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Previous Next Up Topic Public / Dune Buggy Build Showcase / Autodynamics Deserter Build (40829 hits)
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2011-11-20 22:38
Well the Avenger is up at the house...where its gonna be sold or will sit until the spring when I feel like fiddling with it again to get it going 100%.

Since I had an open spot in the shop I decided to drag in the Deserter for my winter project. I bought this about 2 years ago and it has been sitting under wrap next to my shop since then. The front right wheel was locked up so it was fun times getting it into the shop.

As you can see its pretty rough...but most of my projects are. My wife said "at least this one has a floor". I couldn't break it to her that it was going to be cut out.

Plans are for a flat floor with tube rails. Maybe diamondplate again. I have got 3 sets of wheels to choose from, 3 sets of seats, a 1600cc DP motor, some kads, a chrome tilt column, some vdo gauges, a chrome exhaust, the windshield and posts, some 40's style lights for the back and some other odds and ends I have been collecting.

This one might be a keeper since it is longer than most buggies so I will get some extra well needed leg room.

Color is still up in the air. I may feel ambitious enough to try to candy....

Plans are to rebuild the chassis and do body work over the winter, paint in the early spring, and be on the road for the summer. Thats the plans at least. It sure helps that my son get can himself to practice now. Shuttle busing really limited my time over the past few years.

By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2011-11-22 16:58
Got a few hours in the shop unexpectedly after I had to bring my 16 year old in for 9 stitches in his chin after a dunk attempt....

The body separated really easy. It looks like someone used 2" square tube to build a perimeter frame. It is very solid so that stays. It then looks like the welded in some stock pans. Those are going. Its got front adjusters & new ball joints.

The body is on my body dolly. Bob here is a picture of under the rear seat area. It had plenty of clearance for the control arms. Don't know why. You can even see in one of the chassis pics that the brake T was up high and the body didn't it that.

The side pods also came off real easy.

Alot of the stuff looked like it was real new when I bought it, but has unfortunately been out in the weather. Since I am replacing everything I thought I might offer some stuff for free if anyone wants to come and get it (Western Mass). Maybe your doing a budget build and you can use some stuff.

I have some chrome tie rods that are a little rusty but the boots are very clean and still soft. It looks like they were put on and the car never used. Some chrome polish might make them look very nice. They also seem to be a little heavier then the ones I have goten in the past. Polish them or maybe paint them.:

I also have a set of Bocar (I think thats what they said....) shocks that are in real nice shape. They are oil filled and work great.

Lastly I have a stock steering column from a 1973 (I think). No blinker switch but it has the key!

Oh...and what about those rims? They appear solid with some rust but might clean up. I know they are just stock VW rims but I thought I would offer before the scrap heap.
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2011-11-30 18:37
Floors have been pulled....which was not an easy task. Some sections had 3 layers of steel. Welding up some spots and making my mods for the flat floor.

Also got the tranny out.

I also got about 1/2 the body sanded with the 80 grit. There are only a few very small areas that need repair. Nothing like my old Manx.
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2012-02-14 19:25
Finished welding up the frame and got the pan on the rotisserre. Added alot of steel for a design element versus any real strength. I have a paint idea that I think might look good.

Next step is to smooth the tunnel and then prime.

By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2012-02-20 14:22
I just want to once again empatically state.....I HATE SANDING.

Yes..its that time again. This Deserter body is pretty virgin, but I am rather confused as to its quality. The original gelcoat seems to have little solid bubbles of gelcoat all over it. Its very textured in spots. Also, I found an area where there was a huge (about 2" around) air pocket under the gelcoat and above the glass structure. There is also a section on the rear fender when it seems like the underlying resin oozed through the gelcoat.

Lastly, I found the sides and the hood very very thin. The hood flexed so much I am adding a few extra layers. I haven't decided about the sides yet.

Common issue on the Deserter? Its body construction seems so inferior to any other buggy I have ever built.
By Bill K 96 Date 2012-02-24 21:19
Jeffrey, I concur! I had a series one and it was about 1/2 the thickness of my Imp.  The Imp is about 1/2 as thick as my Manx.   Stress cracks all over and the gelcoat was thin too!  I would just keep telling myself it must have been built for racing!
By Thomas B 2944 Date 2012-02-25 01:32
     I haven't got into my body at this time but I hope I do not find the types of problems that you have. I am sill welding at this point, body fits OK but could be better. Think I can work with it though. Keep on posting, even some more pictures would be great. If you can remember the camera.

By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2012-05-24 18:27
I will hopefully be priming the body, chassis, side pods and hood this weekend. I kept finding little pinholes. Mt high build primer will fill most, but I hate using it too thick.

