Building Manxiberty

If you are building a buggy or Baja then please post in here and share your experinces with us

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manxiberty
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Building Manxiberty

Postby manxiberty » Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:17 am

Around five years ago I was heading off to a party one Friday night; problem was I had no way of getting there.
This is where Mike Morley is to blame. He turned around and said “I can drop you off”.
Walking out the front I noticed he had brought his Meyers Manx over.
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Having never driven in one before I was curious. The moment Mike let the clutch out… instant smile.
Time went by and mike had now sold his swinger blue Manx and had begun his New SubaManx build
which interested me not knowing a lot about who, where, why and how.
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Luckily for me Mike had the patience to explain to me the principles of VW suspension, beach buggy culture etc
seeing as though my experience with cars had seen nothing with VW stamped on it.
He also benefited out of this as I had access to a CNC lathe and mill at the time so I happily made a few bit and pieces for his buggy.
Not really knowing what they were.
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I eventually decided that I would like to build one.
As I would probably end up ripping a complete one apart because I can’t ignore things that normal people can.
The thrill of building it also seemed to be a big thing to me.
Being a fitter and turner by trade not much on it worried me as a lot could be done myself saving me a lot of money.
After spending some time with mike getting into his build I was having trouble finding an original Manx worthy of being pulled apart.
Just when I had all but given up and was considering doing a really basic Max FX,
I acquired a 1970 beetle that was about to be cashed in for scrap metal.
Trading a carton of XXXX for a running beetle wasn’t such a bad deal I was told so I had the basis for a simple full length buggy.
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After starting to clean, dismantle and sort out what things I had from this trade I received word that a Manx was in need of a home
and someone silly enough to begin a restoration.

After a bit of money exchanged hands I had my very own Meyers Manx. Image
Since that day I am still looking for that thing that all buggy owners seem to have little of…Spare time!!

I started work on fibreglassing a new Manx out of the piece of Swiss cheese I had been given with the standard shock mount holes,
clutch adjustment hole and the numerous other holes that must have seemed like a good idea at the time sort of holes all punched out with a hammer or an axe.
Holes saws must have been expensive back in the day.
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My floor pan had received a Custom Vee Dub Ball joint front end conversion with an IRS rear.
Which isn’t bad for a 58’ floor pan.
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After some debate as to what the common pitfalls were with standard buggy’s my hip pocket started to burn hot.
The floor pan then received a “c channel” lift kit all around and a centre adjuster for the rear.
Image Front adjusters were put into the new front end from the beetle since the beams on the manx had been banana’d,
The new beam was fully seem welded and shock tower supports where also added.
Because of the front end being banana’d I opted to put in some front stiffeners that then bolted to the front end.
Beetle arms and knuckles were then thrown aside with a newly imported Thing 181 front end arriving.
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All suspension has since been POR’ed to help with the abrasive nature of tearing up the beach and mud.
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Turning brakes have also been added to the pan to aid in difficult situations plus sounded like a lot of fun.
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An aftermarket water heater has been put up in the dash to try and convince the girlfriend that coming along on those cool winter events is a good idea.
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Rear falcon disc brakes were then bolted on….
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If only it could have been that simple. beetle stubs were welded and machined to suit kombi cvs.
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With that done the wheel stud choice was chosen with Hilux 4x4 pcd, opting for 15x7” alloy rims which are easy to get,
cheap and tyres are relatively common thanx to our common 4WDing cousins. Mx5 seats were put in place of the neck breakers that were in it.
This was easy because everybody knows Mx5 seats bolt straight into manx buggies.

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After drawing the line and deciding that I will stay stock standard with an original old vw airccooled motor…
I purchased my first ej22 subaru watercooled power plant and adaptor plates etc…..oops….
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Since the choice to go for reliable power I found a 2ltr kombi box to put drive onto the rear wheels.
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Trying to minimize long term effort, cost and doing something different I am using a hydraulic clutch.
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Clutch master cylinder is a single circuit brake master cylinder which meant an extra hole to the right of the brake master hole
was to be made so each master cylinder lined up with the corresponding pedal ie brake and clutch…

