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Previous Next Up Topic Public / FunFest Dune Buggy Build / Cruizefest ......Breakdown (21272 hits)
By John S 2 Date 2009-08-16 13:37
Well Jerry I decided to drive the Funfest buggy to the Cruizefest show.
It's in the next town and there was no interstate for the trip.
I thought no problem even though the buggy really never has had anyone go over
all the work that was done at Funfest.

First replaced the battery that gave me all the trouble at this years Funfest.

So no starting issues. She fired up and ran great. Got the plate on it with a magnet mount to the fan shroud.
Checked the fuel and headed out.

Ran great across town till one stop. At that corner the right rear disc brake stuck a little.
I thought since the rotors were a little rusty it would settle down.
Went on through the intersection driving fine.
Came to the next stop street and it locked up when I stopped and chattered really hard.

Okay so that a problem. No I am at a busy stop street but there is a parking lot in the next block.
I drive through the intersection to the parking lot dragging the right rear tire the whole way to get the buggy off the street. When I get out this is what I found.

I thank the lord that we were not on the interstate when she came apart. Had we made the Columbus trip last weekend we would have been driving around on the highway while up there.

Check you buggies often in between driving times folks. And be careful.

Now I wonder if this is covered under warranty Matt ;-)
John Shepard the DBA
By manxcraig Date 2009-08-16 15:40 Edited 2009-08-16 15:45
The air cooled aftermarket has really gone to pot, you cant buy anything worth having today.
I drove the Manx to work Thursday and my EMPI chrome Alternator pully self distructed. I couldnt find a good old orignal at the Old Foft show and swap yesterday so Im still running a type 3 pully I had but they dont line up quite right. Sad state.
By Sandsurfer Date 2009-08-17 00:30
Granted the VW aftermarket is in the crapper. In this instance it looks to me to be a problem with the installation, since the caliper came off the mount.
John; have you nut and bolted (check every nut and bolt for tightness and proper installation)the buggy since it was built? I never drive a new project with out "Nut and Bolting" it.
I'm glad nobody got hurt.
By BigTonkaKid Date 2009-08-18 00:48
While your at it you might want to check that shock bolt
By GreenManx Date 2009-08-20 00:34
Wow you haven't went over the car after the build at funfest. That would of been the first thing i did being it's your sons car and he riding in it there were so many people working on it and rushing. I give you a shame on you for that one. I still say the planed build would of produced a better sold car and all of the parts donated would of been on the car also. I know your going to come up with a list but there is items that I don't see on it.
But you guys had a plan.
Meyer's Manx
By John S 2 Date 2009-08-20 04:38
The way I was looking at it was "I have 10 years to go over the car before he drives it".

It was my bad  to try to drive it without having the time to go over it.
My wife and I are Cub Scout Leaders, Sunday School teachers, Outreach co-chairs, I am the Technology Co-ordinator and we help with the Youth group. Down time? Time to wrench on the buggies?
The buggy really never has been finished yet. Every photo I look at I see another thing I need to fix on it.
It is still probably only 80% finished.

My son is not allowed to ride in it. The seats aren't fastened securely as they are just not compatible with the mounts I purchased and there are still no seat belts, so no worries there. Some of the things that need done to the car are beyond my skill level. So they will wait until I can pay for someone to do them.
The thing to keep in mind here is I never claimed to be a professional anything. I just love dune buggies and created this website. I am not a mechanic even though I own 2 carts full of tools, I am not a welder even though I own a mig welder, and I am not an upholsterer even though have a couple of nice staplers and lots of fabric in the basement.

As for the build, the guys who teased me into doing the build KNEW well enough what they were in for.
The whole thing was to be a fun experience. And it was.
Once in a lifetime.

As for a planned build. We had a plan. A team assemble the chassis while B team wire the body.
A team leader didn't show up.. You move on. We were luck to have Chris Lewis and his brother Tom there to step up and take on the challenge. They were just attending the show to see old pal Bruce Meyers and got roped into organizing the whole build for me.

Problem two was the weather. Tornadoes touchdown the night we arrived so I elected to not put anyone at risk and left the truck packed. We lost the first night and it cost us the next morning un packing and we never got any of the parts sorted from the un pack, which cost us more time. Second day more storm warning for evening so we quit at dark even though we had lights and tent and could have gone for several more hours. Again I was not going to put anyone at risk so I sent everyone off. Last day was cut short also because of our return departure time change.

So you can plan but you will always have surprises.
I had one person tell me before hand that the only way to do it, was to PREBUILD the car.
I politely told them not possible but, thought to myself how stupid.

