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Rhino diet ... lost 115 lbs

2655 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Koko
I have started using the Rhino for rock crawling and back country exploring instead of desert racing, and discovered that it works much better for rock crawling when it weighs less. I found this out one day when I took it for a drive to check jetting in the carb, and went without the cage or bed on the Rhino. I was amazed at how much easier the Rhino would just pop up and over a tall rock ledge instead of scratching and clawing and struggling to get up the same obstacle. I decided my Rhino needed to go on a diet.

Here is the before photo:

Here is the after photo:

And here's the weight tally:
Changing from Lonestar cage to stock cage = -77 lbs
Changing to non-beadlock wheels = -12 lbs
Adding Black Rhino harness bar = +6 lbs
Changing to Pro Armor aluminum roof = +6 lbs
Remove Lonestar rear bumper = - 25 lbs
Remove Lonestar front bumper = - 35 lbs
Changing to plastic OEM doors = - 11 lbs
Pro Armor front race bumper with winch mount + 22 lbs
Adding Warn 3.0 winch = + 13 lbs
Changing from stock header and Yoshimura exhaust to full Gibson exhaust = - 3 lbs

The race parts looked better, I admit that. But the Rhino works better in its present state. I think its pretty good when you can add a winch, and still loose 115 lbs. In the future I may also install a bed delete kit that allows me to run just the plastic bed sides without the front or bottom of the bed, or the tailgate, which would be good for another 85 lbs of weight loss. That would be a total of 200 lbs less weight that needs to be moved around by the same 25 hp.

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It definitely has more of a stripped down rock buggy look to it after the diet. The big change, however, is in how much better it will climb over tough obstacles without the extra weight. The suspension even works better, because with so much less weight I was able to back way off on the shock preload settings in order to get the same ride height. And less preload gives it a more supple ride on the small chop and hack of rocky roads, and in untracked desert.

I changed the weight amounts to correct the difference in weight from the harness bar, and aftermarket cage. I had not included the weight removed with the stock cage parts that were replaced by the Black Rhino harness bar. The total weight change is the same, but more weight was saved by the roll bar change, and all of that weight was way up high, and had raised the center of gravity.
Trust me, the garage is nothing that fancy. I do have a really cool stainless steel tool box though ;;t;;

And I actually came out money ahead on this one. The price I sold the Lonestar parts for was more than the price of the Pro Armor bumper, new wheels, and the winch.
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