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By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-04-26 06:07
Since I blew the whistle in another post about attending the Carlisle car show this year, I figured I'd detail my latest transformation.

I decided to shoot a coat of clear on the buggy this year. For those of you who have been following my transmission saga, I have a good note to add. I finally decided to go with Rancho Transmissions to build me a transaxle able to handle the Subaru WRX motor that has been destroying all the stock transmissions I can throw at it. Although there were several builders/companies to choose from, ultimately I decided on Rancho due to the fact that they sponsored the DBA build at MAM last summer. I was sure to let them know that also. The transaxle is set to be delivered via UPS Freight on Tuesday. I finally got the buggy ready to be shot in clear tomorrow morning. I ended up buying Keystone's High Solids Clear.

I also shortened my roll bar. For some reason, back in 1970 they decided they wanted a roll bar so high, someone could actually practice an uneven parallel bar routine on it. I never noticed I needed a high altitude aircraft beacon on it before until Tom asked me why it was so high. (Thanks Tom). Now All I do is look to see how high everyone else's is. Needless to say I chopped about 8" out of it!

I was talking to my buddy about me losing the bask seat and going with a two seater. This would allow me to run a bigger stereo so I can actually hear music albeit over wind noise. That project MAY come with a radiator relocation, but I doubt I'll have that part of the build done by the time I'm in PA.

That's it for now. Pics to follow.


By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-04-27 11:02
Shot clear yesterday afternoon into the night. 5 coats inside and 6 outside. This picture does no justice. The camera just doesn't capture how dull the finish was before as compared to how glossy it is now. It completely makes it look like the color is deeper and more vibrant. It really brings out the flakes!

I can't get over how it looks like it just got popped from the mold. The gel was so porous that it must have held little tiny pockets of wax, because it did a bit of fisheye even when blowing it on almost dry on the first coat. 90% of the fisheye was  covered over and built up with the 5 coats. The outside wasn't so bad, with only a little fisheye which easily covered over.

Tonight will be hours and hours of fun wet sanding and hopefully I'll be able to start buffing to a high gloss. I can't get over the transformation so far!


By jared s 1188 Date 2009-04-27 14:11
Your buggy looks awesome. I cant wait to see it. Keep up the good work.
By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-04-27 14:31
Thanks Jared. I can't wait to show it off! Last year I was using 3M color and gloss restorer on the fiberglass, and I thought it looked good. I saw a post on the samba last year and it stuck in my head. The guy was in Airazona I believe and simply cleared over his old almost oxidized looking buggy and it came out looking brand new. I believe his was a solid color buggy with no flake, so the camera picked up the difference and showed it off. I contacted him and asked exactly what he did, because it didn't seem possible that clear would make that much of a difference.

I decided to give mine the same treatment. Seeing is believing, let me tell you! I'm hoping to have the new transmission in and have it all back together by this weekend. Unfortunately I have to work, but that's the goal anyway.

The direction I'm going in now is to get rid of the rear seat I had in it since I've owned it, leaving room for the radiator to relocate to the rear seat area. I'll also be able to install my Kenwood amp and power two JBL 10" speakers in their enclosure. I'm looking at different things I can use/do to cover the rear seat area. I'm thinking how nice it would look to go with a maple plywood with mahogany luggage rails with brass screws... all polyurethane  of course. Then there's the idea to simply tonneau cover that area, but I have the sinking feeling this would allow a lot of flopping around in the wind, which isn't ideal.

It's going to be a feverish pace to try and get everything done for Carlisle. I may not get the hatch over the rear seat figured out by then, but I'm not being judged anyway, so it's not a big deal.

Are you planning to go to Carlisle Jared?

By yellermanx y 25 Date 2009-04-27 21:59
Love the color and especially the flake.  Wish I was ready to refinish.
By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-04-28 01:46
Tonight was wet sanding. The entire car was wet sanded with 1500 wet/dry paper. My buddy Rick (In the picture) was a wise guy and decided to do a test of the fender and hood to see how well 1500 buffs out. I will say it looks pretty good, but it will look better with 2500 grit paper and a buff.


