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  1. #1
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    My VW Sand Rail Build

    Well I went out and bought my self a street legal, 4 speed, 1973 vw 1600cc rail buggy. The engine starts rights up, and everything is in working condition. It only needs a new exhaust, due to the fact that it looks horrible, and it also needs a muffler. It is WAY to loud.

    I bought it with intentions of it being a show "car", that I could take to car shows and ride around the city with it, however I want still want it to be able to swap the tires and have an offroad beast. So thats how its going to be set up.

    Well heres a pretty bad pic of how it looked last night.



    Today I installed
    tachometer
    oil pressure gauge
    amp gauge
    mirrors
    blinker warning lights on mirrors
    repainted most of the black parts
    installed an upper rear tail light
    tune up
    Pics









    I ordered a chrome engine kit and a new exhaust to start off.
    What Im Doing in the near future
    new steering wheel
    new diamond plate flooring
    new seat covers
    possibly new paint
    new pedals

    Specs:
    1600cc Single Port engine
    Around 60-70hp
    33" rear Tires
    top speed around 90-95
    4 head lights
    4 speed manual
    Weighs around 1000-1400lbs
    Orginally made from a vw beetle

    Any comments and ideas would be appreciated.
    Last edited by rustler 007; 11-20-2010 at 09:54 PM.
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  2. #2
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    I think these things look so cool!
    I can't wait until I get a career, and start making some money, so I can actually have the resources to make stuff and fix stuff like this!
    I accidentally my whole truck.

  3. #3
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    My buddy built this 2 winters ago. It's tons of fun to cruise around in and gets tons of looks.........it spanks a lot of fast cars too.





    Powered by a 4G63....ie Talon/Eclipse motor.....2.0 turbo



    Dang thing has a better sound system than my daily driver




    Trust me, you'll enjoy it! Wind in the face driving and a little trail riding is always a good time.
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  4. #4
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    Man, I would love to drive one of these on some of the little dirt road in my area, it would be so much fun! Unfortunately that is impossible just now, mostly because I'm 14, which means, no licence, darn!
    Can you break a Rusty?
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  5. #5
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    Can I come for a ride!? Please, can I? Huh?
    Can you break a Rusty?
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  6. #6
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    selser420, can you do me a favor and ask your friend where he got his body from? I would love to have on, especialy for the winter.

    I accidently popped a wheelie with it this morning, attempting to do a burnout. Thats a good feeling. The thing is light enough for me to pick up the front end, however 70% of the weight is in the rear.
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  7. #7
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    check out www.thesamba.com

    I am bdub74 on that site, there is a wealth of information and a section dedicated to sand rails! BTW, I have a 1974 SuperBeetle and a 1970 standard Beetle
    Cause I'm alive.....Live Wire

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rustler 007 View Post
    selser420, can you do me a favor and ask your friend where he got his body from? I would love to have on, especialy for the winter.

    I accidently popped a wheelie with it this morning, attempting to do a burnout. Thats a good feeling. The thing is light enough for me to pick up the front end, however 70% of the weight is in the rear.

    He bought a rolling chassis w/title to start the project and the body came with it. The chassis/body are made by Berrien. I've been in it on some cold Michigan days and the body helps, but it's still really drafty. He now has a vertical panel just in front of the battery to help stop some of the wind that wants to go up your pant legs. We still bring some blankets along for the really cold cruises. He also has some "windows" that snap in on the sides for transport and emergency situations......they've saved us a few times that we got caught in the rain

    http://www.berrienbuggy.com/

    body they offer:
    http://www.berrienbuggy.com/id92.htm
    Last edited by selser420; 11-21-2010 at 08:53 AM.
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  9. #9
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    Alright, thanks. Ill think about it, they are pretty expensive
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  10. #10
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    these things are cool, there is a guy around here that had a dune buggy body on something like these, kinda like this,

    http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXZDV3&P=ML

    it didn't have a windshield or roof. really cool
    rustler vxl 2.4

  11. #11
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    Great project. You may want to think of a better way to attach the mirrors then zipties. They will come off with all the off roading you will be doing.
    FLM Tmaxx 3.3, Nitro Sport 2.5R, Electric Rustler.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for all the comments

    Quote Originally Posted by rchavez101 View Post
    Great project. You may want to think of a better way to attach the mirrors then zipties. They will come off with all the off roading you will be doing.
    way ahead of ya. It was only a mock up so that I could get the wire length I needed for the turn signals. They are screwed in now.

