At Northridge 4×4 we have always strived to bring you a great story no matter where we are at or what we are doing. From the super secretive JK Experience to the crazy cool Red Rocks of Moab we want to let you ride with us and experience the Jeep lifestyle. Ultra 4 racing is part of that lifestyle, its the cross over between desert racing and rock crawling and its a wild combination. We set out this year with the 630 RFA racing team from Chicago”All the King’s Men” to tell the story of their experience as they try and compete with the likes of Cambell Racing, Loren Healy and Eric Miller while trying to finish their first King of Hammer’s race. This is the trailer for our upcoming short film “All the King’s Men” we hope you enjoy and can’t wait to see what you think of the full feature in the near the future.
As the Haulers approached the turn off onto Boone RD and into Johnson Valley, you could just feel everyone’s excitement. The crew had put in a long year to get back to this place and have a realistic chance at finishing the King of the Hammers. As we drove down toward the lakebed and into Hammertown, we could see we were some of the first race teams to be out here which meant we had the Valley as our own proving and testing grounds. Venom 1 had gone through quite a few changes since the last time it was in Johnson Valley and some things were yet unproven and needed running time to work out the kinks.
Once our home in the desert had been set up, the JK’s and Venom 1 hit the ground running. We were off to get the car broken in and see new parts of Johnson Valley that may be in this years Race Course. As we hit the the edge of the Marine Base 29 Palms, Mike had noticed that the steering was a bit off and had a chatter to it. We stopped to check it out and confirmed all fluids were good and everything looked tight so we pressed on still trying to hit the goal of 80 miles for the day. Mike took a hard right hand turn and the steering locked into that position and it looked as if the first gremlin of the new and freshly built car had raised its ugly head. Everyone knew there would be issues to contend with but we were hoping it wouldn’t be on the first serious run.
Chris Graves, the newly acquired crew chief and mechanic from Poison Spyder, went right to work on the steering issue and quickly assessed we would need to make a few changes and it was going to require some more testing and modifying. We got the car back to the Pit Garage and the work commenced. Mike and few others headed back out to continue pre running the course. A one shot up Chocolate Thunder got everyone back into the groove and smiling again. Oh, then there was going 100 mph across the desert but we won’t say much about that!
The next morning we were told by Hammertown Officials that an extreme storm was on the horizon and to be prepared for it so we made a plan for the worst case scenario and hit the desert once again to try and get miles on the car before the weather rolled in and made us put everything in the trailers.
With the car driving and sounding right, Mike and Andy went at it pretty hard to try and gain some knowledge on the north end of the course. As the motor started breaking in and freeing up, you could feel the horsepower and the difference that the change in power was going to make.
As we ended the tuning session the steering once again became and issue and a teardown in the desert was warranted due to the fact we were 50 miles outside of camp, not something you want to have happen but everyone was holding onto the fact that it was better to have it happen now than on race day. While the issues were being attended to you could sense the change in temperature and see the clouds building across the Valley. This was going to be a gnarly storm and we all just hoped it would pass quickly. With the weather moving in quick, the necessary fix was made and we headed back to the pit but not before we were able to snap a few pics with the drone.
You’re saying to yourself, “the weather doesn’t look that bad”? Well, what you can’t see is what’s behind us. The clouds and dust turned into a 70mph desert hurricane that lasted for a day and a half with rain and even a little snow. We used the time to make fuel strategies and talk about racing with some of the other drivers and it proved to be a good thing for us because there was some light shed on the steering and a solution was created.
Once the pit tents were able to be put back up the crew went to work hoping that this would be the last time they would have to mess with the steering and the real testing and tuning of the motor and suspension could begin.
What do you do when the local dealership asks for a Jeep build that will stand out? Well, you build a Jeep that’ll stand out. West Hills Chrysler Jeep Dodge brought us a minty fresh 2016 Rubicon and wanted everything to be white. Gladly we accepted the challenge and here’s the result.
AEV – ProCal Module
AEV – JK Geometry Correction Front Control Arm Brackets
AEV – Hawse Fairlead License Plate Mounting Kit
AEV – JK Rear Track Bar
AEV – JK Roof Rack Platform
Brandmotion – Adjustable Rear Vision System for Factory Displays
Bushwacker – Flat Style Fender Flares
Carolina Metal Masters – Hood Footman Loop and deSnubbers
Factor 55 – Flatlink “E”
Flow Master – 80-Series Muffler
Fox Racing – 2.5 Factory Series Internal Bypass Reservoir Shocks
JW Speaker – LED Tail Lights
JW Speaker – LED Jeep Fog Lights
JW Speaker – LED Jeep Headlights
LoD – JK Unlimited 4 Door Frame Mounted Rock Sliders
MBRP – JK Axle Back, Dual Rear Exit
Nitto – Trail Grappler 35×12.50R20LT Tires
Off Road Only – LitePlate LED License Plate Light
Poison Spyder – JK Brawler Lite Bumper w/ Shackle Tabs and Brawler Bar
Poison Spyder – Universal Winch Fairlead Mount
Poison Spyder – Zeon Winch Spacer Plates
Poison Spyder – JK RockBrawler II Rear Bumper with Tire Carrier
Poison Spyder – JK Brawler Lite Skid
Poison Spyder – Universal LED 2-1/2″ Back Up Lights
Poison Spyder – JK A-Pillar 50″ Light Bar Mount
Rigid Industries – M-Series 50″ Spot/Flood Combo Light Bar
Rock Slide Engineering – JK 4D Step Sliders
Rugged Ridge – Stainless Steel Mesh Grill Inserts
Rugged Ridge – Aluminum Hood Catch
sPod – JK 6 Switch Panel, Dual LED Switches and Source System
Synergy MFG – JK License Plate Delete Panel
Warn – Zeon 10-s Winch
Did someone say snow wheeling? This customer wanted his 2003 TJ to absolutely destroy the snow. Built with parts from JKS, Rock Krawler, M.O.R.E., Poison Spyder, Synergy, Nitro Gear and Axle and GenRight, we think we’ve accomplish his expectations and then some. Check it out!
Genright – Aluminum Hi-Fender w/6″ Flare, TJ, LJ
Genright – TJ/LJ Hi-Fender Inner Fender Mounting Kit
Genright – TJ/LJ Aluminum Inner Fender Well Set
Genright – Corner Guard Set – Full Stretch Aluminum
Genright – Universal Tube Flares Rear 6″ Wide Aluminum
Genright – Crawler Comp Gas Tank TJ/LJ
Genright – Rocker Guard Set
JKS – TJ Wrangler 1-1/4″ Body Lift System
M.O.R.E. – 1″ Lift Bomb Proof Motor Mount Kit for YJ, TJ and LJ
Nitro Gear and Axle – TJ 1997-06 D44, 5.38 Big Pinion Gear Kit
Poison Spyder – 3/4″ LED Marker Lamp
Rock Krawler – Wrangler TJ 5.5″ X Factor Long Arm System w/ 5″ Rear Stretch
Synergy Manufacturing – TJ/LJ/XJ/YJ/ZJ Heavy Duty Front Ball Joints
Synergy Manufacturing – TJ/LJ Rear Coil-Over Bracket Kit