By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-04-29 11:18
I was too whipped to do an update last night. Yesterday I started out wet sanding some more. Apparently the morning light brought a few minor flaws to my attention which needed addressing before the rubbing compound. I got it all buffed with compound, and it still need to be mirror glazed and hand rubbed.

UPS freight was supposed to call me at 9:00 am to confirm delivery of my transmission from Rancho, but by 10:00 I had no call. I ended up calling them and found out that since it was to a residence and not a commercial address, they would have to schedule a delivery and they only have a route out this way on Thursdays! Well, needless to say, I ended up taking part of the day to go and pick it up myself.

I began pulling the motor and managed to get the motor out before it was time to leave and get the tranny. Late last night, I got the old tranny out and that's where I packed it in, I still have to service the Rancho tranny up with fluid and I figure I might as well do that before getting it between the frame horns. I decided to snap a quick picture this morning of both trannys and the mess before it all goes back together today.

There are a few interesting things to note. Some background: last season I met up with a lifted turbo diesel truck at a light, and he ended up nudging me out. Mind you this was no stock truck. I'm sure he either raced it 1/4 mile against vette's or used it for pulling. In any event, I found I had only one of three bolts tight holding the turbo to the header, so I wasn't building the boost I wanted to. One bolt actually lost the nut. I ended up swinging the gasket back into place and replaced the missing nut on the one bolt, and tightened everything down real good. And the last time I took the buggy out, just a week and 1/2 or so ago, the clutch was slipping!

I found my turbo inlet gasket was cracked, a portion missing actually, and leaking exhaust, so I stopped by subaru and got a gasket. I also noticed with the engine out that the pressure plate fingers were not all "out" as they should have been. I figured maybe one of the pilot bearing needle bearings may have gotten under the fingers or something, so I looked it over real good and found out that the metal cracked, so there is no pressure on at least 1/3 of the disk, so I'll have to chace down another KEP stage II pressure plate today, or I'll have to order one ASAP if I can't find one locally this morning. 


By Brad H 1498 Date 2009-04-30 02:47
Jay, I love the colour!!! I wish my black and gold metal flake gelcoat would have been good enough to clear. I contemplated a Subie swap, but I'm a diehard aircooled guy at heart so went with a 2332 instead. You're creating quite a monster...congrats. I love turbos, had a '84 GTI with a Calloway turbo on it and have had the pleasure of working on and driving a '77 930 Turbo, still the CRAZIEST car I've ever driven. Nothing till 2500 then EVERYTHING

By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-04-30 03:41 Edited 2009-05-11 03:21
Thanks for the comments so far guys. The boost comes on sooner on this car than the 930 would, but not as refined I'm sure. Since the buggy weighs nothing, you're through the power band quicker than you can blink. This tranny has different gearing as well, so it will be interesting to see how it drives now.

Today I went to Bug City in CT. I needed to get a new style throwout bearing, as I had always used the old style before this. I also wanted to get all new gasket set for the rear axle nut. I decided to pickup new drums as long as I was there along with new shoes. I ordered a new KEP stage II pressure plate. Dave from Bug City is going to speak with the regional distributor to see about replacement or possibly fixing that one. We'll see what happens. I'm sure I have under 3000 miles on that pressure plate and not even a year, so it's really only got a few months of driving on it.

It looks like I'll have to wait until next week for the pressure plate to arrive, so I've got time to finish shortening the roll bar and possibly work on a deck lid to cover the rear seat area. I'll have to see how my time lays out.


I serviced up the new Pro Drag tranny that Rancho built up for me. I also got it mounted in the buggy.

5/10/09 Who can tell me what's not right in this picture set? I forgot to edit this post earlier in the build when I had to re-do something... figured it would be fun to see if someone out there can spot it. Now that I look at it, I can see it clearly, but may have been too tired or something when I was working.

