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Bug front end looks awesome but after looking at it for a bit I see what you mean about the tires. Very nice work man.
Maybe some other type of car front end?
 

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Fab Junky
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498 Posts
Discussion Starter #22
Time to take care of all the little stuff that consumes more time than the main chassis but doesn't make the car look much different. The computer, fuse panel, voltage regulator and air box all mounted to the stock plastic and needed to be remounted.

I recycled the small section of plastic that housed the computer and turned it around so the backside now has the door to give it some splash resistance. With a new rivet nut driver I used a couple 6mm nut rivets in the stock c channel and added a side tab for stability. Computer re-mounted.

Mounting options for the fuse block and voltage regulator were kinda limited without re-working the wiring harness so I made the best of it and mounted them where they are easier to access and make room for the new gas tank. The airbox was the easiest. A couple small tabs and recycling some of the button head torx screws has it mounted solid behind the rear aluminum firewall.

When I decided to make a larger gas tank, I needed to move the brake tee, reroute the lines behind the B pillar and move the starter relay behind to the small gusset on the back of the pillar. A couple more 6mm nut rivets made a nice assembly.




With those done I needed to mount a action packer bin for storage and create a tab off the bin mount for the coil pack. My new SWAG bender worked great to bend some flat into a C channel for a simple bolt in basket that can be removed for engine access.


Used the bender again on the tab for the coil pack to replicate the stock setup.


The last item I got mounted on the B pillar is the coolant reservoir. The shape of the stock bottle is a perfect fit next to the upper shock mount but I am debating if it can be below the top of the radiator to operate correctly. If anybody has experience with acceptable coolant reservoir locations, I am all ears. If it doesn't work, I'll need to move it or get a nicer looking one and mount it near the top of the cage which would be less than desirable.




The spare needed mounts for the Y strap hooks so I made some tube gussets at the less than ideal T intersection and a simple mount at the rear that keeps the hook flush and inline with the tire.



Another debate I have is the mount for the SuperTrapp, I made a simple steel clamp on mount that I know will resist vibration well but I also could make a small aluminum tab that welds to the muffler case and would look better but could crack if the engine mounts flex more than the muffler mount I have (I ordered a nicer T-bolt clamp to replace the regular hose clamp). I eliminated the monster bell coupler and recycled a bend from the stock exhaust to allow the SuperTrapp to slip on for a simple smooth flowing exhaust.

 

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Fab Junky
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498 Posts
Discussion Starter #24
Sooooooooo????????? Where are the updates.......... Its been about a month!
I'm right on time or not so much......Here is some more progress.

It has been a little while but I am focusing more on getting the car running than updating the thread. After searching for sheet UHMW and striking out on a decent price, I ordered a set from Factory UTV in 1/2 because we run a lot of trails that have boulders and logs we have to slide over. I kept the bottom of the car the same dimensions as a stock car so the kit bolted straight on but the front corners stuck way out so I ventured into my first time modification of UHMW.

Turns out it is pretty easy stuff to work with. I had to use a heat gun to flatten the outer front panels, then cut them to match the inner front panels, bend them with some heat c clamps and my welding table and make a new mounting point using a hole saw and a die grinder. I was very happy with the result.

I also took care of another nagging problem the stock skid mounting has, which is the tiny amount of thread engagement. I drilled all of the mounts out and used 6mm nut rivets for reliable thread engagement and much easier maintenance when I have to pull the skids.

Last, the Factory UTV kit uses 4 clamps on the front to hold the skids on, I upgraded by welding some tabs for those locations to make a cleaner install.








Hopefully this will help anyone that has stripped out skid plate mounting bolts. A few areas are close on sufficient meat for the nut rivets, but all of them worked and had enough metal for the hole.

With the skids done, I moved to the front bumper and winch mount. I wanted to retain a bolt on bumper so I used all the holes at the bottom for a beefy plate, the middle mounts for the winch/bumper and a pair of tubing clamps to tie into the main frame tubes at the top. I really like how it turned out but I don't like the aluminum hood I made, so I will build a new one some time later.






The fairlead was inspired by the Trent KOH buggies and it allows the Factor Five mount to stay behind the skid for a smoother front. I am still thinking about the light arrangement I want to run but the leading idea is to add some 1" x 6" diameter loops on the ends of the top for a pair of LEDs and a LED bar across the middle or 2 more individual lights. I think I can wire the outer two as low beam and the inner(s) as high beam with an extra set of ground wires.
 

