Learning about prerunning the Baja 1000

mxben

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I was under the truck today, considering skid plating.

We installed an SVC frame-cut Baja bumper, which includes a front skid plate that goes back to the frame crossmember at the front of the front lower control arms.

The cast aluminum engine oil pan and electric power steering rack are located between that crossmember and the next one back (at the rear of the front lower control arms. The engine oil pan is surprisingly high up between those two crossmembers, but the bottom of the electric power steering rack is just about as low as those two crossmembers, and has some rather vulnerable-looking wiring and plastic fittings. I would definitely need to have a second skid plate to bridge those two crossmembers. The FX4 version of this truck comes with an inexpensive skid plate that bridges that gap, but it's fairly narrow, so I gotta figure out if it will protect the rack. I may be able to cut my own out of aluminum plate if the Ford one doesn't work.

And the 10R80 automatic transmission has a plastic pan. It doesn't hang low, but it's right out there in the open between the crossmember at the rear of the front control arms and the crossmember at the rear transmission mount, and doesn't look particularly bullet-resistant. I could probably cut one out to bridge that gap too, but it's gonna be a pretty big piece of aluminum.

And if I was going to get really carried away, I could cut another big one to go from the crossmember at the rear transmission mount, back about as far as I wanted to go, as long as I notch the trailing edge for driveshaft clearance at full droop. It wouldn't necessarily protect a lot of vulnerable stuff, but it could help me to slide over things.

How much skid plating do you guys think I need? I absolutely want to protect the rack, and I'm inclined to protect the transmission, but this is a fairly mild build, intended for fairly mild sections of the course.

The entire thing. Why not.
 

dan200

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We currently offer this skidplate option for the truck you have.


We built a pretty slick Ranger when they first came out. Here is a video documenting the build.


More Ranger specific stuff we make and/or sell

 

Total Loss

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We currently offer this skidplate option for the truck you have.


We built a pretty slick Ranger when they first came out. Here is a video documenting the build.


More Ranger specific stuff we make and/or sell

Hey Dan...will that work for a 4wd?
The ft diff is super vulnerable on these. Thought about making my own but...
 

Sheepdog

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I have to agree. The course is getting much more technical I believe due to so many 4wheel drive race vehicle. Getting stuck sucks. Silt is just get worse every year.
We're not trying to do everything, we're just trying to do something.

Surely we can find a part of the course that is within the capabilities of our vehicle...
 

Sheepdog

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We do have a vehicle capable of doing the entire course, completely stock. Our 2007 Oshkosh MTVR, formerly an armored gun truck attached to a Marine special forces unit, the MARSOC Raiders. The U.S. government paid $250K or so for it new, put about 3,000 miles on it, and then sent it to auction, where we snagged it in nearly perfect condition.

53" double-beadlocked tubeless Michelin radial tires with runflat inserts, all wheel fully-independent coil-sprung suspension with 16" of travel, full-time all wheel drive with a torque-biasing transfer case, five selectable drivetrain lockers, dual CTIS to air the front and rear tires up and down independently of each other, adjustable air ride seat, and a 732 cubic inch Cat turbodiesel with 425 horsepower and 1,550 pounds of torque.

It's also got power steering, power brakes, automatic transmission, ABS, traction control, an insulated hard cab, and air conditioning.

It's over 13 feet tall- we look DOWN into 18-wheel tractor-trailer rigs on the highway.

But it has a governed top speed of 65 mph, and only gets 4.5 mpg, hence the Ecoboost Ranger project.
 

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JDDurfey

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We're not trying to do everything, we're just trying to do something.

Surely we can find a part of the course that is within the capabilities of our vehicle...
Like I said in my post, once the map comes out you will be able to see what parts of the course you can take a leisurely pre-run. I wouldn't worry about that side of things. It sounds to me like you are completely on the right track. And by the time next years race rolls around you may find yourself hooked up with someone that you can pre-run with and show you around some.

There are a lot of people that go down and do exactly what you are planning on doing.
 

Sheepdog

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Like I said in my post, once the map comes out you will be able to see what parts of the course you can take a leisurely pre-run. I wouldn't worry about that side of things. It sounds to me like you are completely on the right track. And by the time next years race rolls around you may find yourself hooked up with someone that you can pre-run with and show you around some.

There are a lot of people that go down and do exactly what you are planning on doing.
Thank you.
 

mxben

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Here is what I would do.

Ahead of the race so you can get down to where you want to go and watch.

Go into ensenada and find a hotel and stay the night. The next day get up and drive to Santo Tomas and turn right after the Pemex and go up the hill and stay straight on that dirt road until you see the ocean. Follow it down some decently rough trails down to the pacific and follow the dirt all the way to erindira and get a drink at Coyote cals. Pop out to the highway and continue on until you get to Camalu or just passed that in guerrero and take some coast roads all the way to San quintin and stay at the old mill for a few days, day tripping from there and back.

Watch the race and come home on the pavement. PLENTY of dirt and just enough remoteness to get the baja bug. And accommodations and food at the old mill isn't half bad.

If you want a GPS file I bet there is one already made on the internet somewhere or go to gpsvisualizer.com and create one based on the landmarks I sent you, referencing old course maps as what roads you can take you where.
 

E.Hagle

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Thank you.
The Oshkosh might be the scariest vehicle ever to take on race course. I might take a Chevy Probe before it to be honest.

