— A desert wagon made to drive hard —
By the staff of Dirt Wheels
Allen Knowles is the owner of CT Racing, and he has managed something extraordinary. No, we aren’t talking about this cool four-seat desert monster he built. He’s managed to find a wife who still likes to get out and hit trails in a rowdy UTV. Roxanne can navigate, feed the crew, or drive the dually and the trailer. Even more, she can stand to be a passenger when “Crazy Al” is driving. We’ll admit, we will only ride with him when the alternative is walking—with broken limbs.
Knowles has been a racer on two, three and four wheels, and his need for speed remains legendary. He and Roxanne click off serious off-road miles. CT Racing set this four-door Polaris Turbo up as an adventure runner that was still quite capable in the dunes. Getting the Dynamix Edition RZR to accomplish both to the Knowles’ standards required refining this very good platform. Areas for refinement included power, handling, safety, comfort and durability in tough situations. When you go out on adventure runs, you always want your machine to come back under its own power.
Any Turbo RZR has a lot of power, but CT dialed the power in, but this isn’t a universal fix. Manufacturers are forced to meet strict California emission controls, and oftentimes they need to run engines extremely lean to make them burn cleaner. CT installed the Dynojet Power Vision to re-map the stock ECU. It comes with several “tunes” included to match your build. One of the maps is the stock, emission-controlled one, and when the car is at the dealer for service, or when it is being driven in California, it runs the stock map. If the car is racing, driven in other states or in Baja, it runs a performance map. The remapped ECU turns up the boost, adds fuel, and kicks the fan on sooner and off later. The result was a 15-horsepower gain and a cooler-running engine. The map also allowed two-foot driving as it removed the delay from brake to throttle. To match the added power, Dynojet also supplied us with a clutch kit. Clutching is extremely important on a CVT vehicle. Basically, when you mash the throttle, you need the clutch to keep the car at or around peak power. Changes in power, weight and tire diameter all impact this. The Dynojet tunable clutch kit has adjustable weights so you can dial it in, and it makes the car as fast as possible. The Dynojet kit has good instructions and suggestions, and those guidelines were right on the money for this build. Dynojet also supplied a stronger boost tube for the turbo that resists collapsing. Any restriction of the tube costs power.
GETTING A HANDLE ON IT
The Dynamix RZR is a handling beast with its computerized shock performance to keep it flat in the corners. All in all, the Dynamix package does as advertised, but CT found the overall ride to be harsh. Schmidty Racing Suspension has a great price on a spring package that provides a noticeably better ride in all situations. They also let Schmidty valve the shocks for a plush ride that still lets Al jump off of a bridge and not take a whoopin.’ SRS makes the soft setting where it should be for a great ride, and CT finds that they kick it to the medium setting more often for the whoops.
CT used Teixeira Tech Extreme ground clearance A-arms and radius rods for the rock gardens they end up traveling through. Without fail, they smash and bend stock A-arms on rocks. The Teixeira parts give them more clearance with a stronger arm, keeping them from having to limp back to the trailer and wasting their destination plans. Teixeira also offers tougher, better-designed Italian-made Frap ball joints.
They also used Teixeira’s weld-on trailing-arm gusset kit: a pre-cut, pre-bent trailing-arm gusset plate that has gusset tabs for the shock mount and sway bar mount.
DROP WEIGHT, BOOST SAFETY
TPS Fabrication built a solid roll cage that combined safety and the weight savings of a short cage in one package. TPS also built the aluminum roof that fits nicely and looks good. TPS builds custom cages, so CT gave them the parts they wanted to run—lights, Particle Separator, mirrors, whips, antenna and so forth—and they built all of the tabs so the cage didn’t have clamps all over it. That gives the car a clean, detailed look. TPS also built the minimalist front bumper.
The Knowles like full doors to keep junk and hazards out, and keep all the essential body parts in. They went with Dirt Specialties doors. Dirt Specialties is owned by the design fabricator from Bling Star, and when Bling Star went away, TPS started a new brand. The doors look good, fit well, open and close easily and, most important, stay closed.
NON-STOCK ROLLING STOCK
CT believes that Tim Orchard’s OMF billet-center wheel is the best-looking, most durable wheel you can buy. OMF has customizable options in design and color. GBC Terra Master tires were clamped onto the OMF beadlocks. The Terra Master is based on the Kanati Mongrel carcass that CT loves. Terra Masters have an A-side and a B-side. Put the A-side outside for soft, loose terrain, and the B-side out for hardpack. CT likes the A-side out on the fronts and the B-side out for the rear.
LIGHT IN THE DARK
Pilot Automotive imports reasonably priced PLX automotive and off-road lights. A PLX 41.5-inch light bar fit the TPS cage roof line perfectly. For the rear of the car, CT selected a dual light with amber for visibility in dust, and then they can switch on bright white for backing up or working at the rear of the car. They run the same light on the front with amber to be seen by oncoming daytime traffic and white light pointed slightly downward for when they come over a rise in the dark.
