Sherpa Equipment Co.

Sherpa Equipment Co.
Official Vendor
Joined
Jan 28, 2019
Messages
73
Location
Fort Collins, CO
#2
INTRODUCTION

Our “Hammers” story actually begins out on the lakebed, and for that, we feel more fortunate than most. In 2012, Will worked in the pits for a team that had been around since the start. It was that trip that locked him into photographing the race, and its local off-shoots, for the next 7 years. Also a photographer, Alex quickly found himself sucked into the adrenaline rush that is KOH week. In many ways, it’s what led the two to start their first business in the industry before the age of 20. Their company, Sherpa Equipment Co., manufactures storage solutions for the Toyota off-road community. Now that the business has its own legs the two are looking to get back out on the lakebed and put their driving skills to the test.


OUR TEAM

We at Sherpa Motorsports have a great community of friends and family who want to help us build this car to be one of the most capable and tough 4th gens out there. We have a dedicated pit crew who is chomping at the bit to help build, prep and maintain the race car for the upcoming race season and seasons to come.​

ALEX FLEMING
Driver
Practically born behind the wheel, Alex has been wheeling or going fast most of his life. Alex has also spent the last 4 years studying marketing and journalism. He understands the significance of going fast and making sure our sponsors get the attention they deserve.

WILL OLIVER
Co-Driver
Known as the “Spotter” in the group, Will has been known to be able to walk just about anyone through the toughest of obstacles. Will also studied design and marketing. As a photographer, he has been shooting KOH since 2012.

HAYDEN DEATHERAGE
Crew Chief
Recently graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, with an internship at NASA and experience with CSU’s Formula SAE program.

JIM REYNOLDS
Suspension Pit Team
15 years of experience in the suspension industry having worked at Honda designing components for the NSX, King Racing Shocks, and now Specialty Vehicle Products.

CAMERON AMIS, NOAH MICHAELSON, and NICK CRAIGMYLE
General Pit Team
Cameron, Noah, and Nick have been in and around Toyota’s from an early age. These guys are truly the ones who can fix just about anything themselves. With years of employment in different auto repair/off-road shops, we couldn’t be more excited to have these guys rounding out our pit team.​


THE 4600 CLASS

This class has been racing in ULTRA4 since 2012. It is one of the 4 classes that races on Thursday of KOH week during the Smittybilt Every Man Challenge. The class was created as the perfect opportunity for aftermarket manufacturers to showcase their consumer-based products. The vehicles are easily relatable for the spectators, oftentimes because it is the same vehicle they have at home in their garage.​


THE VEHICLE
CLASS RESTRICTIONS:
Stock OEM Frame
Factory Engine
Factory Transmission
35” DOT Approved Tires
Single 2.5” Shocks per Corner
Shocks Limited to 14” of Travel
Mechanical Steering


The IFS suspension is not something that is regularly seen within the stock class up until this last year. SRQRacing and Steel City Racing both raced IFS Toyotas this last season and brought some much need attention to the platform. The larger 4400 Unlimited Class cars have been using the advantages of IFS to continuously win races. We hope to bring this same winning streak to the stock class. Many people who participate in this market segment are predominately using IFS based platforms and thus the suspension showcased on our vehicle will be of relevance to them. This platform, when combined with our technical ability in the
rocks will be the winning ticket.​
 

Sherpa Equipment Co.

Sherpa Equipment Co.
Official Vendor
Joined
Jan 28, 2019
Messages
73
Location
Fort Collins, CO
#3
The Beginning, August 28th, 2019.


We found the heart and soul of our racecar!



We have been looking for a vehicle to be the platform for this build since early June, and we found many potential vehicles but this one presented itself and it was too good to pass up. We also got a great deal on it which helps a lot.

It is a 2004 V8 4runner with 195k miles. We were told it had a little less but really not a big deal. The motor runs really smooth and drives decent. Definitely in need of some love in the suspension department but most everything underneath is getting ripped out and replaced with something else anyway.

This vehicle was auctioned off as a salvage title non-running vehicle. Come to find that it had been previously stolen, the head unit was ripped out and lots of wires under the dash had been cut. They spliced everything together and it fired right up. Other than some minor body damage, some paint fade, and a cracked dash its a pretty awesome truck.

