I wanna go fast.
That was Chuck Crossland’s answer to the inspiration behind building his monster of a race truck. We got a chance to sit down with Chuck at this year’s King of the Hammers to learn more about this very cool ULTRA4 rig. Join Off Road Xtreme as we dive into Chuck Crossland’s 1200 horsepower power, go-anywhere racer.
Chuck started off like a lot of off-roaders turning to the venerable Jeep CJ platform and building out a very capable crawler. Then the curiosity of racing got a hold of him. Chuck found himself chasing the NORA 1000 with his father in the CJ crawler. The vehicle they were chasing was piloted by KOH founder Dave Cole. That’s where Chuck got a really good look at what ULTRA-style rigs could accomplish in the desert, and he was hooked.
Intrigued by ULTRA4 Racing, Chuck’s next stop was to work as a recovery volunteer for a few races. From there it wasn’t long before he started working the pits for a few teams. The next step was picking up a 4500-class rig for himself and getting in the action. Racing the 4500 for two years Chuck realized he loved the sport but wanted something more, to go faster.
That’s where his current 6800 legends class, featured here comes into play. Chuck’s vision of going fast meant he needed power, and lots of it. The 6800 Class was a perfect fit with its single shock and DOT tire provisions the class was open to the powerplant of his choosing.
Starting with a bare Liberty Mountain Fabrication chassis just after the 2020 KOH event, Chuck’s goal was to debut his new racer at the next year’s 4Wheel Parts Everyman Challenge. He focused on a very specific build design and the result is one of the most powerful vehicles in the series.
“The car was built right smack in the middle of COVID which created very unique challenges in building the car, but we pushed thru to get it done and make it to Hammers 2021.”
– Chuck Crossland
Muscle in the Desert
So with all this talk about power, what is at the heart of Chuck’s Truck? A twin-turbo 6.2-liter LS, cranking out 1200 HP and around 1600 FT-LBS of torque. Dual Precision snails are responsible for feeding air into the system at around 10 psi of boost. Charge temps are managed by a Shearer Fab intercooler and intake system. Inside the big block, Callies rods rotate around a custom Brian Tooley Racing cam. Keeping things cool under race conditions isn’t easy. That is where the custom CBR Performance Products coolers and SPAL Automotive fans come in.
All that power is funneled out to the Hughes Performance TH400 transmission. A Northwest Fab NP 205 transfer case diverts everything between the front and rear and into a pair of Spider Trax Pro housings. Then, Yukon Gear and Axel handle distribution to all four corners.
Going Anywhere Takes More Than Power
Taming 1200 horsepower is already difficult on asphalt, it’s near impossible on dirt. But much like the engine design, Chuck had a plan for that too. Custom King coilover with internal bypass shocks are at the heart of the suspension. Limited by class to only one shock per corner, Chuck went big, over 50-inches big.
37-inch DOT Atturo Trail Blade Boss tires are the rubber of choice for Chuck. All that rubber sits on a set of Dirty Life Roadkill wheels. Stopping all that truck is the job of Willwood 6 piston calipers all the way around dressed with Hawk Performance brake pads.
“Atturo Tires and Dirty Life Wheels have been awesome. The very few flat tires I’ve got, well, I earned them and I have to own that.”
– Chuck Crossland
Chuck Crossland’s ULTRA4 Rig Vehicle Specifications
- Chassis: Liberty Mountain Fabrication 4800 class single shock car
- Engine: Front-mounted 6.2 Liter LS, Twin Precision turbos, Shearer fab intercooler/intake, Brian Tooley Racing internals camshaft, Shaft mounted rockers, Callies Rods, Line2Line piston coating
- Cooling: CBR radiator, Spal Fans
- Suspension type: Solid Axle, KING Shocks all pure race with finned reservoirs, King Kong rear bypasses, Front King IBP’s
- Steering: Howe Performance full Hydro, PRP Wheel
- Driveline: Hughes TH400 Transmission, Transfers case Northwest Fab NP 205, Spidetrax Pro Housings, Axels Branik motorsports shafts and sway bar, Yukon Gear and Axle components
- Wheels: 17-inch Dirty Life Roadkill
- Tires: Atturo Trail Blade Boss 37×12.5R17
- Brakes: 6-piston Wilwood brakes, HAWK brake pads
- Interior: PRP comp elite seats, Holley Digital dashes, Rugged Radios, Switch Pros
Getting To Know Chuck Crossland
After learning more about his rig we wanted to get some insight into what it takes to race at KOH. For Chuck, that means a full teardown on the truck. In fact, the night before our meeting Chuck was replacing body panels and parts of the cage due to a roll while pre-running the course.
“The only thing that stayed in the truck during prep was the fuel cell, radiator and wiring. We touched everything else on the car during prep.”
– Chuck Crossland
Off Road Xtreme: What is your favorite part of KOH?
Chuck Crossland: “It’s about getting down here and seeing all my buddies I have made over the years. We get to hang out for a couple of weeks all focused on the same thing, it’s great. When it comes to the race itself, it’s such a challenge, it’s more about racing the terrain than your competitor, just to try and finish is very difficult.”
ORX: What tips do you have for anyone looking to get into ULTRA4 or racing at KOH?
CC: “Find a team close to you and ask if you can help. There is probably not a single team that would complain about extra help. It’s a great way to learn more about it all.”
If you want to see this rig in action, Chuck is taking this year to hit some bucket list races. The current plan is to run Vegas to Reno, The Baja 400, and Crandon in 2023. He also plans on running the full Nor-Cal Rock Racing series as well. If you make it out to one of those races, make sure you swing by and get a first-hand look at this multi-purpose racer.