RPM Offroad 2014 Open House

RPM Offroad 2014 Open House

The 2014 RPM Offroad Open House/Dyno Day got off to a soggy start with rain throughout the previous night and into the morning. Normally spring weather in Bristol, Tennessee, is sunny and warm with a chance of thunderstorms (there’s a reason they call Bristol “Thunder Valley”), so the rain was not completely unexpected. But the RPM crew did not let the precipitation get them down—rather than cancelling or rescheduling the event, they pushed forward with their preparations trusting that the rain would break by mid-morning. And it did—the rain stopped falling shortly after 9 a.m., allowing the team from Fast Enough Performance to get their Dyno Dynamics chassis dyno set up in the parking lot and have trucks running on it before the clock struck 10. A brief shower or two popped up throughout the day but for the most part the weather cooperated.

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A total of 33 vehicles rolled across the chassis dyno, including 27 diesel trucks. There were also four gas-powered cars, a gas truck and the RPM Offroad desert race Trophy Truck, but the Geiser Trophy Truck’s wide rear track width left the race tires hanging off the edge of the rollers and caused the right rear tire to blister before the dyno run was completed. As expected, the diesel trucks were the biggest attraction on the dyno with crowds flocking to see the smoke billow into the air as the trucks put the power to the rollers.

The staff had show specials and freebies on display inside the RPM Offroad showroom.

As often happens, the top of the dyno chart was dominated by Cummins-powered Dodge trucks with three of them breaching the 700-horsepower level and the top two trucks separated by less than seven horsepower. Will Riner’s 2006 Dodge was the first truck to attack the dyno and he set the bar high with a best pull of nearly 800 horsepower that remained the most powerful run of the day. The GM camp was championed by Chris Smith and his 2007 Chevrolet, which made just better than 500 horsepower. Blue Oval fans could rally behind Matt Orr as his 2004 Ford fell just a few HP short of the 500-horsepower barrier but remained the highest power Ford of the day.

The morning weather didn’t look promising for the 2014 RPM Offroad Open House with rain showers making it a difficult prospect to put on an event.

Spectators had plenty of room in the parking lot to hang out while watching the action on the dyno from a safe distance.

The large shop was used as a demo area with manufacturers’ displays around the perimeter and RPM Offroad race vehicles in the center, allowing attendees a chance to get a close-up look at them. Lunch was also served in the shop and it was packed with people throughout the day.

Seeing (and hearing) the RPM Offroad Geiser Trophy Truck run on the dyno was impressive. Too bad the tire blistered before we could see the full potential of that race engine!

The highest power gasser was the RPM Offroad Trophy Truck that put down a very respectable 510 horsepower (enough for sixth overall) during its aborted dyno run. We’re not sure how much power the race engine would have made during a full run, but with more than 950 lb-ft of torque measured we’re sure that there was still more horsepower to wring out of the engine, even after its 500-mile race through the Mexican desert just a few weeks earlier. The unenviable distinction of the lowest power run of the day went to John Walls and his 2006 Ford Mustang, which barely broke the 150-horsepower level.

Josh Fox built a triple-turbo setup for his 1999 Dodge that delivered more than 630 horsepower to the rollers while smoking out the parking lot. He told us he just finished the truck and needs to get it dialed in; he seems to have laid a good foundation so far.

With the afternoon sun breaking through the clouds, the crowds came out in force to see the smoky dyno action.

The most powerful Ford of the day belonged to Matt Orr. His 2004 fell less than three horsepower short of breaking the 500-horsepower barrier.

We don’t see Ford Excursions like Bobby Stanley’s 2005 enter dyno competitions very often. While it didn’t set the world on fire with huge numbers, it looked good while trying.

As with their past open house events, Southern hospitality shone through with RPM Offroad providing lunch for event attendees. This year, the catering was handled by the local Mellow Mushroom restaurant with plenty of gourmet pizzas and sandwiches to keep the masses fed. In addition to free food, the shop also had a free raffle for some great truck and off-road performance parts from various supporting vendors. Local radio station 99.3 Z-ROCK was on hand most of the day doing a live remote, handing out prizes and providing music for the masses. Despite being very muddy, the R/C track was open and available for attendees to get a chance at some scaled-down off road racing. The crew at RPM estimated that more than 1,400 spectators were on site throughout the day making the 2014 Open House their biggest to date.
RPM Offroad is housed in a 22,000-square-foot building located down the road from the famous Bristol Motor Speedway. They had the large showroom ready for spectators to peruse the latest and greatest truck and off-road performance parts and accessories. They even had giveaway items on hand like decals, key chains, lanyards and sunglasses. The large service/shop area was transformed into a demo area where manufacturers set up display booths to show off their latest and greatest products. Representatives on hand included American Tire, BDS Suspension, Baja Designs, Fab Tech, Fluidyne Radiators, Head Held High, JD Squared, KMC Wheels, Mastercraft Safety, Odyssey Batteries, Rigid Industries, Rugged Radios, Schaeffer’s Specialized Lubricants, Smittybilt, Snap-on, Traxxas, Wheel Pros, Westin, Yukon Gear and Zone Off-Road.

Benny West’s 2004.5 Dodge laid down more than 700 horsepower on the dyno during one of the light showers that popped up during the morning.

Chris Smith’s 2007 Chevrolet was the highest power GM truck, delivering more than 500 horsepower to the rear wheels.

In addition to the manufacturer displays, the crew also showed several RPM Offroad competition and race vehicles. Many were fresh off great finishes at the famed 500-mile desert race in Baja California, Mexico. Another cool race truck on display was the SST Formula Off-Road race truck driven by RPM Offroad driver Apdaly Lopez to wins at the Brickyard at Indy as well as at the X-Games in Austin, Texas. The trophy trucks and buggies were joined by a couple of rock racing rigs as well as a built-up desert racing side-by-side UTV.

The day’s activities were finished shortly after 6 p.m., giving attendees and RPM staff members plenty of time to get home and relax after a day of motorsports fun. If you were unable to make this year’s event, our photos will show you highlights of what you missed. If you live in or around the Bristol area we highly recommend you plan to attend RPM Offroad’s 2015 Open House and dyno day. We’re sure you’ll be glad that you did and we hope to see you there—just be sure to tell them that your friends at Diesel World sent you. For more information and details on the 2015 Open House visit www.RPMOffroad.com. DW

Sources

RPM Offroad
423-573-3300
www.RPMOffroad.com
Fast Enough Performance
Dyno Service
859-258-2015
www.FastEnough.com