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    Greetings followed by a couple questions :)
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    Hey guys, my name is Eric I'm 20 years old and I currently live in Florida. I was looking around and I've gotta say it's great to be in such a perfect place for information and knowledge. I'm looking to start work from scratch on a street legal dune buggy. My view of what I'd like it to look like and have is (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_63QrlTNzEO...gy%2BFrame.jpg) a square back to jagged front look on the frame (Long, I'm 6ft 5"), 2 seater, bottom portion of frame paneled, net over window gap, top frame front lights, reversal system, probably 500-600cc engine and cup holders ;p. My goal is to make a nice looking, fast, safe and fun dune buggy at a reasonable price. I'm assuming I'm looking at 3k-6k in total, please correct me if I'm wrong.

    Now, here's the rundown on my automotive mechanical expertise - Insert Here. Lol but on a serious note, I do have a good knowledge of most tools (minus welding and high tech instruments), I'm intuitive and fast learning, I love getting dirty, and I'm persistant when my mind is set on something. To be honest, I'm doing this because I woke up yesterday with the want to build something but, something worth it.

    If you guys would be so kind as to point me in the right direction and answer a couple questions it would be so helpful. My main questions are;

    1.) What do I start with? - What to look for first and what to start with first

    2.) Should I build my frame or purchase one? - Which is less money / easier

    3.) What is the best thing to work from? - Blueprint / Plans / Book / Internet?

    4.) I'd like to see how much dedication and effort this needs, how hard is the venture I'm about to journey into on a scale from 1-10?

    5.) What is a price estimate based on anyones experience? - Not because I don't want to spend but, to help save for when cost is in hand.

    Thank you all who help!
    - Eric, The Noobie From Florida.


    P.S. - If I'm posting in the wrong section I apologize.
    Last edited by Sicronis; 11-13-2011 at 02:06 AM.
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    Re: Greetings followed by a couple questions :)
    #2
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    Well lets see here... You need to start with what your gonna build. You need to find a frame or plans in my opinion. If you build from scratch you need to start by studying suspension, drive line, and handling that goes along with those. As well as how to make the frame. So I say pay someone a small fee for having done this already. So in my opinion you need to start by finding a set of plans that meets your size needs.

    Answer to number 2 is above

    If you think you can learn to weld and have the means to buy all the tools needed then buy some good plans. Though thats a tall task it is doable. If you find one priced right you might find a roller or knock down frame. You can get VW style rail frames pretty cheap. But I tend to think their ugly and to long. You can find whole rails for 500-3000 down here all day on craigs list

    I love fabrication. So it aint hard to me to cut and weld and design some things. I enjoy it. I've seen many, many others sell their crap in the home stretch cause they just could'nt get there. The good thing about building, it dont take any more dedication than you feel like giving. But that time directly affects how long your looking at a pile of steel. The skill level is a 10 if your doing it all by your self with your own design. At least if you truely design it and not just make it. I'd say with plans maybe a 5-7 and the more off the shelf parts you use it could be almost as simple as turning wrench

    Cost depends on what your building. At least 3000 for very very basic. 7-10k for a nice machine is likely. But again, if you are resourcefull you can build a machine really cheap. But resourcfull usually means more time and work. For example if you want reverse you can buy an rpm box for 2300 and make it real real easy. Or you can buid a reverse with a starter and ring gear and all that jazz for a few hundred. You can buy a an engine and trimmings for 3k or scronge one for 500 and fix it
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    Re: Greetings followed by a couple questions :)
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    1st Buggy? I would suggest finding a roller in need of rehab power it with something cheap and reliable. Like say from a entry level car a Honda Toyota Geo. if you can find a wrecked or rusted out doner car you will save money in the long run. plus if you have the title from the doner car it may help you get the buggy registered at DMV. and impossible task here in Oregon BTW.

    I'm suggesting this approach because it more within the reach of a first time builder. so completing the project will happen faster and cheaper. Building the "Ultimate buggy" the first time through wwill take some serious resources $$$$ and know how, a lot of planning (too many options) because of all this too may guys just loose interest, Then the time and $$ spent is lost.
    Mu .02
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    Re: Greetings followed by a couple questions :)
    #4
    Seņor Banned Member Chikin's Avatar
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    Well look on internet.... or go to the dunes(If possible) and see what you like.... see what makes it chub up.
    Now once you know what you want.... (Generally speaking) Figure out cost. Build it your self(No one on here went to sand rail 101---SO we were all new at one time) And even if you build it from scratch which after reading your posting is ground zero(And a long way to go) Just know that by picking up tools and ambishion **Which you can see by your questions** That the bottom line....

    A lil money.... And ambishion.