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Looks great! I really like the look of the baja bug body on it. Has polaris figured out how to properly phase a driveshaft yet?
 

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Was working on the lightbar today and thought about ya so I venture into here and bam!

I may have to make the long drive for a chance to ride in this thing haha.

I like what you did in the roof. I feel better about it now
 

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Fab Junky
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498 Posts
Discussion Starter #28
Was working on the lightbar today and thought about ya so I venture into here and bam!

I may have to make the long drive for a chance to ride in this thing haha.

I like what you did in the roof. I feel better about it now
Me too. My brother hit the OHV area by the airport and said it was fun so now I want to take the RZR down your way when I get it running. Glad you are working on lights. I still haven't decided what I am doing for lights on this thing.
 

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Fab Junky
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498 Posts
Discussion Starter #29
On to the gas tank. This tank is hands down the most complicated one I have ever built and it took two weekends to get everything correct and one more to weld it all together. Not a small undertaking and I hope it ends up being worth it. Most of the pieces laid out on the table:



I had the tank all cut out and duct taped together and set it down in the car to check it out and on first look, it looked great:



But then I quickly realized there was a problem:



More than a small interference with the trailing arm and brake line when at full bump. I decided the best fix was to cut the corners of the tank off to salvage all the work I did.




It worked! Everything has enough clearance, no interference with the suspension.

With that done, I took it to a professional and had it welded up. I do not have a TIG machine yet and even if I did, I would not pick this tank as my first aluminum project. I was remiss on taking pics for a bit of the build as I am scrambling to get it running for the summer. Anyway, here are some pics of the finished tank. The 12 stud pump hold down works and I used 5/16 Russell EFI adapter fittings to make a new -6 fuel line as the stock will not work with the new pump location. In hindsight, I should have made the sump bigger as the pump filter and gauge float were an extremely tight fit. We would also design the mount a little different because welding it without warping was very challenging.



With the TIG out, I had this "t" welded for the merger of the two belt cooling lines. I made it huge with a Outerwear for lots of clean air. The fittings are a mix of aluminum tubing silicone fittings and cutting up the stock rear molded hose plus a tubing bead roller to ensure it all stays together without popping apart on the trail.

 

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Fab Junky
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498 Posts
Discussion Starter #30
With these done, I made the tank frame/seat support structure that allows the seats to be adjustable with 4 bolts. The tank is surrounded on all sides with neoprene foam to keep any flex and stress on the tank to a minimum. Capacity was 20 gal before I clipped the corners off, so I am guessing 19 gal now. I also ordered a small section of 1/2" UHMW for rocker panels and mounted them similar to the way the stock panels slope up in the back. I counter sunk the bolts with a 3/4" wood paddle bit (which worked great) and decided I am really starting to like working with UHMW over aluminum.

I also chopped up the stock shifter bracket and welded it into the new seat frame.





With the seats mounting complete, fuel in the tank, and a car that should run, I had to try and take her around the block. Some shots of the car outside in the sun, running for the first time in awhile






After a few times around the block I pulled back in and decided the steering wheel was too high and close for my liking (it was way to far away stock, but I over did it!) Out with the cuttoff saw and welder.


A few shortened shafts, adjustments of the mount and bam, a lower wheel that is at a much more comfortable distance. Lesson to self, don't finalize the steering before the seat mounts! She looks really good and the hood I made is not going on, I am thinking hard about two side triangles and a drop center that goes all the way to the front bumper just above the winch. It will maximize driver visibility for crawling. Not safe to drive for real yet with the spinning driveshaft fully exposed. Shaft tunnel, dash, hood, firewalls (front and rear) away from a truly usable car. Lights will come later.
 

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Fab Junky
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498 Posts
Discussion Starter #33
I am soooo close but the last 4 weeks have flown by without being able to work on it between helping my friend roof his house, Mother's day and honey do's. Good thing I have the "wife's" 900 to drive while I finish:D I settled on lights, so I have those and most of the body is done (in cardboard). All I need to do is make the cardboard transform into aluminum with a magic wand. I wish it was that easy....
 

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Fab Junky
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498 Posts
Discussion Starter #34
After a long break, here is a much needed update. First a couple pictures of the firewall, dash, and driveshaft tunnel. My uncle who worked on airframes forever gave me some tips and helped with the firewall. It was great to work with a pro, even though he hadn't worked on sheetmetal for 20 years! I sure am glad that piece is done.



