Volksrod/buggy pedal powered

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Oct 23, 2011
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Lord Howe Island. Tasman Sea, Australia.
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As with us all no work so into various projects at home, been a VW
fan for years, had both 1960 and 64 split window Kombis also an ex
Australian Army nine seater Kombi, wish I'd kept one of them worth
a Kings ransom these days!

Time has flown, ten years ago nearly I saved this old J & S buggy
from the clutches of a brutish Banyan tree that was going to gobble
up the old thing. The pan was gone to rust heaven, managed to save
a few parts from the motor, what’s left of front end and transaxle
are still at the whims of nature in the bush.

As found…..

As she sat under a tarp for nearly ten years……..

Been thinking and talking about doing this for an age, finally got the
time, no work, so getting into it, she is going to be a worm burner,
down with the snakes, as in low!

Will be two person pedal powered with a central VW steering wheel
so both occupants can share the driving. Will have brakes but only on
the rear wheels of which there will be four, two driving, two coasting.

Been hoarding (collecting) bits for her for a while, some old school
head lights found in a junk shop, front bar scored at the local dump.
Made up the windscreen from an old windy frame, can fold down
safari style.

Probably obvious, she's a bit heavy so have made her so the buggy
body can come off and she can go as just the frame. Really want to
keep the VW flavour, steering wheel, badges, chasing up some ratty
hub caps, more on this later…..
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So after a couple of big days finally got the rear end sorted, originally
had the drive wheels out beyond the body. Revised this, they now sit
nicely in the space where the VW engine would have sat. So in a sense
have the motor where it should be! Next sort out the chin drive, plan is
to have two idlers up to the pedals.

A question for those in the know, is it best I try and get a straight line for
all the chains? This is a bit hard to describe, so from side on is it best that
the centre of the pedal crank be on the same line, or as close as possible,
to the idlers and the rear drive wheel?


The outer wheels take some of the load, plan is most of the weight
comes onto the middle drive wheels, all four have suspension, outers
leaf springs, inners coils. Scored the outers off a children’s pram, the
inners off an old school suspension mountain bike.

After the drive system is sorted front end and steering, long way to go but getting there.

Any tips, criticism gratefully accepted..........?
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Whooohooo we have some progress, control as in steering in,
also revisited the front end. Was going to have a rigid front end
but thought what the heck, had the bits so went with suspension,
see how she goes, if work out couple of bolts and she goes back
to a solid set up!

So you can steer her how about propulsion, mocked up the pedal
position, the way things are looking they will sit lower.

As I said up the top want to keep the VW theme rolling, so first VW
bit a Ratty 60’s steering wheel.

I live very isolated so you often fix and build things with what you have. Also as with most things I’m on a budget so best thing about this build so far what I’ve spent. Only items I’ve laid out cash on, some welding rods, the tyres, some spring washers and the steering wheel, all the rest scrounged from local tip, gotta be happy with that!
Awesome progress, Mr. Pirate!
VW wheel is awesome.
You live in a Beautiful place indeed.
I don't live anywhere as remote as you, but on a farm it's better to be able to source "from the tip". :thumbsup:
Thanks Horsefarmer, the remoteness has been a blessing during CO19!

After a couple of big sessions we have a drive train and it works! As I have stated have been concerned about the weight with the buggy body. Story within itself scored a bonnet locally in great condition, so now we have a Volksrod!

Also had concerns about the gearing and brakes, no worries with the gearing plenty low enough to get going and cruise, if anything will probably have to gear her up a couple of cogs. Brakes are better than expected as well, all four rear wheels have brakes which helps, operated from a lever mounted outside the seats, emergency braking Fred Flinstone style!

Plan to run her without the front bar maybe rig up a small nurf bar, pretty happy with where she’s at, looks like a Volksrod?!
Awesome! Iconic bonnet and steering wheel with the Wolfsburg logo is just enough to establish Vdub identity. Maybe ditching the cow catcher will lighten her up enough you could add an engine cover, VW taillights maybe chunks of rear fenders to cover the rear mech?
Thanks I'm going with a truck bed rear end, won't be for a while
going to drive her around as is sort out some bugs in the drive
train get her reliable then get into some more details

Bit more progress, tuned the drive train, bonnet lowered, wheel covers with VW hub caps.
Head lights that turn with the steering, smaller nurf bar and fitted the fold down windscreens
from the buggy, see above.


Had some problems logging in with my old user name for some reason so back as V2 with a bit more progress, made up some panels for the front and a rear end tray made fairly light to so not so much usable, more for looks, paint next.



Didn't like the plywood panels so made some panels for the body from coroplast
plastic sheets, easy to work with and more importantly light weight.

Suicide doors of course.

After a long stint, over a year, of not being motivated she is back, went for
red oxide primer to see how she feels may get a top coat may get a patina
look, will leave her as is see what grows on me?

Decided the tray was too high so chopped the top rung off also lowered the
door to the same height, end result much lower look.

Have plans for some form of cover for the tray and cockpit area, more soon…..


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