Author Topic: Marlin Crawler 7th Annual KOH Thread (Feb 2013) [MANY PICS]  (Read 17732 times)

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BigMike

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Here comes my report from this year's King Of the Hammers!!



This year we entered our same vehicle as last year, our team driver John Jame (desertoy)'s rig. The rig is for the most part the same as last year, keeping the Turbocharged 3RZ-FE 4-cyl engine (this time with proper fuel injectors -- last year we had an injector failure before the race and had to turn down the power and use stock 2RZ-FE injectors), although we did install new wheels and tires.

The main event was on Friday (2/8/2013) and we sent Brendan (freds40) ahead of the group to help the team with any finishing touches. The starting order for the main event on Friday was selected via a two day qualifying event, held Tuesday and Wednesday. It was a short course with finishing times ranging from the low 3 mins to the low 6 mins. Qualifying is optional for teams who are guaranteed a spot, such as teams who finished in the top 10 from last year, or by placing well in Ultra4 competitions. However for the Last Chance Qualifiers (LCQ), teams who were still trying to get in, it is essential. I believe only the top ten fastest LCQ's got into the main event.

Because we were part of the inaugural "Original Group of 13" (OG13), we are grandfathered into KOH and always guaranteed a spot. In years past we and a few other teams have decided to skip the qualifying event. Once the qualifying times are submitted and the starting grid computed, whichever teams chose to skip qualifying would simply draw numbers to figure out the remaining order. For instance, if 80 out of 100 rigs qualified, then the luckiest of the remaining 20 who skipped qualifying would have a best start of 81st position.

Side note: KOH has typically featured multiple trips through the same canyon/trail so even if you started in 1st place, you'd still get caught up with a bunch of slow traffic on your 2nd pass. Strategy nevertheless plays an important role, but simply starting towards the front of the pack has statistically not been a shoe-in for victory.

This year however we decided to qualify! It is a short course and maybe it would help us make sure everything is ready to go.

Most of us remained at the shop until Thurs, so we were watching our vehicle qualify from a live online feed. Here are some screen shots I was able to snag:











As you can see we did not finish qualifying. For us this wasn't a bad thing, since we didn't have to qualify, and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise as we discovered our passenger's side tie rod had become weak from all the racing of years past and finally let go.

Our driver felt the rig rolling to the right and as he countersteered nothing happened. Over they went. Here you can see our steering out of sync: 



Back at our pits we repaired the steering component and beefened up the other side for good measure. This would have happened during the main race so it was nice to catch it and get it fixed before then!
« Last Edit: Mar 08, 2013, 04:15:27 PM by BigMike »

BigMike [OP]

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Fast forward to Thurs afternoon and here is Marlin and myself arriving at Hammer Town. The cost to enter is now $20 per head and includes an arm band necessary to get within the gated Hammer Town. It is optional, ya just won't be able to get in and enjoy a lot of the action-



The King Of the Hammers is no joke people. It was estimated that "Hammer Town" had 30,000 people, which is 33% larger than the nearest town of Yucca Valley.




Various rigs we passed heading to the Town



We first stopped at our good friends Dave "Astrotoy" Bovich and Jim "JimJob" Henley and their team Huck Your Junk Racing


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It was all business inside their Pit Tent







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Here is Marlin and Dave looking over our Heavy Duty Toyota drivelines that we donated for their rig :turtle:



And here is JimJob showing Marlin what a real man's differential looks like. Sorry I don't really have any details on this other than its completely custom, requires a custom housing, and the snout is removable and reversible, so that you can set it up as a high pinion or a low pinion regardless of its orientation (front or rear facing).




From left to right, Marlin, Dave Bovich, Jim Henley, and myself


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We then made our way over to our Team Marlin Crawler Pit Tent! Here is what desertoy's rig looked like when we got there Thurs afternoon:



The front end is partially torn apart because when the tie rod broke, it allowed the knuckle to turn sharper than designed and broke its outer axle shaft. We have spare axles, we were just waiting on a replacement bushing at this time.

Here is the repair to the tie rod



Various pics of the vehicle





Here is HT hard at work under a rig where he likes to be hahaha He is double checking bolts at the rear end


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Here is a shot of our tent from the outside



This is our co-driver Mike Hendricks' X-Chassis rig, powered by a Toyota Turbo 22R-TE, Marlin Crawler Ultimate, forced-articulation suspension atop portal axles



Here is our Team Crew Chief "HT"'s truck


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We then headed to the main section of Hammer Town. Here are some pics of various rigs we passed along the way







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Here I am with the Manly Kilt-wielding Tim "Tech Tim" Lund of Wild West Off Road and editor for 4WD Toyota Owner magazine. I am as far onto my tippy toes as possible in order to be in the same picture as the jolly giant.
 


