Since you’ve probably noticed from our social media posts, we’ve been sponsoring a Pro-Lite race truck in the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series, driven by Wade Wyman. Our time with Wade has totally given us the race bug and we didn’t really have much lined up for our free time this summer besides fiddling with our friends’ beach wagons.
In the meantime, Jonathan Elkins was finishing his transition from successful Lucas Oil Racing Series driver to full-time pilot of the Terminator monster truck. As luck would have it, we stumbled on the advertisement for Elkins’ old race truck a couple of months ago and that truck is now ours.
Our little race truck is powered by an Esslinger-built Ford Lima motor that has very few stock components except for the portions of the block that haven’t been bored out yet. It’s backed by on old-school 4-speed Toploader (more on that later) and is held together by a tube chassis fabricated by the late and great Rick Huseman.
And The Race Truck Broke…
As with almost any old used vehicle, this one came with its issues, one being somewhat major, because race truck. Upon delivery, we quickly noticed that the truck didn’t want to go into gear while running as well as an ominous stream of brake fluid dribbling from the bellhousing. We suspected a clutch slave failure and once the gearbox was out, boy did we find failure.
Near as we can figure, the throwout bearing gave up the ghost, leading to an unfortunate discharge of excessive heat into the slave cylinder (it’s internal). So much heat, in fact, that the insides of the slave piston got scored to high heaven (explaining the leak) and the base of the slave literally seized to the input flange, causing part of it to sheer off of the front of the gearbox.
Fortunately, McLeod Racing is right up the road from us and fixed us up with a new slave and throwout while Dave over at Dave Waugh Remanufacturing happened to have an extra flange for us on his shelf. He even went so far as to adjust our shift forks for us.
Then We Took It Out to Play!
With the transmission reinstalled and a trip to Royal Wraps later, we headed out to Ocotillo Wells for a little shakedown adventure. Despite the intense heat, it was a great day putting the old girl through her paces. We even brought along a film crew to grab some race truck footage for our upcoming national commercial spot, organized by the producers we met while doing a segment on Motorhead Garage.
Check us out on the Velicity Channel, MavTV, and Rev’n for episode 1703 of Motorhead Garage where we install our new Tacoma upper control arms. Look for our ad spot during the fourth quarter and we will keep you posted on regional events where our truck will be making appearances.