By Brad H 1498 Date 2009-04-30 14:25
Jay, If its a Kennedy you can have it rebuilt my buddy Chris has had his done a couple times for his drag buggy, but I'd think that warrenty may bee in order. New tranny looks awsome. I may be giving them a call next winter depending how mine hold up.

By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-04-30 23:42
The only thing I wasn't impressed about is them using a soft wood pallet to ship cross country. Maybe shipping to the west coast would be fine, but that distance shook the pallet almost apart. One of the strapping bands actually ripped the wood apart and allowed the tranny to shift on the pallet! Because of this, the strap that went across the nose cone wore into the tail piece where the shift rod exits the tranny. This was ever so slightly gouged but not enough for me to worry about shipping the thing back for.

Paul actually gave me the heads up on KEP rebuilding them, so If they don't outright replace it, I'll have them repair it. The plan is to have a ready spare at all times, since I found out NOONE on the right coast stocks them and they have to be special ordered from the left coast!

If everything goes right, I'll have a brand new KEP stage II sitting on a shelf in the garage waiting for the opportunity to bail myself or someone else out.

I'll let everyone know how I like the tranny once I go through the break in period..... OOPS.... I better not say that word in the same sentence as tranny ever again! :-)

By Bill K 96 Date 2009-05-01 02:42
Jay,  Did you upgrade the axles as well?
By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-05-01 03:22
The build sheet stated the use of HD axles. When I was on Rancho's web site, I couldn't find anything about that trans at all until I downloaded the PDF catalog. On page 10 they show the Pro Drag trannys.

The PDF document makes mentions Sway Away axles:

By Bill K 96 Date 2009-05-01 03:32
Jay,  They built a Pro-street trans for me back in 2002.  Back then the sway-away axles were not part of the package but highly recommended.  No comparison to a stock axle, beefy!
By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-05-01 03:35
I'm getting rid of the rear seats I had in previous years. I'm turning the buggy into a two-seater like a vette. I'm thinking about covering the rear seat area with a deck or tonneau or something. I would either use wood or naugahyde. I'm concerned a tonneau would be flapping in the wind at speed. My plan is to install a stereo box under the cover and relocate the radiator to the spot that the rear seat back used to occupy. I've been thinking about using maple and mahogany should I go with wood. A tonneau would be easier, but may not give me what I'm looking for.

Decisions decisions!
By Brad H 1498 Date 2009-05-02 23:47
Jay, You could combine the 2 and make a cover out of plywood and then cover it in vinyl That way you get the look of the tonneau  without if flapping about. I built a seat bottom for the one I built last year like that. I used some old carpet underlay as a cushion and covered some 1/2 inch plywood with marine grade vinyl. I'm probably going to build a cover for this buggy also to hide the fuel cell and give me some covered storage.


By John S 2 Date 2009-05-03 03:57 Edited 2009-05-03 03:59
Nice work on the body!
I have been wanting to try that on the Imp I have and throw in a tint candy color to the clear.

hmmmm maybe we can set up a spray booth at Funfest....   :-)

Where's murzi? This IS Action and Drama!

John Shepard the DBA
By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-05-03 04:35
John, I actually thought about tinting the clear, but as it turns out, it is way too beautiful with just the clear. There are some areas that aren't 100% perfect. The fiberglass underneath was not smooth to begin with. There were scratches that came with the buggy when I bought it. I choose to keep it original though and not fill and paint. I did 1/2 the buggy tonight with mirror glaze and it looks even more shinier if that's possible.

I also took off the waste gate diaphragm from my old T3-T4 turbo I ran on my SAAB. The spring rate is much higher than the stock Subaru waste gate spring rate. I had the adjuster bottomed as far as it would go in the stock waste gate. I think the waste gate was actually overcoming the spring pressure under boost even though I have a boost controller which keeps pressure from going to the diaphragm until a set pressure is reached, then it allows the pressure to flow to the diaphragm to open the waste gate. Unfortunately, if the spring rate on the waste gate isn't sufficient, the back pressure on the exhaust can actually force the waste gate open even with no pressure on the diaphragm to assist opening. I assume I have this issue at the moment.

