Author Topic: Not exactly model engineering.... but I've been busy  (Read 6457 times)

Offline cedge

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Not exactly model engineering.... but I've been busy
« on: November 04, 2010, 07:19:33 PM »
After dealing with all the recent health issues and getting most things under control, I just couldn't seem to get my head back into the Tandem Compound project. I finally decided to set it aside for a while, at least until I can backtrack and pick up on where things were going when I left off. The whole episode kind of left me in burn out mode and in need of a break from making chips. That didn't mean I was going to sit idle.

I trekked down to south Georgia, a few weeks ago and brought home a project of a whole different sort.  I owned one of these 20 odd years ago and in a moment of frustration, sold it and regretted doing so, ever since. For the uninitiated, this is what is known as a VW "Rail Buggy" or "Sand Rail". When properly equipped, titled and licensed it is a perfectly street legal vehicle in the state where I live. I'd been watching for one in recent days and finally fund the old school frame design I'd always wanted, about 300 miles away. Here is how it looked when I dragged it home behind my trusty Expedition.









It had been through quite a number of owners and needed more than a little tender loving care, not to mention quite a bit of attention from a BFH, but it was what I needed to begin the new project. Every owner seemed to have added something ugly to it, with the last owner getting a a whole lot wild with his paint gun. I spent the first week simply removing things and getting the frame stripped back enough to get a fresh start. What I soon found was that the original builder took care to get almost everything right, giving me a good base to work from.

I sold the engine shown above to another buggy owner, mostly because I don't trust an unknown builder nor an engine that I know nothing of its specifications. I've seen too many badly built VW engines give up the ghost at the most inopportune moments. The first order of business was to buy another engine, from my preferred builder.   It probably didn't hurt that the cylinders are slightly oversized from stock, with a long duration cam and racing heads, but I'm not admitting it....(grin). The fact that it was on his personal play vehicle only made me even more comfortable with it.

New this and new that, a bit of aluminum diamond plate, coil over shocks, a complete rewire, rear disc brakes and a whole lot of fitting things to my preference ensued. I finally got the new wheels and tires on it today and decided to shoot a few more photos.












It's almost "finished", lacking only the dual carbs that are currently enroute from California. The grandkids are thrilled with the new toy and the teenagers who visit next door now mention me as being "the cool old guy with the wild new ride. It's getting damned expensive to be as eccentric as my grandchildren think I am, especially since the seem to keep raising the bar.  The neat thing is that "Her Indoors" thinks the new ride is cool and has yet to complain about the money I've spent. I think I'll keep her too....LOL

4 weeks of head scratching fun and bloody knuckles can do a lot to reset one's attitude....... and I even got to use my machine tools a number of times, making this thread on topic....(grin)


Steve

Offline Artie

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Re: Not exactly model engineering.... but I've been busy
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2010, 07:32:11 PM »
Hi Steve, nice ride and a change is always good for us. I hope you have a heap of fun with her... and a pic of my old girl....(yes thats me in there, covered in crap)....







Cheers

Rob
South Wales, wait...NEW South Wales... Batemans Bay.

Offline dsquire

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Re: Not exactly model engineering.... but I've been busy
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2010, 07:33:40 PM »
Steve

Dammit, you had to do it. That brings back memories of the 34 ford coupe with the Oldsmobile V8 that I used to have.  :( :(
 I wonder if I can find anther one like that and ...    :doh: :D

Cheers  :beer:

Don
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Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: Not exactly model engineering.... but I've been busy
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2010, 07:39:28 PM »
Very cool Steve! You gonna race Tim's buggy ???

That looks like a lot of fun to drive. Glad to see the are street legal down there.

Eric
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Offline cedge

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Re: Not exactly model engineering.... but I've been busy
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2010, 07:56:34 PM »
Artie
Now thats the way we used to have fun before all the old age crap began making things hurt. Nothing more fun than being mud covered and splashing through a creek to clean up. We rode the area where the movie Deliverance was filmed and could clock as much as 300 miles of trails in a weekend without ever seeing a paved road. Alas, they've closed all of that area now and no one is allowed to ride there anymore. The lack of off road access lead me to build this one strictlty for street fun, but mu heart is still out there in the woods.

Don
bet is was easier to find my second childhood toy than it will be to find yours....LOL

Eric
I took Tim for a long spin in it the other day and I suspect he'll eventually get one for him and his dad to play with. I'll probably be in big trouble with his wife if that happens....LOL

Steve

Offline AdeV

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Re: Not exactly model engineering.... but I've been busy
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2010, 08:31:52 PM »
This forum gets more like Mad Max's playground every time I log in.

I love it!

Cedge, I am sooo jealous. Apart from the fact I'd freeze my arse off here in frozen Blighty, I want one. Although, with a 400bhp BMW V8 sitting here looking for a home, I might just end up killing myself in it  :zap: But, what a way to go (flying through the pearly gates backwards in a fireball, as Jeremy Clarkson once said)
Cheers!
Ade.
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Or: Zhengzhou, China. An even longer way from anywhere...
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Offline zeusrekning

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Re: Not exactly model engineering.... but I've been busy
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2010, 10:16:13 PM »
Eric, the ol' man keeps tempting me. I gots to have me a street buggy now but I'm trying to fight the urge.
Steve, those rims are sweeeeeet!!!! It sure has came along way in the short time you've had it. Great pictures of the buggy sitting in your driveway but aren't you leaving something out of your story?
I mean you had the camera out there. I hate to put you on the spot  ::) but how's the brakes holding up?
You guys should here this thing run, It's got an awesome lobe to it. Sounds like a 4cyl harley. Did I mention I'v got to get one?

Offline sbwhart

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Re: Not exactly model engineering.... but I've been busy
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2010, 02:24:07 AM »
Great looking machine  :thumbup:

Stew
A little bit of clearance never got in the road
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Offline Stilldrillin

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Re: Not exactly model engineering.... but I've been busy
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2010, 04:34:46 AM »
Steve.
That's really gorgeous!  :D

You'd been quiet for so long, after your "issues" posts...... So pleased you haven't been idle!  :thumbup: :clap: :clap:

David D
David.

Still drilling holes... Sometimes, in the right place!

Still modifying bits of metal... Occasionally, making an improvement!

Offline Bernd

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Re: Not exactly model engineering.... but I've been busy
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2010, 04:54:01 PM »
Nice buggy Steve. :thumbup:

Back in 1975 I built a full length chassi buggy. Back then I was in to the "sort of" car craze, being younger and all that. I built a full length T-tub. Still have the fiberglass body, the chassi and engine. All located in three different sections of the property. I've always wanted to build a rail buggy but didn'y have the tools or the know how. Now I've got the tools, some know how and not enough time for all the projects.

Maybe one of these days. :loco:

Anyway here's three pics of it when I had it on the road for one year, 1976. The guy that sold me the body drove it in a 4 of July parade.







BTW it only had the orginal 1600cc motor in it. Didn't go to fast but boy did it corner. No body roll what so ever.

Bernd
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