POJECT UTV: EPIC OVERLANDER
Ryan O’Hara’s Fuel General build By the staff of Dirt Wheels
Life isn’t simply about the destination, but the roads that get you there. In our case, that’s the best dirt roads and trails we could ever imagine to find. Adventure riding and driving runs deeply through our souls, just like it does for Ryan O’Hara. Ryan eats, sleeps and breathes off-roading. He is so into our sport that he works for Fuel Off-Road and gets through terrain with their impressive wheels and tires. O’Hara’s dedication to adventure shows in his newly built Polaris General 4 Overlander rig. While most of us day ride, or ride our machines from camp just to return to it the same day, this machine was built to take you out into the deepest trails and camp remotely. Tent, tools, food and more travel with this General 4.
LIFE’S AN ADVENTURE
The best way to start debriefing you about Ryan’s rig is to tell you exactly what makes it adventure-worthy. We will touch on handling and engine enhancements soon enough. Protecting you and your ride from abuse is very important, but it is even more important if you are a long ways away from assistance. Ryan topped this Polaris with a new roll cage from Madigan Motorsports. They also created aluminum paneling and a roof rack to go with it. This new cage is stronger than the stock one with more bracing and thicker-walled tubing. On top of the rack sits a 55-inch rooftop pop-up tent. The tent creates a spacious area with a ladder that extends down to the ground. Talk about off-road luxury!
If you drag your gaze downward, you will see a set of Assault Industries Phantom Convex side mirrors and a center Bomber Convex mirror attached to the cage. The nightlife rests on top of the General, but the real party is in the back. The bed is a custom replacement from Madigan. The new bed is made from aluminum with hinged fenders and a sliding cooler mount. Ryan wanted tools to go, so he gathered two toolboxes from Boxo USA, filled them up and mounted one into each bed side. A Dometic electric cooler with a thermal-insulated cover rests in the bed next to a spare Fuel Off-Road wheel and tire on a custom tire-carrier mount from Madigan. A solar panel from Sunner Power is mounted on top of a Boxo box that feeds power to the Dometic cooler. A Samlex Solar 300-watt Pure Sine Wave inverter was also installed.
Ryan added a lot more useful trail-support items to the back of the General. An Assault Industries quick-release fire extinguisher mount and extinguisher are bolted to the roll cage in the rear. A mini Power Tank kit holds compressed air for filling up tires. UTV Inc. provided a mounting solution for O’Hara’s King Shocks jack. It easily lifts the General to change a tire. Hidden in the fold is a Savage UTV CVT spare belt holder kit. The unsung hero of this mix would have to be the highly protective UHMW poly skid plates and rock sliders from Factory UTV. That shields the entire underside of the General from harm.
Wiring is an annoying task for most, but once it is done and all the equipment is operational, that feeling is like no other. Another upgrade that is like no other is the 8-pod Gravity LED Pro6 light bar from KC HiLites. If you want to see daylight at night, you may be interested in Ryan’s setup. A set of Slimlite LED 6-inch lights adorn the new front Madigan Motorsports bumper. The stock headlights were then replaced with a set from Polaris’ RZR Turbo model. The rear of the General gained a KC 28-inch multi-function rear facing chase LED light bar on the roll cage. Two 2-inch C-Series C2 LED backup floodlights were also mounted to the back of the cage to see in the General’s bed and surrounding areas.
Rugged Radios is a leader in the off-road communication segment. They connected the Polaris with a 60-watt VHF radio kit paired with a RRP696 2-place intercom kit with OTU headsets that hang on a billet hanger when not in use. Ryan installed this setup with in dash mounting plates from Rugged. Rockford Fosgate stepped in with their Stage 4 400-watt stereo system that included two roll-cage-mounted speaker pods. XTC Power Products offers a few easy solutions to wiring all these parts to the General. Their Plug & Play 6 Switch Power Control system was installed. O’Hara also mounted XTC’s Plug & Play self-canceling turn-signal system with a horn, along with a 6-inch six LED billet-aluminum license-plate frame.
Every adventure could use proper guidance. This Polaris General didn’t come with a Ride Command system installed, so one was mounted into it directly from Polaris. Ride Command comes with GPS and their own buddy tracking system, along with multiple useful engine readouts. A battery from Odyssey Battery found its new home, along with a high-output coil kit from Energy Coil.
