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Thread: Rock Buggy build....

  1. #1

    Default Rock Buggy build....



    I am starting the process of building two buggies! I have a limited budget to work with so I'll take any opinion as to how to spec. it.

    I'm starting with dana 60's with 5:13 gears.
    I want a small block 350 (5.3 or 5.7)

    From there, who knows.......

    Anyone have any ideas from past builds?

    I will update as I go! :fing:

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Rock Buggy build....



    Are you looking for a 2 seater or a 4 seater? It could offer 2 very different builds.
    ___________
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Rock Buggy build....



    Thats a good start for sure. Good solid base to start with.

    Nicks question about how many seats is good too. Any normal two to four seater chassis will fit that engine, so it really depends on how much you want to spend and what kind of styling you want. Fordboy77 mentioned that he wants to build a buggy too, and I found a bunch of decent chassis builders. If you want to keep it local, have a look at Jimmy's 4x4 down in Cortez, CO. They aren't the cheapest out there, but look to do some badass chassis (or a turn key if you want that) stuff. As far as I know, they are the only prefab "cookie cutter" chassis builder in CO right now too.

    Another one I really like is Hendrix Motorsports. They make the x-chassis, which is a neat four seater and one of the cheaper chassis builders out there. Theirs start at $2200 (or a couple hundred more for DOM instead of HREW steel). Its definitely one of the more basic chassis' out there, but should do ya well. Here is a cool build up of an X-chassis using similar stuff to what you might (V8, Dana 60's, atlas transfercase, etc).... http://www.tinbenders.org/forum/showthread.php?t=3351

    A lot of the other "cookie cutter" chassis builders out there charge up to $5k for their setups though.

    There is also the option of buying plans and building a chassis yourself, and spending the money on a bender and tools too. I know there is at least one place that sells plans for $80 and have a couple different chassis layouts with 2, 3, and 4 seater variants.

    Seems like a good place to start to me, since you'll be building it all off that. Other stuff to consider is what kind of transmission and transfer case you'll be running, hydro steering, radiator placement, exhaust, 3 link or 4 link suspsensions, air shocks, coils and shocks, or full coilovers. Gets pretty complicated.

    I've spent a lot of the last year perusing the builds on pirate and other places, and have noticed that its "full steam ahead" for the first 1/4 to 1/2 of the project, and then people get discouraged and end up throwing a tarp over it for 6 months or end up deciding to sell everything half done. I've also noticed that whatever budget that people come up with almost always gets exceeded significantly due to all the little stuff they didn't plan for. Same goes for how long they think it will take to build.

    Hate to say it, but it might be worth looking into a buggy that is already built and ready to wheel. Sure, you don't get the satisfaction of building it yourself, but that satisfaction seems to come at large financial and mental cost. I've seen a bunch of buggies go for less money then it would take to build a new one on your own lately. Might also see about taking on someone elses half finished project and finishing it. Never hurts to let someone else do the leg work right?

    Everyone on here is awesome, but its certainly not the most ideal forum to find out info about building this kind of stuff. As stupid as they are on there sometimes, Pirate4x4 is a great place to find info on this kind of stuff, if you can sift through the BS. Some pretty neat buildups to look through and see what it takes.

    Maybe some bullet points on what you are looking to use it for and such would be a good starting point.

    JH

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    Default Re: Rock Buggy build....



    If i were to build a 2 seater buggy i think i would want it light with lots of ground clearance but a low center of gravity, i would also want it to be very economical. I would build it with the following: 2.2 gm eco-tec motor ( or a 4.3 with a 700r4 would also work and probably be cheaper), I think you could mount it to a aw4 jeep tranny, next in line would be a 3 or 4 speed atlas drivers drop, coil overs with soft valving and medium coils, linked front and rear built toy axles with 5.29's in them locked and hydro assist steering and put it on 37's. I bet you could get it to weigh less than 3k

    If i were to build a 4 seater buggy it would be as follows: 5.3L gm motor with a z06 cam, 4l80e tranny, 203/205 doubler, 60 front and 14 bolt rear locked with 5.38's, full hydro steering and 42's or 46's, i would do coil overs in the front and nitro charged rears no springs.

