Spilling the beans; why the Jeep was so darn quick-

Before the race the team addressed three specific areas; brakes, tires and shocks. In all three cases we were lucky that the industry leaders in each fields also made products for the off-road industry, therefore allowing us to use our contacts in those departments to get our collective feet in the door. For brakes, we turned to Vanco Power Brake Supply, a company famous for making Jeeps stop. Our friends at Savvy Offroad had just started offering the kit with Black Magic pads and were nice enough to toss a set our way. And boy did they work. Without a doubt, we had one of the best braking cars on track…considering that we’re in a Jeep, that’s an impressive statement.

New big-boy calipers hiding behind our Raceline wheels.

We’d been running the same no-name brand mono-tube shocks that came with the Jeep for the previous 4 races, and while they technically “worked”, we knew there was a lot we could do to make the Jeep behave a little better. Luckily, our friends at Bilstein just had a set of very used up shocks off of a Ford Econoline E-250 come back for warranty work and adapted them for our use. The Jeep handled quick transitions from left to right much better than before, felt far more predictable in hard corners and didn’t squirm as much under hard braking. Simply amazing how a set of (even totally beat up) good shocks can transform a car.

You can even see the yellow of the Bilstein shock as she heels over in the night.

Perhaps the most startling change was in tires. The Jeep has been running on some pretty good rubber, and we were plenty happy with what we had, but when the option to get on the Falken race program came up we couldn’t say no. It’s no secret that most of the fast teams run Falken Azenis RT-615Ks, but we weren’t sure if the Jeep would be happy with so much grip, and how much faster the super sticky Falkens would wear. We went in guardedly optimistic, and left ready to get “Azenis” tattooed on our bodies. The switch to the Falkens also necessitated a bump up in wheel size to 17s, and again long time sponsor Raceline Wheels came through like magicians building and shipping a custom set of 17×8 to us in 4 days.

In the first corner of a race track I’d never seen, let alone driven, I knew immediately that these were something special. After the first two hours (during which time I took it from 32nd to 13th overall, and 1st in Class) I knew I was in love. We had so much grip it was hard to wrap our heads around. Further, when coupled with the new Vanco/Savvy/Black Magic brakes we could brake later than almost any other car out there. We could wait until the very last second to even start slowing, often passing 3-4 cars in the braking zone.

When I got out of the car after my first stint I honestly expected to see the front tires down to the wear bars; I was having so much fun passing people I forgot this was a 24 hour endurance race and was pushing really, really hard. To my shock, they looked nearly new. How was this possible? Even more amazing, on a track that’s notorious for chewing through tires, we only had to swap out the fronts at about 2 AM, and we finished the race on the same rear tires we started on. Even in the rain, they were incredible, allowing us to make up a bunch of lost time and take home the top prize, the Index of Effluence.

Huge thanks to all our sponsors from everybody at Petty Cash Racing, we couldn’t do it without you!

Make sure to stop by our Facebook page and root us on during the rest of the season at: Facebook.com/TeamPettyCash

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17 Responses to Spilling the beans; why the Jeep was so darn quick-

  1. Gary says:

    Damn beautiful to see a jeep kickin ass…new there was a reason why I’ve never sold mine….plus it still kicks with it’s little 2.5l 5 spd….keep up the great work, and keep the shiny side up.

  2. Doug says:

    this is the most inspirational blog on teh interwebs!

    You guys coming to New Orleans?

    • Unfortunately N’awleans is a little far for our Seattle based team, unless you’re footing the gas bill.

      • Doug says:

        I figured, but couldn’t help asking. If I hit the Powerball, you’ll be on the list! That’s about as likely as my team wanting to IMPORT competition :-p

  3. Today, Reno. Tomorrow, THE WORLD! Very nicely written. Can’t wait ’till ORP.

  4. Ken Paton says:

    tell me you guys make it to Vancouver BC Canada?..,. BC Jeep Club would be Glad to see ya …. also you mentioned you where readyready to get “Azenis” tattooed on your bodies… I manage Deviant Ink in Vancouver… 🙂

    • Working on getting up to an event in B.C. soon, actually! The tattoo idea was more hyperbole than an actual desire to brand myself, but some of my crew might be silly enough….

  5. I knew there was something special about the jeep when I first fell in love with engines.. Big up guys. Great job.

  6. Quera says:

    Hi, im a mager Jeep fan .I own a Jeep and what you guys do is freeking amzing. I live in Canada in a town feild whit fealdes an forest. I would like to hoste whit your help a race here.

  7. Pingback: XJ 24hr LeMons! - JeepForum.com

  8. Jon says:

    Awesome story!

    Just wondering, were there any performance mods done to the jeep? Eg, engine mods?

    • No engine mods at all, just a 245k mile old junk yard motor on our bad ass Brown Dog engine mounts.

      • Justin Lloyd Cheshier says:

        WOW, no way. no mods at all?, did you rebuild said high mileage junkyard motor? gotta love IL6 4.0 yeah?

        P.S. can not WAIT to see you guys here on my hometown track at SECA baby…

      • Totally bone stock, 254k mile old junk yard motor. Since we put it in, it has raced over 2500 miles. It’s starting to show it age a little though, we’re going through a couple quarts of oil per day. Standard old engine blow-by.

  9. todd kalanquin says:

    try to get a police issue cherokee we made! lot faster better brakes and improved flashed electronics

  10. Sabrina says:

    Thanks for the tire info guys, I’m going to see if those are legal in the ChumpCars series. We need a tread wear index of at least 190 to be legal. We are allow 2X OEM price for brake components, so I’ll see if I can get away with that stuff on my XJ. Also thanks for confirming that my thoughts on Brown Dog mounts were correct. I’m thinking of replacing the stock rubber mounts on the front control arms at both the body and front axle ends with hard poly bushings, While we differ on our opinions of the perfect engine set up, you guys are “DaBomb” when it comes to the suspension, so should I go poly on the control arms? Brie

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