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By Donald R 4421 Date 2015-05-30 23:27
Well I have officially been bitten by the "Bug" pun intended, I don't have a buggy as yet but I am searching very hard! I would like to buy a decent one to start out with if I can find one and just make it into my own or build one from the ground up, I haven't had much experience with VW's but I have restored many Mustang's, falcon's, and Pickups over the years I'm a little nervous about building one but if I find the right one Ill give it a try, I spotted a buggy setting in the weeds (its been setting in the same place for 5 years)  and spoke to the individual about possibly buying it and he said he didn't want to sell right now he built it as a kid and just isn't ready to part with it yet,  turns out its a Myers Manx!!!! so if anybody has some advice about what to do and where to start it would be gladly appreciate it.


By Lloyd B 2301 Date 2015-06-01 04:26
helps to know what part of the country you are in.  There are buggies out there for sale from almost nothing to over $10,000.   My opinion only, if you are after a manx, expect to spend money, also the same for kellisons and other such ones.  If you are after just a glass buggy, there are lots out there.  Be prepared to spend money either way you go on a buggy.

Just my thoughts
By AMAC1680 Date 2015-06-01 11:08
Enjoy the ride.
One thing to be carefull of. A lot of theses buggy body's are "Genuine Manx", right up to the point they are not. Caution not to overpay for a "might be" Manx. When I was looking I saw at least 5 of them in a week not a one verified.

Be Big,
By Donald R 4421 Date 2015-06-01 13:44
Thanks guys, I appreciate any and all advice! as I am just learning about the VW and Dune Buggy world, I was only making a comment on the buggy I saw setting and after talking to the individual that owns it and looking on this forum and other places it appears to be a legit Manx, but either way it really doesn't matter to me because if I pay up for a advertised Manx I will try to make sure it is what they say it is! I just want something that looks like a Manx in general I like that look I want something low and mean looking drivable and plenty of spunk!!! how do these guys get some buggy's kind of low and mean while others set up kind of high and awkward looking? also is there a place where I can see pictures of the type 1,2,3,4 engines which of these is the preferred engine for building power into it , dependability, and ?

Bring on the knowledge !!!!
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2015-06-01 15:48
Most buggies go type 1. Its your best bet. You can build it to a very high level or keep it stock. Parts are the cheapest.

The VW rear suspension can be adjusted with basic tools for ride height. The front suspension needs adjusters (or raised/lowered spindles) to adjust height.

Don't ever.....ever...take someone's word on whether it is a matter how "smart" they sound. I have owned several buggies, including a real Manx, and you can't believe the amount of so called "experts" and the line of bull they sell.

If you are just beginning into the buggy world a Manx knock off is your best bet....if that is the style you like.

And in case you aren't aware....The Samba has an excellent classified section
By Donald R 4421 Date 2015-06-01 17:43 Edited 2015-06-01 17:52
Thanks for the advise Jeff! keep the advise and suggestions coming! also does anyone know if a 1970 EMPI hood will fit a 1969 EMPI? may sound strange but I like the Back seat area better in a 1969 but I like the hood better in the 1970

Thanks again,

By AMAC1680 Date 2015-06-01 20:11 Edited 2015-06-01 20:50
Just goes to show there's a butt for every seat! Lol

When I think "Manx" the last thing I think of is a low street rod. I think sand, baja iron butt rides. Bruce built that first Manx for a purpose and low and pretty wasn't it.

Awkward all jacked up high? That's how I like a DUNE BUGGY, high for going over stuff.
Sure I think those low slung fancy street buggys are cool but I'd hate to rip up thoses side pods on brush and trees. Not to mention we have a lot of beaches that still allow cars everyday and I'm not big on getting stuck.

As far as back seats. Just my .02 but the back seat of any chopped buggy is not for humans even if you could get a person to fit back there. very hard to make it safe back there. Again just my opinion.

That's the beauty a guy can have it anyway they want.

Best of luck in your search.

Be Big,

By Donald R 4421 Date 2015-06-02 00:25 Edited 2015-06-02 00:28
Thanks for the comment AMAC, What does everybody think of a pancake motor VS Type 1 or 2? nice looking buggy to! it doesn't look to jacked up to me though. lol

By Lloyd B 2301 Date 2015-06-02 06:15
Take a gander down in the forum to the subbug thread or the corvair powered ones.  As was stated, also check the:
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2015-06-02 13:25
I personally don't like the looks of a pancake motor on a Manx style buggy. It just doesn't seem to fit.

A Manx style buggy offers good protection to the carbs on a well detailed type 1 motor.

