BUILD­ING A BUGGY IS RISKY BUSI­NESS

4WDrive - - Contents - Words and Photos by Brady Melville of Path­maker Pro­duc­tions

The Risky Busi­ness rig started out like many projects, as a pile of parts and a dream. And the dream was to wheel an Ul­tra4 cal­iber buggy in Moab, south­ern Cal­i­for­nia, and back home on Van­cou­ver Is­land. Owner Randy Jenk­ins has owned mul­ti­ple built Jeep’s over the years, but he felt it was time to step into a fully built tube-chas­sis buggy. He started by col­lect­ing parts sourced from var­i­ous friends in the of­froad in­dus­try across North Amer­ica. A lo­cal shop be­gan fab­ri­ca­tion of the cus­tom chas­sis but af­ter mul­ti­ple de­lays, the shop went out of busi­ness mid-build, the pro­ject stalled, and the search for a chas­sis be­gan anew.

Dur­ing a trip to King of the Ham­mers in 2017, Randy had a con­ver­sa­tion with the owner of Let­zRoll Of­froad, An­drew McLaughlin, about his large pile of fancy parts with no chas­sis. An­drew hap­pened to know of a brand new Jimmy’s 4x4 chas­sis. It was time to join the Jimmy’s Army and let Let­zRoll get the chas­sis rolling. Then Randy could bring it back to Canada and get it fin­ished up by a lo­cal friend and Of­froad shop GOT 4x4. Build­ing a fully cus­tom of­froad rig never easy - the ma­jor­ity of the parts were still in Canada - so Randy flew home, loaded all the parts that he had col­lected into his truck and trailer, and drove them to Ari­zona.

An­drew and the gang set to work turn­ing the pro­ject into a roller, while leav­ing the elec­tri­cal, plumb­ing and fin­ish­ing work to be done back home. A few short weeks later Randy flew back to Phoenix, picked up the now rolling Jimmy’s chas­sis, his truck and trailer, and drove the rig back to Van­cou­ver Is­land. With Randy’s friend Daryl work­ing on the wiring through the sum­mer, the buggy started to come to­gether. With such com­forts as heated Beard seats, a Lowrance GPS, Rugged Ra­dio in­ter­coms and ra­dio, Rigid light bars and strobe, the rig was built so that it could not only run King of the Ham­mers (which is not in the plans, but I’ll make sure to keep bug­ging him) but also be com­fort­able for a long day of trail wheel­ing. With the elec­tri­cal fi­nal­ized it was off to GOT 4x4 for Lance Don to get it ready for the trails.

With a parts in­ven­tory that reads like a Christ­mas wish list, Risky Busi­ness has a 565 hp cammed LS3 mo­tor bolted to a beau­ti­ful Reid TH400 trans­mis­sion, and a 3-speed Stak trans­fer case in­side the Jimmy’s Trail Se­ries Chas­sis. All that power goes to his Cur­rie Rock Jock Su­per 60 axles with ARB Air Lock­ers, RCV 300m axles, and 5.38 gears. Bolted to the axles are chrome Walker Evans 17” bead­locks and 43” In­terco SX Stick­ies, which are a

big tire, but seem to work fan­tas­tic in his lo­cal Van­cou­ver Is­land ter­rain, as well as on the slick rock in Moab or John­son Val­ley. Help­ing turn the tires is a Howe Steer­ing fully hy­draulic dou­ble-ended ram steer­ing sys­tem. To keep the ride com­fort­able, Randy has added some 2.5” ADS coil over shocks and air bumps, as well as a rear Cur­rie An­tiRock bar to keep the rear tires firmly on the ground. Beau­ti­ful 2” alu­minum links from Let­zRoll and su­per tough EMF Heim Joints round out the sus­pen­sion. With WARN winches front and rear run­ning Fac­tor55 winch shack­les; Randy is ready for any ob­sta­cle on the trail. Shiny chrome pan­els and a cus­tom or­ange wrap on the hood from Ryan del Ponte of Red­line Projects with the name RISKY BUSI­NESS round out the buggy.

Get­ting it fin­ished just hours be­fore leav­ing for KOH 2018, Randy has al­ready taken it through most of the trails at the Ham­mers and down to Moab to do a ton of trails at Easter Jeep 2018. At less than six months old, it al­ready had quite the of­froad pedi­gree. Brady Melville of Path­maker Pro­duc­tions made a fan­tasy a re­al­ity by leav­ing cor­po­rate con­struc­tion to pur­sue a ca­reer as of­froad photographer and videog­ra­pher. Share in his ad­ven­tures of­froad at www.path­mak­er­pro­duc­tions.com and www.youtube.com/path­mak­er­pro­duc­tions for a front row seat on his next jour­ney.

A lonely Jimmy’s chas­sis look­ing for a home.

Let­zRoll Of­froad gets the chas­sis rolling.

Proud own­ers Randy and El­iz­a­beth Jenk­ins.

Bring­ing Risky Busi­ness home.

Win­ter test run.

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