    I went out and bought a radio some 2 6x9 speakers, and a decent subwoofer. Im now working on a custom made dash.

    I ordered
    a new steering wheel, its identical to the one I have now, but the metal is chrome
    a speedometer
    voltemetor
    new ignition, the current one gets stuck alot
    new front turn signals. You cant even see the current ones on the road. They are just way to small.

    Ill have some more pics up soon.
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  13. #13
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    Hi,thats so cool! We're not allowed that sort of thing on the roads in the UK. I've always envied the off road scene in the states,it's awful in the UK.When I was little(35 tears ago) I asked my dad "why don't they do that over here?" He replied "they've got the room" lol.I had the tamiya rough rider,named after a 70's condom,lol.(buggy champ in the US) It looked like your mates 1.1.Again soooooo cool

  14. #14
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    Today I welded up a muffler, to make it alot quieter.I cancelled my exhaust order and decided to make my own. As of now It looks pretty bad, but I will redesign it later. This is just a temporary set up. Im going to have dual mufflers. One on each side that comes out just under the tail light by next week.



    I also bolted up a tool box that was laying around, therefore I can carry my paper work, tools, cell phone, and other misc stuff.


    Here is a walk around video from yesterday
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1aV0SmfSjw
    I want your opinion on what can be done to make it show "car" presentable.
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  15. #15
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    I sanded and painted all of the nicks ad scratches, then painted some type of clear coat mettalic on the buggy. It turned out great. I also cleaned up the top lights. They had a film of dust on them. It brung out the blue tint in them.

    Heres a progress picture.
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  16. #16
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    What show car doesn't look good with some chrome?
    Lug Nuts
    Front suspension and steering linkages,
    Valve covers
    Exhaust (maybe powder coated)
    And paint the shocks to match the Buggy....
    Founder of H.U.A.
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  17. #17
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    This forums is acting weird, sorry for the double post.
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  18. #18
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    hmmmmm.... i think Airkewld makes some cool wheels for it!
    Cause I'm alive.....Live Wire

  19. #19
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    Cause I'm alive.....Live Wire

  20. #20
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    some nice chrome rims with some black in there would look sick!

    something like this: just and idea to show the chrome/black. i love that combo
    http://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=h...w=1280&bih=909
    Lead, follow, or get out of my way!

  21. #21
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    Nice, sand rail! I have a Fugitive with a 1641cc with a tons of mods and tons of chrome..

  22. #22
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    Looks awesome whats the top speed on that bad boy.
    Twin Brushless Latrax Teton, .21TM Jato

  23. #23
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    Thanks, ive cruised down the highway at 75 before, in the mid rpm range of fourth gear, so I guess around 80-85.


    For an update
    I paited the front and rear shocks blue, the same color as the frame. It doesnt look that well, Im thinking about a silver or maybe chrome.


    I bought 2 amazing 100 dollar speakers off a friend for 10 bucks. They are brand new, didnt fit his car, and the retailer wouldnt let him return it. So now I have a total of 4 speakers. Im thinking about buying a sub. Not sure though. Ill post pics once everything is mounted and looks very proffesional, im still in the mock up stage.

    I cleaned up the head lights by repolishing aswell as the diamond plate floor. It has a mirror shine now.
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  24. #24
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    I havent been on in a while, and got a couple of PM's asking if I made any progress. Heres some pics

    I painted the exhaust, it looks much better. I still plan on changing it to a dual exhaust. Its just hard to find a J tube setup that has quiet mufflers.