By Donald R 4421 Date 2015-06-02 14:03
Yeah I think I would have to agree although I'm looking at a buggy that has a nicely detailed pancake motor! all things being equal do they make about the same HP?  Jeffery after looking at your buggy I think I've found a super nice buggy that will work for me, now all I have to do is get you to sell it to me!!!!!!


By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2015-06-02 16:19
No big difference in hp. Prices are cheaper for type 1 parts as they are more common.

Sorry...built it and sold it. Pretty quickly too.
By Donald R 4421 Date 2015-06-02 17:59
I'm sure you sold it fast, looked very nice!!, I was looking at a old build by Glasser and wondering 1) what kind of body was that? 2) Are there ready made pans and parts to replicate that low look?


By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2015-06-02 18:19
What was Glasser's body style? No idea.

Ready made pans for a low look? Not sure I understand what you are asking...
By Donald R 4421 Date 2015-06-02 18:35
Just wondering if there are shortened pans made with the parts installed to have a low stance like in Glassers build and Brads build way back in I believe 2009 or so. I like that look, I realize they kind of custom made everything as they went but I would be interested in buying a rolling chassis already lowered if they are available.


By Dave C 4367 Date 2015-06-02 18:55
When I was looking 2 months ago.  I also planned to buy used and ruff and fix it up to my liking. But down here in S.Florida people wanted way to much $$ for fixer uppers. I finally caved in and purchased a freshly built one that needs nothing. (except a few of my person; touches) I paid more. But in the long run I'll save. By the time I would have found one, then spent time and $$ on it to get it decent, I would probably have paid the same if not more. Plus the bonus, My wife can drive it now!

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By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2015-06-02 18:58
The stance is achieved at the suspension. Any pan can achieve that low look with the proper additions.

The front suspension needs beam adjusters and/or lowered spindles. You can buy entire beams with adjusters installed or add adjusters to your stock beam.

The rear suspension is adjusted by moving the rear spring plates on the torsion bars. Or you can buy adjustable spring plates. Swing axles have limitations to adjustments while IRS rear ends are more adaptable.

Very good aftermarket chassis are available from Dave Barrett:
By Donald R 4421 Date 2015-06-02 21:34
I know exactly what you are talking about Dave believe me I have been trying to figure out which way to go? I don't mind at all paying for a nice buggy but I'm reminded by my wife that I'm just to darn finicky, if I buy one (unless its like a few that I've seen here in the build thread) ill end up still completely rebuilding it!! just a curse I was born with I guess, but I do agree that for any sane person it would be cheaper to just buy a nice one that someone else put all of their time any money in because lets face it if its like most hobbies you will never really get out what you put in.
By Donald R 4421 Date 2015-06-02 21:39 Edited 2015-06-02 21:42
Thanks Jeffery, that's what I was talking about, those chassis look very nice, I don't know about all this good stuff since I'm just learning about the buggy world, are there any other builders like this that you know about  preferably on the east coast?

By Donald R 4421 Date 2015-06-02 23:15
Curious, does anybody have any pictures of a some nice looking full length buggy's? I know the ones I have seen are not as sharp as a short bodied one but with some of the work I've seen on this site I bet they can build them to look just as sharp!! comments!!!!!!


By Dave C 4367 Date 2015-06-02 23:29
I've seen one or two. Problem is the rear wheels are set to far back. If you could move them up 5-6 inches, I believe they would look ALOT better. When they are all done up they look good.
By AMAC1680 Date 2015-06-02 23:53
My biggest issue with buying turnkey buggys is that its pricey. I almost bought a turn key until I priced a fresh rebuild and trans. I put both in a buggy recently for just about 3500.00, installed.

At the end of the project I'll have it done in 8 weeks and be in a hair over 6k. thats with 12/12 warentee on engine and trans. That's something the private seller can't do. six grand buys a buggy that needs work.

One other thing and this is a general statement not directed at anyone person. It's been my experiance that many who buy turkeys are disappointed when they don't stay turnkey for long. They require the PM of the day and back in the day full tune ups happened with regularity. Valve adjustments etal.Let it sit too long and there's a price to pay.

That said I just did a search and there's a bunch of rides in the VA, MD area that look good.
By Donald R 4421 Date 2015-06-03 00:16
what did you search AMAC? Craigslist, Samba?      

And I think your are right about the wheels being set back so far Dave, but I don't think I have ever seen a full bodied buggy with SIDE PODS and fixed up quite like some of the builds on here I bet it could be cool if its done right. Just thinking out loud but is there any buggy's out there that strike a happy medium, long enough to actually have someone squeeze into back for a ride without having the full length or the standard shortened one?

