Ultimate Adventure 2015 – The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly!

 

When you hear the woUA15 Logords “summer camp,” what are the first things that come to mind? For most, its probably thoughts of a fun filled week out on a lake as a youngster fishing with your friends, sleeping in a tent, and cooking your meals over a campfire. And now that many of us have grown up, we get to think of summer camp as time where we get to temporarily release control over our kiddos and take a short break from parenthood. While these immediate kneejerk responses to summer camp are accurate, the most recent remembrances we at Power Products have are wheelin’ with our friends on Peterson’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road Magazine’s Ultimate Adventure, dubbed “Summer Camp.”

For those unfamiliar with the Ultimate Adventure, essentially this is a gathering put together by Petersen’s that occurs every year in which they invite sponsors and a handful of readers to an unknown location with short notice to spend a week offroading. The week is also filled with several “road days,” as multiple destinations and states are covered in order to get the chance to play in numerous areas. And to top it off, you are required to drive your offroading vehicle to each destination, sleep and survive out of that vehicle, and if you break, you’re left in the dust (or in the case of this year, mud, and lots of it).

Let’s first cover the most important part….what we drove! In previous years, we have taken vehicles such as our Cummins powered Mega Cab, the Raptor SuperDuty, Project Mjolnir, and our 4BT Cummins powered Jeep JK, basically a host of very well-functioning, but also very nice vehicles, on a trip that is destined to bring at least some type of carnage. This year, we decided to change things up a bit. Recently, we had acquired and completed a short build of a 1975 Jeep Cherokee Chief that we took to this year’s Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah. We thought so highly of it, we ended up doing a more thorough build and decided to take it on this year’s Ultimate Adventure. And as usual, with very little time to accomplish ynip6k9bit…..about three weeks.

First things first, check and change all fluids, but wait, there’s metal in the oil of this old, original engine. And, let the frame-off begin! So yeah, the 360 AMC was pulled and completely rebuilt, and we opted to add an MSD Atomic EFI for consistent fuel delivery. To back up the 360, we bolted up a fresh Turbo 400 featuring a heavy duty torque converter with a manual valve body for driver controlled shifts. Backing up the transmission was a fresh NP205 transfer case with twin stick controls from our friends over at Off-Road Design.

Coming out of the transfer case, we had Tom Woods Custom Drive Shafts build us a pair of drivelines to send power to the front and rear axles. We heavily modified the front Dana 44 with a Synergy Manufacturing truss, Reid Racing knuckles, an 8 lug wheel conversion, ARB Air Locker, and 4.88 Nitro Gears ring and pinion. Out back, we fitted a 14 bolt axle with Nitro chromoly axles and an ARB Air Locker stuffed with Nitro 4.88 gears to match up 11406949_936553743069263_6654307930924292799_nto the front. Air operation of the lockers comes via an ARB Twin Air Compressor mounted at the tailgate area of the interior cage using a custom mounting bracket that we manufacture. At each corner of our modified axle assemblies lie one of the new 37” Falken Wildpeak M/T’s mounted up to a Method 105 beadlock for maximum offroading traction and the ability to run extremely low tire pressure for when things get gnarly.

In order to deliver the performance from the suspension we required, we went to work laying out the laundry list of components we would need to gather, manufacture, and install on the Chief in short order. Up front, we designed a custom three link that gave us amazing articulation capabilities, while still being extremely street friendly. To provide the height and dampening for the Chief, we opted to go with a set of Fox Performance Series 2.5 x 12 remote reservoir coilovers featuring their Dual Speed Compression (DSC) Adjusters mounted to a pair of 11407128_936937526364218_5016910508425997948_nArtec Industries coilover towers. These are awesome because you can literally change up the low and high speed compression via a simple knob located right on the shock assembly to create harmonious shock performance, no matter the situation. Out back, we again looked to the professionals at Fox for a set of their 2.0 Performance Series remote reservoir shocks that mount to a custom crossmember that we fabricated. And to keep the low slung ride height we desired, we got with BDS for a pair of their leaf springs that allow for a ton of flexibility, while again, still being super capable on the street, which were mounted to a pair of Synergy shackles.

