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 Post subject: type 2 front end for a rail?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:20 pm 
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I have been looking into building a sand rail. I ended up getting a 70 parts bus and I plan to use the 002 trans. and I would like to use the beam. I figure one benefit would be, the larger brakes, but Is this a good idea for a low budget build? Are they more durable than a stock linkpin or bj frontend?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:07 pm 
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Location: Just north of Seattle
Blake when you say ‘sand rail’, are you talking about a tube chassed vehicle for sand only use. Or are you talking about a dual purpose sand/street rail, or a street only rail. Makes a difference. If you look at sand only vehicles we don't usually use front brakes or if we do they are toned them down a lot. No weight up front so the front brakes will grab too much too soon (remember that stock is 60/60 brake work biased to the front brakes. The end action could be that the front wheels may dig in and possibly whip the steering wheel out of your hands (been there, done that).

If you are going to ride on the street or off-road too, then your answer could be anything from a little different to a lot different. A lot of that depends on your state and you.

I remember that there is something about the bus front beam besides how it is attached but I forget just what. The rear torsion tube and so is not the one most people use. (sand) Rails, if they are used for sand only, usually try to stay with a king and link front beam. Ball-joint (B/J) will work also but you have a travel and strength limitation built into them (the ball-joint itself). There are a lot of rails with B/J beams on the sand so don’t let that be a limitation to building a rail on the cheap. You can always retrofit later. (the distance between the torsion tubes is different between the king and link and the B/J beams. You can do more with the king and link front beam, and they seem to be stronger with the spindle being the weak link.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:45 pm 
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As Lee said the bus beam would not normally be the first choice. It is heavier, has larger (stiffer) torsion bars and as you noted bigger brakes. If you don't care about the ride or the fact that your buggy will be heavier than normal use it. The normal front beam clamps won't work ( the o.d. of the tube is larger). Also you will need a steering box other than the stocl or the usual bug box (Again the O.D. factor).


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:10 pm 
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Location: altus, oklahoma
i'd sell the parts and spend the $$ for a link pin beam. not many if any off-road parts for a t-2 front beam...

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:40 pm 
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when I reassembled the front end on my 77bay, I measured the travel, and then promptly lost the numbers. I have had the same idea as well, completly forgot about it till now. may be a reason for that tho...

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:09 pm 
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Sorry. It isnt a SAND only car. It may never really see any sand here in Colorado. It'll be More of a backwoods deer chaser. :lol: Weight doesnt matter too much. ride kinda does, but I can pull a few leafs to soften things up a bit. I also planed on a rack and pinoin setup and reworking the chassis is not a big deal.

I just got the parts to do it all. But I figured the type 2 setup would be just as strong as a stock link setup. But I dont ever plan to do a high dollar widened setup with a million inches of travel.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:48 pm 
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Location: Just north of Seattle
A million inches of travel, Hmmm... that sounds like it would be a nauseating ride. :wink:

I haven’t seen much on Bus beams and brakes here but you will have to figure out how to dumb down the front braking system down. Since rails don’t have much weight up front you will have some work to do getting the rear brakes to be the major part of the system; e.g., getting them. to engage first and get them to be the part that does most of the work. You might need an adjustable proportioning valve too.

Usually the slave (wheel) cylinders are replaced by small diameter ones usually out of the rear (sedan) but I am not sure how they fit in the bus backing plates. I would go to a sedan dual chambered master cylinder (M/C).

Removing splines and epoxying fill plugs in their places should work.

Figuring out and hanging the shocks should be fairly easy. Stops will be needed and maybe you will want to keep the sway bar.

This will be an interesting build to watch. I hope you start a string and keep us posted (no pun intended) on what you come up with.

A couple books out there they you might want to keep an eye out for. Earl Duty’s; How To Build A Dune Buggy, An Illustrated, Step-By-Step Guide to Building A Dune Buggy This book deals with building a street driven rail. It has a lot of good information for just what you are trying to do… with the exception of the Bus stuff. You might be able to find it at your library before you go out and buy the book. Another book for your library is: Baja Bugs & Buggies. The author is Jeff Hibbard. Granted it is more about Baja’s, but still there is a lot of other good information there.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 11:09 pm 
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front beam has stops like an 63 bug, one metal nub in the middle w/ snubbers on each side. I would say, if you want a beefy beam, thats the easiest way to go. I would love to build a bus beam buggy, hell rear suspension as well, just to be the first to do it. THe beefy rear torsion arms would make it a slip in fit for extended arms w/o buying coilovers

although the 70 bus was drum in the front, not disk, and there is no pressure regulater in a 70, I think, so that takes the ease out of the job. But if you wanted easy, you'd by a wheeler

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give a man a watch and he'll allways know what time it is. give him two and he can never be sure again.

Things are rarely just crazy enough to work, but they're frequently just crazy enough to fail hilariously.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:20 pm 
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Location: Near Charleston, Wv
What kind of frame do you plan to use? (2 seater, 4 seater, mud, hill, sand, play, race) You shouldn't base your choice of brakes on somebody else's limited experience on (sand pavement mud hill). :wink:

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:23 pm 
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Since it is free and you are just going trail riding it will work fine. The ball joints are very strong. Brake bias can be adjusted with a proportioning valve. What is weak is the curved rear trailing arms on the bus. Being in CO it might be fun to pull all the doors, fabricate tube doors, raise it, skid plate it and run it like a Jeep in the summer and a Bus in the winter. There are videos on You Tube of raised VW Buses being offroaded. Won't be as nible as a rail but at least you can sleep in it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:54 pm 
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Location: Just north of Seattle
What has become popular with some guys here on the left coast is to make the whole bus into a sand buggy. Five inch lift, re-engine you know, stuff like that. They are really having a ball with them and you can load a lot of people in and head out for a party or to the ocean.

If you looked at video posted the other day http://www.shoptalkforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=123461 , there is a bus there and he is having a great time and doing quite well on the rock strewn trails and washes. Assuming you bus is not in too bad of shape at least look into that before you whack it up too much.

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Lee

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:57 am 
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I was thinking of goint with a 2 seater chassis. in the ball park of a 100 inch wheel base. a mild turbo motor. I would like to find a used chassis and modify it but so far, nothing has tickled my fancy. Maybe I gotta be less picky.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:08 pm 
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Location: Just north of Seattle
The word compromise: a four letter word with more than four letters. A compromise can mean you don’t get the best of either world you are marrying together or your settle for something less than you want.

Unless you have a good reason or are going to be happy with the look or what ever you like about a certain chassis that drives you for it, wait it out (up-to-a-point that is). I think it is Murphy’s Law that says what every you want will come up for sale 5 minutes after you settle for something else. If you don’t see it, advertize for it. Maybe someone has it and is hedging on its sale or has taken in off the market. You will never know until you try and try more than once. I gave up on what I wanted and less than a month later two of them came up for sale buy my funds were gone.

Hope this helps.

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My opinion is worth slightly less than what you paid for it.


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