Rhinosaurus Rex Part 5

Nov. 01, 2005 By Joe Nunes-Pereira
Here are some pictures taken during the 6 month break while nothing else was going on. These are more for fun.

Suzuki V8 rocker coversFirst up are the rocker covers from that well-known engine, the Suzuki V8. The proof is there for all to see. These will soon be powder coated yellow with red inset lettering or I might get them polished.

Front axle gussetNigel, ready for battleThe next two are of the front axle gusset. This as well as strengthening the axle casing, boxes in the front trailing arm brackets. I said before they look like a Klingon ("bat'telh") battle sword and low and behold there is Nigel doing his best impression of a Klingon . It's scary how little make-up he needs.

I've mentioned before about a Warrior body kit, so here's a few examples of what we're trying to achieve for those not in the know.

"Warrior" modified EscortRear quarter of the EscortFirst up is my old Ford Escort. This had the original Fibresport glassfibre 'Warrior' arches which bulged out an extra 3 inches further than the original items giving the vehicle a more muscular look. The door keeps the original line so you can see the depth.

Land Rover wheel archesLand Rover archesRecently a friend of mine, Arthur Allsop, took the Warrior idea one step further by making a similar styling kit for his son's Land Rover. What you see is 5 inches of extra width on each arch, (I'll need 7) as there was nothing else on the market to cover his tyres. The inside of each arch is boxed and filled with expanded foam to give it extra strength & repel water. The whole arch is made of 2-3 millimeter thick steel which is riveted, bonded or welded to the body depending on whether it attaches to steel or aluminum paneling of the original body.

Arthur changes his mind almost as much as I do, but I am assured that on his return from his holidays he will start on a similar kit for the Suzuki. Until now he's always argued that he didn't want to mess around with his shell as it was in such good condition. Now he has no choice as he's just bought a set of Sammi axles for his narrow SJ416.

We've decided that for good wheel clearance on full bump at the front Rhinosaurus will have to have the front lengthened by some 4 inches. With this kind of kit you can see it will prove no problem to disguise. We'll lengthen the bonnet from the back of it at the hinges. Hopefully the approach angle should still be just over 90.

Recently I've been out and about and people who know of me and the build comment on how awesome it is and in particular about how often I keep changing my mind and the spec. which has prompted me to write the following.

I agree and even joke about it, but these changes are not just whims. Each change is an improvement developed through on going research and development done at the build up stage where things will be easier to change and improve on. (Example Nigel has found out that the Land Rover bushes and even their replacements had a tendency for the seal on the dowel to come away, so we have recently gone for Pro-Comp polyurethane bushes instead.) I set Nigel targets in terms of required performance from the truck, when Nigel reaches it, he always tries to go that bit further, even if he passed the target in the first place. Getting it right now will make life easier at the end.

Sure, there will be on going modifications and maybe even corrections, after all we (that is Nigel and I) live in the real world, but doing it right first time will cut down the need for these mods at the end when they will more difficult to carry out.

Over the summer I've been out and about over here in the UK at various shows. It's nice to see builders in the UK are getting more adventurous in their fabrications, but in their quest for 'glory' safety seems to have been side lined. On anything Nigel has done, safety is always a priority along with flex. When I say safety I mean on road as well as off road handling and so there comes a point of compromise, as with the rear leaf packs, I wanted Nigel to clamp the leaves and pivot them from the body for more droop. Nigel maintains we have enough vertical axle travel and that bumps at speed could be hairy and stressful on the pivot joint.

I've also been criticised as to how long it's taking. It's had several breaks to allow me to save up for various bits. It may not look like it, but this is a real budget build. I think it is important for people to understand that it is me dictating the pace at which Nigel can progress this project, and not the other way around. For some reason friends just don't believe how little the actual build is costing. All the money is in the parts.

Speaking of parts, I recently ordered a Detroit locker for the rear axle from Drive Train Direct. I called them on a Friday evening, 11.00pm UK time. The unit arrived on my doorstep at 11.00am UK time the following Monday. That's 60 hours, 48 of which were a weekend. My thanks to Jason at Drive Train Direct and the various people at UPS for really having their acts together. Some how I also avoided paying UK import duty. I saved well over £100 ($160). Even if I had paid tax it would still have been cheaper.

There will be new pictures for the next part of the build up which will be taken in LA Supertrux's new workshop, which I checked out today - very impressive.

English for Americans
heater matrix= heater core
sump=oil pan

Thanks to:
LA Supa Trux
Dept. ORC
+44 (0) 1327 705456

ARB Corporation Limited
Air Locker, Inc.
Dept. ORC
+1 (206) 284-5906
ARB Air Locker

DriveTrain Direct
Dept. ORC
1 (888) 584-4327

Explorer UK Procomp Stockist
Dept. ORC
+44 (0) 1925 757575
Supplied leaves & bump stops.

Milner Japanese Parts Dealer
Dept. ORC
+44 (0) 1629 734411
Supplied Toyota parts.
Mobile Welding
& Power, Inc.
Dept. ORC
+1 (619) 488-2305

MR Holland Rancho Stockist
Dept. ORC
+44 (0) 1775 766455
Supplied RS9000 kit.

Rocky Road Outfitters
Dept. ORC
+1 (435) 783-4355

RVS Suzuki Specialist
Dept. ORC
+44 (0) 1322 350101
Cheapest Suzuki parts around. Gave SJ.

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