As far as steering, one product that we have grown VERY fond of, being most of our vehicles run at least 40” tires, are PSC hydraulic assist steering systems. While the Chief would “only” be running 37’s, it was still determined that this project would also benefit from a little steering assistance when out on the trails, thus it was fitted with a complete PSC steering box and hydraulic assist. If you’ve never experienced a vehicle with hydraulic assist, just imagine being able to turn 40” mud terrains on pavement while not moving, WITH EASE! Yeah, its that cool. To get the motion from the steering box to our bright orange Reid knuckles, we built a custom drag link and center link with Synergy GM 1-Ton heavy duty tie rods at all corners for maximum strength that mount to a GenRight pitman arm and heim joint kit.

10341534_940534376004533_4894412499458350577_nNow that the drivetrain and suspension were complete, we were able to focus our attention on all of the body protection, lighting, and electrical. Up front, to house our Warn Zeon 10-s winch, we looked to Mercenary Offroad for protection. We’ve used Mercenary bumpers in the past on our heavy duty Rams because they offer up unparalleled styling and ground clearance, while being extremely resilient, and our expectations were again exceeded with their bumper for the Chief. The lines on this bumper are unlike any other on the market, and keep everything high and tight for proper 10995350_941376739253630_2653716889254190213_napproach angles. To keep with the Mercenary theme, they built a matching rear bumper with an integrated receiver hitch for us that came out unscathed after a week of torture. In order to carry loads of gear and house exactly a zillion Baja Design lights (that’s right….a zillion), we broke out the welder and tube bender to create a custom roof rack that tied into an internal roll cage. The roof rack also served very purposeful to strap our Summer Camp required canoe, which we will get to later. While building the internal cage, it became evident that the floor boards had definitely seen better days, with years of moisture eroding the metal, turning into red powder. Fortunately, BJ’s Offroad makes killer 22805_938290566228914_1421973400373580401_nreplacements for this era of Cherokee that saved us a ton of time in fabricating our own. In order to keep all passengers in place at all times, we bolted down a set of PRP digital camouflage covered race seats with PRP five point harnesses. Not only are these seats built superbly for keeping you strapped down, but are actually quite comfortable.

While on the Ultimate Adventure, you are required to do a considerable amount of highway driving in order to reach each destination, so we knew a set of upgraded headlights would be necessary to avoid running auxiliary lights, which have a tendency of attracting unwanted attention. To tackle this, we went with a pair of J.W. Speaker Evolution 2 headlights, as they’ve been an amazing upgrade for some of our JK projects. To complement the Evo2’s when on the trail, like we mentioned earlier, we added a zillion Baja Designs lights….alright, alright, there were actually six of their S2 model mounted on the rack and two Squadron XL-R’s on the front bumper (almost a zillion). In order to avoid random fuses and relays mounted in every orifice of the Chief, we hooked up with our friends at sPOD and wired up one of their Source Systems that runs all auxiliary electrical through one single system for a super clean installation. To round out the electrical was one of the most important pieces to the puzzle, a RacePak dash that not only delivers us a full digital dash including speed, RPM, and fuel level from our BJ’s Offroad fuel cell, but also alerts from various sensors if values fall outside of a preset range.

Now all that was left to complete the Chief were to build a custom, high clearance exhaust system to avoid rock carnage, and some “fender clearancing.” Unfortunately, the original fender design of the 70’s Cherokee’s do not lend themselves to running 37” tires with only minimal increases in suspension height very easily. Of course, we could have gone the route of sourcing custom fiberglass units, but with the clock-a-ticking, that wasn’t an option. So we went with option numero dos….a “Falken” Sawzall and a “Falken” hammer to provide clearance for the Falken tires (the whole “Falken” thing went on for the duration of Ultimate Adventure, as they were the tire sponsor this year).

