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'74(ish) VW Dune Buggy Build

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Sure it'll go through without issues, you just don't want to get caught with an open title.


If it's dated, and you wait to long to re-title, there may be extra fees due to the time elapsed.

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Know what that engine needs???? DUAL WEBER 48 IDA'S!!!! :banana:


I had them on my fiberglass dune buggy- 2110cc!!!

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Yeah... kinda. I suppose, since it's back to the top, an update is in order: not much. It's gotten moved around the garage a bit. I've got the Eliminator, my brother's VW, and the buggy in there (it's only 24'x32' so it's a little cramped right now). Been waiting until spring to get back on this one when my brother's car is out of the way. Thanks for resurrecting the post though!

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Yeah... I know... with me moving this summer and a huge waste of my time over another MJ, this poor thing got pushed to the back burner... then off of the stove completely and back into the freezer! I pick at it from time to time, but for now it's just going to have to wait. The way it sits now is mobile and for the most part assembled enough so I don't loose anything when we move.


Sitting right next to it right now is my Beetle waiting to get its carb rebuilt. Darn thing dried up on me over this last winter. Always something with these VWs...

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Holy old thread! Figured I might as well let everyone in on what I've been up to lately. The majority of this last summer has been a total pile of garbage so I've been lacking on all of my projects. Little by little, I'm getting back to things. I wanted to return to something that I could come and go as I please with little projects when I've got a few open hours at a time. Even though my white truck could probably get done faster than this, I felt is easier to get back to a simpler vehicle to pick at. So... lets get up to date.


Here it is after a couple more years of sitting and waiting patiently for its turn.




I wanted to get things rolling again on what makes it... well... roll. Obviously these wheels/tires are just for moving it around. Not a whole lot of cool factor in pizza cutters on a dune buggy.




My plan from the start was to run 295/55s on the rear and 235/60s on the front. I had options but not much in the VW lug pattern variety. Either find a nice wheel and run adapters or redrilled hubs, or get creative. I chose the to get creative... and a little old school. Ever hear of a steel wheel that's been "banded"? It's kind of a gray area as it means to cut a wheel in half and add in an extension to the barrel. Personally, I wouldn't ever run a set of wheels that I didn't know who did the welding, but I wouldn't even give it a second thought if it were my own work. So this happened...




I got the first one done, painted, and a tire mounted as an experiment. I spent a ton of time keeping the wheel spinning round, but more on that later. I ended up with this...





Yup... it's wide! I I started with a 4" wheel and ended with a 9". The fronts also started as 4" but are now 7.5" wide. Want to know how I did it? Thought you'd never ask. It all starts with making sure they're all the same backspacing.




This is where things turn into a bit of a hassle. For those unfamiliar with my shop, I'm a bit of a minimalist. Ideally, I should be using a lathe for cutting the wheels in half to keep everything nice and true. Well... I have no such fancy things.




So, measure everything a bunch of times and slap on some red tape.



Then I scribe a line with a cut wheel on a grinder.




... and send it home.




Now was a good time to clean everything up. Again, proper tools would be a big help here. A sand blaster would be best, but a grinder with a wire wheels works too... slowly, but well enough.




I sheared some 3/16" material and gave it a whirl in a slip roller. This is where things start to take shape.





Fancy tools thrown out still, keeping things round was done with a square and some TIG filler.





Let's compare.




Anyhow, some other stuff happened and I ended up with one more rear and two fronts.




Going to be sweet!




With everything welded up, the reborn wheels got some paint this afternoon.





Tomorrow the rest of the tires mounted. Very excited to get this one back on the ground and mobile again. Then on to something else. I'd really like to be doing some tube work this winter... which means I need to figure out a bender. Stay tuned for that or whatever else might be next.



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This little car took on a whole new personality today. First time it's ever had anything more than those tiny little bike tires. I think it looks tough!








Everything is mobile again!




Best part is one less pile in a corner.




Now to pick something else from the box.



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Did you use inner tubes Ben? Or no leaks?


