PROJECT UTV: FAST FUEL OFF-ROAD RZR
— Built to beat the desert, By the staff of Dirt Wheels —
There are few joys in life more satisfying than taking your favorite off-road toy and building it to the moon with awesome aftermarket parts that enhance its ability to haul on trails. Ryan O’Hara works for Fuel Off-Road that specializes in wheels and tires for trucks, SUVs and UTVs. Ryan tore a 2017 Polaris RZR XP 4 1000 down to the frame, strengthened it and put it back together with some impressive parts. There is a lot to learn on this build!
SUSPENSION & UP
Ryan O’Hara has the infamous King of the Hammers racecourse in his local riding area, so we tested his UTV there. Strengthening your UTV is the right idea for this area. O’Hara welded in an HCR gusset kit, and installed stronger HCR boxed trailing arms, then mounted dual-sport front HCR boxed A-arms. The arms were modified to get an adjustable Cage WRX front bumper/sway bar kit to work with them. An RT PRO front suspension brace adds strength and durability to the front end. At the rear are adjustable Shock Therapy sway bar and links.
Before Ryan put the RZR back on Fuel Off-Road wheels and tires, he used heavy-duty RCV axles on all four corners for added durability and strength. Next, a new set of fully adjustable 2.5-inch front Walker Evans Racing coil-over reservoir shocks were installed for better bottoming resistance and a smoother low-speed ride. The bigger shock body allows the shock to run cooler and have increased bottoming resistance and tunability. The rear shocks were also sprung and valved by WER and installed.
Ryan installed a Hess Motorsports 2:1 steering quickener to speed the steering and act like an ATV steering stabilizer. Assault Industries’ Ballistic D steering wheel and strong turret-style heavy-duty tie-rods added to the build. Assault heavy-duty high-clearance rear radius rods were installed. Ryan installed Hess aluminum wheel hubs and studs. Fuel Off-Road 15-inch forged, one-piece beadlock wheels with the new 32-inch Gripper R/T 10-ply tires finished the chassis and suspension.
The custom fabrication on this build is impressive. RJ Fabrication created mounts for a Fuel Safe 20-gallon aluminum fuel cell and rear seat brackets. The fuel cell works with the stock Polaris fuel pump and sending unit. RJ Fab also generated a mount for the relocated fuel-tank filler.
The engine was mounted with high-grade aluminum Hess front and rear engine mounts. Ryan didn’t perform any internal engine modifications, yet he did whisper about wanting a supercharger soon. A Trinity Stage 5 exhaust was installed, along with a Polaris Accessories Donaldson reusable air filter enhanced by a Trinity/Dyno Jet flash tuner.
Ryan is running 3-inch-taller tires and heavier wheels than the stock RZR. EPI Performance offers clutch kits that are perfect for bigger tires, so a kit was installed. The stock clutch cover was replaced with a two-piece, vented Fuel Customs cover. The last drivetrain work was a Gen 2 bearing carrier from Sandcraft RCR for the drive shaft that is stronger than stock and minimizes drive-shaft movement.
This RZR is going to be driven in harsh and insanely rocky terrain, which means it needs to be protected and protect the passengers. This often means heavier parts that are a lot stronger than stock. Magnum Off-Road added a roof rack to a MX1-4 roll cage with full-coverage high-top Ghost doors. The cage has intrusion bars in the front and a full roof. The bottom of the RZR got 1/2-inch-thick, UHMW, full-under-belly skid plates and 3/8-inch UHMW rock sliders to protect the frame from abuse.
Protecting the passengers and driver in a UTV is important. Ryan turned to Simpson Racing Products for Vortex seats and five-point harnesses. The rear seat is a bench style. Ryan performed possibly our favorite fabrication done to this UTV• 4-inch-lowered seat brackets. Having a lower seat lowers the center of gravity while you are driving the RZR. Unfortunately, this might only be possible on a four-seat RZR since there is no gas tank or battery under the front seats.
