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Superstars: Here are the 10 Top Truck Challenge 2015 competitors!

Posted in Events on October 24, 2015
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Photographers: John Cappa

You’ve done it again! Not long ago we compiled info on 31 rigs submitted by their owners and we asked you to cast your vote for which 10 of these awesome Top Truck Challenge 2015 hopefuls would make the trek to Hollister, California, for our giant, weeklong, seven-event off-road thrashfest. You responded with an avalanche of ballots and we tallied the votes. The Top 10 vote-getting rigs were notified that they had been given the nod by you and were invited to compete in the 23rd running of Top Truck Challenge, better known as TTC. As usual, we also included two alternates in case up to 2 of the 10 competitors couldn’t make it, and that’s exactly what happened this year.

Of the 31 TTC hopefuls, 14 were GM vehicles, 4 were Jeep, 4 were Ford, 2 were Toyota, and 2 were Suzuki. There was also one each of International Harvester, Dodge, Fiat, Land Rover, and Nissan. You voted in seven GM vehicles, the Dodge, one of the Fords, and the International. The Dodge and Ford owners declined to compete a few days prior to the event. The alternate rigs, a Toyota and a GM, were activated, thus solidifying the field. For the third consecutive year you rejected Jeep vehicles, which marks only the third time in TTC history that Jeep vehicles have been absent from the event.

Four of the competitors you voted in came from Canada, three from the state of Oregon, and one each from Idaho, Wyoming, and California. Slightly over half of the 10 rigs were big-block-powered and almost half were sporting 2 1/2-ton Rockwell axles.

In a previous story we showed you a reader-submitted photo and gave you a basic overview of each rig. In this story, we’ll delve deeper into each rig and provide the lowdown on everything from axles to engines to interiors. Each rig has changed to some degree since you voted ’em in (a vehicle is allowed to be modified prior to competition as long as it resembles the rig the reader submitted and adheres to the rules), and the way you see the rigs here is exactly the way they entered competition. Look for even more info on these rigs in upcoming issues.

These rigs don’t magically create a strategy and drive themselves, so this is why we’re including information about each talented driver. We sent each driver a few questions and are including the answers to some of those questions within each feature. This will offer you a glimpse into the thought process of each driver.

In next month’s issue of Four Wheeler, we’ll publish the huge, detailed event story. You’ll see incredible photos and read all the fascinating details of how each competitor did in all seven of TTC’s gnarly events. For now, read on to get to know the TTC 2015 competitors and their rigs.


Furlong Scout
A Cummins-powered International Harvester Scout with AxleTech 4000 axles is an interesting combination, and it’s no wonder you voted it into TTC 2015. Owner Adam Furlong says that he has built “most of this truck, with some help from few good friends,” over the course of 10 years. Now it’s time to put the rig to the ultimate test.

Furlong’s Scout still has some IH DNA, including the chassis and the reverse-opening hood. Outside, equipment includes a pair of KC HiLites driving lights, front and rear inner fender lights, and a front-mounted Smittybilt XRC 9,500-pound winch with VooDoo winch rope. The rig rolls on a set of 54-inch tires mounted to 10-inch-wide double beadlock wheels. Inside, there’s a custom rollcage, a pair of Scat Enterprises Procar suspension seats with four-point safety harnesses, stock gauge cluster from a Cummins-powered truck, and a collection of Auto Meter gauges.
Both of the AMSOIL-lubed AxleTech 4000 axles have pneumatic lockers, hydraulic steering with AMSOIL fluid, and EMF rams and ball sockets (the rear-steer uses a Kamikaze Customs self-centering system). Custom rotors, along with calipers pirated from a ’10 Duramax-equipped Silverado, handle braking. Power is carried from the reclocked and AMSOIL-lubed NP205 to the axles via custom driveshafts with 1410 U-joints. The front and rear suspension is a three-link radius arm setup with Currie and Trail-Gear joints along with Profender 16-inch-travel remote-reservoir coilovers, 16-inch-travel bypass shocks, and 4-inch-travel bumpstops.
Furlong estimates that the 5.9L 6BT turbodiesel powerplant generates 400 hp and 800 lb-ft of torque. Among other things, the engine has a custom intake, 100hp injectors, 4,000-rpm governor spring kit, AMSOIL lube, and an exhaust stack on the ’04 Cummins turbo. The engine is fed by a RCI fuel cell with Russell lines and cooled by a rear-mount radiator fit with a Flex-a-lite electric fan. A pair of rear-mounted Optima batteries (in TMR boxes) helps to create amperage for electrical needs. Power is transferred through a TorqueFlite 727 automatic transmission that has a mild shift kit, Flex-a-lite cooler, and AMSOIL fluid.

