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  1. Soooooo, if I was building another one, it would be.... An automatic. It was sort of a pain to get my clutch and shift-linkage to work....yes, your gearing is gonna stink. I wouldn't make a sub-frame and engineer mounting points and etc. I'd waste 50# and use the stock sub-frame. Before I built mine, there was an article in DB&HotVWs on a guy who was selling rides, possibly at Pismo, in a 6 seat, or more buggy. It was Chevy Citation....totally, sub-frame and all. Put the sub-frame in and add mounting points for the top of the struts and you are done w/it. BTW...HEAVY. I just looked at my 3 fwd cars. The Camry's suspension mounts to the frame, and so does the Corolla. The Odyssey, has a sub-frame, that bolts to the frame and and holds everything...motor, suspension. Put that sub-frame in your car and sacrifice 50#. Also, I'd run a 4 cylinder....1,800cc-2,500cc, computer and all and make sure that it has at least 100HP. 125 HP is plenty....assuming that you are close to 1,000#. I would not run struts. I'd build an upper control arm and use a coil-over shock on each side. You might be able to get a high-rpm-stall torque converter built. CVT trans? Also...my thoughts on tires are big, but w/half the paddles cut off, say stagger cut. IF they are easy to spin, they are easy on the trans. Once you get moving, they just aren't that important, except on steep hills when you hit them slow. Some Subarus fit the above mold...one cross-member that the suspension mounts to, and the motor also bolts to it. I don't remember what it was/is in. But, w/that set-up, it would be just like a mid-engine VW. I don't know that I'd do this, but you could make special axles and use conventional VW style suspension
  2. Well, I got the recycle delivered, but the "Hazardous-Waste" spot did not have any goodies for me. They take stuff from people garage...some of it they destroy and the rest they offer back to the public. The McPerson struts...I took the springs off and experimented. I figured that it would drop 2", from full extension and that was pretty close. I had to cut my top-side rail and put a U-dip in it. Then, I ran a stiffener, from the tube, to the outer edge of the tower....sorta adding it adding a triangle to it. The tie-rod-rods, stuck in to tubing, and the other end went in to a bushing (from the rear suspension of a CIVIC, and the bracket, from the same car). Your radiator....some folks like it to look neat, tucked in, possibly sideways. Screw that, mount it in the wind, up high, that way your fan never has to turn on. When I was building mine...or in the stage that you are in now....I was pulling in to Yuma on I-8 and I saw what you are talking about as I was getting off, it went by on the freeway. I hauled butt and caught up to it and waved him over. We spoke for 45 minutes or so. I think that he had a VW front-end. The rear was an Escort GT (1850cc, or so, and 125 HP, I think). I don't remember if it had a carb, or a computer, but it was an automatic. He said that he also had a mid-engine turbo Mustang rail (2,300cc and 150HP (when my '83 T-bird, after that they were inter-cooled)). He claimed that the Escort was his favorite. The only problem that he had was bending struts, when jumping. He welded on the outside of the strut and stiffened it. I never had that problem. He was running 16.50 Vari-Traks. He claimed that it would get stuck w/13" paddles (as mentioned, your gearing is gonna stink) 'cuz he couldn't spin the tires, off the bat. I added a chain to limit the struts travel. I was told that it will pound itself to death internally otherwise. A motorcycle shock is built to handle that. The struts...they limit your tires. You are gonna have to run a bunch of off-set, or else your tires will rub on the spring bases. My hubs mounting surface was 3" from the extreme inside edge of the rim (15x14s...a bit to wide). I ran free tires, 28x14" dirt-track tires, then 30"x14 inside sprint-car tires, then 15"x36" outside sprint car tires (basically a grooved drag-slick and the biggest ones rubbed the least). BTW, you know that you are gonna have custom wheels (bolt pattern and off-set). You are gonna have to run a disc-brake master-cylinder. Otherwise, it won't let the brake-pad back off the rotors. Late 90s, I was in Puerto Penasco/Rock Point and I saw another one....twas a Dodge Daytona....a turbo 2.5? BTW, he'd double the boost (stock was something like 7.5#) He loved it. His had the computer in it and said that it always ran the same...and that he didn't miss adjusting Webers one little bit (actually, he said it quite a bit stronger than that). I don't remember what sort of trans it had...but it had HUGE disc rotors...like 13". Also, I oncst saw an Eldorado 455 in a rail...w/the whole sub-frame and BIG paddles. It was a bit cumbersome and it weighed 2,200#. More to come.....
