King of the Hammers is a race which combines the open desert and some of the world’s toughest rock crawling trails. King of the Hammers gets its name from an offroad area known around the world as “The Hammers”. The Hammers are located in southern California. Dave Cole and Jeff Knoll started this madness, and what has proven to be an industry changing event.
Everyone involved in the rock crawling community is wrapped up in the concept and wanting to build a vehicle for this style of an event. KOH has it all, the high speed sections in the open desert, and the tough technical rock crawling sections. A competition rock crawler will not do well at this event nor would a Class 1 desert car. The car for this event is somewhere in the middle. It is part desert racer, and part rock crawler. I don’t want to use the term rock racer as KOH is more than rock racing.
Blue Torch FabWorks, Inc decided to build a car for the 2009 KOH event. The project began taking shape late in the year with a tight deadline looming over the entire BTF crew. In October 2009 the tig machine was fired off and the tubing bender turned on. Over the next few months sleep was a luxury that was not experienced too often. The entire BTF crew along with a few volunteers didn’t let up from the word go.
The build started with laying everything out on paper. Knowing where the suspension mounting points were, how the engine would sit, bump height, ride height, and so on was very important to figure out before cutting the first piece of steel. Once the link mounting points were determined the main frame rails were drawn in Solid Works then cnc laser cut. The parts were then formed to shape on a press brake. The fabricated frame rails looked bad ass, but proved to be a time killer. Way too much time was spent building them. Laying them out, cutting, welding, and building a jig to hold them took about 2 weeks. If we would have went with a tube base structure a complete chassis would have been built in the same time frame. Cool stuff is never easy….!!!
Once the frame rails were bolted down to the jig table the tube work began. To get the chassis framed out didn’t take too long, but that is the easy part. The rest of the car fought us till the end. For the small package size we had a lot of equipment to pack into a small place. Over the next few months the car came together and race day was there before we knew it.
A few specs on the car:
Motor: Turn Key Engine Supply Its an LS… that’s all you need to know
Transmission: Art Carr 700r4
Transfer case: Atlas II
Axle Housings and steering knuckles: SpiderTrax
Axle Shafts: 300M by CTM
Chassis: 4130 moly 1.5 x .120 for the main structure.
Tires: BF Goodrich
Shocks:Fox (coil overs and triple bypass shocks)
Driveshafts: JE Reel
Front and rear suspension: 4 link
UPDATES TO CAR AFTER BUILD:
Tires: BFG Projects 37”
Extended the wheelbase
Larger Ron Davis Radiator
Larger Fuel Safe fuel cell
Custom hydro assist linked steering system
Fabricated lower links in rear
14 inch travel link mounted shocks in the rear for more travel
And some other good stuff…..