    You can pick up a 4.3 with a harness for less than $500. get a built 700 for less than a grand. And you can get a 5.3 with harness for less than 800 and pick up a used 4l80 for $1200. The front axle is going to cost a mint and the rear will be cheap. I would just weld the rear and get a selectable front. I would run front hubs on either just flanges. You could build a small buggy for less than 7 grand less the chassis very easy and 15 for the bigger one less the chassis.
    ___________
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    Default Re: Rock Buggy build....



    I sent a Pm to ya, too...

    Single seat and light :Like Nick said-4.3 or 2.7Yota with Yota axles. 2 seater to 4 seater with power-LS1 or 2, Corporate, Portals or Danas.

    Full hydro and 40-42" tires on either. LockedX4.

    Hendrix chassis. Air shocks or coil overs and linked F/R

    Start with how many people you are going to want to have in it, then base the horsepower/torque you want on that. Keep in mind that you will be towing it and probably not going to doing much more than 40mph at any given time. Also keep in mind that both Toyota and GM parts are very cheap and have huge after market support as well as a huge used parts availibility. An Atlas, Klune or similar will give you the gearing as well as a 203/205 doubler. With a Yota you have the considerably cheaper Marlin or Advance Adapters set up. Either the Atlas or Klune is going to set you back around $3k if not more. The Yota stuff you can put together for around half that or less.

    That said, you can find someone's used buggy for probably around $6-8k that has everything you want and would be cheaper than anything else...

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    Default Re: Rock Buggy build....



    Here are pictures of one of the cleanest buggy builds using a Hendrix chassis that I have ever seen. Clean, simple, functional, lightweight,excellent horsepower to weight ratio and using readily acquired components. All put together is 2 months in the guys spare time. If I was going to do a buggy, this is similar to what I would be looking at doing.

    He used a small block 302 Ford, but pretty much anything is going to work with this light rig. About the only thing I wouldn't put in it would be an inline 6 simply because the power to overall size ratio isn't all that good. I don't know if I would do the extra work for the rear steer unless I had the extra $$ just lying around lookng for a home. It would be sweet, though.

    Economically, any of the Toyota engines are plentiful and relatively cheap. Not that I am a huge fan of Toyota over other makes, but the low gear options for Toyotas happen to be a lot cheaper than other T case 'doubler' arrangements on the market, at least cheaper than Atlas or Klune...
           

  7. #7

    Default Re: Rock Buggy build....



    Update.....I have the dana 60's and will be picking up a 4.3l today. (scrapped the v-8). I will post pics soon.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Rock Buggy build....



    Sounds like an awesome project, keep us posted! I'm guessing my 4Runner will one day become a buggy. The more I wrinkle the sheetmetal, the more I cut off

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Rock Buggy build....



    Trailrat99XJ previously posted:
    "Update.....I have the dana 60's and will be picking up a 4.3l today. (scrapped the v-8). I will post pics soon."

    Really? Scrapped the Chevy 350 LS1 or 2? Where did you leave it? That may very well be the next engine going into my heap....

  10. #10

    Default Re: Rock Buggy build....



    Some pics! Front and rear dana 60's
    6.0 V-8
    Some of the tube work

    It's a start!!!!
              

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Rock Buggy build....



    Looking good!

    One small question:

    Since one of the things that I have noticed on my rig and something that I am planning to change the next time I feel like doing major surgery, is the way the rock rails and sliders are. Sure the sliders are mounted pretty high and the kickers are mounted up at an angle on my rig, but if I were doing this and was building from scratch, I would 'boatside' the sliders and rock rails at this point to both narrow the profile and to add the ability to get through and grind over rocks better. I would simply let the seats and tranny hump dictate the width and crank the sides up from that.