And with the welds still warm and glowing, we loaded the Chief onto our gooseneck trailer and hooked up and headed out for the long trip from Washington state to Tennessee to drop the truck and trailer. Once in Tennessee, we had minimal time to boogie to our UA meeting point in Ohio, roughly 700 miles of driving a vehicle that had next to zero testing time. And as we expected (and hoped), it performed flawlessly, guzzling unleaded the whole way.

And So The Adventure Begins…

Day one of the Ultimate Adventure is not so much about wheeling, more talking about wheeling, and ensuring all vehicles are in compliance with the rules set forth by Petersen’s, and are basically safe. So yeah, that’s what happened on day f7mmr176one (don’t worry, it gets more exciting). Day two started out like every other day of every Ultimate Adventure, uncertainty of what Rick Pewe, our fearless leader, had in store for us that day. And as usual, he did not let us down as we found ourselves at Powerline Offroad Park, which was riddled with deep water crossings and loads of mud due to the never ending rain. Overall, it was a great day with minimal carnage and we had a blast.

Day three was considered a road day, as we needed to make our way from Ohio to Kentucky, but we were fortunate enough to hit up Clay Valley Dirt Park located in Harrison, Ohio that was featured more mud and a ton of fun. The most interesting part was a gnarly hill climb that found many of “us” on our sides at one particular obstacle near the 4qs3vn9tpeak of the climb. Fortunately, with plenty of man power and winches on every vehicle (mandatory UA accessory), flopping rigs over is like flipping pancakes. While trying to get out of Ohio, we felt a bit like we were in the movie Twister, as we were chasing down a tornado, or maybe it was chasing us. Fortunately, we made it to our river barge to cross into Kentucky before we found ourselves in the Land of Oz.

Up to this point, the Chief had performed flawlessly with miles of getting beaten on, but it must have had a vendetta about crossing into Kentucky, as we found ourselves being forced to make several stops at various auto parts stores, and then playing catch up with the rest of the group. The first item on the fail list was a thermostat that caused an overheating issue, which we replaced with a high flow version from Mr. Gasket. Well, guess what, that failed in no time flat, so another stop and we popped in a Stant branded t-stat with fingers crossed. Now as the weather continued to rain down on us and the sunset looming, it became evident that while our headlight switch was flipped on to provide power to our J.W. Speaker headlights, there was obviously no illumination. After a quick check, the headlight switch had failed. So, sorry oncoming traffic….engaging Baja Designs LED’s! We finished our road trip for the day by settling in at Harlan County Campground at the trailhead of Black Mountain Offroad Park in Putney, Kentucky, a mere 700 miles from where we began our journey earlier that day.

About thirteen seconds after we finally shut our eyes for some sleep, we heard the rooster crowing to get day four started. One thing about Ultimate Adventure, while it may be one of the greatest vacations you can have the opportunity to participate in, you will by no means be catching up on any sleep! With the rain still pouring down, we were ready to further test out our Falken tires’ ability to keep us moving through the muck at Black Mountain. At this point, one issue became very clear, the Chief had the ability to maintain its own Untitled-1atmosphere. Let us explain. First of all, one of the rules of UA are “windows down.” This is done to create a feeling of equality between all open cab vehicles, such as buggies or Jeeps, with cabbed vehicles. This practice only accentuates the amount of humidity from the outside environment. To compound with this, the Chief has no insulation on the floorboards, thus all resonating heat from the undercarriage is transmitted into the cab. All of this equates to a substantial amount of moisture building up on the ceiling, quite literally raining down on any and all passengers and equipment within. “We really need to stop and get Fog-X” became almost a systematic dialogue throughout the entire trip as we were forced to continually wipe down the windshield. But, on a positive note, we managed to repair the headlight switch before camping out in Black Mountain again for the night.

