WELCOME TO MY SAND RAIL BUGGY PROJECTS GUIDE
These articles include detailed information about the parts used for each project and should provide you with ideas and / or solutions for your own projects. I hope you find this site valuable and would love to hear about your project and how I may have helped you solve a problem or simply find the correct part for a job.
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I got started with sand rails in 2016 after moving from Alaska to Arizona. We needed a second vehicle but also wanted some kind of ATV for off-road fun.
This is information about the original buggy that we started with, prior to making any changes to ensure that we documented everything from the beginning.
The back seat in the buggy has always been completely useless because there was never enough room to actually fit an adult back there and no way to climb in.
A whip (pole) with a flag is an important safety precaution, especially when off-roading or riding the dunes. Although it took me a while, I finally did it!
Fire is one of the fastest ways to kill your rail buggy and yet one of the easiest things to protect against. Invest in a great extinguisher and mounting system.
The original transmission was extremely difficult to shift, had stock gearing so I had no power at all in 4th gear and just couldn't push the large tires.
After installing the new transmission with such a low gear ratio, I now needed much larger rear tires to allow me to get up to highway speeds of 65+ mph.
Now that the buggy was more comfortable and fit two adults much better, I needed new lights for after dark and a set of side mirrors to keep an eye on traffi
There were two goals for this project... Install a set of smaller "low beam" LED lights and install a Wolo air horn that I had laying around in the garage.
I have been dealing with problems for the past year with the buggy not wanting to start after I turn it off and it stranded me countless times because of it.
I have been battling running issues with random spitting and spuddering and fuel running down into the engine oil. It was time to install a brand new carburetor.<
We finally got our new buggy on the road and our first major ride was over 5 hours total. Unfortunately, we realized very quickly that we needed better seats.
After the seats and harnesses were installed, I also needed to relocate the steering wheel higher and that meant cutting and moving the resized windshield up.
I knew quickly that the upholstery on the new seats was not going to hold up to the Arizona weather, especially considering they were intended for indoor use
The rust everywhere and old flaking paint finally got to me and I decided it was time to start painting everything the hard way, with sandpaper and a brush.
Sanding by hand and painting by brush is time-consuming but allows me to go slow. I can mask as I go and paint small portions of the buggy at any given time.
I completed hand-sanding and painting the remaining (rear) section of the buggy by brush, including the recent suspension work and tubing around the engine.
Although new seats made a difference in comfort, one thing was still wrong... There was zero play in the front suspension and that made for a very rough ride.
I had a feeling this day would come. After removing all the old bar padding I discovered multiple problem areas with badly rusted and rotted bars and su
Now for a truly large project... I found my stock rear trailing arms were bent beyond repair and making for a rough ride, bad noises, and badly worn tires.
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It's hard to believe the record breaking amount of snow we got in only 2 days here in Arizona! It was easily over 3 feet in some drift areas.