View original topic: Volksrod/buggy pedal powered
Dubfan Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:30 pm

Time has flown, ten years ago nearly I saved this old J & S buggy
from the clutches of a brutish Banyan tree that was going to gobble
up the old thing. The pan was gone to rust heaven, managed to save
a few parts from the motor, what’s left of front end and transaxle
are still at the whims of nature in the bush.

As found…..

As she sat under a tarp for nearly ten years……..

Been thinking and talking about doing this for an age, finally got the
time, no work, so getting into it, she is going to be a worm burner,
down with the snakes, as in low!

Will be two person pedal powered with a central VW steering wheel
so both occupants can share the driving. Will have brakes but only on
the rear wheels of which there will be four, two driving, two coasting.

Been hoarding (collecting) bits for her for a while, some old school
head lights found in a junk shop, front bar scored at the local dump.
Made up the windscreen from an old windy frame, can fold down
safari style.

Probably obvious, she's a bit heavy so have made her so the buggy
body can come off and she can go as just the frame. Really want to
keep the VW flavour, steering wheel, badges, chasing up some ratty
hub caps, more on this later…..

Dubfan Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:35 pm

So after a couple of big days finally got the rear end sorted, originally
had the drive wheels out beyond the body. Revised this they now sit
nicely in the space where the VW engine would have sat. So in a sense
have the motor where it should be! Next sort out the chain drive, plan
is to have two idlers up to the pedals.

The outer wheels take some of the load, hoping most of the weight
comes onto the middle drive wheels, all four have suspension, outers
leaf springs, inners coils. Scored the outers off a children’s pram, the
inners off an old school suspension mountain bike.

After the drive system is sorted front end and steering, long way to go
but getting there!

Any tips, criticism gratefully accepted..............?

Dal Churchill Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:00 am

Dubfan wrote:

Any tips, criticism gratefully accepted..............?

Fun build but bike wheels aren't designed to take side loads. Take a bend at speed (downhill?) and they are likely to buckle.

Dubfan Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:30 am

Exactly what I want to hear, I also have a braking issue as she
will only have rear brakes and with all the weight don't think
they will be too affective, she will be hard to pull up.

Solution, low speeds and not too many hills, I live very isolated
with minimal traffic so don't plan on going fast, if I'm honest she
won't be able to!

Have a back up plan re braking, Flinstone's style feet sliding on
the ground! Again thank you, never thought about the side load
on those spoked wheels, will take this on board.

nshaddox Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:08 am

Seems like a good candidate for some ebike hardware. I kinda like the ones where the motor is built into the pedal assembly.

Dubfan Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:43 pm

nshaddox wrote: Seems like a good candidate for some ebike hardware. I kinda like the ones where the motor is built into the pedal assembly.

Yeah been thinking along those lines as well, on a budget so maybe down
the track?

vwuberalles Mon Apr 27, 2020 7:36 am

This is ridiculous in the best of ways, I love it! Can't wait to see this come together.

Dubfan Sat Jun 13, 2020 12:01 am

Thanks mate, whooohooo we have some progress, control as in steering in, also revisited the front end.
Was going to have a rigid front end but thought what the heck, had the bits so went with suspension, see
how she goes, if work out couple of bolts and she goes back to a solid set up!

So you can steer her how about propulsion, mocked up the pedal position, the way things are looking they will sit lower.

As I said up the top want to keep the VW theme rolling, so first VW bit, a ratty 60’s steering wheel.

I live very isolated so with most things often repair or make things with what you have. I’m also on a
budget so best thing about this build so far what I’ve spent. Only items I’ve laid out cash on, some
welding rods, the tyres, some spring washers and the steering wheel, all the rest scrounged from local
tip, gotta be happy with that!

Dubfan Sat Jun 20, 2020 10:48 pm

After a couple of big sessions we have a drive train and it works! As I have stated have been concerned about the
weight with the buggy body. Story within itself scored a bonnet locally in great condition, so now we have a Volksrod!

Also had concerns about the gearing and brakes, no worries with the gearing plenty low enough to get going and
cruise, if anything will probably have to gear her up a couple of cogs. Brakes are better than expected as well, all
four rear wheels have brakes which helps, operated from a lever mounted outside the seats, emergency braking
Fred Flinstone style!

Plan to run her without the front bar maybe rig up a small nurf bar, pretty happy with where she’s at, looks like a

finefettle Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:17 pm

Agree on ditching the bar. Cool peddle car!

vwuberalles Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:35 am

That bar looks way too thick. that same shape but made out of 1" diameter tubing would looks great.

Dubfan Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:43 am

Yeah will be ditching the bar, not only too big I think it really distracts from
the Beetle bonnet, doesn't look so bad when she's a buggy.

The bar also has a second purpose it is really good for moving the whole unit, you can pick it up from the bar and move the whole thing on the rear wheels.

Dubfan Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:49 pm

Bit more done, apart from tuning the drive train added a few more bits top get
The Volksrod look happening. Lowered the bonnet, the head lights that turn
With the front wheels, wheel covers with VW hub caps. Added a smaller nerf
Bar and used the same fold down windscreens from the buggy, see above.

Finally would be most grateful for some assistance from those with a little
steering geometry knowledge? I am trying to get Akermann’s sorted with
the steering, as in getting the inside wheel to turn a tighter circle than the
outside wheel at full lock. Have tried a mounting the outer tie rod in a few
positions and can’t for the life of me get this sorted, see below where the
outer tie rod is mounted, thank you.

vwuberalles Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:48 am

Looking good! that bumper bar looks much better. What's the issue you're having with the steering?

Dubfan Fri Jul 17, 2020 1:51 pm

Thanks, Akermann's theory, if the front wheels turn the same circle
when turning the inner wheel will scrub out. So you need the inner
wheel to turn a tighter circle than the outer, the scrubbing gets worse
the tighter the lock!

From what I have worked out this is determined by the position the
tie rods mount to the axle spindle, relevant to the axles line.

Due to the way I have set up the front end I can't have the tie rod
mounting behind the axle line, which is more traditional. It has to be
forward of the axle line, I believe some in the hot rod world call this
suicide steering, bit like the doors I guess.

Will keep plugging at it.......

slalombuggy Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:31 am

Take a string and fasten one end at the center point of the rear axle. Pull the string tight over the front end through the center of the pivot point of the front wheel (usually the king pin, or balljoint) past your steering knuckle. The steering linkage has to join the steering knuckle on this line.

Some images;bih=625

Dubfan Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:59 pm

Sorted the steering as per slalombuggy's advice mounted the outer tie rod
closer top the wheel.

Bit more progress, made up some panels for the front and a rear end tray made fairly light to so not so much usable, more for looks, paint next.

vwuberalles Fri Aug 21, 2020 7:40 am

Looking good, nice work!

Dubfan Fri Sep 18, 2020 12:05 am

Thanks mate, plodding along with this build, made some panels for the body
from coroplast plastic sheets, easy to work with and more importantly light weight.

Suicide doors of course.

Retrovan Wed Sep 23, 2020 1:19 am

Time to add a motor now....


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