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Custom Rock Buggy - Rock Hound

Posted in Features on June 1, 2004
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Wanting to fulfill his need for the ultimate rockcrawling machine, John Opio of Sparks, Nevada, contacted Avalanche Engineering when he heard tales of the company's new rockcrawling machine, the Contender. What has transpired since then is the creation of John's ultimate 'crawler and adventure vehicle, and a great example of Avalanche Engineering's craftsmanship.

The two-seater rock buggy is constructed from 1-3/4-inch DOM wall tubing and is fully welded. The chassis weighs in at 420 pounds and has a typical wheelbase of 104 inches. John had Avalanche add a Ram Jet 350 for propulsion, and a Turbo Hydromatic 400 transmission coupled to an Atlas II transfer case. For suspension, this Contender buggy features a custom four-link setup with Sway-A-Way 14-inch front and rear coilovers.

Since the Contender's completion, you can now find John roaming the desert trails of Nevada, or out on the courses at competitive rockcrawling events.

Vehicle: ’02 custom rock buggy
Owner/hometown: John Opio/Sparks, Nevada
Engine: Ram Jet 350
Induction: OEM
Transmission: TH400
Transfer case: Atlas II
Frontend: Dana 60
Rearend: Dana 60
Ring-and-pinion: 5:13.1 with Detroit Lockers
Suspension: Steering: Howe hydraulic Sway-A-Way 14-inch coilovers; custom four-link front and rear
Wheels/tires: 17-inch Avalanche Engineering bead locks/
40x13.50R17 Goodyear {{{Wrangler}}} MT/Rs

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