For a number of years I have wanted to enter into the ORV industry. Principally, the duning industry but I was never able to figure out how or in what manner. I finally came up with a few ideas and began to produce various parts for vehicles.
I have been buggying now for the last 8 years. My buggy, Gypsy, is powered by a 1.8 water cooled Rabbit/Jetta powerplant w/104 HP @ 5500 RPM. We bench tested the motor on a water dynamometer so that is ACTUAL HP at the flywheel. I run one of our vw transaxle adapters and the flywheel uses a bug/bus clutch and pressure plate. I personally use a stock pressure plate with a feramic 4 puck sprung clutch disk. The sprung clutch reduces the "shocking" you get with the rigid clutch disk. My flywheel/pressure plate/clutch disk assembly is lightened (we lightened the flywheel) to 1 pound less than a stock 1.8 l clutch assembly and works perfectly. We found the motor runs WAY better when the flywheel/clutch is lightened. The motor spins up much faster giving you more horsepower in the low RPM range.
The only changes made to the engine were milling the head .120” to raise the compression to 10.01 to 1 and the 40mm Dellorto side draft carbs. I’m going to be converting to a turbocharged, dry sumped, fuel injected, water intercooled 2.0 liter before the start of the next NW duning season… That’s April for all you non-northwesterners. The new motor is expected to push 200 HP @ 5000 rpm but I won’t know for sure till we dyno it. Gypsy has a modified bus transmission with Weddle gears. Current gearing is 3.10 1st, 2.35 2nd, 1.84 3rd and a 1.42 4th this gearstack results in a VERY close ratio transaxle. Case in point… There is only a 1200rpm drop between 1st and 2nd gear @ 6000 rpm and similar drops between 2nd and 3rd, and 3rd and 4th. By keeping the rpm drop so close it keeps the engine spooled up into the powerband. This transaxle was built by Michael “Dr Tranaxle” Locicero of Import Transmission Exchange. He tells me that I may need to change the differential from the current .537 to a .486 to load the new motor so that it runs on boost. We shall see how the current transaxle works when we go for a shake down in April of ’05. Gypsy has 14 inches of ground clearance and 12 inches of travel in the front and 11 in the rear. It has extended front and rear trailing arms. We’re not sure what type of frame it is. I bought it as a rolling chassis and have modified it extensively. I’ve been told she looks like a 2+2 but I guess I’ll never really know. She’s not the prettiest buggy on the dunes but I have yet to (knock on wood) NOT be able to DRIVE her onto the trailer at the end of a weekend or a week of HARD play.
I have Finished the new 2 liter motor! I'm running one of our vw transaxle adapters and a new dry sump pan we designed. It was finished before the end of last season but we were having issues with the computer and were never able to run the car at the dunes. I'll have some pictures of the buggy sometime this duning season... for you that don't live in the northwest that means AFTER April. Hope you will return periodically to view some short clips and pictures then...