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Offline Weedkiller - Adie

The Rockfox Amageza buggy project
« on: July 10, 2016, 11:42:36 pm »
Ok as I am warned by everyone in the family that I'm getting to old for intense bike riding I finally decided to go on 4 wheels. Yup, 4 wheels in this fashion is also 'Adventure Riding'  :biggrin:

As Mike and I did build a Formula Vee single seater we have a rough idea what this involve. (Or so we hope)  My initial plan was to go single seater but due to the limited (MSA) race events for this class in SA we had to go two seater.  SANORA/MSA  (The Donaldson series) are way to exclusive and expensive for normal privateers.  WOMSA, the 'other' motorsport group in SA do cater for SideBySides etc. I could not find the link to their 'Rulebook' on the site so will phone tomorrow.  Will report back as soon as I know.  Ultimately the car must be designed and built according to acceptable regulations.  Everyone refers to FIA (europe) or SCORE (america) regs.  Even Dakar (FIA/FIM) refers to SCORE to allow the American trucks (Robby Gordon type).  The FIA specify almost everything whereas SCORE do the same but without all the angles and dimensions.

Anything in the two seater (side by side) class are basically limited to the Polaris RZR which also requires a massive 'rebuild' to be competition legal w.r.t. roll cage etc etc. I had a long look at those at 2016 WC Baja.  Then do not even talk about cost and reliability. (Clutch and belt) There are a few locally designed and built cars but none that suit our criteria. They use 1600cc or 2l motors which fall outside the FIA/SCORE T3 light class which are limited to 1000cc and must have 'mudguards' etc etc.

Phase one:
Select a donor vehicle to use as evaluation platform. It will be much quicker and cheaper to start with a rolling chassis and work from there. (Like what the rich people do with a RZR.  We will stick to 2x4 for cost and complexity. (The Dakar winning Peugeot is 2x4  :) )

Pic 1.  G-Force Baleka buggy. R 145 000.00 with 2l Golf motor and Audi box. Pros: nice, fast reliable. Cons: single seat, open wheels, exposed fuel etc etc.

Pic 2. RZR with tube frame. K@k expensive and frame not FIA legal.

Pic 3. Tim Coronel 2015 Buggy. Single seat, Hyabusha motor. Only for the rich. (go and search the running cost on these (R 18 000 clutch every 10 000km)

Pic 4. Cheap Chinese buggy. OK, not so cheap. R 150 000 new (2015 price) K@k engine and unreliable CVT 'gearbox'  Rollcage TOTALLY not rally spec.  BUT at the right price it could be a perfect starting point. AND IT IS ROADWORTHY!!

Pic 5. Simple roll cage upgrade to FIA spec.

OK, the hunt is on. Looking for a donor car. OK, got one. Need some work on the motor (told you motor is crap) but otherwise in good condition.

Pic 6.  After an eventful day at Dirt n Dust (Or Dirt n Mud).  I think it will be an acceptable donor for the project.  Cant remember when last did I had so much fun without being scared.

Rest to follow.

Adie
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Offline Sláinte Mhaith

Re: The Rockfox Amageza buggy project
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2016, 01:01:07 am »
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Offline ClimbingTurtle

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Re: The Rockfox Amageza buggy project
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2016, 08:08:47 am »
Damn! That looks like fun! I have always thought I would like to race one of these - I lack talent to race a bike, started too late - but this might be the answer!

I follow with interest!!
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Offline Weedkiller - Adie

Re: The Rockfox Amageza buggy project
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2016, 08:27:18 am »
OK, a bit of background.

These cars are imported by Toyscom and are licenced as a Beach buggy.  They are sold all over the world as 'toys' and one is actually raced in Ghana or somewhere in Africa.  The biggest drawback is parts for the engine, brake pads etc. Although these engines (800cc V Twin CF MOTO) are based on a Can-Am or something years ago they are defnetaly not reliable for rally use.  The other issue is the CVT gearbox.  Those belts and slip clutches are not 'really' designed for long term use. In France they actually run a 1600cc model.

After we did our research on the buggy we made a few basic decisions:
1. We will replace the motor with a standard 1100cc fwd car motor to fall in the 'Lite' class.
2. We will stick to 2 wheel drive for simplicity and weight.  The FIA rules also favor 2wd for various reasons. We will look into a limited slip/ lockable diff.
3. All parts will be 'off the shelf' where possible.  Full running gear will come from the same model donor car to simplify maintenance. (Chevvy spark/Kia/Hyundai)
4. We will document and start our own design once the evaluation is complete, actually during.  Full roadworthy is high on the list so it can be driven to the 'playpen'  :biggrin:

Till later, I need to work to earn money.

