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Previous Next Up Topic Dune Buggy Models / Imp / My Empi project (65996 hits)
By Todd A 715 Date 2008-09-10 01:55 Edited 2008-09-10 10:31
I'm in the process of redoing a 69 empi imp. Here's where I am on it. I've ordered a windshield from Dino and Installed bucket corbeau seats. I'm redoing a 71 steering column. Any suggestions or Ideas would be appreciated. Thanks, Todd

By Todd A 715 Date 2008-09-10 01:59 Edited 2008-09-10 10:33
This is what I started with>

By Kustoms Date 2008-09-10 02:05
Looking great. Could you down size the photos so we can get a better look.
By John S 2 Date 2008-09-10 12:50
Great looking project WELCOME to the Archives.

What are your plans for the body color?

Is that diamond plate on the chassis?

Let see some more pics!
John Shepard the DBA
By mini volks Date 2008-09-10 13:52
don't forget some nice thick strips of rubber to run along the edge of the hood where it meets the fenders. .  I found that the rubber gasket that is used to place the body on the frame works great.  It gives a nice bead in the crack running between fender and hood.  Also, The weather stripping that goes on the bottom of garage doors works well for under the windshield frame.
By mini volks Date 2008-09-10 13:53
If you can weld get the adjustable front end lowering kit.  Well worth the time and effort.
By Todd A 715 Date 2008-09-10 23:57
I custom built the chassis using 1 piece of diamond plate. I cut the bottom of the tunnel and and ran one solid piece from side to side. I have since modified the tunnel to make room for corbeau seats. I'm thinking about VW deep blue metalic (R32). With added colors of metal flake. My buggy was originally blue.

By Todd A 715 Date 2008-09-11 00:00
I bought a new adjustable front axle beam and reworked everything. I can weld pretty good but I'm better at fixing welders. Notice the six Miller machines in the one pic.
By GreenMeanie Date 2008-09-14 04:19
Another IMP coming to life NICE!
By mini volks Date 2008-09-14 11:28
Did you shorten the frame?  It doesn't look like it.     Looks great!
By Todd A 715 Date 2008-09-16 01:38 Edited 2008-09-16 02:01
Mini Volks I shortened the tunnel by 12". I need some help with ideas on what to use or where to get.

Front marker/turn signals. (they can not be wider than 2")
Fuse panel (8 circuits?)
bumpers front and rear?
roll bar vs. roll cage

Anyone have any thoughts on these?

By GreenMeanie Date 2008-09-17 03:26
I like these for blinkers.
I would run a cage over a bar.

By John S 2 Date 2008-09-17 13:02
The factory built advertising cars and some kits came with an oval shaped turn signal light that was amber. It fit in the area you have. This is an ad that shows the lights. I have seen them in an original EMPI package. I don't know if they were made for something else or otherwise sold?

Paul any ideas on where the OG Imp lights came from??

The other classic dune buggy light is a Lucas L488 with flat amber lense.

You can choose orange glass lense with a double element (socket park and turn).
A little pricey at $39.99 each but high quality light that is period correct and classic styled.
Follow this link.
[url=] [/url]
John Shepard the DBA
By Bill K 96 Date 2008-09-19 16:31
Todd, I believe the Lucas lights are too large to fit on the Imp.  I think the round side marker lights off a '68 Charger would fit perfect.  Year One may reproduce these, not sure though.  I believe someone is now producing headlights with an integrated turn signal which could be another option.
As for the rollbar vs. cage, I like the safety of the cage but prefer the look of the single hoop rollbar on an Imp.  That nice flowing fenderline tends to get interrupted with the straight(horizontal) bars when viewed from the side.
On Paul Yeager's purple Imp(1004) the windshield and rollbar were cut 4".  The car was pretty low which gave the illusion of it being longer.  I plan on following a similar recipe for mine.

By Todd A 715 Date 2008-09-22 19:21
Bill, thanks for the good information. I ordered today the headlamps with the led turnsignal/parking lights. Do you know where you can purchase the chrome roll bars like used in the imp's? I agree the roll cage just takes away from the imps good body lines. You have any pics of your project?

