Manx build

Offroad VW based vehicles have problems/insights all their own. Not to mention the knowledge gained in VW durability.

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jg210302
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Manx build

Post by jg210302 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 2:59 pm

Ok, so here we go! Starting with a '69 pan that my buddy is prepping and getting together for me... I unfortunately don't have the time to do the basic work, but I will finish it and then update it accordingly.
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The use is 50/50 street and offroad. It will be driven effectively stock while I save money and gather the parts to do it up the way I want it... The end result will be a fully caged full length manx with 3x3 arms and more than likely a-arm suspension up front.

Beings I am a piston guy the 1914 will probably grow or change significantly over the build...

Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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jg210302
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Re: Manx build

Post by jg210302 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 3:07 pm

More Pictures. My plan is to sell all of the old components when I start doing the fabrication and conversion of the suspension because they will basically be new...
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jg210302
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Re: Manx build

Post by jg210302 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 3:11 pm

I also told Scott to lay the body up thick because of my fat a$$ crawling over the sides and I plan on thrashing it!

He said no problem and sent me this picture of the blue gel before it got laid up. :D
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Ol'fogasaurus
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Re: Manx build

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:21 pm

Looking real good. Looks to be a full length street buggy... correct?

Lee

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jg210302
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Re: Manx build

Post by jg210302 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:57 pm

Yeah full length, street now, offroad soon buggy!
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Re: Manx build

Post by Leatherneck » Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:28 pm

A new build, OUTSTANDING! keep up the progress, keep with the plan.

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jg210302
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Re: Manx build

Post by jg210302 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:31 am

Thanks Leatherneck!
The problem seems to be that the plan is flexible! As soon as I figure out what I want to do then I learn about something else and want to change the plan again.

I will be getting it running and driving it as is for a while, I figure that will help me prioritize the updates...
New seat brackets being installed...
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Re: Manx build

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:08 am

You sound like you are heading in the direction that I have gone but going it much faster that I.

Yeah, the edge of the pan needs more than just the body to support it. Since you don't have a roof or the body to support the pan and the glass body isn't that much structural especially for off-road like mine are you will find you need some help. A cage will make a big difference in supporting the pan but it is not all-inclusive either. A "show hoop" is worthless in either a roll over or a wreck so be warned. I would like to fit some additional side protection such as the crash rails along the freeways. Even off-road you have to drive defensively because of others mostly or accidental slides into trees or rocks. I just bought a bead roller and will experiment with the idea.

You will also find that you get a lot of lookers and thumbs up while driving but keep an eye on the cars as they forget what they are doing and can change lanes into you. :roll:

You will find that you will need to support the frame head as the beam bolts are so close together that some racking and wobbling can happen. Also, the area in the tunnel, in front of the hole for the shifter, so I have been told several times, that in a buggy it has a perchance to sag/bend. There are some commercially made supports available. The lower one bolts to the two slots in the Napoléon's hat that you will not use most likely and clamps to the beam. There is also one that clamps tot he top of the beam and connects to the firewall which you double up on the inside and make a tube that goes to the forward hoop in the cage. If you cage is to be removable then there are special connectors you can buy that will allow you to remove the short piece of tube from the firewall to the front hoop. You will also want to tie the cage into the rear torsion tube if you can. The torsion tube has minimal connections to the pan and really needs some additional support especially if you go off-road or race... especially drag racing which brings up the need for a Kaffer/truss bar for the tranny/body mounts.

I tried two different ways to strengthen the pan up. I built (actually two of them. One for my blue buggy and one for my black buggy) a 1 1/2 X 3 X.095 wall body lift which worked best. I also built a 1" X .095 wall insert for the body mount tunnel along the edge of the pan to help support the edge of the pan when I was going to make the body street only. Since the pan just came off the rotisserie after a long stay on it I have mixed reactions to whether it is good or bad. Partly because I thought about it too much and tried to simplify it too much I made one or two bad decisions. The Manx club used to say that a 4" body lift was the best way to go but...

You are using the same seat mounts as I am but be careful. The seat tracks you are removing adds some support to the pan. I get in mine now, to test seat location, and I get some "tin canning". On my buggies I have the seats as low as I can to lower the CG plus give me some protection from the body albeit not much protection.

Keep up the good work.... looking good!

Lee
Lee

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Re: Manx build

Post by jg210302 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:23 am

Lee,

Thanks a ton for the great info! I will be using a body lift to strengthen the pan also. It is not shown there because it was getting coated to match the pan and the body was just laid on the pan to save space.

The seat brackets are being left on the pan, I figure that they add some strength? They are just being shortened so that the new brackets will sit over the top of them...

Have any of you guys used the front beam brackets like these? I would use them temporarily until I gather the parts and build a proper cage?
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Re: Manx build

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:48 pm

Yes, those are the ones I was talking about.

I am not sure how your buggy body is designed as they can change quite a bit between manufactures... even the "splash" bodies. Neither of my buggies could make use of the pan slots in front because of the radius of the mounting flange to firewall so when I made my second body lift I made a stud (bolts) mount that was pinned in place so it could float to accommodate the slots in the pan and the beam braces (http://www.shoptalkforums.com/viewtopic ... 3&start=60 look neat the bottom of the page). I tried to do the slots in my short wheel base blue buggy but the body radius was in the way to make them usable.