Then I need to choose a color......
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2012-05-26 16:16
Nothing like a coat of primer to remind me how bad of a body man I am.
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2012-06-10 00:41
By Michael T 1299 Date 2012-09-04 18:36
The sidepods for the GT are nice looking. It really does a lot to make the GT look more sportscar yet still be a dune buggy. (I wish there were ready made sidepods for the S1.)

Mike T
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2012-09-05 01:47
Would a set of Manx or Berrien side pods fit? I bet they would with some minor tweaking.

And just as an update...the paint is purchased, the outer body and hood have been wet sanded. Need to sand the inner body, the side pods, and the center tunnel.

Oh...and I relocated the filler neck so the tank is ready to go.
By Michael T 1299 Date 2012-09-06 00:51
Well, sure. If adding 4" to the length is "minor tweaking". I like the look enough so eventually I will try it.

Please keep the updates coming. I can't get enough.
By Brad H 1498 Date 2012-10-11 19:08
Any progress Jeffery? It's looking great so far.

I was wondering if building the tube frame like the one under the tunnel and front frame head would be strong enough to get rid of the center tunnel or at least drop it down to an inch or so in height or if maybe skinning the tubes that run down the length of the tunnel undeneith would give it enough strength? Maybe if combined with a 4 point cage integeral to the chassis??? I've been considering something like this for a possible future project. ther would still have to be some strengthening of the rear torsion tube to frame, but that could be worked out.

By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-04-14 19:52 Edited 2013-04-14 20:05
Finally some pics. The little flecks on the parts are pieces of metallic reflecting. As always, they look alot better in person then my terrible camera and poorly lit shop reflect.

By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-04-22 14:13
Front and rear suspension parts have been painted. They just need some clear.

New ball joints getting pressed in.

Tranny needs to be cleaned and then painted the same blue.

D3/16" diamondplate has been received. Need to template the floors so that can be installed.
By Thomas B 2944 Date 2013-04-22 19:46
Nice!!!!!!  Particularly like the color.


Is your body style the "GT" model?
By @ManxBug Date 2013-04-23 02:55
Love the Colour! It's gonna be great when it's done.
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-04-29 17:55
Floors have been templated. Man that stuff is a pain to cut! I hope the new owner appreciates all this work!

Drivers side floor is fitted. passengers side tonight.

Tranny is cleaned and ready for some paint. Shocks are ordered and will be getting paint the same day I paint the tranny.
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-05-07 16:11
Got both floors installed. Taped off the silver under structure and applied the Herculiner. I have used 4 rolls of tape to mask off areas for this 3 color pan.

Reinstalled the rear trailing arms.

Put a nice hack in the center tunnel paint while installing the floors so now I need to repair, repaint, and reclear the tunnel. I will do that when I paint the tranny and the shocks.

This weekend the plan is to paint the tranny, shocks, a few odds and ends, and redo the tunnel. Oh...maybe add some accent color to the wheels as well.
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-05-08 15:30
Tape removed. Hacks on the tunnel fixed and primed (ready for new paint). Shocks stripped and primed. Rear tranny mount, pedal cluster & shift coupler access plate all sand blasted, filled, sanded, and primed and ready for paint. Axles removed from degreaser and disassembled for paint and new boots.

This weekend I want to get that tranny primed and painted. I need to work on the wheels as well.

Getting close to starting to work on the wiring.
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-05-09 16:29
Axles disassembled and primed for paint.

Started on disassembling and sandblasting the brake parts.

Tonight more brake work and getting the steering box ready for paint.
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-05-13 18:49
Lots painted over the weekend.

Transmission, pushrod tubes, steering box, steering box clamp, shocks, and coupler access plate all painted blue and cleared. I also repainted the tunnel after the couple of hacks I made into it when installing the floors.

Axles, pedal cluster & transmission mount all painted silver and cleared.

This week it will be brakes that get detailed. Clean and sandblast the backing plates, prime and paint them. Prime and paint the master cylinder. Clean and paint the brake drums.

Oh yeah...and wire wheel, prime, paint and clear all the axle bolts, master cyclinder bolts, front beam bolts, rear suspension bolts.
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-05-29 16:42
Wire brushing, priming, painting, and clearing bolts really sucks!

Got the brakes diassembled, sand blasted, primed and painted. Starting some re-assembly now. Finially!
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-06-16 03:30
Well I finally got some time to get some stuff done.  Please ignore the mess. My Fathers Day present to myself will be cleaning the garage tomorrow.