Anyone else have and pics of your empi imps you can share. I get some good ideas just looking at what other people have done.

Thanks again, everyone
By Bill K 96 Date 2008-09-24 05:40
Todd,  Check out the Imp registry and you could probably get some ideas from there.  Paul's Imp(1004) was sold a few years back to a guy named Angelo Nardone.  I am unsure if Angelo still owns it.
Some things that Paul did was to machine the front drums and the backside of the 3.5w Cragars to get them to sit up under the fenders.  He used the early short axles and was able to run 15x10's with 295/50's and still have room under the rear.  I sprayed the color on in my garage....paint was provided by a paint rep friend.  When Angelo bought the car he had me install a nice 1915 w/44' ran pretty good as I recall!

My Imp is still in the parts gathering stage at the present.

If you find someone to do a rollbar add my name to the list twice, my Manx needs one also.
By Clint L 518 Date 2008-09-29 01:09
I'm going to take a shot at posting a picture.  Hopefully this is a picture of my Imp and my good friend Tim's car.

By Kustoms Date 2008-09-30 02:28
The Imp that shall never be completed.

By Bill K 96 Date 2008-09-30 04:59
  But Tom you are oh so close!
By John S 2 Date 2008-09-30 14:40
He has a head start on both of us for sure!

John Shepard the DBA
By John S 2 Date 2008-09-30 14:46
Clint, you need to start anew thread and show us more pictures of that green machine.
And you buddy is Mountaineer Fan! Where are you guys from?

I got all rev'd up when I saw front plate on his buggy. Nice!
John Shepard the DBA
By Clint L 518 Date 2008-10-01 03:33
We are located in, and around York Pa. About 45 minutes North of Baltimore Md.  Here is a picture of a couple of local guys at Carlisle a few years ago.

By Kustoms Date 2008-10-01 13:08 Edited 2008-10-01 13:20
I thought I would add this. How does it feel to know these wheels will never be used?

Or these?
By Todd A 715 Date 2008-10-10 01:48
Here are some more pics on my empi. I have made some progress over the last couple of weeks. It's starting to look like a buggy now. I have to finish the wiring, install a horn, and seat belts. Add a roll cage and decide on some mirrors. I also have to install wiper motor and try to figure out which type of arms to use. I decide to go with the led turn signals that are in these headlights. After everything is done I want to drive it a couple of weeks and then disassemble for paint.

By Todd A 715 Date 2008-10-10 01:50
Tom, those are some killer wheels. Are they original sprint stars? You don't want to sell the empi badges do you?
By Dale J 1223 Date 2008-10-13 20:43
Are you selling the badges?

By Kustoms Date 2008-10-13 23:09
Will you guys stop.
By Gary W 365 Date 2008-10-14 00:29
All my HERO's on one thread. Bill, John, Clint iam all a flutter.  HAHAHAHA
Anywho I just picked up a set of the Lucas 488 marker lights could measure them
for you to see if they will fit. Gotem off the in the UK at a good price.
Good luck with the project.                 Gary
By Gary W 365 Date 2008-10-14 00:40
Sorry Kustoms,
                     You could also be one of my HERO'S. ( just drop them sprint stars off at my house)
                          And then you go to the Top of my list.

      Yeah I'am bored off my ass watin on parts.  Take care guys
By Kustoms Date 2008-10-14 12:53 Edited 2008-10-14 12:56
Gary, I prefer to be an antihero. Dale and Todd, I can send you a set of Imp decals if you want.
By John S 2 Date 2008-10-14 17:19
All my HERO's on one thread. Bill, John, Clint i am all a flutter.  HAHAHAHA

Yeah, the Bugout Buggy Bunch....Missed it last year but, Manassas is in the plans for May this year,
I hope it's not the same weekend as the MAM show. I don't want to have choose between them.
Wouldn't it be cool if the MAM show was the weekend after, we could do a Hotrod Power Tour type cruise
from one show to the other the week in between and then the Classic is the next weekend
and we could go coast to coast.

