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Picked Up A Dune Buggy

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#1 Ryan313 OFFLINE  


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Posted June 20, 2014 - 07:50 PM

A little over a month ago I welded two plates to the front of a guys dune buggy so he could mount his bumper. After talking to him, he said he had 4 and was tring to sell the other 3! Well things progressed and a week later this happened.



Here are some pictures from when I went to pic it up.







He only wanted $250 for it, which isn't bad considering he paid me $150 to weld the plates on! I also went halves on it with my brother since I am leaving for the Navy at the end of October. I believe it is a 1962 with a 1961 1600cc air cooled engine. Shortly after I got it home I had the seats pulled out to clean it better, and the engine out.



The engine is not much more complex then the engines in our tractors, and it is just as easy to work on. The cylinders on these engines come off of the block, much like motorcycle engines. Two of the cylinders are pretty pitted from water getting in the exhaust and need to be replaced, the other two are in great shape. I am not sure if I am going to get two used cylinders, all new ones, or what; I have to look around some because naturally, I don't want to spend a lot on it since it is just a toy. It is a good thing parts for these are pretty cheap; I have the engine all apart (I'll post pictures tomorrow) and I will reseal the entire thing, a complete gasket set is around $15 to $20.


My interest in this is because my Dad had at least 10 of them over the course of his life. He used to go up a nearby mountain but got out of it when they stopped letting people go up. Now, the mountain is open again and are allowed to go up it!

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#2 T Guiles OFFLINE  

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Posted June 20, 2014 - 08:08 PM

Cool toy, you can make the Vdubs run like a bear

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#3 toomanytoys84 OFFLINE  



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Posted June 20, 2014 - 08:20 PM

Pretty neat. I always wanted a street legal one.

A few guys tried hanging with the side by sides and atvs out in the woods and they just couldn't make it. Fun for cruising back roads!
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#4 HDWildBill OFFLINE  


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Posted June 20, 2014 - 08:38 PM

You'll have a blast with it.  I've got one of those Chinese one in the shop.  If I can ever find an output shaft for the gearbox we'll take it out and have a ball with it.

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#5 glgrumpy OFFLINE  


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Posted June 20, 2014 - 08:40 PM

J.C. Whitney used to have big VW catalog. Not sure anymore. Not real sure Whitney is even still around?? Anyone?  Be careful working on that engine, seems there are some tricky things about cams and cranks and case alignments and such that you have to watch. Seems maybe some O-rings around cyl to block and heads and the valve tubes you gotta get right. I ran my hand, or all four fingers anyway, thru the upper pulley,  one time trying to adjust a carb thru the belt, with no cover on it, so watch for that if open. It hurt real bad for a few minutes, turned the belt over, but nothing broken or cut open on hand, was lucky for sure. Did swell up for a few days. Mine was a 59 engine and didn't have enough power left in it to climb a big street hill in towns where I lived. I wasn't gonna fix, so sold it.

Edited by glgrumpy, June 20, 2014 - 08:42 PM.

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#6 Gtractor OFFLINE  


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Posted June 20, 2014 - 09:52 PM

Off the chart kewell!   :thumbs:


I'd say its a 1200cc engine since it has the round top air shroud and is a single-port intake.  If thats the case it will have about as much power as a weedeater on premium.  I'd look for a 1600cc engine complete.

Look very closely at the throwout bearing fork while you have it out in the open.  They are weak.

If the tranny is as old as the engine first gear won't be syncronized but thats no big deal. 


best of luck!!!  :wave:

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#7 JDBrian OFFLINE  


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Posted June 21, 2014 - 05:27 AM

If yuo want more power you can get it out of the existing engine or a Subaru flat 4 is the same configuration but with water cooling and much more stock HP. 

#8 shorty OFFLINE  



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Posted June 21, 2014 - 05:51 AM

That looks like a fun machine. 

#9 petrj6 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 21, 2014 - 06:13 AM

   I like it, I have a fiberfab gt 12 here that I hope to get time to put it together some dayblack-avenger-5.jpg   Obviously this is not mine but you get the idea.

   Those vw engines are super easy to work on and really dependable,  Somewhere her I have a performance catalogue if I can find it I will give you there name.   I got lots of stuff from them for my chassis when I rebuilt it.  Cant seem to remember the name now.



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Posted June 21, 2014 - 07:15 AM

Cool...Have fun but be careful!


My son had one very much like yours. He was cutting around in a feild and while spinning donuts, one of the rear wheels hit a hole. It was real hard to drive with that 1 rear wheel setting at a 90* angle to the rest of the wheels!

#11 Sawdust OFFLINE  

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Posted June 21, 2014 - 08:20 AM

This will be a fun project, your options are unlimited. I've had a few VW's & always wanted a buggy but never got to it. They are easy & adaptable to many after market parts. Keep us posted & thanks for your service to keep our wonderful country free.

#12 daytime dave OFFLINE  

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Posted June 21, 2014 - 09:33 AM

Looks like a lot of fun Ryan.  Enjoy it.

#13 Ryan313 OFFLINE  


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Posted June 24, 2014 - 02:44 PM

Thanks guys! I ordered new cylinders, pistons, wrist pins, and piston rings last night as a kit. I also got a complete gasket set. I don't know when the engine parts will be here, hopefully I get an email with a tracking number.

Gtractor, the piston bores are 85.5mm with a 69mm stroke, that checks out as a 1600cc engine.

I don't have extreme plans for this one, pretty much the goal right now is to get it running. Once I do I don't think I will make any huge changes, pretty much paint it red, build a skid plate for the engine, and possibly change the rear portion of the cage.