We drove it almost 150 miles home with no hiccups other than the 4low light randomly coming on. We also found out that 4low does not engage. (pretty common if it is seldom used by the previous owner).

We think this will make a great platform for us to build off of and we are super excited to get the build going.






We also picked up some goodies from PRPSeats!



Next step is tear down and a roll cage!
 

Sherpa Equipment Co.

Sherpa Equipment Co.
Official Vendor
Joined
Jan 28, 2019
Messages
73
Location
Fort Collins, CO
#4
Tear Down

This last weekend we got the crew together and we tore the inside of this car apart. All the seats, the interior panels, the glass, airbags, carpet, you name it. We gutted everything we don't need.

This took about 3-4 hours with some time to drink beer and mess around. We also vacuumed and pressure washed everything that we could to make it as clean as possible.




Beer keeping everyone happy!



A little test fit of the PRP Seats.




This was the stopping point for the weekend. Everything is out and ready for cage measurements. We never ran into anything super weird, we tried our hardest not to break anything and that worked great. The most time-consuming thing was the dash, as well as the rear glass was hard to fish out.




We are excited to the for the cage build, should be moving on that in the next couple weeks.
 

Sherpa Equipment Co.

Sherpa Equipment Co.
Official Vendor
Joined
Jan 28, 2019
Messages
73
Location
Fort Collins, CO
#5
Tear Down Continued...

This last weekend we continued to tear down the vehicle. The main things we tackled was removing the rest of the glass. This was a bit of a process as we had never pulled glass before. We also managed to crack the windshield prior to removal which made it much harder as it splintered as we worked it out.

We did manage to get it out though and we learned a lot during the process!

We also pulled out the driver airbag, this was super easy. There are two T30's under each plastic cover on the wheel and the whole thing just pops out. We plan to replace it with a nice aluminum cover and run the stock wheel for a little while. Eventually, we will replace it with a quick disconnect wheel to make it a little easier to get out of the vehicle in an emergency though it doesn't seem that it will be a big issue as is...



We pulled the rear glass as well, these came out fairly easy, we used a torch and some welding wire to cut the glue and with some patience and muscle, they came out unscathed. We plan to replace these with aluminum panels that we can use to mount fans for trans cooler and maybe power steering cooler as well. Then a fill neck on the opposite side. Managed to not grab a picture of these sadly but you'll see soon enough.

We lastly made up a quick bracket for the driver seat to hard mount it where we want while we design the cage around it. We should only need the one as the cage will be symmetrical so we will just mirror what we do on the driver side to the passenger side. We will then replace the mount with a mount that ties into the cage and frame because these nuts are known to rip out in a hard crash.





We started designing the cage and ordering more things to get the cage started here shortly.

We have a Warn VR-10S Platinum with some goodies coming our way. 8 General Grabber X3's. Doug Thorley long tube Headers, Mid-Pipes and new O2 Sensors. The Marlin Crawler kit should be buttoned up around mid-October as well. We need to hit a junk hard and find a Ford 9" and order up the components needed for that as well.

We should have all the wiring components we need ordered here in the next couple weeks along with a Switch-Pros system.

We also need to order some more stuff from PRP Seats, we are going to run their harnesses, window nets, and limit straps. Just getting the details finalized and need to send in our window net templates.

This car should start looking more and more like a race car here pretty soon. Beyond excited for the progression of this build and the awesome connections we are making within the industry and community. We love seeing how stoked everyone is and how supportive people are of this build.
 

Sherpa Equipment Co.

Sherpa Equipment Co.
Official Vendor
Joined
Jan 28, 2019
Messages
73
Location
Fort Collins, CO
#6
TPMS Sensor Bypass

This mod is super easy, we will not be running TPMS sensors so we wanted to get rid of the light on our dash. It was already flashing when picked up the car and frankly just did not want to deal with it. So we get rid of it!

There a lot of threads on here explaining this well, we referenced this one by @txt4r on T4R.
Write-up: How to Disable (Bypass) the TPMS

To save you some trouble this is all you need to do.