By AMAC1680 Date 2015-06-03 01:00
I did a Google VW Dune Buggy Virginia and went digging from there.

Here's a four seater. The roll cage is butt ugly but you could put people you don't like in the back.
Brutally expensive and still a dangerous back seat.

Be Big,
By AMAC1680 Date 2015-06-03 01:29
Hey here's one for ya.....
A genuine "counterfeit" Manx. The guy admits to the fake and the use of a Manx as a plug. Great.
Even has the nerve to put a Manx badge on it.

Be Big,
By Donald R 4421 Date 2015-06-03 01:40
You are right about a couple of things a little expensive but more importantly the roll cage is but ugly, where is glasser, Jeffery, and some of those guys with a full body build I bet they can build one that looks killer.

I didn't see your attachment earlier Dave C. man if you got that for six and change I would say you did alright that is a nice looking buggy, I would like to see some more pictures of it
By Dave C 4367 Date 2015-06-03 01:48
No not 6 and change. I paid $9200. If you go on youtube and search "StacyandDee Dune buggy" you'll see the four or so videos of the build. The one for 6 and change got away from me, thats another story. LOL

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By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2015-06-03 02:05
Acme sells the Berrien product line and they are in PA.
By Donald R 4421 Date 2015-06-03 02:14
Very nice looking buggy Dave, its definitely a $9200 buggy one of the nicer ones I've seen.

I like the looks of the one on ebay AMAC, it does make me a little nervous that in the description he says it doesn't have much suspension travel (translated it will jar your teeth out) I will be asking the seller some questions its a definite possibility, what do you guys think let me here something
By Dave C 4367 Date 2015-06-03 02:27
Nice, like the dash and wheels. Motor needs more "show" = chrome. No rug on the tunnel = sound will travel. Never was a fan of the beetle tail lights. For $6800 or less yeah. Just my 2 cents. Todays inflation 1/2 cent.
By AMAC1680 Date 2015-06-03 02:39 Edited 2015-06-03 02:45
just my .02 but I wouldn't count on a guy that puts a Manx badge on a fake to be forthcoming.
The first thing any self respecting buyer would do is remove the badge.

I'm not a chrome fan I drive it everyday. If it were a show car yeah I'd love the bling. To the same end I hate carpet in a dune buggy. Again I ride the beach a lot.

Dune buggys and street buggys, toys for all tastes.

Be Big,
By Donald R 4421 Date 2015-06-03 02:53
Thanks for the info on Berrien product line Jeffery.
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2015-06-03 13:18
That buggy likely has a $10k+ reserve. Its classic old school. The motor appears to have lots of nice add ons (different carbs in different pics though). It looks like a well done buggy...of course many buggies photograph well.

Mis-matched gauges are always a pet peev of mine.

No stock pan street buggy has a lot of suspension travel unless you modify the leaf packs. And even then its hit or miss. Smooth riding (to the degree its possible) is done through tire pressure and oil shocks.

In summary it looks like a well executed, well powered buggy.

I do agree about the badge thing....on one hand he isn't trying to sell it for something that its not since he clearly says it is not a Manx. But on the other hand he does have the Manx badges on it.
By Dave C 4367 Date 2015-06-03 13:56
Hello Jeffrey, May I ask a question? You say no stock pan has a lot of suspension, Is this from factory? I am new to the buggy world. But my buggy is very smooth riding. It does have a ghia front end that is lowered a bit, and the tire pressure is about 12-15 back and 9-12 up front. But didn't the original beetled have a reasonably good suspension? Got me thinking now that its all in the tire pressure. Hummm.  Also what is the difference between an IRS pan and stock?
By AMAC1680 Date 2015-06-03 14:15 Edited 2015-06-03 14:23
Guys lets face it these are built on primative 40 plus year old VWs. They were never know as ultra smooth street machines. They were the people's car, point A to point B. We play with the suspention, tire pressure etc to improve it the best we can. But at the end of the day they will never ride or handle like other cars of the same period. We've all been under theses cars and have seen the very,very rudimentary way it works.

I've read a few threads about guys wanting to cruise at 65-70 with freeway flyers. Sounds good but at those even the best bodies have crappy aerodynamics. Big flat windshield and tons of places to catch air. Not to mention the headlights bouncing around. Again an ass for every seat.

Throw in that the first Manx was not built for the street.

Here's my take on the Manx badge.
That buggy without the badge is a very nice clone.
That buggy with the badge is a counterfeit.

