Alex Fleming

Owner at Sherpa Equipment Co.
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Fort Collins, CO
Tonight is the last night before the 4runner is loaded up and headed out to California to get wrapped, fiberglass installed and buttoning up a few loose ends.

Here is what we have finished.

First, the front suspension, steering, front diff, and everything that goes along with that.

The arms are from Total Chaos, it is their +3.5 kit. We ended up having to run the 8" Coilover again as we couldn't really get the 10" to work without need a coil compressor to install and uninstall and we did not want to deal with that on the lake bed if we had to pull it out for some reason. The 8" will still work amazing but hope to get the 10" to work with maybe a shorter shaft down the road.

We made our double sheer steering and hiem setup, this was hard as the misalignments we got were not right and we had to get creative to get our travel back without binding the hiem. This isn't ideal yet and definitely stole some down travel from us. Still way stronger and will work. Also, drilling out spindles suuuuuuucks. We upsized to a 3/4" bolt which was awful. We may end up sleeving this and running a smaller bolt to get more misalignment in the future.

The front diff, steering rack and oil pan are all really tightly packed now. It's extremely tight with the 200 series rack in there but it works.

We also swapped the studs on the front to match the rear axle.

Here it all is together.





















Its wide...







But, all the wiring is finished, diffs are in, the rear axle is done, custom brake lines are all done (that was a big project), new window nets, new limit straps front and rear, intake is in, new radiator and hoses, fluids changed and a good bit more of random things.

We have a decent list of things to knock out tonight then it's off to Beyond Wraps for some tasty vinyl goodness.
 

AssBurns

will wheel for beer
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Hell yeah! Stoked to see this thing at hammers taking on some abuse!

how come you guys decided on 10” coilovers instead of just sticking with 8’s? Any reason in particular?

yeah I bet drilling out to 3/4” was a huge bitch! Bummer it was done in vein. You’d probably be just fine with double shear 1/2” bolts for more misalignment, 9/16” should be pretty strong and more than enough for steering.
 
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Hell yeah! Stoked to see this thing at hammers taking on some abuse!

how come you guys decided on 10” coilovers instead of just sticking with 8’s? Any reason in particular?
he said they had to compress the coil for install. And it’d be a pain to swap in the desert if something happened. Sounds like they don’t want it badly enough tho lolol
 

AssBurns

will wheel for beer
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he said they had to compress the coil for install. And it’d be a pain to swap in the desert if something happened. Sounds like they don’t want it badly enough tho lolol
Wondering why they bought 10” coilovers in the first place when most LT kits only call for 8”. Just curious if they had a reason for trying to stuff a bigger coilover in there.
 

Alex Fleming

Owner at Sherpa Equipment Co.
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Messages
132
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Location
Fort Collins, CO
Wondering why they bought 10” coilovers in the first place when most LT kits only call for 8”. Just curious if they had a reason for trying to stuff a bigger coilover in there.
We thought the 10's would work well as the compressed length still allowed for full bump but the extended under load is just huge. Our upper shock mount is about 2" higher than the factory so in my head 8+2=10... Yea. In hindsight we really need a 9" coilover.
 

Hank

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We thought the 10's would work well as the compressed length still allowed for full bump but the extended under load is just huge. Our upper shock mount is about 2" higher than the factory so in my head 8+2=10... Yea. In hindsight we really need a 9" coilover.
If you can make the 10" shocks work, you could get a dual rate spring up front to help take small chatter bumps out.
 

Alex Fleming

Owner at Sherpa Equipment Co.
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
132
Age
23
Location
Fort Collins, CO
If you can make the 10" shocks work, you could get a dual rate spring up front to help take small chatter bumps out.
Yea the ones we had built had dual-rate, well at least two coils, one 500lbs, and one 700lbs. Would have been great as the truck feels like a brick at slow speeds and in chop to even remotely handle race pace and large hits. The new setup we ended up with at hammers went from a 600lbs 16" coil to a 18" 700lbs coil and we still want a bit more spring to catch the truck. probably bump to a 18" 750lbs.

The rear we are running a 400 over stock spring and even back there we want more. We don't want to add any height to the rear and we need a 4" longer coil, so we will have to do some playing around to find something that will work.

Than, we just need to do some major shock tuning, would have made the desert lap so much faster for us.

Sidenote... Full race recap coming very soon!
 