By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-06-24 15:47
Started tearing into my $200 longblock last night. I was very pleased to see that the pistons are brand new and it does not appear that it was ever run. Its getting detailed now and will hopefully be installed this week.
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-07-07 22:06
Some updated pics.

I have the front lights and the rear lights all wired. Any wires to the front and rear are run.

Here are the rims/tires I will be using. Any gold highlights will be re-painted the blue that the body is.

Here is the hood fastened back to the body:

And the gas tank before the hood was put on:

And lastly a couple of pics of the tilt column:

By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-07-29 18:34 Edited 2013-07-30 00:58
Ya know what sucks....paying for Ford drilled rums and studs and getting them in the mail, painting them and installing them and then realizing you were sent Chevy patterns with Chevy studs.

That sucks!

Emailing the vendor to give them a chance to make it right.
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-07-30 00:58
Good news / Bad news day.

Bad news....SoCal is ignoring me. Looks like a phone call tomorrow and if no response then stopping the payment on my CC might get their attention.

Good news...What I thought was a manufacturing issue in my fuse block turned out to be a guy working too long at night on his projects. I confused the purpose of a wire in the key harness. Assumed it was a dedicated circuit but it actually served several keyed functions.

Once I figured that out I was able to basically finish the wiring. I just need to wire the ignition switch (didn't have the right connectors), test it, and make it look all pretty.

Will finish that up tomorrow and if my son is around I will get the motor installed so I can get that running.
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-08-07 01:42
OK...I was asked so here they are. Please pardon all the dust. I have been really busy and I don't have time to give everything a good cleaning. I will before I mate the body to the pan.

Nice and clean carbs!!

I had some leftover cable so I made a grounding strap

I still need to touch up a couple of places with the Herculiner.

These are the drums with the wrong studs in the wrong pattern

By Michael T 1299 Date 2013-08-07 23:06
Wow... Knock my eyes off with a stick.

Mike T
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-09-01 00:04
Well It think my luck might be changing.

My machinist called to say my drums were done. When I got there I said "I hope they weren't too much of a pain.". He said "Nope, as soon as i scraped out all that paint that was inside they slide right in". $20 for his time. Got the drums home and all the wheels are now mounted.

Worked on getting it fired today. Put some oil in, ballparked my timing, ran a temporary fuel source, hooked up the battery and ran a switch to my coil. Jumped the starter terminals and after about 10 minutes of playing with the timing and getting some fuel into the carbs and it fired right up.

It runs great! Not a single puff of smoke from it. If you recall I said that it looked brand new in there when I removed the heads so I did not split the case. It runs like new. I got the timing set and played a little with the kads. I had them adjusted a little too far so I took out some washers and I have a great stream when I jab the throttle. No flat spot.  It idled nice and smooth and is just fantastic! Someone is gonna get a nice little motor.

Here are some pics:

By KickoutSSSteve Date 2013-09-01 00:53
Very nice Jeffrey!!
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-09-05 19:52
Got the little breather system built, the battery tray built and primed, and re-built a new smaller paint area so I can prime & paint my windshield posts.

The check list is shrinking fast.
By KickoutSSSteve Date 2013-09-07 05:04
Very Nice Jeffrey!!!
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-09-13 14:59
Got the posts primed and some guidecoat shot. I am hoping they come out straight. They really needed some work.

Also just realized that I don't have a fuel filter installed...doh.
By KickoutSSSteve Date 2013-09-15 09:22
That looks almost identical to my motor although the exhaust is different.  My carb linkage is in the back rather than the front.  What size is that?  Mine is a 2176cc.  Its coming along nicely for you!!
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-10-30 20:25
Its all done. And likely sold already.

By Brad H 1498 Date 2013-10-31 04:07
Gorgeous car Jeffrey!!!!!! Hope you at least got to put a few miles on it.


By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-11-10 01:16 miles for me.

It is getting a bunch of miles on the back of a trailer to its new home in St. Louis. Hated to see it attracted alot of attention.

My attention is now getting the SR into the shop for my winter distraction.
By Mike S 3952 Date 2014-02-24 02:28
Nice build, lots of time and attention in that build. I was curious who's column and seats did you use?
  Thanks Mike
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2014-02-25 04:26
The column was a generic chrome tilt column available through multiple suppliers on EBAY.

The seats were Tenzo racing seats. I bought them off someone who didn't use them on a project so I don't know whee you can get them.

Thanks for your nice comments
By Geewitit Date 2015-02-08 15:43
Another nice build Jeffery!!! What wiring harness did you use??
Previous Next Up Topic Public / Dune Buggy Build Showcase / Autodynamics Deserter Build (40829 hits)

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