(Talking out my @@@ of course, I'd be too chicken to drive that far, I trailer to Ohio) :-)

Gary, get us pics of what your working on, or is it going to be an unveiling at Bugout?
John Shepard the DBA
By John S 2 Date 2008-10-14 17:24
Are the stickers black or chrome??
How much??

Todd, it looks like the bottom of your hood bump is missing. You might have to fix that if your going for a sticker. The last badges I saw sell at a swap meet were $200 each. I passed on them even though I need them they were used also. On the Samba I saw a pair advertised for $150 for a long time but the guy never answered emails. They are tough to find but, as hood badges go there are much more of them out there than say a Sand Rover or Dukester. I have only seen one of each of these.

John Shepard the DBA
By Kustoms Date 2008-10-14 19:47
I don't sell them John. I give them away to guys with an Imp only.
By Todd A 715 Date 2008-10-18 02:00

Here's some updated pics of my project. Tom, can you make them decals with a black back ground and chrome lettering to look like the originals that you have? I wish I could find a set of side pods for my buggy.

Any one have any suggestions on what to use for seat belts or a horn?
By GreenMeanie Date 2008-10-18 02:38
Now I am thinking of keeping my IMP body after reading these threads LOL.
Project 65 Bug will just take a little longer.
By Dale J 1223 Date 2008-10-31 01:45 Edited 2008-10-31 02:13
Is that a fuel cell in your Imp, if so what size is it?
I thought about switching over to one because,
my original tank leaks from the hose in between
the tank and the fuel filler nosal.
I figured out how to set up the original horn to
work with the original steering column and a new
steering wheel, if you need any info I can email
it to you. I also used regular seat belts and
bolted them to the new floors in the front and
cut slots(with a dremmel) in the back to feed them
though to the frame under the body.
By Todd A 715 Date 2008-12-28 01:07
I'm running a new fuel tank that fits a 67 bug. I welded the fill spout in the center of the tank and covered the existing hole. I bought a 10 circuit painless harness and was able to wire up everything with that kit. I just got my buggy back- I had a roll cage built for it. I'll try to post some updated pics soon. My next project is trying to find a small radio and figure somewhere to mount some speakers.

By Todd A 715 Date 2008-12-30 03:33
Here's a more recent pic with roll cage added.

By Tim J 1338 Date 2008-12-31 00:50
Todd, what type of Gas door cover are you using?
By Todd A 715 Date 2008-12-31 22:13
The door I'm using is a polished alum. door that fits a late model chevrolet. I bought it at NAPA. Let me know if you need a better pic of it.

By Tim J 1338 Date 2009-01-01 06:18
Todd, Thanks that should be enough info. I am starting a 1970 imp that has a large hole for a gas door. Will post pics later
By Todd A 715 Date 2009-06-17 12:00
Here are some updated photos. I'm hoping to have my project complete by July 1. We plan to have it in a parade for the 4th. The flake job turned out fantastic. It really pops in the sunlight. I got to thank Rick Milne at for the imp decal it looks awesome!

By Kustoms Date 2009-06-17 12:41
Beautiful!!! The decals look AWSOME as well.
By Todd A 715 Date 2010-06-20 23:41

Here's the completed Empi Imp.  I have found it hard to take pictures because the flakes are crazy on my buggy.  Only thing I have left is a bikini top.  Looks like I'll have to get one custom made.
By John S 2 Date 2010-07-02 05:26
Todd looks great!!!

An inspiration to get ours going.
I have been scoring a few more EMPI parts for the project.
My goal is to make it look like a pic from the catalog or magazine photo from the time period.
Still have never drilled a single hole in the NOS body.
John Shepard the DBA
By Buggy W 2489 Date 2010-12-02 20:57
Todd what thickness is the diamond plate I have a sheet of 5/16 and was wondering if that would be to thick or heavy to work with.
By Allison Daytona Ken Date 2010-12-04 11:51
Where are you from Todd, your blue metal flake empi looks like one that is in the shows at Farmington bug bashes.     Ken.............
By JB1 Date 2012-03-27 02:52 Edited 2012-03-27 02:54
I recently purchased the Blue imp in the picture from 9 17 -08!!
Ft. Laud, FL
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