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L.R.S.

Complete tear down and makeover on my car

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I bought my dream car in July 2015 and have been upgrading it ever since.  It is a Dunebuggy.com Sidewinder prerunner. 

My original thread from 2015-  Dunebuggy.com Sidewinder

DB.com went out of business many years ago but before they did they built some of the best prerunners, which were basically a 4 seat Class 1 car. I was fortunate to be on  race team that had two of these cars for team prerunners and I was very familiar with their handling characteristics as well as the prep required to keep them in the dirt.  

 

 

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This is a pic I took of the car when I drove 1000 miles to Washington state to pick it up.  I was surprised to see the condition, mainly how it had been put together, but I bought it regardless.  I could change whatever I wanted.  I've made lot of changes over the past 4 years and the time finally came to pretty it up a little.

 

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This was Easter 2016 in Ocotillo. 

 

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2017 Ocotillo Wells after I had KATG do the new hood and side panels.

 

 

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Toward the end of last season I got the car back to KATG and had him do rear fenders, new faux radius roof, fire wall and engine tins.  I got the car back in March and made one last trip to Glamis before my sand season ended.

 

With the body complete I was really motivated to knock some of the fugly off the chassis.  It was several different shades of rust and primer paint.  Problem is my home shop only has room for one car and I'm always booked with summer prep jobs so it was going to be difficult to spend a lot of time working on my car.  The plan was to use a knock-off brand of stainless steel rattle can paint on the exposed chassis tubes and not worry about the stuff covered by the body panels.  I started taking parts off and my 16 year old son happened to come out to my shop to see what I was doing.  He looked at the car and asked if I was tearing it all the way down and I said I didn't have time for that.  I had maybe 7-10 days before the next job was showing up and this car had to move.  He offered to help me strip it down.  This may not sound like a big deal but my son is not a wrench like his old man.  He doesn't mind working on stuff but he has multiple AP classes and is on the high school baseball team.  His coach runs a very grueling program and my son has practice, weight room, or field prep 6 days a week.  Just so happened he was on summer break for a few weeks so helping me sounded fun.  I asked if he was serious because stripping this down to the bare chassis was a pretty big undertaking.  He said he was committed.  I had very little time, no real plan, and even worse- no actual budget in mind.  But I couldn't pass up a father/son project so we started the following day.

 

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Having built, or re-built actually, this car myself over the past 4 years I had touched pretty much every single nut and bolt on the car.  I wasn't too worried about bagging and tagging all the hardware but I did for probably 50% nuts/bolts.  One of the best tings I discovered was the wiring.  I've done a little of my own wiring but the majority of the car was wired by JAX Motorsports in Upland, CA.  Jack knows his shit and that was proven when I was able to pull 100% of my wiring out of the car and only had to cut one wire!  Everything else had Weather Pack or Duetsch connectors.  It was a huge time saver not labeling all the wiring.   

 

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That was fun.

Edited by L.R.S.

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That's awesome!! My son just moved away to college. I miss him helping in the garage. I just sent him pictures from the Baja 400. He's pissed :) 

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Looking good Jeff! What color combo have you decided on?

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Real cool! I don't wrench much and when I do I usually eff something up. But I try and when I know I can do it I let my 2 13 year old girls help. I teach them what little I know. Something better then nothing.

 

That was cool that you accepted and now I can't wait to see this build thread. Keep us posted.

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I know you have plenty more posts and pics to make on this one, I won't spoil the fun!  I'll just say it's been awesome to see the car evolve over the years and have a little part in seeing you get your dream car.  When it's all done it's going to be THE nicest DB.com car around.  Also great to see how much your Son did and how he's learned to work on these things.  Pretty soon you're going to be renting out a warehouse so he can work full-time for LRS and pump out the cars! 

 

-TJ
 

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Excellent Jeff..She's a Beast..

 

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15 hours ago, CMBAMF said:

Looking good Jeff! What color combo have you decided on?

I choose one of @dbart designs he did for me and I really love it.  I sent about 10 of Dale's renderings to KATG to get his opinion, even though I had already decided on my favorite, and Adam choose the exact same one without me telling him.  Great minds think alike!  It'll be posted in this thread, but I have soooo many other pics to post first...

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With the frame stripped down I looked it over for anything that needed to be welded up before sending it to powder coating.  I knew of a couple thing I needed to fix, but it seemed like every time I turned around I'd find something else.

