EfiniMotorsport New Reader
2/15/20 8:13 p.m.

I figured it was about time I posted up my sand rail project now that it actually feels like I'm making some good progress. Last weekend I finally got it down on the wheels for the first time in almost a year. When I first got the rail it was rough to say the least. IT had been sitting in a barn for 20 years and had a bunch of questionable work done on it. My favorite was that they mounted the outboard side of the seatbelt to the swingarm. Any time the suspension dropped it would pull the belt a few inches tighter. There were a few other brackets and stuff booger welded to the frame too. What I didn't know until I got into it was that the frame was poorly welded everywhere then bondoed  to look good. It was also out of square all over the place. I spent most of the last year rewelding, cutting, grinding and generally just trying to get it back in shape. I also swapped the link pin front beam for an adjustable ball joint beam and got rid of the swingaxle rear for an aftermarket IRS. I've also added a triple pedal assembly, WRX turn signal assembly, 12 gallon fuel cell and 12 gallon trunk, front and rear disc brakes, windshield, wipers, seat heaters and a bunch of other stuff. Instead of gauges and switches I'm going to run a 10" touchscreen with an Arduino, Raspberry Pi and relay board. All the wiring and brake lines are going to be hidden under the floor, all the electronics will be in the trunk and all the lighting will be LED. The rears will be strip lighting flush mounted in the rear bars. For headlights I'm going to use round Jeep headlights with halo/turn signals. Here's some before and current pics and I'll be posting more as I check things off. 

EfiniMotorsport New Reader
2/15/20 8:17 p.m.

Got to love this type of engineering.

EfiniMotorsport New Reader
2/15/20 8:21 p.m.

Here's the upgraded pedal assembly and my trunk/fuel tank. The top of the trunk will slide open for access to the electronics and I'll be able to put the steering wheel and screen inside it when I park the rail. The master power also has a keyed shut off switch. I haven't decided if I'm going to run stainless flex line from the masters through the floor or bend up hard lines. I started mocking it up with coat hangers but not sure I can get the bends I want with the nickel copper lines. 

EfiniMotorsport New Reader
2/15/20 8:37 p.m.

I originally planned on building for an air cooled VW engine/trans and a WRX engine/trans. There's a company that sells a kit to convert the WRX tranny to work ina rear engine setup. Although the engines are similar trying to build for both is just going to slow the build down too much. The parts to convert the tranny aren't cheap either so I'll save the Subaru stuff for another build. The VW engine is a 71 1600cc with a solid state distributor and  I'm adding sensors for oil temp, oil pressure and left & right cylinder head temp. I have a set of dual carbs but I'm thinking I may try getting a set of motorcycle throttle bodies and going fuel injected ITB. It ay not be as fast with the VW engine but it's damn sure going to look good.

This is where it started from. I didn't tear the motor down completely but did find a broken exhaust spring. 

EfiniMotorsport New Reader
2/15/20 8:48 p.m.

I didn't want to have any issues with bump steer so instead of running two different length tie rods I'm running them in a Y setup so they're both the same length. They are 1" 4130 with a .120 wall thickness and 5/8" heim joints. Should be pretty damn strong. Steering will be a stock VW box  and probably a 1.25" 4130 steering shaft. I'm thinking I may need one u-joint instead of the rag joint. I'm going to weld the male side of the steering wheel disconnect to the end of the steering shaft so I don't have to stack adapters.

One thing I can't seem to decide on is should I run the bars for the front bumper like this or keep them parallel to the ground. I'm going to connect them with 3, 1" tubes. The 1.5" bumper tubes are a thinner wall so my hope is if I do hit something it will absorb at least a little energy. What do you think, top pointed up like this or parallel to the ground?

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/15/20 8:55 p.m.


EfiniMotorsport New Reader
2/15/20 9:15 p.m.

I know I keep calling this a sand rail but it will be strictly street driven. I'm going lower it as much as is practical and it will be road legal with lights, wipers, mirrors, fenders, etc. I guess a better name is a street rail or maybe DOOM buggy.

bgkast GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
2/15/20 9:36 p.m.

I like it pointed up

jgrewe Reader
2/15/20 9:45 p.m.

I had a rail that I put a built 1.8 GTI engine in.  The most important thing it had was a turn brake.  It didn't even have front brakes because there wasn't enough weight up front for the tires to get any grip.  Have people figured out good master cylinder sizing to keep them from locking up? I think the weight of the bigger rims and tires will help and maybe put the battery up there too. 

Mine would lift the front wheels quite nicely with 130hp but it had the extra weight of the waterpumper hanging out back.

I love the street plans though, If I had more time I'd be building a Midlana for similar fun.

EfiniMotorsport New Reader
2/15/20 10:15 p.m.

I'm trying to add as much weight to the front as I can. The pedal assembly I have also has brake bias adjustment so hopefully I can get it dialed in right. 

RossD MegaDork
2/16/20 8:09 a.m.

Awesome! I want a street dune buggy too. I wonder if it would be usefull to run it midengine layout? 

buzzboy HalfDork
2/16/20 8:55 a.m.

I love the BMW wheels on it. Rails are so much fun! I don't need another car but I really want a rail.

The tie rod situation is... interesting.

Wally MegaDork
2/16/20 9:10 a.m.

I like the top bar angled.  Add your initial to the center then have it chromed.

EfiniMotorsport New Reader
2/16/20 12:05 p.m.

There won't be any chrome on this. I have an aversion to the stuff. I was thinking about having my shop logo water jetted into a plate then welding that in but I think it will block the mounts for my tow bar. I did have to leave the top bar angled up some also to clear the tow bar.

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