RZR S build and hello

racemx587

Standing On My 4 Big Horns SUCKA! - UTVUnderground
So I've been looking at this site quite a bit lately and figured it was about time to say something. First off, JoeyD, awesome job with the site, by far the best UTV site out there.

Well, there's a long story behind my RZR S, do here it goes. First off, I'll give some background of myself and the build. I got injured racing motocross when I was 17 back in 04. I was practicing for a race at a local track just outside of Las Vegas, and long story short, trying to seatbounce a big triple from the inside line on a 125 is not always the best idea haha. The crash left me shattering my c5 vertabrae and was paralyzed from my mid-chest down, my hands, and also many of my arm muscles.

My dad saw that the Rhino was just being introduced and wanted to get one and hook it up with hand controls. Tried that back in 05 and it was just too hard for me to drive (due to many of my arm muscles not working) and gave up on it. All I could really still think about was racing motocross so nothing could really compare. Plus it was when Rhinos were new and I thought they were kind of dumb (no offense) haha. Anyways, they didnt seem to mind, dad and brothers inherited a new toy.

Well not racing or having anything to really enjoy has been driving me insane. Sometime last year we say the new RZR's and threw around the idea of trying one out again. We decided to go with the "S" because of the extra suspension. The Rhino beat me up enough riding passenger, there is no way I could drive it out in the dirt. I had recently been in touch with some guys that do awesome fab work that were willing to get it set up for exactly what I need, could NOT have done this without them.

So I got a nice surprise of the RZR S one day and we got to work. Our friend installed a Howe power steering unit to help out with the steering (an absolute must). This has been a nightmare to set up right, but we are almost there. The problem is, at first it was too tight for me to steer, we then shaved down the torsion bar in the servo (to get the steering as loose as it needs to be) and the steering vibrates like crazy. We just sent everything back to Howe to have them go over it again with a fine tooth comb, hopefully they have some solutions.
We put an everyday hand control setup on there. I need to find out another way set up some hand controls. There is way too much play and slop. I'm thinking of bypassing the foot pedals and mounting the lever directly to the lever.
Racing seats and 5 points were a must, to keep me in.
Just put in a set or Pro Armor doors to keep my legs in, that worried me haha.

Anyways I think thats about it as far as adaptations we've had to make. Its a lot of work, frustrating at times, but so worth it. I cant thank the people that have helped me out enough. I am super impressed with the RZR S, it handles and rides 1000 times better than I expected. There's nothing like a motorcycle, but I feel like I've gotten back so much of what I've lost. Now I've just got to finish up college here in Utah and get back down to Vegas so I can drive more often haha. Its hard to dial in a car you can only drive once every two months.

Now I just need to get it all figured out and get it set up for the race track. The desert is cool and everything, but the races is heaven. I went and watched some friend race prolite at LOORRS and the sxs class is calling my name... I'm gonna be broke haha.

If any one has any comments or suggestions on how to make this RZR better, or anything they can think of to help out with my steering/hand control setup please let me know.

I'll post my build pics next
 
Howe servo and hand controls
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some desert whoops... feels sooo good
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here's a grin we haven't seen in a while
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here's the most recent with the doors and top
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James welcome to the site, i'm glad to see you have got your grin back, I have a good friend of mine who has a Artic Cat with all hand controls, and goes out with us all the time, glad to see you are continuing to enjoy the dirt:D, Keep Up the good work if you have any questions feel free to ask,
 
James hello and welcome to the Underground. I raced in the searchlight grand prix this year.You might want to try and get ahold of this dude his name is Chris Blais he also is paralyzed he won the race, one bad mofo. I think he can be reached at Blais racing... he was the only American ever to podium Dakar.. Give him a call real cool guy... GOOD LUCK
 
James, thank you for joining the site and thanks for the props. We are thrilled to have you join us here and its always good to hear these types of stories of how a UTV can give people in your position a little back of what they lost. I have met mor than one person in your position. Matter of fact we have quite a few paralyzed members here who have used the UTV as a means of getting back some of that off road freedom they enjoyed before being injured. A user group was started on UTVUnderground and I think its time to make it a forum section called "UTV makes a great wheelchair!"

