When we generally hear the words Borrowed Time; we usually think of someone who is still alive, but should be dead. Well, in Ritchie Shafer’s case, Borrowed Time means something completely different.
A few years back, Shafer came home one Friday night to his wife saying that they needed to run an errand Saturday morning. In the morning, they hopped in the truck and started driving. The further out of town they got, the more Shafer wondered what his wife was up to. Finally, when they pulled into the driveway of a friend’s house, she told him that she bought a truck!
Shafer’s whole family had been going to local pulls on and off for the past few months and his wife thought it would be fun to go pulling! So, she bought a truck for Ritchie to use; a 1997 Dodge 3500. Little did she realize that the “street” class of the local pulling association (Texas Truck and Tractor Pulling Association) wasn’t really a street class. To be semi competitive, quite a bit of work had to be done and it wasn’t an overnight process.
So, Shafer started ordering parts and they started showing up. Box after box started piling up in the kitchen until finally; he had most of what he needed to build a pulling truck. So Jeremy Bales, Buck Hyndman and Shafer started modifying the truck for the TTTPA. After a couple of pulls, Shafer’s daughter started telling everyone that he built her a truck and as soon as she was old enough, she was going to drive. After a while, Shafer realized that he was really on Borrowed Time with the truck because his 7 year old daughter had already claimed the truck. Well, that was three years ago and nothing has changed!
The Performance Goodies
The factory 12 valve engine was taken out and sent to Ledford’s Performance Center in Waco, Texas. There they prepped the block and balanced the rotating assembly which consisted of the stock crank and rods, but Mahle Motorsports pistons. With the parts back, Shafer started assembling everything. He opted to run a Hamilton Cams 232/252 camshaft along with their pushrods and springs. He, also, bought one of Hamilton’s heads because of how much they flow. Shafer, also, upgraded to Keating Machine’s tappet cover, front cover and valve cover. He, also, added a JD’s Diesel Performance adjustable pump gear along with a 13mm Northeast Diesel injection pump.
The injection pump feeds a set of Hart’s Diesel 5-25 injectors. With this much fuel, a lot of air would be needed. Due to Shafer wanting to pull with multiple organizations, he opted for a Haisley Machine 2.6” charger based on an HX-60. The 50 psi of boost pressure is sent through two air to water intercooler and into a Keating Machine intake manifold. Once everything has been burned, it is sent through the Steed Speed T-6 exhaust manifold and out the 6” hood stack.
Behind the engine is a Valair competition triple disk clutch and the stock NV4500 transmission.
Shafer opted to upgrade his driveshafts with Fort Worth Gear and Axle shafts with 1480 u-joints in the rear and 1410 in the front.
The front suspension uses solid mount control arms to make sure everything stays aligned. The gear ratio was bumped to a 4.88:1 and a Detroit Truetrac locker was installed along with EMS Offroad axle shafts.
In the rear, custom upper and lower traction bars were fabricated and Haisley Machine spool and axle shafts were installed.
It is really difficult to keep an eye on everything that is happening while you are headed down the track. So, Shafer installed a Datamaxx data logger to record the important information. This plays a key role in helping him tune the truck himself.
In fact, one of the things he is most proud of is the fact that the truck is built from the ground up by him and his friends. He hasn’t once taken it to a shop to have someone else work on it. Even when times were tough it has always been fixed by them.
Once they decided on a name for the truck, it was taken to Tint Zone in Crowley, Texas to have the wrap installed. In addition, a Summit Racing 5 gallon fuel cell is located in the bed of the truck.
After only a few years of competing, Borrowed Time sits as number 3, currently, in the points standings with the TTTPA. It really goes to show that with the right motivation, having a competitive truck is possible. Shafer did want to say Thank you to his sponsors Realty Shop, Kids N Christ and Valair Clutch!