PROJECT: Glazzkraft RZR XP Turbo

A  chance to race a fully built, spare-no-expense race car is every red-blooded American man’s dream, and owning one is miles beyond that. A true offroad racer at heart, I had raced an ATV in just about every SCORE Baja race for the last 13 years—until a shoulder injury left me sidelined and thinking seriously about a cage. Like many “aging” ATV enthusiasts and racers, I realized the increasingly popular UTV seemed like the perfect platform. The WORCS races were the logical starting point, with lower entry fees and a lot fewer build regulations and requirements.

New UTVs, like the RZR XP, Maverick and Wildcat, require little more than a roof, doors, harness and fire extinguisher to race WORCS or most other short-course series. This type of racing is pretty accessible, but what if desert racing is really your thing? This was our dilemma, so we set out to build a SCORE-legal car out of the 2014 XP 1000 two-seater. The typical requirements for a desert-legal race car include an extensive frame-up safety cage and replacing the fuel tank with a fire-safe fuel cell. With a two-seat build, your only fuel-cell options are to install a really expensive and relatively small custom unit under the seats or install a much more affordable, off-the-shelf fuel cell above the engine. We opted for the latter. We knew that placing more than 100 pounds of fuel up that high in the car would negatively affect handling, but we were really out of options.

Here’s a good look at how much wider the $2499 Vortex fiberglass (more money for carbon fiber) body kit is than stock, and the flow-through front fenders aid in high-speed aerodynamics. Glazzkraft also makes fiberglass roofs for XPs and XP 4s with stock cages.
Here’s a good look at how much wider the $2499 Vortex fiberglass (more money for carbon fiber) body kit is than stock, and the flow-through front fenders aid in high-speed aerodynamics. Glazzkraft also makes fiberglass roofs for XPs and XP 4s with stock cages.

IN COMES THE STRETCH
Three quarters of the way into our build we ran into an old friend who just so happens to be the owner and proprietor of Glazzkraft Industries. Talking with Hector, we all agreed that the four-seat chassis would make for a much better overall desert car. The longer wheelbase is much better in the whoops and rough terrain, and the back-seat area allows you to run a much larger fuel cell, keeping the weight and center of gravity as low as possible for proper handling. Hector told us he could stretch our chassis to match the stock four-seat length and then finish out the car for us. We quickly agreed and delivered the car to Glazzkraft for the transformation.

Glazzkraft is known for killer-looking fiberglass RZR bodies and a handful of over-the-top builds. Once Glazzkraft got started with stretching our race car, it quickly turned into one of those projects. Hector decided to build out the entire car, and our original build pretty much got scrapped. We developed a plan to finish the car and race the Mint 400 and the entire SCORE series together, along with Wes Miller of DWT Racing and H Bomb Films.

Here’s the Glazzkraft #948 on the frame-stretch jig; extra wheelbase adds a lot of straight-line stability, and the added frame members greatly increase frame rigidity.
Here’s the Glazzkraft #948 on the frame-stretch jig; extra wheelbase adds a lot of straight-line stability, and the added frame members greatly increase frame rigidity.

The race-car frame stretch began with stripping the car down to the bare chassis, unbolting it in the center, and installing it into Glazzkraft’s custom frame jig. With the chassis halves in the jig, Glazzkraft fabricated and welded in chromoly-tubing frame rails to create the proper length. With a race car, this is done with a bare frame, but if you just want the frame stretched, it can actually be done with most of the car left intact. With the bottom frame rails in place, Glazzkraft also had to stretch the wiring harness, driveshaft and shift linkage.

The Bomber +3.5-inch trailing arms are connected with a Holz Racing adjustable rear torsion bar. The Bomber kit increases rear travel to 20 inches (strapped/limited) and includes H-D radius rods, rod-link plate, tie-rods, Summers Brothers 300M axles and front A-arms for $3900.
The Bomber +3.5-inch trailing arms are connected with a Holz Racing adjustable rear torsion bar. The Bomber kit increases rear travel to 20 inches (strapped/limited) and includes H-D radius rods, rod-link plate, tie-rods, Summers Brothers 300M axles and front A-arms for $3900.