"Steps (on my '05 4Runner):
Disconnect the battery (Although I did not do this)
Take out the screw that holds the black plastic panel located below the glove box
Gently pull the black panel and it should just pop out
Drop the panel and you will see that the TPMS module is right there
Unplug the harness (as show in the second picture below)
Use utility knife or scissors and cut the yellow type open (BE CAREFUL-Not to cut the wires!!!!)
Inside the yellow type there is another layer of black type, cut that open as well (again, BE CAREFUL Not to cut the wires!!!)
Now, look for two wires: the Pink-Black one (TPMS) and the White-Black (ground) wire (see below the third picture)
Use Scotchlok wire connector to connect the Pink-Black wire and the White-Black wire (watch youtube Scotchlok Wiring Demo clip here: ScotchLok Wiring Connector Demonstration - etrailer.com - YouTube) NOTE: Check both channels inside the connector. If one channel is blocked, you need to cut out the plastic block to make adjustment so that the wire can go through just like the other channel).
Done! The TPMS light is now bypassed and the light will never come back on. (Note: this mod is reversable by simply removing the connector or wire a switch to turn it on or off: see TPMS light bypass switch)

Since the TPMS is disabled, be sure to check your tire pressure regularly."

Here is ours



No more light!!

 

4runner DOA

Hold my beer
Staff member
Joined
Oct 2, 2018
Messages
12,568
Location
OC
#7
TPMS Sensor Bypass

This mod is super easy, we will not be running TPMS sensors so we wanted to get rid of the light on our dash. It was already flashing when picked up the car and frankly just did not want to deal with it. So we get rid of it!

There a lot of threads on here explaining this well, we referenced this one by @txt4r on T4R.
Write-up: How to Disable (Bypass) the TPMS

To save you some trouble this is all you need to do.

"Steps (on my '05 4Runner):
Disconnect the battery (Although I did not do this)
Take out the screw that holds the black plastic panel located below the glove box
Gently pull the black panel and it should just pop out
Drop the panel and you will see that the TPMS module is right there
Unplug the harness (as show in the second picture below)
Use utility knife or scissors and cut the yellow type open (BE CAREFUL-Not to cut the wires!!!!)
Inside the yellow type there is another layer of black type, cut that open as well (again, BE CAREFUL Not to cut the wires!!!)
Now, look for two wires: the Pink-Black one (TPMS) and the White-Black (ground) wire (see below the third picture)
Use Scotchlok wire connector to connect the Pink-Black wire and the White-Black wire (watch youtube Scotchlok Wiring Demo clip here: ScotchLok Wiring Connector Demonstration - etrailer.com - YouTube) NOTE: Check both channels inside the connector. If one channel is blocked, you need to cut out the plastic block to make adjustment so that the wire can go through just like the other channel).
Done! The TPMS light is now bypassed and the light will never come back on. (Note: this mod is reversable by simply removing the connector or wire a switch to turn it on or off: see TPMS light bypass switch)

Since the TPMS is disabled, be sure to check your tire pressure regularly."

Here is ours



No more light!!

I need to do the tpms mod one of these days.
 

4runner DOA

Hold my beer
Staff member
Joined
Oct 2, 2018
Messages
12,568
Location
OC
#9
As long as you have the right connector and about 5 minutes of time it is super fast and easy. Some people have also put a switch inline so they can turn it on and off but we didn't see the point in our application.
I haven't had working sensors in years, but the light hasn't bothered me that much to care to do it.
 

Sherpa Equipment Co.

Sherpa Equipment Co.
Official Vendor
Joined
Jan 28, 2019
Messages
73
Location
Fort Collins, CO
#12
General Update (October 2nd, 2019)
Quick update for you all.
Things are starting to trickle in for the racecar!

First is our tires for this build.

We first did some test fitting while it was still stock because why not. We tested the tires from a personal vehicle. Looks good! Of course, 35's on any 4runner is nice.



But these are what we will be running!

They are General Tire Grabber x3's in a 35x12.5r17 flavor! We are pumped on these tires. Huge shoutout to General Tire for supporting our team and coming aboard as our tire sponsor for the foreseeable future. They got us started with 2 full sets to keep us rolling in case we had a couple failures. Though we don't plan on it being an issue we did not want tires to be the thing that kept us from finishing a race so we are well prepared with this setup.




We just need some wheels and we can get these mounted up! Still deciding on what wheels to run. We are chatting with a company that works mostly in Europe doing things like Rally Cross, Dakar, and other series but hoping to bring some attention to their product in the US market and in our application. So hopefully more on that at a later date. THEY LOOK REALLY GOOD as well.

Next is our Medium Duty Epic Recovery Kit from Warn Industries.


