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New guy needs suggestions..


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16 replies to this topic

#1 jbain8

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 10:34 AM

Hello all...I'm new to the site and was hoping to get your suggestions on an engine/trans for my strictly off-road buggy. I'm in the Navy and retiring to West Virginia in a couple years..at home ATV's rule but I'd much rather drive than ride. I have about 5k and 1 year to finish my project. I just received my Stalker plans from Rhino Buggies (same company as Sweet 82..by the way nice buggy your posts answered alot of questions for me) and I plan to make changes to the plans to fit my needs. The plans call for an EA 81 with D/R tranny, however, I was thinking of an EA 82 for the fuel injections and 5 speed trans. If you guy's had a blank slate and 5k...what would be your combo? Sweet 82 do you think Summer is nose heavy?...Would using an EJ motor for HP add too much extra nose weight? Thanks in advance for any suggestions....Remember this is a strictly off road application.

#2 Scott in Bellingham

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 11:56 AM

go EJ, do you want low gears? , or going to stick with stock gears and smallish tires,

myself I would want lower gears, if you go with a second diff up front you could bring the engine back and drop the diff up inbetween the engine and transaxle this will bring the nose back 4-6" also brings the diff up so your engine can stay lower,would also need a transfercase , nissans 1:2 ratio ,or a sammy is 1:2.26 , with the sammy you can get some even lower gear sets, if its a sand type looking buggy you could even run a 3.7 diff up front and a 4.11 out back,that way you could have a 27" tire on front and run 31s on the back, heres a chart that shows what tire combos would work:

.........Front...Rear1...Rear2...Rear3
Ratio...3.7.....3.9.......4.11.....4.44

Tire1...25......26.4......27.8.....30.0
Tire2...26......27.4......28.9.....31.2
Tire3...27......28.5......30.0.....32.4
Tire4...28......29.5......31.1.....33.6
Tire5...29......30.6......32.2.....34.8

I would pick up a good running lagacy and use that as the doner , has a 4.11 rear diff, has a EJ2.2 has stronger axles and easy to find 5 bolt wheel pattern, the rear axle set up is more difficult as it runs struts and arms , all matters what you want and your ability SJR

#3 jbain8

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 12:16 PM

Thanks Scott..didn't think about putting a rear diff up front, that would solve the nose heavy issue with the added weight of an EJ motor. I would like to stay with ATV tires though...I plan on spending alot of time with ATV's and would kind of like to fit in as much as possible....I also like the way it looks.

#4 Scott in Bellingham

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 12:39 PM

.spending alot of time with ATV's and would kind of like to fit in .


add plastic fenders to fit in:banana: :banana: :eek: :eek: :brow: :cool:

#5 jbain8

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 12:54 PM

OK..so your saying to take a rear diff and mount it in the front of the buggy. Then a transfercase and new driveshafts? It makes sense...have you seen anyone else do it?

#6 Phizinza

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 09:48 PM

So you want it as light as possible? Hmm. Easiest and best thing to do would be to use the 5sp D/R trans with a EJ22. The 2.2L is only about 20kg more I think (someone want to correct me?) Just remember, you don't have to use a Subaru trans in it, or even motor for that matter.. Personally (because the engine is avalible to me here) I would go for a Toyota TDi motor and trans for a buggy. But that does give quite a bit more weight.
Hell, it's a buggy, what do you want in it? Pretty much everything can be made to fit. Start with what you want to do with it, then work from there.

Sounds like a fun project. Once I get my Brat going with the new motor and everything I might just start on a buggy myself. We'll see.

#7 Numbchux

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 09:37 AM

OK..so your saying to take a rear diff and mount it in the front of the buggy. Then a transfercase and new driveshafts? It makes sense...have you seen anyone else do it?


there are a handful that have done the divorced transfer case route...

the power to weight ratio on an EJ22 vs any EA motor, is not really even comparable. and they're very light to begin with...if I was building some crazy custom thing like this, I'd definately go with an EJ22!

