2011 Torchmate TTB Ultra4 Build Thread

Discussion in 'Vehicle Builds' started by Torchmate, Dec 11, 2015.

  1. Torchmate

    Torchmate Administrator Staff Member

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    In Late 2010 The Torchmate Racing Team pushed the limits and helped progress the growing Ultra4 Racing Series. At the time Torchmate was a premiere sponsor of the marque event in the series "King of the Hammers" and wanted to build a vehicle unlike any other in the series. Using Torchmate products to build the vehicle helped show the off road racing industry how valuable a home based CNC machine could be in the racing industry. We wanted to preserve this build thread and share the process our Torchmate Racing Team implemented to take this exciting vehicle to the starting line and beyond.

    The car proved a solid contender and was later driven by Robby Gordon in two KOH races. We hope you enjoy the build.




    Torchmate has recently begun construction on it’s in house designed TTB Ultra4car for the 2011 King of the Hammersrace, 2011 Ultra4season, and beyond. This car has been born out of the evolution of the sport over the past few years, drawing on experience from the entire Torchmate Racing team from the Rocks to the Desert. The idea behind the car is to have an extremely capable, yet simple and easy to maintain Ultra 4car to satisfy the teams interest in KOH style racing all the way through to the Baja 1000. Lead Designer and Torchmate employee Jesse Haines will be spearheading the effort from start to finish. From the desert side of the Torchmate Racing program Jesse will be joined by Jake Povey, who is Torchmate’s Desert racing guru and lead prep manager for the Torchmate Class 7 truck and the Torchmate Rock Buggy. Torchmate’s Mike Aiello is contributing the front TTB suspension design and assisting in the general design of the car. On top of this team of highly skilled builders, Torchmate’s Mark Levrett Production Manager and newly appointed Racing General Manager JT Taylor will be providing additional knowledge and support to this build. JT Taylor will also be piloting the new Torchmate TTB car in the 2011 King of the Hammers race with Roger Norman pulling driver and co-driver duties as well! The plan is to get the rig done in time for ample testing before the 2011 race to work out any bugs. We are hopeful that we can pull it off even given the short build time.

    Parts have been ordered and are arriving daily, and Jake has been TIG welding the Chromoly sub-frame together to get Jesse’s platform for the new build started. The design and production of this car will be done completely in house at the Torchmate’s production facility where all of our Turnkey CNC cutting machines and water tables are produced from the Torchmate 2x2 to the 12’x40’ Torchmate X water and downdraft tables. All of the plate work for the car will be cut on a combination of the 5'x10' Torchmate X table that we use for all of our production work and a Torchmate 2x2 CNC Prototyping System we keep in the Race Prepportion of the shop to demonstrate the ability and versatility of the Torchmate machine.

    As far as actual car specifications are concerned, this was debated upon heavily between all Torchmate Racing team members. The final design that we decided on is a Twin Traction Beam (TTB) front engine 4wd setup for its advantages in the desert over solid axle, and advantages over IFS in the rock crawling sections. The design had already been started by Mike for Dave Schneider’s Ultra 4car many months ago, and now has been picked back up and completed for this build. TTB is a tried and true desert technology that we will be advancing and adapting to work for Rock Racing type applications. There are many modified stock type TTB systems available. However, we felt that in order to make the best use of the technology available in the off road industry today, and to take advantage of our combined knowledge gained in both rock crawling and desert racing, that we would design a custom, 9” based TTB setup. This would offer us a more in terms of strength and reliability in the rocks. Below are the spec's on the car:

    1.75 “ Chromoly Chassis
    550 HP LS2
    TH400Transmission
    3.0 Atlas 2speed, with Pro Series Gearsand 300m output shafts
    Griffin Radiator, Transmission cooler, and Oil cooler
    PRP Seats
    Tubeworks 4” Chromoly Rear Housing with Torchmate suspension and Truss
    Tubeworks Trophy Truck3rd member, 10” ring gear, 40 spline axles with 40 spline spool, 5.43 ratio
    24” rear axle travel
    14” travel 2.5” Radflo Coilovers
    16” travel 3.0 Radflo Bypass’
    Torchmate 9” TTB setup with Mega-Hi9 third, ARB,
    Spidertrax pumpkin and Pro Series Knuckles
    20” front wheel travel
    14” travel 2.5” Radflo Coiloversand 3.0 Bypass’
    Solid Axle Spindles and Hubs
    CTM 300m Shafts
    JE Reel Driveshafts
    Allied Wheels
    37-40” Goodyear Tires
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    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2015
  2. Torchmate

    Torchmate Administrator Staff Member

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    The next week...front end work and more.

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  3. Torchmate

    Torchmate Administrator Staff Member

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    W b-pillar bracing is in...