O’Hara wired up the entire electrical system himself, which included rerouting the computer and a new Optima Yellow Top battery into a custom-made RJ Fab bed box that doubles as a water-resistant cargo container. It sits below a Madigan Motorsports spare-tire rack. O’Hara included two axillary fuse blocks that contain 12 hot circuits and seven ignition-hot circuits for the accessories he installed.
An all-new carbon fiber dash from Glazzkraft was installed with UTV Inc. accessory switches and an impressive Racepak IQ3 instrument cluster that offers more readouts than stock. A Mob Armor iPad dash mount was rigged up to the new dash that holds an iPad, which O’Hara utilizes as a GPS system. Below the iPad is a PCI radio and intercom system that keeps everyone in the UTV connected to each other and the group.
Some people love to bump tunes. Rockford Fosgate has a Stage 4 stereo kit that includes a subwoofer, speakers, amplifiers and a deck that sounds crystal clear while wearing helmets.
The stock Polaris headlights work well, but not as well as Vision X’s LED lights. O’Hara wired and mounted a 32-inch LED light bar on the roof, a rock light in each wheel well, a dome light, a stock replacement headlight kit and 4.5-inch light cannons on the Cage WRX front bumper. We only knew it was nighttime because the sky was still black; otherwise, you could see everything in front of you extremely well. The last major electrical item that was installed was a Warn Pro Vantage 4500-pound winch that was attached to an RT Pro winch mount.
Ryan added finishing touches of Holz Racing’s billet-aluminum brake pedal and a gear shifter that went perfectly with Ryan’s custom-built center console. A UTV Inc. quick-release fire-extinguisher system was bolted up to the rear down tube of the roll cage, and a 20-ounce Power Tank with the Power Shot Trigger system was mounted up as well. The Power Tank holds compressed air in case you get flat tires out on the trail. O’Hara completed the build with a carbon fiber hood from FourWerx Carbon and a nice wrap from Gator Wraps that covered the roof, plastics and door panels of the RZR.
The Walker Evans Racing shocks combined with the HCR suspension kit work wonders in smoothing out the ride in the slow-speed chop and rock-crawling sections. The shocks took hard hits with ease and floated over 3-foot-deep whoop sections. The Hess steering quickener stiffened up the steering, which was awesome while going fast, but turning it in the slow, tight stuff took some extra muscle. They do offer kits that aren’t as tight. The sway bar systems on the front and rear of the rig made cornering and traversing uneven terrain a lot easier.
The power upgrades were quite noticeable, but since the RZR had a ton of added weight, we think Ryan has the right idea of wanting to install a supercharger kit to really wake the RZR’s engine up. The clutching upgrade did help push the impressive one-piece forged beadlock wheels and new Fuel Off-Road Gripper R/T 10-ply tires. The new tread design is lighter than their previous UTV tires, which is a major plus in the handling and traction department. In the rocks, they gripped very well with little slipping, and the hardpack desert terrain was also no match for the tread blocks. We can’t wait to get our hands on a set of our own!
Ryan O’Hara has really outdone himself with this Polaris RZR XP 4 1000 build. The rig has great handling characteristics, excellent electronic systems, is very protective to the passengers and the tires provide a lot of traction. Check out more awesome builds like this one on www.dirtwheelsmag.com!
