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By jim s 1837 Date 2010-06-19 17:45
I wish that I could think of all the questions at one time, But I cant so here is another one. Will I need to drill my valve covers for a vent? I have 2 of those extra breather boxes and I could order a kit if need be.My engine is a 1641 with dual kads.
I believe that after I finish this buggy, I should be able to just about build a buggy myself. Knowing that you guys on the DBA are still just an e-mail away. In case of an emergency lol

Thanks again guys
Jim S
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2010-06-19 18:03
This is one of those: "if you want to..then go ahead" type questions.

Do you need to? I don't think with a 1641 its really needed.

Can you if you want to? Sure you can. It won't hurt a thing. It probably won't really do anything for you, but it wouldn't hurt.
By Bruce E 2146 Date 2010-06-20 21:16
If you still havent found the 36mm socket yet,find a 1 7/16 inch socket..
By jim s 1837 Date 2010-06-21 00:50
Thanks Bruce, A friend of mine who does a lot of 4 wheel drive repair had one for me to use and at the same time I went and ordered one.
Thanks Jim S
By jim s 1837 Date 2010-06-21 01:23
Well I was able to roll the chassis outside to try and start it also check a few other things, But in florida this time of year mother nature plays a big roll in any outside activity. Plus It's fathers day so my middle son came over with my 4 grand daughters.  we had to go out for dinner. Now before I went to dinner I was able to start  the buggy and put it in gear just to see if would move, I did that in all 4 gears and it was good. Then reverse was off a little it wanted to jump out of gear and grind. I there some sort of adjustment for that? Now it was my son       doing the test maybe he did'nt get in gear all the way. It was fast due to rain.

Jim S
By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2010-06-21 11:10
Reverse is the weakest gear because the teeth don't mesh 100% gear to gear. Because of this the edges of the reverse gear can get a little rounded and cause it to jump out of gear. I have heard it is possible to flip the reverse gear around to get more life out of it and keep it from jumping out of gear. I have not personally done this though, so I don't know just how involved it is.

The fact that you are rowing through all the gears indicates it is adjusted ok.

By jim s 1837 Date 2010-06-25 18:31
Good afternoon guys,
Today I test drove the chassis and before it was sliping out of reverse then I moved the shifter to the other side of the bolt holes. (its the 2 bolts that hold the shifter on top of the tunnel) then another test drive and reverse is fine but now 1st is sliping. Does that still mean a transmission tear down is in order? My pan is a 70 bug, I may have to old bus trannys still at a friends house, The question is will they fit, Or what should I do?

  Thanks Jim S
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2010-06-25 19:08

Did you go from one extreme to the other in the adjustment? Is there a middle of the road spot?
By jim s 1837 Date 2010-06-25 19:43
Yes I even used the shifter from the sand rail. Theres not a lot of adjustment there I think 1st gear may be bad.
Because if I hold a lot of pressure on the shifter  it does a little better . Its just one of those things. when I traded my ski boat the buggy didnt run. Now I feel that Im getting close. But no cigar Is it hard to repair a transmission? Im having a good time learning about all this buggy work. Is there any special tools needed?
When I take the chassis back outside i'll get a picture.
Jim S
By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2010-06-25 21:09
Jim how is the shift coupler condition? The old ones sometimes have a lot of slop. There is also a bushing just behind the shifter in the tunnel where the shift tube goes through a mount. If either is worn, you can adjust all day and still not be hitting the right spots. Usually they affect side to side movement more than forward to rear movement, but you never know.

Also, just verify that the grub screw is tight on the coupler.

I agree, usually there is a sweet spot for the shifter in the whole adjustment scheme of things. Because you moved the shifter and cured the issue (in reverse).... it points to not having to tear it down.

When you were having issues with reverse, first gear was fine, no? If so, play with the adjustment a little more. Maybe see about splitting the difference as Jeffrey suggested?

By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2010-06-25 21:37
Very good point on the bushing and coupler.
By jim s 1837 Date 2010-06-26 06:30
Hey guys, the buggy has a new bushing and coupler even a new shift rod. I will post some pictures of the underside see if you can tell if it put together right. it almost looks like the mount is setting everything back a fraction, but that may be the way it's suppose to be. I think you guys are right and tomorrow I will pick up some gas (so I dont have to use the triple Ken card, or a stick to see the gas level lol) Then continue to find the sweet spot.

