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Previous Next Up Topic Public / Dune Buggy Build Showcase / My Kellison Sandpiper full length hard top rebuild (6799 hits)
By Kurt A 4257 Date 2015-10-06 03:00
So I scored a very decent Kellison full length body version Sandpiper with a rare hardtop sitting on a good condition 71 chassis.  Not to say it is decent without issues...it has plenty.  So I will be taking it all apart and rebuilding it back to a better state.  I will document the tear down and build back on this thread.

Here are some shots of the buggy from several angles

By Kurt A 4257 Date 2015-10-06 03:13
the state of the art basic VW fuse bus.
While I can do all things body & mechanical, me and electrical have never gotten along...so...the goal is an entirely new wiring kit, following all the many suggestions, and asking a lot of questions in this area I am sure...

By Kurt A 4257 Date 2015-10-06 03:21 Edited 2015-10-06 03:26
The steering column is a hack job...not just the column but the dash was seriously hacked, which I intend to rebuild the glass, and remove the method of column mount which is currently only a u-bolt attached with two bolts to the glass.  I plan to build a bar under the dash attached at the body sides at or near or in conjunction with the dash mounts or the windshield stanchion mounts on the body panel sides to better support the column, either fabricate my own or see if I can find a Barrien (if it will fit)
Checking out the Flaming River tilt columns for a replacement

 

By Kurt A 4257 Date 2015-10-06 03:33
Besides the big rectangular hack job in the dash around the column, I will also be filling in all the various holes drilled here and there over the years, as well as expanding the dash a bit to add in a full set of gauges
....I know...it's just a buggy...but I'm a motorhead...I like gauges....

By Kurt A 4257 Date 2015-10-06 03:43
The gas tank is interesting.  The stock tank inlet is capped, while it appears somebody did a pretty good job brazing in a new inlet on the top.  The tank is currently accessed with a screw off plate fitting on the hood to access the gas cap.  I am undecided at this point whether to just leave it well enough alone as is...but I will wait until I can pull and fully check out the condition of the tank.  The option would be new tank, glass over the existing hole in the hood, and using the stock position inlet off the corner of the tank and 90degree hose it up to a flip top filler mounted further up the hood closer to the window.

By Kurt A 4257 Date 2015-10-06 03:54 Edited 2015-10-06 14:39
The body was made for a swing axle, and so the bottom of the battery box was chopped out to provide clearance for the IRS, where a steel plate bat hold down was screwed in to the glass...but...leaving it fully exposed as well.

Along with all the other glass jobs that need done, I will be glassing in a new bottom to shorten up the box but to seal it up as well. 

I think I have some options for the battery.  I will either use a small dry cell in the box, or the other option is that given the long body the expanse of rear area is more than what is required for a seat, so I don't need the full depth for a seat, and I can pull the seat back away from the back of the body with enough clearance to slip a bat behind the seat along with some speakers on a ledge built behind the seat to the back of the body



By Kurt A 4257 Date 2015-10-06 04:03
I am not sure why at the moment, but the body is mounted just about an inch forward of what I would consider the normal expected position of the body to the pan.  But, such is the first question I have to pose to all the experts out there.

I know given the bat box that the body was built for a swing axle.  But beyond that, is the box/IRS clearance issue the ONLY difference??  What about the chassis lines in the back as compared to the body lines??
While the body sits flush to the pan, there is a significant space between the chassis and the rear body lip...as if the body was made for a chassis that had a higher rise....eg...is there a difference in the rear pan mounting between an IRS and Swing axle chassis????  As it is mounted now, there is a significant amount of space which is currently filled with thick foam board wedges....where at the fattest section of the wedge is at least two inches difference between the chassis and body.....

Is this normal???????

By Kurt A 4257 Date 2015-10-06 04:08 Edited 2015-10-06 14:38
And while everything I want to do I realize is probably gonna take me longer than my target of next Spring, the one who is impatiently waiting is my big buddy Gracie.  She LOVES car rides....and anytime I am out there she gets in and sits in it....probably wondering how come we're not out riding in it....
But I know she is the one who is going to love it the most....

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By Kurt A 4257 Date 2015-12-03 20:44 Edited 2015-12-04 03:51
The front beam initially looked all nice and smooth and solid and painted...but...closer inspection, a few pokes with a screw driver, and same thing....lots of Bondo hiding some major rust out.
The passenger side beam support is dented in....(how does the inside vertical support get dented in?????) and was Bondo'd over smooth. as was the rust out all over the supports.  While the serious rust is in the typical lower portions, there is some cancer in the upper portions as well in the upper shock tower mounts, as well as some potential tube damage.  Will have to get it boiled out to expose all the cancer and see if I can salvage the beam and weld in new material.

By dustymojave Date 2015-12-24 07:30
Well Kurt, nice start there. The pan to body fit is a problem with the fiberglass, warpage from sitting or from poor molding at Kellison. VW Bug pans are the same perimeter shape from 1938 through the end of production in Mexico in 2003. Even a Super Beetle, a Thing, or a Karmann Ghia is the same shape there.

The beam screams to be replaced entirely. I wouldn't bother with boiling it out. just replace it. I can't imagine how the inner side of that shock tower wound up hammered like that. It had to have been intentional. But why in the world...I couldn't say.
By Michael T 1299 Date 2016-05-23 23:45
Hi Kurt;

Actually that gap at the back of the body can be drawn down to fit the chassis there. Fiberglass is very forgiving. Mine was nearly that bad and I used c-clamps then later as it got closer I drilled holes in the flange and used long bolts in the stock body bolt holes that are there to slowly, over time, draw the fiberglass down to rest on the chassis there. Some heat from a heat gun or nice hot summer sun helps the process. Just don't hurry the process. The tighter you get the body to fit the less shake, rattles and squeaks you will have.

Mike T
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Previous Next Up Topic Public / Dune Buggy Build Showcase / My Kellison Sandpiper full length hard top rebuild (6799 hits)

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