When I got my pan halves for my black buggy I was able to get them minus the seat tracks but that was a looooong time ago too. It wasn't until the other day when I (and the two people helping me to set the fore and aft seating limits of the seats placement) was climbing in and out of the buggy (body on) to check the location of the seats and seat track mount (http://www.shoptalkforums.com/viewtopic ... 3&start=30 by the top of the page. Don't try the hydraulic conversion you see; it is difficult and I would not do it or recommend it to anyone) that I noticed that the 1" square tube had taken a small flex set to it. If you were to do it I think I would go with a 1" X 2" or close to that to get some of that additional inch of wall strength to keep it from a chance bending (slider? :wink: ).

I made my own body mount as at the time I got into it the body mounts were more for show/look not for use. My buggies are off-road only and that also played into the decisions.

Before you get to the point where the mounts are attached to the floor I would put the body in place on the pan. Put the seats and mounts in place then get in and see if anything hits especially if you slide the seats to full track capabilities. On mine I have body and seat interference at full forward so I am having to off-set the seats towards the center of the pan. Family riders range from ~ (roughly) 6' 4" down to 5' 4" so they must be accounted for... I guess! My passenger seat does not slide but tilt. That is because I don't want the passenger to slide forward and block my vision of incoming side traffic but then you can only do so much.

Lee

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jg210302
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Re: Manx build

Post by jg210302 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:59 pm

Lee,

Great info thanks a ton! I will be checking all of this stuff and modify the brackets if I have to...

Thanks again!
Jeremy

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Re: Manx build

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:01 pm

One more thing then I'll leave you alone. Since you are running a BJ beam there are some things that can be done.

Are you running your fuel tank under the hood? If so, which style tank are you using. There is one style (an early tank I think) that has the fuel fill in the center. That is the best bet w/o going custom. On a hill, the later fuel tank with the fill forward can leak/over flow if you park nose down with a full tank.

I have been doing a BJ beam build and made a couple of false starts both by accident and by trying to glean information. I tried to document my mistakes and add the whys (http://www.shoptalkforums.com/viewtopic ... &start=285 This is one way to stiffen the shock towers). There might be info. earlier in the string but that is the latest go around.

BJ beams do not have suspension stops so for off-road I would add "Hook and Pins" as VW used the shocks as limiters on suspension compression/collapse situations. It is in the string.

I covered some other things there too. On adjusters, I would try some other things before going to them....

Gotta go as the boss (wife) has some impressing business to do but I will get back to this later today. Sorry

Lee

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jg210302
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Re: Manx build

Post by jg210302 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:27 pm

Lee, again thanks! I am not sure on the tank yet, I will have to figure that one out! I have already read your thread and a couple others on the BJ beam and how to modify it. I am on the fence still about doing anything yet. My guess is that this is going to get sideways quick and I will probably be replacing the beam pretty quickly, depending on funding... My guess is a tax return might get me a 6" wider beam and 3x3's??? Then it comes down to building the cage and getting it all installed... I figure I can sell the stock stuff to recoup a couple bucks?

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Re: Manx build

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:01 pm

Remember that the K&L beam is spaced something like a half an inch closer together than the BJ beam is. From talking to Marc (or someone else but I think it was Marc), I think he said that by replacing the front BJ piece that the beam bolts to and the cover of that piece to the tunnel in the pan (the join is obvious) with K&L pieces you can interchange the frame head to K&L or, you can do it in any number of different ways. The bottom piece and the rest of that part of the pan, as I understand it, might be pretty much the same. I hope Marc gets in on this in case I got it wrong.

Back the beams. When you take the body off you are not only lightening things up but you are also changing weight distribution so the suspension on both is going to ride stiffer. Important for street use and probably for off-roading too. Many, many years ago I was told that the only way to soften up the torsion bars is to nick some of the spring pieces of the torsion pack so that when you slide the spring in place you wouldn't have as much of a problem getting things together. Then when you start putting a load on it the nicked springs will break. Kind of a guess and by gosh way of doing things. If you do it do the top first then if you want to soften things up more do the bottom where most of the work is done. If you want more adjustment then go to the adjuster or cut and turn for more lift.

On BJ beams I was told to do the same thing which I thought was weird but in a conversation with Marc the other day he said you could just remove the thin springs as they are not captured by the grub screw and the center part of the torsion bar and the trailing arms will accommodate this (which I had been wondering about all those years).

When you soften up the torsion then I advise changing the shocks over to something way better than OEM or equivalent shocks as the upgrade will really be needed after the change.

If you are going to a wider beam with longer trailing arms then the BJ beam stuff isn't real relative after the switch over. It sounds like you will go to longer trailing arms in the rear too. There is a 60% to 90% advised travel distance ratio between front and rear... for what its worth.

'Bout it. More than you ask for I am sure.
Lee

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Re: Manx build

Post by jg210302 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:12 pm

A couple update pictures, with the 3" body lift it looks like clearance shouldn't be an issue when I go to the better suspension!
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