    I took the tackle box off the front, and bought a tool box on black friday for 10 bucks. It was an amazing deal.


    I havent did much with the dash board. I was able to find this peice at walmart, I dont know what it was made for, but I made it into a dashboard. It has some nice curves, and just a nice custom dashboard look. The radio has 4 speakers hooked up to it, 2 over head speakers, one hidden behind the driver seat, and another between the two seats. It is LOUD.


    I polished the pulleys, and am going to order a chrome bolt for the top one.


    I painted the front and rear shocks to match the buggy


    My seatbelts came in on friday, they had some shipping issues, so they sent me a free shifter ****. The previous owner had lap belts that were lassoed to the frame. VERY unsafe.


    Heres a picture of it.



    Tonight im making an order for some dress up engine parts. Ill post pics when I get them.

    Any comments, questions, or ideas on what I can do to make the buggy better would be appreciated.
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  25. #25
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    That's a really awesome buggy! Man I'd love one of these!
    Can you break a Rusty?
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  26. #26
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    You've been making great progress!

    Nice LS in the background, I drive an 05 LSE...love the car!
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  27. #27
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Nitronaught's Avatar
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    For VW parts I've always had pretty good luck with J.C. Whitney. Here's a couple exhaust things I found over there.

    http://www.jcwhitney.com/split-heade...wx?filterid=j5

    http://www.jcwhitney.com/jcwhitney/t...uestid=3533307

    Looks pretty good so far. Thing is, a VW has so manyhop ups for it you can go completely insane with them... Kinda like a TMAXX is....
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  28. #28
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    That looks very good, you should buy a dual carb kit for the engine. Man, I'm jelly for your sandrail, I wish I could buy a beetle and make it into a buggy like yours.
    I'm your huckleberry.

  29. #29
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    Rails are freaking cool. Yours looks good.

    I'm kinda nit-piking and you may already have it planned but I would build some enclosures for your speakers. Even small ones with good acoustic foam and tuned ports will do wonders for sound quality, loudness, and bass. You can even disguise the ports as a twin frame tube.

  30. #30
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    Safety!
    Only thing scares me is the steering collum. There is no breakaway. Anything happens and you could be killed by the steering wheel crushing your chest. Stand back and look at that long rod pointed straight at you. That is one of the major safety precations taken in police or highway patrol cars. Even a simple thing as the measuring device with a wheel on it. When it is put into the car it goes sideways. That steering rod shaft might as well be a javeling rod and your trying to catch it. Yes I am trying to scare you. It needs a break away or maybe just a universal joint in the middle so the rod will fold not go straight into you.
    Besides that. That looks like a blast.
    Broken parts=New better parts

  31. #31
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    Thanks for the comments and thoughts.

    Liv4raceday- I love the LS V8. You ever put it in the manual/triptronic mode? Ive heard lots of negative things about it. Other than that its a solid car.

    Thanks for the links Nitronaught. l put them under my favorites.

    Im thinking about the dual carb kit. They give you better performance on top end, with a small, basically non noticeable loss in low end. They are just really hard to keep adjusted. I might convert though.

    LostNdallas- I dont know what I can do with those speakers. I dont want to put bulky boxes on them, or any other way that doesnt cost money. What is acoustic foam?

    nunsrer- thats a very good point. There is a breakage point right before the steering rod hits the front beam, mine already is pretty beat up, thats why I havent replaced it. When you get in a collision, the beam pushes the breakage point, breaking the rod. Its still pretty unsafe, but its better than nothing. Ill look at it to see what more I can do.
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  32. #32
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    I have always wanted one of these. They are so hard to find in canada. If it were mine, id want to install some sheets of fiberglass between the frame rails on the front, not like a complete body, just have it mounted between the frame rails so you can still see the frame... other than that (which is all personal) I love it. The other thing id have trouble resisting if it were mine would be a set of 18 inch rims... like a street rod buggy...

