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Yahoo Voice: Tips for Building a VW Dune Buggy

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BlackScorpion
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PostBlackScorpion on Thu 06 Jun 2013, 7:30 pm

Tips for Building a VW Dune Buggy


The Classic Volkswagen Beetle Makes the Perfect Dune Buggy


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Building a VW dune buggy can be either an extremely involved, expensive project, or it can be a simple and inexpensive project. This is due to the relatively simple construction of the Volkswagen Beetle, as well as the ease with which you can obtain parts for your VW dune buggy build.

Starting your [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] from scratch

Acquiring a Volkswagen Beetle in good running condition that can be easily converted into a VW dune buggy is actually a surprisingly easy task to undertake. The best places to look include old car trader magazines, or even Ebay. Try to avoid Volkswagen Beetles that were produced before 1965, as these still retain some collector value and would actually be worth more as restored cars rather than as a VW dune buggy. Instead, opt for a VW dune buggy donor produced after 1970. These are far more common to find, have little restored collector value, and can typically be purchased very cheaply.

VW dune buggy disassembly

You'll have to disassemble a few parts of the [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] in order to make it into a VW dune buggy. For the most part, you'll keep the doors and the hood. That's about it. Remove the front and rear fenders from the Volkswagen Beetle, as well as the headlights, front and rear bumpers, and the stock exhaust system.

To lighten the car as much as possible, you may want to remove some of the interior components. As these cars were relatively light to begin with, and with extremely sparse interiors, you may find that there isn't much to remove. You'll just have to go with your gut for what you feel like removing.

The bolts that allow you to remove the Volkswagen Beetle's fenders are located at the joint between the body structure and the fender. You'll have to disconnect the headlights and the tail lights, but if you plan to use aftermarket [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] from a manufacturer like Hella, you won't need them, and they can be sold to a restorer, if you wish. On an older VW dune buggy, it may be helpful to heat these bolts before attempting to remove them. This tends to loosen rusted fittings that might otherwise break off.

Volkswagen Beetle dune buggy assembly

There are only a few components of the VW dune buggy that are necessary to purchase aftermarket. This includes the head and tail lights, if you choose to use them, and the tires. There are a number of tire options that you can opt for, including sand tires, mud tires, or even snow tires. Sand and mud tires will tend to be an expensive addition to your car, and will require you to purchase wheels as well as tires. Snow tires, on the other hand, are inexpensive and may be able to be fitted to your stock wheel rims, saving you a few dollars on the build.

VW dune buggy performance

The final aspect of building a VW dune buggy is to look at its performance and determine how far you want to go with it. Most stock VW engines from the 1970s and even the 1980s produce less than 100 horsepower, making power delivery an issue, particularly if you intend to do any racing with your VW dune buggy. Since these engines are so popular, though, there are a wide array of performance parts that you can add to the VW dune buggy. These include specialized carburetors, exhaust systems, and even in some cases, forced-injection systems. Depending on how worn out your VW dune buggy motor is, though, you may want to opt for having the engine professionally rebuilt. This will allow you to tune the engine to exactly the performance level you want to achieve.

Building a VW dune buggy is a rewarding experience that will give you years of recreational driving fun thanks to the ease with which Volkswagen Beetles can be disassembled and reassembled. Thanks to how light and nimble the Volkswagen Beetle can be when it's outfitted with dune buggy trim, you should be able to get your little VW dune buggy into just about any place your friends will be able to get their big four-wheel drive pickup trucks, and then get back out again just as easily.

Sources:
Dune-Buggy.com:Baja Bugs Project Page: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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