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Previous Next Up Topic Public / FunFest Dune Buggy Build / Chassis assembly planning ... (46212 hits)
By John S 2 Date 2008-02-18 03:32 Edited 2008-02-18 03:36
This thread will be a open notebook on planning the chassis. I am open to any and all suggestions.
I also want to post the pre-planning and prep work in each of these areas, so everyone can follow the progress.
John Shepard the DBA
By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2008-02-18 13:18
This is going to be a Berrian correct? Does the Berrian have a shortened shift rod already with it? How about shortened floor pans? Do they run the fuel line and clutch cable before they ship it? Sorry for the dumb Q's but I've not dealt with a Berrian chassis before.
By John S 2 Date 2008-02-22 06:25
I have a donor pan that the tunnel was really rusted out.
Should be able to use that shift rod. I hope.

Probably should try to get out in the garage this weekend and take a look at what I have and need.
John Shepard the DBA
By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2008-02-22 14:25
Yup, how about the shift tube shortened? I really have no idea what the Berrian frame has or needs, but try to think of all the things that the berrian frame will need as it applies to shortening a standard frame, such as the shift rod, shortened clutch tube, E-brake too.

By John S 2 Date 2008-02-22 17:05
It's already shortend this pan was under the manx.
The tube even has an adjuster on the end of it as I recall.
I am pretty sure I have new eruo mounts for the transaxle, a strap kit, cable shortening kit.
John Shepard the DBA
By John S 2 Date 2008-02-27 16:05
So here is where I am at on the chassis.

Give me your opinions and as always include pics if you have them.
What do you guys recommend on the tube Berrien Chassis.

Powder coat- No one in 200 miles that I can find.....

Bed liner coating- I can get colors and the new coatings are even glossy shiny.

Paint- can get it painted but will it hold up? The whole chassis has a light orange coat of surface rust when it's been damp since I got shipped in last May.

Have any of you guys done a Berrien fame and what did you do?? pics...???
John Shepard the DBA
By Rayth O 670 Date 2008-02-27 17:53
We have a place called Jtec  in danville that does powder coating.  they do stock car chassis so I think yours would fit in the oven.  not sure the ph# but it`s in Tilton IL.
MidAmerica Funfest May 31-June 1 2008
THE buggy event of 2008, BE THERE!!!!
By yellermanx y 25 Date 2008-02-27 18:06
I used cheapo automotive single stage enamel.
By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2008-02-27 18:30
John, I used to powdercoat for the US NAVY and I can tell you that it will not hold up to rock chips like paint will. For some reason, powder tends to chip rather than just ding. Also, you'll have to touch powder coating up with paint, so it's really a waste if you ask me.

Some people have used POR-15. I have not and have no experience with it, but I've always wanted to try it out. People say it holds up well, but the prep may be more difficult than regular enamel paint... not sure.

Hope this info helps,
By John S 2 Date 2008-02-27 19:12
I love the backyard Rotissarary.

Sometime I think I over think things.

I wnat this to be spectacular but, really want it to have a look like it was built back in the day.
I am kinda torn on the direction to take it.

If I had side panels I think I would do a contrasting color, then it would only show font and rear and from under.
Without side panels, I am trying to decide black silver or tan.
John Shepard the DBA
By Kustoms Date 2008-02-27 20:07
Hey Chuck, Thats pretty inventive.
John, I would like to suggest paint over Powder coat. Go with a satin, Its easy to touch up with a spray bomb.
By Eric S 801 Date 2008-02-28 22:17
If you are looking for a powder coater, I know of one in Charleston, IL
By John S 2 Date 2008-02-29 02:17
I was looking for a powdercoater in West Virginia.
Thanks though.
John Shepard the DBA
By Sandsurfer Date 2008-02-29 11:37
All the powdercoating I have had done, holds up to rocks far better than any paint I have seen with the exception of POR-15. POR-15 is something to look into, properly applied, it drys with a great gloss and will dry overnight with no problem.
The floorpan we are using as a table in this picture is painted with POR-15.

Here ia a picture of a powdercoated Berrien frame. After nearly 10 years of driving, I have yet to find a stone chip on it.

Finished buggy.

By John S 2 Date 2008-03-01 02:59
Would you happen to have a close up pic of Por-15 anyone ???

What is the finish like? Smooth or bumpy??

The owner of the dealership I work at is a Street Rod guy. He reccommended POR-15 over bedliner spray.
He had trouble with knocking chunks out of the liner, and fluids eating it up.