    Ive always liked the megaphone exhausts you see on some VW beetles... that sticks up at the back... they look cool... I bet one would fit on this thing. Very very nice vehicle and im impressed with your upgrades and clean up job.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by rustler 007 View Post
    LostNdallas- I dont know what I can do with those speakers. I dont want to put bulky boxes on them, or any other way that doesnt cost money. What is acoustic foam?
    When you build an enclosure, the bigger the space inside, the better the bass response to an extent. builders will put acoustic foam inside a small enclosure to slow down the low freq waves to simulate having a larger enclosure. Longer ports serve essentially the same purpose and can also be tuned for maximum sound performance.

    Having speakers in the open like that will cause the sound waves coming from the back of the speaker to interfere with the sound waves from the front of the speaker and the sound becomes muddled.

    Basically I was envisioning a box slighting bigger than those 6x9's that filled the small corner of the frame where the 2 tubes come together with a port following the frame tube down to just behind the seat. Round speakers would be better but free is tough to beat.

    Like I said, it's just nit-piky because I like good clean sound. I hand built custom enclosures for 8 inch woofers in the footwells of the rear seat of my 64 mustang convertible. That with 3x9 shielded mids in the doors and tiny dome tweeters at each side of my dash provided great sound for a car with no top.

    Actually, don't pay any attention to me. I'm just old and cranky. You make your rail anyway you want and have fun with it. That's the whole point.

  34. #34
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    If you were interested you should look into a 2002 subaru WRX turbo engine, they pretty much bolt right up to the tranny on most VW's. You can order fiberglass sheet's that you couls cut to fit the side's and top to give it the closed in look. Just one question on the muffler, does it bounce around when driving, last thing you want to happen is to snap a manifold bolt and have to deal with that. A good muffler shop could weld up a J pipe to put a smaller muffler on and lay it flat down the side. Just a thought. It is a sweet ride no matter what, must be a blast! Good work.
    *Proud Husband of United state's Air Force wife.*

  35. #35
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    Ok lostnsallas I will try to put something together.

    I EAT DIRT- I didnt think they would fit, since its a rear engined buggy, and then a front engined car, I would need a reverse transmision. Thats a bit out of my budget.

    The exhaust is very stable. It doesnt move at all. I was concerned about that before the muffler was welded on, but the muffler only weighs only 3-5 pounds, no heavier than the thick exhaust tip that was on it in the 9th picture. Theres a very low chance the exhaust will snap a stud.

    I took it out to the store last night in 8 inches of snow, talk about fun! The buggy handled very well on the icy roads, alot better than my 2wd cherokee.
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  36. #36
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    I would keep the single carb. Yes less power but so much more dependable. Less parts less things to go wrong. My friend had a bug. He put a 2000 engine in it with dual carbs and everything and found out the tranny could not handle the power. And higher rpms is not good on the valve seats in the bug engines. I went through two 2000cc engines because of the valve seat in the head and the last engine blew a hole out of the head and the top of the cylinder. Talk about noisy.
    Broken parts=New better parts

  37. #37
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    Well I decided to sell this buggy to buy a four seater, that way I can fit the whole family in it. I took the dash and radio out, its going to go into the next one.
    The first night


    Here are some pics from today.










    If any one is interested in buying, inbox me.

    Thanks for all the input, I truly appreciate it.
    Last edited by rustler 007; 01-30-2011 at 11:43 AM.
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  38. #38
    widel man
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    i was wondering what kind of frame u used for ur sand rail

  39. #39
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    Its so cool!
    Slash 4x4 LCG, Rusty VXL(not runnin), and my bike.

  40. #40
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    I was tempting to buy one of those street legal sand rails for summer fun. I had found one for 2500 bucks, and it came on a trailer. In excellent condition. The guy sold it before i got there. I was bummed. Then i went with my 87 wrangler for a summer cruzer.
    I'm not krazy. My mother had me tested.

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