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Resto Ford Raptor: A New Racer With 80’s Style - Masterpiece In Metal

Posted in Features on June 24, 2015
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Photographers: Boyd Jaynes

Due to its appearance, you may think that this truck is destined for the NORRA Mexican 1000. You’d be wrong. Yes, it looks like the Ford race trucks from the early 80’s, but it’s all new underneath.

Mike McCarthy is a business owner from Wickenburg, AZ, but at 53, he is also a history buff and he remembers what a Ford race truck looked like. And when he built this 7200, he wanted it to look like the trucks he knew from his youth. Specifically, the “Rough Rider” Ford race trucks.

While those 80’s trucks were pretty trick, time has marched on. The latest in off road racery can be seen with this 2017 Ford Raptor 7200. McCarthy and the crew at TNC Machine of Kingman AZ combined to build a truck that guy’s like MacCachren would have killed for back in the day.

Wide, low down and mean, this Ford Raptor is looking ahead to the 2015 race season.

They began with a TNC Machine 7200-35 frame and added to it a TNC front suspension system and spindles. Fox shock may have been around in the 80’s, but one area that has seen amazing progress in is with shock technology.

As good as the Fox units were then, they can’t compare to the Fox 3.5 Bypass units, let alone the new Eibach spring equipped 2.5 Fox coilover. The frontend travel is set at 24-inches. Braking is done by a Trophy Truck style system that utilizes Jamar calipers and Hawk pads.

Huge TNC Machine trailing arms suspend the Currie Enterprises 4130 F9 TT rearend. Fabricated with 4-inch tubes, the rearend features Currie Enterprises 45 spline, 300mm gun-drilled axles, a Currie Enterprises 2.5-inch desert race hub kit, and McCarthy says that the gear ratio is “classified.” We didn’t want to get killed, so we didn’t ask again. The rear brakes consist of Jamar calipers with Hawk pads that clamp onto 14-inch rotors.

The Currie Enterprises F9 Trophy Truck rearend gets it’s power from the 6-speed Ford 6R80 transmission.

Again, it’s Fox shocks to the task as a pair of 5-tube Fox 4.0 Bypass does double duty with the 2.5 Fox Coil overs. And as with the fronts, Eibach springs adorn the 2.5’s.

Continuity can also be found on the corners in the form of tough General Tire Grabber tires (37x12.50x17). The Grabbers are mounted on equally rugged 17-inch Trail Ready bead lock wheels.

The 7200 class is a “spec” class, so the Ford 3.5 liter Eco-Boost engine is painfully stock, but thanks to the twin turbo’s and EFI, it’s putting out over 400hp. This engine setup is basically the power plant for the 2017 Raptors. A beautiful intake system snakes the various gasses to Unique Metal Products air cleaner system. Speaking of which, the 3.5-inch Stainless Steel exhaust system is thanks to R.E.F. of Kingman, AZ.

Fragola connections were used to connect the beautifully laid out aluminum tubing. There’s a lot going on in a small space.

A Ford 6R80 transmission moves the power from the engine to the Currie rearend, but first it’s cooled with a CBR trans cooler.

Covering up all that mechanical finery is done with a Boatec fiberglass body. Used by many of the top teams, the Boatec unit has been made even nicer with the aforementioned vintage style “paint’ scheme. It may have been real paint back in the day, but now it’s a wrap that was done by the crew at Visionit Graphics of Gilbert, AZ.

Giving off an ethereal presence thanks to the red and amber Rigid LED (and a little photographic trickery), the McCarthy Off Road Racing Ford Raptor looks great and should be a force in the 7200 class for 2015.

Lighting has also come a long way in the past few years, and this Raptor shows it as large Rigid Industries LED’s light the way. A pair of Rigid LED’s are on the front of the truck as one is over the cab and another is mounted on the push bar. A third Rigid LED acts as taillight and ambers to let anyone behind the Ford know what’s up.

The interior is what you’d expect from a modern race truck in that it features Sparco and seats with Crow harnesses keeping everyone in their place. A Winters floor shifter shares the shifting chores with MasterShift paddles that adorn the Sparco steering wheel and a PCI unit provides plenty of fresh air.

