View Full Version : Finishing my Piranha

03-15-2012, 04:32 PM
Well, I'm pretty stoked, the final phase of my first buggy is here and going well.

i never did a build thread here for the fab of the original buggy so I'll give a bit of a background. A buddy and myself decided to build ourselves mini buggys 3 years ago and at the time we liked the Piranha design, and the cost seemed to be OK. We started in November, and to make a long story real short, I was driving in May the following year. My buddy decided half way through winter that he was going to race stock cars the following summer, so his build got shelved.

I drove that whole summer and had a complete blast with the machine (2010). Really, there wasn't much I wanted to change about it. The problem was, it was a very wet summer here, and it didn't take long for the whole thing to be deeply crusted with rust. The plan was to take it apart and paint the following winter. Well, this never happened, and the whole next summer (2011) went by with it out of commission. (Taking care of more important things as my dads mobility sharply decreased.)

So that brings us to about November 2011, I brought the whole thing home to a new, and much larger shop. I've been dissecting it since then, and finally am at the point of painting! Woo Hoo!

Since Nov, I've done alot more to it than I had originally planned. It started by cutting off the entire roll cage except the A hoop. I made it quite a bit taller for a better rad fit, and more head room. I decided that the heavy shocks I had on before had to go, so I got Fox air's for each corner which required all new mounts all around. All the paneling that I had originally rattled like a SOB and drove me crazy when just puttering around, so it's all gone. Most of it is replaced with thicker aluminum panels. The gas tank was too small, so I made the new 'saddle bag' tanks. This was done after a failed attempt to make an epoxy/fiberglass tank. Whole thread in itself. Dont know why I ever put on all the turn signals and other lights. Cant make this thing street legal here anyways, so all that's gone. Replaced the lights with Duallys from Ridgid. New dash plate...and the list goes on of the little stuff.

So anyways, I'm pretty happy with where it sat after the last partial assembly. I arranged to go out to a friends place and use his sand blaster (and sand) to get the ugly off.

After a few hours and a few beers...

And the small parts that were done...

I could have just got some home depot paint like I originally planned, but said, WTF...might as well spend some money on real paint and bought automotive paint instead. It's Nason paint. 2 part epoxy primer, Wave Blue Effect base coat, and 2 part urethane clear.Ii did some test samples a few weeks ago and was impressed to say the least. (I'm not a body guy, and have never sprayed a car before) The clear coat really makes it pop.

So Monday night I primed all the small parts. and Tuesday, did the frame.

Im a bit confused about whether or not to scuff the primer before the color coats because it's sat for a few days, but decided it couldn't hurt. The spec sheets dont give a window for this stuff, just assume that you want to color and clear as fast as humanly possible. I did about 1/2 the small parts Weds night in color and clear.

So that's where it sits right now. Unfortunately tonight is drinking night, so nothing will get done, but my goal is to have the whole thing done by the end of the weekend. I don't think that's too loft a goal, but we will see.

Stay tuned....

03-15-2012, 06:24 PM
Nice color your going to have one fine looking buggy once she 's all painted up. Still see some white stuff on the ground we're having more winter in March than we had all winter. +15 two days ago snow freezing rain and all other crap that comes out of the sky . You'll be all ready for spring with a nice freshly painted buggy when the weather turns nice.

03-15-2012, 09:34 PM
Awesome color, gonna be nice when it's done. :)

03-15-2012, 09:45 PM
Wow that is a awsome color looks great! Do you like how the paint sprays and finishes?

Glock n Ballz
03-16-2012, 05:44 AM
I like that blue!!

Gonna be sweet Fatal.

03-16-2012, 06:52 AM
I like that blue!!

Gonna be sweet Fatal. DIDO on the blue as I was lookin through the picts .twas thinkin the same thing . Very nice deep blue with the clear over it :)

Glock n Ballz
03-16-2012, 07:59 AM
Sort reminds me of Rick's blue Power Coating on his AR-51.

03-16-2012, 08:41 AM
i agree with everyone else... dang, that blue is sharp. it's gonna look really good when finished.

03-16-2012, 09:21 AM
Yeah, I like Ricks, but this was going to be blue before I saw his done.

I love how this paint sprays, especially the clear. One swipe and it's on there thick and glossy, just have to watch out for runs. Dries super fast.