Another view of the firewall, plus the very basic dash. More switches and a ram mount for phone/tablet will come later.



Not pictured is the rear firewall that keeps the passengers from the engine area. I missed the photo of that.

With the basic sheet metal done for a safe, drivable car I had a change of mind with the rear cage. After looking into enclosed toy haulers and coming up with very few reasonably sized ones that could haul 2 RZRs I looked at shortening the rear so they would fit.



It looked like it would be pretty easy to redo the cage with the bolt on tube couplers and improve several things. First, on the initial 20 min test drive I managed to melt the muffler mount bushing because it was so close to the header. Second, the bolt on setup will let me change the back if I want something different easier than welded on. Third, I can shorten the frame to the back of the tires again for better rock crawling and fit in a enclosed trailer.



The exhaust is similar to stock but still different enough for being something original and the supertrapp sounds great.



While I was at it I welded in a V clamp coupler to the header so exhaust mods are easy. Another benefit is the rear cage is much simpler and lighter. The car has the potential to be close to stock weight. I still need to decide on the tire mount.



With the back done (again) I went to work on the front and ended up making a few changes there too. Starting with the headlight cages, I decided it needed a tube connecting in the middle to look right and mount all four lights from the bottom instead of mixing mounting patterns. I didn't really like the original skid plate I made with the bolts showing on the sides so I made a new one that is wider and covers all the a-arm bolts. Last, I changed the fairlead by mounting it behind the skidplate with the hole flowing smoothly from the fairlead.




Now the car is starting to look very SPECOPS, I think flat tan and a gear cage on the roof would look excellent. Maybe some 5gal water jugs mounted just aft of the cab too. Next project is the hood, side skins, and roof.
 

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Fab Junky
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498 Posts
Discussion Starter #35
It has been a quick month and the thread is overdue for an update. I got the car running, took it out for a short drive and in about 20 minutes this happened:



So with a melted high temp silicone bushing, I had to redesign the exhaust mounts. Here is the result:



Then we took the car out for a longer run and after 2 hours in the car, 1/2 with my daughter driving I determined it was too loud for my taste. She is 11 and I was trying to give her instructions and we couldn't talk over the exhaust so redesign #3 here we go.

I took off the rear cage, cut everything up, including the radiator mounts, action packer tray and started over on the rear of the car. The heat from the radiator was minimal so I mounted it directly to the B crossbar and redid the radiator hoses that turned out a bit cleaner. It dropped a little weight too.



Then I recycled the stock bed supports and added some braces to create a tray to set the tire horizontally on with my tools in the wheel center. I have the tow strap and jumper cables under the tool bag so all I need to do is make a jack mount on the cage. I also played around with the reservoirs and liked them best on the two diagonals I added to the back of the cage. Everything that can be lowered helps the CG.



The secondary belt cooling plumbing got in the way of the spare so I redid that too:



With all that done, I redid the exhaust for the third time with a 50 series flowmaster I had taken off my Tacoma. It was a perfect fit and is much quieter than the Supertrapp. Being a chamber design, it should never wear out either:



I used the stock heat shield plus the flowmaster one to keep the tire and air intake cool.



Finally, I started redoing the hood and got the first three pieces mounted. The drop center improves visibility and breaks up the big flat area. I will probably add some bead rolled features to the panels this weekend.


 

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Fab Junky
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498 Posts
Discussion Starter #36
I am really getting excited about the way this car is starting to look. My cousin came over and helped me get all of the side panels and the rest of hood mocked up out of cardboard.






The hood layout really changes the look of the car over the first one I made. The bends on the front section are a little hard to make out in these pictures though.
 

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What bender did you use for your pipe ive been looking for one that can do a good 90 without kinking the tube ive tried a few and took them back cause after 60 it would flating and kink the tube unless u fill it with sand ? what model make?
 

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Fab Junky
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498 Posts
Discussion Starter #39
What bender did you use for your pipe ive been looking for one that can do a good 90 without kinking the tube ive tried a few and took them back cause after 60 it would flating and kink the tube unless u fill it with sand ? what model make?
My bender is a JD Squared Model 3 full manual, and if you use the correct die size and correct tubing wall thickness for the die radius it will never kink the tubing.

JD Squared, Inc. if you need the link. There are several other quality tubing benders on the market as well. I have had mine for 18 years and it still works as good as the day I bought it.
 
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