 

 

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First up were the motor mounts.  This car is really well built, even overbuilt, and the diagonal tubes that connected the firewall area to the bottom of the engine cage were, well, unnecessary.   That and they were keeping me from putting on a badass exhaust system I got from @Super Hunky when we did some horse trading for my RHS LS7 for his Turnkey LS7.  I cut the bars out and never 'finished' the engine mounts.  I'd get shit from everyone about them, and they did look horrible, but they still worked.   

 

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Probably could have just cut them out and made new mounts but to do it properly I'd need the engine and trans in the car and that wasn't happening.

 

 

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Did the same thing on the other side then welded them up.

 

 

 

 

Edited by L.R.S.

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Next up were the trans mounts for my Albins.  One side broke a couple years ago and I welded it up but now the other side had cracked so I did the same repair.

 

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Another area that needed some touch up is where I cut off my R2C filter mounts and got into the frame a little.  Actually there were a bunch of areas like this and I fixed them all.  I also cut off about 20 Dzus tabs from the original body I wouldn't need any longer.

 

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Once all the welding was done I took it to the powder coat shop.  I still wasn't 100% sure on the color but I did now I wanted semi-gloss on the chassis and 'hammer tone' which  is actually called Silver Vein, on the arms.  The PC shop showed me some of their recent work in silver vein and 50% semi-gloss and that's when I changed my mind.   I wanted the frame silver vein and the arms semi-gloss.

 

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I decided to take the engine tins to PC as well.  They won't get wrapped so might as well have the PC'd.  I also took- battery box, steering shafts, shifts shaft, fuel cell brackets, sway bar arms, fire extinguisher mounts, pedals, etc.  Pretty much all the bolt on stuff.

 

 

 

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love the father and son combo.  its always a lot of fun to get a car so finished youre ready for PC!  when will it be ready?

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Not being bolted to the car/wheels/shocks really shows off the BEEF in those trailing arms...

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Very time consuming, but I'm sure you'll feel well worth the effort once done.  Looking forward to seeing more.

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13 hours ago, L.R.S. said:

I choose one of @dbart designs he did for me and I really love it.  I sent about 10 of Dale's renderings to KATG to get his opinion, even though I had already decided on my favorite, and Adam choose the exact same one without me telling him.  Great minds think alike!  It'll be posted in this thread, but I have soooo many other pics to post first...

I got you...I think it was this one right? First one I did when you asked

:lmao:

:bag:

:cheers:

Ok, in all seriousness...Thank you Jeff for letting me a part of this.

Can't wait to see it all done!

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Here kitty, kitty, kitty!!

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Jeff - Looking good - where is the PC shop you are using?  I am looking for a new place - thumbs up on them?

 

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Let's hear the new exhaust!

 

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4 hours ago, fullthrottleguy said:

Jeff - Looking good - where is the PC shop you are using?  I am looking for a new place - thumbs up on them?

 

I'm using JR's Professional Finishing in San Fernando, about 15 miles from my house near the 5 and 210 frwys.  They have been great to work with, priced right, and really quick turnaround on parts.

4 hours ago, Air450 said:

Let's hear the new exhaust!

 

It really doesn't sound different to me but I only drove it on/off my flatbed today.

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I got a call from the powder coat shop he said once the chassis was blasted he had found two areas with cracks and they went ahead and welded them up for me.  They are also a welding shop so I'm glad they took care of it in-house.

 

 

 

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These are the trans tabs for my Albins.  It makes sense that they are cracked because both trans brackets that bolt to these were also broken.

 

 

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Got another call from the PC shop and they said the chassis was ready to pick up.  The arms and panels were not ready but if I wanted the chassis I could pick it up.  I headed out there the next day.

 

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There's a lot more silver then black which is the opposite of what I remember the sample they showed me looking like, but I'm good with it.  

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Looks Great!

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Your further along then this, Come on Jeff, Show it off.

Got to see his car last month. Its looking great.

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1 hour ago, Grease Monkey said:

Your further along then this, Come on Jeff, Show it off.

Got to see his car last month. Its looking great.

You can't just fast forward to the money shot. Relax and enjoy the story.

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1 hour ago, Grease Monkey said:

Your further along then this, Come on Jeff, Show it off.

Got to see his car last month. Its looking great.

 

10 minutes ago, L.R.S. said:

You can't just fast forward to the money shot. Relax and enjoy the story.

Grease Monkey,

He is going for the dramatic @John@Outfront Mtrsprts style story.  

Edited by punkur67

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