I worked a little bit on the roll bar, but didn't work on that job for too long. Tomorrow is another day, and I'm still waiting for parts so maybe I'll get the mirror glaze done as well as finish the waste gate mounting bracket.

By yellermanx y 25 Date 2009-05-03 13:44
Jay, you are getting me all excited with those shiny flakes.  It makes me want to get back on the ole blue project.  I have been sidetracked for quite a while now.

The buggy below belongs to a friend.  It was either gold or silver, I can't remember.  Anyway, it was sprayed with green tinted clear.  It looks pretty good.  As usual the picture doesn't do the flake justice.

By Brad H 1498 Date 2009-05-03 16:03
Jay I was going to tell you that a buggy (same body as mine) I'm helping a buddy with has the rear closed in. The front is actually a speaker cabinet with hidden speakers behind the carpet. and the top is a vinyl tonneau. but he's replacing it with a wooden one covered in vinyl as it flaps quite a bit and is noisy. I have to help him fill the holes cut in the firewall for the 6X9's that were mounted there you that sounded good..

By John S 2 Date 2009-05-03 18:05
Exactly yellar.

The old Imp glass is in good shape chalky but not too gritty into the glitter.
It was a silver color from the factory I think but the sun yellowed it to a gold.
I was thinking some green candy in the clear would make it pop back to life and
still let the flake shine through the tinted clear.

John Shepard the DBA
By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-05-04 03:33
Brad, I'm glad you weighed in with your buddy's comments about being noisy and flapping. I was seriously thinking about going wood. I spoke to a cabinet maker friend of mine to get his thoughts. I was getting excited, and aside from the amount of labor it is going to take to go with wood, I almost decided. Then this afternoon two of my friends both told me separately that I should go with a tonneau cover.

They pretty much gave me their ideas why a tonneau cover would be better despite my fears that it would flop around too much. As of this afternoon, I was leaning toward a tonneau cover... Not I'm back to square one, LOL.

Maybe I should start a poll. I seriously like the looks of the rear deck lid of the Kickout, but not enough to buy a new body when I have this much invested in mine. If I could locate a cover like that and modify it to fit, I wouldn't mind going with fiberglass. I would think about making my own, except for the fact that I don't know fiberglass well enough to tackle that at this point. That would be more like a winter project for me, where I could take my time and figure out how to do everything when there was no pending schedule looming on the horizon.

By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-05-04 03:42
OOps, I should update. Today I finished mirror glaze and painted the dash. It was black before. I re-coated in black and used a multi-colored metallic clearcoat which is so small it is nothing like flake. I also did the same treatment to the belt cover on the Subi engine. I painted the turbo with high temp silver, header high temp flat black, and a few other odds and ends got painted.

I fabricated a mount for the high spring rate waste gate diaphragm I had on my T3-T4 turbo I ran on my SAAB. I finished up that project and painted it silver.

Still waiting for the pressure plate. I have a radiator, fan, and overflow tank that will be delivered by Tuesday. I finally called Outfront and bought the oil filler they have made for the Subi engine. The stock filler ended up hitting the body, so I fabbed up a blank plate and gasket. It makes topping the oil up and oil changes difficult, so that will go on when it gets here.

Once the hand rubbing is done to the body, I'll be free to put the lights back on and bolt the hood back down.

By John S 2 Date 2009-05-04 04:15
I have a box idea in my off road buggy ideas notes......
I thought about using a truck tool box that would fit the rear seat area.
The bottom of the box could be built from wood even and carpeted and then I thought
about attatching the top of the truck box to have water tight doors locks ect...
I would have a lowere leve sealed up with the sound system and an upper level storage area.

This was going to be the plan for the Orange Crush until it became the Funfest Buggy.
John Shepard the DBA
By SurviverBlues Date 2009-05-05 04:37
Just a thought - you might also consider checking out ATV tool boxes &/or Golf Cart cargo boxes for more sizes/options.
By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-05-05 10:01
Thanks for the suggestions. If only someone produced a box for the back of a buggy. Now that would be awesome! Trying to adapt something is probably going to be worse IMHO than building from scratch. I'm picky about fit and finish. Still pondering my options.