    I got to the point where I was putting those tubes in and realized 2 things. 1 - the tubes would not physically fit in place, 2 - there would be no way to weld all the way around the 1 3/4" tubes even if I could somehow squeeze them all in place. I asked Jake, and Sam from Samco about what the best option would be. They said that it's not uncommon for people to cut a section of the notch out and weld it back in place. It sounded crazy to me, but I guess this method is used by some of the best fabricators in the desert racing industry. I cut the notch in a place where it will never be seen once the truck is together. It will be behind the seats and firewall.

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  4. Torchmate

    Torchmate Administrator Staff Member

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    Continuing pics

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  5. Torchmate

    Torchmate Administrator Staff Member

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    Ok, so I know you all have wanted to see this part of the build for awhile, I fore-warn you though, these are not done yet. It's missing a few key elements. And yes, it's a driver's drop t-case with a passenger side drop TTB, I don't have a pass drop atlas drawn up!

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  6. Torchmate

    Torchmate Administrator Staff Member

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    Cut the Mid-plate out of 3/8" 6061 T6 aluminum yesterday on the Ultra-Cut plasma cutter yesterday. Nitrogen and Water Mist seconday sure cuts good. We'll be doing the front head mounts later on today, I'll try and get some picturesof the cuts!

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  7. Torchmate

    Torchmate Administrator Staff Member

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    Got one set of the trailing armplates cut out for the TTB crawler, I got a few pictures and a videofor you guys. .125" Chromolyat 180 ipm. 02/Air on the plasma cutter for a weld ready cut. I would have liked to cut it at 50 amps for a little better cut, but the table was all set up at 70 amps, even though the consumables had over 1500 pierces on them they were still cutting great!

    YouTube - 2011 Ultra 4 Trailing Arms cut


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  8. Torchmate

    Torchmate Administrator Staff Member

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    Back from Baja, and back from the holidays. Finalizing the design and then we get to start on the beams! Some catch-up photos from the week I was gone.

    Solid Axle Unit Bearing Replacement hubs arrived. This stuff is Solid, no pun intended!

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  9. Torchmate

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    Here are some shots of the beams coming together. Again, these are mild steel prototypes. Once the guys are sure that everything fits, the chromo version will be built. Right now they are just waiting on the skin for the driver sidebeamto come back from the bender.


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  10. Torchmate

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  11. Torchmate

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    Radius arm getting welded up

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  12. Torchmate

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    Jesse is all excited about the steering, I've been banned from taking pictures of any steering stuff until it's all done. Looks like you guys will just have to wait and see!

    These bulkhead pieces were the first test piece cut, Jesse is currently working on the next revision. Nick is working on the radius arm and shock mounts. Radius arms are all welded up and the Mega Hi9 showed up today.



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  13. Torchmate

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    Continued...

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  14. Torchmate

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    Well, when you got 5+ guys rolling on a project, things kind of start to come together.

    Got a big box today, Jack from FuelSafe Got us what we needed in a hurry for our timeline, and I must say they didn't skimp on quality to get it to us. This fuel cell is a masterpiece in it's own right.

    We also got a few components back from the bender for some panels. Roof and rear tail lightbox. It may look like an off the shelf unit, but if you look closely you can see the plate marked Torchmate logo. The roof panel has the cutout like our 2x2 and X machines for a backing plateto show through.

    Kat has been working stainless tubeand taking up his fair share of room in the front of the car. They may look like a bit of a mess, but I have been assured that all 8 cylinders are equal length...


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  15. Torchmate

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    The Fuel cell was custom ordered with dual -8 pickups. We will be running dual Bosch 044fuel pumps, one for each pickup. Pickup - Pre-Filter - Pump - Check Valve - Y into post-filter and single -8 feed line. All of this should mount right on top of the fuel cell for easy access/troubleshooting/cooling. The fuel is going to flow to the front of the car, and through Aeromotive flow through fuel rails to keep from dead-heading the system, then back to the tank with a -8 return. And an external fuel pressure regulator.

    After the last few years of fuel problems on LS powered ultra 4cars in the hot desert, it's been planned out to eliminate the problem, or at least make it easy to work on in case of failure.

    Some pictures of the paneling, roof, exhaust, and a steering component...


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  16. Torchmate

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    Got a stack of Sticky 40" Goodyear M/T's in for the car.

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    Also a Culhane Turbo 400 Transmission

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    The final Chromoly Revisions of the armsare cut, bent, and getting welded as I type.

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  19. Torchmate

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    Put on a temporary shock towerto cycle some suspension, and confirmed over 19" of wheel travel.

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    We got the Siren in from Fire ETC, this is a pretty awesome little unit. The backlit siren control panel is super compact and waterproof, more buttons for the co-driver to learn how to use!

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    Joe's Racing steering wheel, I think it's my favorite wheel.


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    Some shots of the rear axle housingout of the car. This thing looks so big it almost seems funny!


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