ORP 031 - King of the Hammers

Welcome to the Off Road Podcast!!  I am your host Greg Bakken and joining me is Jeff Bakken the sickest guy alive. In this podcast we’ll cover all things offroad.  Whether you're looking for Sunday jaunts on some fire roads or hard core rock crawling, we will cover it all. Episode 31!!!

What did you do this week?


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Listener Feedback:

Thanks for the Overland episode guys, my daughter and I loved every minute of it. You guys made some excellent points so I will adjust accordingly. The spare tire carrier seems to be a no brainer now.

What I have to start.

The Truck has a Bilstein 5100 2.5 lift and five Cooper 265/70-17 AT3 tires on it right now, The Taco is a 4X4 equipped with Limited slip Diff, TRD Running boards, TRD cab roof rack, TRD skid plates. I own an extensive selection of camping backpacking kit, so the food prep and sleeping supplies have been accounted for. My bud is driving a PRO-4X Xterra, we have no passengers but that might change.

Options I’m not sure of.

Should I go for an ARB Diff locker or for a lightweight option, like the Undercover HWMS?

As far as the camper top, should I get a hard shell or soft shell like Bestop?

Snorkel, pros & cons?

Should I do dual or a larger deep cycle battery?

Should I opt for a plate or ARB style front bumper instead?


Undercover Hidden Winch Mount Systems

ARB Rooftop Tent

All Pro Offroad.com Tacoma Bed Racks

What This Guy Put In The Back Of His Truck Made Me So Jealous. This Is Genius.

Expedition Portal

I am reading a leadership book and they are talking about Medtronic founder Earl Bakken. I recall you talking bout Family in MN and its coldness on an episode. I live in MN and know that Medtronic is a MN company. Are you guys related to Earl?

Hope your feeling better


Hey Guys

I’ve got a few thoughts on the overland episode. While I'm no expert, I do play one on internet forums. But seriously I've had a few occasions to speak to overlanders and it seems the theme is capable and reliable. Balanced mild builds seem to work the best. Inline with camping/backpacking mentality

The trd probably already has a rear electric locker so that's a plus so I'd leave the reliable drivetrain alone. I'd go simple budget boost just get a little more room, possibly go 1 size bigger on the tires. That way you could get a little more performance without regearing or overworking the brakes. Plus it would suck to get the kayaks off a truck on 40's. Next I'd get a winch, but I would get a receiver mount so I could move it front to rear as needed.

After that I would spend the money on upgraded battery, gps, topper and storage solutions for the bed. I'd also get some sort of lockable storage for the important stuff. Tuffy bed drawers would be perfect, a bed roll/sleeping bag could lay right on top with plenty of secure storage below. Like you guys said, a larger fuel tank would be nice along with arb tire plug kit and air source.

I'd also carry a big bore revolver. I know how much you love revolvers Greg but that's how roll. Great show as always!

Later, Matt

Main Topic: King of the Hammers

King of the Hammers History

Ultra 4 Racing.com LIVE

Transamerican Manufacturing Group Announces Acquisition of Poison Spyder Customs

Transamerican Manufacturing Group (TMG), the largest independent manufacturer in the United States of innovative and performance aftermarket off-road accessories, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Poison Spyder Customs (PSC). Poison Spyder has proven themselves in the industry and is continuing to gain momentum in the off-road community.

CEO of Transamerican Auto Parts, Greg Adler, is very excited about the new acquisition for TMG, and the potential it provides for the growth of the brand. “I really admire what Larry McRae has done in building a predominant brand so quickly. Poison Spyder is a great fit with our brands and our customer base. We look forward to developing the full potential of what McRae and his team has already worked so diligently upon.”


Well its been a hard secret to keep, with rumors flying for the past few weeks. But the press release came out today so its official: Poison Spyder has been bought by Transamerican, the parent company of 4 Wheel Parts. As we're gearing up for King Of the Hammers, we know this news will be competing with anything we're doing on the race course, so we wanted to let you, our fans, customers, friends and distributors know what's going on and address some of your concerns.

First of all, I (Larry McRae), am not going anywhere. I'm staying on as President of Poison Spyder, the only difference is that Greg Adler's signature will be on my paycheck instead of my own. The same with our staff, everyone is staying put, in fact we'll be adding more. The team that got Poison Spyder to where it is today is what Transamerican was after, and they intend to keep it intact. We'll continue to do our own product development, sales, marketing, and of course traveling the country to events to meet and wheel with you guys. And very importantly, our products will continue to be built in the same Poison Spyder facilities in Banning, California.

So what IS going to change? The biggest thing is we'll now have access to Transamerican's considerable resources to fuel our growth, keep the shelves full and expand our product lines. And through their distribution channels we'll be able to bring Poison Spyder products to a larger market. But for the most part, Poison Spyder will continue to function mostly autonomously. Those of you who like buying direct from Poison Spyder will still be able to do so.