Day five, like all other mornings on UA, started earlier than we would have wished. Today would take us on yet another road day to make our way into the great state of Tennesse, and back out again into North Carolina. What Tennessee did bring us, no matter how short our stay, was the opportunity to FINALLY find out why in the world we had these enormous canoes mounted to the roofs of our vehicles…..BATTLE CANOEING! That’s right, we reserved a few hours of daylight to stop and have some fun in the water smashing into one another like Vikings in full combat mode over a newfound haven. Upon crossing into North Carolina, somewhere, on a boat, in the pouring rain, we had the opportunity to repair our malfunctioning windshield wipers. Oh, did we forget to mention the wipers quit working? Sorry, details are somewhat foggy, like our windshield. “We really need to stop and get Fog-X and Rain-X” was the new slogan. And sleep, yeah, we slept somewhere, just not able to pinpoint that location at this point.

Now into day six, we found ourselves somewhere on the North Carolina and Georgia border at Durhamtown for some wheelin’. Here, we were able to open up our pipes, spin  foo55ju2some tires, and play in a plethora of rock gardens to truly test not only driver skill, but vehicle aptitude in a range of different terrains. The Chief was fortunate enough to come out almost completely unscathed, with exception to a boulder deciding it wanted to try and destroy our custom exhaust, nothing a hammer and some wire couldn’t fix, though! After a full day of burning fuel and making memories, we settled into Durhamtown for another wet night camping under the stars.

Day seven, what a glorious day the seventh day was, as we finally stopped for Fog-X! Oh yeah, and Cooper drove a tank over a Jeep XJ, but we got Fog-X! In all seriousness, Rick Pewe managed to secure us some time at a tank test grounds where some of us were able to strap into a tank and turn a few childhood dreams into reality. Once we had our fill of tanks (or maybe they told us it was time to leave) we loaded back up and wound up in Pittsburgh, Tennessee for the night. For the final day before our adventure was over, it seemed fitting that we would spend the day
in Adventure Offroad Park on day eight where we could all give our vehicles everything we had, as there was little to lose with the end of UA nearing. Rocks, mud, and gnarly hill climbs seemed to be the theme for Adventure Offroad Park, which equated to a lot of questionable decisions and plenty of impressive automotive feats. Our Chief discovered that when you combine rocks, mud, and gnarly hill climbs with plenty of right footed WOOPOW, things can sometimes get a little sketchy, and she ended up on her side. But that’s okay, its just partua-2015-gallery-jeep-cherokee-chief-on-its-side of the UA experience, and building a vehicle that can take the abuse. Now at the close of the last day, we had one of the most welcoming sights we had seen all week, a hotel with running hot water!

Throughout our eight day adventure, we racked up over 1200 miles on the Chief, not including our transport to and from the start/stop points, averaged around eight miles to the gallon, and managed to only break miniscule original equipment components. As with every year in the past, we had the opportunity to see a host of old friends, meet plenty of new ones, and we are already thinking about next year’s event, hopefully the Chief is aired out by then, as its smelling a tad on the funky side.

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Cherokee Chief Update

Cherokee-Chief-Update-flexedOver the past few months here at Power Products Unlimited, its been a whirlwind of events, vehicle builds, and everything in between, but we haven’t forgotten about the progress on the Cherokee Chief. At the time of the last newsletter, we had the basic powertrain installed along with gobs of custom built mounting solutions for everything. But even with the most powerful and indestructible powertrain, without a killer suspension, the Cherokee Chief would be nothing for its intended purpose.

Cherokee-Chief-Update-cantilever designTo start things off, we designed a triangulated 4-link suspension, and as the pictures indicate, it allows for a MASSIVE amount of wheel travel. With a little work in SolidWorks and a ton of machining, a custom 4-link mount was built to straddle the upper portion of the Pro Rock 80 rear end to prevent against welding on the axle and also provide for further articulation without binding. In order to provide ample dampening and rebound for this, we looked to Fox Shocks. In the rear, we’re running a set of Fox 2.5 coilovers coupled with 3.0 four-tube bypasses that are mounted to a custom cantilever to further our efforts in maximizing wheel travel. Up front, we’ll have the same blend of 2.5 coilovers with 3.0 four-tube bypasses, but without the need for the cantilevers. For the finishing touch, Fox 2.5 bumpstops will prevent us from any harsh bottom outs.

