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Empi Imp...21 year slumber is over!
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GreenImp
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:13 pm    Post subject: Empi Imp...21 year slumber is over! Reply with quote

I just wanted to share my excitement...I started my Dads Empi today for the first time in 21 years. I rode around in this buggy as a kid, and am looking forward to taking my 3 year old son out in it soon.

Thankfully this buggy has been stored indoors since around 1980 when my Dad bought it. The front brakes were locked solid when we brought it over to my house the other day. One of the shoe linings came off with the drum (Thank you "The Samba" for ideas on removing the stuck drums). Some poor critter lost their food storage too...there were 10-15 Hazelnuts in the exhaust pipes.

I hope to have this ready for an annual trip to the sand we take in mid April (Tax Weekend). Next on the list is replacing the stuck/broken throttle cable and the gaskets on the 2 piece intake. After that I'll replace all the brakes and then should be able to take it for a short road test.



Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


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and this photo was taken the last time the buggy saw the sand in about 1993...
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Last edited by GreenImp on Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:27 pm; edited 2 times in total
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crsmp5
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bird seed more fun then acorns... seen few beetles spitting little popcorn from their pipes...
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Rathbone
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What made him park it for so long?

These things always turn into bigger projects than we expect and you're goal of April for completion is aggressive. Make sure you leave time and money for the unexpected.
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(o\_i_/o) what you've just said ... is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul - Mr. Oblaski, Principal
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GreenImp
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rathbone wrote:
What made him park it for so long?

These things always turn into bigger projects than we expect and you're goal of April for completion is aggressive. Make sure you leave time and money for the unexpected.


Well parking it so long certainly wasn't intentional, I think it just sort of worked out that way. I was one of 7 kids so I imagine just the struggle of raising his family may have gotten in the way of having fun?

Anyway, the buggy was in great condition when parked and was stored indoors, so it shouldn't be too bad. I'm not looking to restore every nut and bolt (at least not for now?!), just looking to get it usable again so my Dad can enjoy a drive around town and I can get my son out in the sand a few times. Dad's health is a little less than par, so don't know whether he'll join us in the sand or not.

You're certainly right about the way projects turn out bigger than expected though...you can see a few of my unfinished projects surrounding the buggy in my garage (house remodel, Convertible Camaro restoration I haven't touched in several years...).
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Roscoe
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a sweet ass buggy, you're psyched! Surprised you don't have to share it with any siblings??
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wythac
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool car and cool story. Not often that someone comes across a "barn find" in the family garage!

Fix the brakes first. Only trouble can result from getting it running before you can make it stop. You may also want to replace the "Maypop" brand tires before you take it too far from the mothershop.

Good luck. Post pics so we can see your progress.
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VolkswagenGerry
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome IMP
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GreenImp
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:08 pm    Post subject: Weekend update Reply with quote

As old as this buggy is, there's no telling what we have for brake parts, so today I pulled them off to be sure we purchase the correct parts. Everything came off nicely (having the right tools for these old VW's makes a world of difference!).

The axle boots don't look the greatest, but they aren't torn/leaking yet, and I am pretty sure I am going to have to put a clutch in it anyway (initial reason my Dad stopped using the buggy), so I think I'm gonna wait on these till I pull the engine for easier access.

I checked on the pan's VIN to find that it was made in April of '62 (buggy is titled as a 1971 build).

snapped a couple more pictures...
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PTCS
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I finished the brakes a week or so ago and today replaced the rear shocks with some new KYB Gas-A-Just's. I would have taken it around the block if I hadn't bolted on some paddle tires to check out the clearance. I'll probably put the Desert Dogs back on in the next day or two.

Not sure if I mentioned it previously but Dad had bought some new STU 1300+ Paddles right before he stopped driving it. He tried them once and they rubbed so bad he took them off within minutes (the picture above was with some borrowed paddles of now unknown/forgotten size). I am a sand addict, and even though my Dad got around the dunes just fine for years with the Desert Dogs, I feel paddles are mandatory for sand usage. I have been brainstorming for a way to run these tires and have decided the easiest/cheapest/best option is to install a body lift. I don't care for the body lift look, but I do like the idea that it can easily be removed...as opposed to things like cutting away more of the body than has already been done.

I'm starting to think about the possibility of a "shakedown" run maybe late Feb or early March!!
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vw7266
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

a body lift will ruin the look of that imp.....

just buy a a better size paddle tire if you feel you HAVE to have them
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Dale M.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate body lifts, ruins the whole look of a sporty vehicle... Might as well pull body off and just use a old bathtub as a body.... If tires hit body, they are to big and all you will do is hurt engine and trans.... Just air down the "dogs" to 4-6 psi and try it before any radical tire changes

If it were me, I would wash it, wax it, drive it like you stole it..... Fun season is too close to start any major rebuild because a rebuild will always take three times as long and cost three times more than your best guesstimate....