HANDLE IT YOURSELF
Apparently the stock suspension system wasn’t going to cut it for the open-desert driving the General would be put through. An HCR long- travel suspension kit was installed with adjustable King Shocks. HCR fabricates their suspension arms to be much stronger and provide more wheel travel and width over stock. A new set of tie-rods came from Assault Industries. The axles were upgraded by Summers Brothers with 300M axles. Ryan felt it would be a great idea to install an RT Pro chassis arm brace kit. The front and rear dual-A-arm suspension was provided with a complete suspension and chassis 12-point chromoly bolt kit from ARP Bolts. The new stock spindles were given a new wheel stud kit from ARP as well. The front end benefits from a set of billet 7075 T651 aluminum front wheel hubs by Hess Motorsports.
This build gained wider suspension, but it also gained larger 32-inch tall Gripper T/R/K tires mounted on Fuel Off-Road’s 15-inch Forge FF69 bead lock wheels. This wheel and tire setup weighs more than stock, and since they are now further way from the General’s center, the steering needed upgrading. O’Hara went to Shock Therapy for a billet-aluminum RZR 1000 race rack & pinion. This setup should be stronger and more reliable than stock. Streamline brakes stepped in with a 270mm front Big Brake kit, along with rear wave rotors and Xtream duty brake pads.
O’Hara upgraded the inside the cockpit, starting with a full set of Simpson Pro Sport seats with mounts and 5-point harness seat belts. Long Horn Fab sent over a set of front lowering seat brackets. Tall riders, or ones that want a lower center of gravity can benefit from this kit. It also allows passengers in the rear of the machine to see out the front better. The stock steering wheel was also replaced with a leather 350R wheel from Assault.
HEAVE THE WEIGHT
If you have gotten this far thinking to yourself, “Well, all these parts are going to make this project much heavier!” you would be correct. So, Ryan decided to take the naturally aspirated ProStar 999cc engine and add turbo induction to it. Force Turbo offers a system specifically for the General that boosts the output of the General’s engine. An upgraded intercooler kit was mounted to the roll cage where it gets ample airflow. The transmission was given a thorough treatment from Cryoheat. Gears were micro polished and treated, the cases were Vapor Honed, and much more was done to the trans to withstand the enhanced output of the turbo engine. A RCV Performance 300M transmission output shaft was installed before the trans found its way back into the Polaris.
The stock clutches were replaced with a Rage 3 primary and Tuner secondary from STM Clutch. Razorback has Ryan’s back with a CVT temperature gauge mounted into the stock case. High CVT belt temps often lead to broken belts, which could lead to catastrophic clutch failures. The final piece of the power train puzzle came from Sand Craft RCR. The front differential of the General was upgraded with bearings, sprague and a 12-tooth armature plate. The driveshaft was then provided with a GEN3 bearing carrier that reduces play in the system.
TIME TO ROLL
We’ve always loved the interior and seating position on the General. The problem for us is that the chassis and engine are really more capable than the suspension. We have experience with several four-seat Generals that have the HCR long-travel kit on them. All have had a superbly comfortable ride that soaks up trail trash and chop like nothing else we have driven. This one is just as great.
The suspension is actually so good that stock engine performance feels a bit muted. In this case, the weight of the mods that make this General 4 a great adventure rig further tax the stock engine’s output. Adding a turbo kit hugely bumps the horsepower. It has all the power it needs, a hardened drive train, and everything needed to camp on the go. We can’t think on a machine that we would rather have along while looking for adventures.
PARTS & CONTACTS
ARP BOLTS: (800) 826-3045, www.arp-bolts.com
Complete Suspension and Chassis 12 point chromoly bolt kit $500
Wheel Stud Kit $190
ASSAULT INDUSTRIES: (714) 799-6711, www.assaultind.com
Hellfire Front Grill $125
Quick-Release UTV Fire Extinguisher Kit $170
350R Leather Steering Wheel $170
Steering Wheel Hub $65
Phantom Convex Side Mirrors $310
Bomber Convex Center Mirror $100
Heavy Duty Tie-Rods $300
AUTO METER: (866) 248-6356, www.autometer.com
Sport-Comp Digital Boost Gage $200
BOXO USA: (657) 291-3950, www.boxousa.com
133pcs Metric Tool Set with 3-Drawer Carry Box $725
117pcs SAE Tool Set with 3-Drawer Carry Box $700
CRYOHEAT: (619) 940-4227, www.cryoheat.com
Transmission with 12% Gear Reduction and General Turf Delete kit $2,370
DOMETIC: (800) 544-4881, www.dometic.com
CFX 28 Electric Cooler $830
CFX IC28 thermal insulated cover $94
ENERGY COIL: (250) 581-0958, www.energycoil.com
High output Coil kit $390
FACTORY UTV: (916) 383-2730, www.factoryutv.net
3/8” UHMW Skid Plate w/ Rock Sliders $840
FORCE TURBO: (801) 807-8046, www.forceturbos.com
Polaris General 1000 Turbo System $3,900
Upgraded Intercooler $200
FREESPIRIT RECREATION: (844) 833-2955, www.gofsr.com
High Country 55” roof top tent $1895
FUEL OFF-ROAD: www.fueloffroadutv.com
15” Fuel Forged FF69 Beadlock Wheels $550 each
32x10x15 Fuel Gripper T/R/K tires $230 ea.