Over the coming week we're going to have our hands full out here at King Of the Hammers, so its not the most convenient time for this news to break. But we welcome your thoughts on this. Please feel free to contact any of our staff through the usual channels, or comment below if you prefer. We'll try to keep up with responses even though we've got a race to run in a few days (against our new boss, among others smile emoticon

Larry McRae

President, Poison Spyder Customs

Trans American Wholesale.com

ABOUT TRANSAMERICAN AUTO PARTS: TMG is a subsidiary of parent company, Transamerican Auto Parts (TAP). For more than 50 years, TAP has been an industry leader in the manufacture, distribution, and sale of off-road parts for Jeeps and light trucks. TAP established and acquired industry leading brands, including Pro Comp, Smittybilt, Rubicon Express, G2 Axle & Gear, LRG Rims and Trail Master. The company supplements a robust mail-order system with 66 brick-and-mortar 4 Wheel Parts retail centers, staffed with experienced product and installation specialists. In addition to the retail initiative, TAP has accelerated its business with the e-commerce marketplace, led by its flagship Websites 4WheelParts.com and 4WD.com. TAP’s manufacturing system features a 100,000 square foot research and production facility that incorporates an in-house conceptualization, design, and implementation process. From the beginning, TAP has dedicated its resources to serving its customers, and to establishing itself as the premier supplier and distributor of high quality automotive parts.

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ORP 012 - Hammers Time Challenge

Welcome to the Off Road Podcast!!  I am your host Greg Bakken and joining me is my co host Jeff Bakken...This is the podcast for all things offroad.  Whether you're looking for Sunday jaunts on some fire roads or hard core rock crawling, we will cover it all. What's up Jeff?


Listener Feedback:

Hey guys my name is Kyle and I'm a big fan! As the topic of off-roading comes up trail carnage is always part of the story. My question is; do you two have experience with balljoint failure? A couple years ago a buddy and I set off down wrecking ball trail out in Johnson valley the night before the king of the hammers race. My buddy ended up shearing both ball joints so completely that he ended up with his wheel out in front of the jeep about 3 feet, tie rod still attached. Axle shaft was broken and we spent all night trying to piece the jeep back together with no success. In the morning panicked race officials told us to get the heck off the trail before the race started because we were broken in a major part of the race course! After 10 hours of untra 4 racing we returned to the stranded jeep (now with many more paint chips). Had any similar experiences? Also have you two been out to king of the hammers?

Thanks! Hope to hear some of this on the air!



Both my son Kyle and I have recently discovered your podcast and are thoroughly enjoying it. Right now I'm sitting in Dodger stadium waiting for a game to start, and listening to your podcast.  You actually cover two of my favorite things-  4x4s and AR's.

I like that you blend advance tech talk with explanations for newbies.   We run a fairly decently built '02 TJ. I just turned on a buddy that bought a lightly built JK rubicon to your program, and you speak to both of us.

So for the challenge- you can't call yourselves true California wheelers without attending and covering King Of The Hammers this February. We would love to meet you out there and show off some SoCal wheeling.

Until then keep up the good work.


First off love the show I'm relatively new to off road and y'all have some great information about wheeling. But 2 things the first is you can use a passenger side drop axle on a drivers side drop truck but you have to flip the knuckles ( both inner and outer c's) and use a reverse rotation gear set. The second is that would be able to get more info on doing a axle swap in a late model chevy I have a 05 chevy 1500 that I'm looking to swap in 3/4 or 1 ton dodge axles (because the drop is right and the abs sensor have the same plugs and resistance) but what would recommend as far as suspension it does get street driven as well as off road. Any help would be awesome. Y'all keep up the good work


Thanks for reading my email really enjoyed it!

You guys really made me laugh when you were talking about getting off topic with the diesel engine! That is another thing I can't get enough of and would love to swap it in my jeep.

Thanks again for a great show, keep up the good work!

Greg, I forgot to ask which Currie kit did you get?

Could I get the basic rock jock kit, and add the arms later to keep the kit price low over time?

Have a Great Day!


I am a long time dirt lover that has left the dirt world temporarily.  I had a lifted 2007 Xterra 4x4 sitting on 34s.  Not a crazy JK or anything but it got the job done.  Since then I sold it for a more family friendly Subaru.  I am looking at getting another 4x4 but this time a truck for the added ability to carry more stuff.  Well that all said, here is my question... Can you explain the benefits and disadvantages of a longer versus shorter wheel base?  I am specifically looking at Toyota Tacoma's and they come in a long bed and a short bed model.   This would apply to other trucks as well, like crazy full sized Dodges!

Thanks and love the podcast!


Send us your questions and comments!!!


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