SCORE Feature Stories

The Freeze Factor

Cryoheat Metal Treatment can be a Game-Changer For UTV Racers

Story by Dan Sanchez. Photos by Jack Wright /

Over the decades of SCORE races, the Baja desert has claimed many engine and drivetrain parts. To prevent this, race teams, engine and transmission builders, and parts manufacturers have looked for ways to strengthen critical parts to withstand the punishment of desert racing. In some cases, however, such as with internal engine or transmission components, they can’t be beefed up with gussets or thicker materials. So instead of carrying several extras of these heavy components in their chase vehicles, some teams have discovered that it’s possible to make metal components much stronger with longer service life and have greater heat resistance by using CryoHeat Metal Treatment. 

“In a simple explanation of how CryoHeat cryogenics works, we use extremely cold temperatures to control and manipulate kinetic energy and slow it way down, thus allowing to realign the molecular structure of the entire part being treated,” says Josh Lahaye, owner, and president of CryoHeat Corp. out of Oceanside, California. Lahaye explained that in some cases, metal components can be CryoHeat processed down to temperatures as low as -452°F in a liquid helium bath to realign the molecular structure and increase the performance of the metal. “The CryoHeat proprietary process does not make the metal harder,” he said. “Instead it reduces 95 to 97 percent of microscopic stress fractures and improves the strength, dimensional stability, wear resistance, and aids in faster heat dissipation.”

Typically taking 80 hours to complete, the CryoHeat proprietary process can treat anything from small bolts to brake rotors, transmission cases and the internals, or even engine blocks and all of their parts. While liquid helium is used in some extreme cases, liquid nitrogen is used in the most common process that takes metal components down to -320°F, in a computer-controlled environment. 


While CryoHeat Metal Treatment has been around for almost 14 years, Lahaye says that the UTV Industry has become more aware of the benefits, and in the last few years, Lahaye has invested in a full race-prep/mechanic catering service for UTV drivetrain, CV joints, engines, and many other components. “We build and race prep more than 300 differentials and transmissions a year, more than 20 engines a year, and hundreds of CV joints and shipping them worldwide,” says Lahaye. 
 The advantages this process solves for UTV teams led to a huge influx of customers. “In 2020, we started stocking and manufacturing UTV parts that have already been CryoHeat treated,” said Lahaye. “We have a large inventory of drivetrain parts for Polaris, Can-Am, Honda, and Wild-Cat ready to ship so customers don’t have to wait.”
CryoHeat has become very much hands-on with today’s UTVs and in knowing what racers and enthusiasts need for their parts. Setting up the proper gear ratios, machined parts and proper backlash of gears go hand-in-hand with the rest of the proprietary processes that CryoHeat will provide with incredible performance. ‘Building fast and reliable engines with every part getting the CryoHeat process and our beautiful, almost zero friction micro polishing, set them aside from any other engine builder,” says Lahaye. 


Lahaye and CryoHeat are also getting the word out that they will be working with SCORE International to create a unique Contingency Package for UTV racers. “We’ve had so much success with the UTV market and racers, that we wanted to create our own contingency package that gives $1000 back in CryoHeat services to first-place finishers in all five UTV classes for every 2023 SCORE race,” he said. “UTV teams can simply contact us and follow our easy guidelines. For racers who do not know anything about the process, it would allow them to see first-hand how it works, and to witness the significant advantages. The idea is for CryoHeat to offer racer support and to give them solid peace of mind with a strong, reliable, and fast powertrain.”
Some of the racers in SCORE who have or are still using CryoHeat include Robbie Bell, Ricky Brabec, Max Eddy Jr, Wayne and Kristen Matlock, Katie Vernola, Mark Burnett, and many others.
For more information on CryoHeat services: 

  • CryoHeat processing
  • Micro polishing and deburring
  • Vapor blasting
  • Magnetic particle inspection
  • Micro shot peening
  • UTV Powertrain/Drivetrain specialists
  • CryoHeat parts