I had “Dyno” (Dave) down at Custom Offroad fabricate all bar work for the Manx consisting of a 6 point roll cage front and rear bar work and nerf bars.
Credit goes to Dyno for his effort as he made it look easy and has done an awesome job making the buggy look the business.
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After doing all of this work with still a mountain left to do, I have found myself having adopted this “weird” sense of buggy humour.
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Work on the buggy stopped for a little while due to my involvement in the geko race team which was also a good motivation to finish my build asap
after seeing first hand and experiencing the power and bang for buck that the ej22 engines offer……
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Production on my buggy had ramped up considerably with a job change letting me spend more time on the buggy.
A lot of time went into research and development of different ideas me and a few other guys had been kicking around and now having overtaken everybody in the buggy building race I was left on my own to spend countless hours figuring things out.
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The radiator arrived and some say I have mistaken the back for the front when I mounted it.
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A lot of people told me it would look ugly while others told me it would never work. I saw this as a challenge and took the risk.
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After I had mounted just about everything and bolted it together it was time to pull it all down and begin the painting.
Days were spent standing in the rain as I wet rubbed the polyester/primer until a fine finish had been achieved.
Once that was done I sweet talked one of my good mates into painting my spa bath.
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Once the paint had dried it was “go time” sikaflexing the body to the pan, bolting it down, bolting in the roll cage, the dash, under dash panels, heater, speakers, steering column, seats, fuel tank, bar work, etc it sounds like it all happens quickly when its written down.
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7 days until Fraser Island.
With the buggy still in pieces and Manx Club Australia Fraser trip 2008 quickly approaching I booked the car in with the engineer for Sunday.

Needless to say I was still working on it in the early hours of Sunday morning a couple of hours sleep and a couple more hours tidying things up it was now heading out to the engineer for an inspection and a brake test.

6 days to go
With the engineer happy to sign off on the buggy I headed home to get ready for a busy week.

5 days to go
Monday lunchtime and I had managed to knock off work early to sort out the buggy.
Picking up my newly engraved mod plate I attached it to the buggy and took it down to get its roadworthy.
Once the mechanic was happy I then took it down to Queensland transport to have it registered.
With the usual dramas we all face at QT behind me I was now in possession of my number plates.
With the plates attached I was now on my way to a trimmer to get my bikini top made….
after some fellow manx club members helping me out and pulling some strings I managed to have it done fairly quickly and back home within a day.

4 days to go
I was now starting to get things ready for the trip such as spare parts and tool kits as well as snatch straps shovels etc.
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Last edited by manxiberty on Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
if in doubt hit it with speed.... just don't hit the cactus!

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Re: Building Manxiberty

Postby OBU991 » Mon Dec 01, 2008 6:06 am

The getting it ready for the Fraser trip sounds very familiar to me working under pressure brings out your best. Great thread really enjoying it. Isn't amazing how you can take them from holy tubs to shiny machines well done!
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Re: Building Manxiberty

Postby manxiberty » Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:05 pm

Sunday morning I had booked the engineer for 10
I was still working on it up until when I left....
obviously it was on small things but 5 minutes before I left I drove it up the road to calibrate the vdo speedo.......
crazy times......
but its such a change to see it on the road now......being able to tinker on a road going car is much relaxing.....

but it all makes for a good story when you can tell people you road tested it on fraser a week after it was rego'ed and weren't sure it was all going to work.......they look at you funny......

I also drove into mud with the engineer after the brake test and covered myself and the engineer with mud......I was under his directions and it was where he told me to drive....6inch deep mud......luckily he had a sense of humour......passed the brake test.....everything else he was happy with...

Its also funny when people say " so you really take this thing offroad"
if in doubt hit it with speed.... just don't hit the cactus!

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Re: Building Manxiberty

Postby Brad » Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:26 pm

Sweet buil, you wanna come and work on mine ?
Brad
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Re: Building Manxiberty

Postby manxiberty » Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:01 pm

nah sorry....i only work on buggies with radiators mounted at the rear.... :)
if in doubt hit it with speed.... just don't hit the cactus!

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Building Manxiberty

Postby manxiberty » Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:46 am

Putting an extra 100hp into a buggy (ej22 powered) I wanted to make sure it was going to stop. After deciding on EA falcon rear disc brakes because of availability price and small amounts of effort I began to source the bits and pieces needed for them. I decided to do it a little different and machine the backing plate to mimick the vw drum brake backing plate. This ment I had to drill 4 new holes to match the pcd of the vw trailing arm. I didnt like the idea of the other 4 holes already in the backing plate located next to the ones I just made....I got some fine pitch grub screw and began to tap the holes and machine the grub screws until they were flush with the alloy backing plate. Local laws frown upon welding any braking components including backing plates so simply plug welding the old holes was not an option also the chance of stress cracks and lack of machinery to machine them flat again stopped me there.

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Cast hubs were purchased to fit onto the beetle splines as well as getting rotors redrilled to 4x4 139.7 6 stud pattern. Chosen due to availability when in remote area ie the cape - fraser - beach etc...the chance of finding a vw rim is slim and forces you to either risk it or carry a spare....
The choice of tyres is great when using 4x4 rims. anyway back to brakes >

After fitting new bearings and seals into the bearing housings on the rear arms and putting in my freshly machined stub axles the rear brakes bolted up. Rebuilt calipers were then installed....

