MarkParticipantOctober 29, 2021 at 10:42 amPost count: 18
I frequented this forum about 10 years ago. I had an accident in the garage and stepped away for a long while. Fast forward to now. I retired from the military so I have a little more time on my hands and much more stability in my living situation. I am actually feeling like working on a project again. So… I decided to build a buggy.
Fiberglass work sucks and I don’t do it, so I bought a new body from Acme Car Co. The company president trucked my order to Minneapolis, where I met him and transferred everything to my trailer. This was worth the investment… I think the new body cost less than what I would have dumped into repairing and painting an old body. I like the bass boat paint.
I went with Acme’s tube frame also. The fact that it’s already shortened up and comes with a fiberglass floor plan was very appealing. I bolted up a 4″ narrowed beam up front. Out back, I found a 1″ tranny raise was as much as I could manage without cutting into a nice new body. In retrospect, an IRS transaxle would have been a better decision but swing axle is what I had on hand. Porsche pattern disc brakes landed on it, because again, that’s what I had on hand.
I think I utilized my dash space pretty well – there’s not much room for anything else there. The carbon fiber autometer gauges were half price and I future-proofed the build by adding the boost gauge now. I grabbed a handful of waterproof UTV switches for headlights, wipers, horn, and USB phone charger. The stereo controller is a Bluetooth unit, also waterproof. It’s stupid simple but lets me play music from my phone. The speedometer is an electronic unit – I am using a GPS sensor instead of a speedometer cable. This means my speedometer will always be GPS accurate, regardless of tire size.
Custom-order Roadster seats from PRP with tweed inserts (because tweed is required!). Buggies should have carpet too… so I went with a molded carpet kit.
Rolled it outside to check ride height – I am pleased with where it’s at. Considering I have to drive a mile on gravel to get to the nearest paved road, I probably shouldn’t go any lower! The wheels are some 16″ jobbers on I found on Ebay. Options for 5×130 wheels are somewhat limited. Tires are 205/40 front and 235/70 rear. I ended up running a 1″ spacer on the rear to pull the tires away from the spring plates, due to crappy backspace. This same wheel is available in an 18×9 with a better backspace/deeper lip, so I may go that route for the rear wheels at some point in the future.
With cage mounted up… This cage is a joke, it offers no real protection and serves only the purpose of looking cool. The green ’60 Beetle is the other project, which I intend to get back to work on after I have this buggy running and driving.
Side pod mock-up. I had to prop the thing up there to get me excited about this again! It worked.
This has gone much quicker than I anticipated, even with my free time being less than I anticipated. I pretty much work on it one or two nights a week and on weekends.
At this point, my to-do list is looking pretty short! I refuse to set a “first drive” goal date because I’ve finally figured out it’s more important to do it right and enjoy the build. But hey, it’s good to be back in the shop working on a VW again.tlambertParticipantOctober 29, 2021 at 11:11 amPost count: 568
Super nice buggy! Going to be a blast I’m sure.
TimDaKineParticipantOctober 29, 2021 at 4:14 pmPost count: 129
ACME was just a few minutes up the road from my old house. Glad to here you had a positive experience with them also. They rebuilt the transmission that’s in my son’s car several years ago and all has been good.
That tube frame is super trick!
😎John JonesModeratorOctober 29, 2021 at 5:24 pmPost count: 11223
Awesome… Glad you got back out in the garage… Looks fun!!!
Retired 😎 😎MarkParticipantOctober 29, 2021 at 7:14 pmPost count: 18
Thanks all for the positive comments. This has been a fun “clean” build. Minor progress this afternoon, just plugging away at it. I should be able to get the wiring wrapped up this weekend.alykatParticipantOctober 30, 2021 at 6:11 amPost count: 864
Looking very squared away ! I have always been a big fan of glitter paint.John JonesModeratorOctober 30, 2021 at 9:12 amPost count: 11223
Looks badd ass… 😎
Retired 😎 😎FranzParticipantOctober 30, 2021 at 9:19 amPost count: 5386
Looking good Mark! I was just thinking about you the other day.
How do you title that machine with the state?MarkParticipantOctober 30, 2021 at 1:54 pmPost count: 18MarkParticipantOctober 31, 2021 at 4:20 pmPost count: 18
Another good day on this go-cart. Fuel tank is in, fancy electronic fuel sender had to get modified a little bit. I finished up all the under-hood work and put the hood on for the LAST time. My wife will appreciate that, she gets called out to the garage whenever I need to lift or move something.
I’m real close to having the wiring wrapped up. I had to quit for the day…. Lots of time spent hunched over reminded me that I had a discectomy and a spinal cord stimulator implant surgery three years ago.
I wrapped the common scuff areas with self-healing paint protection film. Amazing stuff! You can’t see it at all, just have to feel for the edge. If it gets scuffed or dinged, it heals with heat (sunshine or heat gun).
I used motorcycle LED projector headlights, 6 insanely bright LEDs per headlight. Lots of effort for a car I won’t drive in the dark lol.
Since it started snowing today, I don’t feel so bad about nearly having my winter project done. 🤪tlambertParticipantOctober 31, 2021 at 4:34 pmPost count: 568
Nice job on the buggy. Gonna be a sweet ride for sure.
TimDaKineParticipantOctober 31, 2021 at 4:38 pmPost count: 129MarkParticipantOctober 31, 2021 at 4:54 pmPost count: 18
Thank you! It’s pretty awesome to see it come together. Vision doesn’t always equal reality, but in this case, it’s everything I’d hoped for.
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