Chris Blais would be a great guy for you to talk to to gain some pointers in your return to off road and hopefully off road racing. He isnt the only paralyzed racer, another member here races a Redline and has a blast at it. I guess my point is you definitley have a chance at recovering that feeling of competition in an off road / dirt track environment.

UTVUnderground is pleased to have you and every other member for that matter. Anyone of us could easily be in your position and I think its important we all hear these stories of perserverance. But at the end of the day paralyzed or still walking we all share the same thing and thats love for the dirt and off road. I hope you make the site a regular home, feel free to ask all the questions you may have, and dont ever hesitate to ask us if you need something..

Joey D.
 
Welcome james


James hello and welcome to the Underground. I raced in the searchlight grand prix this year.You might want to try and get ahold of this dude his name is Chris Blais he also is paralyzed he won the race, one bad mofo. I think he can be reached at Blais racing... he was the only American ever to podium Dakar.. Give him a call real cool guy... GOOD LUCK


HRT Motorsports helped/sponsored Chris out with his build. If you want to Race LOORRS, you will need a diff cage/roof and doors cannot open. if the power steering still does not work, the Unisteer electric one is the ticket. several short course racers here use it and works great.

what Loorrs race did you go to? I raced the yellow Flyin Banana RHino in that series, had alot of fun.

on a budget, you can race the "stock" class and be very competetive with that RZR-S.

HRT is at 760-788-0019. ask for Todd, he is a true racer, knows the rules and may be willing to help you out, to get ready for LOORRS series.

Rog sent ya. :)
 
Welcome james





HRT Motorsports helped/sponsored Chris out with his build. If you want to Race LOORRS, you will need a diff cage/roof and doors cannot open. if the power steering still does not work, the Unisteer electric one is the ticket. several short course racers here use it and works great.

what Loorrs race did you go to? I raced the yellow Flyin Banana RHino in that series, had alot of fun.

on a budget, you can race the "stock" class and be very competetive with that RZR-S.

HRT is at 760-788-0019. ask for Todd, he is a true racer, knows the rules and may be willing to help you out, to get ready for LOORRS series.

Rog sent ya. :)

I went to the last Primm race, I also went to the Vegas TORC race if you raced that. The races were a blast. Yea I've been wondering about that "stock" class as far as what goes. We all know what "stock" means haha.
We originally were going to go with the electronic Unisteer unit, but I called them and they said it was not adjustable. I didnt want to spend a grand and have it not work, as for me there is such a fine line of perfect and too hard.
That sucks to hear about the non opening doors, its hard enough to get me in as is, now over a door? difficult... haha
I'd like to see what you guys did with Chris' build. Sounds like you guys over at HRT know how to put a car together. Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it
 
here is his page

RZR Photos

HRT cage, doors, suspension, setup the steering and throttle/brake placement. we had to have chris there, to setup entry/ exit height on the doors. it is tuff, but he get's in/out .


he and his wife are super great people.


Short course would welcome you, I am sure and make provisions for assistance while racing. They do this for Evan Evans, and one other truck driver ( superlight class, forgot name)

Rog
 
So here is a progress update, and a pretty frustrating one at that.

As I had mentioned before, we were having power steering issues. We had a Howe servo and ram setup, but we couldn't get it set up for what I need. It was originally too stiff and I could barely steer the rzr, so we then went with a lighter torsion bar in the servo. This made the steering much easier for me, but it would get crazy headshake. We experimented with a few different torsion bar sizes, but could not get a right size to make the steering easy enough for me but without headshake. The next step we decided and were recommended to take was to use a Charlynn power steering unit (a torque generator type). We were told that it was a very simple, maintenance-free type set up and most people dont like them because they are too easy to steer. So this sounds perfect, right? Not so, I'll get into that later.