Cherokee-Chief-Update-5The latest hurdle we are confronting is something we haven’t had to deal with on all of our previous builds…..rust. Because previously modified rigs have all been relatively newer vehicles, we’ve only had to deal with very minor rust issues, but the Cherokee Chief is a beast from the era of disco, meaning its had over 35 years to allow the red plague to seep into its veins. But as with everything else, its being remedied and made more robust than the factory ever built it. Its amazing what you can accomplish with a cut off wheel, sheet metal, a bead roller, and a welder!

While there have been many long nights and weekends dedicated to progress on the Cherokee Chief, we were forced to recently make a decision none of us wanted to make, and that was to suspend its completion until after the Ultimate Adventure, where it was set to debut. We will still be participating in the UA, but will be flogging one of our other recent builds, Mjolnir, which has already proven itself in Moab and several other recent venues. As further progress is made on the Cherokee Chief, we will continue with updates as well as results from other upcoming events it will attend.

Cherokee-Chief-Update-3

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Ultimate Adventure Cherokee Chief

uacc-artist-rendering1 UACC is THE Ultimate Adventure Cherokee Chief, and it’s a force to be reckoned with (or at least will be when we’re done with it)!

As proud supporters of Petersen’s 4 Wheel & Off-Road Magazine’s Ultimate Adventure for the past two years, we have the opportunity to attend this insane week long event. In 2012, we put our recently built 4BT Cummins powered Jeep JK to the test, along with our Ram Mega Cab that was responsible for camera crew transportation. Last year, we set our JK on the trails again, with a host of further upgraded parts. But for Ultimate Adventure 2014, we’re planning a whole different approach. We are in the process of building a unique 1978 Jeep Cherokee Chief Wide Track with a V10 Viper power plant that is undergoing a complete frame off in order to ensure complete indestructability.

uacc-artist-rendering2While this project is being dubbed the Ultimate Adventure Cherokee Chief, its uses will be many, including the upcoming Easter Jeep Safari that is approaching all too quickly. The entire build is unique for us in several facets. For starters, we’re beginning with some old, American iron, when all of our builds in the past have been conducted on later model (and rust free) vehicles. Secondly, this entire build will be performed in house, with us at the helm controlling every phase, including all of the SolidWorks design work for custom cross members, engine mounts, and so forth. By keeping the entire build in house, we will be able to preserve the quality of the entire build, as this will be the highest profile project to date for us.

UACC-VIPER-POWERAs we’re sure everyone is wanting to know some details on this build, let’s dive into some of the specifics of what’s going into the UACC. For starters, there have been some extensive body modifications that we outlined with our friends at Perfection Auto Body. This build, like most of our others, needed to clear 40” tires, but we didn’t want an atrocious amount of lift, causing the vehicle to be top heavy and hard to handle on the trails. In order to make this feat happen, Perfection opened up the fender wells in a manner that made it look completely factory, and while this may sound simple, it is quite the opposite. Further body modifications were conducted in house that involved removing the back of the cab area in order to allow for a custom rack for spare tires, tools, and equipment.

UACC-BOXED-FRAMEUnderneath the body of the Cherokee Chief we made a ton of frame modifications to ensure it wasn’t zigging when we were trying to zag. How about a fully boxed frame? CHECK! Custom boxed cross members? YEP! Fully boxed and sleeved rear bumper welded to the rear frame spars? WHY NOT?! Some might think we’re going completely overkill on making this rig indestructible, but if anyone has witnessed our driving style, we prefer to go big, and not have to go home. Further custom modifications include custom engine mounts, heavy duty body mounts, and basically anything that gets mounted to something else, it was designed and built. And many of these products couldn’t have been accomplished if it weren’t for our friends at Shamrock Machining. They make it too easy for us. Once we have the completed design in SolidWorks, we send the file to them and they go to work with their laser cutters and CNC equipment. That just leaves welding everything together and mounting it on the vehicle for us.