This kit is going to be awesome for races that we find ourselves needing it, everything gets packed nicely into a backpack. Being organized and able to pull this out in a pinch with no hassle can save us valuable time. This will also be great to have at events we are not participating in so we can help the staff with recovery or emergencies.



Excited to get the rest of our Warn recovery gear.

We finally tracked down a good supplier for our steel as well, we have about 200ft of tube in our shop as of today as well as the means to get the cage started. I want to give a huge shoutout to Scotty at Addicted Offroad for his advice and time on this subject. He pointed us in the right direction on where to get our materials at a great price here locally.

Lastly, the first episode of the series is live!! If you guys want to watch the build process as well as read it, definitely check it out and share it with your friends who like race car things.

 

AssBurns

will wheel for beer
Staff member
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
6,564
Age
28
Location
Yucaipa, CA
#13
General Update (October 2nd, 2019)
Quick update for you all.
Things are starting to trickle in for the racecar!

First is our tires for this build.

We first did some test fitting while it was still stock because why not. We tested the tires from a personal vehicle. Looks good! Of course, 35's on any 4runner is nice.



But these are what we will be running!

They are General Tire Grabber x3's in a 35x12.5r17 flavor! We are pumped on these tires. Huge shoutout to General Tire for supporting our team and coming aboard as our tire sponsor for the foreseeable future. They got us started with 2 full sets to keep us rolling in case we had a couple failures. Though we don't plan on it being an issue we did not want tires to be the thing that kept us from finishing a race so we are well prepared with this setup.




We just need some wheels and we can get these mounted up! Still deciding on what wheels to run. We are chatting with a company that works mostly in Europe doing things like Rally Cross, Dakar, and other series but hoping to bring some attention to their product in the US market and in our application. So hopefully more on that at a later date. THEY LOOK REALLY GOOD as well.

Next is our Medium Duty Epic Recovery Kit from Warn Industries.


This kit is going to be awesome for races that we find ourselves needing it, everything gets packed nicely into a backpack. Being organized and able to pull this out in a pinch with no hassle can save us valuable time. This will also be great to have at events we are not participating in so we can help the staff with recovery or emergencies.



Excited to get the rest of our Warn recovery gear.

We finally tracked down a good supplier for our steel as well, we have about 200ft of tube in our shop as of today as well as the means to get the cage started. I want to give a huge shoutout to Scotty at Addicted Offroad for his advice and time on this subject. He pointed us in the right direction on where to get our materials at a great price here locally.

Lastly, the first episode of the series is live!! If you guys want to watch the build process as well as read it, definitely check it out and share it with your friends who like race car things.

Looks like a good time. Lots of work ahead of you but I’m sure it’s going to be a blast!
 

Sherpa Equipment Co.

Sherpa Equipment Co.
Official Vendor
Joined
Jan 28, 2019
Messages
73
Location
Fort Collins, CO
#19
Slinging Tube (October, 6th 2019)


We finally got a bender all set up and started on some tube projects. The first of which is a rear bumper. Being that none of us have experience working with tube we decided to start on a smaller project than the cage to learn the bender and the process of measuring 100 times and cutting only a few times... I feel like I picked it up fast and only made minor mistakes. The biggest learning curve for me was measuring out where to put the tube in the die to get my bends where I need them. But taking my time and getting the feel for everything has made this easier. I did most of the bumper solo as the team was gone all day Saturday but here was the process.

First I cut out the stock cross member and welded on some new plates to start off the project off of. I thought about using 1'4" plate here but the frame was still fully plated in and I figured 3/16" was plenty.





I also cut the stock bumper wings at relatively the height of the hatch. I ended up cutting all the way to the height of the tape by the end. I was just using this as my reference line mostly.


Then I made a new rear cross member out of 2" .120 wall tube.


Then I bent up the outer bar.



It looks pretty slick. I made some posts to mount directly to the cross member then made some wings that bend up slightly to tie it all together. All of which I just notched with a grinder. We picked up a tube notcher the next day and they are helpful and time saving for sure.


Here is how it turned out. I need to grab some more photos at some point soon once it is fully welded up.



Next, we started on the cage with confidence that we won't ruin a bunch of tube. All we got done in the hour and a half we worked on it was the main dash bar, but that gets kickstarted for sure.






 
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