Thanks Jim S

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By jim s 1837 Date 2010-06-26 19:04
Well i've been playing all day with the shifter adjustment and 2nd,3rd,4th, and reverse are good 1st gear pops out. when I try to adjust for 1st then reverse wants to slip. I've tried to adjust in the middle 1/4 1/8 1/16 and 1st is just not going. I was going to remove the empi shifter and try to move the shift rod by hand to see if that is possible. the grub screw on the coulpler is tight, Also their is an indent in the shaft for alignment thats all good .
Go ahead guys tell me that I need a new tranny, or rebuild this one. or what would be better is a fix that I could do. Can you order the front section as a package to just remove and replace?

Thanks Jim S
By ManxRob Date 2010-06-26 20:35

Since you can get the transmission to go into each gear cleanly by moving the shifter adjustment around I think indicates the problem is somewhere in the shifter, the shift rod, or the transmission nose cone (shifter hockey-stick).  Probably in that order of ease of diagnosis also. I suggest:

1) Starting with the shifter. What shifter are you using? I would start with a stock VW as a baseline. Make sure you have the reverse lockout in the right orientation. Make sure the shift rod bushing inside the tunnel is in place and in good shape. Then re-try to adjust by loosening the bolts on the shifter at the tunnel and sliding the shifter forward/rearward until you can get all the gears.
2) You have a shortened VW pan buggy. A very common problem in the shortening operation is to get the shift rod slightly out of alignment during the cut and re-weld. I have build several buggies, and no matter how careful I am I always seem to have gear-shift problems. If I were a betting kind of guy,my $ would be that this is your problem too. But don't jump to this step until you have verified the stuff in #1. The real easy fix  for shift rod mis-alignment is to install an adjustable shift-rod end. This is what they look like:
3) Last, and I have no experience with this, would be the some problem with the transmission front nose cone/hockey stick?

Hang in there! It will work!

By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2010-06-26 21:21
Jim, what is the condition of the ball end on the shifter? the first to second throw is the longest throw in the shift pattern. Obviously reverse is in the direction of second gear. I suspect that you may have a worn gear in the tranny. I think you may be able to get around it (on borrowed time obviously) by using a short throw shifter, because the shifter uses a fulcrum higher on the stick, which gives essentially more throw to the shift rod.

Verify the ball end hasen'd been ground down at all or something silly like that to make up for a mis-shortened shift rod. If the shifter itself looks like its in good condition, I'm thinking the shifter itself isn't giving the throw it is supposed to. If it's a ball socket folcrum, verify with no boot on it, that the ball isn't shifting forward-aft in the socket as you shift. If you have a pin-type folcrum ensure there is no wear in the pin or the machined hole. either issue will shorten the throw of the shifter itself and give you what you are seeing.

Rob has a good point about the adjuster. That would be more useful if you couldn't get both forward gears or couldn't get both rearward gears. It would also help if you couldn't hit the adjustment side to side, but you have been able to move the shifter all around and hit everything at least once. that points to a properly shortened rod. The fact that- what should be the sweet spot for the shifter is either not hitting the fwd or not hitting the rearward gear in question is shift-whispering to me that the shift throw itself needs to be looked into well.

I still think it's likely that you may have a worn gear. It could be a bent shift fork, but it takes a LOT to bend a 1-2 or 3-4 shift fork.

Check the obvious things first. If the shifter and rod check out 100% then it's on to the tranny. Pull the nose cone first. Check the condition (wear) of the hockey puck to machined groove in the shift rods themselves. You may have a little wear in the hockey stick or something like that. that could be repaired with a little weld to build it up a little.... we can figure that out when you get that far.

Double check the easy stuff first. a little bit of wear or slop at each joint will compound itself into an issue quickly. Keep us posted!

By Allison Daytona Ken Date 2010-06-27 01:08
" TRIPLE KEN CARD " I got your triple Ken card LOL, JUST KIDDING GUYS, I am getting a headace about that first gear though, so I feel for you brother, wish I could help but a spray bomb of paint never corrected any of my shifting issues, GOOD LUCK !!!!!!      Ken..................
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2010-06-27 01:49
Would slightly enlarging the adjustment holes on the shifter maybe help. Alot of aftermarket stuff is crap. I would see if you can get a stock shifter to work. Then maybe enlarge the mounting holes on the other shifter a little.
By Brad H 1498 Date 2010-06-29 18:59
Actually the shift forks are easy to bend as they are made of brass. Since you CAN shift into all 5 gears and you only have a problem with #1 it seems to me that either the 1-2 fork is bent from someone speed shifting into 2nd or the teeth on the 1st gear hub are badly worn. I don't think it's a shifter adjustment problem from the way you are describing it.