Adam Speaks
Most looking forward to: “Tank Trap. I have always liked the Tank Trap because it takes driver skill and a well-built rig just to finish.”

Not looking forward to: “I'm looking forward to all of the events.”

One thing you should know: “I always want more power, whether it’s a car, truck, dirt bike, or snowmobile. Really, anything with a motor. I have a hard time leaving anything stock—I like to make horsepower!”

The Details
Driver name/city: Adam Furlong/Pemberton, British Columbia, Canada
Occupation: Mechanic
Vehicle model: ’79 International Harvester Scout II
Engine: Cummins 5.9L I-6 turbodiesel
Transmission: TF727
Transfer case(s): NP205
Suspension (f/r): Radius arm three-link, 16-in-travel Profender remote-reservoir coilovers, 16-in-travel Profender bypass shocks, Profender 4-in-travel bumpstops/radius arm three-link, 16-in-travel Profender remote-reservoir coilovers, 16-in-travel Profender bypass shocks, Profender 4-in-travel bumpstops
Axles (f/r): AxleTech 4000, pneumatic locker, custom disc brakes, hydraulic steering/AxleTech 4000, pneumatic locker, custom disc brakes, hydraulic steering
Axle ratio: 1.93:1 (ring-and-pinion), 3.50:1 (planetary hubs), 6.80:1 (final)
Wheels: 20x10 double beadlock
Tires: 19.5/54-20LT Interco Super Swamper TSL Bogger


Ryan’s K10
Ryan Agan purchased this ’83 K10 in 2009 when he was a senior in high school. Over the years the rig has had three different engines, five different transmissions, four different transfer case setups, three different front axles, and four different rear axles. Last year, Ryan was an alternate at Top Truck Challenge. This year, you gave him the nod.

The front of the K10 has been narrowed a total of 12 inches and the rear has been narrowed 14 inches. The bed has also been shortened 6 inches behind the wheels. Other exterior mods include radiused fenders and bedsides, custom half-doors, custom rock sliders, a front-mounted Warn 9.5cti winch, rear Warn 4,000-pound winch (to draw down the rear axle), four LED headlights, and a 50-inch LED roof-mounted lightbar. The interior includes a trick custom rollcage, removable steering wheel, and an array of Auto Meter gauges.
The WFO-trussed Chevy Dana 60 front axle has been moved 8 inches forward from stock and includes Reid Racing knuckles, a Dana 70 carrier and cryogenically treated 4.56 gears, RCV axleshafts, a Detroit Locker, and AMSOIL gear oil. The hydraulic steering system includes a PSC ram and Offroad Design arms. The 14-bolt rear axle has been moved 2 inches rearward from stock and includes a Pacific Fabrication truss, Revolution Gear & Axle 4.56 gears, welded spider gears, and AMSOIL gear oil. The front and rear suspension consist of a triangulated four-link setup with MetalCloak Duroflex joints and ORI STX 16-inch-travel struts. South Bay Driveline driveshafts sprout from the NP203/205 Offroad Design Doubler T-case setup that uses AMSOIL fluid.
Nestled between the framerails is a fuel-injected GM LQ9 6.0L V-8 that generates 450 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. Some of its features include Tilden valvesprings and trunnion bearings, Sanderson headers, Flowmaster muffler, and 3-inch exhaust. The engine is cooled by an aluminum radiator with dual electric fans; electrical needs are handled by a Pacific Fabrication engine harness and dual Optima RedTop batteries; and AMSOIL is the lube of choice. Fuel is drawn from a 19-gallon aluminum fuel cell. Bolted to the engine is a heavily built TH400 transmission with Tilden pan, AMSOIL fluid, and Derale cooler with 10-inch fan.

Ryan Speaks
Most looking forward to: “The Tank Trap! It has always been the biggest and baddest event in TTC!”

Not looking forward to: “Frame Twister. It’s pretty easy to do some damage in that event!”

One thing you should know: “I will do what it takes to help out my fellow competitors.”

The Details
Driver name/city: Ryan Agan/Hollister, California
Occupation: Fabrication/technician
Vehicle model: ’83 Chevy K10
Engine: GM 6.0L V-8
Transmission: TH400
Transfer case(s): NP203/205, Offroad Design Doubler
Suspension (f/r): Triangulated four-link, ORI STX 16-in-travel struts/triangulated four-link, ORI STX 16-in-travel struts
Axles (f/r): Chevy Dana 60, Jantz Engineering Jana 76 kit, RCV axleshafts, hydraulic steering, PSC ram, WFO truss/14-bolt, welded spider gears, Pacific Fabrication truss
Axle ratio: 4.56:1
Wheels: 17x12 Stazworks double beadlock
Tires: 43x14.50-17LT Interco TSL SX


Dan’s GMC
We can’t say we’re surprised that you gave Dan Osterhout’s ’70 GMC pickup the thumbs-up to compete in TTC 2015. This rig is not only based on a timeless classic body style, but it also has a fascinating collection of serious parts like a big-block engine and 2 1/2-ton Rockwell axles. Now we’ll see how it fares in the evil Tank Trap.