UACC-BODYTo really get the Chief to the point we wanted it, it’s obvious we wouldn’t be able to build EVERYTHING, and would be sourcing many rock solid products from various manufacturers, and still building some of our own. To start things off, a set of Dynatrac axle assemblies were in order, and to accommodate this build, we decided to go with none other than a Pro Rock 80 in the rear and a Pro Rock 60 in the front. If you’ve never had the opportunity to see these in person, you can’t imagine the physical girth of them, and our driving style will be a true testament to their indestructability. At the ends of each axle assembly are a set of 40” Maxxis Trepador Bias Ply tires wrapped around TrailReady wheels that will together keep our rig moving in, out, and around any obstacle that dare lie in our path. And to further provide testimony that getting stuck is not an option for us, we looked to ARB for a set of their Air Lockers that will give us the ability of locking and unlocking the carriers at will. And if none of the above gets us out of whatever mayhem we’ve found ourselves in, WARN has taken care of us with one of their new Zeon 10-s winches that features 10,000 pounds of pulling capacity and their newly designed planetary gear train for quick recoveries.

uacc-transfer-caseNow in order to ensure the Viper’s horsepower is properly getting to the Dynatrac axles, BD Power hooked us up with one of their billet 48RE transmissions that we’ve used numerous times in the past behind high horsepower Cummins power plants and has truly proven itself. Mounted behind the BD 48RE is one of the highly acclaimed Atlas II 3:1 Highland Transfer Case that will allow us to crawl when necessary, but also test the rev limiter on the Viper when we can.

In order to provide a robust mount for the Atlas II to prevent against any deflection that can occur, we designed a billet transfer case support in SolidWorks and made a trip to our friends at MachineHead Racing for the machine work. Built from a solid piece of 6061 billet, this mount bolts around the outlet of the transfer case and is a true piece of artwork.

As this newsletter is being written, its nearly already outdated with the constant progress being made on the UACC, so be sure to check out our next newsletter with a finished product and some testing results of this behemoth!

 

2013 “Alternate” Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road Ultimate Adventure

This year will be referred to as the Alternate Ultimate Adventure.  We were plagued with little issues that popped up at various stages of the Ultimate Adventure, only to point us in a different direction for our own personal AUA.  In following with the rules from this year’s UA, there was no whining from the Offroad Power Products (OPP) crew, and there was plenty of hydration as this was in the hot and muggy dirty South.  Our first indicator that it was going to be a little different than everyone else’s experience occurred on the very first obstacle of the first trail day when Cooper took the diesel JK up what should have been a relatively uneventful obstacle, only to find out the front locker wasn’t engaging and the skinny pedal wasn’t friends with the rear ring gear.  We removed all the teeth from the ring gear at that point and limped back to town with FWD low range.  To fix this issue, we set up a flatbed tow truck to haul us to a 4 Wheel Parts outlet in Atlanta where Cooper began the tear down process to assess the extent of things.

2013-ultimate-adventure-jeep-jk-cummins-1At that point, we left “Hotlanta” with the front locker working and all the gears set up and working properly, happy as clams to be rejoining the UA crew in Georgia for some 4 Wheelering.  We ended up showing up just in time to head back to camp for our host dinner of smoked pig, which was a welcome treat at that point.  Next day was a road day that would take us to Florida.  After a few hours of driving, we took a small detour to a wrecking yard where AUA event number two would take place.  There was a lonely car in the parking lot that was screaming for someone to drive over it.  So without skipping a beat, Cooper decided to go ahead and give it what it wanted.  Unfortunately, this caused an issue with a weak radiator to rear its little head, splitting the top part of the tank off of the radiator.  Luckily, we managed to locate a replacement radiator a “measly” 300 miles away.  Remember, at this point of the AUA, we were still in the Florida heat, so babying the JK along with the heater on full tilt in order to alleviate any overheating issues wasn’t THAT bad to deal with.

2013-ultimate-adventure-jeep-jk-cummins-2We picked up the new radiator at a Performance Radiator in Jacksonville, FL and proceeded to make the 60 mile trek to that evening’s campsite just as it got dark, meeting up with the rest of the UA crew at the exact same time.  A little parking lot radiator swap had us ready for the next day that would surely test any weak points in the coolant system.  The day could best be described as “stinky, soupy mud day,” as it was spent tearing up a mass of “mud” strewn fields and water holes.  Many a time throughout the day you would hear someone yell “Hey that isn’t mud!” as this park also doubled as a cattle ranch with over 1200 head of cattle wandering around, leaving their mark wherever the need arose.

