Buggy project - what to fix first

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

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Class 11 streeter
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Buggy project - what to fix first

Post by Class 11 streeter » Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:25 pm

Hey all, I just picked up this Empi Imp FG buggy project and would like advice on what direction to go first. Its a 48 year old fiberglass body on a shortened pan, nothing else. KP/IRS already. I want to do a 3" body lift and cage along with beefy tree bars along the sides for some side impact protection. Want street license plates eventually.
Metalwork will be mostly farmed out save little stuff. Bodywork, 'glass and paint are in house, have help on that. So, what first: metalwork followed by bodywork, or patch glass body first then cut back into it for metal then finish body and paint?
7321759.jpg
On a side note, sorry for not posting much, but I do look in on you guys often. Facebook has taken over everything and my local aircooled vdub clubs FB page gets a lot of my attention and energy. But, as awesome as my local peeps are, none of them are the buggy type. Got a few bajas, but we are 85% street, 5% offroad and 5% drag race.
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So you think your project is taking forever eh? Well you've got nothing on me.....

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CentralWAbaja
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Re: Buggy project - what to fix first

Post by CentralWAbaja » Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:43 pm

Cool project thanks for sharing. I kinda have love in my heart for a buggy. Maybe somday
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Re: Buggy project - what to fix first

Post by Class 11 streeter » Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:46 pm

CentralWAbaja wrote: ↑
Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:43 pm
Cool project thanks for sharing. I kinda have love in my heart for a buggy. Maybe somday
I have been saying that for 12 years. Its time for me. :P
So you think your project is taking forever eh? Well you've got nothing on me.....

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CentralWAbaja
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Re: Buggy project - what to fix first

Post by CentralWAbaja » Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:51 pm

Personally I would save the body work unless you have a grand desire to start there. Let the project evolve a little in case you need to modify the body for an LS or something LOL

seriously cage, bumpers,tree bars ect then body & paint
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Re: Buggy project - what to fix first

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:28 pm

Dune house diary 081.jpg
This is my blue buggy before I started to make it off-road (sand) only. If you look closely you can see the cage inside of the top.


The third picture
Dune house diary 076.jpg
is the same buggy after adding a body lift, adjusters to the front beam and upgraded shocks.
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Re: Buggy project - what to fix first

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:32 pm

This is the build for the blue buggy. There might be something in there you can use.

http://www.shoptalkforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=105659

This is the build for my second off-street buggy but there might be something in there you can use.

http://www.shoptalkforums.com/viewtopic ... lack+buggy
Lee

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Re: Buggy project - what to fix first

Post by Class 11 streeter » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:55 pm

Thanks it is appreciated. Build thread soon, I got a few weeks of other obligations to get thru but lots of time to read and plan.
Heres another pic. The tail lights gotta leave the buggy and grow on the trailer!
buggylow1.jpg
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Re: Buggy project - what to fix first

Post by Leatherneck » Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:04 pm

Class11, good to see you back, like seeing the new project. Can I use your checkbook?

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Re: Buggy project - what to fix first

Post by Class 11 streeter » Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:14 pm

Leatherneck wrote: ↑
Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:04 pm
Class11, good to see you back, like seeing the new project. Can I use your checkbook?
Sure! Just copy my information from this example check!
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Re: Buggy project - what to fix first

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:20 am

If you are going to leave the fuel tank up front then get. different style with the fill in the center and farther to the rear not where this one is. Mine was like that and if I was parked nose down on a hill, fuel would leak out the neck which I suspect is the reason for the long fill.

Adjusters on the beam wouldn't be a bad idea as well as beefing up the shock towers. You will want a Kaffer/truss bar also. You might want to add some more travel to the IRS also.

I built my body lift as the after market ones are more for show than supporting the pan. I also added a additional 1" square tube down the body mount rails on the pan (my black body one). Thinking about it now I think I would make it out of a 1" - 2" rectangular tube giving you a rock slider (details are a bit complicated but easy to do) hanging down.

Just a couple of ideas to start your thinking and planning process.
Lee

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Re: Buggy project - what to fix first

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:24 am

Oh... don't use a hydraulic e-brake if you don't have one. Not DOT legal nor are they dependable.

Lee

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Re: Buggy project - what to fix first

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:01 am

As far as the cage goes there are a couple of things I would mention:

You are going to find out that you are going to be short on room for the door bars. I am not sure just what I am going to do on my black buggy yet but I have a couple of ideas that may or may not work. I bought a bead roller but haven't modified it or mounted it on a stand yet but that might be one option available for at least some protection.

As far as the tubes go that join the A-pillar and the B-pillar there are two basic ways of handling them:

What is often referred to as a "T-top" has two straight tubes mounted to each side of the center of the buggy (over the tunnel for reference). These join the two pillars/hoops allowing for easier entrance and exit of your buggy but... like any tradeoff there is a draw back to them. The T-top should be OK for street use.

Off-road is a different thing. In the pictures I posted notice that mine is a variation that is often referred to as "tree-bar" cage. Since I ride on the Oregon dunes and there are trails in the sand that meander through the trees and entrances to the dunes (in places) that go through the trees it is possible to slide or "lean" into the trees. The A and B- pillar join bars to the outside of the cage give some protection that way. The guy who built my cage (retired now) also built race car cages and sand rails decided that, since I am in the 6' range, bending the bars (which slightly weakens them [loads like to travel in straight line and add to that when bending metal the inside radius of the bend slightly thickens up/compresses some while the outside of the radius thinks out some]) would help with getting in and out of the buggy (I can post pix of that if you want). His wife also suggested a similar bar in the middle which does help with getting in and out also. Instead of pressing down on the tunnel (floor mounted seats) where my shift rod (091 trans axle but that is another story) and turning brake lines run you can pull yourself up using the side and center tubes. It also works great for mounting a GoPro on top or to the underside of the bar.
Lee

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Re: Buggy project - what to fix first

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:41 pm

I almost forgot, after a bad accident on the dunes everyone raised their B-pillars to have the underside of the tube at least 4" over your head (or the tallest person. The 4" came up after one of the guys did a slow roll and the cage dug into the sand and his head hit the ground and broke his neck (quadriplegic until he passed). Remember, the body can stretch in cases like this which is the "why" for the height decision.
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Re: Buggy project - what to fix first

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:45 pm

IThe white lines in the picture shows one of the thoughts I had for a door bar but it won't work so ignore it. The distance between the seat and the body is just too close for any rectangular or even (maybe) any reasonably thick single piece of flat stock that would be strong enough to give some protection.

The rest gives an idea of what my cage has going on for it. The feet for the cage are, as I understand it, readily available commercially.

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Re: Buggy project - what to fix first

Post by Piledriver » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:37 pm

I think you should add another long filler neck on the other side for symmetry and paint bug eyes on the caps. :twisted:

Also consider an exo-frame for the door bar area in particular.
Keeps the tubing outta your space.
I, for one, regularly embrace our new robot overlords, as I am the guy fixing the robots...

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