Troy Myers of Attica, Indiana, obviously has a zeal for off-roading. How many people go out and buy small pieces of land until they have one big one and then open the whole area to the public as an off-road park? Owning Badlands Park also has the benefit of giving Troy plenty of opportunities to go 'wheeling, something he definitely takes advantage of. All that playing in the dirt has led Troy through his fair share of vehicles. He built several rigs, but each usually ended up as a smashed ball of metal by the end of its tour of duty. Troy lusted for a take-no-prisoners, no-holds-barred trail rig that could go anywhere and do anything. That's when he came across the Sniper.
Built by Avalanche Automotive Engineering in Bayfield, Colorado, the Sniper is a completely tube-frame creation dreamed up by Steve Rumore and the rest of the crew at Avalanche. It's offered as either a welded chassis or a complete turnkey vehicle with anything you want on it. Being a busy man, Troy opted for the latter and had Avalanche build it. All he would have to do was hop in and go romping.
Per Troy's request, the crew at Avalanche went all out and filled the Sniper with the best parts available. A ZZ4 Chevy crate motor was put into place and topped off with a Holley Digital Pro-Jection system. Exhaust manifolds from a Corvette were squeezed into place and distribute gas into a 3-inch exhaust with a Flowmaster muffler. Shifting duties are handled by a TH400 automatic tranny equipped with a Trans-Go Stage II Shift Kit. Power is then handled by an Atlas II transfer case, which passes the horses to Avalanche-built driveshafts.
Having a super-trick chassis and drivetrain also meant that the suspension needed to be up to snuff with the rest of the Sniper. Avalanche decided to keep things custom but simple. A quarter-elliptical spring design with a three-link was used up front. Out back, quarter-elliptical springs built by Alcan were used in conjunction with a four-link to keep the axle in place. Hydraulic steering guides the Sniper down the trail while eliminating steering linkages and maximizing suspension flex.
Held in place by the trick-but-functional suspension are two full-width Dynatrac high-pinion Dana 60s. Both were stuffed with 5.13 gears and Detroit Lockers. Disc brakes on the ends of each axle slow down the massive 42-inch Swampers mated to MRT 15x10 steel wheels.
Troys Sniper was one of the first produced, and he reports that he is happy with his decision to go totally tubular. So far, the Sniper has been tested in Utah, Colorado, Arkansas, and Indiana, all with good results. Its massive tires and better-than-90-degree approach and departure angles allow it to traverse obstacles with ease. Troy hopes to put the truck--and himself--to the ultimate test in the upcoming Warn National Rock Crawling Championships.