Exterior mods include narrowed front and rear sheetmetal as well as generous fender trimming to allow the 47-inch tires on Rhino Fabrication beadlock wheels room to move without contacting the sheetmetal. Other exterior mods include a pair of Rigid Industries lights and a front-mounted Smittybilt 9,500-pound winch with VooDoo winch rope. What you can’t see are the front frame mods designed to create room for the Rockwell axle and the rollcage stiffeners between the framerails. Interior equipment includes a pair of RCI seats, G-Force harnesses, GT steering wheel, custom aluminum console, and an array of Auto Meter gauges.
Both of the 2 1/2-ton Rockwell axles have welded spider gears, DIY4X pinion brakes, AMSOIL gear oil, and hydraulic steering. The axles internals are spun by owner-fabbed driveshafts with 1410 U-joints. The rig’s unique suspension system is a Boomerang cantilever/double-triangulated four-link setup that includes 12-inch-travel Profender coilovers and 16-inch-travel air shocks. There’s also a quartet of limit straps and a pair of Profender bumpstops. An NP205 T-case filled with AMSOIL fluid splits power to the driveshafts.
The 427ci big-block engine is said to produce 550hp at 6,000 rpm and 550 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm. The engine’s equipment includes Speedpro pistons, L-88 heads, an Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, FAST fuel injection, custom headers, and a dual 3-inch exhaust with Magnaflow mufflers. The ‘plant is lubed by AMSOIL and cooled by a four-core aluminum radiator with 16-inch Maradyne electric fan. A 100-amp alternator and Interstate 1,100 cca battery help to meet electrical needs. Power is routed through a TH400 transmission that includes a TransGo manual shift kit, B&M cooler with Maradyne fan, and AMSOIL fluid.

Dan Speaks
Most looking forward to: “Coal Chute because it looks challenging to driving skill and vehicle limitation.”

Not looking forward to: “Mud Pit because that’s the kind of thing I wheel in now.”

One thing you should know: “I have no other hobbies but fabricating and four-wheeling. Just ask my fiancée.”

The Details
Driver name/city: Dan Osterhout/Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Occupation: Superintendent
Vehicle model: ’70 GMC pickup
Engine: GM 427ci V-8
Transmission: TH400
Transfer case(s): NP205
Suspension (f/r): Boomerang cantilever, double triangulated, Profender 12-in-travel coilovers, 16-in-travel air shocks/Boomerang cantilever, double triangulated, Profender 12-in-travel coilovers, 16-in-travel air shocks, Profender bumpstops
Axles (f/r): 2 1/2-ton Rockwell, welded spiders, hydraulic steering, DIY4X pinion brake/2 1/2-ton Rockwell, welded spiders, hydraulic steering, DIY4X pinion brake
Axle ratio: 6.72:1
Wheels: 16.5x12 Rhino Fabrication beadlock
Tires: 17/47-16.5LT Interco Super Swamper LTB


Eric’s K2500
A rig like Eric Kam’s Chevy K2500 doesn’t happen overnight. As a matter of fact, Eric says it has taken about 10 years to get the truck to where it is today. And where it is today is poised to challenge Top Truck’s seven gnarly events because you voted it in. Eric seems more than ready to unleash the big-block, Rockwells, and 54s.

The backbone of the truck is a boxed and shortened K2500 chassis. The sheetmetal is almost all modified, either by trees or a Sawzall, Eric says. The rig rolls on 54-inch tires mounted on custom 14-inch-wide double beadlock wheels. A Superwinch 15,500-pound Tiger Shark winch is at the ready up front. Inside, equipment includes a pair of plastic race seats, Joes Racing steering wheel, several Auto Meter gauges, and a custom rollcage.
Welded spider gears and AMSOIL gear oil reside in the 2 1/2-ton Rockwell axles, and each axle also has Ouverson axleshafts, a custom pinion brake, and a PSC ram for the hydraulic steering. Each axle is located by triangulated four-link bars with EMF spherical rod ends. An ORI remote-reservoir strut resides at each corner and the front struts have 16 inches of travel, while the rear struts have 18 inches of travel. A NorthWest FabWorks BlackBox underdrive is located between the transmission and NP205 T-case. A pair of 1410-jointed Xtreme Driveline driveshafts carry power to the axles.
The 496ci big-block engine is said to produce 600 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque. The ’plant has forged pistons, a Comp Cams camshaft, Edelbrock RPM Air-Gap intake, FAST fuel injection, MSD ignition, Sanderson headers, Borla mufflers, and AMSOIL lube. Cooling the engine is a Griffin aluminum radiator with electric fan and pump. Mated to the engine is a TH400 transmission with manual valvebody and AMSOIL fluid. The transmission is cooled by a “tractor cooler.”

