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Federico Montes Shop Tour

This year, we decided to cover some shops and race vehicles on the other side of the border. Earlier this year, we stopped by Federico Montes’ Shop in Ensenada, BC.  They specialize in race engines and transmissions.This year is the 25th anniversary of the Montes Shop.  This is one of the first Mexican shops specializing in race engines and transmisions for class 11, 5/1600 and 16 only.

Montes has clients all over Baja, Baja Sur, California, Jalisco, Monterrey, Nayarit and Sinaloa and have championships in the most important series like SCORE, CODE or RECORD.  Montes’ has specific areas for each type of work they do, such as the transmission assembly area where they arm and disarm with the most specialized tool or the machinery area with milling, lathe and cutting machines.  They also have specialized machines for cylinders rectifying.


Around the shop are photos with thank you messages from teams like Kiosko racing, Negrete Boys and Yee’s.   There are also best engine and transmission awards but one of the most important achievements for Federico and the shop is having two Rally Dakar in their book.  Federico raced once as a mechanic and once as a navigator.  This was the root of his work with racing engines.

Class 16 is recognized as one of the most challenging classes for the mechanics because only the best engine and tranny builders are required. Ernesto Arámbula won the 2013 SCORE Class 16 Championship with the help of Montes.  In the engine building room, we found a really interesting engine. At the time, Federico told us that engine was a prototype for future use in the classes 11,16 and 5/1600, as a characteristic this engine is a low-compression and uses a regular unloaded fuel.

Stock 1600cc, low-compression makes the engine much more durable.  It’s cheaper and has more horsepower than the actual high-compression race engines, around 10HP.  The idea is to use restrictors to match the same power than the actual race engines for a fair competition.  This engine was first used for the CODE race in May.

Some of the coolest toys of the shop is this Magnaflux machine which they can use it to check and detect any imperfection of the parts they will use for a new engine or transmission.

Albins, Mendeola and Fortin are every day work at Montes Shop.  The shop is an excellent choice to every racers, from novice to champion.  Montes offers great deals and if you want more information or are interested in their services, give them a call.

Race-Dezert would like to thank to Federico and all Montes Shop for letting us stop by.

yep, these guys are the Best Hand Down. Federico is also a class guy and treats everyone with the up most respect. I took my engine to him that was built by someone else and ended up with a nasty oil leak just days before the race. Federico personally spent two days and repaired my motor with only days to spare before the Baja 1000.
This last year they also built a Race trans for us that so far has proved to be Bullet Proof. It had it's first big test when we towed Eric Solorzano down the hill in this last years Baja 500. Yes, we towed them and transmission pulled like a,,,,well it pulled them all the way down.
This last Baja 1000 it performed flawlessly and it's probably ready for another 1000.
Speaking of which,,,I need to head over there right now,,, 1121's power plant needs some tender loving care after finishing the 2014 Baja 1000, the only Class 11 to make it, and the only Class 11 that had an engine and transmission prepared by Montes Motors and Transmissions!
They look every bit as professional and equipped as any shop I been in here in the states, Im sure they do good work
    Next stop for Race-Dezert should be "Memoman"! Guillermo Ruiz is to Fabrication as Federico is to Motor and Transmission work!
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    David Hendrickson
  • July 11, 2015
That is a insult to the class 11 races that have finished the Baja 1000, Hollenbeck finished after timer ran out which means DNF Anyone can do that, finish in the time allowance if you want respect for a Baja 1000 finish
    Wow,,,easy there DavCo. Now,,,anyone can do that? Well, yes we were about an hour late after racing 1275 miles. So if anyone "Can Do That",,and with all due respect,,where was everyone else. My reply to this article was to simply say how reliable Federico Montes is, and yes,,,that Transmission was ready for another 1275 miles. This was our first attempt at the Baja 1000 peninsula run,,,our first. But I guess when someone like you has raced the Baja 1000, and made it to La Paz, 1000+ miles,,, I have now where to go. And David,,,I didn't want respect, but despite what you think,,,we got it. I've had the pleasure to meet and race with, and against some Class 11 Greats (Bobby Johnson, Eric Solorzano, The Dingos, TLR, KC Stiener, Dave Meeks... and I hope to some day meet up with you face to face,,,I'll even give you a T-shirt and a Sticker (autographed of course)
    Our purpose in racing goes way beyond just racing. We raised over $3000.00 for a women's shelter and we're making a lot of little Off-Road fans. So,,,If anyone can do it, I guess that means I'll cya at the next Baja 1000, or the one after that, or after that... God Bless ya David! God's Speed to you and your Crew
    Oh yea,,,David,,,what year was it that you finished the Baja 1000 Peninsula Run,,,or at least made it to La Paz,,,I missed that information in your post.
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  • December 30, 2015
Contact info , please .