The VW tranny is easy to work on IF you know what you're doing and if you have the jigs to set up the shift forks/gear stacks correctly. This doesn't iniclude me so my buddy Chris builds them for me.

I had a tranny go in my 66 and the shift fork broke alowing my to shift into first gear but not second.

By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2010-06-29 20:39
Brad, Is it possible to get steel shift forks? I swear the one I tore apart has steel forks in it, but I could be thinking of another tranny.

By jim s 1837 Date 2010-06-30 09:22
Brad, Thanks for jogging my memory I think the PO told me that a friend of his built a bug for his son and the son just ran the he.. out of it then wrecked it. The dad then sold it to the guy that I traded my ski boat too.

I think That I would like to try to make the repair myself. the worst that could happen is that I have to find another one. (right)
Thanks for the memory Jog
  Jim S
By Brad H 1498 Date 2010-06-30 14:25
Yes you can get steel shift forks Jay. I'm putting them in mine. I should have said that late model trannys had one brass and one steel fork. All hi-perf boxes you get from good builders use 2 steel forks

Go for it Jim !!!!!

By jim s 1837 Date 2010-10-10 00:49
Jeffery, Do you have a wiring diagrahm? Ill be using the same harness on my buggy.
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2010-10-10 13:16
I used the one that came with the kit, and gave it to the guy who bought the buggy. I can certainly walk you through the way I did it and the modification I made to the box when you are ready. Its pretty easy.
By jim s 1837 Date 2010-10-10 17:30
Thanks it wont be long before i start, I would like to have my buggy finished by Dec.
By jim s 1837 Date 2010-10-31 17:17
Jeffery, I think that I will use toggle switchs for the headlights and windshield wipers. that being said will you help with the hook up? Dont I have to use relays for that? Also That will make the wipers with 1 speed, Right?
I went to the auto parts and I didnt like the headlight switches that they had
    Thanks alot
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2010-10-31 18:54
I used relays for the headlights because the toggle switches I seem to like are pretty cheaply made and the headlights have a lot of current draw to go through the cheap switch. A relay is cheap and really very easy to wire up.

For the wipers I use a relay because it allows the auto park feature to function. And yes...if you use a simple toggle switch the wipers will have just one speed and then auto park. For my purposes I have the wipers on the buggy purely to satisfy my DMV. No wipers = no sticker. I never took my buggy in the rain or off raod so two speeds was just not needed.

Hook up is a breeze and I will be happy to walk you through it when you are ready.
By Lloyd B 2301 Date 2010-10-31 21:23
Just a quick thought for switches, If you have an electronics store(not radio shack) someone who has been in bussiness for at least 20+ yrs, you will probably find the types of switches that you want. We have one local and parts are always great quaility.
just my 1/5 of a dime's worth of advice
By jim s 1837 Date 2010-11-16 02:14
I have the same harness for my build will you look at the pic and tell me if this will work as a ground bar I was going to put one in the front and one in the rear so that I dont have to go far for a ground. The bar is from a square-D electric panel
  Thanks Jim

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By Lloyd B 2301 Date 2010-11-16 05:00
Jim, those will work for ground. I personally like the older brass ones, if you can find them.
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2010-11-16 13:49
Those look like the ones found in electrical panels from a house. They work well with solid wire but I would be concerned about using them with strand wire. I would think they would crush and seperate the strands. I much prefer the ones from radio shack that use the either soldered or solderless connectors which are designed for stranded wire.
By jim s 1837 Date 2010-11-16 16:53
Jeffery after I made that post I did think of that now you just confirmed it
Thanks a lot
By jim s 1837 Date 2010-11-21 01:25
Well today was a pretty good day, The weather is good and I made some progress on the buggy. I may get it finished by the end of the year.

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By jim s 1837 Date 2010-11-21 03:56
Jeffery, Im going to start the wiring phase of my build, Will you tell me how to wire a relay in to the the toggle switch for the wipers? I found a drawing on line for the headlights that may help me, But im not sure about the wiper or horn. Im using the same harness that you posted on the DBA.

Thanks Jim S
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2010-11-21 05:14
Sure thing Jim.

Take a quick look on this page for some relay info:

Now some things may rely on the type of wiper motor you have...but here it goes.

You need to bring power to your switch. I use one circuit on the fuse box to operate all my switches. Choose one that is marked for something the buggy doesn't have (say heater or something). It doesn't have to be a high amp fuse. The actual switches that activate the relay don't draw much power at all.