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jsturtlebuggy
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless someone wants to give you more money then you think it is worth, It is your buggy to do what you want with it.
Install a lift kit if you want. Put a full roll cage if you like, it yours.

What ever you do, have fun with it. That what buggies are for.
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vw7266
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't care if he does it or not....I just think it will look shitty Very Happy
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wythac
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Form follows function. If you want the car to have clearance so you can run paddles, do it. If you are concerned about aesthetics, figure out the minimum amount of clearance you need to get your paddles underneath and lift it just that much. I think anything 2" or under is not easy to notice.

I run my car off road and in the sand, so I ruined it and made it look shitty with a 3" lift so I could use it where I wanted to.
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joescoolcustoms Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I run my car off road and in the sand, so I ruined it and made it look shitty with a 3" lift so I could use it where I wanted to.


I agree, Yours looks real shitty. Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes










Not!

I am all about the look of a buggy. I have built street only pavement rippers, stockers, stock-ish with HP and lifted. The IMP design was more for street sports car styling, but, with the right wheel/tire combo and a well crafted lift, it could look cool.
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btonns
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a 1.25 or 1.5 inch body lift on my IMP. It makes the pan feel a lot stronger. Eventually, I will have a cage built. Also, I added the same size lift to the rear EMPI brackets. For the front, I had taller mounts made from stainless steel.

Here is an old picture:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Your IMP would look fine with a lift, especially with the bigger tires.

Rear bracket:

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Front brackets:

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wythac
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm guessing that lift also had some "c" channel or square tube running around the mating surface between the pan and the body lip.

Depending on the materials used, even a mild lift kit can add structural rigidity to your pan. Not a bad thing if you are thinking of running it offroad.

Look forward to seeing your improvements. Cool little car.
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GreenImp
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the replies, opinions, ideas, and the lifted Imp pictures. I talked with my Dad about it the other day, and we still think a body lift may be in our future. Something we realized was that forward visibility will be greatly improved with a body lift as the top windshield frame is exactly at my eye level and just a tad above his eye level while sitting in the driver seat. We both could use some more leg clearance at the steering wheel too, which a body lift would offer.

I took it around the block a couple times...the clutch is definitely going to need replaced, which we expected. One of the axle boots started to leak while I had it jacked up for the brake job. Also expected due to it's age...pretty sure it's an original 1962 as it's the crimped on style without a seam and bolts. The transaxle has never been out/worked on in the time Dad has owned it

Heres a picture with the paddles installed.


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GreenImp
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A quick update for anyone interested...

Yesterday my Dad and I worked on the buggy some. It was not an easy decision, but we decided to trim some more of the body away rather than lift the buggy. It pretty much came down to that the body had already been cut once before, and there is a sizable crack in the front fender. I would not have hacked on an uncut 40-50 year old buggy. I compressed the suspension (chain around the jack/shock tower) and cut the fender the absolute minimum needed to the clear paddles. I then tried to blend in that curve as best I could with the rest of the body lines. I am not sure how much the rubber suspension stops compress when hit, so the tips of the paddles may still touch a tad on the hardest of bumps. In the end, this fits both our time and financial budgets much better and I think it looks better now than it did before yesterday. Not to mention for the "purists" out there, cutting a fender is about as "period correct" as you can get.

On a different note...my 3yr old son was at first a little weary of the buggy because it was "too loud" but now every time I start it, he drops whatever he's doing and comes running in hopes of a ride. We've been around the block a half dozen times or so, but very much looking forward to our sand trip in a few weeks.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Last edited by GreenImp on Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:05 pm; edited 2 times in total
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GreenImp
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One more thing...We were missing a turn signal lens and I have been searching for one for a while. I found a lens that is not the original Stimsonite #8, but fits perfectly! It was on ebay being sold as "Mini Bike Reflectors 1-1/4 X 3/16" Amber:", and only cost $8 for a pair. I took a gamble on it and it paid off. The only thing the new lens says on it is "Cole". The original lens is split down the middle with half of the little angled sections pointing one way, and the other half pointing the opposite direction. The picture in the ebay listing had this same look, but the lens's I received do not...all angled sections are facing one direction. This is irrelevant to me, but may not be good enough for some.

Last edited by GreenImp on Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:43 pm; edited 2 times in total
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