Eric Speaks
Most looking forward to: “Tank Trap. Hardest obstacle, and it's what we're used to here in Canada.”

Not looking forward to: “Nothing. Should be fun.”

One thing you should know: “I have a baby due a week after TTC, if it ain't early.”

The Details
Driver name/city: Eric Kam/Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Occupation: Engineer
Vehicle model: ’85 Chevy K2500
Engine: GM 496ci V-8
Transmission: TH400
Transfer case(s): NorthWest FabWorks BlackBox/NP205
Suspension (f/r): Triangulated four-link, EMF spherical rod ends, 16-in-travel ORI remote-reservoir struts/triangulated four-link, EMF spherical rod ends, 18-in-travel ORI remote-reservoir struts
Axles (f/r): 2 1/2-ton Rockwell, welded spiders, hydraulic steering, custom pinion brake/2 1/2-ton Rockwell, welded spiders, hydraulic steering, custom pinion brake
Axle ratio: 6.72:1
Wheels: 20x14 custom double beadlock
Tires: 19.5/54x-20LT Interco Super Swamper TSL Bogger


Christopher’s Jimmy
Christopher Bowman owns Bowman Transmission and Off Road (BTOR) and his ’88 GMC Jimmy has undergone a few changes since you voted it into Top Truck 2015. One thing that Christopher didn’t change is the bone-stock 100,000-mile-plus 350ci V-8 engine. Will the old engine grenade or help carry the truck to an impressive overall finish?

Big 54-inch Mickey Thompson Baja Claw TTC tires are mated to Hutchinson double beadlock wheels with custom BTOR wheel inserts. But there’s a lot more. Among other things there’s a MC Welding front bumper and winch mount, BTOR rocker replacement sliders and rear bumper, and Wicked Tube Fab fenders. Also, a trick front-mounted custom BTOR dual geartrain Warn 8274 winch with two 6 hp motors and VooDoo winch rope and a rear-mounted Engo USA 10,000-pound winch with VooDoo winch rope. Interior mods include Corbeau suspension seats and a full rollcage that ties into the engine/suspension ’cage.
AxleTech 4000 axles are located fore and aft, and both are fit with the factory pneumatic locker, custom BTOR disc brakes hydro-assist steering, and AMSOIL gear oil. The axles internals are spun by a pair of Tom Wood’s driveshafts. The rig’s front suspension consists of a spherical rod-ended five-link with F-O-A remote-reservoir 16-inch-travel coilovers, 4-inch-travel bumpstops, and 20-inch limit straps. The rear includes military-wrapped 54-inch leafs and Doetsch Tech Prerunner 14-inch-travel shocks. The rig uses a custom BTOR 231 gearbox with 2.72:1 ratio and a GM NP205 T-case that was modified by BTOR with 32 spline outputs. Both components use AMSOIL lube.
Among other things, the 350ci V-8 has a TBI spacer, custom-tuned chip by 208 Motorsports, ported ’94 Chevy truck exhaust manifolds, ’96 K1500-sourced gear reduction starter, and AMSOIL lube. Dual 140-amp alternators (with twin resettable circuit breakers) work in conjunction with a pair of Odyssey PC1500 batteries to generate electrical power. Bolted to the engine is a BTOR-built TH400 transmission that includes a custom transmission case to strengthen the tailhousing, AMSOIL fluid, and BorgWarner clutches.

Christopher Speaks
Most looking forward to: “Not sure I have a favorite event—I want to do them all and hopefully complete them. Each one has their own challenges for me as a driver, challenges for my rig, and challenges for my co-driver.”

Not looking forward to: “Doesn't really apply to me, as I look forward to them all! Pretty bummed the word on the street is there is no mud again this year due to the drought. I wouldn't have placed well with a heavy rig and stock horsepower, but it would have been a blast.”

One thing you should know: “Move along, there's nothing to see here.”