CT clamped on a pair of Sick Whip lighted whips. Lighted whips are very easy to spot at all angles day or night. Sick Whips offers lots of light patterns and color choices. The multitude of colors aids in identifying what car in the group you’re following night or day. The Sick Whips have a quick detach pin and an easy-to-unscrew electrical connector. They are very durable, but probably won’t hold up to loading in an enclosed trailer without removing them.
COMFORT AND PROTECTION
CT can log 200 miles in a day of destination running. DragonFire Highback GT suspension seats are very comfortable, and they utilize the stock seat sliders. DragonFire 2-inch harnesses provide all-day comfort.
CT clamped tough, awesome Factory UTV Ultimate 1/2-inch UHMW skid plates on. They protect the bottom of the car, but also have a bit of rock slider coming up around the side for additional protection. CT advises that skid plates are a lot easier to install on a new car before you’ve destroyed the stock skid and moved the stock mounting holes around.
Rugged Radios’ push-to-talk car-to-car communication allows cars to spread out and stay out of the dust on long destination runs. Plus, the leader can alert the group to oncoming traffic. With helmets, it’s nice to be able to have voice-activated communication with your co-driver. The 60-watt Rugged setup reaches out a few miles in most conditions and over 10 miles in good conditions.
CT opted for a Momo steering wheel pre-wired for PTT radio communication on a DragonFire quick-detach billet steering wheel mount and adapter. You can pull the wheel from the car and just unplug the radio wire for convenience and as a great anti-theft device.
The S&B Particle Separator is a no-brainer addition to any UTV that sees dusty conditions. S&B claims it cuts 92 percent of the dirt from getting to the air filter, but it is worth having if it keeps 50 percent of the dirt from the filter. CT knows that it does far better than 50 percent. Off-road is a hostile environment for the motor. S&B has the answer, and it loses no performance.
There are two popular ways to change the appearance of your UTV—a wrap or a graphics kit. This car has a graphics kit by All Motor Graphics. Graphics kits are much easier to install than wraps, as they are pre-cut in panels. You just wet the surface with water and a little bit of soap in a spray bottle. You can move the section to adjust it and work it down. Piece of cake. A wrap is super thin and can be formed around the edges, so you can do more with them, but you need to have a lot more patience and skill to get them right. In other words, pay the guy that does the wrap to install it. One of the great things about working with All Motor Graphics is that they will add all the logos you want, and resize them or whatever it takes to get it the way you want it.
CT entered into this project with very specific goals. They know how they drive and what was needed to personalize it for what they intended to do. Aside from the graphisc kit, there is no part that was picked just for looks. Sure, colors were coordinated, and the cage tabs made installations clean, but this Dynamix is built for adventure and performance, and the fact that it looks cool at the same time is merely a bonus. In the end, they got exactly the machine that they wanted and needed to safely handle the off-road adventures they crave. That is important. Al has to keep Roxanne happy!
All Motor Graphics: www.allmotorsportgraphics.com
Graphics with roof $600
Dirt Specialties: (714) 329-2802, www.dirtspecialties.com
Set of 4 doors $889
DragonFire: (800) 708-9803, www.dragonfireracing.com
High-back GT seats $999 per set
4-point 2” harness $99 set
Quick detach mount and adapter $180
Dynojet Research: (800) 992-4993, www.dynojet.com
Polaris Boost tube $224
Polaris RZR XP Turbo Stage 2 power package $649
Polaris Power Vision $399.99
Clutch kit $299.99
Factory UTV: (916) 383-2730, www.factoryutv.net
Factory UTV skid $746
GBC Motorsports: www.gbcmotorsports.com
Kanati Terra-Master $249 ea.
ModQuad Racing: www.modquad.com
Rear-view mirror $129
OMF Performance Wheels: (951) 354-8272, www.omfperformance.com
Billet-center beadlock wheels $800 ea.
PLX Lighting: (800) 237-7560, www.pilotautomotive.com
41.5” LED light bar $240
Amber/white 6.25 lights $49
Rugged Radios: (888) 541-7223, www.ruggedradios.com
4-place radio kit
with helmet kits $1,800
S&B Filters: (800) 358-2639, www.sbfilters.com
S&B Particle Separator $399
Schmidty Racing Suspension: (559) 740-9972, www.schmidtyracing.com
Shock spring package $995
Shock re-valve package $250
Sick Stick: (916) 804-0544, www.sick-stick.com
Dual black Voo-Doo lights $280
Teixeira Tech: (209) 833-9160, www.teixeiratech.com
XGC Ground Control A-arms w/ HD ball joints $1,435
Trailing arm gusset $178
Radius XGC rod kit $628
Harness bezel plate $99
Radio jack mount $24.95
TPS Fabrication: (714) 892-1300, www.tpsfab.com
Roll cage powdercoated with roof $1,800
Front bumper with skid $300