4runner DOA

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Yea the ones we had built had dual-rate, well at least two coils, one 500lbs, and one 700lbs. Would have been great as the truck feels like a brick at slow speeds and in chop to even remotely handle race pace and large hits. The new setup we ended up with at hammers went from a 600lbs 16" coil to a 18" 700lbs coil and we still want a bit more spring to catch the truck. probably bump to a 18" 750lbs.

The rear we are running a 400 over stock spring and even back there we want more. We don't want to add any height to the rear and we need a 4" longer coil, so we will have to do some playing around to find something that will work.

Than, we just need to do some major shock tuning, would have made the desert lap so much faster for us.

Sidenote... Full race recap coming very soon!
Talk with Dobinson about the rear coil. I'm running the 650 lb 3" coil and it was key for handling the weight I carry in the rear. You might need to step up to a 700 with the fuel cell, rear bumper, and spare. I still need to tune too because I'm hitting my bumps on hard hits, but I bet Dobinson can do a custom coil for you.

Excited to see the recap. Was fun watching you guys make your way through Spooner.
 

AssBurns

will wheel for beer
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Said this in another thread yesterday. If you don't need more height, and your spring still has preload at full droop, then you need to focus on valving more than spring rate. It's better to be undersprung and over valved than to be oversprung and under valved. I'd start with a full shock tuning session and see were that puts you. I'm guessing you probably don't need more spring.
 

4runner DOA

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Said this in another thread yesterday. If you don't need more height, and your spring still has preload at full droop, then you need to focus on valving more than spring rate. It's better to be undersprung and over valved than to be oversprung and under valved. I'd start with a full shock tuning session and see were that puts you. I'm guessing you probably don't need more spring.
I had 1" of lift with a 450lb 3" coil because I had too much weight. Valving ain't gonna fix that. I don't think you understand how much these 4th gen pigs weigh to begin with. :rofl:
 

Dezert4Runner

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I had 1" of lift with a 450lb 3" coil because I had too much weight. Valving ain't gonna fix that. I don't think you understand how much these 4th gen pigs weigh to begin with. :rofl:
Higher spring rate affects rebound too, so you’re still relying on the shock being tuned for the spring rate in relation to vehicles weight at a certain point, no?
 

Alex Fleming

Owner at Sherpa Equipment Co.
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
132
Age
23
Location
Fort Collins, CO
Said this in another thread yesterday. If you don't need more height, and your spring still has preload at full droop, then you need to focus on valving more than spring rate. It's better to be undersprung and over valved than to be oversprung and under valved. I'd start with a full shock tuning session and see were that puts you. I'm guessing you probably don't need more spring.
We had a few guys come out and watch the car and got a lot of advice, the maint thing we were running into is relying a lot on the shock to catch the truck and slow the travel down leading to really bad shock fade at first. Like after 2 minutes of hard bombing whoops the shocks were steaming hot. Getting stiffer springs in the front made a big difference and we still have a ton of compression on them at ride height (which is another thing we need to fix in the front) It sounds counterproductive but that front end needs to be as high as we can get it. The ruts on racecourse are so deep that we ate the front skid way too often. We even-toed in a 3/8" to help push the front up while at speed.

It's nice now that we are at a point where we shouldn't be making any major changes and we can actually start learning more about this and dialing it in to get this truck to really boogie.

Also, for reference at race trim with both driver and co-driver, we weighed in at just over 6,000 pounds. She is a heavy lady. I mean just wheels and tires alone are 550lbs including the spare. Then you add a full 2" cage etc, etc. It adds up fast.
 

Alex Fleming

Owner at Sherpa Equipment Co.
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Messages
132
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Fort Collins, CO
The 2021 King of the Hammers Trip.

This was one for the books for sure!

The trip started off the Tuesday before Hammers week, giving us a couple of days to make it out to Santa Ana, California to meet up with Beyond Wraps and get the vinyl work done for the car. We also had to make a trip down to San Diego to pick up our McNiel Racing Fiberglass fenders!



Being we drove over the Colorado passes during a snow storm we had to stop and get everything cleaned up before dropping it off with Marvin at Beyond Wraps.




Then it was time for the wrap!

Beyond Wraps was awesome, he knocked out the whole wrap in two days and even went ahead and did more than we planned on. Finding vinyl for the front fenders that matched our paint, making our design better, and overall just making the whole thing look way cooler than we had planned.