Even if the seller says its a clone the badge is there to decice. I'm not even going into to wholesale ripoff of making a plug from an original.

That's said nice buggy.

Be Big,
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2015-06-03 15:08

From the factory the stock suspension (more the front then the rear) had relatively limited travel. What happens with buggies is that you take off all that weight from a VW steel body and replace it with the feather weight fiberglass body. The suspension was designed to work with much heavier weight on it.

The Ghia front end is the same as the Beetle other than it usually comes with front disc brakes from the factory.

When you lower the tire pressure you, in essence, use the sidewalls of the tires as shock absorber material. If you cranked up the pressure in those tires to around 32-35psi (like your daily driver) I bet your teeth would rattle.

Now some people take out the amount of leaves in the front leaf pack to help give more travel. Its kind of hit or miss and there is some concern over the overall safety of doing this. Other (especially the Formula V racers) remove an entire spring pack and replace it with a threaded through rod. Most people just use tire pressure because its easy and free.

And IRS pan (independent rear suspension) has two cv joints per side (like your set up). Its the later model coming in around 1967 I think. Prior to that they had swing axles which had just one pivot point at the tranny (versus two ,like the IRS). The swings are fine but you get more camber issues when you try to raise or lower them. The early Manxs were designed for swings only. 
By Dave C 4367 Date 2015-06-03 15:48
Thank you....
By Donald R 4421 Date 2015-06-03 16:31
Can some of you more experienced VW guys decipher this for me? I purchase CB's lowering ball-joint beam along with lowered front disk spindles. I kept the rear wheels vertically aligned by flipping the rear IRS trailing arms and swapping the shock mounts. Being lowered the car does not have a lot of suspension travel. ( especially the part about flipping the rear trailing arms).


By Brad H 1498 Date 2015-06-03 23:37

Glasser's and my buggies are the same body style. There was only 17 made and they were made in Alberta Canada. They have no name. Funny thing is I went t go visit my friends at the local VW shop and they had another of the same bodied buggies sitting in the shop waiting to be serviced. That made 10 that I have personally seen (owned 2, built 2 others for friends) and have seen pictures of the other 7 so I have now accounted for all of them. We both built custom chassis' for our cars, which is a lot of work, but well worth it if you have the ability. I have nice comfy seats low in the car and still have lots of leg room. I was able to build the car so the body already sat low to the road without touching the suspension and then lowered it more adjusting the ride height. It rides very nice even though it's low and is very stable, even at very high speeds as I also built a lot of caster into the front end which is very hard to do on a pan car.


By Brad H 1498 Date 2015-06-03 23:43
Flipping the rear IRS trailing arms is done to get rid of some of the negative camber when cars are lowered a lot using the suspension. The rear arms already have some negative camber built in so by swapping them side to side it gives the stub axles a preset positive camber which cancels some of the negative camber that happens when you lower the car using the torsion bars. To do this though you have to cut off the shock mounts and flip them over, not a big deal but welding and fab skills will come in handy. Unless your going very low though is doesn't really need to be done.

Droppped spindles are spindles with the bearing spuds moved upwards on the forging. This sets the car lower but doesn't change the steering geometry or ride quality. If you are going to really lower your car I would use a combination of dropped spindles and adjusters because if you do it all with adjusters it really messes with the ride quality and steering geometry which can make for some tricky handling. You can also get dropped spindles which will let you use the stock drum brakes also so no need to go to disks if you don't want to.

By ManxBug Date 2015-06-04 00:52
By Donald R 4421 Date 2015-06-04 01:31
Thanks for the explanation Brad, when you say use a combination of dropped spindles and adjusters do you have to do anything special to the adjusters? or just work with adjustment built in the stock ones?

Thanks again Brad,

By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2015-06-04 13:36
There is no such thing as stock adjusters.
By Donald R 4421 Date 2015-06-04 14:57
So those adjusters I see on the front beams are added?

By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2015-06-04 15:02
Stock beams come with a grub screw to hold the leaf packs. Adjusters (there are several kinds) are not from the factory.
By AMAC1680 Date 2015-06-04 23:24
Front end/suspention thread at the samba ongoing .

Be Big,
By Donald R 4421 Date 2015-06-05 14:51
Thanks for the heads up AMAC, I checked it out and learned a little bit, I definitely need to learn all I can!

By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2015-06-06 13:40
Yup...$10k buggy
By AMAC1680 Date 2015-06-06 14:08
He seems to think it's worth more.
Previous Next Up Topic Public / Introduce Yourself and Your Buggy / New member from VA (60386 hits)
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