Tuesday, December 25, 2018

4WD sand-rail buggy

This isi not the first street-legal sand-rail buggy I see in Florianópolis, Brazil, but it's unusual for being 4-wheel drive with solid axles. Fitted with a Volkswagen EA827 engine mounted at the rear position, just like the ones inspired by the Volkswagen Beetle mechanical layout, but I couldn't get the chance to figure out its transmission setup.


  1. The car industry is so badly regulated that I do not dare to think a lot in doing cars.
    Anyway: It wonders me how a bunch of enthusiasts made a lot of dune buggies in the '70 out of used engines, transmissions and suspension. They made some bucks and they had lots of fun.
    I believe that current pick up trucks, with its hefty price and costly trim, could be replaced by two seaters "buggies up" using one engine and power train with McPherson suspension.
    I suggest the same arrangement regardless of the position front or rear, when in the rear the steer action is fixed.
    In fact I found very interesting to have more than one equal engine/power trains, one in front and another in the rear with the advance coordinated using a derivative of the ESP (or ESC) and some robot in the gearbox.
    This alternative will bring something like 140 to 200 HP to the truck using very cheap and abundant second hand engines of 70/100 HP. This arrangement has the appealing of increased reliability since only one engine could be used in case of fault, and better mileage when using only one active engine.
    If it worth doing, maybe it is worth exaggerating: what about 3 power trains? This is a really sturdy off road version: 6 x 6, with all the benefits of modularity, reliability and efficiency above.
    I bet there are plenty power trains rotting in junk yards everywhere. Think of every corsas, gols, fiestas, etc, that could salvaged.
    For the transport of cargo: forget about the open deck, this is a lame substitute of a real cargo space, very unsuitable for transporting anything but sacks of grain.
    I suggest the use of semi trailers to be towed by this "buggie up" (a better name is required). A specially designed trailer could be made in every work shop in town: for cattle transport, for window glasses, for industrial equipment, (compressors, generators), for gardening job (lawn mower, leaves blower, ...), for construction aggregate (sand, rocks,..).
    To avoid the scissor effect the system would need some ABS system and eventually a turning limitation for the fifth wheel king pin at certain speed.
    The trailer will not be used for people, and thus certain safety limitations will not apply.

    1. Regarding the dual-powertrain approach, that would resemble the Citroën 2CV Sahara.

  2. Exactly, that was my inspiration: how to get AWD out of surplus gear. Getting reliability by redundancy and high gas mileage by turning off unneeded parts is another benefit


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