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Previous Next Up Topic Public / Dune Buggy Build Showcase / Jim's Desert Fox Scorpion LT build. (48299 hits)
By Kellison Jim Date 2014-04-06 21:11 Edited 2014-04-06 21:17
Getting ready to start the Scorpion build, so I thought I would get the build page going. Pictures include finished engine, body and what I hope it looks like when finished.

Kellison Jim
By Kellison Jim Date 2014-05-04 03:30
Computer crashed a few weeks ago and the Geek Squad was unable to repair it but was able to back everything up. Anyway.........
Dragged the Scorpion home 2 Sundays ago and started working on her. The best part is that the pan is solid and I just need to wire wheel it and apply the Herculiner, which I did. The texture is a little rough so I'll just use it on the underside and will use the same bed-liner I used on the Sportsman for the interior. I cut the rear deck lid out on the body and will glass in a ledge around the body so I can use hood pins on it to make easier access to the engine. With the intake manifold and the one 4 barrel carb (versus 4 singles) I will be adding a snorkel type hood scoop for clearance.

Kellison Jim
By Kellison Jim Date 2014-05-10 15:14
Well I finally finished cleaning and painting the pan, as well as welding in the shifter bracket for the Corvair Tranny. The Corvair shift tube sits much lower than the VW one so modification was required. Next I'll clean and paint front axle beam, rebuild front brakes, install new Master Cylinder and brake lines and then it's off to the rear that is all Corvair. 

Kellison Jim
By Tom & Kathleen I 639 Date 2014-05-10 19:01
Nice job, but I would add some extra gusset material about 12" beyond that cut in the tunnel on the sides to make up for the missing material along the top surface.  Tom
Tom & Kathleen Manxter #16, Kick-Out SS #16 & FiberFab Buggy
Manx Club #1030, CVA, RBC, SCCA
By Kellison Jim Date 2014-05-11 03:32
Thanks for the advice Tom,
Now I have something else to add to my list, but it does make perfect sense.
Kellison Jim
By Kellison Jim Date 2014-06-14 02:41
Had everything associated with the front beam media blasted, painted and I started to put it all back together.

Kellison Jim
By Kellison Jim Date 2014-07-04 16:37
I finished everything on the front beam this morning and will just need to tighten and adjust it all before final assembly. Next I want to heat and spread the pedals apart to give my feet some more room. On my Super T and Sportsman, it seemed that my feet were always hitting the gas pedal when I was applying the brake and had a couple of close calls and hopefully this will solve that.

Kellison Jim
By David V 4073 Date 2014-07-04 23:37
Looking good Jim, but is that one of those dreaded RED neoprene steering couplers that everyone warns you not to use ;-)?
I am hoping to get started on my Super T clone in a week or so, gettin' kinda itchy to start.

By Kellison Jim Date 2014-07-05 01:26 Edited 2014-07-05 02:12
Yes it is, I've used them on both of my other builds and never had any issues.
Kellison Jim
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2014-07-05 03:32
Jim you should definitely trash that red coupler. Do a search on The Samba and see some of the nasty results.

They also make a Big Foot kit for the pedals. Nice quality and it eliminates that pesky little hook for the clutch cable.
By Paul G Date 2014-07-05 06:17
So long as they remain intact all is good. The problem is that without the internal cloth like the stock coupler they can fail completely without warning.
By Kellison Jim Date 2014-07-05 13:22
3 to 1, I lose! I'll add a stock coupler to my list. Jeffery, who makes the Big Foot kit you mentioned?
Kellison Jim
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2014-07-05 16:09
3 people concerned with your safety...not bad huh! I hope you took that advice as just that....concern.

Here is the Big Foot kit:

Is it kinda pricey? yeah...I think so. But its very well built. It gives you the opportunity to take your cluster apart, clean it well, grease it, and have years of service. I put one in my Deserter and it did make it much more comfortable. Plus getting rid of that silly hook is a blessing!
By Kellison Jim Date 2014-07-13 21:24
I mounted my new wheels and tires on the buggy today. 15x10 Cragar Street Lock ''D'' Wheels with 295/50/15 Futura GLS Super Sports on the rear and 15x7 Wheels with 215/65/15 tires on the front. Also de-greased the rear suspension and will start cleaning and painting it this week.