Adie
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Offline ktmmer

Re: The Rockfox Amageza buggy project
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2016, 08:43:13 am »
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Offline DUSTRIDERS

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Re: The Rockfox Amageza buggy project
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2016, 08:58:36 am »
You should have seen the quad with the Hayabusa engine in last weekend at the Koës Rally.
That engine should make that buggy move!!
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Offline Snafu

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Re: The Rockfox Amageza buggy project
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2016, 09:05:58 am »
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Offline Matewis

Re: The Rockfox Amageza buggy project
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2016, 09:35:27 am »
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Offline Weedkiller - Adie

Re: The Rockfox Amageza buggy project
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2016, 09:44:24 am »
You should have seen the quad with the Hayabusa engine in last weekend at the Koës Rally.
That engine should make that buggy move!!

Yup they are AWSOME and also the preferred engine, BUT look at running cost and suddenly everything goes out the door. The cost of a diff and reverse (Quaife) will cost more than a complete 1100cc drivetrain. Most rallies where these buggies are raced are actually 'short distance' less than 800km.

Also something I can not decide on is whether that amount of power is needed other than showing off.   :pot:  FIA limit top speed  to 150kph and traction is only as good as the tires.

Adie
« Last Edit: July 11, 2016, 09:46:21 am by Weedkiller - Adie »
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Offline Herklaas

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Re: The Rockfox Amageza buggy project
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2016, 09:53:51 am »
 :sip: Looking good, In the eighties I had a sandmaster two seater with a 1200 VW Beetle engine, towed it with a A frame. It looked a lot like the one in the last photo, but was not as nice though.
Will be looking out for this thread.
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Offline Sláinte Mhaith

Re: The Rockfox Amageza buggy project
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2016, 10:56:55 am »
Also something I can not decide on is whether that amount of power is needed other than showing off.   :pot:  FIA limit top speed  to 150kph and traction is only as good as the tires.

Looking at Coronel youtube vids I got the idea that his buggy was 'underpowered'. Think he use a bike engine with heaps of power?
He also mentioned they did some mods to lighten the buggy for better performance. 
But then again it was for the Dakar.
What type of terrain are you aiming to do.
 

Offline Weedkiller - Adie

Re: The Rockfox Amageza buggy project
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2016, 11:05:20 am »
Looking at Coronel youtube vids I got the idea that his buggy was 'underpowered'. Think he use a bike engine with heaps of power?
He also mentioned they did some mods to lighten the buggy for better performance.  
But then again it was for the Dakar.
What type of terrain are you aiming to do.

He use a Hyabusha. See specs

Amageza and other long distance rallies.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2016, 11:06:00 am by Weedkiller - Adie »
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Offline Geel Kat

Re: The Rockfox Amageza buggy project
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2016, 11:11:22 am »
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Offline Sláinte Mhaith

Re: The Rockfox Amageza buggy project
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2016, 12:13:52 pm »
He use a Hyabusha. See specs
Amageza and other long distance rallies.

Yip that is my point or my question.

That is almost 180kW in a fairly light frame, yet on the videos it sound like the buggy struggles in the terrain and he mentioned that they went to a lot of effort to shed some weight last year.

Do you need such power due to the terrain? What power are you aiming for?
I suppose Amageza will also aim for similar terrain to Dakar.
 

Offline SteveD

Re: The Rockfox Amageza buggy project
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2016, 12:34:43 pm »
What happened to the cars that used to race Roof of Africa? Those things were awesome.
Mr Adie, out of respect to your fellow bikers, you may need to add two more requirements:
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  • Does not kick up more dust than a bike
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Offline Africa_Sam

Re: The Rockfox Amageza buggy project
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2016, 12:36:09 pm »
Adie - have a look at this site for buggy plans:
http://badlandbuggy.com/product/megalodon/
 

Offline Weedkiller - Adie

Re: The Rockfox Amageza buggy project
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2016, 02:08:36 pm »
Adie - have a look at this site for buggy plans:
http://badlandbuggy.com/product/megalodon/


See snips from FIA/SCORE regs below and you will see why more than 80% buggies out there are nit to spec.  We can get various plans at around R 1600.00 but NONE that comply to 'real' regulations.  I know you might think these regs is an overkill but if you can walk away after a mishap it might change the outlook.

the last pic is valid for all classes except T4 (Trucks)

Adie
« Last Edit: July 11, 2016, 02:10:45 pm by Weedkiller - Adie »
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Offline Black_Hawk

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Re: The Rockfox Amageza buggy project
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2016, 02:27:44 pm »
This is goinig to be another interesting thread

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Offline Weedkiller - Adie

Re: The Rockfox Amageza buggy project
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2016, 09:34:52 pm »
A bit more info:

As these buggies love to overheat this particular one had another issue.  The rear exhaust seems to keep coming loose and then melt the cam chain tensioner. We towed it home and start to repair the 'damage' (Pic 1 the melted tensioner)  Ok all OK and Mike and I dashed off to a friend to collect a bike when all hell broke loose. STEAM EVERYWHERE

The bottom radiator can failed and all water drained out. Needles to say we towed it back to the plot. More inspection revealed that the nr2 head gasket blew.  Ok, a bit more work will be required to get it through roadworthy before we start the 'Rallyfication'.