Last night I did a few more odds and ends. Got the overflow tank shipped, no rad yet... supposed to arrive tonight. Did some hand polishing. can't see a difference, but I can feel it. After hand rubbing, it's so smooth!

By Jeff GS Date 2009-05-05 23:32
Wow Jay,

The Buggy is really coming along!  Looks like a T2 tranny you're running??  Man, that shouldn't be any worries about breaking!

I vote for a nice covered wooden box in the rear!  I guess the biggest decision is whether to make the whole thing stand alone and removable, or more of a "cover" over the back seat area (and bolt-in?).  Either way, covering the whole thing in vinyl would look pretty clean.

Lemme try this - attaching an image.  Super clean rear cover, but would have to be done as part of the re-build and paint operation.  Nice though!


By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-05-06 00:57
Agreed, that does look nice. As you say though, it needs to be done as part of a repaint, which mine was not. This pic of the tranny is the bus tranny. Rancho lists two transaxles on one page in their catalog. It's not a T2, but it is a Rhino case that has been gusseted for strength, Swing away axles, welded synchros, hardened keys, etc etc.

I got the radiator, fan, and the Outfront oil filler with cap. I ended physically looking at how everything is going to fit together, placement, and options in that department, and tried to keep plumbing somewhat in mind when locating everything. I finally cut a hole in the back of the rear seat area for the radiator to exhaust the hot gas out the back.

After I cut the hole, I started yawning and feeling sleepy, so I decided to make it an early night tonight, an hopes of getting plenty of rest for tomorrow.

By Kustoms Date 2009-05-07 16:09
Wow, I did not know this thread was going on. Sorry Jay. I have had my head up my exhaust pipe the past couple of months. Its looking great dude.
By yellermanx y 25 Date 2009-05-07 16:55
"I have had my head up my exhaust pipe the past couple of months."

Uh-Uh-Never mind.
By Brad H 1498 Date 2009-05-09 01:31
I think the tranny is a type1 with a Rhino case with big webbing, T2's are much bigger. Hopefully it holds up to the Subie motor better.

By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-05-09 06:15
Thanks for all the interest guys! :-)

Tonight was spent re-working things I overlooked. Man I hate when I do things like that! I somehow managed to get the wiring harness around the axle when I bolted it to the spring plate, so I had to unbolt the pass side axle and get the wiring harness chased around the axle tube the right way. In doing so, I had to unbolt the pass side ebrake cable and fish the cable around the wiring.

I hooked up the throttle again, I got the turbo all bolted back together with the heavy duty external waste gate bolted to it.

I got the rear meats on the drums. Tomorrow weather willing, I'm going to push the buggy out of the garage and work on engine wiring

By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-05-10 01:31
Update: I got the roll bar painted now, but not installed. I worked on some of the wiring today and got the turn signals mounted. I was going to mount the headlights, but realized I needed to spend about an hour prepping them for paint: wash, clean, wax and grease remover, sand, blow off, more wax and grease, mask off & hang for painting.

I called Tom and discussed my options for the rear deck area. Thanks Tom for the pointers. :-)  I won't have everything done by the carlisle show, but I'm still planning to bring the buggy.

I pulled off the rest of the plastic and masking tape today. I referbed the license plate light. The wire pulled out of the socket base, so I bought a replacement socket base with the wire already attached.

I still need to mount the windshield, roll bar, and speakers. I called a guy I know who ownes an original Deserter Series 1 who also welds aluminum and asked him if he could fab a rad shroud for me. I needed to draw up plans for the shroud and email them to him. Hopefully he will be able to come through in enough time. I would hate to have to fab something out of cardboard just to make the car show..... but stranger things have happened. (My trip to Funfest last year with a 5 gallon jerry can in the passenger foot well as a gas tank that held fuel, LOL)

At this point, I will be happy to get the rad mounted and coolant lines run. My buddy RIck, who ownes the Dunbar Hawk, couldn't get over the change in appearance with the rad gone from the back end. I agree. It looks awesome, especially with the multi-colored flake in the clear that I painted the belt cover with. It looks similar to Paul's flake on his Imp.