STRETCHING SUSPENSION
With our chassis at a four-seat length, we turned to Harmon Fuel Safes for a custom wedge-shaped cell that holds nearly 22 gallons. The fuel cell is even channeled on the bottom for the driveshaft, allowing it to sit 4 inches lower than if it were flat. Glazzkraft installed an oversized CBR radiator behind the back-seat area, mounting it low for additional roost protection, as its Mach One-inspired body kit will be force-feeding it plenty of air. Glazzkraft is known for its unique-looking Vortex fiberglass bodies, and Hector decided to go a step further here as well, building our body from super-light and strong hand-laid carbon fiber.

We also decided to run an entire Glazzkraft suspension kit. The Glazzkraft suspension is comprised of 3.5-inch-wider HD chromoly A-arms, trailing arms and radius rods. The entire suspension kit is CAD/CAM designed and then hand-bent before being TIGwelded together. Glazzkraft uses oversized FK heims and top-quality Uniballs for maximum strength. Glazzkraft is also finalizing its own custom-machined chromoly spindle that should be available by the time this is in print.

The Glazzkraft Bomber 3.5-inchwider A-arms widen the car to 71 inches and increase front travel to 19 inches. King Racing IBP shocks with custom valving provide the ultimate smooth ride while eliminating bottoming.
The Glazzkraft Bomber 3.5-inchwider A-arms widen the car to 71 inches and increase front travel to 19 inches. King Racing IBP shocks with custom valving provide the ultimate smooth ride while eliminating bottoming.

The +7-inch GLK suspension kit is mated to custom-valved, IBP King shocks. The 2.5 front and 3.0 rear shocks feature compression-adjustable reservoirs and some of the trickest internal valving you can imagine. The suspension is designed to provide a plush ride with the initial valving, but stiffen up tremendously in a G-out or bottom-out situation. The final piece of the long-travel suspension puzzle is quality axles. Glazzkraft uses custom length, 300M chromoly construction Summers Brothers axle shafts. To further protect against breakage, the stock CV joints are sent to CryoHeat for treatment.

On a side note, the CVs are not the only thing you can send to Josh at CryoHeat. We also send clutches, bearings, gears, brakes, etc. In fact, you can send CryoHeat just about anything that has been made of machined metal. The short story on this revolutionary new process is that any metal is molecularly stressed when it is machined or “worked” into a product. This molecular stress causes weaknesses that can be relieved with a careful yet extreme temperature process. The metal experts at CryoHeat also specialize in micro-polishing, which provides a super finish that results in less friction, heat and wear. This super-low friction has been proven to make 2–3 horsepower on the dyno and increase durability by decreasing heat.

The frame stretch slows down turning somewhat but adds high-speed stability for desert-racing speeds. The Glazzkraft Vortex carbon fiber body is much lighter than the stock plastic to help offset the high weight of the spare tire, safety lights and other required equipment.
The frame stretch slows down turning somewhat but adds high-speed stability for desert-racing speeds. The Glazzkraft Vortex carbon fiber body is much lighter than the stock plastic to help offset the high weight of the spare tire, safety lights and other required equipment.

THE TURBO CURVE BALL
Just as we were getting close to completing the new build, Polaris threw us a serious curveball. The 2016 Polaris XP Turbo was released to the public in August. Now what? Should we keep building our dream car to go race with a 30-horsepower disadvantage? Should we sell it? Should we throw in the towel and give up? Nope. We turned to Glazzkraft for another retrofit. As it turns out, the XP Turbo powerplant is almost a direct swap for the XP 1000 motor; it literally takes one extra motor mount hole and a few additional brackets. The turbo swap also requires swapping the wiring harness, front differential, intercooler and a few other parts. The final product comes out just like factory, so we ended up with a turbo car very similar to the Fox Edition.

