The need for exploring off-road is a notion that we feel we can find across the entire United States. That’s the drive behind our new column, Stateside Shop Tour. Come with us as we tour the nation looking at shops that build (or help build) capable off-road machines of all shapes and sizes.
In our last installment, we went through the Prairie State and found Carl’s Four Wheel Drive in Bartelso, Illinois. The establishment made its trade installing lift kits, wheels, and tires that got Midwest trucks and Jeeps seeing farther and going further. For this installment, we head east yet again and find ourselves in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with Branik Motorsports.
Started by Stan Branik back in 2003, Branik Motorsports operates as a custom machine shop servicing hardcore off-road builds and racing applications. This was relayed to us by Stan’s son, Brandon, as his father was out and about in Johnson Valley having fun before the Ultra4 King of the Hammers race, taking place this coming weekend.
“My dad has been off-roading since he was in his late teens,” said Brandon. “He had his own off-road customizing shop all the way back in the 1970s. He was self-taught in machining and fabrication and worked in the machining industry for close to 40 years. I joined right in after graduating high school and have been here 18 years now.”
Keeping the family in the family business has given the Braniks the opportunity to oversee every aspect, and helped them earn the trust of many racers. Complementing that trust is the Branik line of products and services, including axle shafts, suspension links, MIG and TIG welding, reverse engineering, and more.
The Branik Motorsports crew works hard, but they play hard too. Papa Branik owns and competes in his very own Ultra4 buggy, in fact, and made it ready to rock in the harshest environments. “He built it about three years ago,” explained Brandon. “He’s raced in the King of the Hammers five times now, and after the first two times racing in other people’s rigs, he knew he had to build his own.”
Branik went with a wide-open design chassis by Revolution Chassis. It had a Lingenfelter-tuned LS3 installed and paired with a Reid Racing Turbo 400 transmission and Atlas II transfer case. The axles were made up of JRAT Sixty-Nine axle housings, spooled differentials with 5.38:1 gear ratios, with custom-made axle shafts too.
“It has 14 inches of suspension travel up front and 22 in the rear,” said Brandon. “We use PAC Racing for all of the suspension components.” Rounding out the list are some Raceline wheels, BF Goodrich tires, and a Dynomax exhaust system.
Top-notch work by a top-notch family business – that seems to be the Branik Motorsports way. We invite you to check out their product line on the web, as well as the Facebook page, and stay tuned here on Off Road Xtreme as we continue our Stateside Shop Tour. Next stop: Michigan.