Built for a King: Big B Motorsports LS Buggy
When it comes to virtually any type of motorsport, much of the success can be accredited to a talented driver and finely tuned vehicle. It’s with that notion that the Miller Motorsports compound has released its own Pro Series chassis. What makes this solid-axle chassis particularly special is that it’s a clone of Erik Miller’s ’16 King of the Hammers–winning car. The big difference between his proven and well-used race car is the new Pro Series chassis was fully designed in Solid Works using CAD, so each tube, notch and tab has a home.
Offered in various levels of completion, the Miller Motorsports Pro Series chassis is an excellent option for anyone looking to get into off-road racing or hardcore ’wheeling. The first production chassis landed in the hands of Josh Blyler of Big B Motorsports.
Byler launched his Ultra4 Racing career with a second-place finish at last year’s Badlands event. He went on to place well at two other events before starting his 2017 season off with a bang by landing a sixth-place finish in his first-ever King of The Hammers. While clearly Blyler has some driving skills up his sleeve, the Miller Motorsports Pro Series chassis can’t hurt either.
We got a chance to dissect his new car. Read on to see what we found.
The main ’cage and impact areas of the chassis are comprised of 2-inch, 0.120-wall 4130 chromoly tubing, while the front and rear sections are built with 1-¾-inch, 0.120-wall 4130 chromoly. High-impact areas around and under the chassis receive aluminum inserts to provide additional strength, without significantly increasing the weight of the chassis.
Powering the Big B machine is a 6.2L LS3 V8. The General Motors crate engine has custom headers, which feed a 3-inch exhaust and DynoMax Race Bullet mufflers. A Mechman high-performance alternator works with two Total Power batteries, while a custom wiring harness from Pacific Fabrication ensures everything communicates correctly.
A custom-built TH400 transmission is used to translate the all-aluminum V8’s 495 hp and 473 lb-ft of torque. In the world of Ultra4 and desert racing, the TH400 is king.
Dividing up the power is a gear-driven Atlas II transfer case from Advance Adapters. The two-speed T-case was optioned with a 3.0:1 low range. In a racing environment where seconds count, the 3:1 low range offers enough gear reduction to get through technical sections without putting you into a full crawl mode. These are rock racers, not rockcrawlers after all.
The rear 3/16-inch-wall JE Reel driveshaft is turning a GearWorks LP10 drop-out third member, which is stuffed with a GearWorks spool and 5.43:1 gears. This massive third member is attached to a Spidertrax Spider 9 Pro Series housing. Note the Accusump oil accumulator tucked neatly between the tubing to safeguard against engine oil starvation.
The trailing arm configuration allows for 20 inches of total wheel travel out of the Fox 2.0 coilovers and 3.0 five-tube bypass shocks. Additional suspension tuning can be found via the PAC Racing Springs 35-spline rear sway bar and 2.5 Fox bumpstops. The sway-bar mounted limit strap serves not only as a much-need axle limiter to protect the shocks but also prevents any chance of the sway bar from inverting due to the large amount of suspension travel.
The chassis is set up to handle a fully hydraulic steering system, which is the mainstay in Ultra4 Racing at the highest level. Big B Motorsports set up its car with a complete steering system from Howe. The double-ended cylinder mounts cleanly to the Spidertrax Spider 9 Pro Series axlehousing.
Up front, Fox 2.0 coilovers are paired with a Pac Racing Spring 14-inch, 150-pound primary coil and 16-inch, 200-pound secondary. This setup is additionally damped by Fox 2.5, four-tube bypass shocks that effectively cycle a balanced 8 inches of up and downward travel. The 16 inches of total wheel travel is further dialed by Fox 2.0 bumpstops and a PAC 28-spline front sway bar. Since the four-link suspension is built with triangulated upper control arms, no track bar is needed.
Twin electric puller fans help channel air through the Ron Davis radiator, while a custom 40-gallon Fuel Safe tank makes sure the car has plenty of gas to stay moving. Dual in-tank fuel pumps and AllTech Motorsports fuel baffles make for worry-free delivery, while Aeromotive fuel filters ensure what’s getting to the LS3 V8 is clean.
The Miller Motorsports Pro Series chassis was designed as a two-seater, which is extremely helpful in races like King of The Hammers. An assortment of Auto Meter Elite series gauges keeps the driver in the know, while a Lowrance GPS allows the co-pilot to assist in critical navigation.
Big B Motorsports set up its chassis to run a 40-inch tire. Here, the racer is fixed with 40x13.50R17 Nitto Trail Grapplers. The durable mud-terrain radials were mounted on a set of 17-inch, forged-aluminum beadlocks from Method wheels. This has been a winning tire and wheel combo for Miller Motorsports and a setup we’re seeing many racers opting for in and out of the Ultra4 Racing circuit.