2013-ultimate-adventure-jeep-jk-cummins-3The next day brought about another road day, another highlight of the trip, as we had the opportunity to drive the whole crew of vehicles onto the beach in Daytona.  This was one of the most welcome sights as we also got to go for a swim and scrub some of the nastiness from our tired bodies (this may go down as one of the stinkiest and funkiest UA’s in history).   The next day led to another road day, AKA our last day wheelering.  The day was going perfect, Jeep was flawless, but about halfway through the day the tranny shifted into neutral and stayed there as a default.  After pulling off with Trent McGee from Airaid, we determined that the pump in the tranny had given up.  At this point, with the extent of this repair, we threw in the towel for the diesel JK and stashed it at the local Napa Auto Parts store to retrieve at a later date.  Bryan and Cooper then hopped into Hercules (Fred Williams of Petersen’s Magazine’s O.D. Green 5.9 Cummins JK) to make the remainder of the trip to South Carolina for the final day of 4Wheelering.  The final day was no let down, there were only two obstacles of the day, but because of the red clay and the complete and total lack of traction, it made for some rather amazing spectating.

All in all, we wouldn’t change a thing.  The rules are the rules for the reason they are, and they carry on to more than just the Ultimate Adventure, no whining.  We had some issues and all of them were diagnosed to a specific fault that is repairable.  Even with all the time away from the UA, we still met some amazing people from all over the country and learned a lot (like we love the weather in the North West) and will never forget this year’s Alternate Ultimate Adventure.

Written By: Cooper Rasmussen

Offroad Power Products Returns to Ultimate Adventure 2013

Apparently we did something right last year, because Petersen’s 4Wheel & Off-Road Magazine has invited us back, yet again, nominating Off-Road Power Products as the Official Retailer for the Ultimate Adventure.  Last year, we spent a week camping out of the back of our 4BT Cummins powered Jeep JK and Dodge MegaCab rooting around the trails, highways, and byways of the Pacific Northwest with the crew from Petersen’s, additional sponsors, and a group of lucky readers to see whose rigs would make it out alive on some of the most challenging trails that the area has to offer.  For those that are not familiar with the Ultimate Adventure, a group of Petersen’s readers are selected to participate with sponsors, and the staff of Petersen’s, on literally, an ultimate adventure.   Participants are given extremely short notice of where they need to be somewhere in the country on a given date with a vehicle capable of off-roading in nearly any environment, as well as have the ability to travel to various destinations on public roadways, at least relatively legally.  And to top it off, you spend the entire time camping out of your vehicle and doing trail side repairs as necessary.  This event has no “winner,” but rather a gathering of soon-to-be friends enjoying their favorite hobby, trying to make it to the final destination after a week of wheeling.

As this newsletter is being written, our crew is hastily getting ready for the 2013 Ultimate Adventure and wondering exactly where this year will have us traveling.  We will again bring our 4BT JK, but with the addition of a “few” goodies since last year!  Let’s see, where should we start on the list of upgrades since last year?  How about:

  • Dynatrac Pro Rock 44 Front and Pro Rock 66 Rear axle assemblies
  • Trucklite LED headlights
  • Synergy Suspension KOH Front Bumper Stinger
  • Synergy Rock Guards
  • Savvy Offroad Trail Doors
  • 40” Toyo M/T’s provided by Les Schwab mounted to a set of ATX Slab Beadlocks
  • S-Pod
  • DC Power Inc. alternator
  • Rear cage extension
  • Atlast 2 transfer case with JK shifters in a 3.8:1 ratio
  • ICON Vehicle Dynamics dual bypass shocks at all corners
  • Reid Racing Steering Knuckles
  • Last but not least, a little exhaust modification!
  • ATS 4L60E Torque Converter

Like we said, just a “few” simple modifications.  Also since last year, our Ford Raptor SD has been built and put through the paces in Moab and many other tribulations, so we thought what better rig to take?  Just like last year’s dedication of the MegaCab, the Raptor SD will again be responsible for transporting camera crew and equipment through the hairy trails that our fearless leaders take us upon.