Sounds like he is rough on stuff like me.

It looks pretty glossy on the pic, I just would want it to be smooth.
Also How easy to apply??? And what prep work?
John Shepard the DBA
By Kustoms Date 2008-03-01 03:41
Por-15 is a good product for its intended use as a rust converter. Not much prep work just make sure you use gloves. I do not like the finished look so I paint over it when we use it. They do make a satin, I just never used it.

BTW, The stuff is expensive.
By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2008-03-01 11:09
I may be wrong, but I *believe* I read that in that exact picture, (pan used as a table) the paint was actually brushed on. Jerry, can you confirm this? Although a high gloss, I was impressed with the picture that *was* shown with the text saying it was brush painted. The paint seemed to flow together with what I imagine would have been a low surface tension to create a uniform layer.

Hope this helps... Wish I had actually used the stuff before. I do plan on trying it in the future.
By Sandsurfer Date 2008-03-01 13:21
Yes, the POR-15 on the pan in the picture was brushed on with a foam brush. Conventional POR-15 will dry like a mirror if applied to a smooth surface. If the surface is prepped properly, it's just about bulletproof.
The pan in the picture is actually for a friend's 58 sunroof Beetle.
By Jeff GS Date 2008-03-05 01:16
I don't want to stir up controversy, but I read about guys using Por-15 on fairly thorough 356 restorations having issues with it peeling off (and more than one person), several years after application!  They claimed they followed the prep work to the letter, and I can imagine anyone trying to restore a 356 not wanting to cut any corners.....

Others have seemed to have good luck with it?  I'm about 90% decided to try the KBS coatings.  Similar to POR products, but seems to have some advantages on topcoating, and a better variety of colors?  My chassis will only have light surface rust after being stored bare for a couple of years in a shed.  I will be hitting it with a flap disc before painting (along with the rust blaster solution), but I guess we all pays our money and takes our chances!??
I just want a hard durable coating that won't be inclined to chip (or peel!) off after a few years of on-road use.  That seems to rule out standard paint products, though it would seem a sandbalsted chassis followed by epoxy primer and good quality top-coat would be about the best (and most expensive) chassis prep you could use?
By John S 2 Date 2008-03-05 14:24
If I am going to have it peel and chip anyway, I am really considering rattle can rustoleum.
Quick easy to use cheap and readily available to fix it later when needed.

I am also now thinking stick to the basics black instead of color.
Highlighted by chrome and silver touches.

old school? is real kool.
John Shepard the DBA
By Sandsurfer Date 2008-03-06 01:35
You really don't want to use Rustoleum. that stuff takes forever to dry.
By John S 2 Date 2008-03-07 01:30
What additional prep and added brackets braces or things di you do to your Nostalgia Chassis??
I know you added mounts on the bottom to make panels for the bottom.

What else.
Everytime I look at that pic I get excited about building this thing.
John Shepard the DBA
By yellermanx y 25 Date 2008-03-07 12:37
Hey John, it was primed with high build primer and sanded, nothing special it's a driver.  As far as added pieces you can see in that picture are the flat plates in front of the seats and just below the fiberglass floor.  I had been told by several that the fiberglass floor felt week in that area.  The plates are located slightly below the floor so they don't touch unless there is weight such as someone standing on the floor.  The shifter and e-brake mounts are welded and fit flush against the bottom of the fiberglass floor and the fiberglass is sandwiched when it is bolted together.  I welded the  throttle cable tube to those mounts so I didn't have to drill holes in the floor.  There are mounts for the belly pans and tunnel pans, however I never got around to making the tunnel pans.  There are also bolts welded for fuel, brake and e-brake lines to mount to.  Lots of pictures in my Photobucket.

e-brake cable housing mount bolt.

fuel and brake lines mounted

VIN mount, original location.

Before pan completely cut out to view VIN.

Driver's belly pan.

Belly pan mounts.
By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2008-03-07 16:56
Do you need to add sheet metal to the front where the "hump" would normally meet the body? I'm wondering how else the body would be sealed at the front of the chassis.

