Mid Travel Manx VW Dune Buggy
This was a project for a good friend of mine. He uses his buggy to get to some amazing surf spots on the southern tip of Baja Mexico. I helped him build his first Manx Buggy which was a short version two seater. It worked pretty good, but he wanted a four seater, more suspension travel, and more cargo space. So he found a chassis, body and motor for us to start with.
We started off with a body lift of 3". Using 3" x 1 /2" rectangle tubing we formed it to the shape of the chassis, clamped it, measured, eye'd it, then welded it to the chassis for strength. Suspension travel was one of the main design criteria of the buggy, so a new front beam was in order. It was wider, did not have any torsion springs, and had mounts for the coil-over shocks. We also added bracing to the spindles to handle all the xtra stress and loads.
For the rear we added new trailing arms, longer, wider, stronger. They would allow for 14" -to- 18" of travel. The motor and transmission were mounted at a slight angle to allow for the shifter to remain in the stock location and enclosed in the center tunnel. The transmission was the strong 6 rib unit, built specially for this application, along with a bored and stroked motor.
The coil-over shocks were very cool. 14" of travel in the rear and 12" in the front. They were FOA brand units, with dual springs for a smoother ride. Getting these in the body was a design chore. They are actually mounted to the roll cage on the rear suspension, so we triangulated all kinds of bracing for strength. All of this had to be bolted in such a way it can all be disassembled and re-assembled. Yikes. Not an easy task considering the mounting position and relation to the body, and the extended length og the units.
I wish we would have taken a few more photos of all the work we did, but we were busy with the task at hand and just plain forgot to. We completed just the fabrication portion of the buggy in my shop, then my buddy took it back to his place and completed the project. He did an awesome job on all the details!!
Some new pictures of the finished buggy.