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Old 11-10-2005, 11:05 AM   #1
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Dune Buggy

Besides finishing the bus, my new wintertime project is a homemade dune buggy/sand rail.

I am going to build it from the ground up, frame and all.....For the powertrain i'm using parts from a front wheel drive VW Fox with a 1.8 liter.

what's the difference between chrome molly and DOM tubing? (drawn over mandrel?)

It should be good fun to drive when it's finished. The 1.8 liter liquid cooled vw motor makes almost 3 times the hp of a stock 1,600 cc air cooled vw motor.

here is a scale model of the frame i'd like to build

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Old 11-10-2005, 11:11 AM   #2
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I was racing at Autobahn Country Club two weeks ago and a guy showed up driving his brand new buggy.

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Old 11-10-2005, 08:20 PM   #3
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chromoly is almost always DOM (drawn over mandrel)
but all DOM is not chromoly, tubing referred to as just DOM usually suggests mild steel.

Consider the welding process when you select your tubing as 4130 chromoly has to be TIG welded for proper strength.
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Old 11-10-2005, 11:14 PM   #4
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The difference between DOM steel & chromoly? Uhh...about a grand? Seriously, CM is stronger & lighter (my Gremlin has a CM rollbar), but VERY pricey.

My friend has a 70's Manx dune boggy, with a 1969 VW drivetrain...pretty neat.
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Old 11-11-2005, 01:01 AM   #5
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Titanium costs about twice as much as aluminum. IIRC, it has to be MIG welded. It would be pretty cool in a frame. I always wanted a rail-buggy. Real basic transportation!
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Old 11-11-2005, 06:21 PM   #6
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My Grandma is giving me her Manx buggy she bought in the 80's I think its a 1200cc air cooled. I drove it a few years back and it would take off sideways with no problem, it was very fast. It was 1/2 restored a few years back by a dune buggy shop and never compleatly finished. As soon as I clean out enough space in my garage & find a VW tow bar I'm going to bring it home and finish it up.

That thing should haul ass with a 1.8 FI engine. Have you ever been to Silver Lake? Its on the other side of Michigan from you (just south of Lundington, MI) but it would be worth the drive. Let me know if you plan a trip there next summer, I have a Yamaha Raptor and a 4x4 Truck, and maybe I'd have my buggy done by then. Oh yeah I have a bus too LOL.
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Old 11-12-2005, 10:04 AM   #7
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[quote="Jarlaxle" CM is stronger & lighter[/quote]

chromoly isn't actually any lighter, but you can use a thinner wall tubing and get the same strength as mild steel, thus the result is a lighter frame, cage, etc.

Hot Gremlin huh? cool, I love small cars and big motors, I built a chevette with a 400 Pontiac.
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Old 11-12-2005, 01:23 PM   #8
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nope, never been to silver lake...but i'd like to go sometime. It's a pretty good hike from here, but i could take the bus and stay a few days.

Made good progress on tearing down the old vw fox yesterday. It's the donor car. I also found a spare 1.8 liter race motor for free. it runs. Haven't gotten the drive train out of it yet.

Oddly enough, the motor in the front wheel drive fox is not transverse.

I have no expierence with dune buggies and thought it would be much easier to start with a rolling chassis, but where's the fun in that? I think i'll enjoy the difficulty of creating my own. I've been looking at lots of photos and gathering information. They're very simple, just an oversized go-cart.
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Old 11-12-2005, 05:20 PM   #9
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awsome! i have a dune buggy myself. its in the 'engine block was not aligned bored properly' stage.

i had taken the engine apart 5 times before we figured it out. now all i have to do is brakes and get some unimportant parts like the oil cooler and a clutch cable
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Old 11-13-2005, 11:26 AM   #10
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[quote=bdavis441]
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Jarlaxle" CM is stronger & lighter[/quote

chromoly isn't actually any lighter, but you can use a thinner wall tubing and get the same strength as mild steel, thus the result is a lighter frame, cage, etc.

Hot Gremlin huh? cool, I love small cars and big motors, I built a chevette with a 400 Pontiac.
Yep--1974 Gremlin X with a 401 AMC from a 1975 police Matador. Eventual plans (this winter, I hope) are for a 6-71 blower.
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Old 11-23-2005, 11:53 AM   #11
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Jar-axle....I just want to say that i like how you think. I've agreed with you on several posts you've made on other topics. You stike me as a very intelligent individual.

back to buggy conversation...

I price shopped for .083 DOM tubing 1.5" diameter. It's almost $4 a foot! That's a lil crazy i thought. It would be cheaper to buy an old rolling buggy that nees some engine work. Then i'd have all the steering and suspension and it would cost me less than the $500.00 in tubing to build my own.

Like so many of of my other projects, my brain works so much faster than my hands. I am now contemplating scrapping the entire project, and putting my time and money into the bus which needs it's facelift completed before my spring break trip to texas.

Spring is just around the corner! Really! Christmas will be here in a few weeks, then march will be here before you know it
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Old 11-24-2005, 12:09 AM   #12
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I think you have an advanced case of "tinker-itis"!

It is greatly exacerbated by a steady cash flow...
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Old 12-26-2005, 04:57 PM   #13
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The dune buggy never got built, but i still had the donor car that was nearly ready for the scrap yard.....we couldn't let her go without haveing a little fun first.

vehicle was a 1991 vw fox. we lightened her up a bit as you can tell from the photos. We did weld in a couple supports to keep her from folding in half. After 8 hours or so, we were unable to brake it. Now we're gonna hold on to her and go play on the ice after it gets thick enough to drive on. The lack of a roof makes escaping from the sinking car a lot easier! Hopefully we don't have to do that though......the fine for loosing your car in the water is pretty high



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Old 12-26-2005, 08:19 PM   #14
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Awesome
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Old 01-03-2006, 03:24 PM   #15
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Thank stinks about the buggy, was looking forward to seeing it. I want to make a go cart someday. Hopefully soon after the bus gets finished. When i get old and do the whole house and family thing, my goal is to build a jeep, ground up. kinda the same thing.
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Old 01-03-2006, 03:49 PM   #16
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You know SCCA holds snow rallys usually held on frozen lakes and your car would be very fun to enter into one. Just put in a second throttle return spring and make sure the battery is held down and you will probably pass tech.

Here is the site for your region. They call them RallyCross.

http://www.detroit-scca.org/
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