Prerunner Truck Buyer's GuidePosted in Product Reviews on September 27, 2006 Comment (0)
The term prerunner has been transformed over the years from one denoting a purpose-built vehicle used by an off-road racing team as a scout vehicle prior to running a race to a type of truck that typically has a set of fiberglass fenders installed and a modified suspension setup. In all actuality, a dedicated and true prerunner, with all the bells and whistles, can run upwards of $150,000. While we are not saying that if your version of a prerunner isn't this much money then it's not a prerunner, we are merely pointing out that there are several degrees to which a truck can be a prerunner. Aware of the fact that not many off-roaders will go to the level of expense and fabrication that some racers do with their prerunners, we would, however, like to present a few items that may increase your truck's performance, aesthetics, and creature comforts.
Currie Enterprises Extreme Duty Housing
Prerunning is not easy on any part of a vehicle, especially the rear axle. If you're in the market for a custom-fabricated, bulletproof differential housing, then look no further. The Extreme Duty housing contains a 26-inch center, 3-1/4-inch by 0.250-inch-wall DOM tubes, and 9-inch ends with custom-fit, rectangular flange-to-flange backbraces. A custom fill cap and drain plug are standard on this unit.
King Racing Prerunner Shocks
Look at almost any prerunner and you will most likely see a set of King's 2.5-inch-diameter prerunner racing shocks with reservoirs. The reason King shocks are some of the most widely used for prerunning applications is based largely on their billet, 6061-T6 machined aluminum construction, fully threaded, seamless steel cylinders, and large, 7/8-inch-diameter shafts that are hard chrome-plated for strength.
The externally mounted reservoir attaches to the shock body via an Aeroquip high-temperature hose and contains a high-temperature fluid for maximum viscosity. Best of all, each shock is completely rebuildable and revalvable for whatever type of terrain you come into contact with.
Walker Evans Beadlocked Wheel
These solid, one-piece, cast-aluminum beadlock wheels are as strong as the reputation of the man they are named for. With no welding used during their construction, the possibility of leaks is minimized. Each wheel is rated at 3,800 pounds and features Grade-8 hardware. The bolts thread into long steel inserts that are mounted securely into the wheel. The valve stems are moved back farther into the wheel, eliminating the possibility of being damaged while out on the trail.
The available sizes are as follows: 15x8 and 17x8.5 inches. Backspacing is cut to order, and all standard bolt patterns are available.
Toyo Open Country M/T
The aggressive off-road styling of the mud-terrain tire contains deep lug treads to meet challenging off-highway conditions while continuing to maximize traction. This tire is computer-enhanced to minimize road noise and optimize braking, steering, and acceleration. The sidewall lugs and tread pattern allow for excellent traction when reducing air pressure in the mud, sand, or gravel.
The available sizes are as follows: 35x12.50R18, 38x15.50R18, 35x13.50R15, 38x15.50R20, 40x15.50R22, and 37x13.50R22.
Lowrance GlobalMap 6600C HD GPS
If you've ever wondered what the big guns in off-road racing use to prerun their races, then wonder no more. Inside of each chase vehicle and race truck you'll find a GlobalMap 6600C HD, which contains a 7-inch-diagonal, 480x640-pixel LCD screen for excellent, glare-free viewing through a high-contrast, 256-color TFT display that provides super-wide viewing angles and fluorescent, cold-cathode backlighting.
The built-in, shock-resistant 20GB hard drive is preloaded with millions of points-of-interest. Reception is achieved via a ruggedized external LGC-2000 Baja receiver/antenna for super-fast satellite lock-ons and enhanced position accuracy to 3 meters. The unit also contains over 100 savable plot trails.
Baja Designs Soltek Light System
By combining their extensive racing experience with their comprehensive knowledge of HID lighting and optics, the folks at Baja Designs have developed the most innovative lighting system on the market - the prebuilt, prewired, no-headache, quick-mount Soltek light system.
Each light and its ballast are prewired and rubber-mounted to a lightweight, TIG-welded, 4130 chrome-moly frame. The frame mounts to your vehicle using provided easy-mount billet clamps or weld-on tabs and Heim-jointed strut rods. The light bar can then be removed or installed in about 30 seconds via four quick-mount pins and a quick-connect wiring harness. Systems are available with three, four, five, or six lights.
Dana 60 Reverse Ring-and-Pinion Sets
Precision Gear's reverse ring-and-pinion sets allow for replacement of the factory Ford ring-and-pinion sets with sets containing ratios of 4.10, 4.30, 4.56, 4.88, and 5.13.
Each set is built to fit Dana high-pinion axles (reverse cut). For additional installation ease, installation kits are also available.
MasterCraft Baja RS Reclining Race Seat
Finally, a seat with all of the characteristics of a race seat and the ability to recline. Available in six color combinations, this heavy-duty, nine-position recliner accommodates five-point safety restraints, an anti-submarine strap slat, and shoulder harness slats. The seat fits up to a 40-inch waistline comfortably and safely. Full containment is achieved by the durable suspension liner and double Pirelli seat straps, the same as in every other MasterCraft race seat.
Flex-a-lite Crossflow Radiator
The new Flex-a-fit crossflow radiators have been designed with internal fins that absorb heat more quickly from the engine coolant then radiate it through external fins that increase the tank's radiant surface area threefold. The unique external fin design integrates limitless fastening points into the tank itself, transforming the radiator into a convenient bracket for attaching expansion tanks, electric fans, oil coolers, and so forth.