#8 northguy

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 10:49 AM

See if Subarubrat wants to sell his baby.:lol:

#9 Sweet82

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 02:56 PM

It would be cool to have another one in the US. I'm feeling somewhat lonesome. Many folks have plans but no one is in building mode.

How and what you want your buggy to do is a big factor in building it. If you have in mind flying off dunes that's one thing. If you want to crawl up rocks that another, If your looking for a trail buggy that different again. How you envision using your buggy would be the first thing to settle, the build will follow. If I was going to crawl, I'd start with another platform. If I was going to fly off dunes, I choose a different kit. As I see it the Rhinobuggy series is more adapted to trails/hunting/recreation.

All the Rhinobuggies are built off the same chassis. The differences in the kits are only cosmetic in the body design. The basic chassis was designed for the EA81/DR combo. With this as a donor car there is nothing to modify nothing to buy. The EA82 is wider and the 5 speed has a two piece driveline. Both of these could be accomidated for in the build process but would require some re-engineering of the basic chassis design.

Horsepower is always good. Too much is a realtive term? I'd prefer the pep of my 2.5 Forester in the buggy but with the Carter/Weber and not much body weight, it gets around. Fuel injection can be swapped onto just about motor.

Summer looks nose heavy from certain angles. I changed the front just a bit to allow a better angle of approach. Unfortunately there is not much you can do if you are using a tranaxle in the classic configuration. The motor/tranny combo was built for a car. It puts weight over the drive wheels. This is good. The radiator could be moved up several inches by changing the frame. The radiator could also be relocated elsewhere? For my purposes? I don't intend to Jump Summer, so I really don't know (or care) if it is nose heavy. It stops great, has incredible traction. If your looking for a trail buggy, I think it's fine the way it is.

http://www.ultimates...=500&ppuser=584

At this point in the build I could lift the back end off the ground.

Good Luck,
Glenn

#10 jbain8

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Posted 18 November 2006 - 10:04 AM

Thanks for everyone's suggestions...To answer Sweet I want a trail buggy I also will not be jumping the buggy I just want a get around off road rig. Did you put the EA 81 in yours and if so how does it work out? I intend to go with 25's or 26 inch tires so just wondering if going with an updated power plant would help or would the weight hurt my nose weight. I'm going on deployment to the Gulf in a couple weeks and I have a guy ready to start cutting and bending my steel. That way when I return next summer I will be able to build it myself with the hard part out of the way. Also what do you guy's think about an Automatic s/r tranny in a moderate trail rig? I've located alot of these cars. Again I'm looking for a rig to take offroad and moderate wheeling.

#11 Numbchux

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Posted 18 November 2006 - 02:41 PM

the stock motor would work just fine with 25 or 26" tires. especially if you fit it with a weber carb, or even go fuel injected.

an updated power plant won't weigh much more than the EA81. the weight difference should be the last of your worries when contemplating an EJ swap. But I would highly recommend it. the Phase 1 EJ22 is a very cool motor!

the Auto tranny's are crap for offroad. they use a clutch pack to transfer power to the rear end, and under load, will slip, leaving you with pretty much just FWD. also, with my experience with the 3AT, they're not strong enough to handle that kind of abuse.

#12 Sweet82

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 12:51 PM

I used a complete 1982 Hatch. So yes I used an EA81. More power is always better. I did the one donor car thing. Didn't buy anything else. I didn't have an EJ22 laying around and didn't want to go buy one. This saved me wiring and computer problems during the build process. If you truly want a mountain goat, I'd start with a Samurai and put a tube frame on it. This buggy will not climb steep things like a D/R SUV. The larger tires take too much away from the gearing. However because of it's size length and weight, a buggy will go places an SUV won't.

Before you cut or have anyone cut steel you need to look at your plans carefully. You need to move or redesign the area just ahead of the firewall. Some of the frame rail bracing will rub (on extreme angles) with a 26" tire. (26" tire measures out to 25.5) The outboard angle brace to the frame rail (part #9) is the problem. Moving the wheels forward 1" would also work but would be a ton of work to keep it consistent with the plans.

http://www.ultimates...=500&ppuser=584

This is the best picture I could find of the brace. In the picture it is the cross brace just at the top of the tire and has a blue aluminum piece on top of it. This is the problem piece, move it backward or move the wheels forward as you will hit it.