The Charlynn unit is a lot larger that the servo, so this turned out to be a whole reconstruction/ fab project with the steering. We had to re-mount the steering wheel/column and gas and brake pedals because they would not fit around the Charlynn. We figured that this would be a perfect time to re-mount my steering wheel to a place where I can get more strength to the wheel. My spinal cord injury effected many of my arm muscles such as pecs and triceps, so we discovered that placing the steering wheel horizontal in my lap with a slight tilt, much like a bus, will give me much more strength to the wheel. This will quicken my reactions and also require less hydraulic steering assist.

This turned out to be an absolute nightmare to set up. Hours of fab work turned into days and setting up the precise angles needed was a long process. Then we had to make the steering shaft connect to the Charlynn, which made us make all sorts of crazy angles with double u-joints, etc. Long story short, the u-joints ended up binding and we could not find any good angles. Also, we had to take into consideration that I still have to be able to get in and out of the rzr, which adds a whole other set of problems to work with.

We are getting rid of the foot pedals all together, to give more room and the hand controls that were connected to them made things much too sloppy. We are making a single lever on the left side that will be attached directly to the throttle cable and brake master cylinder, this will make the throttle and brake control much more precise.

So after working 6 hours a day, everyday for a week, we finally got the charlynn hooked up. We were hoping to be driving after 3 days since it was my spring break, but we know how these "small" projects go haha. We fired up the engine to test out the new Charlynn power steering, and it was wayyy too stiff, much stiffer than our previous setups, I could not even turn the wheel. I learned that the reason for this is that the servo/ram setup always has fluid flowing to assist the steering, but with the Charlynn, you need to activate the assist. To be able to activate the assist was too much for me to handle. So this was frustrating, basically one of those days you shut the garage door, dont look at it and call it a day haha. Its funny because with all this work and as frustrating as things can be, what else would we rather be doing? haha

I dont want to sound like I'm complaining too much, because this ends on a better note, finally found a light at the end of the tunnel. We are taking the rzr down to a friends shop down in southern california that has some time to do some good work with us. He put us in touch with another power steering guy and we'll play around with different rams, pump pressures, and fluid flow ratios, hopefully something will workout. Its hard because as far as I know this has never been done before, so it always help to have new ides.

At the end of the day, I have had so many good people help me out with this thing, I cant thank them enough. The have put in A LOT of hours.

I'll post some pics in my next post and if anyone has any ideas, please let me know
 
Sorry for the crappy cell phone pics, but you can get an idea....

Charlynn unit being mounted at the base of the steering to the rack
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These show how the wheel is mounted and steering shaft angles etc. The framing is just mock-up for now, once we get it figured out right, we will make it out of nice tubing. We are making the frame that holds the wheel to have a quick release to rotate up and disconnect at the steering shaft. This way I can get in and out
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Yea, it was a lot of work for it not to work haha
 
Welcome to the site and hope you get the info you need.I have seen a RZRS twist throttle and this will allows you to remove the foot peddles. I thought this was pretty cool. Dana Creech knows all about it! This car is located in LAKE ELSINORE , CA

Good luck on the build and hop to see you on th track.

Daniel@offroadswapmeet.com
 
Awesome determination and will power James, you are a true competitor, and wish you luck.
 
Looks great!! Keep up the hard work man, these kind of projects are always worth it in the end. Thought i'd let you know that the BOR race is this saturday (May 1ST) in wendover and even though your car is in progress you should come out! Lots of good people and good fun. :D
 
Looks great!! Keep up the hard work man, these kind of projects are always worth it in the end. Thought i'd let you know that the BOR race is this saturday (May 1ST) in wendover and even though your car is in progress you should come out! Lots of good people and good fun. :D

Yea, thats what we're hoping for, its going to be perfect when its all done. I wont be able to make it this weekend, I'm going to supercross, but let me know when the next one is. I'm always up for a good day at the races
 
Welcome to the site! As Rog mentioned the unisteer electric unit works great. you might try that instead of all the heavy hydro stuff. Also there is no stock class in LOORRS any more. just Pro utv and SR1. Keep plugging at it andposting!
 

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