I took a shot of it parked in the Cover-it shed for the night. We've got T-storms shutting progress down at the moment. Tomorrow is another day!


By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-05-10 01:34
Before and after shots:

By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-05-11 02:59 Edited 2009-05-11 03:12
Today started out with the intention of mounting my headlights, until I looked at them and didn't like the paint job, so I ended up sanding them down and painting them again. Now they have that bright high gloss black again. I wired up the engine and tried to fire it up. It didn't go so well. Apparently the hot wire from the ignition needs to actually go to the starter or something when wiring it up. After fixing my brain fart, it did start, but I shut it off right away since I didn't have any coolant in the engine. I got the roll bar mounted and temp-installed the windshield. I ended up galling one of the four the nuts and bolts. I'll attack that tomorrow after work. The biggest project at the moment is trying to get radiator hoses to tie the engine to the radiator and get coolant in the engine. I don't think I'll have the rad shroud in time for the show.

Forgot to mention that the sun came out and I couldn't believe how great it all looked. The bright flake with the rainbow flip flop clear on the engine cover was just too much. I'm really liking t he transformation.

More tomorrow!


By dustymojave Date 2009-05-11 05:10
I suppose its been a couple of weeks since you posed the riddle as to what had been forgotten or overlooked in assembly of the rear end. and still I see no answers.

Can't believe I'm the only one who figured out the parking brake cables still dangling while the drums were torqued and cotter keyed isn't a normal assembly method.
By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-05-11 09:29
Just posted it last night Richard. thought it would be fun.... Well.... more fun than it was for me the next day seeing the dang cables dangling there! I must have been really tired that night. Oh well, it didn't set me back too far. I'll keep telling myself that it didn't set me back too far as I'm trying to get ready for the show each night after work this week! :-)

By Jeff GS Date 2009-05-11 10:57
Looking forward to seeing the buggy this weekend Jay!  It's really coming along nicely - and you must be going crazy trying to get everything done!

Finally - a year at Carlisle with some Subaru power present!

By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-05-11 14:09
Yes, trying feverishly to get it done enough to drive it there. Keep your fingers crossed! It's going to be ugly anyway with the rear deck open to the mechanicals. I've got a cover in the near future plans and I probably won't have the stereo install complete either. The seats will most likely still be sitting a little bit too high, because I won't have time before the show to lover them like I want to.

Hopefully drivable will be good enough.... I'm not showing the car, so it should be ok I would think.

By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-05-12 03:41
Tonight I was able to fabricate an extensive mount for the radiator. I went to the local auto parts place and went in the back to look at the wall of pre-formed coolant hoses. I bought a few universal spiral straight pieces that can be bent to shape without collapsing. I also started to run the coolant hoses. I thought I'd be running the buggy tonight, but it now looks like tomorrow night if I'm lucky.


By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-05-14 02:12
No updates in the last two days.... Sorry about that. I was debating posting. I thought I might not be able to make it. Tuesday I had to use a walk behind floor sweeper similar to a small "zamboni". It wets the floor, scrubs it and sucks up the waste water. Well, just before the end of the day, I was going down a hallway and they guy that had been running an identical machine was right behind me going full bore. The machine failed to stop and I thought I had broken my ankle at first when I went down!

Needless to say, nothing is broken. Had the machine hit me another inch closer to the ankle, the story would certainly be different.

I made a very speedy recovery trying not to limp on my foot or baby it.

I ended up losing valuable time last night when I could have been productive. Thankfully, things flowed well on the project tonight.

I fabricated a rudimentary temp radiator shroud to get me to the show. I wired up the fan controller, and ran the buggy for a time at idle. It never came up over the fan set point. Mind you, its not under load so the story may change tomorrow when I get it out on the road for a test drive. I'm hoping the temps don't climb!

