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Empi Imp...21 year slumber is over!
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RedBaronofRedBud
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GreenImp wrote:
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.

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Looks great to me! Nice job in making the cut smooth and not obvious.

Sounds like you have another generation of buggy lover in the family! So cool that it will span 3 generations. Have fun!
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GreenImp
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Over the last week or two I have replaced the clutch, axle boots, axle grease, crank seal, intake gaskets, fixed all of the lights/signals etc., and acquired fresh registration and insurance. Dad still had the 25 year old registration renewal form and jokingly tried to get them to honor the $30 for two years price...they didn't go for it.

The UPS truck will be bringing a few goodies tomorrow to improve the buggy a little more...an SVDA pointless distributor (to lose that annoying off idle flat spot) and a new exhaust system to meet the 93db sound restrictions the Oregon Dunes now have. After that, we should be ready for our sand trip in a couple of weeks. I'm looking forward to seeing Dad drive it up the dunes again.
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GreenImp
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well we made it to and through our trip to the sand. My son loved riding around in the sand, but my Dad wasn't feeling up to making a showing.

While under powered and overweight in my opinion, the buggy was a lot of fun. The tires still rubbed more than I would have liked but I'm not sure if it's bad enough to do anything more about, especially considering the low amount of use we plan to get out of it.

My mind is now racing with ideas to make the buggy faster, stronger, and lighter, but I'm trying real hard to avoid the temptations as ultimately, I want to get back into a sandrail anyway.

The buggy sure draws a lot of attention...so many people have not seen one in years and years, or sometimes even, never at all.
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eschmi
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice build! I have a couple questions, when you lifted the body, how is there not a gap between the body and the pan on the sides? Just curious, I'm rebuilding an old Imp at the moment, also another question, did/have you had any problems with the front shock towers? Mine appear to have pushed through the raised bumps on the body from the previous owners driving and not sure if there's anything special to fix that or something I'm missing. I did manage to find an old Imp manual online and printed the whole thing out but it doesn't say anything about the shock towers :S thanks in advance!
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GreenImp
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, we actually decided not to lift the body on ours. There are a number of different methods to lifting the bodies but most often the gap is filled with metal tubing or channel. From the side, you would see the edge of your tubing sandwiched between the fiberglass body and the edge of the VW pan.

As to shock towers, ours is on a "King Pin" (1962) front end/pan. The towers basically touch the body roughly where the fenders meet the hood. It has not caused any unwanted wear though. I have no idea if a newer front end (Ball Joint style) would be any better or worse for clearance to the body. My guess is that it would be better.

Good luck with your build, and I'd love to see pictures!
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BL3Manx
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GreenImp wrote:
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.


Here's an old thread on Empi Imp turn indicators

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=425797&highlight=imp+signals
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eschmi
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a 1960 front end so probably the same as yours, im on a tight budget and already have some new old shocks that fit it so I'm probably just going to raise the body slightly as soon as I get it back from having new 1/4 pans put in. But I'll post pics when I get it that far.
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GreenImp
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Empi Imp...21 year nap is over! Reply with quote

Well not much has happened with the Imp over the last few years. We've used it a few times but not much. I recently was able to buy a sandrail and that has triggered my Dad to do some more work on the Imp (or, more accurately, buy parts for ME to work on the Imp!).

We had been searching unsuccessfully for several years to find some International Dragmaster wheels for the front that matched the rears. We finally gave up and bought a pair of the new American Racing "Torq Thrust Original" wheels as they are they closest match we could find. They look great...in fact too great. So today I brought out the polish and went to town on the Dragmaster's machined lips for a couple hours. They came out pretty good for a "quickie". I'll try to remember to get some better pictures outside and post them.

We are probably going to paint the centers of the front, rear, or maybe both so they match up. Once I do that, very few people would notice they aren't a matched set of wheels.


The engine has started to smoke some. Not surprising at all considering it's age and history. We haven't decided what, if anything, to do about it yet.

As a side note, I have included a pic of the sandrail I picked up. It's another project...not sure I'll ever learn!.


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57BLITZ
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Empi Imp...21 year slumber is over! Reply with quote

The IMP looks great with the new front wheels! Cool
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Dr OnHolliday
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Empi Imp...21 year slumber is over! Reply with quote

Smoking engines might just be stuck rings. Pull the plugs, and soak the cylinders in some light oil or diesel fuel for a while (spray in, turn engine over every so often), then run it and see if it improves
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GreenImp
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Empi Imp...21 year slumber is over! Reply with quote

Haven't done anything to the Imp lately... probably won't until next spring. It doesn't usually smoke enough to be noticeable when out in the open dunes. It mostly just bothers me on the very occasional trip around town.

Here's a few pics from this past October.

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oprn
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:21 am    Post subject: Re: Empi Imp...21 year slumber is over! Reply with quote

The smoking could be an old age thing but I would lean more toward the size of those tires causing over load and under cooling on that engine. A bus transaxle would go a long way to fixing that.

Or put the tires on your Rail if it has enough engine to turn them.

I have never run in sand so I am curious - any chance the fan picks up sand and it accumulates on the cylinder and head fins?
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