We got the fenders on and fitted. This was super easy, they lined up surprisingly well for how bent our front clip is as well!






And in the meantime, Marvin got straight to wrapping!













Marvin Killed it! The wrap turned out so amazing. It made it really hard for us to then go drag it through the rocks in Johnson Valley!


to be continued...
 

Alex Fleming

Owner at Sherpa Equipment Co.
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Messages
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Fort Collins, CO
King of the Hammers 2021 Continued...

After the wrap was finished, we packed up, stocked up on food and beer, and headed to Hammertown!



We got setup at our pit spot and immediately started working on the truck. The first order of business was getting some more ride height and a stiffer spring rate. We had a 16" 600lbs spring on the Coilover setup for the stock arms and we needed way more for the Total Chaos kit. We popped over to Shock Talk and between them and ADS they got us swapped into a 18" 700lbs spring that made a huge difference.

We also had to rebuild our lower shock tab to make the 100 series Landcruiser rack work. Our tierods were hitting our coils at full lock.
This got us a bit of ride height loads of clearance. Thanks to Bryston for welding these up for us with the ole stick welder.




Then we got to go do a photo shoot with Yukon Gear and Axle (we felt out of place being the only 4600 car lol) This was a blast though! As well as some pre-running with the crew/testing.





After the first day of testing, we found our full float rear end was a bit too full float. Our axle shaft doesn't pin to anything and with the spool, there is nothing keeping them from passing through. So that meant our shafts were playing ping pong inside our axle sliding side to side and disengaging from the slugs at the hub. Thankfully nothing broke and we caught it early, so to fix this we simply welded the axle shafts to the slug in the hub.


Then we went out for the second round of testing and pre-running the next day.

This was a blast, we ran most of the desert loop and wheeled Cougar Buttes at night!





We timed it perfectly with the sunset so we took our opportunity for some cool photos!





I wish we took photos in Cougar Buttes but we didn't. Overall great day testing and had no major issues with the car, just found every bolt that didn't have red Loctite on it as they all rattled loose.

The next day we did some more (well tried to) prerunning and some shock tuning/alignment work. We then we broke our factory steering shaft right at the factory crush zone as it was rubbing our frame. We pulled it, made a new one and got it installed before the sun went down.




While the shaft was getting fix I ran into the rock trails with another racer and walked a good bit of the rock stuff. Mainly Spooners and Outerlimits.

That evening we went out one more time for some testing and ended up smashing the front end on the back of a whoop and it cracked our radiator. We were able to get the radiator replaced that night after a quick trip to town, but it's making me rethink our front cross-member and changing to solid body mounts.



The next day we also got the car chassis tagged and passed tech! This was a huge relief being this was the deciding factor of if we were allowed to race or not.


This pretty much sums up the week leading up to race day outside of a few small odds and ends like having to buy new race suits, some random parts we added, and the 1 million zip ties we added to the racecar. That and broken leaf spring on our pit truck. (Run limit straps kids)

to be continued...
 

Alex Fleming

Owner at Sherpa Equipment Co.
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
132
Age
23
Location
Fort Collins, CO
King of the Hammers 2021 Race Day!

RACE REPORT
2021 KING OF THE HAMMERS EMC - TBD - 4600 CLASS
The Sherpa Motorsports Team took on the toughest off-road race in America with an IFS Toyota.



OUR 2021 SPONSORS
YOTA MAFIA - YUKON GEAR & AXLE - LOCKED OFFROAD SHOCKS - GENERAL TIRE - BLACK RHINO - WARN

Beyond Wraps | ARB USA | Optima Batteries | Shrockworks | BXBuilt | Gibson Exhaust | Dobinsons | Factor55 | Hot Rod Fuel Hose | Rugged Radios | Black Peak Engineering | ExtremeLED | Addicted Offroad | TKO | OTR Switches | HPS | Opt Offroad | Summit Machine | Eim Keith | McNeil Racing | 333 Fabrications

RACE DAY:
Participating in The King of the Hammers has been a dream of ours for a few years now and sitting on the starting line was surreal. It was also great to finally be racing against vehicles that were equally matched to our 4Runner. The strange thing was, we both felt pretty calm in the car as we rolled towards the start line.