I decided it might be easier to remove the motor and do a full checkout. Pic2 (Balancing act) Easier this way to work underneath. Ok, we need some spares. Nada, fokol not even from Alibaba.  The americans do not even answer my emails.  Ok, I grew up on the farm, we boere fix anything with a screwdriver and pliers, if not fixed and a hammer might cause damage the problem must be electrical. So a 0.45mm head and barrel was skimmed on a glass to less than 0.01mm. (PIC 3) Valves etc was still in good nick although there are wear marks on the camshaft 'bearings' in the head. Head gasket (multi layer metal type) was slightly warped but nothing better than INDIAN HEAD. All other gaskets was manufactured from Veloid. We had to take the alternator cover off to reach the cam chain tensioner bottom screw. PIC 4 - Homemade puller to remove magneto wheel.  rings etc still in good order so all went back without a problem.

Ok all assembled. Ready for the compression test. WOW 10BAR !!!. Piston 1 (untouched) was on 9.2Bar. I only did a proper leak test on the piston I worked on and it kept the pressure.  For what ever reason I never did a full test on Piston 1 I dont know. >:D I did noticed a few bubbles in the radiator hose but did not worry to much. (I like to live on the ragged edge!!.

Ok now to fix the radiator.  Initially it looked as if water only 'seeped' out at the bottom tank seal. Before I just tried to crimp the tabs a bit more I took it to the radiator shop.  NAAAA big leak, bottom tank must be replaced. Where in China will I find a tank? Pratley Steel, and some of my other 'magic epoxies' could not stop the leak. In fact it actually just leaked more!!. BUT the guys at ROCKFOX can do anyting  :3some: So out with the alu plate and new tank done. (Will post pic later) fits 100%.

The exhaust was one of the original causes of the problems.  It got opened up, repaired and welded up again.  The frame where the exhaust mount was a bit skew so we pressed it straight.  Now the exhaust fit 'stressfree'. PIC 5.

OK ready for testing.  We did a few loops at the back on the plot to see how she perform.  Strange rattles etc but otherwise all OK.  One of the other issues with these cars is the radiator position.  There are very little airflow (almost a vacuum) at the back.  I rewired the thermostatic fan and made sure it kick in at 75C. Rather too cold than too warm.

DIRT N DUST HERE WE COME.

About 2 km from the house the vibration/rattle we felt was much more 'intense' and then the left rear wheel passed me. PIC 6 We never tightened the wheel nuts a week ago when the brakes was serviced. Not to much damage (Rockfox can fix  :ricky: ) and we went on our merry way to a most enjoyable day in the Dirt n MUD.

On our way back I did push it slightly and she easily reached 123kph.  The temp went up to 90C for the first time.  At home I noticed that the bubbles I saw in the water are still there so there are still a head gasket issue.  A quick test indicate that Piston 1 also suffered some warping during the initial overheat.  Will do a quick head skim this week before it go for roadworthy.

Ok, this conclude the initial test and evaluation.  We will now work through all items on the list to get it 'Rally Ready'.  I will compile a short list of
what we plan and keep you up to date on the progress.  It will however go a bit slower for a few weeks as I will be out of town a lot till month end.

Adie
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Offline BatmanGS

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Re: The Rockfox Amageza buggy project
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2016, 05:16:07 am »
Hi Addie

Before you spend a lot re-inventing the wheel, the a re a few Side x side cars out there that were modified for particaption in the Donaldson National Cross Country Championship a few years back, I'd look out for one of these cars as all the mods should have been done.

I understand that Yamaha SA have brought a "Competition" Spec'ed Rhino (1000 cc) in a few weeks back to evaluate, I have not seen it but it would be interesting.

Some of the major problems with all these cars has been the Drive belt, wheel bearing problems and the overheating.

In our Off Road Club we have a guy with one that is now very well sorted and it is reliable, send me message if you're interested and I can put you intouch with thes guys and  I'm sure they will swop notes as school fees are very expensive in this game.
They have brought in a lot of special parts and made a lot too.

Good luck with the project.
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