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Stainless steel braided brake lines were then fitted while still using 3/16 bundy tube to fit into those tight bends up around the arms and through the tunnel on the pan.

The front brakes were a different story....due to my decision to use a thing 181 front end my choice of brakes where limited. I could either use stock drum which is going backwards in the brake evolution. or i could use CVD custom caliper mounts to use beetle calipers which would restrict me to using one piece hub/rotor (beetle discs) which under any normal persons logic would make sense :) not liking the fact I'd have to get blank hubs and have them redrilled to 4x4 stud pattern. and once I wore them out i would have to do it all over again......yes i understand buggies dont generally go through that many front rotors but you can see my small argument :) ......after a bit of research/measurement and a few other guys in on the plan......we decided on subaru front calipers as they are a dime a dozen when you buy a motor/halfcut or just wrecking a subaru.

Using front "hubs" ment a simple rotor change was all that was needed if they got worn....this and they look bling bling 8)

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the choice to use gt forester twin pot calipers was made and who would of thought they would cost twice as much to get rebuilt :)

photos show a single pot caliper....not the ones on my buggy now.....
also using a au series 1 rotor <slotted>
if in doubt hit it with speed.... just don't hit the cactus!

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Running lines front to rear

Postby manxiberty » Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:15 am

the start of many debates....where to run your fuel and brake lines.....also coolant......vw as standard run the brake line down next to the drivers foot on the floor next to the tunnel.....and out the yoke at the front.......what to do when a second line is needed front to back for a hydraulic clutch....the vw fuel line is run through the tunnel....out of the way.....if it leaks its only going to be in the tunnel a fairly sealed section of the car......since my plan to use a multi point fuel injected motor - I now need to run three lines...

after some tossing and turning on the issue the tunnel was deemed the safest place........after talking to a few guys the common pitfall with this was rattles........and lots of them.......hard to get at and a few ideas on getting rid of them........cable tie them together.....didnt like that.....vibration does horrid things especially with sand and dust in the mix.....just ask my missus what happens when she leaves a drink bottle wedged against fresh 2 pak paint and the seat in a sandy environment....yes a buggy with exposed gelcoat ...... :roll: nice

another method is to feed them into a piece of garden hose so they cant rattle.........after deciding that the problem was a storm in a tea cup and that there are that many fuel injected cars with fuel lines and brake lines front to rear with out rattle I began to search cars for any signs of mounts....!!ah!! ha.......my daily driver had some funky white plastic clips that had 3x 8mm allowances and two 5mm allowances......lines simply click into place.......these were used front and back on brackets which were bolted to the tunnel using countersunk bolts........

without the need for running coolant lines to the front of the buggy I still needed to run some heater lines to the front inspection point above the pedal assembly....for the heater.....
the tunnel with the gear shift rod is looking very crowded at this point

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gave the flaring tool a work out.....as well as my patience........none of my joints leaked.......except for the pressure switches......I forgot to tighten them.......whoops.......wont live that down.....
if in doubt hit it with speed.... just don't hit the cactus!

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Re: Running lines front to rear

Postby VWNuts » Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:37 am

Do you have those pics any larger......lots of useful stuff there, but a bit hard to see in the small pic..... or is that the idea? :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Running lines front to rear

Postby mackaymanx » Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:03 am

....
Last edited by mackaymanx on Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Running lines front to rear

Postby manxiberty » Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:40 pm

just because you dont have a 60inch computer monitor :)

haha yeah needless to say computers and anything to do with them arent my strong point......

two of my good mates are in IT so its all there fault :)
if in doubt hit it with speed.... just don't hit the cactus!

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Re: Building Manxiberty

Postby manxiberty » Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:37 pm

well i thought i better add to this thread seeing as though most of the photo links have been broken :x

.....well the motor and box got pulled out the other week. had a busy weekend putting the new box in....

got a handful of things ive gotta do before the motor goes in , from preventative maintenance to things i have been putting off for about 3-4 years, not everything mind you but enough to keep me busy amounst other things.....

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first up was to modify my suspected restricted air intake......i wasnt totally happy with my stock liberty airbox and also to marry it up years ago i shrunk the stock subi snorkel to wrap around the tight corner.....with this and the fact that it was a PITA to change my filters and sand ended up there anyway a rethink was in order...