03-16-2012, 10:25 AM
Looks great! I love blue [smilie=wub.gif]

The worst will be the first few stone chips and scratches :eek:

03-19-2012, 09:10 AM
Not alot to report unfortunately. I sprayed and cleared the rest of the small parts on friday night, which used up a good portion of the paint I had. I don't know what I was thinking, should have got more on Friday. I started on the frame Sat morning but ran out pretty quick. Hope to get the frame done tonight, but we will see.

Here's the small stuff with the masking removed.

Also sprayed the header with VHT paint.

03-19-2012, 06:49 PM

03-19-2012, 09:25 PM
:eek:looking sick man!!

03-20-2012, 11:22 AM
Got the frame colored and a coat of clear on last night. I rushed it a bit though, as it's a bit rough for the first clear coat. I decided to stop, let it set up before making anymore of a mess. I will run over the whole frame with grey scotch bright to smooth it up before doing anymore clear. After all that color spraying, there was just too much overspray settled on the frame and floating in the air. I should have left it till today to do any clear. Oh well, live and learn.

It took another quart to finish the frame. I have a bit leftover for touchups.

I think the saddle tanks, dash, and the hood sheet will be painted black and cleared with this same stuff. that will make all the aluminum black. I don't think I will do anything with the aluminum floor sheet. Maybe I could give the inside of it a coat of black... don't know yet.

I'll post some pics later. It was a bit foggy in the shop last night...[smilie=strokin.gif]


03-20-2012, 11:34 AM
i already mentioned it... but, damn that Blue is good lookin'!

03-20-2012, 11:50 AM
Thanks man. Hope it's not too overwhelming when it's all that same color!


03-20-2012, 01:34 PM
Also love that blue i am going to do mine a very similar blue.

My a- arms will be done gun metal grey or silver cant make my mind up yet.

Again congrats on the paint job:D

03-23-2012, 10:20 AM
Well, frame is done, other than the 'icicles' that will have to be sanded off and buffed back up to a shine. Honestly, I'm glad it's over. I like painting, but that's a pretty big job, especially in a closed garage. I would be more enjoyable to do outside in the middle of summer, but hey, that's when I want to be sitting in it! :p


A buddy is coming over tomorrow to help with reassembly. Should be a roller by mid afternoon! Woo Hoo! I figure there's another week or 2 before it's running again.

03-23-2012, 02:44 PM
Wow Paul that looks awsome. a bit different from the last time I saw it. It looks like you got some snow, Not much down here in yuma, It's 29c here right now. Little too hot for me but it will have to do. Lots of buggies here but they seem to be all vw style. I will try to give you a call when I get in to stoon on the 30th if I have time. I want to see the buggy it looks great

03-23-2012, 03:23 PM
i saw this frame and i "jizzed... in my paints"[smilie=drool.gif]

03-26-2012, 01:50 PM
Had a good weekend, made her back into a roller anyways. Wanted to get the motor in also, but ran out of time. Too bad it wasn't sunny when I took the pics outside, these look kind of drab. Oh well, there will be more in the future.;)

(yeah, I know the front tires are on backwards...)

I need to anodize the 16 shock spacers tonite and the filler spout, but also have some paid work to do. Hope to have the tanks, dash, and snout piece painted this week and ready for install.

03-26-2012, 01:54 PM
Wow Paul that looks awsome. a bit different from the last time I saw it. It looks like you got some snow, Not much down here in yuma, It's 29c here right now. Little too hot for me but it will have to do. Lots of buggies here but they seem to be all vw style. I will try to give you a call when I get in to stoon on the 30th if I have time. I want to see the buggy it looks great

Thanks Stomper. Yeah, alot has changed in the last few weeks. I won't be around this weekend, going up to the lake. Enjoy the rest of your holiday. Looks like the weather is shaping up for your return. :D

03-26-2012, 05:06 PM
it just gets sicker man keep up the good work!

Glock n Ballz
03-26-2012, 07:29 PM
Yeah, that looks realy good and I know you must be pleased.

What is all that white stuff on the ground? (snicker snicker)[smilie=tr_sorry.gi:

03-26-2012, 07:39 PM
Yeah, that looks realy good and I know you must be pleased.

What is all that white stuff on the ground? (snicker snicker)[smilie=tr_sorry.gi:

Damm you beat me too it Glock... I live in phoenix Arizona... And we only see that stuff on the ground.... With syrup... We call it a snow cones???

