Thread: Buggy Project

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    Buggy Project
    Hi everybody, my name is Jake. I live in Salem Oregon.
    I guess this will be my new member introduction also. I am an atv guy and always will be. I ride mainly at Winchester or Coos bay sand dunes, I do go to Sandlake for day trips quite often too. The name Dirt400 is because my nickname has has been Dirt since I was a kid. 400 is because I ride a KFX400. Soon to be Dirt470 ,that's another build though.
    last year I picked up a homemade buggy. the guy I got it from told me his buddy built it for flat-track racing . It has a Yamaha XJ550 engine in it. for some reason the rear has shocks and airbags . Front a-arms, rear trailing arms , not sure on travel but definitely not enough to do much jumping,Vw CV shafts, looks like Atv shocks and tires-wheels.
    I had a welder friend of mine look it over and make sure it was solid and safe, he added some gussets and found a cracked weld. I took it to the woods to test it out and it was fast! On dirt anything beyond third gear is just insane, it handled nice, not too hard not too soft. Then I decided it needs to go to Sand Lake even though I only have 22" Hole shots on the rear. I was impressed, I made it everywhere I would go! Even up the big dune in the middle.
    Only complaint would be top speed in the sand, didn't have the torque to get in 5th or 6th unless it was firm sand. Still a very capable and fun machine.
    I decided that it looked a little too rough. It needed tires, shocks, and a good cleaning, you could see rust on the floor and the undercarriage. I started removing paint to see how bad it was, got about halfway done and the rainy season comes. I sprayed the bare areas with a rust inhibitor and covered it. It got no attention for the rest of the year due to searching for a bigger house to accomodate the expansion of my family.
    I finally got back to it this summer. After what seemed like eternity stripping 95% of the frame to bare metal I removed the engine and wiring harness. The frame got an acid bath and a good coat of epoxy primer I was ready to paint, YAY! I chose gm bright blue metallic single stage urethane . The color theme is black and blue . This was my first paint job on a vehicle ever, turned out better than I expected only two runs and a couple areas where not enough paint got applied.
    I started putting parts back on and they didn't look good next to that beautiful blue paint so off they go. I decided to paint polish or replace everything on the buggy. I spent a month sanding and painting and polishing. In between I would be impulse buying parts off the internet. One day I was browsing craigslist and came across a cbr 900 RR engine complete with harness, carbs, radiator and a brand new Vance & Hines exhaust for 400 bucks. Couldn't pass it up, it's in my shop.
    I have never welded before but it looks like I'm going to learn. To be Continued....
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    Re: Buggy Project
    Seņor Banned Member Chikin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    220 miles east of Glamis>>>Aka North Phoenix Az
    Welcome to the site. Welding is easy once you get the hang of it. Most welder shave a chart in the door as you open it. This should help you set the welder up for fun times.

    Glad to have you aboard and well we love pictures.
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    Re: Buggy Project
    Good luck, sounds to me like the Real fun is about to begin. A mig welder with gas will make you look like you've been welding for years with just a little bit of practice. I think that 900 is gonna wake things up. At least a little bit. . Welcome to the site, And like Chikin said, Pics are where it's at
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    Re: Buggy Project
    Here's a few from when l just brought it home, and one where im sandblasting, yes I know I should be wearing a respirator or at least a dust mask. I do now, at the time It was my first time ever sandblasting. I now know the danger of silicosis.
    I will post some more pics as I go. I am actually now painted, have bought several parts and am starting to fab brackets and adaptors for the new engine and parts. l wanted to start this thread months ago but It was slow going and lots of sanding and polishing. I didn't want to lose everyone's interest so l thought l would wait until I had made some progress.
    So, back to the build...
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    Re: Buggy Project
    So after spending lots of time polishing the Yamaha engine I Just couldn't get i to look right so l decided to paint It black.Now I have a good running and damn good looking 550 in my shop. I may sell it after l make sure the CBR engine runs good and shifts through all the gears, the 900's are notorius for tranny problems (kicks out of gear usually 2nd). I did do a compression test and got 90 118 135 118. Figured I got took, until I noticed the socks still stuffed in the carbs, dumbass! So, after doing the compression test the right way with the engine breathing air I got 150 150 150 150, yes! That is with a cold engine So I imagine warm should be a bit higher.
    The guy I got the engine from said it was just under 10K when it was wrecked, There was some rash on the side cover, I sanded most of it out without going to far . And it looks like one of the motor mounts? is cracked, and the headers and radiator are dented up and cracked. Oh well, the curved radiator wont work anyways, all I wanted was the temp sensor out of it.The headers will need to be custom too so no big loss , and did I mention it was only 400 bucks?
    I ordered a digital speedo-tach. It's a Koso knock-off,but it was only 50 dollars. I have read good reviews on it. The main complaint is a bouncy tach needle. Seems pretty easy to remedy if it happens though, just a resistor. There was no mounting bracket so I used my 4" grinder to out a piece of scrap aluminum I had , shaped it with my grinder and dremel then painted it. I drilled the holes where the bolts from the tach go bigger to fit rubber grommets to dampen vibration .
    I also had to fab a piece for the steering wheel . It has the grant 6 hole pattern and my quick release has 3. Same deal, used grinder to rough cut it. Then I used the sanding wheel to round it. Drilled the holes for the quick release and drilled then tapped the holes for the steering wheel. Sorry no pics of that piece, I will try to take some but l don't want to remove the screws from the tapped holes any more times than I have to.
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    Re: Buggy Project
    Some more pics
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    Re: Buggy Project
    And some more. Had a long day today, 15 hrs. I'm going to bed!
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    Re: Buggy Project
    Senior Member MrBracket's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Eugene, Oregon
    Hey Dirt!
    I'm just south of you in Eugene. I too ride a DRZ400 quad as does my wife and oldest boy, not the fastest quad by any stretch, but super fun and go anywhere! We mostly go to Florence just because it's so close.
    I'm collecting parts to build a buggy for myself and my youngest boy. Gonna be a long term project..
    Good luck with your engine conversion. I'll keep an eye on your build, perhaps we can meet up at the dunes sometime.
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    Re: Buggy Project
    For sure Mike. This was supposed to be a project for me and my son too. But he is only 11 and when the real work starts he loses interest, Oh well maybe the next buggy .
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    Re: Buggy Project
    Heres some more bare metal pics & a couple of it primed.
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