  3. The guy that I bought my first, used, paddles from, was a long-time duner. He used to run a 4x4 buggy and several dif types. He said that they were tough for follow, by a buggy, as they would turn and go straight up a bowl. I've seen lots of em running. I had an old high school acquaintance, and he ran a jeep w/a 327, then a 350 in it. He claimed that his Jeep was faster in 2wd...as a side point, I met a guy, who ran a sand-drag cycle, which he changed it to an ATV....faster as a cycle. Stuck....hard to fix dat....so is a stuck 2,000#rail. They are both 2wd and the weight is about the same, give or take a lil-bit. I got my rail stuck once, a 4x4 PU hooked on to me and solved that problem. But, if you are spinning 16", or wider paddles....hard to get stuck. They are fast, easy to build. Anything w/a healthy SBC is plenty fast...you betcha. I've also seen rwd rails...the last one w/a 383 and huge paddles in a, pretty much, standard rail frame. The other one that sticks in my mind was wheeling up Comp at Buttercup, on Tru-Tracs, then rolled on the way down, w/only a 302. I've thought of building one, several times...seriously thought about it. As near as I can tell, the only negative is that it won't have the travel of some of the rails....unless you spend some money. I've circled bowls in a 2wd LUV and a 4x4 Toyota PU, nothing to it and seen Jeeps do it too, but usually they like to climb hills.
  4. It works quite well actually. It compares to a swingaxle VW...not a whole lot of travel. Guys ran the dunes w/those for years and had a blast, and had more fun than guys w/$10K rails...fact. Just like guys had just as much, if not more fun w/a 132cc ATV. I used to swing by a buggy shop in Phoenix. He used to build desert frames vs dune frames. He told me...the only thing that mid-engine frame will do best is drag race and climb hills. Everything else, a rear engine frame does better. My buggy started life as a swingaxle frame w/a Pinto motor in it. About the time I started getting the itch for something else I was climbing a bowl and then going to turn to the left and go around the bowl...I let off the gas a bit to late and slid sideways over the top and rolled 3X. I started to get it going again and when I pulled the head, there was about 1/4" of sand in one cylinder and it was scratched. The other 3 were fine. Before I got it going, I got transferred, and money was tight. So, I sold my built trans w/duh 4.86, the torsion bars, engine adapter, tires, rims and what not. When I go the itch again this is what I came up with. Mine was a '73 Civic trans, as my CIVIC mech said that it had the lowest gearing and a 1751 junkyard Accord motor that burned oil like crazy (a quart per weekend). I drilled the manifold and bolted my carb adapter from the Pinto. I used an Autolite carb off of a 302...instead of a 390, like the Pinto had (but, the Accord ran good w/the 500 cfm carb w/butterflies like .50 pieces). The alternator...Hondas run in reverse direction. I used a Nissan PU alternator, w/the Honda fan blade...other wise the air will flow the wrong way and not cool it. It was a single A-arm, coil shocked front end...about 100# lighter and the same amount of travel as a VW beam axle (which is actually hard to beat for under $1,000). I cut the "horns" off the torsion housing and left it in the frame. Then, I got it level, and welded an =H in the frame (but w/2 cross bars on the H, and the cross-bars were U-shaped, a "Kick", that went under the motor or actually, if you are looking at from the side a \____/ under the motor). So, (2) pieces of 2" tubing perpendicular to the T-housing, level (remember, the bottom rail of the frame was level, or so the level said)....then an H, at the top of the H, and the bottom of the H, at each tip (4 in total) was a suspension pivot point (2 per side). I used the Honda control arms. I welded angle arms to the back of the pivot points (to maintain the correct width, side to side, front to rear, that was maintained by the control arms), then cut them out of the Honda sub-frame....calculated the engine cradle and then welded them on the cradle. I've got to go to the dump by 4P.... Later, I'll tell about the McPherson struts, their issues, the rims (issues there) and other buggies that I've seen that were of the same set-up (2)...and they both loved em. AND, most importantly, what I'd do dif, and look for now for the build.
  5. Well, today I went out there to work on it. I was gonna pull it backwards as close as possible, then drag it over there....the dern thing rolled just fine. Maybe, the contraction caused by the single-digit weather. Then, the stinking float was stuck. I got some green gas outa duh carb and pulled it off. The float needle. I had to pry it out...w/a teeny screwdriver. I drained all the gas and put it in my truck. I'll get some gas tomorrow and fire it up. There are 2 stations in town that sell real gas. OH, I found a friend hiding in the knobbies...a curled up Black Widow. Not sure if she was hiding, or what. It was in the part of the tire that was on the ground.
  6. I know a guy that has a VW powered rail that he runs in the CO mountains. He is running a 1641 DP w/a mild cam, a swingaxle w/bus reduction gears. He told me that he went from a 34 carb to a 28 and it now runs better. He says that his runs better than his brothers, who has a bigger motor. He attributes it to the carb being vented. Our elevation is about 4,600', and he runs up to 12,000', or more. It sounds illogical to me....could it be that the smaller venturi works better at the higher altitude. What else could it be?