PROJECT FUEL RZR: PARTS & CONTACTS
ASSAULT IND.: www.assaultind.com, (714) 799-6711
• Turret-style HD tie-rods
• High-clearanceradius rods
• B2 Bomber side mirrors
• Ballistic D quick-release steering wheel
• Hellfire front grill
CAGE WRX: www.cagewrx.com, (951) 435-2730
• Front bumper/sway bar
EPI PERFORMANCE: epiperformance.com, (218) 829-6036
• Clutch kit: Weights and springs
FACTORY UTV: www.factoryutv.com, (916) 383-2730
• 1/2-inch UHMW skid plates
• 3/8-inch UHMW rock sliders
FOUR WERX CARBON: www.fwcarbon.com, (262) 501-9696
• Carbon fiber hood
FUEL CUSTOMS: www.fuelcustoms.com, (909) 594-6082
• High-flow two-piece CVT clutch cover
FUEL OFF-ROAD: www.fueloffroad.com
• 15-inch forged one-piece beadlock wheels
• 32×10-15 Gripper R/T 10-ply DOT rated
FUEL SAFE: www.fuelsafe.com, (877) 232-9451
• 20-gallong fuel cell w/ OEM fuel pump and sending unit
GATOR WRAPS: www.gatorwraps.com, (877) 338-4848
• Custom vehicle wrap
• Carbon fiber dash kit
HCR RACING: www.hcrracing.com, (888) 928-7223
• Stock-replacement, boxed, front dual-sport A-arm kit w/ Uni balls
• Stock-replacement, boxed rear trailing arms
• Weld-in chassis gusset kit
HESS MOTORSPORTS: hess-motorsports.com, (940) 759-4597
• 2:1 steering quickener
• 6061 billet engine mounts
• 6061 billet front-engine-mount cross bar
• 7075 billet rear-engine-mount plates
• 7075 T651 aluminum wheel hubs
• 300M wheel studs
HOLZ RACING: holzracingproducts.com, (360) 398-7006
• Billet aluminum brake pedal
• Billet aluminum shifter
MADIGAN MOTORSPORTS: madiganmotorsports.com, (951) 382-0256
• Spare tire rack
MAGNUM OFF-ROAD: www.magnumoffroad.com, (760) 727-0450
• MX1-4 roll cage
• Ghost doors
• Roof rack
MOB ARMOR: www.mobarmor.com, (805) 214-1815
• iPad mount
• Yellow Top battery
PCI RACE RADIOS: www.pciraceradios.com, (800) 869-5636
• Full radio and intercom system
• Donaldson air filter
POWER TANK: www.powertank.com, (209) 366-2163
• 20-ounce tank w/ Power Shot Trigger system and tank mount
PRP SEATS: prpseats.com, (800) 317-6253
• Window nets
RACEPAK: www.racepak.com, (888) 429-4709
• IQ3 instrument cluster
RCV PERFORMANCE: rcvperformance.com, (815) 877-7473
• Pro Series II 300M axles front/rear
RJ FABRICATION: (760) 244-7410
• Custom cargo bed box (cargo and second battery location)
• Gas-tank filler mount
• Rear seat mounts for 20-gallon fuel cell
ROCKFORD FOSGATE: rockfordfosgate.com, (800) 669-9899
• Stage 4 sound system
RT PRO: www.rtproutv.com, (517) 278-7768
• Winch mount
• Front suspension brace
SANDCRAFT MOTORSPORTS: sandcraftmotorsports.com, (480) 539-4438
• Gen 2 carrier bearing
SHOCK THERAPY: shocktherapyst.com, (623) 217-4959
• Rear sway bar
SIMPSON RACING PRODUCTS: simpsonracingproducts.com, (800) 654-7223
• Vortex front racing seats
• Vortex rear bench seat
• 5-point harness
STREAMLINE BRAKES: www.streamlinebrakes.com, (909) 987-4213
• 270mm oversize rotors front/rear
TRINITY RACING: www.trinityracing.com, (714) 988-0339
• Stage 5 full exhaust system
• Dyno Jet/Trinity re-flash tuner
UTV INC.: www.utvinc.com, (480) 718-5511
• Quick-release fire-extinguisher kit
• Accessory switches
VISION X: www.visionxusa.com
• 32-inch LED light bar
• Rock lights
• Dome light
• Stock-replacement headlight kit
• 4.5-inch light cannons
WALKER EVANS RACING: www.walkerevensracing.com, (888) 933-7223
• 2.5-inch front shocks w/ Eibach springs
• Re-valved rear shocks w/ Eibach springs
WARN: www.warn.com, (800) 543-9276
• Pro Vantage 4500-pound winch