I still need to get the interior back together. I think I'll be throwing it together tomorrow morning just before I pack, LOL. I still need to wire the headlights and front turn signals. At least now it looks like I'll be making the show... Knock on wood. Tomorrow will tell.

I'll be going even if the buggy isn't, but I've been working so hard on it, I really want to drive it there.

By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-05-15 05:12
I just can't leave well enough alone. It was just after noon time when I got done with the buggy enough to actually drive it. I took it out down the road, and the skies opened up, so I made a hasty retreat back to the garage.

I had a look at the weather and figured I wasn't going to leave today. What to do with all this extra time? I started my bass enclosure install. I had to run out and get parts for the job, so I didn't get started until about 5:00pm. I finished around midnight with the exception of painting the mount bracket I fabbed up tonight.

I packed a few items into the buggy and took a shower. I still need to pack, but that's easy enough to throw some clothes together in the AM. I'll have an early start in just a few hours and attempt to meet up with the Long Island NY guys on the way out. See you all in the AM.

By Brad H 1498 Date 2009-05-16 02:07
Our skies opened up yesterday too, but this is what we got......surprise. Wish I could join you all VW events are very few and far between since the local club folded.


By Jeff GS Date 2009-05-16 23:42
Jay - sorry to hear about the mishaps with the buggy build!  Above all else though - take care of yourself!

About the radiator issues - I think a critical element is getting enough airflow through.  Tape some yarn to the front and see what it does going down the road.  You're going to need some good high and low pressure zones going down the road to keep it cool.  If that yarn isn't plastered to the front of your radiator, some changes are needed!
There is supposed to be a high pressure area just below the rear seat area.  Likely from air running under the car, plus air being pushed off the front of the rear tires.  Might be a good spot to pick up some high pressure air and duct into the radiator?  You're going to need more than the fans can provide to keep it cool.
If all else fails - front mounting it will likely cure the issues!

I Saw Ollies Manxter today at Carlisle.  He's running the Scirocco sized radiator up front, and it apparently cools just fine!

By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-05-28 03:11
Jeff, I thought about running a radiator up front, but I'm so low to the ground in the front, I really have little height available. Then there was the steering box issue, which would have forced me to offset the radiator to the passenger side. Since the WRX motor isn't stock, it's very important to me to keep esthetics close to original, which means plenty of trial fit and looking to be sure it looks OK to me.

Since there seemed no way to make a front mounted rad look good on my buggy, I decided to go with a much larger radiator. It arrived today, and unfortunately, I had much too much going on today to actually fit it, fab mounts, and fill it up for a test drive.

Since it is supposed to be pouring rian tomorrow, tomorrow will be a good fabrication day. I did take the time to open the package and inspect the radiator. I shot some more pictures, so I'll post those. The two radiators side by side should give some indication of the cooling capacity too, as compared to the smaller radiator which was just not quite cutting it.


By John S 2 Date 2009-05-28 03:50
How are you going to see around that thing?
It's higher than the roll bar!

;-) just kidding.

9 days left and counting down till FUNFEST 2009!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
John Shepard the DBA
By Jeff GS Date 2009-05-29 00:36
Yea, it's BIG - and looks great!
Flush mount that bad boy against the rear bulkhead and flow the hot air back out over the engine.  (But first - I'd drill a small hole in the bulkhead area and see which way the air wants to flow through it while going down the road!)

I'm wondering.... if you mounted it flat on top of the rear seat platform area (with a big opening underneath) if the high pressure under there would naturally force the air up and through the radiator?  If might go from there right up forward into the cockpit!  You're on the leading edge of buggy aerodynamics guy!

Is that a standard RD item?  Or custom ordered?  Real nice welding there!

By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-05-29 12:57
Jeff, that's the P/N: 1A-3116F-05 radiator, which is listed under "Off Road" section. It's 31"x16" with two 14" SPAL 1720CFM fans! It should have plenty of cooling capacity. With the smaller radiator, I did mount it far enough back to forse the air through a hole in the bulkhead onto the engine. Not ideal, because I'm trying to cool the engine, but as we all know. putting 7LB of STUFF into a 5lb bag is difficult at best. I should have done as you suggested first and drilled a small hole to find out the direction of flow. I think this was a huge mistake on my part to cut such a big cooling hole, because I suspect that with the big "east coast" tail to cover the engine hanging low like that, that it's probably trapping or scooping air and reversing flow.