  7. A few years ago I was at Buttercup....Competition Hill on a busy night on a holiday weekend. There was a Jeep running the hill. It had a healthy V-8 in it. While running the hill, it hit the Whoop-de-Dos and when it came down something happened...in about 2 lengths of the Jeep (while going full bore) it made a 180 and came to a stop. The owner shut the motor down and let it roll down the hill. When the Jeep came down....its 16"-20" wide paddle got a good bite of sand, and snapped the axle. The loose tire was held captive by the wheel-well. and the fender was riding on it. The Jeep must of had a locker, or a welded dif and when the axle twisted in two, all the power went to the other side, and it was like hitting the turning brake, and giving it full throttle on the other side.
  8. Many moons ago, I was with the Border Patrol and sitting on the side of the AZ85 just south of Why, AZ, on a Sunday afternoon, and I hear this airplane coming up the highway...or is it? What the heck is that noise...here it comes....a 2-seat short-back VW powered rail w/desert tires on it pulling an RV w/a tow rope.... in 2nd or 3rd gear. Twas about a 30' class A, and it had a flat-bed trailer behind it. He was coming north from Mexico. BTW, this wouldn't fly in CA...possibly in AZ too, if DPS got involved. For something to do, I follow him to Why and talk to him. Just south of the border, he threw the D-shaft...bad U-joint. So, he had been pulling his RV for the past 30 miles or so. He needs a ride up to the Napa, about 12 miles away...hop in. He throws the shaft on to the floor of the Ramcharger (better than a Blazer, and a Bronco, in that order) and away we go. On the way he tells me...my neighbor in Penasco (Rocky Point, Puerto Penasco) is a helluva nice guy and he is one of your big-bosses in Tucson. Yep...he is a helluva nice guy. His name is? what....oh, what is it....Jimmy (not his real name). I say, Jim Smith? Yeah that is him, real nice guy. My bottom instantly swells shut as this ride could be construed as being outside of policy and Jim doesn't have a reputation as being a nice guy...the exact opposite. For the next month or two I expected to hear about this. But, nothing ever came of it
  9. If the check was over 10K, then the bank would do some record keeping.
  10. My daughter hit a tree w/our '02 Ody on her very first stint behind the wheel after getting her permit. The core-support, hood, radiator (about 5 months old...boo-hoo), and who knows what else is toast....the trans was toast before this. so we aren't gonna fix it. I really don't see how it would be usable to anybody as it has a few miles on it....284K and I live in Western-CO (these should be fairly common in AZ and CA). It does not burn any oil at all...I changed the oil every 5K, and it was always still at the add-mark. So, the engine would make a good core. The engine should be a J35a4. On the last trip, I almost hit a deer at 95mph, so it still runs strong. At the moment, it is complete. I have a friend that delivers cars all over the US. He is always looking to fill his trailer....assuming that you are not in a rush. $100 for the motor. $100 for the wiring and ECM. Send me a PM.
  11. Has anybody been to Delta, UT and the dunes there? What are your thoughts? What are the big weekends...If Any? What about Dibeeky near Moab and Green River? The stuff that I see on youtube pretty much shows no dunes, but desert riding?
  12. I'm working on a Yamaha Timberwolf ATV. My kids broke one of the headlights. I want to replace them w/LEDs. It had 2 of em...20W each, so that is one of the requirements. I'd bet money on it, that a 15w LED will be a lot brighter. The original lights are the size of a playing card....so, a 4 LED light is the perfect size to fit in the original holes in the plastic. I just drove all over town...Harbor Freight, Autozone, Checker, Advance, Napa, Murdocks, and Tractor Supply. Except for Napa, they all have em. The problem...I want to run one Spot, and one Flood light and wire it so that the flood is on on low-beam and that both are on on high-beam. The only store that has them of the same housing/light in both types is HF...they have a rep of being, how would you say, not that reliable. As a side point, the lights at Advance were the heaviest. I assume that means something. If you are buying a welder, heavier is better (it has more wiring in it). Anybody, have any experience w/HF LEDs?
  13. We already towed it around w/the van....that didn't work.
  14. Yep, drum....inside the differential housing. The cable goes to an arm/lever, on a splined shaft, which rotates when you pull the lever. The arm and shaft move back and forth, so they are not holding the shoe out...but, I am thinking that w/over a year w/the brake set, and the shoe in contact w/the drum....
  15. They make a 33x9.5x15...BFG. I just looked at the intercotire link...they make teh same tire in 34" In my area, a tall skinny tire works best, for snow and mud.

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