HCR SUSPENSION: (888) 928-7223, www.hcrracing.com
Long-Travel Suspension Kit with King Shocks $6,000
Uni Ball Upgrade $300
Summers Brothers 300M
Axle upgrade $400
HESS MOTORSPORTS: (940) 759-4597, www.hess-motorsports.com
Billet 7075 T651 Aluminum
Front-Wheel Hubs $175 each
KC HiLiTES: (888) 689-5955, www.kchilites.com
Gravity LED Pro6 LED Light Bar (8 pods) $1,925
Slimlite LED 6” Pair Pack System $370
28” Multi-Function Rear Facing Chase LED Light Bar $400
2” C-Series C2 LED Backup Area Floodlight System $190
KING SHOCKS: (714) 530-8701, www.kingshocks.com
Screw jack $900
LONG HORN FAB: (855) 797-8478, www.longhornfabshop.com
Front RZR Seat lowing bases $180
MADIGAN MOTORSPORTS: (951) 382-0256, madiganmotorsports.com
4 Seat Roll Cage $1,900
4 Seat Aluminum Roof Panels $400
4 Seat Roof Rack $600
Aluminum Bed w/ Custom
Hinged Rear Fenders $1,600
Sliding Cooler Mount $300
Front Bumper $375
ODYSSEY BATTERY: (610) 208-1991, www.odysseybattery.com
Odyssey PC1200 $244 each
POLARIS INDUSTRIES: (800) 765-2747, www.polaris.com
Ride Command Mounting Kit $500
7” Ride Command Display $1550
RZR Turbo front LED Headlights $435 ea.
POWER TANK: (209) 366-2163, www.powertank.com
Mini Power Tank Kit $175
Tank Bracket $55
RAZOR BACK: (888) 525-2858, www.razorbackusa.com
3.0 Edition/Infrared Belt Temp Gauge $300
RCV PERFORMANCE: www.rcvperformance.com
300M Transmission Output Shaft $250
RT PRO: (517) 278-7768, www.rtproutv.com
Front chassis Arm Brace Kit $245
ROCKFORD FOSGATE: (800) 669-9899, www.rockfordfosgate.com
Stage 4 400-watt stereo system $2040
RUGGED RADIOS: (888) 541-7223, www.ruggedradios.com
60-Watt (VHF) Radio Kit $425
RRP696 2-Place Intercom
with OTU Headsets $1315
Billet-Aluminum Dual Headset Hanger $55
In-Dash Mounting Plates $70
Dual Jack Mount $40
Audio Filter for Radio & Intercom $38
SAMLEX SOLAR: (800) 561-5885, www.samlexsolar.com
300-Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter $200
SAND CRAFT RCR: (480) 539-4438, www.sandcraftmotorsports.com
Front Diff w/ Upgrades $665
Carrier Bearings GEN3 $240
SAVAGE UTV: www.savageutv.com
UTV Drive Belt Case $120
SHOCK THERAPY: (623) 217-4959, www.shocktherapyst.com
Billet-Aluminum RZR 1000
Race Rack & Pinion $995
SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS: (800) 654-7223, www.simpsonraceproducts.com
Pro Sport Seat with seat mounts $600 ea.
5-point Harness $100 each
STM CLUTCH: (248) 673-8408, www.stmpowersports.com
Rage 3 primary $1,045
Rage 3 Tuner secondary $775
STREAMLINE BRAKES: (909) 987-4213, www.streamlinebrakes.com
270mm front Big Brake kit $290
Rear Wave rotors $97 each
Xtream Duty Brake pads $29 each
SUNNER POWER: www.sunnerpower.com
Solar Panel and charging controller $120
UTV INC.: (480) 718-5511, www.utvinc.com
Billet Quick-Release King Jack Mount $100
XTC POWER PRODUCTS: (480) 558-8588, www.xtcpowerproducts.com
Plug & Play Self-Canceling Turn-Signal System W/Horn $390
6” Six LED Billet Aluminum License plate Frame $40
Plug & Play/Switch Power Control System $350