SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal - October 2018

SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

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Page 87 of 127

Jeep’s Sandstorm Concept Vehicle This isn’t your typical slow moving Jeep By Dan Sanchez Photos courtesy Jeep While most people think of Jeeps as slow, rock crawling machines, these vehicles were a part of SCORE’s racing history. The Jeep Sandstorm concept vehicle, is a modern throwback to those days when these vehicles were common in Class 6 or Class 8 competition. According to Jeep engineers in charge of the concept, the Jeep Sandstorm is heavily inspired by Baja desert racing and was built to drive fast over long, sandy straightaways off-road, but still handle the daily driving duties on the street. Knowing how SCORE fans can easily spot a Baja wannabe, Jeep engineers took the time to carefully add off-road performance accessories that Baja race fans would appreciate. Yet, this concept truck isn’t just a new Jeep with a bunch of parts added onto it. They started with an suspension system where the front axle has been moved forward four inches and utilizes a heavy-duty longarm four-link suspension and track bar. This gives it more stability as it flies over rough terrain at high speeds and provides for greater wheel travel. Likewise, the rear axle has been moved back two inches and utilizes a triangulated trailing arm four-link suspension. Both the front and rear suspension systems was created by Mel Wade from Off-Road Evolution and include custom King coilovers and bypass shocks allow the front wheels to have 14 inches of wheel travel, while the rear wheels have up to 18 inches of wheel travel. Fast Baja vehicles also have lots of power, so the Sandstorm was equipped with a 6.4-liter V-8 engine from the Mopar performance catalog and uses a six-speed manual transmission. Along with plenty of power, the Jeep also had to look serious enough for Baja, so engineers added a carbon fiber hood, and high clearance front and rear fender flares, all of which features heat dissipation vents. A roll cage includes a rear mounted spare tire carrier. The Jeep Sandstorm’s exterior handles and swing gate have been removed while the rear doors have been chopped for a cleaner and sleeker appearance.   A set of high clearance Baja style front and rear tube bumpers were also added along with modified rock rails, an integrated on-board air compressor, race-style fuel filler, KC Carbon series front auxiliary lights and a chase light. Jeeps are also well-known for heavy-duty drivetrains and the Jeep Sandstorm can hold its on in this area as well. It uses heavy-duty front and rear Dynatrac 60 axles equipped with 5.38 ring and pinion gears. A set of 17-inch beadlock wheels and 39.5-inch BF Goodrich Krawler tires give the Sandstorm additional traction at high and low speeds. The Sandstorm’s Baja inspired race truck theme continues throughout the interior, with a well-designed roll cage that connects the chassis for greater stiffness. A set of leather-trimmed front seats are used in the front, with unique low-back racing bucket seats for rear passengers. A racing-inspired instrument cluster and a GPS unit with a large seven-inch screen handle navigation while independent rocker switches control on-board electronics, an air compressor and axle lockers. The Sandstorm concept sheds all of a typical Jeep’s plastic trim and carpet in favor of a bedlined floor. SJ

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