The Details
Driver name/city: Christopher Bowman/Mountain Home, Idaho
Occupation: Owner, Bowman Transmission and Off Road, LLC.
Vehicle model: ’88 GMC Jimmy
Engine: GM 350ci V-8
Transmission: TH400
Transfer case(s): BTOR 231 gearbox, NP205
Suspension (f/r): Five-link, F-O-A 16-in-travel remote-reservoir coilovers, 4-in-travel F-O-A bumpstops, F-O-A 20-in limit straps/54-in leaf springs with military wrap, Doetsch Tech Prerunner 14-in-travel shocks
Axles (f/r): AxleTech 4000, factory pneumatic locker, BTOR hydro-assist steering and disc brakes/AxleTech 4000, factory pneumatic locker, BTOR disc brakes
Axle ratio: 1.93:1 (ring-and-pinion), 3.5:1 (planetary hubs), 6.80:1 (final)
Wheels: 20x12 Hutchinson double beadlock
Tires:19.5/54-20LT Mickey Thompson Baja Claw TTC


Kimberly’s GMC
Does this truck look familiar? It should because it has appeared at Top Truck twice previously. The first time was in 2010 when Jason Gray drove it to a win in the Truck Class, and the second time was when Jason drove it in the 2012 Top Truck Champions Challenge. This year, Jason’s wife, Kimberly, takes the wheel of the rig with Jason as spotter.

All of the rig’s body mounts were relocated 3 inches higher on the chassis, and from the firewall forward is a custom tube chassis. The front and rear of the body has been narrowed, the fender openings enlarged, and a pair of square-tube rock sliders are welded to the cab floor. The truck rolls on 54-inch Mickey Thompson Baja Claw TTCs mounted to Stazworks double beadlock wheels. Other exterior features include custom tube doors by Grayfab, front-mounted Warn 9.5ti winch, and a rear-mounted Warn 3,000-pound winch with VooDoo winch rope. Inside is a pair of Ford Escort GT seats, a Grant steering wheel, and a collection of Auto Meter gauges.
A pair of 2 1/2-ton Rockwell axles reside under the truck, and both are equipped with Ouverson Violator axleshafts and filled with AMSOIL gear oil. The front axle has Holden On Motorsports disc brakes, the factory locker, and PSC hydraulic steering, while the rear axle uses a pinion brake and a spool. The four-link suspension system includes RuffStuff spherical rod ends and mounts, F-O-A 16-inch-travel coilovers, and F-O-A 4-inch-travel bumpstops. An AMSOIL-lubed NP203/205 T-case setup with 32-spline outputs splits power to the axles, and it’s carried by custom driveshafts. The driveshafts are painted yellow because “all badass trucks have yellow drivelines.”
Under the hood is a propane-fueled 454ci V-8 that is said to produce a “couple hundred…maybe” horsepower. The engine has dual exhaust with Flowmaster mufflers, a MSD Street Fire distributor, Accel plug wires, and AMSOIL lube. Fuel is drawn from a pair of 8-gallon forklift propane tanks. The engine is cooled by the stock radiator with custom shroud and a pair of electric fans. Helping to generate amperage is a pair of 900-cca truck batteries. Bolted to the big-block engine is a TH400 transmission with shift kit and AMSOIL fluid.

Kimberly Speaks
Most looking forward to: “The Tank Trap because that seems to be what everyone talks about.”

Not looking forward to: “Nothing really comes to mind.”

One thing you should know: “I absolutely hate being in front of a camera!”

The Details
Driver name/city: Kimberly Gray/Amity, Oregon
Occupation: Currently a stay at home mom.
Vehicle model: ’75 GMC pickup
Engine: GM 454ci V-8
Transmission: TH400
Transfer case(s): NP203/205 Doubler, 32-spline outputs
Suspension (f/r): Four-link, RuffStuff spherical rod ends and mounts, F-O-A 16-in-travel coilovers and 4-in-travel bumpstops/four-link, RuffStuff spherical rod ends and mounts, F-O-A 16-in-travel coilovers and 4-in-travel bumpstops, Grayfab Top Hat, Currie Antirock sway bar
Axles (f/r): 2 1/2-ton Rockwell, factory locker, Ouverson Violator axleshafts, Holden On Motorsports disc brakes/2 1/2-ton Rockwell, factory locker, Ouverson Violator axleshafts, pinion brake, DIY4X covers
Axle ratio: 6.72:1
Wheels: 20x12 Stazworks double beadlock
Tires: 19.5/54-20LT Mickey Thompson Baja Claw TTC


Jeremy’s Blazer
Jeremy Brown has a history with Top Truck Challenge. He has been on the recovery crew and has been trying to get voted in as a competitor. This year, you gave him his wish. He’s coming to Hollister with his big-block-powered Blazer, and it’s sporting some upgrades since you gave him the thumbs-up.