The dash is a TNC Machine fabricated aluminum unit that looks like it came out of a space shuttle. Assembled at McCarthy Off Road Racing, it features Auto Meter gauges, multiple Lowrance monitors (one for driver and co-pilot) and enough electrical switches and circuit breakers to do the job; that means a lot of them.

Keeping the navigator busy is the large Lowrance GPS unit and PCI Race Radio. He also has to monitor the Auto Meter gauges and if need be, pull the pin on the Safecraft fire suppression system.

Safety items mounted into the beautiful dash area is the PCI 110 watt communications system and the actuator for the dual Safecraft fire suppression system.

As a team, the McCarthy’s had several goals. They wanted the truck to be fast, lightweight, nimble and carry enough fuel for an entire race and with the added benefit of running pump gas. They say that with the help of many talented people, these goals were achieved.

Providing 24-inches of travel, the TNC machine built spindles, upper arms utilize Fox 3.5 Bypass units and Eibach spring equipped 2.5 Fox coilovers. Braking features Jamar calipers and Hawk pads.

The truck is ready for its first race, which is the BITD Silver State 300, and will run the rest of the 2015 Best in the Desert series. The team plans on starting out fresh in 2016 at the BITD Parker 425 and continue racing the rest of the BITD race schedule and adding the Baja 1000 to the mix.

Having a Ford that looks like this one does racing again at Baja will bring a tear of remembrance to many who saw the original trucks race. But time marches on, and this Ford Raptor is a modern racer, but one with an appreciation of where it came from.

Specifications
Chassis
Manufacturer: TNC Machine
Wheelbase: 124-inches
Overall Length: 214-inches
Overall Height: 78-inches
Track Width: 85-inches
Weight: 4540lbs. Race Ready

Engine/Drivetrain
Manufacturer: Ford
Builder: Ford
Horsepower: 400+
Torque: 450+
Induction: Twin Turbo EFI
Air Filter: Unique Metal Products
Exhaust: R.E.F. Unlimited 3.5 stainless steel
Cooling: Unique Metal Products, Oceanside, CA
Plumbing: McCarthy Off Road Racing Using Fragola
Wiring: McCarthy Off Road Racing
Transmission: Ford 6R80 6-speed
Rearend: Currie Enterprises 4130 F9 TT rearend

Suspension
Front Suspension: TNC Machine 24-inches of travel
Rear Suspension: TNC Machine 32-inches of travel
Shocks/Front: Fox
Shocks/Rear: Fox

Brakes
Front: Jamar Trophy Truck Calipers w/ 14-Inch Rotors
Rear: Jamar Trophy Truck Calipers w/ 14-Inch Rotors

Wheels/Tires
Wheels: Trail Ready Bead Locks - 17-inch
Tires: General Tire Grabbers – 37x12.50x17

Exterior
Bodywork: Boatec
Paint/Graphics: Wrap by Visionit Graphics, Gilbert AZ

Lighting
Front: Rigid Industries E2, RDS and Q-series LED’s
Rear: Rigid Industries LED

Interior
Seats: Sparco
Harnesses: Crow
Steering Wheel: Sparco
Dash: TNC Machine Fabricated Aluminum and McCarthy Off Road Racing
Gauges: Auto Meter
Shifter: Winters / MasterShift paddles
GPS: Lowrance
Radio/Intercom: Kenwood 110 watt radio by PCI
Fresh Air: PCI
Fire Suppression: Safecraft

More Info
Auto Meter www.automoter.com
Boatec www.boatec.com
Crow www.crowenterprizes.com
Fox Shocks www.ridefox.com
Jamar www.jamarperformance.com
MasterShift www.mastershift.com
Safecraft www.safecraft.com/motorsports.php
TNC Machine www.tncmachine.com

The TNC Machine radiator is cooled with twin SPAL electric fans.
PhotosView Slideshow
Just one of the many Rigid LEDs that adorn the Ford is placed above the window opening. Note that the angle of the unit is adjustable with just a spin of the center mounting tube.
PhotosView Slideshow
Mike and Robbie McCarthy

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