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July 2015 Ride of the Month

[dropcap style=”style1″]G[/dropcap]rowing up, James Norman III always rode around in his dads ’79 bronco. Years later and with the original goal to build a mega mud truck, James now owns his own 1979 Ford Bronco known as the Mud Reaper.

The Mud Reaper isn’t your average mud truck, this vehicle is fully built and has been customized to be competitive in various mud racing events. The mud reaper has been built entirely by James at his own family business, Arizona Frame & Fabrication.

IMG_6914-01_wmThe mods and fabrication include cutting out the floor of the Bronco so the body is now a removable shell. Then James and his team built a full on tubular chassis out of 3”x2” rectangle tubing and 1.5”x .120” wall DOM tubing, Dana 60 front end all trussed up with 5.13 gears, Dana 80 all trussed up with 5.13 gears and posi unit in the rear, four linked front and rear with 16” fox racing coil overs dual rated all the way around.

Powering this monster is a 429 super cobra jet Ford big block putting out 650HP backed by a Ford C6 automatic transmission with a 3500 stall convertor, 175HP shot of Nos.

The interior consists of two suspension racing seats with 4-point safety harnesses.

IMG_6929-01_wmAccording to James, his favorite modification is the 175 shot of Nos, while the hardest mod on the Mud Reaper was moving the motor eight inches back from the original stock location.

James estimates the entire build took around 1500 man hours to make it a complete driving truck.

“Safety features are mandatory for me such as harnesses, helmets, fire extinguisher” said James.

Future modifications to the Mud Reaper include 2.5 Ton Rockwell Axles and a cyclone drop transfer case.

While James enjoys playing with the Mud Reaper at mud racing events and in the desert, the best part about the truck is “Being able to have the opportunity to build it.”

Photography by Matthew Fink  

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Videography by Devon Keenom


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