The radiators are constructed of aluminum with two-row-core, 1-inchx26mm tubes and three different core sizes with inlets on either the left or right side of the tank (inlet is 1.5 inches and outlet 1.75 inches). The radiators can be purchased separately or included with a Flex-a-lite electric fan system.
H&M Motorsports '97-'03 Ford F-150 4WD Prerunner Suspension
With countless years designing some of today's best race truck suspensions, H&M Motorsports has developed a prerunner suspension for the '97-'03 Ford F-150 4WD platform. With an extended front track of 4 inches per side, the system relies upon 4130 boxed lower control arms, custom-milled billet spindles, and machined aluminum upper A-arms. The supporting hardware, including the aluminum tie rods, has been engineered with racing in mind.
Optional items for the kit include King coilover shocks, an idler arm upgrade, and a weld-on shock hoop with engine crossbar brace.
Aluminum Jack Mount Kit
The perfect and secure mounting platform for the popular Craftsman vehicle jack has been introduced for any prerunner or chase vehicle. A self-latching mechanism locks the jack into the chassis to minimize any unwanted movement of the device yet releases quickly when every second counts.
The kit also includes a spring-loaded quick-release mount to secure the jack handle. For added stability in adverse terrain, the mount's flat base increases the jack's footprint and prevents the jack from sinking in sand or silt. Best of all, the mount only weighs 7 pounds.
Rat Cage Tire and Gear Carrier
A prerunner just isn't a prerunner without the spare tire mounted in the truck bed. To give any truck that prerunner look, the Rat Cage has been created. This bed-mounted tire carrier removes by simply pulling four pins and lifting the cage out. The heavy-duty feet stay behind in the truck bed to act as tie-down points when the pins are reinserted. In addition to holding a 33-inch tire in the bed, the rat cage also holds tools such as shovels, axes, and Hi-Lift jacks. Crafted from durable steel tubing, each cage is finished in black. Options for the cage include cargo nets, locks, and even cup holders.
After looking at all this cage can do, it's no wonder that it is often referred to as the "Swiss Army knife" of tire carriers.
Icom 50-Watt Mobile Race Radio
The Icom IC-F121 mobile land radio is perfect for prerunner and chase vehicle drivers who want to keep the lines of communication open while off-roading. The powerful 50-watt output of the unit allows for the highest-quality sound available in a VHF radio. The 4-watt built-in speaker is loud enough to hear over any conditions. The unit is fully programmable to your desired frequencies and has 128 memory channels with 8 memory banks. The display is alphanumeric for further clarification of channel identification.
Camburg Engineering A-arm Ford F-150 Kit
Camburg's prerunner suspension kit has been designed for all '97-'03 Ford F-150 trucks. Utilizing the same technology as full-on race trucks, the suspension features billet aluminum hubs with 2-inch bearings, billet aluminum upper A-arms, and fully boxed and internally plated lower arms with 1.5-inch uniball joints.The steering components are also built with durability in mind, as exhibited by the Heim joint ends and DOM tubing.
P.C.I. Race Radios 4-Link PRO Prerunner Intercom System
The new 4-Link Pro intercom system is compatible with many of the most popular mobile or handheld radios found in prerunners. A simple 12V power input is all that's required, along with the required headsets, for near perfect communications while on the trail. Additional creature comforts such as adjustable volume and a music interface are standard with the system. The system is compatible with helmets as well, and the option of recording voice transmissions is available also.
Pro Comp Off-Road Deep-Cycle Battery
Pro Comp's newest line of batteries has been designed with prerunning in mind. Given the uneven terrain encountered while prerunning, Pro Comp batteries have been designed with advanced technology grids that contain proprietary grids made of high-purity lead-tin alloy. When combined with the advanced spiral-wound cell design, these durable, corrosion-resistant grids deliver superior performance and durability.
In addition to the quality internal construction, each battery contains two sets of terminals. The centered top terminal location enables installation in normal and reverse terminal applications, while the side terminals can be used for the attachment of auxiliary equipment, such as lights, winches, and so on. Each battery contains 770 CCA and over 100 minutes of reserve capacity.
Hannemann Fiberglass Fenders
For over 30 years, the Hannemann name has been on prerunner fenders for virtually every type of truck around. Each pair of hand-laid fiberglass fenders is constructed with 3 ounces of mat material and 6 ounces of fiber cloth. The end result is a pair of fenders that will stand up to major off-road punishment. As part of the construction, the fenders are gelcoated and available standard in either white or black with custom colors also available.
Simpson Shark Air Inforcer Helmet
Designed after one the most popular helmets made by Simpson, the Shark Air Inforcer features an innovative top-forced air system for directing air to the face. The Air Inforcer is designed for in-car fresh air systems, providing maximum airflow where seat and headroom are at a premium. The lightweight carbon-fiber, Kevlar, and fiberglass composite shell contains an EPS liner with form-fitting, CarbonX fire-retardant lining for the ultimate in safety.
The helmet is Snell 2005-certified and is made in the USA. For added performance to the built-in air system, the chin flap creates positive pressure to eliminate any contaminated air from entering the helmet and to keep shield fogging to a minimum.