Hey jokes aside it looks really good. And I like how you cock blocked the front tire comments. Classic post block! Ha

04-20-2012, 06:33 PM
WTF Paul, where are the finished product pictures!!!

04-21-2012, 05:40 AM
Yeh thats whats i was gonna say you have one on your profile pic

I want some of finished article :D

05-01-2012, 11:54 AM
Yeah, you guys are right. I've been too busy DRIVING it to add to this post. :D Just kidding. I have been out 2 times now and put on about 200 kms in the outings. It's been wet and muddy here both times, so it seems like you wrench on it, clean it all up, take her out for a few hours, and then 5 more hours of cleaning and wrenching!

I guess we all know what that's like.:cool:

So yeah, since last post, I've obviously finished it. Here's some more pictures of the progress till completion.

Motor back in, making progress on all the systems and mechanical before doing any wiring.


Fuel tank splitter with pump takeoff. Would have annodized it, but made it just in time for installation.

Here it is installed. 1" hose between the tanks seems to provide a fast enough equalization when filling. I did have a leak on the takoff line after the first outing. I think I over tightened the hose clamp and cut the fuel line.

Starting wiring the unit at 9am Sunday morning and was done by about 6pm. It would have gone faster, but I moved all the bits and pieces into that grey box in the front, so there were quite a few wires to be modified. If I make another rail, I will be making my own harness instead of hacking the existing one.

Pretty much wrapping up the final details here. Tanks installed, seat installed, 4 pt harness installed....weee!

You can see my brake splitter in this pic (the red lump at the front of the nose). Master cylinder in, rear brake and 2 front lines out. There's no bias valve on the rear line yet, but it stops very well so far. I can lock the fronts up in sand and when I'm slowing down on gravel or pavement, it seems very stable. (damn this garage is a mess!)

First night of testing. All went well, but the 200psi per shock was way too low. bottomed out way too easy on nearly everything. I borrowed a 'Turbo Torch' regulator from a welding shop here, got a hose made up and put about 350 in the front and around 300 in the rear. That seems to be about right now, as you will see in the next pics.

Greasy mud and deep rutted puddles all the way on the first real ride. Oh it hurts to get her this dirty! (but oh so fun!) Haven't filled the shocks yet.

Trailer is the next item on the adgenda. Pulls nice, but needs new everything and a paint job also. Plan on making some steel ramps, and some wheel cradles on the back. I've already dropped the rear of the buggy off the front of the trailer once, and let me tell you, it's a bitch to get back on![smilie=icon_furiou: The boat winch however, works really well.

I have a buddy that has pro camera gear so he took some pics a few weeks ago.


Here's some shots of last weekend:

So that's about it for now. Hopefully we will get out again this weekend, and hopefully it will be sunny and nice, rather than this wet dreary weather!

Here's some YouTubers from last weekend too:
More duck lake - YouTube (http://youtu.be/mPM64UiGMlw)
Bike and buggy offroading - YouTube (http://youtu.be/eEGOQeACuYQ)
Nesbit speed - YouTube (http://youtu.be/io6CROYFfXg)


05-01-2012, 01:10 PM
Congratulations,very cool!Really like the "profesional" pics.

I do have a question.Is there anything protecting that grey tube between the tanks where it passes through the frame?If that gets cut it looks like it would splash right on your header?Firewall?Does it need to pass through the frame?

05-01-2012, 03:09 PM
Looks great finally got some pics up :D

awesome ride

05-01-2012, 03:27 PM
Thanks Bullnerd and Rob.

The gas line is pretty safe IMO. The seat goes over top, and nothing can get in the front under the seat. The expanded metal is fairly fine so I doubt anything will jam up in there and cause a problem. The line, like you say, is constrained by the seat rails, so it can't move very far. The firewall plate is missing in that picture, but it drops down to the bottom of the frame. I'm open to suggestions, but the way I see it, it's not really an issue.


05-01-2012, 03:36 PM
Sounds good.I was more worried about the hose rubbing on the hole through the sheet metal tube.

05-01-2012, 04:24 PM
i saw this frame and i "jizzed... in my paints"[smilie=drool.gif]

off topic... that's #2 of my favorite SNL songs. #1 would be the "i'm on a boat" . lol

back on topic...

i'm seriously tempted to do my buggy in that same color. dang nice job Fatal.