By yellermanx y 25 Date 2008-03-07 20:24
The Berrien chassis comes with a fiberglass copy of the beetle pan.  The white/grey piece is body lift.
By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2008-03-08 02:58
Ah, thank you for clearing that up for me.
By yellermanx y 25 Date 2008-03-08 18:19
John, One thing I wish I had done while building mine was install rear torsion adjusters in the housing.  I may do that the next time it is apart.  Just something else to think about.  You better get busy!
By Sandsurfer Date 2008-03-08 18:39
Keep in mind the extra support for the shifter and the Ebrake lever are not really needed. My Sister's Berrien Nostalgia on a Berrien chassis has been being beat on for about 10 years so far and there is no flex in the fiberglass at all. I can't believe anyone can slam the shifter through gears anymore violently than I do :-)
By John S 2 Date 2008-03-16 07:11
So the chassis is off to the paint shop first of the week. I decided after many hours of deliberation that I love the gloss black look. So it will be painted Gloss Black. I am going to go exactly by the Berrien Buggy instructions on assembly. I am not going to add any re-enforcements at this time. The only modification I would like to do is to install a bottom plate to the tunnel. I am having tabs welded on in case I do make a diamond plate tunnel bottom.
John Shepard the DBA
By John S 2 Date 2008-04-04 04:12
Should have some finished pics of the chassis soon. The wait is driving me crazy.
John Shepard the DBA
By John S 2 Date 2008-04-11 19:36
Still waiting on the painter.
I think I am going to paint the bottom of the floor the same semi black as the tub underside.
I want to make a tunnel bottom out of something. Plexi or diamond plate.
I thought about plexi and putting LIGHTS IN IT. :0
John Shepard the DBA
By John S 2 Date 2008-04-25 05:15
Tube not done yet but, Joey go some work done on the floor while we wait.
Nice job buddy.

Also I finished the last coat on the gas tank with the WALMARTOLINER spray can bedliner. 1 whole can for the top side. 1 whole can for the bottom. Says it will hold up to gasoline. We will see. Joey said why paint, no one will be able to see under the hood.... :-)
John Shepard the DBA
By John S 2 Date 2008-05-05 21:49
We made the decision on the chassis Sunday.
We went with Silver POR-15.

I decided that since this vehicle is "test bed" project for many different dune buggy products, doing the same thing
someone else has done would measure up.

Even though I LOVE yellarmanx's black I wanted to be different so I went silver.

That chassis lunch table from Jerry has been stuck in my mind.
I thought why not take the frame the way it is and go with Por-15 why wait for a painter.
The frame has been sitting in our carport driveway covered since last August when it was delivered.
I has a light orange rust coat all over it except for the new steel cross beams.
The VW torsion has some pits and old rust even though everything was freshly sandblasted last July.

So I put the first coat on one side last night.
I am brushing the first coat on. I may go back and spray the second.
I think it's supposed to be tacky still but, we will see. Taking pics so we can document it here.
John Shepard the DBA
By John S 2 Date 2008-05-09 18:45
Getting everything that i need together this week, so I can do a final checklist.

What size fuel line do you guys recommend????

I should run hardline ion the tunnel and then felxible rubber at each end right???

I don't think I got any suggestions on stock or electric fuel pump....???

John Shepard the DBA
By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2008-05-10 11:30
I wasn't sure about fuel required for the 1776. I think as long as people think it will run fine on the stock mechanical fuel pump, you should go that route. I would say 1/4" or possibly you might want to upgrade to 3/6" fuel line.

As far as rigid line through the tunnel, I think its up to you what you want. I ran hose the entire length of mine because I didn't have a way to attach a rigid line through the tunnel, and I didn't want to have any noise from the fuel line when going over bumps. I think in your situation, you can fasten the hard line to the frame since it's all exposed and you won't have the concern of noise that I did for my build.

Summit Racing has some coiled aluminum tubing for a reasonable price.

By John S 2 Date 2008-05-20 18:41
Should I make a seal under the fiberglass floor between the tubing like the body seal??
John Shepard the DBA
By John S 2 Date 2008-05-25 14:43
Okay guys,
I just went to test fit the front beam on the tube chassis last night and of course it hits the clamps.

What is the deal with the bracket between the tubes. It has steering stops on it or something like that.

It is in the way of the beam mating up with the front end.

Do I cut the steering bracket off and move the steering box over?
John Shepard the DBA
By yellermanx y 25 Date 2008-05-25 16:13
It is the steering stop and you need to cut it off.
By Sandsurfer Date 2008-05-25 17:38
The clamps on my Berrien frame hit the zerk fittings on the beam. I ended up welding them shut and redrilling and tapping them in another location. Berrien may have changed their design a bit, remember, mine was a very early Berrien chassis. 
Previous Next Up Topic Public / FunFest Dune Buggy Build / Chassis assembly planning ... (46212 hits)

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