If I had, had the time, and the skill to PREBUILD the car, why would I even be going through all the BS
that was involved in buying a $5,000 trailer, locating all the parts packing them up for an 11 hour trip and wrestling the bear the project turned out to be?
Pre-builds are for pansy assed, cigar chomping, stuffed shirts, who do AC Cobra final assemblies at kit car shows.

The companies that got on board with parts were icing on the cake. We got some cool stuff and they got some exposure. It is a shame that some of the parts just don't work like they should, some of the parts were the wrong parts, and somethings could not be put on the buggy. Also some of the parts had problems and some parts got lost or were stolen at the show but, stuff happens.

I have a good deal of money tied up in the project for it to be in storage for my 9 year old but, it will really be worth it all to my son someday.

We will show it another year or so and then put it in long term storage for him so it will still be nice someday.

This winter it will be on the stands safe and sound in "Ed's Market" getting "Nut and Bolted" as Jerry called it. I am hoping to make a list and check it twice.

Anybody got a Torque Wrench and some locktite I can borrow?    ;-)
John Shepard the DBA
By John S 2 Date 2009-08-20 04:39
While your at it you might want to check that shock bolt

John Shepard the DBA
By BigTonkaKid Date 2009-08-20 04:57 Edited 2009-08-20 05:00
Because it's going to fall out as well!

By John S 2 Date 2009-08-20 05:25
The shocks have a space there at the bottom on each side. The bolts are tight.
John Shepard the DBA
By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-08-20 20:02
As much as I would like to blame the feverish build schedule for something like this, the fact remains, even when you build the entire car yourself with your own hands, (and have thus "nut and bolted" everything) things can go wrong.

John asked me to look at his steering at this year's MAM show. Why was the wheel so loose? Turns out the jam nut on the lash adjustment for the steering box had backed off. Its adjusted and tight now, but the point is, even parts on a component might be loose or not adjusted properly.

Hats off to you for getting it to the parking lot safely John.

FYI, it looks as though the lower bolt backed out completely and allowed the caliper to move and twist. the twisting only affected the upper mount, so that indicates the lower bolt was not in/connected.

As far as the shock goes, if the nut and bolt are tight ("shanked out" where the nut is up against the shank of the bolt) and the shock isn't tight, something is not right there. Jerry caught a good one there. Either you have the wrong rear shocks (and the bottom bushing isn't long enough) or you have the wrong hardware.

Glad everyone is safe!
By Sandsurfer Date 2009-08-21 02:02
KYB shocks come with a spacer bushing that looks about as thick as the space in the photo.
By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-08-21 02:44
Hmmm, I can't tell if there is a spacer on the bolt or not. John, if you can't wiggle the shock side-to-side along the length of the bolt, then the bushing is probably installed.

By GreenManx Date 2009-08-21 02:59
"The thing to keep in mind here is I never claimed to be a professional anything." I never claimed you were.

And I am not a "pansy assed" nor am i stupid. I plan projects and build them for a living and seen projects not get completed because of inexperience weather its a buggy build or any other project that has a time frame and the build even added weather to the mix was the reason i made the post of the Pre build. Then I was told it wouldn't work we want a grass root build with a bunch of guys getting together to build you a buggy. That would of worked if you had a week or so.  If i remember it was bosted as 2 day buggy build and it will be driven away well if it was per built you would of pulled it off instead of standing there holding the windsheld on it for a picture.
I didn't know your skill level untill now and I will claim my skill level is weak and happy to have some really great friends Tom Kustoms,Keith,Bill who have endless knowage of buggies and VW to help me out. if you could of you would of done it anyway because of the love for the dune buggy and put up with the BS anyway.I know the guys put alot of work into it and I take my hat off to them all of them are great people.

As for the busniess end of it the car even if it wasn't completed at funfest should of been commpleted and all the products put on before the first show it ever went to because you entered into agreements with companies verbal or written to have there products on the car. It's a marketing tool for those companies. The idea of it was for them to make sales after seeing there product on your buggy.

Now I would not of said anything but after reading what you have wrote I had to say something.

As you explain you and your wife do good things for the kids and i know time is hard to come by to work on the buggy. I am running with my 4 kids day and night. I am glad your son is not in it untill it is safe only my older son rides with me my younger ones just go around the block.

I bet it was fun i wish i could of been there like at Carisle to meet the people we talk to on here.

I so happen to have some locktite :-)
Meyer's Manx
By John S 2 Date 2009-08-21 19:13
Greenmanx, I wasn't referring to you or anyone specific about the pre-build. I was just trying to convey the way things went and tryinyg to make a joke about some of "hobby" people we encountered in PA. Don't take anything personal, it was not directed at you.

