Prerunners vs. UTV's

McCredie A

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Hey guys to me it seems that some of LS style prerunner buggy's and Mid Market prerunner trucks are being sold off and replaced with UTV's. I know each vehicle has its pros and cons. I am wondering who on here has made the switch to an UTV and what their thoughts are. How would you compare prep intervals and prep cost? Also, if you do not mind throwing out an approximate number you feel it takes to make a stock UTV Baja/prerun worthy. Please add any information you feel would be helpful.

Personally I have had a couple LS buggy prerunners (alumicraft, dejong) and a couple prerun trucks (tatum, Geiser). I loved them all! I have been spending more time in the Can Am and I am impressed with what it can do. I feel the maintenance seems to be lower. Granite I only have 800 miles on it and it is bone stock.

Please keep the bashing to the minimum.
 

dan200

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The main drawback is that UTVs have small fuel tanks and don't go as far as a bigger traditional pre-runner. This can be a headache but there's solutions. The can am has a secondary or bigger replacement tank available. it goes where the pass side dash is. The prep is easier. Spares are lighter. Lotsa stock parts on these that actually last. You can use a smaller, lighter duty tow vehicle and a lighter trailer. The 4wd UTV is handy to be able to cruise and explore lines that may be questionable in a longer heavier 2wd. A trade off is that if you only pre-run in the UTV and then go race a big truck you have to adapt on race day to the new speeds/ride height/etc. The other bad part is telling your friends and family that you're gay.
 

JrSyko

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I recently made the switch and the only thing I miss is the big V8 sound and the extra room. I built out a new Can-Am and but a 20 gallon custom fuel cell in it that Vince from Pressure Pro made and I can do 225+ miles in it (haven't quite found the limit yet!). The 4wd is so nice to have, never worry about getting stuck and can go anywhere. Its really not that much slower and maintenance is definitely cheaper. If you have the money have both if not, go with the UTV!
 

havahockey

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IMS Products makes a 5 gallon auxiliary tank for RZR's that goes under the seat and relocates the battery, which should get you in the 150 mile range.
 

Zac Reish

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Dan the last sentence of your post is by far the best thing I have ever read on this website
 

ErikIrvine

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We prerun in my 10 car or Zacs 5 car, whichever one isn't being raced that race. I drove a tricked out can am for the Parker prerun, and was impressed its capability for a golf cart but was not impressed compared to a race car. I think the can am cost about $40k with accessories (longer arms shock therapy, bigger tires etc) but it was slower then half the speed of our $80k or less race cars. I'd buy that seagroves 12 car and prerun in that before I'd spend any money on a UTV
 

ThatSpaceMexican

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Remember when people said the UTV thing was a passing fad? How do you sleep at night? Anyways in my short 2x years of life, from what I've seen the prerunner truck/buggy route is safer and a polaris rzr. I guess the cage on a rzr isn't worth a damn if you land hard on the roof. Ever wonder why the stock cages are not race legal? Anyways is you should probably prerun in a vehicle similar to the one you're racing in
 

DanMcMillin

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After Luke and I “raced” our Turbo S’ in the sportsman rally class at the Mint, we’re planning to utilize them more pre running; scout out lines and also attempt to help the prep cost on the trucks. Nothing will beat being in our Pre runners in Baja, but man....these UTVs are so effing fun!
 

Zambo

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UTVs make GREAT prerunners. Mainly because of the 4wd, but also because it is so easy to bring or acquire spare parts. Also easy on gas, trailering, etc. The biggest thing is carrying extra fuel and baggage, especially in a 2-seater. You can throw lots of stuff in the back seat of the long cars, but for the short cars a roof rack for bags and spares is a must, and extra fuel under the seats will get you through most loops. I carry 4 extra gallons in my x3 and while you can't drive all day on that, 150 miles is usually enough to get you to the next stop.

My opinion is based on the view that prerunning is for scouting out the course rather than "race practice." Of course you can go faster in a 94" wide V8 buggy.
 

swiftracing5

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We have a 4 seat rzr and preran the last score season with it. If I could do it over again I think we would invest in an A arm buggy with an ecotec and good Ecu. It’s a tough tradeoff, since you go slower you can pick out lines and mark things on the fly, but it just doesn’t help sharpen the race car skills so you Mark some things incorrectly.
 