The front and rear body of Jeremy’s Blazer has been narrowed, and there are custom rock sliders and larger wheel openings for the big 47-inch tires that are mounted to Why Not Customs Hummer beadlocks with Rogue Fabrication centers. Up front is a Dan Keller winch bumper that mounts a Warn 8274 winch with VooDoo winch rope. The rig has a massive custom ’cage, and the interior includes a pair of race seats with safety harnesses, as well as an aftermarket steering wheel, custom Alex Sanders TTC shift knob, and a pair of rear-mounted propane tanks.
The Dana 60 front axle includes Yukon chromoly ’shafts, Super Joints, a spool, and drive flanges. The axle is also fit with Revolution Gear & Axle 5.38 gears, a RuffStuff diff cover, and Reid Racing knuckles and Cs. Out back is a 14-bolt axle that includes Yukon chromoly axles, a Revolution spool and 5.38 gears, Ballistic Fabrication pinion yoke guard, Grayfab anti-wrap bar and disc brakes, and a RuffStuff diff cover. The hydro-assist steering system utilizes Redneck Ram and JH Offroad components. Both axles are fed by homemade driveshafts that use Tom Wood’s Super-Flex joints. The Offroad Design-sourced NP205 T-case has a 32-spline conversion, and it’s controlled by JB Custom Fabrication cable shifters. The front and rear suspension system is a simple leaf-spring setup with shocks.
Under the hood is a propane-fired 454ci big-block that Jeremy says has stock internals. The engine has a Muffler Works exhaust, and the ’plant is cooled by a front-mounted radiator with electric fan. Bolted to the engine is a Dan’s Gears SM465 four-speed manual transmission.

Jeremy Speaks
Most looking forward to: “Tank Trap. I really want to cross that finish line.”

Not looking forward to: “Tow Test. That's a heavy truck to pull, and I don't wanna break before the Frame Twister.” One thing you should know: “Every time I go to Hollister I get poison oak really bad. Sucks, but it's worth the itching to be at TTC. And earthquakes are more fun when you're drunk. As for the submerged engine? S***lbuffout.”

The Details
Driver name/city: Jeremy Brown/Sherwood, Oregon
Occupation: Concrete technician
Vehicle model: ’72 Chevy Blazer
Engine: GM 454ci V-8
Transmission: SM465
Transfer case(s): NP205
Suspension (f/r): Leaf springs, shocks/leaf springs, shocks, Grayfab anti-wrap bar
Axles (f/r): Dana 60, Yukon chromoly axleshafts, Yukon Super Joints, Yukon drive flanges, Redneck Ram hydro-assist, JH Offroad high-steer arm, Reid Racing knuckles and Cs, Yukon spool, RuffStuff diff cover/14-bolt, Yukon chromoly axles, Revolution Gear & Axle spool, Grayfab disc brakes and anti-wrap bar, Ballistic Fabrication pinion yoke guard, RuffStuff diff cover
Axle ratio: 5.38:1
Wheels: 16.5x8.5 Why Not Customs Hummer beadlock w/Rogue Fabrication center
Tires: 17/47-16.5LT Interco Super Swamper LTB


Mike’s Blazer
Since you last saw Mike Jaskolski’s ’76 Chevy Blazer, one of the things he has done is to increase the tire size from 44 inches to 47 inches. Add this to the truck’s impressive list of equipment and it looks as though Mike is ready for Top Truck’s seven nasty events. His 10-year build is about to go head-to-head with some serious terrain.

The front and rear of the Blazer has been narrowed, the rocker panels have been raised to improve ground clearance, the frame has been shortened, and the wheelbase extended to 116.5 inches. There’s Offroad Design tube doors, a custom front bumper, a Warn 12,500-pound winch with VooDoo winch rope, video cameras front and rear, six forward-facing HID lights, a 50-inch LED lightbar, and four Rigid LED rock lights. The rig rolls on 47-inch tires on 12-inch-wide Stazworks double beadlock wheels. Interior mods include four seats, a Grant steering wheel, custom dash, Auto Meter gauges, and a custom 10-point rollcage.
Up front is a Dana 60 axle that includes a Dana 70 ring-and-pinion, RCV axleshafts and drive flanges, chromoly pinion yoke, 5.13:1 gears, ARB Air Locker, AMSOIL gear oil, and PSC steering ram. Out back is a 14-bolt axle that includes RCV axleshafts, chromoly pinion yoke, TMR 14 Shave Kit, 5.13:1 gears, AMSOIL gear oil, and disc brakes with CNC cutting brakes. The three-link front suspension includes King 14-inch-travel remote-reservoir coilovers and bumpstops. The four-link rear suspension includes 16-inch-travel King coilover shocks and bumpstops. A LoMax 205 3:1 T-case and AMSOIL-filled Offroad Design NP203/205 Doubler sends power to the Tom Wood’s driveshafts.
Mike says the Holley-injected 555ci big-block Chevy engine produces 703 hp at the tires. Engine highlights include a Dart Big M block, aluminum heads, a 400hp nitrous system, and AMSOIL lube. Fuel is drawn from a 20-gallon Aeromotive fuel cell and custom 16-gallon reserve fuel tanks. Electrical needs are met in part by a 240-amp alternator and a pair of Optima RedTop batteries. The engine is cooled via a custom large radiator with electric fans. Power is sent to a built TH400 transmission that’s filled with AMSOIL fluid.