Kellison Jim
By Kellison Jim Date 2014-07-15 04:21
Just ordered my interior tonight! Bucket seats and rear seat will be Red metalflake naugahyde with black metal flake piping and the side panels will be black with red piping. Will post pics when they get completed.
Kellison Jim
By Kellison Jim Date 2014-07-16 01:11
Put the body on the pan to see how the wheels look and I like it. I'm going for the Tarantula look, black body, red Corvette'ish stinger graphics on hood, black interior with red seats. Now it's time to take the body back off and get to work on the rear section of chassis.

Kellison Jim
By Paul G Date 2014-07-16 03:44
Thanks for posting the photo of that body in yellow. The light color captures details in photos well, and that is a seriously cool buggy body. Interesting body lines and dash details.
By Kenny U 2150 Date 2014-07-18 01:52
Looking good Jim !
By Kellison Jim Date 2014-07-20 00:20 Edited 2014-07-20 00:24
I spent the last few days cleaning, scraping and painting the rear end of the buggy. I also cleaned the chrome inspection plates for both the Transmission and Differential as well as putting new gear oil in it. Installed new shocks and spring rubbers to try to get it off the ground as much as possible. Hopefully, along with the new taller tires I can get an extra 2"s of clearance. This thing sat too low for my liking. Any suggestions on how to get more ground clearance on this thing are welcome!

The only thing left to do on the chassis is rebuilding the rear brakes and I'll do that when the body is out being prepped for the black metalflake gelcoat. Hopefully will start on the body in early fall and have her on the road in late spring. The key word here is HOPEFULLY.

Kellison Jim
By Kellison Jim Date 2014-07-20 17:16
Was up until 3:15 in the morning, but the engine is now mated to the tranny! 

Kellison Jim
By Kellison Jim Date 2014-07-23 02:34
This evening I cut the rear deck lid to fit the carb and air cleaner as well for clearance for the generator, oil filler and distributor cap. I really didn't want to cut this much but had to do it. Next I need to find a snorkel type scoop to glass in on the rear deck lid.  

Kellison Jim
By Brad H 1498 Date 2014-07-23 04:07 Edited 2014-07-23 04:09
Here ya go

By Chuck Geon_Bugman Young Date 2014-07-23 20:47
Jim, lets get together and build one that fits the style of your buggy. I have 10 years experience with Fiber Glass. BTW are you going to be at the COHVC show next month?
By Kellison Jim Date 2014-07-23 23:10
Thanks Brad and Chuck. I ended up going with this scoop from Jegs. I searched and search but couldn't find a snorkel type scoop that would fit. Most were just too long.

Kellison Jim
By Kellison Jim Date 2014-07-26 02:29
Received and installed the Hilborn style hood scoop from Jegs. Me like.

Kellison Jim
By Kellison Jim Date 2014-07-27 19:34
Picked up my seats today and Wow! I couldn't be any happier and they will pop with the Black Meatalflake body!

Kellison Jim
By Brad H 1498 Date 2014-07-30 16:50
Are those Austin Healey seats?

By Kellison Jim Date 2014-07-30 22:20
Close! They are based on a Triumph TR3. Tim does some really good work and has an eBay store.

When I was looking for seats and couldn't find what I wanted, I looked at MG and Triumph and found 2 Tall Tim. Best thing is, beside his quality, we went to school together back in the 70's and he's local. He would be a good guy to use for the guys who own a Allison Daytona that want to duplicate the old metalflake seats. The only problem with my seats (and he warned me) is the metalflake vinyl is hard to work around the curves, but will eventually relax. 
Kellison Jim
By Kellison Jim Date 2014-08-30 03:28
  Took a month off from the buggy and traveled to Keystone, SD for a couple of weeks to visit our daughter's family and their newest daughter who was born two weeks ago.

  Steering column should be in within the week and while I'm waiting I fitted the MGB windshield and will need to do a little modifying with fiberglass to get it fit properly.

Kellison Jim
By Kellison Jim Date 2014-09-17 02:49 Edited 2014-09-17 02:53
I finished putting the steering column in and tore the fake leather off the steering wheel and wrapped it with the leftover material from the seats.  I also installed the gauges and the racing ignition switch from Joe's Racing. I just need to add a couple of toggle switches, turn signal indicator lights and a battery cutoff switch and I'll be finished drilling holes in the body and then the body it's off to be prepped for gel-coating! I have a tach for it, but that will be mounted on top of the column.

