Finally, an update on this project. From where we left off on part 3, a lot has happened, both good and bad.
When part 3 ended, the RZR was running, but the air intake wasn’t set up and the power was down. We took the RZR to a local performance tuner to have them install a DynoJet tuner (giving us 2-3 ECU tunes we can change on the fly in about 10 minutes) and some clutch work. The tuner ended up charging me a lot more than anticipated, and it’s hard to tell what they actually did to earn that money. It was bad business and I wouldn’t recommend them. But it left the tuner with 163 hp to the tires. Impressive, but from what I’ve heard from the racing community, the power is great, but I’d rather have reliability. The goal was to “wake it up” a little, and give it about 20-25 more hp from the stock 168 to compensate for the heavier weight of a full race car.
I decided to take it to a local testing area, Geiser Loop, for some filming, and the 3 starter gear bolts sheared off, leaving us dead in the water. A quick Google search made me realize that this has happened to a lot of RZR owners, and it was a quick fix, even though I was left stranded.
Running again, I decided to take it to Glamis for President’s Day weekend, and the RZR ran for about 40 minutes, until I tried to make a run up Oldsmobile Hill, the DynoJet tuner was looking jumbled right before this happened, but it went into limp mode, and I couldn’t go back to the stock tune, I had to get towed to vendor row. The performance tune shop was at Glamis at Vendor Row, but they were unable to fix. The RZR was done for the weekend.
Frustrated, I take it to wiring specialists AZ Wire Pros. The RZR was wired using a stock wiring harness, and there were no problems at all before it went to the tuner, but I decided a third set of eyes would help resolve any gremlins once and for all. AZ Wire Pro’s went through it all, calibrated the UTV Racepak dash, installed the belt temp sensor, and informed me that relocating the Voltage regulator was needed to keep it as cool as possible. After a few more clean runs, the RZR was prepped and I took it on the Arizona Peace Trail. It ran great! The only issue I had was a blown 10a Fuel Pump fuse, probably from a stock harness with a beefier aftermarket pump to work with my 25g Fuel Safe tank. I’ve blown it again and since been running a 15a fuse with no issues. The RZR was then wrapped and we took it to the UTV World Championships – not to race, but to film some video and take it on the Poker Run. The RZR ran great.
I really wanted to try it again in the dunes, so shortly after I went to Glamis with my sand paddles, it was 96 degrees that day, the temps on the motor got above 183 for the first time, but after a short duning session, I realized 3 of my lower A-arm bolts had broken. Lone Star includes very poor quality mounting hardware and heims!
I get new bolts and take it on a Crown King ride, not too hard, and I break a rear axle! I’ve never broken an axle before and was surprised how easy it broke, I was on the gas when I got a (tiny bit) of air, and my fault, but it gave me concerns about Lone Star axles (with OEM CV’s) being raced with reliability.
It was time to have Brent at American Engineering tear the RZR down for a final, full prep. The prep included new suspension hardware, custom intake, coating the chassis in Steel It, powder coating a few bits (including the dash), upgrading the axles to SuperATV Rhino 2.0 (they make a specific 3.5” version for the Lone Star kit), along with some fabrication for more storage, including a removable rack for a cooler and fluids, some adjustable sun visors, and also a welded in radius rod box to beef up the rear frame and suspension. We also threw on a brand new set of ITP Ultracross R Spec 32” tires and will use the old ones for spares.
Going through this experience REALLY makes me realize why SxS’s are taking over with Pre Runner, Sand Car and buggy guys. The fact that you don’t need to spend as much on maintenance (especially if you are like me and cannot weld, fabricate, or have in-depth knowledge on wiring) and you can have great experiences off-road, which, to me, means running hard in all types of environments without issues. Being “that guy” isn’t something I was to be accustomed to! Thanks for watching, Part 5 will have full parts and cost breakdown.