Operation X


Hello and Welcome to the Mud and Guts Offroad

Project Rhino Operation "X"!






Four years ago in 2008 I purchased this Special Edition Rhino and since then have tried numerous combinations with different products trying to find the best combination to suite my needs. It didn't take long for me to figure out that no matter what I did to this bike my needs changed and then comes time to change it again. Well this time I decided it was time to do more than just change the project rhino up a little it was time to give it a facelift and that is just what we did and we named this project "Operation X".

    First lets start with the beginning phases of "Operation X", Over the last year I have been debating on doing this project and I have been searching the web looking for items that I thought would make this project worth while. Well back in February I went to the Dealer Expo in Indy, This was my first trip to the Dealer Expo and I got to say I had a blast checking out all the tricked out bikes, seeing all the new products, and meeting all the great manufacturers of this industry. And that's when I decided it was finally time to put this operation into the actual planning stages.

    To start this Build I removed the fenders and gave the bed a thorough cleaning before giving it a fresh coat of Herculiner. The first coat lasted four years and held up to a lot of abuse from cargo in the bed with only a couple minor chips from my steel tool box bouncing around. Although I think with the new coat of Herculiner and all the other new additions  I am going to look into a more secure way to carry my tools. Along with good looks and durability I also found this product to be a great rattle reducer, after the initial coating the bed rattles were basically all gone.



    I went to ITP Tires and Picked up a set of their new BlackWater Evolution tires in 26/11/12 for all four corners and mounted them on a set of ITP's new SS312 wheels. This combination looks amazing and with the new improvements made to these wheels and tires this should be a bullet proof combo. First the tires, the Original Blackwater set an industry standard in the 80's when ITP first released it and with the new Black Water Evolution being an 8 ply Trail tire made in the USA ITP is looking to do it again. With a thick 8 ply side wall, 1 inch tread depth, a deep rim guard, and measuring just over 26 inch's tall when mounted on the bike with these tires you get just what you are paying for. With this build I went with the same size tires all the way around not just to try something different but to see for myself just how much difference the wide tires make up front. And going with four non-directional matching wheels and tires you can pack a spare with no worry because you know it will work on all four corners with no issues. Matching wheels and tires also means when I wear the back ones down a little from spinning or sliding I can rotate them so I get the same wear on all four tires. For the wheels I went with a set of ITP's new SS312's with a +3 offset, these wheels look amazing, have a clear coated finish, and this new line has a beefed up inner lip so they can take a beating with out taking damage. Which with ITP standing behind their wheels with a Lifetime structural warranty if you run their wheels and ever bust one they will replace it for free.



Next I went to QuadBoss and Picked up several items including their Hard bed Cover. The bed cover looks great on the rhino and offers a secure place to store items from splash and mud that would normally end up in the bed. This bed cover is a two piece foam filled plastic design so it is thick and strong yet still light weight. The QuadBoss bed cover mounts securely to the bed with four clips and screws that replace four of the flimsy push pins then uses bungee cords to strap the rear section down. By simple dropping the tail gate and unclipping the bungee cords you can lift up the rear section of the bed cover to access your cargo.



Also from QuadBoss I picked up their Sport roof and their radio compartment designed to work together with the sport roof. These are also a foam filled design so they are strong and fairly light weight much like the hard bed cover. The sport roof has attachment points for the radio compartment as well as attachment points for the 75 watt marine speakers that come with the radio compartment so it is a real simple install. I installed a VR3 Offroad stereo in this setup and it went together flawlessly. To install the sport roof all you have to do is remove four bolts from the cage and attach the included brackets to the cage then bolt the roof to the brackets with the included screws, washers, and lock nuts.The radio compartment comes with everything needed to install it to the sport roof it even includes the speakers, speaker wire, and the conduit to hide the wires.



Next I went to AMR Racing, AMR Racing has offered many popular designs for years now but for 2012 they added several new designs to their line up including the one we used on this build, their "Carbon X" Graphic kit. The Carbon X kit is available in different colors but we stuck with black and white colors to match the look we were going for on this bike. Due to me having a custom hood on this bike I had to trim this kit to fit but after some measuring and cutting I got everything installed to my satisfaction and I got to say, installed the kit looks nothing short of amazing, this kit really added depth and definition to my custom white carbon fiber plastics and was more than worth the trouble of custom fitting.



After about three years of service my 4000lbs winch contactor went bad so instead of replacing the contactor I decided to put a new winch on the rhino and I will be rebuilding then using the old winch on another project I have been working on. For this winch I went to KFI Products and picked up one of their water resistant 4500lbs wide spool winches.When it comes to a winch I believe bigger is definitely better so I went with the biggest KFI has to offer in a wide spool setup, the wide spool really helps to keep the winch at max pulling power for as long as possible. This kit came with everything needed to install including a rocker switch and a corded remote switch.



After installing the Seizmik light bar a while back I found my top half windshield would not work and although I could have modified my old windshield to work it was showing a lot of abuse so I decided to go with Seizmiks versa sheild windshield setup that was designed to work with their light bar. This windshield comes with 8 clamps and tool-less connectors so it is a cinch to install and uninstall when needed. This windshield also works one section at a time so if you choose to run the top or bottom with out the other you can do so with ease.



After four years of service and with all the accessories I have added the stock battery was showing a little wear to say the least so I did a little research and decided to do a little maintenance and replace it with this project. After a lot of research I found the Odyssey PC925 was a common swap and a great upgrade for the stock battery so that's just what I did. The Odyssey PC925 is a sealed AGM battery which means you can mount it in any position without worry of it leaking, this is a huge advantage when offroading because if you ever find the bike on its side you don't have to worry about the battery leaking. These batteries have a 12 year shelf life which means if your bike sets for months or even years between being started you have no worry that it will start right up.



With this build I also picked up a couple new cameras from Midland, I picked up an XTC300 1080HD and a XTC200 720HD point of view camera. The big sale of these cameras is not just the video quality but the simplicity of use, the cameras only have a three buttons. One button is a huge on and off switch, one is a selector switch to choose from HD and SD recording, and the third is a button to format the sd card. The XTC300 cameras come with a water Proof housing, a wall charger, a car charger, usb cable, battery, and four mounts the only thing not included in the kit is the micro sd card.

The most fun about this project is that I know it will never be complete!



I would like to give a big thank you to:


Without all these great companies and their R&D we would not have so many options and this project could not have been done..