When I was naive to what Baja race course looked like, I could have never imagined it being so janky and donkey trail style in some spots. Even in some spots on the beach it’s off camber, rain rutted, steep and choppy.
 

mxben

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We do have a vehicle capable of doing the entire course, completely stock. Our 2007 Oshkosh MTVR, formerly an armored gun truck attached to a Marine special forces unit, the MARSOC Raiders. The U.S. government paid $250K or so for it new, put about 3,000 miles on it, and then sent it to auction, where we snagged it in nearly perfect condition.

53" double-beadlocked tubeless Michelin radial tires with runflat inserts, all wheel fully-independent coil-sprung suspension with 16" of travel, full-time all wheel drive with a torque-biasing transfer case, five selectable drivetrain lockers, dual CTIS to air the front and rear tires up and down independently of each other, adjustable air ride seat, and a 732 cubic inch Cat turbodiesel with 425 horsepower and 1,550 pounds of torque.

It's also got power steering, power brakes, automatic transmission, ABS, traction control, an insulated hard cab, and air conditioning.

It's over 13 feet tall- we look DOWN into 18-wheel tractor-trailer rigs on the highway.

But it has a governed top speed of 65 mph, and only gets 4.5 mpg, hence the Ecoboost Ranger project.

If you want to race it I bet the MINT400 has a class you can enter it in.

Sorry. Couldn't resist.
 

Sheepdog

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Here is what I would do.

Ahead of the race so you can get down to where you want to go and watch.

Go into ensenada and find a hotel and stay the night. The next day get up and drive to Santo Tomas and turn right after the Pemex and go up the hill and stay straight on that dirt road until you see the ocean. Follow it down some decently rough trails down to the pacific and follow the dirt all the way to erindira and get a drink at Coyote cals. Pop out to the highway and continue on until you get to Camalu or just passed that in guerrero and take some coast roads all the way to San quintin and stay at the old mill for a few days, day tripping from there and back.

Watch the race and come home on the pavement. PLENTY of dirt and just enough remoteness to get the baja bug. And accommodations and food at the old mill isn't half bad.

If you want a GPS file I bet there is one already made on the internet somewhere or go to gpsvisualizer.com and create one based on the landmarks I sent you, referencing old course maps as what roads you can take you where.
Thanks for all of that. We're going to try to make use of all the wisdom and experience being bestowed upon us here.
 

Sheepdog

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The Oshkosh might be the scariest vehicle ever to take on race course. I might take a Chevy Probe before it to be honest.

When I was naive to what Baja race course looked like, I could have never imagined it being so janky and donkey trail style in some spots. Even in some spots on the beach it’s off camber, rain rutted, steep and choppy.
There's not a lot of good videos of the MTVR on the internet, because only the Marines get them, and they're a current vehicle, so only a few hundred exist in private hands. This is a kind of a fun video of a computer-controlled MTVR from an Episode of Top Gear:

 
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dan200

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Hey Dan...will that work for a 4wd?
The ft diff is super vulnerable on these. Thought about making my own but...
Yep. It will work. AND my sales guys tells me it is actually in stock.

Give them a call at the counter. 480-633-2929

Ask for "Big Red" or "Brice from Youtube".
 

AZ7000'

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We got passed in a 3000 by one of the dakar garbage trucks before we even crossed the 3 south, those things haul!! I don't think it made it very far that race, needed bridge bypasses and preran with a chain saw?? Heard they drove it from FL to the race, not sure if they drove it back...
 

Sheepdog

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We got passed in a 3000 by one of the dakar garbage trucks before we even crossed the 3 south, those things haul!! I don't think it made it very far that race, needed bridge bypasses and preran with a chain saw?? Heard they drove it from FL to the race, not sure if they drove it back...
The MTVR is MUCH more sophisticated and powerful than the older and smaller 2.5 and 5 ton military trucks, but those Dakar trucks are WAY more developed than the MTVR.

The Kamaz Dakar trucks are much smaller and much lighter than the MTVR, they have two massive and properly-developed off-road racing coilovers at each corner, and they put out well over 1,000 horsepower, as compared to our 425 horsepower.
 

Total Loss

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Absolutely luv the trash trucks.

Should I que up the vid of Jan DeRooys 2 engine Daf passing Ari Vatenen at a buck 20 before he yardsaled?
 

Sheepdog

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I'm looking at traction boards.

I don't think I can justify the expense of a $300 pair of Maxtrax traction boards for a single trip, and I'd like to reallocate a portion of that money elsewhere on this project, like some of my other recovery gear.

Comparative research thus far has been going pretty slow- most videos on the subject are overly-long, and offer only one data point.

I'd be interested in hearing from you guys, about any more cost-effective alternative brands/models of traction boards.

We will also have tow hooks with spring clips in the front, a shackle in the rear, a 3,500 pound winch on a 2" receiver mount for the rear, an 8,000 pound snatch block to double the winch's pulling power, and two 30-foot kinetic recovery straps of different widths.

I was planning to bring a proper shovel, as I have concerns that the tips of the traction boards may not meet all reasonably foreseeable shoveling needs, but I'd appreciate input on that as well.

And I haven't even started looking at ground anchors (like a Pull Pal)...
 

Bro_Gill

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Aare you going to carry a spare tire NOT under the vehicle? If yes, don't worry about a pull pal. Just use the spare as an anchor. But I doubt you will ever get that stuck, especially if you have another vehicle out there with you. And start thinking about packing LIGHT!!! Weight is your enemy.
 
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