Mike Speaks
Most looking forward to: “I’m looking forward to the Mud Pit so I can spray the NOS on the 555ci Dart BBC. It looks like it has been a very dry year in California, so I’m taking a guess that with the lack of water the Mud Pit is not going to happen, so I have to go with the Mini Rubicon. Even though Thumper has a big motor, it can rockcrawl very well. We have done some of the hardest trails in Moab with a huge smile!”

Not looking forward to: “Most definitely the logs on the Frame Twister! The past TTC event I watched the logs literally end the TTC event for some competitors and tear their rigs apart. The ticket is to try not to destroy your rig and do all the events! Easy to say, but when adrenaline gets to flowing with a camera on who knows what will happen!”

One thing you should know: “I’m out to have fun, but I do have a competitive side as all of us competitors will. Most importantly, it is the relationships and friends you meet on every journey that is important. I have never raced Thumper or been in a competition with Thumper so this will be all new to me. I will not let down the people that voted for me so Thumper will get driven hard, and if it breaks, I guess we will have to fix it! This will be an event my twin brother Robert and I will always remember, no matter what happens, and I am happy to be able to bring him along for the ride even though he is a Ford guy!”

The Details
Driver name/city: Mike Jaskolski/Laramie, Wyoming
Occupation: Oilfield consultant
Vehicle model: ’76 Chevy Blazer
Engine: GM 555ci V-8
Transmission: TH400
Transfer case(s): NP203/205 Offroad Design Doubler, JB Conversions LoMax 205 3:1
Suspension (f/r): Custom three-link, Summit Machine aluminum lower links, 14-in-travel King remote-reservoir coilover shocks, King bumpstops/custom four-link, Summit Machine aluminum lower links, 16-in-travel King remote-reservoir coilover shocks, King bumpstops
Axles (f/r): Dana 60, Jantz Engineering Jana 76 kit, RCV axleshafts, ARB Air Locker, PSC hydraulic steering/14-bolt, TMR 14 Shave Kit, RVC axleshafts, ARB Air Locker, disc brakes
Axle ratio: 5.13:1
Wheels: 16x12 Stazworks double beadlock
Tires: 47x21-16LT Pitbull Growler


Jake’s Toyota
Jake Brazier’s ’86 Toyota pickup is the smallest rig with the smallest engine in the 2015 lineup of TTC competitors. That being said, Jake has lots of experience behind the wheel of his budget-built rig and knows the truck inside and out. Judging by the big-air photo he sent in with his entry form, we could be in for quite a show.

Jake says the metal work on the exterior of his Toyota was courtesy of trees and the tires hitting the body. Other exterior mods include a 1-inch body lift, “homemade junk” front bumper, Trail-Gear rock sliders, box tubing rear bumper, cowl hood with mind-game 350ci logo, rollbar, five “cheap, junky” auxiliary lights, a front-mounted 10,000-pound Smittybilt winch with VooDoo winch rope, and a rear-mounted 10,000-pound Superwinch winch. Putting power to the ground is a set of 44-inch tires mounted to Stazworks double beadlock wheels. Inside the truck you’ll find everything mostly stock with the exception of a rollcage fashioned from 1 3/4-inch DOM, Sony Xplod head unit, “$5 6x9” speakers, and a collection of gauges that Jake says are “all different brands, all cheap junk.”
The front axle is a Dodge Dana 60 and has RCV axleshafts, a spool, 7.17:1 gears, AMSOIL gear oil, and PSC hydraulic steering. The axle’s internals are turned by a square-tube front driveshaft. Out back is a Dodge Dana 70U axle and it has 7.17:1 gears, welded spider gears, AMSOIL gear oil, and 3/4-ton Chevy rear brakes. The rear axle’s internals are turned by a modified ’98 Toyota CV driveshaft. Power is sent to the axles via a twin T-case setup consisting of dual Toyota transfer cases filled with AMSOIL fluid. Leaf springs and Bilstein shocks comprise the suspension. Note the creative use of old, retired road signs.
Under the hood is a Toyota Supra-sourced 3.0L 7M-GTE turbocharged six-cylinder engine. Jake says it generates 300 hp at 5,600 rpm and 300 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. It has a divorced 3-inch-diameter downpipe and AMSOIL lube, and it is cooled by a bed-mounted radiator with 16- and 12-inch Flex-a-lite electric fans and AMSOIL Dominator Coolant Boost. A pair of rear-mounted Interstate batteries helps to generate electrical power. Mated to the engine is an AMSOIL-lubed R154/R150 hybrid Toyota transmission.

