So a prelude or sorts:
I have always been a big fan of Twisted Customs' vehicles. Having bee in the sport of Rock Crawling since it's inception (Competition Wise), I have seen build trends/builders come and go. The simplicity of rigs like what Twisted Customs, Jesse Haines, and Jimmy's 4x4 builds; on top of the way they flat out work make them great candidates for long term success. While these are some of the best working rigs on the planet, they also happen to be some of the most affordable to get into. Still, building or buying a buggy isn't cheap by any measure. Regardless, it is all worth every penny by being able to watch my kids grow up in the same sport that I grew up in.
Previously I owned one of Jesse Haines Willy's Buggies. It flat out works and is often thought of as a "sleeper". Many times I was told by other drivers that I "Should" follow them because they can help me find the lines and recover me if I get stuck. I find this funny because even though I have been in the sport since 1997, I took a 3 year break and moved to Alaska. In that time, many new faces entered our sport and I was only remembered by those that were there in the beginning. Half way through the trail, those same drivers would have me jump in front of them on the trail. The bummer part about Jesse's Willy's Buggy is that it was a 2 seater. I reluctantly hacked it into a 4 seater so that my kids could go with. But it was small and tight, and my kids are getting bigger.
Running around on Facebook, Jesse sent me a link to a chassis that was for sale built by James Treacy. James builds car very similar to Twisted Customs, many parts are interchangeable for ease. James built this particular vehicle for running around in the Pacific North West, between trees, slick rock, and the occasional comp. It has 3 seats but has very little room to squeeze a super small bench in. With some minor adjustments, I could get the whole family out wheeling a little more comfortable.
Furthermore, the Willy's had 37's and some drivetrain limitations (22RE, Manual Trans, Dana300) and while that worked REALLY WELL, I was ready to push the envelope of what Hardcore Trail Riding is for me. I felt I needed 40's, rear steer, and a little more power. The new James Treacy (JT) Chassis was set up perfect for this change.
The specs on the original JT buggy were 5.3, TH350, Atlas II, 40" tires, rear steer, 106" wheelbase, and 78" wide for dodging the trees of the PNW. With the subtle changes in mind and the fact that we don't have trees to miss, we will keep the drivetrain, and increase in other areas... 42" Maxxis Treps on 17" Raceline Beadlocks, 109" wheelbase, and roughly 84-86" wide (The width and length are also to help with compesating for the 42's). These sizes will bode well for the southwest wheeling that Sand Hollow, AZ Trails, and pushing into a more difficult realm of trail capability.