We lost $60,000 of income two weeks after the build when I lost my job.
That has made finishing the car and spending more money impossible.

The marketing guys at MAM came up with the tag line "Drive it home", I had no intentions of doing that ask Jerry! :-)
John Shepard the DBA
By GreenManx Date 2009-08-21 21:00
Greenmanx, I wasn't referring to you or anyone specific about the pre-build. I was just trying to convey the way things went and tryinyg to make a joke about some of "hobby" people we encountered in PA. Don't take anything personal, it was not directed at you. No promblem just seamed like it was.

The marketing guys at MAM came up with the tag line "Drive it home", I had no intentions of doing that ask Jerry!
Better watch them guys at MAM they will do anything for a buck. I took that serious.
Meyer's Manx
By Brad H 1498 Date 2009-08-22 02:11
Hey John, glad as hell you didn't get hurt or worse.

I have to agree about the quality of parts we're getting these days, a lot of it is crap. I have a stash of old parts and sheet metal for Beetles that guys would kill for. I gave away a new shifter for one 20 years old, why? Because it works and will last.

It's hard to do big projects like a car build in groups unless you've worked with the guys (or gals) for a while. I don't even like splitting jobs at work and I know everyone I work with is a competent tech and if I'm doing custom work for a customer... BACK OFF, I'll seek advice or ideas, but the hands on work is all me. Trying to do a rush build with a group of eager shade tree mechanics (not meant to be derogatory in any way) and doing it with todays after market parts would be my nightmare. I don't think I left one part I bought unchanged to either make it do what it should or just plain fit.

On brakes there are 2 things that are your friend, Lock-tite RED and lock nuts. Check and make sure the caliper brackets are parallel to the rotor, mine weren't even close and it will cause poor performance, spongy pedal and vibration that can shake bolts loose. Another good idea is to throw all the cheap Chinese hardware in the trash and go out and buy good grade 8 or better nuts and bolts for everything you put on the car, especially for brakes and suspension or reuse the old German stuff.

I too "nut and bolt" my car every spring and did it after a 10 minute test drive and will again this weekend with about 30 miles on the car and I never do any highway or freeway driving for the first 100 miles or so, too many things could be missed, like the time I forgot to tighten the bolts for the front beam.....found that one in 10 minutes..........


By John S 2 Date 2009-08-28 14:02
Thanks everyone for the great advice.

And now I really fell dumb. It is all my fault even though we didn't lock tite anything during the build.

I was talking to a buddy about what happened and suddenly it hit me.

Over a  year ago when the buggy was at my friends house and we were making the wiring all neat and pretty, Jon had trouble moving the buggy in and out of the garage because the passenger side rotor was sticking. He told me the day I went over and picked it up that he had loosened the caliper mounting bolts to get it out of a bind.

I had completely forgotten about this until the other day.

I think Brad was exactly right on it. The caliper bracket was not perfectly formed on the passenger side.
This was causing the pads to  be forced into the rotor at an incorrect angle.
When Jon loosened the bracket it allowed them to settle down into the right place.
It was not a failure of the EMPI brakes, it was a failure on my part to remember that Jon told me to get the brakes fixed by someone before I drove the buggy. Mother @*&$#CX$#@!!!! I am just stupid sometimes.

So my winter project is set for this baby. Take her down and bring her back up slowly and correctly.
Say a prayer for my wife, if my memory is this bad at 41 she has a long road ahead.

I keep you posted :-)
John Shepard the DBA
By shakey Date 2009-08-28 16:48
We will pray for your wife and it takes a big person to admit their mistakes maybe others can learn from this.
By John S 2 Date 2019-05-20 21:13
It's been awhile since we built the buggy.
My son Joey is now 18 and ready to drive this beast.

We will be working on it this summer. I don't think we can get it done for FUNFEST this year, but we should be ripping around in it before you know it.
I'll keep you posted.
John Shepard the DBA
By Paul Moran (DBA Architect) Date 2019-05-21 15:17
Wow! 18 - I'm sure he knows how special that buggy is! That was a lot for fun putting it together. I will never look at a front beam the same way. Paul...
Chicago, IL
EMPI Imp 1002 ('69)/Subaru EJ20 Turbo/LinkPlus ECU
By John S 2 Date 2019-06-10 18:58 Edited 2019-06-10 19:00
It is something I think he will keep forever.
And there are some great memories there for sure!!
John Shepard the DBA
Previous Next Up Topic Public / FunFest Dune Buggy Build / Cruizefest ......Breakdown (21272 hits)

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