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Previous Next Up Topic Public / Dune Buggy Build Showcase / Mark II Sportsman "rehab". (6944 hits)
By AMAC1680 Date 2015-07-27 21:12 Edited 2015-07-27 23:56
My brother, my dad and I built three buggys back in 1977-1978 the "old fashion " way.
Remove body, reuse everything possible and drop on the body then cobble it together.Minimal everything not vital. I think we did the third one in a weekend. Basic but a hoot to drive. Of course the donor bugs didn't need to have the chassis rebuilt due to rusted out pans etc so it was so much easier.

I started to look around about a year ago for a buggy that wouldn't need a body off restore. Once the body comes off its all in or nothing IMO. I needed a ride to run on the beach a few times a week and spend the rest of its time running around town as my daily driver. It couldn't be too nice as the plan was to be able to hose it out at the end of the day. Due to a spinal cord injury it needed to be a mobility device of sorts for off-roading.

After looking at everything from overpriced piles of rust with wheels and a random bodies to overpriced Manx clones that were $10,000.00 show type cars I stumbled across this buggy by pure chance.

The pluses were a very soild chassis with just some surface rust and a workable body. It's built like a sand rail so the cage is full and the pan is solid as a rock.just some surface rust. Although the wheels and rubber are like new they won't work for me long haul.

On the negative side everything else was toast. Over the years a few tried to run it on the cheap and it took its toll. It leaked oil from everywhere and some nice chunks of iron came out of the oil drain. Yet it ran, sort of. The trans was also in rough shape. Wiring, lights etc had to go. Then there's the nasty chopped-off plastic windshield and bull it lights.

Biggest positive was the guy had to get out of dodge and empty his garage fast. He wanted 3k. I ended up buying it for 950.00. Works for me!

That was early May, it came home and sat for three weeks while I decided how to move forward.
Here's what I came up with.

Rebuild motor to 1600 DP to stock. Don't need added power and want reliability of sorts.
Install rebuilt trans. New clutch, New CVs and shafts.
Rewire buggy
New ball joints, steering components and shocks
New brake lines and brake job
Front end alignment

Then the cosmetics.

Started that phase end of May. My boys and I removed everything from the shift coupler back. Sourced a long block and a rebuilt trans locally and did the rebuild first.

Just a little bling but went black to ease day to day cleaning.

After the motor , trans and wiring work it was tow-bar time to a shop to do the front-end and brake work. Not what I do best and it's easy to make them go but also important to make them stop! Also had them check/troubleshoot my motor work.

Got the buggy back mid late June and put a quick 1000 miles on the rebuild. Worked out a few minor bugs and I'm a happy camper. At the moment in a hair over 5k in.

Just did the rough fit on the windshield and its starting to look like a proper buggy now. Here's a before and after. It's on to some body work as I drive it every stinking day !

I'm attaching the pics as my photobucket doesn't seem to have good definition.

Be Big,

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By Kellison Jim Date 2015-07-29 04:13 Edited 2015-07-29 04:15
AMAC, it sure would look good with the Mfg. decal on the nose. I have a couple left at $20.00 each. PM me if you are interested. It's hard to see in the photo but this fleet of Sportsman's are all wearing one.

Kellison Jim
By AMAC1680 Date 2015-07-29 05:35
Thanks Jim you have mail.
I used a photo of one of my favorite all time buggys for inspiration. Mine won't ever look as smooth as this buggy. As much as I like them "in the raw" I'd make an exception for this buggy!


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By Kellison Jim Date 2015-08-01 15:44
I am still kicking myself in the a$$ for selling her.
Kellison Jim
By Dave C 4367 Date 2015-08-02 00:43
Looks great, Like the seat belts.. So how much did you wind up putting into it, to get it the way it is now?
By AMAC1680 Date 2015-08-02 11:49
Lol Jim !
As I said it's one of the few cars that just "tweaked" me. Love it.
You said it's up NJ. I'm there now. Where is it I'll make an offer, lol !

By Kellison Jim Date 2015-08-02 15:41
Very tempting AMAC
Kellison Jim
By AMAC1680 Date 2015-12-14 19:03
A few updates on The Fun Buggy.
It didn't take long. As I first thought the rubber had to go. The street tires the last owner had on it were a hoot on the blacktop but sucked wind in the dirt, mud and sand. I also had to take the twin noisemakers off. I loved the sound and the look until I started to put the miles on then it got old fast. Maybe I'm just old. Kinda sorry I put them on in the first place.

Here's a couple of pics showing the changes.
I went with white spoke "wagon" wheels. Basic but it's what I like. I also went with discs in the back. Need a little more stopping power. The exhaust sounds very nice but it's far more under control than the trumpets were. While I was back there I added the rear bumper.

Almost forgot I changed out the shifter to a Scat. I love the positive shifts but can see how some might find it a bit notchy.

All in all she's coming along. Now that's its cooled off down here I'll go back and hit the surface rust.
She's been reliable as a hammer since the rebuild and more fun than I ever thought.


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Previous Next Up Topic Public / Dune Buggy Build Showcase / Mark II Sportsman "rehab". (6944 hits)

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