MAC56

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The main drawback is that UTVs have small fuel tanks and don't go as far as a bigger traditional pre-runner. This can be a headache but there's solutions. The can am has a secondary or bigger replacement tank available. it goes where the pass side dash is. The prep is easier. Spares are lighter. Lotsa stock parts on these that actually last. You can use a smaller, lighter duty tow vehicle and a lighter trailer. The 4wd UTV is handy to be able to cruise and explore lines that may be questionable in a longer heavier 2wd. A trade off is that if you only pre-run in the UTV and then go race a big truck you have to adapt on race day to the new speeds/ride height/etc. The other bad part is telling your friends and family that you're gay.
I would appreciate some info on the CamAm x3 extra fuel options that are not under seat, I would gladly give up the glove box!
 

Zambo

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I would appreciate some info on the CamAm x3 extra fuel options that are not under seat, I would gladly give up the glove box!
I think the tank he's talking about is at least a couple thousand dollars. Other than that I think the safest place is under the seat. A 2 gallon rotopax will fit under there and I think a 3 gallon will fit behind the seat unless you are very tall and need the seat way back. Much better under there IMO than anywhere back by the engine or over your head on the roof.

I designed an aluminum tank that goes under the seat which holds 4.5 gallons. You don't take it out, you just pump fuel from that tank into the filler neck.
 

Zambo

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Oh one other thing...the worst thing about using a UTV to prerun Baja for me is highway transit sections. 20 miles, no problem. But we all know on a peninsula run as well as other times that there are some long highway stretches. I don't mind going 80 through the dirt in my car but something about getting into an accident on the highway in that tin can gives me the willies.
 

TRAVISD

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The stock Can Am fuel tank will only get you roughly 100 miles. I just did a run to Cabo in mine and carried an extra 10 gallons with me, i took out the back seats and make a storage rack that would hold 2 five gallon cans, thus increasing my milage to 200 miles.
 

NIKAL

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The stock Can Am fuel tank will only get you roughly 100 miles. I just did a run to Cabo in mine and carried an extra 10 gallons with me, i took out the back seats and make a storage rack that would hold 2 five gallon cans, thus increasing my milage to 200 miles.
Very similar to how have done Baja trips with our RZR’s. I built two racks for both RZR’s. It’s built to carry two 5 gal gas cans, a cooler and a place for duffle or pack packs in the middle.
8053D688-C5F1-4F74-87DA-4F095B3333AF.jpeg
 

TRAVISD

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Very similar to how have done Baja trips with our RZR’s. I built two racks for both RZR’s. It’s built to carry two 5 gal gas cans, a cooler and a place for duffle or pack packs in the middle.
View attachment 199894





Similar setup, a bit more room in the backseats of the CanAm.
 

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dan200

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I would appreciate some info on the CamAm x3 extra fuel options that are not under seat, I would gladly give up the glove box!
from a post above I don't have the contact info for them but almost every trophy truck team uses Vinces fueling systems so I am sure someone will be able to give you contact info.

I built out a new Can-Am and but a 20 gallon custom fuel cell in it that Vince from Pressure Pro made and I can do 225+ miles in it (haven't quite found the limit yet!).

I don't have the contact info for them but almost every trophy truck team uses Vince's fueling systems so I am sure someone will be able to help you with that.
 

BHollander

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I have both a linked big block Bronco prerunner and pretty well set up 2 seat RZR N/A. I love both of them but for race support, chasing, long prerun days sealed cab with AC is great but fuel mileage sucks. The RZR is awesome for messing around and I preran my section of the 2017 baja 1000 with it and it was good but we exploded a clutch by San Juanico which sucked. I have 4500 hard on the RZR and only real major expense was clutches and belts aside from all the suspension and safety upgrades for whatever it is worth my RZR has the IMS 5 gal aux tank and if I were to do it again I would go fuel cell. We are going to cut mine apart and stretch it 10-12" and add a fuel cell as well as mount spare clutch and set it up so we can do longer runs comfortably with minimal chase support. Personally they both have their place but if you will be on the highway for an extended amount of time sealed cab is the way to go. A UTV does not like doing 80mph for 20 mins much less 2 hours.
 

McCredie A

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Thanks for the feed back. Mrs. Landers has spoken! Brandon and Zambo how do you feel your UTV's compare to your prerunners performance wise? Have you noticed once you start beating on the UTV's more the prep bills are similar to a prerunner?
 

NIKAL

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Thanks for the feed back. Mrs. Landers has spoken! Brandon and Zambo how do you feel your UTV's compare to your prerunners performance wise? Have you noticed once you start beating on the UTV's more the prep bills are similar to a prerunner?
I’m neither Brandon or Zambo, but I can confirm my maintenance & prep on my UTV vs my Prerun Baja bug or former buggy is way less. I have yet had to prep or replace a CV on my UTV. Where I was prepping CV’s every season or before a long trip in the prerunners. I can buy a complete replacement axle & CV setup for the UTV for less then one race prepped CV cost. I don’t miss prepping CV’s!
 
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