Glazzkraft went with carbon fiber for the racing dash, and Nelson went with dual GPS units for the driver and copilot, along with a race radio with intercom. Glazzkraft’s fiberglass XP1K dashboard has even more surface area for the GPS, radio, gauges, switches and more for $599.
Glazzkraft went with carbon fiber for the racing dash, and Nelson went with dual GPS units for the driver and copilot, along with a race radio with intercom. Glazzkraft’s fiberglass XP1K dashboard has even more surface area for the GPS, radio, gauges, switches and more for $599.

FINAL TOUCHES
In getting ready to race the Mint 400, there were a bunch of things we couldn’t live without. Glazzkraft built a carbon fiber dash to house dual Lowrance GPS units. We used the 7-inch Polaris/Lowrance Gen 2 touchscreen for the navigator and installed a 5-inch model for the driver’s side. The gauges were taken care of with an allinclusive LCD Racepak UTV kit. This intuitive dash kit includes sensors for clutch temperature, oil pressure and water temperature. Ours is mounted directly into the Glazzkraft dash, but it is offered as a plug-and-play RZR XP model complete with its own dash.

We finished off the interior with lightweight fiberglass race seats from NRG and a bunch of really cool billet LED interior pod lights from Lazer Star. The Holz rear sway bar and Streamline stainless brake lines were a must. Then we had to decide on rolling stock. BFG offers the best pit service in Baja, and the only stipulation is running a BFG tire. In the past, many UTV teams have experimented with different light truck tires, but luckily for us, BFG has recently answered back with a full-blown UTV-specific tire. The BFGoodrich T/A KR2 UTV tire is engineered with race-proven CoreGuard technology and is available in the highly desirable 30×9.5×15 size.

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DWT did not have a lot of 15-inch options in time for the Mint 400, but, fortunately, DWT offers the billet centered, modular-construction Sector
wheels. The only downside to this wheel is that it is only available in a 4+3 offset in a 15×7. The 9.5-inch-wide BFG tire is really designed to be on a 6-inchwide wheel, and we prefer as little offset as possible. For the Baja 500, we will be debuting the first 15×6 DWT Sectors, and they will have a narrower offset and a new HD beadlock ring.

For the Mint 400, we did not need headlights, but we used multiple 6-inch Lazer Star amber and blue light bars for the rear and will be running the crazy powerful 10-watt Enterprise light bars up front for the Baja 500 and 1000. We also plan to use smaller, 3-watt Endeavour light bars in an amber spot for dust and fog applications.

BUILD/PARTS LIST
Chassis: 2014–’16 Polaris RZR XP Turbo four-seat stretch
Builder: Glazzkraft Fab Division
Body: Glazzkraft XP 1000 Vortex carbon fiber body kit
Suspension: Glazzkraft +3.5” chromoly long-travel kit
Shocks: King shocks, Internal By-Pass (IBP) 2.5 front and 3.0 rear with finned reservoirs
Axles: Summers Brothers Racing 300M HD axles
Engine: XP Turbo
Exhaust: Stock Polaris XP Turbo
Intake: Donaldson
Wheels: 15” DWT Racing Sector beadlocks
Tires: 30×9.5×15” BF Goodrich KR2
Wrap/Graphics: Glazzkraft custom paint
Seats: NRG Innovative racing seats
Restraints: Beard 5-point harnesses
Nets: Glazzkraft window nets
Brakes: Streamline brake lines and oversized brake rotors
Radiator: CBR race radiator
Dash: Glazzkraft carbon fiber with Racepak and two Lowrance GPS’
Comms: Rugged Radio two-way intercom and Icom race radio
Helmet Air: Rugged Radio MAC4.2 two-person air pumper
Fuel cell: Harmon racing cell
Lighting: Lazer Star 40” 10-watt Enterprise light bar, 6” Endeavour amber spot on bumper, and Endeavor floodlights in stock location
Accessories: Momo steering wheel with Hess quick release and steering quickener, 7” and 5” Lowrance Polaris HDS GPS

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