So...bring power to the switch. From the other tab of the switch, run a wire to the 86 tab on the relay. Run a ground wire to the 85 tab on the relay. Take the wire from the fuse box that is marked for wipers and run it to the 30 tab on the relay. From the 87a tab on the relay run a wire to the 53A tab on the wiper motor. From the 87 tab on the relay run a wire to the 53B tab on the motor. Be sure you run a ground to the motor.

Thats it. Here is how it works. The 53A tab on the motor is the autopark. The 53B is the slow speed. When you flip the switch, power goes from the switch to the 86 tab. Between this power signal and the ground (tab 85) you will activate the coil. When you do, the arm inside the relay moves and makes contact from the 30 tab on the relay 87 tab and then onto the 53B tab (slow speed) on the wiper. This makes the wipers operate. When you shut the switch off, the coil become de-energized and contact is established between the 30 tab and the 87a tab on the relay and then onto the 53a tab on the motor. This will provide power to finish the wiper stroke and no more.

Assemble everything and test BEFORE you put the wipers on. Make sure it is functioning as it should before you place the wipers on to prevent damaging your paint.

For the headlights I do something different. I run a wire to the switch using the same power feed as the wiper switch. I then run from the switch to the 86 tab on the relay. Ground the 85 tab. Take that big fat yellow wire from the fuse box and bring it to the 30 tab on the relay. Now here is where I get a little funky. I run a thick wire from the 87 tab on the relay to a terminal strip. From the junction block I pull feeds for:
1. Hi/lo beam switch (then to headlights)
2. Front marker lights
3. Rear marker lights
4. License plate light
5. Dash lights

The junction blocks and connectors I use are from Radio Shack:
And a jumper strip to connect 1-5:

For the horn I need to know what kind of set up you have (horn & column)
By jim s 1837 Date 2010-11-21 23:47
Let me try to send a few updated pic. yesterday the pic. were to big.


By jim s 1837 Date 2010-11-28 01:22
Jeffery, The wiring is going well almost finished. The directions you posted are GREAT Im 95% finished and I tested the headlights and the turn signal switch (its a after market switch) with a battery jump box I even made up a temp. toggle switch to test the headlights before the hood goes on. All is good THANK YOU AGAIN.
As faras the horn that will have to be a after market as well, A friend of mine gave me a set of horns from a 1953 chevy truck, But I didnt check them out yet. The horn will have to be plugged into a relay right? 
    Thanks Jim
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2010-11-28 04:44
How many connections at the horn? 1 or 2? For the horn button I will need to know what column you are running. Also...did you use the relay on the fuse block?

Glad things are going well. The horn can be the trickiest part to do right. But it can be done!

By jim s 1837 Date 2010-11-28 05:00
The horn has only 1 wire. My steering column is home made therefore I have to use a after market horn button.
No I did not use the relay on the fuze block

By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2010-11-28 17:06 the horn will pick up the ground from its mounting point. The tab on the horn will be for the power supply.

Will you just use a momentary button on the dash? That might be your best bet. You don't need to use one of those cheesy yellowish horn replacement button they sell at the parts stores. Find a nice momentary on button at radio shack or somewhere that will look good on the dash. We will use the relay on the box to operate the horn. I don't remember the exact wiring...or what that relay is marked to use at so I might need some clarification.

There is a little eye ring that goes to the back of the relay and is located under one of the mounting points of the block. In a non-fiberglass application this wire gets grounded when you install the block on the metal firewall. It is attached inside the relay to the relay coil which is used to activate the relay. Remember from the reference page that I attached, that the 85 & 86 tabs use + and - to activate a relay coil. In this fuse block the 86 tab gets power when you turn the key on. What we will do is use the 85 tab (the -) to activate the coil and therefore your horn.

So, you will need to run a ground wire from a grounded point to one side of the push button switch. From the other side of the push button switch run a wire to that black wire with the eye ring terminal.

There will be a wire coming out of the relay (the 87 tab...not sure what it activates..fuel pump maybe? The instructions should say) that should go to the tab on the horn.


So this is how it works:

Horn is grounded via the mounting point (assuming it is steel. If not you will need to add a ground wire).
When you turn the key on the relay receives a + signal to the relay coil (86 tab) from the ignition switch. It does not activate because it does not have a - signal to the 85 tab yet. You take a - signal to the switch. When you press the switch the - signal gos through the switch to the 85 tab on the relay via that little grounding wire. That completes the circuit and activates the relay coil. This makes the connection to the 30 tab and the = signal comes out of the relay and goes to the tab on the horn.

