Project Black Widow

Racing is something everyone here at Blue Torch Fab has a passion for.  King of the Hammers specifically is the most anticipated races of the off-road rock sport season and is our goal for 2012.  We have been meticulously building this new car for 2012, focusing on every little detail.  We have essentially built a chassis around the parts, rather than the parts around the chassis.  Building it like that has allowed us to make use of every area of the chassis and ensure that no space was wasted.  After our last car was sold we began work on this rear engine, single-seat chassis.  The name “Black Widow” came from the chassis design as it looked similar to a spider.  The whole idea behind this car is to be different.  We chose a single seat chassis for decreased weight, and increased visibility.  The steering is like no other.  The chassis is completely asymmetrical. The car has gone through several different versions before we found a design we liked.  The car originally was to have a steering gear box and a drag link.  However, due to packaging we had to get rid of the gear box and full hydraulic was not an option due to the issues full hydro has at speed.  The feedback in the steering is something very important for this build so after much engineering we decided to go with a rack and pinion steering setup from Howe Performance Steering. 

Rack and pinion steering is something you would see on an independent suspension.  The rack has never been used on a solid axle design to our knowledge.  This provided us with the challenge of making it work.  The main issue was the steering shaft to the rack, so we designed a system of reverser boxes that allow us to run a steering shaft at the same plain of the upper link mount straight into the rack with minimal movement.  The rack would require a custom made mounting system that would not interfere with the suspension or chassis.  In addition we would also have to design and machine custom high-steer arms for the axle.  The axles are Currie fabricated housings with 10” Gearworks third members built by Superior Axle.  The front axle uses Spidertrax knuckles and C’s and BTF Unit Bearing Eliminators all around.  We’re running CTM 300M shafts front and rear.  We chose a solid front axle design over independent front suspension because we feel that in the rocks a solid front axle has way more of an advantage than it does a disadvantage in the desert sections.  Another cool feature are the Wilwood brakes.  We are using 6 calipers in total on the car, 2 on each rear wheel and 1 on each front.  The rear will have calipers and a completely separate system specifically for cutting brakes. We wanted to maximize visibility so we went with a rear engine design using a 6.2 LS3 from TurnKey.  We are hoping that with this motor and the weight decrease of using a small single-seat chassis will be an advantage all around.  Behind the LS3 is a Hughes built TH400 auto trans and an atlas 2 speed transfer case.  The suspension is a 3-link design front and rear with a panhard bar.  All the links are made from 2” .250 wall DOM with1.25” QA1 Rod Ends.  We used 14” travel Fox coilovers with 14” Fox triple bypass shocks front and rear.   For tires we went with the tire that has never let us down, BFGoodrich red label Krawlers mounted on a set of 17” Walker Evans Racing beadlocks with 5/8” wheel studs.  We are very excited to announce Miller Welders as our title sponsor with this car and will be with us at KOH 2012.  Check them out at