LAP 1: DESERT
Our race day started with our car going off the line in position (16). We set off out the gates with a pace we felt was a good balance of keeping the car together while remaining competitive. It had become clear to us earlier in the week that the course was going to be chewed up far more than usual, and that proved true on race day. We quickly made our way to Pit 1 and after a quick inspection of the car, we were on our way. Up next was Cougar Buttes (Notches). When we pulled in there was a bit of traffic built up so Will jumped out of the car and began spotting and scouting ahead. We made quick work of the rocks until we came upon another 4600 car rolled over and several others plugging the trail. We took an alternate line around them and popped out the backside to continue on with the desert lap.





We spent the next hour or so bobbing our way through the choppy desert. We finally ran into another group of 4600 cars and we began pacing them for a while until we came upon a stopped 4800 car. We took a moment to lend them our battery jumper so they could get back on their way.

It was around this time it became clear how brutal the desert was, as we passed one broken car after another. When we made it back to pit 1 again we took on a couple of gallons of fuel and the team looked over the car. We found a couple of loose bolts but nothing too serious. Not long after we were crossing the start-finish and heading into the main pit. Once again we took on a few more gallons of fuel and the team found nothing on the car. At this point, we were beyond excited to be out of the desert lap and heading towards the rocks where we could put the car to work.






LAP 2: ROCKS
We worked our way through a few desert miles and then started our descent into Spooners. It’s amazing how big the rocks get the second you drop into the canyons out in Johnson Valley. Alex had hiked the canyons a couple of days earlier so we had enough information to put together a strategy. Immediately after dropping into the canyon the car got high centered and the WARN winch was getting put to work. We pulled the truck out and Will shifted his strategy a little bit. From that point on we were cruising through the rocks. 4679 came into the canyon behind us and we traded positions a couple of times. We made it to the bottom quickly and started working our way up Outer Limits. Not long after we ran into a group of 4600 and 4800 cars stuck in traffic after several vehicles broke. We were then notified by course workers that we had less than an hour to reach the next checkpoint or we would be timed out. We opted to spend our time helping the other drivers through the choke point. Once we all timed out we all began working our way out of Outer Limits in the dark. While our pit crew waited patiently to hear from us.










We made it back into Hammer Town and drove the race truck straight to the pizza place!



All in all, we couldn’t be happier with how the car performed on one of the most difficult KOH courses to date. The car held up to the harsh desert and exceeded our expectations in the rocks. We can’t thank our awesome friends, family, and Sponsors for supporting us at the race and over the last couple of months. Without all of you, this would have been impossible. We are looking forward to the full season ahead.


THANK YOU
We can’t thank all of our outstanding friends, family, and Sponsors enough for all of their hard work and amazing support for our program.

Bryston - Thank you so much for going above and beyond to help us repair our car after our pre-running sessions. Without your awesome welding skills and resources, we wouldn’t have been on the starting line on race day.

Yukon - Thank you to the great team over at Yukon for rolling out the red carpet. Not only did they rush us parts in the final days of the build but they also became a huge part of our team. The guys at Yukon helped us troubleshoot little problems on the lakebed with parts that weren’t even their own and continued to check on us during the week.

YotaMafia - Thank you to Breland at YotaMafia for rushing us a LT kit at the last minute after there were some supply issues with TC. The kit was a game-changer and really gave us the performance edge we have been needing over the last year racing.

General Tire - Once again we came out of a race with the same set of tires that we started racing on last year. The durability of the X3’s is absolutely mind-blowing. Anyone who has been out to KOH knows how hard it is on tires. The rocks are like razor blades and traction is everything. Thank you for building such a quality product.

Beyond Wraps - Marvin absolutely killed it on our wrap and took special care to help us get our entire Sponsor roll call taken care of and represented correctly. Not to mention he was the perfect host and let us get some last-minute work done in his shop before we headed to the lakebed.

Shock Talk and ADS Racing - These guys went above and beyond to help us make some last-minute adjustments on our car a few days before the race without ever asking for a dime. Hit them up if you are looking for some shock tuning for your project. These guys really do know their stuff.

Cheers! Til' next year King of the Hammers!


Excited to continue to get this truck more competitive and for a full season of racing ahead of us!
 

Alex Fleming

Owner at Sherpa Equipment Co.
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
132
Age
23
Location
Fort Collins, CO
I wanted to share what our Shrockworks skid plates looked like after King of the Hammers. These were all brand new skid plates before the race. They did their job and certainly protected the truck, but I think it may be time for something beefier. I'm thinking some tube structure with a 3/16" plate to fill in.
1615325966337.png

 
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