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i have rotated the throttle body 90 degrees and tig welded it in place....i will have to run some new coolant lines to it shortly but hopefully the cable holder doesnt hit my firewall ..... it looks like it will clear.....but who knows..... :)

i have replaced some efi fuel line which was starting to perish.....

a cable is being made up at the moment to operate the locker in the new box....

also this photo will show you the bracketry which holds my hydraulic clutch setup........so far its worked well.....it also has a brace which runs back to the bowden tube mount down near the cv

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a new fuel filter installed and i also took the drivers side cv/driveshaft assembly out as my sway away axles powder coat had cracked and worn where the cv boot seals......this will go to the powder coater tommorow

gotta run some cables to tell me when the locker is engaged....the later series display modules from MMA.... PLUG> (http://www.meyersmanx.com.au/ADR-Compli ... -P281.aspx) have included a diff lock light which i will later update once i rehash and tidy up the wiring following the fraserthon in 2008....until then i will just have a light either on the tunnel or dash somewhere....

hopefully be sporting twin rooster tails up at DI in a few weeks..... :twisted:


all in all i am pretty happy with how my manx is ageing....considering its been off the beaten track a few times....everything is holding up well....
no nasty surprizes yet bar sand everywhere but it is a beach buggy!!!! and not a trailer queen
if in doubt hit it with speed.... just don't hit the cactus!

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Re: Building Manxiberty

Postby manxiberty » Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:11 am

with the deadline of a beachtrip next weekend fast approaching i thought its time for an update.....

the motor and box is in, the throttle invert manifold unfortunately came too close to the firewall and may have scrubbed under heavy acelleration or airbourne adventures so i thought it best to give it a bit more clearance....i also made it so i didnt have to extend my accel cable...which again isnt a big deal just another thing to add to the list .....i made the effort and mounted it so that the throttle linkages face the bellhousing......ran some new coolant lines to the throttle too due to its new position....

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found a nice stubby pod filter that would fit in my lack of space so i could do away with the stock restrictive subi airbox ......and also simplify the intake....for better throttle response....you can now basically fit a tennis ball from the afm to the intake manifold (or thereabouts) which is much more open then my last attempt 4 years ago....

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just have to get an outer wear or similar to protect it from sand and maybe a shield to stop water being an issue

while i was doing all of this i still needed to do a bit of r & d on a lever to activate my diff locker.....sounds easy in practice but putting pen to paper and coming up with a simple yet effective design takes time.....i still may need to give it some more thought for mass production down the track but it will do the job for now and seems to work well....i also had to wait for my custom cable to be come out of melbourne.....different from the bajas setup which was merely thrown together to prove it would work....( and yes still needs to be redone so another job on the list :roll: hmm!!!) and similar to a standard throttle cable it would only be a pull cable.....i was worried about the locker failing to retract when not required and decided not to rely on the return spring....a push pull cable solves this but is a bit more expensive....but feels much better quality and worth the money i reckon...
a lever for every occasion
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i also made it so that in the forward position the lockers lever is at rest so if somebody climbs into my car and pushed the lever (with a foot or leg) they would not accidentally engage it...also the need for a dash light....

with that mounted i also had a light connected to the switch on the box which tells me when the locker is engaged...yes i did sit there for 15 mins saying diff lock in diff lock out :D
notice the location we mounted the locker actuator shaft....mounted here to clear the reverse idler gear which was moved in the 5 spd boxes enabling them to move it back toward the rib on the right and up high it is out of the way of flying objects and muck...requires a shorter then stock vw starter though!....cranky kit starter to the rescue :D

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a few minor things also crossed off the list with a waterproof connector installed on the wiring to my rear bar (for the tail and reverse lights) in the rush before fraser 2008 this was ditched as the sound of the barge approaching could almost be heard hehe

drive shafts were installed after my righthand one came back from the powder coaters....the old powdercoat had cracked under where the boot seals....so i thought it was best to redo this and get rid of the rust....maybe this driveshaft has flexed just a bit....as the other one is perfect...touch wood!!!

a fusible link was also installed in the event of a alternator problem....to stop my car burning to the ground :shock: a good thing!!!!


heres a photo of my clutch slave setup....so far im happy with this it appears to work well.... the only thing i would change in this photo would be the speed sensor really should be mounted to the box not the horns....but no biggy!!!

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some minor things now but i should see you all up the beach next weekend if all goes well


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i should also have a hd video camera mounted for the trip too!!!!
if in doubt hit it with speed.... just don't hit the cactus!

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Re: Building Manxiberty

Postby Smiley » Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:44 am

Hooray!!!

Looking the good Paul. I always love seeing your work, it's very neat and done to a professional standard 8)

You going to have to start making these locker kits already! So the rest of us can have them too!!!



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Re: Building Manxiberty

Postby VWNuts » Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:25 pm

Whats wrong with your cutting brakes Smiley??
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Re: Building Manxiberty

Postby Smiley » Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:23 pm

VWNuts wrote:Whats wrong with your cutting brakes Smiley??


They are onto early model drums. So need adjusting every second week due to sand and mud om nom nomming the shoes :D


Smiley :)
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