Check out Axial's booth!! :o






Here is Marlin and Chris (SmackerD) with the fine ladies of Tech Inspection


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Rigs of all shapes and sizes were busy entering and leaving Hammer Town. 




Here is a Moon Buggy Chassis with partial drivetrain for sale. If I remember correctly they were asking $10k for what you see


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Outside the city gates of Hammer Town were parked many, many trucks





Check out this sweet Suburban




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Here is our good friend Wyatt and his popular Tacoma from RockSolidToys.com






He just finished reworking his suspension and beast looked great!



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Here we are back within the gates of Hammer Town






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More pics from within the city gates (yes, they had a complete surround of temporary chain link fencing)







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Here we are talking to our good friend Wayne Israelsen (in the light gray hoodie) who helped with our rig this year



Here we are with the Champions of the Every Man Challenge! These blokes are from the UK and have competed in events back home but had never even stepped foot on American soil and here they are their first time here and they took home the EVC trophy.

If you must ask, yes they used a Land Rover



Here is Marlin with long time friend Bo Neece



People hanging out near the main stage

« Last Edit: Feb 19, 2013, 03:28:10 PM by BigMike »

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We headed back to our Pit Tent to see how things were going.



We passed a really nice Willy's along the way


 
And a few other cool rigs




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This was when we bumped into the great editor himself, Mr. Rick Pewe!



Here is Marlin signing a nice Turtle Sticker. Whoever's rig that is just became famous! :yupyup:




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When we got back to our Pit Tent we found the entire front axle torn apart.



It turns out that an inner seal was also damaged, and although we have a spare, we couldn't find it, and it took us a while to get a replacement.

Here is Marlin and Tim "TURBO" Collins looking at some different spare seals we had



Later the team put the rig back together, thanks to the very hard work of both HT and Brendan (freds40)




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So we headed back to grab some dinner when we ran into this guy, our good friend Woody himself from IH8MUD!



More rigs




Here is the Grand Marshall of the KOH and our very good friend Krusty!



Many displays/booths were open late


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When you see this booth you know you are in for a great meal. This is a donations-based free Taco Dinner complete with salad and a bowl of soup put on by the Extreme Wheelers 4 Christ club.



GREAT group of people here!!



Many people were still up watching action from the week on the big screen


 

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We were heading back when this gentleman called out Marlin's name from afar. If you've ever been with Marlin at an event then you'll appreciate this: So this guy asked if Marlin remembered him, and Marlin couldn't remember his name but he remembered that he delivered product to this guy's house and helped him install it right in his driveway ... and Marlin was recalling a lot of specific details about the guys rig -- I don't remember what all they talked about -- but stuff like a broken glove box door, interior lights that didn't work, missing and improper bolts, et cetera. That was like fifteen years ago! Marlin your memory is crazy!!         



Here are people in line upgrading their basic entrance hand band to a special hand band that allowed pit access. It only cost $5 to upgrade and required a few wavier form signatures



There is the coveted main prize itself!! It can be yours if you are man enough!



Here we are with our friends from Yukon Gear & Axle!


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We finally made it back to our tent to find the rig back together and ready to kick some butt!



Nice work to the entire Marlin Crawler Race Team, you guys are awesome!! :beerchug:


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Here we are about 6am race-day Friday morning. The winds had picked up significantly overnight and it was very gusty out there on Friday



Here is Robby Gordon's rig ready to go



Various pics from rigs. This guy was warming up this drivetrain




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Here is the only two time KOH Champion Shannon Campbell and his rig



One of the more uncommon single seaters, I'll let the pics do the talking :yesnod:




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At around 6:30am all of the rigs proceeded onto the track making a large loop around to line up in their proper starting positions





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Here we are with Eric "Mustard Dog" Anderson and fellow teammate Rob "Bender" Park. Both are members of the Tin Benders and are long time friends of ours!



Here is our good friend Jason "locktup" Stanley (standing at left) and a rig he helped build



Here is our good friend Tony Pellegrino's rig from GenRight

« Last Edit: Feb 19, 2013, 04:15:12 PM by BigMike »

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The race was scheduled to start at 8am. By about 7:15am most of the rigs were all lined up and looking good

129 rigs were officially scheduled for the race





Here is astrotoy (Dave Bovich) with their rig on the grid with our awesome drivelines. They started in position #59 



There were a few of these Daihatsu 4WD trucks running around. SO COOL! I haven't seen these since my last visit to Japan. I'd wheel the crap out of that thing


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I took a mixture of video and pictures of all the rigs starting off and hiting this first jump. I still need to get my videos prepared and uploaded. Not sure when (or if) I'll get this done. So here come a ton of pics from various rigs kicking the 2013 KOH off!





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