This is by memory...but it should be right.
By jim s 1837 Date 2010-11-29 01:42
Your memory is pretty good only the wire with the ring is white. The wirefor the relay is marked for a fuel pump or cooling next question is the key switch mine is again aftermarket with 3 poles 1 is battery, 1 is acc. and the other is ign. there is a center lug but its not marked. now I changed to an alt. and I have a drawing for the wiring But what size wire goes to the light for charging the system and where can I find that light. Or is there a way to use the one thats in the speedometer (the gen light) my drawing says to use a two prong light and dont ground it. I'm almost to the end of the wiring and so far so good. I have not started any thing on fire yet. And I dont want to now. Thats why I ask all the questions. If you could help me with the key switch that would be great

By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2010-11-29 14:03
Absolutely no problems with all the questions. My opinion is ask alot and do it right the first time.

Battery pole goes to the battery. You can attach it directly to the positive side of the battery or at the large lug of the starter. Thats where I usually pull it from.

Acc is your accessory. No real need to use it.

Ignition pole is for your coil, your "keyed" power source for your fuse block, and your alternator indicator light (I'll get back to that in a second).

Center lug is for the small tab on your starter solenoid.

OK...for the indicator light. You do need a two tab light. You can't use the one in the speedo unless it has two tabs. Here is how the light is wired:

1 wire comes from the igntion pole on the switch. It goes to one tab on the light. From the other tab on the light you run a wire to the small tab on the alternator. Thats it.

Now here is how it works:

When the alternator is at rest (ie: not spinning or not charging) the small tab on the alternator provides a - signal. When you turn the key on a + signal comes from the switch to the light. A - signal comes from the alternator and the lamp lights. When you start the buggy and bring the rpms up to about 2000 the draw from the lamp "excites" the alternator and it begins to produce + volts. When it does the signal from the small tab on the alternator goes from a - signal to a + signal. Once it does your lamp loses its - signal. No - signal = no light. If you toss a belt then it reverts back to a - signal and the lamp lights up.

You can find a lamp at alot of places. Radio Shack has lots of choices. One thing to remember is that they cannot be LEDs (without adding a resistor) since they do not have enough resistance to excite the alternator. Your local auto parts store will likely have something as well.
By jim s 1837 Date 2010-11-29 17:22
Will a volt meter work instead of a light? Because in my shop I found 2 guages 1 for amps and the other for volts.
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2010-11-29 17:36
While I cannot be 100% certain I would say no. I believe the alternator needs the resistance in the lamp. I don't believe that a guage will provide that resistance.
By jim s 1837 Date 2010-12-01 03:24
Well tonight I did some more on the wiring, I think all I have to do is the horn.
I put the motor back in tonight and it turned over with the key switch. THANKS ALOT JEFF for your notes on the wiring it went real well. I hope by me asking all the questions that some one may need the same information and just read your post.

By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2010-12-01 16:57

Great news! I will keep my fingers crossed. I haven't had a project yet that went 100% on the first try. Hopefully yours will. I always seem to make one silly mistake. After I find it I think "what the hell was I thinking?".

By jim s 1837 Date 2010-12-03 11:39
Hey All,
Working for the city once a year we have to go to what I call a junk-it, Its where all types of water meters,sewage pumps,well pumps and brass fittings ele panels ect. are on display. Anyway while I was looking at all the equimpment I came accross a vendor that has a fastening system. after filling all the holes on my buggy then drilling new holes to do the wiring I thought maybe someone may have used this system to hang wiring instead of drilling all the holes again.

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By jim s 1837 Date 2010-12-04 21:42 Edited 2010-12-04 21:46
Well by working on a shoestring and a prayer budget, It took all my left over change for 2 years, Now I can go get a tag for the buggy. It stiill needs some work here and there but for the most part Im pretty happy with it. It is my first time to do something like this and If it wasnt for all the help on the DBA I would not have been able to even think about a project like this. MY HATS OFF TO ALL YOU GUYS ON THE DBA

I will take some pic tomorrow todays pics were to big

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By jim s 1837 Date 2010-12-11 23:18 Edited 2010-12-11 23:21
Well guys again thank you to everybody on the DBA the buggy was a big hit and the dune buggy made it all the way thru the Groveland Christmas Parade.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!
Thanks again Jim

Ooops the pictures are all to big to upload...sorry!!

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By Brad H 1498 Date 2010-12-12 01:44
Congratulations Jim on a job well done. Be proud of the car you built it's great. And the fact that you get to enjoy it in December makes me all the more jealous. There's always little things to do, but for now...enjoy

Way to go Bud!!

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