2015 - Volume #39, Issue #1, Page #33[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Home-Built "Monster Ranger"
“I wanted something people would remember,” says Burke. “It’s a marketing tool that works much like a big billboard sign. It definitely grabs your attention.”
The rig can seat up to 6 people and rides on big 54-in. off-road tires with axles off a 2 1/2-ton military cargo truck. The ride is softened by King off-road racing shocks. It’s powered by a 540 hp, V-8 engine and automatic transmission out of a 2011 Cadillac Escalade and has 4-wheel hydraulic steering like a real monster truck. It’s also fitted with a 24,000-watt stereo and 30 different speakers mounted in various locations throughout the vehicle including the top rack, side boards, cab and fenders. There are even 4 big 12-in. subwoofers located under the seat.
“The speakers draw 700 amps at peak power, which is supplied by one of 2 big dual military batteries each with 5,000 amp hours,” says Burke. “The speakers are operated by plugging in an iPad, with the controls mounted on back of the vehicle. We’ve even set it up at events with a Dj app that uses an iPad to play Itunes songs automatically.”
He widened the plastic body by 12 in. and lengthened it by 18 in. Then he bent and formed and welded 1 1/4-in. steel tubing together to build the chassis. The V-8 engine is mounted low on the chassis for a low center of gravity.
He used more steel tubing to build the top rack. “The top rack serves mainly as a grab handle,” says Burke. “To enter the vehicle you first step on the front axle, then on the tire, then on the running board, and then grab the rack to pull yourself up into the seat.
“The machine can reach speeds of up to 100 mph, but the fastest I’ve ever gone is 70 mph. When you’re riding that high in the air, though, it feels like you’re going 200 mph,” says Burke.
He worked on the engine and computerized fuel timing to get more power out of the 375 hp engine. He says the rig normally sounds “like a rowdy pickup.” But the operator can hit a button on the dash to operate an electronic servo valve that opens or closes the exhaust, “so we can make it sound like anything from a monster truck to a quiet muffler.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Chris Marshall Burke, 2377 S. 1900 W., West Haven, Utah 84401 (ph 801 791-4616; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.marshallmotoart.com).
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