Jake Speaks
Most looking forward to: “The Frame Twister. I’m interested in how the old blue truck will handle the logs.”

Not looking forward to: “The Tow Test.”

One thing you should know: “I like to smash stuff.”

The Details
Driver name/city: Jake Brazier/Choiceland, Saskatchewan, Canada
Occupation: Automotive service technician
Vehicle model: ’86 Toyota pickup
Engine: Toyota 7M-GTE turbocharged I-6
Transmission: R154/R150 hybrid
Transfer case(s): Dual Toyota
Suspension (f/r): Leaf, Bilstein shocks/leaf, Bilstein shocks
Axles (f/r): Dana 60, spool/Dana 70U, welded spiders, disc brakes
Axle ratio: 7.17:1
Wheels: 15x10 Stazworks double beadlock
Tires: 18.50/44-15LT Interco Super Swamper TSL


Jason’s Blazer
With massive cubes under the hood, massive axles under the rig, and massive tires mounted to the wheels, Jason Moon’s huge ’91 Chevy Blazer looks to be a major player in this year’s Top Truck Challenge. Soon, you’ll see the rig in action and find out how he and his rig fared.

The first thing you probably notice about Jason’s Blazer is the extended wheelbase and the hefty body mods. The huge 54s on Stazworks double beadlock wheels also stand out, as does the incredible tube work. That tube work was done by Jason’s company, Moon Benders Fab. The exterior also includes a Warn Zeon 12 Platinum winch and Rigid Industries lighting. The rig’s interior features include PRP custom embroidered seats and a collection of Auto Meter gauges.
Both of the 2 1/2-ton Rockwell axles are locked, have Wilwood pinion brakes, and PSC hydraulic steering. The axles internals are turned via High Angle Driveline-sourced chromoly driveshafts that include 1480 U-joints. The very well protected Offroad Design NP203/205 Doubler T-case setup splits power to the ’shafts. The suspension includes a four-link system, 18-inch-travel King coilover shocks, limit straps, and a Plan B Fab rear antiroll bar.
Under the hood is a ground-pounding 632ci V-8 that is reported to generate 800 hp at 5,800 rpm and 800 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm. Some of its features include JE pistons, Sonny Leonard heads, Comp Cams camshaft, a Jesel valvetrain, FAST fuel injection, and Hooker Super Comp headers. The engine draws fuel from a Jaz fuel cell and is cooled by a Be Cool radiator. Electrical demands are met in part by a custom wiring harness and a pair of Optima batteries. Power is routed through a heavily modified Coan Racing TH400 transmission that is cooled by an aftermarket cooler.

Jason Speaks
Most looking forward to: “The Tank Trap. It seems to be a challenge for many competitors, and I feel it will be one of our strong points.”

Not looking forward to: “The Coal Chute. It is better suited for short wheelbase vehicles, and that's not the case with the Blazer.”

One thing you should know: “I'm flat broke now, and by broke I mean $3 in my account. But I have a badass Blazer, so watch me do a burnout!”

The Details
Driver name/city: Jason Moon/White City, Oregon
Occupation: Commercial fisherman
Vehicle model: ’91 Chevy Blazer
Engine: GM 632ci V-8
Transmission: TH400
Transfer case(s): NP203/205 Offroad Design Doubler
Suspension (f/r): Four-link, King 18-in-travel coilovers, limit straps/four-link, King 18-in-travel coilovers, limit straps, Plan B Fab antiroll bar
Axles (f/r): 2 1/2-ton Rockwell, spool, PSC hydraulic steering/2 1/2-ton Rockwell, spool, PSC hydraulic steering
Axle ratio: 6.72:1
Wheels: 20x14 Stazworks double beadlock
Tires: 19.5/54-20 Interco Super Swamper TSL Bogger

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