Kellison Jim
By Kellison Jim Date 2015-06-18 02:28 Edited 2015-06-18 03:07
After a major case of Buggy Build Burnout, I have finally got back to work on the Scorpion body. The hood, which was exposed to the elements over the years needed to be taken down to the glass. Fortunately, I will not have to go to those extremes with the rest of the body. Even though I have'nt done anything to the body in at least 6 moths or so, I have rebuilt the rear (Corvair) brakes and differential (also Corvair) and could be done with the pan/chassis (if I get my act together) in a month or so. As soon as I get done with the hood we can repair a few holes and then start prepping her for new gel-coat.

Kellison Jim
By Kellison Jim Date 2015-07-06 02:39
Finished the rear brakes this weekend. I wish this pan was all VW as it would be a lot cheaper and parts would be more abundant. Thank goodness the rear bearing were good and just needed repacked, since new ones are in the $190.00 range. Took a wire wheel to all the parts and squirted some primer on them and reused them. Just need to finish the differential and then put the engine back on here and fire it up. Hope to be finished sanding on the body in the next week or two and hopefully have a fresh gel-coated body soon there afterwards.

Kellison Jim
By Kellison Jim Date 2015-08-02 15:55 Edited 2015-08-02 15:58
About 6 months back around 2:00am an impatient buggy builder tried to install his Corvair engine by himself and by doing so broke the throw out bearing shaft on the differential. I had plenty of other things to do on it, so I put it on the back burner until a month ago. Never having ever touched anything Corvair, I read where it was a fairly easy repair. Only problem was that it is the first part installed so everything had to come apart. I broke one side bearing adjuster getting it out and had to use heat to get the other side out. I got it apart and started to clean the case and found a crack that went all of the way through. Bought one used case and it too had a crack, but the company (Corvair Ranch) stepped up and sent me another one which was good. I ended up buying a used case, 2 bearing adjusters, new bearings for the ring gear, gaskets, O-rings and seals. All in all, it cost me around $175.00 and gosh knows how much time it fix the differential just because I was impatient and didn't want to wait until the morning. Yes, there is a moral to this story, I just haven't completely figured it out yet!

Kellison Jim
By Kellison Jim Date 2015-08-07 04:51
I cut the fuel tank from under the hood a few months back and thought for sure I would have to have a new tank fabricated. Upon further inspection I found where the rust on the outside was just surface rust and there was very little on the inside. I took it to American Metal Cleaning in Cincinnati and they did a fantastic job. We just wire brushed the exterior and brazed in a couple 1/4 fittings since the old ones were shot and finally cut a hole for the VDO sending unit. We just need to adjust the sending unit, line the tank and glass a few 1" furring strips under the hood to give clearance for the additional height from the addition of the sending unit. For those of you not familiar with the Scorpion, it's fuel tank was glassed in under the hood.

Kellison Jim
By Kellison Jim Date 2015-08-20 23:25
I scrapped two things. 1. I ditched the MGB windshield after finally locating a '67 Datsun 1600 windshield. The Scorpion was designed to use the 1600 windshield. 2. Sold the scoop as we will be making a snorkel scoop glassed to the rear deck lid. That way it will be one piece and easier to remove, versus removing the scoop and then the deck lid.

I finished the fuel system by running a new fuel line through the tunnel. To keep it from rattling, I slid some vacuum line over the entire length of fuel line, slid it through the tunnel and out one of the rear horns and drilled a hole in the frame head for the line to come out for the tank. The fuel tank is completed as well... tank was cleaned and exterior was primed and painted with bedliner, new fittings, VDO sending unit installed (no sending unit originally) and tank lined with Red Kote fuel tank liner. Now that the tank looks pretty, I get to glass it back under the hood (Scorpions a one piece body)    

Kellison Jim
By Kellison Jim Date 2017-02-03 04:45
After almost 1 and 1/2 years off from working on the Scorpion, I am back! Major case of burnout, well that and flipping a house and completely redoing the kitchen.
I have most of the old gel-coat that had blistered (for lack of better term) sanded down and holes that need re-glassed, ground down and ready to be laid up. Gotta get it done!!!

Kellison Jim
By Kellison Jim Date 2018-07-29 04:13
After ANOTHER year off, I'm back to work on the Scorpion! Making some small modifications, or should I say, undoing some modifications! Ended up taking a lot more gel-cote off due to more cracking of the original gel-coat. We will start glassing this week and we'll take it from there!

Kellison Jim
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