    Or you can be like some of us..... No money and slowly building(Which is Killing me inside by the way)

    Just ask questions and every one will help out.

    P.S<<<<<>>>> Hey at least you asked before you went in full boat and have to remake shit.
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    Re: Greetings followed by a couple questions :)
    #5
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    Alrighty, well I do want to work all the mechanics (Suspension, driveline, etc.) myself minus the welding if possible since I don't have that equipment on hand, I'm gonna go ahead and find some plans to buy and work from that, if it's infront of me it'll help me picture the idea of it as well as make it easier than picturing the mechanics of the layout in my head, find the frame on craigslist and then go from there. Thanks a lot for all the input guys, it really helped. Lets see if I can get started soon!
    Last edited by Sicronis; 11-14-2011 at 02:04 AM.
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    Re: Greetings followed by a couple questions :)
    #6
    Protodie Master and Vendor ProtoDie's Avatar
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    welcome to MBN


    1.) What do I start with? - What to look for first and what to start with first

    you found a good place to start here at MBN.
    read,,read, research and ask questions and sort thru the different opinions,,,by reading more,,,,to put value with opinions





    2.) Should I build my frame or purchase one? - Which is less money / easier

    I would recomend buying a frame,,,or unfinished project as mentioned.
    try to find a frame design that has proven suspension , steering and drive train design.

    there are some frames out there that are made without the suspension ever being designed.
    this leaves the person who bought it to figure out & engineer all the hardest stuff and source parts not intended for that frame.
    also sort through any unfinished projects,,,,,,,,,,,,,as they may have purchased a frame , without suspension design as mentioned above...... and you will be stuck learning suspension engineering 101 or find out the frame was not designed correctly


    3.) What is the best thing to work from? - Blueprint / Plans / Book / Internet?

    read thru some build threads of people who purchased plans. this will show you how complete ,,,or in-complete the plans are and issues the builder ran into.


    4.) I'd like to see how much dedication and effort this needs, how hard is the venture I'm about to journey into on a scale from 1-10?

    depends on which route you chose.
    good frame and good parts can make the project go quick
    plans,,,many take 2-3years to complete,,,,,but learn a ton by going thru the learning process
    some loose interest after a few years if they do not make good forward progress




    5.) What is a price estimate based on anyones experience? - Not because I don't want to spend but, to help save for when cost is in hand.

    ,,,,,,some have sourced good deals and pieced together fun rides on a limited budget.

    all new parts and materials,,,,,,our singles seat buggies have 10,000-12000 just material cost
    our 2 seat is 14,000 to 17000 material cost



    it is a great hobby / sport and very educational and gratifying



    just my 0.02
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    Re: Greetings followed by a couple questions :)
    #7
    Seņor Banned Member Chikin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProtoDie View Post

    just my 0.02

    His 0.02 cents cost others lots of money. (Im just jelous of his rides and MASSIVE garage ENVY I tell you)
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    Re: Greetings followed by a couple questions :)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chikin1974 View Post
    His 0.02 cents cost others lots of money. (Im just jelous of his rides and MASSIVE garage ENVY I tell you)
    You aint told no lies there bro. Very nice machines and out standing parts. As much as I hate paying folks for things, Protodie has some beautiful rear end componets I will likely end up using. I can make a spool for 200 bucks cheaper including axles. But no where near as tuff or clean. Some areas I've found you just should'nt skimp on
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    Re: Greetings followed by a couple questions :)
    #9
    Senior Member
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    I frequently visit locostusa in addition to this board. Locosts are more street oriented home built cars based somewhat on a Lotus 7 car. There is a lot of good info there on making a tube frame homebuilt car street legal. There are also lots of tips on how to get things done and where to source parts.

    I settled on building an offroad buggy as my first project, and I'm planning to keep the costs below $10,000. I am using plans from a well known member of this board, RickS. I could have spent a few years learning the ins and outs of suspension and chassis design so that I could build my own buggy, but I decided I don't have the time with work and a young child at home and went the plan route for my first 'rodeo.' This will help me get all the tools in order that I need and get experience without biting off more than I can chew. Generally the building experience is the most rewarding part of projects for me. It will be fun to take it for a spin in the end, though. Best of luck to you...
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    Re: Greetings followed by a couple questions :)
    #10
    Seņor Banned Member Chikin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckorlando View Post
    You aint told no lies there bro. Very nice machines and out standing parts. As much as I hate paying folks for things, Protodie has some beautiful rear end componets I will likely end up using. I can make a spool for 200 bucks cheaper including axles. But no where near as tuff or clean. Some areas I've found you just should'nt skimp on


    You just said you like Protodies beautiful rear end components..... Sorry. It made me laugh

    I know what you meant... it was just funny
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