Robs Stupid Buggy Progress September


Sep 02, 2010 Got to do a test after getting the differential back together. The Detroit Locker works the opposite of the True Trac, where the True Trac stays open until needed, and takes a bit to lock. The Detroit Locker stays locked until need to turn. This gives the Detroit alot more instantaneous traction, and from the first few drives, I like it alot more.

Buggy Lives Again!

Tradition requires the machine that was built from the parted out car has to finish off the parted out car remains.

Tipping the car over to remove the rear suspension

Dragging the car around the pasture

These 3 pictures are pictures taken of paused video. Pretty stupid, but I dont have an editor that works with the video camera it was taken with. I will have to get video of the buggy somehow.

Video of grandson riding in buggy (7.9MB)

Sep 20,2010 The buggy is mostly finished, so havent been doing much to it. Took it out to the mountains again last weekend. It did very well. The front brakes are significantly less sensitive, and even though they locked up slightly every once in awhile, it was very tolerable, and not scary at all. I will still probably plumb the proportioning valve inline with the front brakes to cut the pressure a little more. All in all, the brakes and everything else worked very good.

The trip was not without issues though. Late at night, a dozen miles or so from camp, we were traveling along a trail that grew progressively more off camber, and the left side tires ended up in a rut. Being stupid, I didnt think much about it, until the rut got deeper and muddier. I started getting worried and turned the steering all the way to the right, but by this time, the left front tire was too muddy, and wasnt enough weight on the right front tire to pull the other one out of the rut.

All was good until we saw that a few feet ahead, the rut turned into a fairly large mud pit of unknown depth. There was a trail around the mud pit, but buggy was still stuck in the rut. I tried to reverse to get out of the rut, but both back tires peeled out slowly and the buggy wouldnt move. Bummer! What to do?

A smarter person wouldve probably done something different, but not me. I motioned to the wife to hold on, straightened the wheels, and punched the throttle, cause I really didnt want to get stuck in the mud.

Apparently I had alot more traction than I thought. The buggy launched hard and blasted into the mud at an incredible speed. The splash of mud killed the motor instantly, but we had enough momentum to bounce through the mud and coast a few feet past it onto solid ground. Woohoo, I didnt get stuck

Trying to restart the motor was unsuccessful. Apparently, the computers got drenched in the mud and shorted out something important. As I was checking for stuff that might have gotten knocked loose, someone in our group pointed out that the left front tire was off the rim. My wife noticed that the right front tire was half flat and leaking pretty bad. Bummer! At least I didnt get stuck in the mud

Ended up having to be towed a quarter mile or so to a spot where everybody behind me could get around. We left the buggy there and rode back with some friends.

Being sunday in a small town, means no tire store open, and it was a long way back to the buggy just to get the tires off, so I called my daughter to try to get her to bring me a pair of subaru tires on rims. To make a long story short, she finally contacted my son, and he brought me two tires.

Luckily, the computers had enough time to dry out by the time we got back to where the buggy was parked, the motor fired right up, and changing the tires was uneventful. The only problem, besides very minimal ground clearance on the front, was that the check engine light and the alternator light was on. It looked like the mud ruined the alternator too. At least I didnt get stuck in the mud! :)

The buggy drove fine most of the way back to camp. About a mile from camp, I decided it was a good time to try a high speed run. Probably not a good idea with the check engine light on, and the dinky front tires, and even though it didnt accelerate very well with a nearly dead battery, it still went well past redline in overdrive quite readily. The front end seemed a little squirrely at an estimated 80-85mph, but probably mostly due to the small front tires.

The battery died and the motor cut out and ended my high speed run, but we managed to coast to about a quarter mile from camp. Someone happened by and gave me a jump start and we made it to within a few feet of camp. We ended up winching the buggy onto the trailer. But I didnt get stuck in the mud :)

Poor, crippled buggy with woosy tires

As soon as I got home, I tried putting air in the tires I popped off. They both aired right up. I was very happy to say the least! They didnt stay aired up very long, because of the mud caked between the tire and rim, but at least the tires seemed ok.

Then, it was time to try and clean the alternator back to life. I immediately noticed the plug on the top of the alternator looked a little cockeyed. I gave it a slight push and it clicked right back into place. After charging the battery for several hours, I started the motor, and no alternator light. Woohoo!

The check engine light was still on, and the idle was really rough, so I decided to wash the mud off the computers. Seems that this would be a good time to figure where it was most vulnerable to water too.

After disconnecting the battery and spraying the puters off really good, and draining all the excess water, I tried to start it, and of course, I got nothing. Using the air hose to blow off all the wiring and computers didnt enable it to run either. Removing every connector from the computers and blowing out both halves of each connector still didnt make it run. I was so hoping to find where the water was confusing the computers.

Trying to start it the next morning was successful. The check engine light was off and it idled really smooth again. Im thinking that there mustve been some water trapped inside one or more of the computer cases that was keeping it from running, and the air hose is unable to clear it out well enough.

While, the computers were drying, I decided it was time for rear fenders. Seems like a 55 gallon plastic drum would be wonderful for making fenders out of. Assuming I can get them on straight.

Too bad I cant get them on straight

The fender looked quite a bit straighter last night, but went all cockeyed after relaxing a bit. Of course its gonna need more reinforcement, but think its gonna need to be adjusted a bit first.

Sep 24,2010 I didnt get the fenders satisfactorily straight to show off, so I removed them for the weekend voyage.

Sep 27,2010 Took the buggy out again over the weekend. There were a few issues, but it brought me back to camp every time. The most apparent problem was the front end alignment. The slight looseness during last weekends high speed run prompted me to adjust the toe settings slightly. Apparently I didnt measure correctly and it made it much worse to the point that it was twitchy at 20mph on gravel. Tweaking it back to what I approximately remember it was before made it much better, but still worse than it was the weekend before.

The transmission was shifting funny on the first trip out. Staying in too low of a gear for too long, and an apparent loss of all engine braking. The next day it was fine though. Perhaps the transmission computer was still slightly wet.

There wasnt any trails to challenge the buggy, but we followed a dozen or so 4 wheelers 15 miles or so, down a mostly flat, windy, hard packed dirt road with some gravel. We cruised at speeds between 40 and 50 mph for 5-10 miles at a time. The people on the 4wheelers continued on quite a ways, but we got bored and turned around. Since we didnt have to keep pace with anybody on the way back, we cruised about 60mph, with short bursts up to 70 and 75. The trip back was alot more fun!

The sustained high speed exposed a couple problems. The angle of the hood funnels the air right into the riders faces, making eyeballs tear up as if we were going much faster. Looks like buggy is gonna have to have a windshield. Also, The unfinished part of the roof that sticks out in front, with no support, shakes violently at high speed and makes and incredibly annoying noise. Gonna have to support it, fold it down, or remove the excess. Other than that, and still being slightly out of alignment, not giving alot of confidence above speeds of 60 or so, the buggy worked great.

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