View original topic: First time Dune Buggy/VW project. Page: 1, 2, 3  Next
gridmark7 Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:48 pm

I plan on buying my first VW Dune Buggy project before the end of the week, at this point im pretty confident im going to buy it because the price is right ($600). I know very little about these but I've wanted a Meyers Manx as long as I can remember, and this is close enough for me.

I looked at the car back in 2016 (when I took the pictures below) but ended up not buying it, but 3 1/2 years later its in the same spot and im in a much better position to work on it.

All that being said any tips or things I should be aware of before diving into this? Anything the more experienced people can tell me about it from just the pictures? All I really know is its yellow it resembles a Manx but isnt one and its got a VW pan, its also got 5 lug rear wheels which kind of stood out to me.

I did also check the ID the buggy thread and the DBA to try and find out what it is but didn't see anything that was identical.

Thanks in advance,

rayjay Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:32 pm

It will be interesting to see what the floorpan is made of. Stock VW pans or thicker sheet steel. Looks like it has some sort of angle iron at the body to pan joint. I like the roll cage. Hopefully it's bolted to the floor or else you are in trouble where it's bolted to the back of the body. Keep us updated !!

gridmark7 Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:39 pm

I'll be sure to check all that before I buy it, thanks for pointing that stuff out. Should I be expecting rust? Its in northern Nevada and we do get snow. I should have more pictures this weekend.

rayjay Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:56 pm

There will be rust. At $600 I think it's a no brainer. Hopefully the carb has a cap on it and no water has gotten into the motor.

rayjay Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:57 pm

Looks like it has a ball joint front end.

rayjay Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:04 pm

I was able to zoom in on the pics and it does have a tiny paper air filter on the carb. Also, it has one of the filter pumps with a large Fram oil filter that almost touches the header. Centrifugal adv dist. I don't see CV axles. I do see what appears to be swing axles but the centerline of the axle doesn't seem to match up with the CL of the hub so I wonder if somebody converted it to bus reduction gearboxes with the RBGs laid flat ???

rayjay Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:06 pm

Chrome tin and fan shroud. Alternator not generator.

rayjay Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:09 pm

A lot of VW swing axle outer tubes standing on end by the building in the second pic.

gridmark7 Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:21 pm

There are lots of spares that im sure they're willing to sell I know that green gang box is full of parts and theres a back room in the garage full of parts. Also what I think is a kellison super T in the garage with a Porsche motor.

clonebug Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:38 pm

Make sure the VW pan has the Vin numbers on it and a title if that is applicable in AZ.

Wolfgangdieter Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:40 pm

Later dual port motor - which is good. I'd check to see what NV requires to register it so it can be driven on the road. To me, one without a valid title is just a pile of parts. Also get a bill of sale so you can prove the $600 price.

gridmark7 Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:49 pm

Worst case scenario I think I can register it as a homemade OHV I just wont be able to drive it on the highway, but we live in the boonies so that would be OK. But hopefully They have have the title and it wont come to that. Ill talk to the lady at the DMV out here shes been a big help with our other projects.

Brother Jon Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:26 pm

Title and registration (1967 VW Special Assembly) was not a problem for my Imp in NV, but Progressive seemed to be the only company interested in insuring it for the highway.

oprn Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:25 pm

You are getting quite a bit of car for that kind of money! If it's still out in the weather it could have deteriorated quite a but since those pictures were taken...

gridmark7 Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:21 pm

We bought it and its at its new home. Got a spare motor and a pair of slotted mags with 5 lug adapters for the rear, free beer keg too!

It does appear to have vw pans but they look to have been replaced at some point, got some nasty looking welds along the frame tunnel. Didnt see any holes but they are pretty banged up.

Its also got a pretty janky wood body lift that the cage is bolted to. Probably needs a complete rewire and the brakes dont work.

It does have a ball joint front end with disk brakes and reduction gearboxes in the rear.

I think the motor thats in it is a 71 1600 the spare is a 66 1300 if im not mistaken.

Didnt get a title but we did get bill of sale, cant find the vin stamp on the frame tunnel. But we're gonna try to register it as a homemade OHV so we shouldn't need any of that, talked to the lady at the DMV and she said that should be doable.

We're going to try to get it started tomorrow, is there an easy way to prime the oil system before we start it? Anything else I should know about?

Thanks again,

rayjay Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:39 pm

When I decided to get back into VWs last year my first purchases were "Baja Bugs and Buggies" by Jeff Hibbard and "Baja Prepping VW Sedans and Dune Buggies" by HP Books. I got them off Ebay and they were around $30 or so for the pair. Tons of info. Any VW offroad enthusiast should have at least the first one .

YDBD Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:57 pm

It's gonna be awesome! Have fun! I'm sure your whole family is excited but nothing like the smile on that buggy going to a new home!

oprn Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:08 am

Take the valve covers off, check for stuck valves, fresh gas, fresh oil, pull the coil wire off until the oil light goes out then fire it up.

Lots to do there but it's a very good beginning. I am very surprised that the floor pans don't look like swiss cheese! That must be very dry country. Hopefully your spare engine has all the bottom tins and thermostat that is missing. Swap the fan housing too.

slalombuggy Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:32 am

What a great start for not a lot of cash. Looks to be indecent over all condition, just needs some TLC.

2 things I would do are:

Mount the headlights on a more stable part of the body or even on the front bumper. Front fenders like to flap around and you'll have flickering lights and broken bulb elements all the time. Either that or fabricate a bracket off the beam somehow to support the lights.

Build a new cage or figure out a way to attach it better. Those small tabs on the floor aren't going to support anything if something happens. One thing I have seen is people who run 2" flat bar along the entire body to pan lip and at the tubes run tabs down onto the floor, so the entire pan supports the cage and the tabs help spread the load onto the floor.

Don't worry about the missing tins on the engine , on a buggy you can get away with a lot more than an enclosed car. If you are offroading a lot then you should worry about protecting the pushrod tubes but on a street car, that fan shroud and head tins will cool more than enough.

Most people hate wiring and it shows. For a harness I would look at someone like Rebel, and unless they have changed them, I would stay away from the cheap empi harness that is made with cheap 16ga wire.

Are the back wheels aluminum or steel? They look riveted.


Rockbound Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:12 am

yep looks like a great start for a great price for sure! nice find. good luck have fun!

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