    Here is a link showing a 'boatsided' Jeep, still with the min body panels:

    http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showt...=rocker+panels

    And one on a K5:

    http://coloradok5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=86240

    You can see what even this simple mod to the cage/frame does to these rigs, so doing it to a full on buggy is going to be even better. I would keep a buggy as narrow as feasibly possible as the stability is going to come from the axle width and suspension anyway.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Rock Buggy build....



    Update! We have a good start on the first one and #2 is underway!

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  13. #13

    Default Re: Rock Buggy build....



    this is going to be wicked man!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Rock Buggy build....



    Thats pretty sweet man! My father in law and I really want to build a tube buggy... and I coincidently have a spare front and rear Toyota axle in the garage. I just need to come across a good deal on tubing and its on!!

  15. #15

    Default Re: Rock Buggy build....



    Sweet indeed. Should be very capable when you are done. Did you guys buy plans or are you just designing it yourself? Definitely something I'd like to do some day too. Already have ideas about how I want to do it, but having the time, space, and money is the hard part for me right now. Definitely cool to see this buildup though. Thats quite the front axle you guys bought/made.

    JH

  16. #16

    Default Re: Rock Buggy build....



    Brody previously posted:
    "Looking good!

    One small question:

    Since one of the things that I have noticed on my rig and something that I am planning to change the next time I feel like doing major surgery, is the way the rock rails and sliders are. Sure the sliders are mounted pretty high and the kickers are mounted up at an angle on my rig, but if I were doing this and was building from scratch, I would 'boatside' the sliders and rock rails at this point to both narrow the profile and to add the ability to get through and grind over rocks better. I would simply let the seats and tranny hump dictate the width and crank the sides up from that.

    Here is a link showing a 'boatsided' Jeep, still with the min body panels:

    http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showt...=rocker+panels

    And one on a K5:

    http://coloradok5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=86240

    You can see what even this simple mod to the cage/frame does to these rigs, so doing it to a full on buggy is going to be even better. I would keep a buggy as narrow as feasibly possible as the stability is going to come from the axle width and suspension anyway."

    I've thought about doing this with mine, cutting out the rocker and welding in tube instead. I would notch the body for runners to the frame...my only concern is effectively hard mounting the body to the frame at that point and some say its not a problem on a bodied vehicle, some say you'll have issues with things starting to crack and self destruct.

    Great start anyhow

  17. #17

    Default Re: Rock Buggy build....



    There is a build thread on Pirate right now where someone went over the top big with the boatside. The guy also cut the whole cable down the center and narrowed it by 6 inches too. Here are some pics...





    here is the link to the full build thread....

    http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=857766

    Cool, but not what I would want for mine. Coolest part about it is that he can still use the doors. Could be interesting though. I have definitely thought about boat siding mine when I put the exo on. I'd go far less extreme and just do it so it doesn't effect body work. In an ideal world, I'd stick a sheet of UHMW on there, but that stuff is spendy. Sure does provide good "sliding" surface though. Would be easy enough to attach the sheet metal to it with rivnuts and flat head counter sunk bolts or even just small pieces of half inch bar with a threaded hole welded onto the supports.

    JH

  18. #18

    Default Re: Rock Buggy build....



    Steve's is coming a long great. Mine has stalled a little bit..... Not a lot of time lately. He is down here after work and on the weekends and obviously I don't have that kind of time. It's a lot of work to build from scratch!

  19. #19

    Default Re: Rock Buggy build....



    Yep, Todd just sank a ton into his Jeep so it's pretty much bullet proof now. Mine has been sitting in the garage collecting dust. Lot's of unfinished projects on it I just can't get too. I must say your Grand looks fu#@ing sweet. Good job with it... Yes we've got them sitting in the second warehouse. lot's of room in there nowadays! When I get home I'll put up some new picks

  20. #20

    Default Re: Rock Buggy build....



    Here is the updated pics... Todd had a "mishap" on Lincoln and had to basically rebuild his lift. He went with rock crawler equipment and the curry anti-rock system. New drive line.. and stuff I can't remembeName:  IMG_2622..jpg
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