so our job was to build one that carried attractive lines as well as provided the structure that this rig would need. The front end is based around a set of custom built headlights that resemble those out of a new 8345R John Deere tractor. We scaled them to fit our buggy and went backwards from there. Bouncers are known for their open tube look and feel where the crawlers usually have panels covering the sides of their buggies. We opened up a section in the panels for the one of a kind look to showcase the engine. At the B pillar we gave it a little Class 1 desert car inspired look and wrapped the panels up to the roof, this adds style and protection.
The chassis is built from all 1.75”, .120 wall and .188 wall DOM with some .250 wall in places like the rockers. This chassis will be abused so every part of the chassis that could be contacted by a rock is .188, including the entire roof. One unique feature Richie requested was welded on steel sides. We used 16 gauge steel and then ground smooth to create a very original look. We utilized the same link mount locations in this chassis as our production Wide Open Design Rock Bouncer chassis.
Safety was a big thing on Richie’s mind throughout this entire build. We made sure that he had plenty of head clearance with a helmet on in this buggy. We chose a set of PRP Grand Prix RZR seats that have modified mounting tabs. We had them custom covered with tan leather and we kept the mud trap option to keep the seats clean. We also double sheared the seat mounts in this buggy to make sure nothing moves. We used PRP ratcheting seatbelts that are designed to be used with a head and neck restraint device. The chassis was really built tough around the driver’s compartment. Extra bracing was used everywhere we could on this buggy. We know it will be used and abused.
The 510cid small block engine was custom designed and built by Tytech motorsports. The only piece of this engine that was pre made was the cylinder head castings. The Hogan intake was custom made to fit the angle and bore spacing of the custom block. The engine dyno’d at over 900 HP running on 113 octane race fuel. Fuel management comes from Big Stuff 3 injection, mounted out of harms way and in a (hopefully) cool and dry environment. We mounted the engine using engine plates then we backed up the heads of the engine with mounts there too. On the hard core rock bouncers we have seen the engine sees a lot of force being thrown out of the front of the buggy. We tried to limit this with diagonal braces in the drive train mounts. We built all custom brackets for the pulley system around the dry sump pump, and two separate steering pumps. All hydraulic and fuel lines use Fragola fittings and hose.
The chassis is fairly small, so building exhaust wasn’t an easy task. We custom built headers and full exhaust out of stainless steel, all tig welded. The headers are 2”, then merge into a 4” Magnaflow race muffler and carried all the way to the rear of the buggy. This might be the first “rock bouncer” with full exhaust.