Building an off-road truck is a lot different than building a car to run on tarmac and it takes a whole different build to hit the offroad patches with your truck. Contrary to the popular belief, having a powerful engine like the V8 won’t just do the job. Instead, a lot of factors come into play when you decide to test your mettle in these rough and not so rigid patches. For instance, you need to have a rebuilt transmission, off-road suspensions, and tires to name a few parts.
Should I buy an assembled truck or custom-build my truck?
Of course, buying an assembled offroad truck straight from the production line will save you a lot of time and headache. But know that an all-out assembled purchase will cost you no less than a million dollars straight out of the pocket. Which explains why people go for custom-built machines instead of buying an assembled one.
When we say custom building a truck, know that we are talking about building a mean offroad machine with zero compromises on its sturdy design or compact structure to withstand the most punishing of the conditions.
Here are some expert tips on building your off-road truck commonly known as a trophy truck.
The popular 3 speed automatic TH400 is the best choice for many due to its taller gear ratios and its ability to handle the torque spikes in the trails. For those who still want the fun of manual gears, they can choose the 6-speed manual ST-6 TT Inline transmission for selecting the gear ratios to their advantage and liking.
The TH400s have remained the favorite of off-road junkies since its advent in 1964. Because these transmissions can be tweaked with torque converters, gearing, underdrive kits, and manual valve bodies to get the best out of the engine, they remain a popular contender in the market.
While three gears may sound a little primitive to most, its durability and its capability to handle high torque figures are still the best in the market with no competitors matching its figures.
The ST-6 is a compact, lightweight 6 Speed Sequential Trophy Truck Inline Transmission rated to 1000 Nm torque. It is made of LM 25 cast aluminum housings adding to its reliability. What makes the ST-6 popular among some enthusiasts is the custom input shafts, bell housing, and paddle shifters that are designed to reduce the power loss in an ST-6.
When you hit those rough patches, know that it’s the suspension that keeps your truck on the ground and helps it crawl through the hurdles. A simple definition of a good off-road suspension would be any suspension that is assembled in a perfect suspension geometry maximizing the contact patch of the tires.
Keeping the suspension light will add to the handling of your truck by reducing the total unsprung mass of the truck. While a light suspension would reduce the weight of the truck, it does compromise its durability. This is challenging, considering the last thing you need on an offroad patch is a broken suspension.
Irrespective of the miles your truck has traversed or the kind of track it has been in, there should not be a change in its exhaust note. Ideally, you need an exhaust that can keep the overall volume under control. This explains why bullet-style race mufflers are so popular in the market. Considering the high operating temperature and the abuse it has to endure, we recommend you get an exhaust made of mil grade materials that can withstand extensive use and abuse.
The Chassis of your offroad truck has to be built in a space-frame design as it can minimize the weight while maximizing its structural rigidity. The torsional rigidity of the overall geometry should also be taken into the design procedure to prevent the twisting moments which may lead to poor stability.
Apart from these, any flaws in structure framing while construction will cause the suspension to misalign in turn leading to poor handling.
5. Aerodynamic design
While the aerodynamic design of an offroad truck won’t make a big difference in a rough patch, it can make a lot of difference while you take it to the tarmac or long patches at higher speeds. Ideally, the truck has to be designed to reduce the drag to the minimum.
Proper crash guards and protection equipment including seat belts, safety harnesses, and fuel storage protection are to be installed in your truck. It is important to note that the front and rear impact protectors should not disturb the weight distribution and stability of the truck.
Frequently Asked Question on Offroad Trucks
1. How much does an off-road racing truck cost?
As said in the beginning, and assembled offroad truck from the factory can cost you anywhere between $250,000 to $500,000. Note that this is apart from the cost for additional parts like auxiliary lights, custom suspension, tires, etc.
2. Are Trophy Trucks Street legal?
No, trophy trucks are not street legal. Trophy trucks usually come with a big engine like a 9L V8 churning out around 1,000+ horsepower and are designed to speed above 150mph.
3. Why do Trophy Trucks have fans in the back?
The position of the engine in a trophy truck engine plays a role in the weight distribution and most of these trucks come with a mid-engine design with the radiator & radiator fan in the back. This is done to ensure that the radiator can still function in the event of a frontend collision saving the truck from being out of a race.
Building an off-road from scratch?
If you are looking for spare parts or assembly parts for your custom truck, feel free to reach out to dtprofab if you are looking for quality parts at the best prices in the market. The unlimited variety and stocks are available at your fingertips to be delivered at your garage step at the earliest possible date. We have custom package options to choose from according to your budget considering the build from scratch nature of the trophy trucks.