Also before you cut any steel you need to understand that the plans are for Right Hand Drive Subarus. Flipping the plans mirror image (to make it LHD) is not as straight forward as you may think. You will have problems in the pedal box area as the box is not flipped mirror image but all the mounts would be? Don't cut any steel until you have figured out this mirror image flip issue.

My recommendation would be to wait until you get back to start bending tube. I think the basic build could be accomplished in two weeks working after hours and weekends. Some tubes will need to be custom aligned to other exisiting tubes. Prefabing tubes will probably not save you time.

Good luck,
Glenn

#13 jbain8

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Posted 21 November 2006 - 03:25 PM

Thanks for the input Numbchux...I will have to do some research on the EJ22 motor. Big thanks to Sweet 82 also but I love the way this buggy looks so this is what I want to build. Thanks for the heads-up on the RHD to LHD as well as the piece #9 that will definately save me alot of headaches. I read a post on where you got your rims and I'll definately have to talk to you later on ordering me a set. I've looked at new 6 lug rims and adapters but in the long run have a set custom made is cheaper in the long run. I will probobly take your advice and wait to start construction till I'm there but living in VA Beach and building in West Virginia where my support base lives will make getting it done a very long process. Thanks again everyone for the inputs and by the way this is a great site.

#14 Numbchux

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Posted 21 November 2006 - 06:42 PM

I've looked at new 6 lug rims and adapters but in the long run have a set custom made is cheaper in the long run.


adapters? who needs adapters? got a drill? go to the Junkyard, buy yourself a set of 6-lug chevy/toyota/isuzu/etc. steelies, and drill them out to the 4-lug pattern. or drill your hubs to 6 lug, and pound in new studs....

#15 jbain8

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Posted 22 November 2006 - 07:17 AM

Numbchux...I considered the six lug option and where that would be the cheapest and easiest I want to run ATV tires and I cant find those in 15 inch...If I could I would definately go that way. Sweet 82...what coilovers did you use on the back?

#16 Numbchux

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Posted 22 November 2006 - 11:02 AM

Numbchux...I considered the six lug option and where that would be the cheapest and easiest I want to run ATV tires and I cant find those in 15 inch...If I could I would definately go that way. Sweet 82...what coilovers did you use on the back?


there are 14" 6-lug wheels. IIRC from isuzus.

#17 Sweet82

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Posted 22 November 2006 - 01:22 PM

The rear shocks were not originally coil overs. The Hatch worked fine with the regular shocks. I used the regular shocks on the buggy and they worked fine too. I put these coil overs on because I wanted a better looking shock than the rusty original 1982 shocks I had. For cosmetic reasons I put on a coil over shock. I chose ones that I could remove the coils if it was too stiff. I found the "Bug Pac" coil over to be the perfect shock. They were not expensive and they were the correct length and stroke for what I needed. I have run them with coils on and coils off. For what I do, I don't notice much difference so I leave them on for looks. Taking the coils off might give me better articulation, I'll have to test it on the ramp. But until I do they'll stay on.

The Bug Pac shocks were designed for the off-road VW's. I figured similar size, weight and use vehicle? I didn't want a shock designed for a full size truck.

I think your too hung up on the nose heavy thing. The weight is over the wheels. It gets great traction. Your angle of attack (40+) is more than enough for the motor/gearing/tire combination. You'll never run into a wall steeper than that. If you do, you won't be able to scale it anyway.

Which brings up a point... I used DOM anywhere the rocks could touch metal. So my lower front grill supports are DOM. The tranny mounts are DOM. Anything that could meet a rock, I used DOM on. You may want to consider getting at least one length of DOM for those parts?

http://www.ultimates...rt=3&ppuser=584
http://www.ultimates...rt=3&ppuser=584
The "J" shaped pieces that the shackles are mounted on are DOM.




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