Now the big question is where will UA13 actually take place?  We are still unsure of its exact location, but a little birdie let us in on a few hints.  So to take advantage of these insinuations, we’ve stocked up on a few pallets of mosquito repellent and moved the transmission controller for the JK into the glove box in case we encounter any river or swamp crossings!  This year, we will be riding topless and without the luxury of air conditioning in the JK, so we are sure to stock up on plenty of ice and cool drinks to keep cool in our Grizzly cooler.  We will deliver the results of UA13 in the next upcoming newsletter, cross your fingers that we came out relatively unscathed!

Ultimate Adventure 2012 – 5 Days to go!

Counting today it’s 5 days until we leave for Petersen’s 4 Wheel & Off-Road Magazine’s Ultimate Adventure. Only 1 out of the 4 rigs coming out of our shop doesn’t have a motor at this point.Hazzard Fabworx finished up the official UA Jeep on Friday and it rolled out on a trailer. All that’s left is the Mega Cab, our diesel JK and Rocky Dorame‘s Jeep. The road test will be a 9 hour drive on Friday. Sunday we start rock bashing! If anybody is interested in keeping up with the progress of the event here’s the Petersen’s link page… Petersons 4-Wheel and Off-Road Magazine Online

Hazzard FabWorx chosen as Official Fabricator of Petersen’s 4-wheel & Off-Road 2012 Ultimate Adventure

Hazzard Fab.Worx buggy in action

Hazzard Fab.Worx "Official Fabricator" of the 2012 Peterson's Ultimate Adventure

Spokane’s own Hazzard FabWorx was recently selected by Petersen’s 4-Wheel &Offroad magazine as the Official Fab Shop of the 2012 Ultimate Adventure. The Ultimate Adventure is a 9 day off-roading adventure trip of a lifetime. The annual event tasks drivers with the ultimate road trip from state to state and trail to trail with no towing allowed. It has evolved into one of the most incredible wheeling experiences on the planet. The primary rule of the Ultimate Adventure is “No whining! “
As the official fabrication shop, HazzardFabWorx is charged with building the flagship rig of the event. Since Jeep is the official vehicle of this year’s Ultimate Adventure the platform for the build is a new 2-door jeep Wrangler. HazzardFabWorx will take a concept designed by Fred Williams of Petersen’s and make it a reality. The details of the build are kept under tight wraps until the Jeeps unveiling.
HazzardFabWorx has gained notoriety for building Ultra 4 off-road race cars which are capable of competing in multiple disciplines during grueling events such as King of the Hammers. It was at these events that HazzardFabWorx caught the eye of Fred Williams, the technical editor of 4-Wheel &Offroad magazine and the man in charge of coordinating the build on the official vehicle of the Ultimate Adventure for the magazine.
The catch in all of this is that the 2012 Jeep Wrangler JK came off of the assembly line in Toledo March 15th and after undergoing a few preliminary modifications and some administrative necessities it arrived in Spokane on the morning of April 16th. The actual dates of the event are unknown, but previous trips have often fallen during the week of 4th of July, so the clock is ticking.
Bearing in mind the intensity of the proposed build one would think that aiming for a completion date of the middle of June (leaving time for a fresh paint job after fab work is done) would be completely unrealistic. For most shops it would be but HazzardFabWorx has a history of putting together incredibly capable off-road cars under inconceivable time constraints. Luke Shuman, owner and head fabricator, Rocky Dorame of HazzardFabWorx welcome the challenge and the opportunity to further showcase their talents on a national level.
For more info check out www.HazzardFabworx.com and watch for updates at www.4wor.com as well as www.facebook.com/4wheeloffroad .
Hazzard FabWorx
9718 E. Fairview Crt
Spokane, WA 99206
509.995.1176
[email protected]