I don't know if I'm shocked or insulted that you'd ask such a question, Don!  :fs2: ... no leaks, of course.  :D

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So... been working on my shop for a while and it's pretty much done. Done enough to be tired of working on it and wanting to get back to working on fun stuff anyhow.  :D 





It's not much... 14'x28'. It's big enough to call home for now. As for the buggy, it actually saw the light of day!




... and then it got put in it's winter home. It's pretty much the same as it has been for the last few years with the addition of wheels and tires just recently. Looks almost presentable in some decent light!





Unfortunately a good camera angle only hides everything that's been hiding in it.  :roll: 





Ah well... it's in a workable area now so that's a step in the right direction, right?




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You must be quite a Tall chap :eek:


6'... few stools to stand on though to get that just right camera angle.  :D

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So glad I got to see this sweet project in person! 




Everybody likes cutting and welding on a used gas tank, right? :yes:  Didn't have anything to worry about though... the tank has been dry since the '80s with zero vapors left in it. I've started trying to take care little things up front that add up in the end that seem to take forever after getting major things done.
I started with putting the tank in and putting the hood on... things didn't fit quite right. Those sexy sloping lines just didn't jive with what was happening inside. The tank was from the donor '74 Beetle so I knew that the fuel intake would be in the wrong spot. I like where the filler was cut originally so I used the hood as the template. Here's how it went...
For now, I used a short piece of 2" exhaust tubing as a place holder for whatever I choose as a cap. Like I said before, I like the fuel fill low to keep the hood looking clean. Just not a fan of a giant cap in the middle of the hood. Next on the list was adding a mini sump in the bottom of the tank. The fitting in the bottom was completely screwed up so I figured it needed to be cut out anyhow. It's not the absolute lowest point of the tank but I was planning on adding a drain elsewhere. I like the idea of being able to completely drain the tank if need be.
Obviously, fittings to come later. I see a small body lift in my future too. The steering coupler rubs on the bottom of the tank as shown in the dirt.
Last on the list is to patch up the last corner. I left it open to be able to clean it out as I go along.
Not done with it, but I had to put the hood and lights back on for the evening. Couldn't stand leaving it without its face on.   :roll:

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Eek... facebook strikes again in the form of dead picture links.  :fs2:


I'm still picking at this thing from time to time. Got the bug to do something with it this weekend in the form of a front bumper.


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Had a real humid week and the newly finished but unpainted front bumper turned a little orange. A quick scuff, prime, and paint solved that...



Got back to the rear too. I continued with the failed attempt of the front bumper.




Future tie-ins for the cage...



Dat @$$...


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Got back to work on finishing bolting down the body so it'll be set when the time comes to work on the cage.

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It's amazing how fast one of these little plastic cars can go from a pile of steel and fiberglass to a car-looking thing. This afternoon I got back to tapping those holes. Lots of oil... brand new and sharp tap... no problems today. That allowed me to completely fasten down the body. First time I've even been able to do that! Must of the fiberglass still needs to relax to the point of being completely tight to the chassis, but it's a start. It's been outside for a few sunny days, but it's really due now. The lights went on along with the windshield. Funny thing about that... I always knew that I had the windshield installed backwards looking back at old pictures, so I tried to put it on the correct way with the channel around the glass facing forward. Wouldn't you know it... it wouldn't go on. The seal at the bottom of the windshield was also backwards and the mounting holes didn't line up. Whoever put together the windshield in the first place put it together all wrong. Granted, I like how it looks with the windshield installed backwards, but it'll sure make it difficult when it comes time to figure out a top.



The tape is still there waiting for me to figure out what I want to do with the rear body lines. Of the few pictures I've found of other bodies like mine, they just don't look right. I'm not a fan of cutting up a buggy body, but this one has really been around the block a few times already. The suspension kind of bugs me too. Not sure if I should raise the rear or to lower the front. Once the metal work is done I should have a better idea of where the weight will be sitting in the car.


I had the wife come out and take a few angles with me in the car too. This let me play around with lines and different angles for the future cage. Kind of difficult though... I'm tall and I don't want the car to look too cartoonish. Here's what I'm thinking on that...



Yup... not a whole lot one can do to jazz up the lines of a cage in a buggy when wanting to keep things somewhat simple. She snapped one last picture that I couldn't help but compare to 2004.


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