When it began overheating, I was too torqued at myself for cutting a huge hole like that to see if my suspicions were right about flow reversal. I still truly don't want to know! LOL

My plans now are to mount the big RD radiator as far forward as I can to the bass speaker as I can to still allow adequate airflow into the rad, and allow a little more space  at the back of the rad and the bulkhead. This way, if I AM getting flow reversal at the bulkhead, I can proceed from there after the show.

If I'm getting reversal, I will glass the hole I made in the bulkhead over and paint it as closely as I can manage.... Then I will incorporate some type of air exhaust ala Albar looking scoop into the hardshell fiberglass tonneau cover I still need to make.

Can anyone say one step forward two steps back? :-)

I still have not done anything other than get the buggy into the garage and let it cool off. That was two days ago. Unfortunately business has gotten in the way of pleasure. That leaves tonight after work as buggy build time. Back to fabricating/welding mounts for the new rad. I'm going to modify the mount I made for the speaker so that it can sit further forward and get a little closer to the back of the front seats at their full rearward position. This should give me a little more playing room for cooling.

Then if this rain ever stops, I can get out for a test drive and report back.

WIsh me luck tonight!
By Jeff GS Date 2009-05-29 16:18
Jay, before you tear down the old set-up, get some yarn or even just kite string and tape a bunch of pieces around the hole you cut into the bulkhead - then take it for a spin at some decent amount of speed, 40 or 50mph or so.  Have a passenger lean back and see what that string is doing around the opening!  That might provide some clues as to whether that hole needs to be close up... or made bigger!

Some cardboard and duct tape ducting could also be utilized to quickly experiment with directing the airflow where you want it.  You're likely not going to get any kind of ram-air cooling going on, so identifying a low pressure zone for air exhaust and high pressure for feeding will be key.

I'm visualizing the airflow around the cockpit like this (based on taking in everything I've been able to collect and read about the subject on FGBs):  under the car around the transaxle is a high pressure area (relative to the cockpit on the other side of the fiberglass), especially just behind the torsion bar tube.  I can see the rear tires - yours especially! - pushing air out of the way in front of them, creating high pressure under the bodywork in front and along side the tires, while creating a low pressure area behind.  They may and likely do contribute to the high pressure zone around the trans.
Behind the rear bulkhead???  Tough call.  Probably has some bleed-off from the high pressure in front of and above the tires, but the car pushing through the air in general would seem to create a low pressure zone in that area - likely being fed from the air around the trans.  In the cockpit - the windshield certainly would create a low pressure area behind, into the front seat area.  In the rear seat area??  Might be a "dead zone" back there to slightly low pressure?  Not ideal to create the desired airflow without some creative ducting and optimized openings in the bodywork.

Hey - even the GT40 guys got it wrong back in the 60's!  One test showed a cooling duct (with the requisite yarn taped around it) blowing air out instead of feeding air in to an oil cooler!

A water manometer would come in handy, or even a length of cheap vinyl hose - something you could poke through a small hole in the bodywork then figure out whether air is going into it or out of it whole driving.

Keep us posted!
By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-05-29 17:10
Jeff, that's great info! I'm going to see what I can get done if I can find a body to ride shotgun after work. If not, I'll have to continue with the new set up and test with the new setup in place at a later date.

Interesting you say there is a high pressure area around the axle tubes. Aside from having difficulty bleeding a horizontal radiator, Paul mounted a horiz rad under the rear seat area of his IMP and has to my knowlege, no cooling issues in the dunes.

He also has a flat rear seat area, while I have the tire carrier and batt box which ruled that out as an option for me. And.. thank God that was the case, because I would have had to deal with a rad mounted to the trans each time I blew a transaxle! :-)

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