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Old 03-21-2012, 01:16 PM
thunderfab's Avatar
thunderfab thunderfab is offline
Junior Fabricator
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: northern mi
Posts: 1
4x4 buggy questions

Can you guys help me out? My son and I are going to build a 4 seater do it all 4x4 buggy. I want a buggy that can run 100 mph in the desert one day and do some rock climbing and have some fun in the mud maybe take it to the dunes and in general be a good all around toy. I want to take the family to Moab and places like that. We also have some rock climbing here in Michigan and Dunes also .I don't want to spend a buch, but I can build or modify items to keep this a budjet build.
I have tons of experience in the drag racing world, building 6 second 240 mph door cars but not much off road exp. I do have a 46 willys cj2a that I play around with. I have a few questions about buggy construction.
I have some parts lying around and was wondering if they would be good for what I want to do.
Do I need a locker in the rear or do some of you run spools? It would be trailered most of the time. I was thinking of building a 9" ford rear diff. I already have a Strange ultra case center section with a 40 spline spool and 9 1/2 gears that will handle 3000 hp on the dragstrip. I will run a Dana 60 in the front with some kind of locker. I would probably use arond 39" tires. I was thinking of runing 5.13 gears.
I have a 440 mopar engine that I rebuilt and I thought it would be a good choice because I already have it and it makes about 500 ftlbs of torque. I could put a Holley projection on it . I have a dana 300 transfercase and a 727 tourqueflite trans althou I think a turbo 400 would be a better choice.
I would be building a light weight chromoly chassis with a jeep grill and hood so I could register it here in michigan.
Would a low gear set for the dana 300 be good enuff for what I want to do or do I need a double 300 or some thing else?
Would Air shocks be a good choice? Or would coil overs be better? I would run a triangulated 4-link front and rear.
What do you guys think?

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Old 03-21-2012, 02:12 PM
Bonehead's Avatar
Bonehead Bonehead is offline
Master Fabricator
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,021
What a can of worms. "Which is better?" is how the Hatfields and Mccoys started their battle.

Having a transfercase with options helps go from mud to rocks. A welded rear, or Spool should be fine. A locker in the front is the way to go. All the other things you want to do should work fine. Fuel injection is also the way to go. (also there is no such thing as a budget build, for such a well rounded vehicle.)
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Old 03-21-2012, 03:41 PM
entropy's Avatar
entropy entropy is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: 95-miles from the center of Oregon.
Posts: 8,369
What you describe is what I call a trail toy and I agree/prefer that they be street legal because I hate towing.
For crawling you can get away with murder suspension wise but for hauling you have to get it right and they may NOT be the same. Sort it out and build it so that you have adjustability. You likely should set the WB first and I'll guess 120" which may be long for a crawler and perhaps short for a desert runner.
I prefer small turbocharged or big blocks for engines but I also own V6 and 5.0L/5.8L V8's.
Automatic (727) and keep the engine close to stock and that EFI will limit the size of the cam to just about right.
I am a strong advocate for the Ford 9" but you are going to be looking at a custom housing and trussed then maybe FF, and 35 spline shafts at which point a D60. D70, or 14-Bolt makes more sense with 4Deez.
For the T/C I would not choose the 300 as I feel you would be on the edge with a Big and 4Deez I would choose the Atlas and in ratios that would let the R&P be higher then otherwise to allow for the 100-MPH spec and the gear sets are stronger.
Budget lay it out, no single item costs less then $500 and when you have all the parts accounted for, double that.
Nothing about this lifestyle is cheap, in fact it is the most expensive sector of motorsports bar none

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