French Tickler Buggy

Discussion in 'Build Threads' started by Bebop, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. Bebop

    Bebop Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2019
    Location:
    NC
    Since I'm new here, I figured it'd be good for me to present my rig. It's a brand new build, with used parts where I could make them work.

    Specs are :

    Chassis : Bent Fab Evo3R
    Engine : stock 5.3 Vortec with wet NOS plate (about 600 internet hp)
    Trans : PTC TH400, RMVB, 2000rpm converter, Ultrabell
    Transfer : 3:1 Atlas2
    Front axle : 14 bolt, housing built to my specs by Jake Burkey of BKOR, Mark Williams 40sp spool, 4340 40sp shafts and RCV Big Bells, 13 bolt shave, 05+ F250/350 outers with BJE.
    Rear axle : 14 bolt, shaved, Detroit locker and 300M 35sp Black Mamba shafts. Will be swapped for a steering axle in the near future
    Driveshafts : 1410 all the way
    Tires/wheels : Raceline, 43 SXs
    Suspension : 2.0 Coilcarriers + 2.5 Triple Bypass Radflo on Riot Trailing Arms + PAC Racing SwayBar
    Steering : PSC with XR ram
    Misc : Heated seats, Hydroboost, Griffin FRONT Rad, GoatBuilt Fuel cell with stock Silverado pump, Winters shifter, Moroso Accusump, Holley ECU, Front AND rear 8274 winches etc…

    Tim from Bent Fabrications started on the roller September 2018 and I picked it up from him right before Christmas that year. Him and I and my best friend Donny thrash built the front 14 bolt in a day and a half right before I picked it up. I finished the buggy in my single car garage during 2019 and it's about ready for a test drive.

    I'm originally a lightweight crawler guy, samurai enthusiast and even had a campbell moon buggy for a little while. After riding around on the east coast, I decided I wanted more of a bigger trail riding rig. I'm a firm believer that suspension/tires are more important than engine output so I built the buggy accordingly.

    Fav place to wheel on the east coast : Harlan & AOP (for very different reasons).

    I learned a lot during this build and can't wait to shake it down at RBD. That's provided that I don't encounter any last minute issues with it, in the next 2 weeks.

    Some pics during the build :

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    Finally, at ride height when I measured the weights to order springs, which is pretty much how it sits as of today.

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    I enjoy TIG welding, wiring and the challenge of turning something that's in my head into a tangible object.

    Little pic of definitely not my worst weld :

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    I ended up putting all the electronics into a waterproof amo can. The front 1/4 turn plug hosts all the chassis wiring. The engine wiring goes through the back hole but another quick disconnect plug will be added in the future.

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    Also I'm pretty sure I was one of the first people to try to fit some Big Bells in a 05+ SD axle. I've become very familiar with these and was able to work with RCV and Nick Barna of BallJointEliminators (both great companies) to make this happen. I'm a unit bearing / CV shafts / hydroboost guy for life haha

    Hope the buggy doesn't break in half its first time out and I'll be happy with it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
  2. mcutler

    mcutler Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    Location:
    mt.airy nc
    Welcome to NC wandering frenchie!

    Matt
    CutlerFab

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
     
    Bebop likes this.
  3. CasterTroy

    CasterTroy Motarded

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Wallburg
    Very nice.


    Welcome
     
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  4. Bebop

    Bebop Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2019
    Location:
    NC
    Thanks guys !
     
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  5. Croatan_Kid

    Croatan_Kid How's your hammer hangin'?

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Location:
    New Bern
    Yep. Kind of a shame we didn't meet for lunch yesterday! I'd like to check that rig out!
     
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  6. Bebop

    Bebop Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2019
    Location:
    NC
    My next ride after RBD is probably going to be New Years at AOP. Still not 100% but big probability.
     
  7. upnover

    upnover Grumpy, decrepit Old Man Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Morganton NC
    Nice build! Where in NC are you located?
     
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  8. rodney eppes

    rodney eppes Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    Mt.Holly NC 28120
    WOW! Welcome!
     
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  9. Bebop

    Bebop Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2019
    Location:
    NC
    Thanks guys !

    I don’t have a place yet but I work for a company based in Greensboro.
     
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  10. NCJeeplover

    NCJeeplover Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Location:
    Claremont, NC
    I love the video you made with Tim on the front axle, you've got to talk him into doing more videos. I love his chassis with the frame rails and the sheetmetal front end. Killer deal.

     
    77GreenMachine and Croatan_Kid like this.
  11. Chris_Keziah

    Chris_Keziah Joe Dirt

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Location:
    Winston-Salem
    This thing is just too cool, welcome to NC. Look forward to seeing this thing on the trails.
     
    Bebop likes this.
  12. 1stgenxxx

    1stgenxxx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Location:
    Hudson
    badass!
     
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  13. Bebop

    Bebop Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2019
    Location:
    NC
    Shit, my ugly mug is already posted here haha
    Glad you guys like the video and the build.

    Tim is awesome ! Very very cool dude, has tons of knowledge and will build a great product !

    I chose a tubular front end cause I didn't want any bodywork and I like the look of the tubes better. It made my life way harder and I would advise anyone that wants a front radiator to go with his sheetmetal front end. Live and learn !
     
  14. paradisePWoffrd

    paradisePWoffrd Recovering Project Junkie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    Location:
    Newton, NC
    Buggy looks awesome.... I have been jonesin' for a Cliffhanger chassis since he started building buggies.
     
  15. Bebop

    Bebop Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2019
    Location:
    NC
    Thanks man.

    He's got the DYI Cliffhanger for dirt cheap. Like 2300 or so
     
  16. paradisePWoffrd

    paradisePWoffrd Recovering Project Junkie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    Location:
    Newton, NC
    If I had the time to build a rig these days, it would be in my shop for sure.
     
  17. Bebop

    Bebop Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2019
    Location:
    NC
    She's ready for RBD. It was a stretch but it's done.
    Massive thanks to the amazing people and companies that helped me reach this milestone.

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    GONOVRIT, T-bone71, doc and 6 others like this.
  18. BigSouth

    BigSouth Doesn't play well with others!

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    Location:
    Shelby, NC
    Might be the shortest, sweetest build thread ever.
     
  19. Bebop

    Bebop Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2019
    Location:
    NC
    Thank you ! But it's far from done.

    Now starts the tuning phase of the build. Engine needs tuning (I'll do the bare essentials on Thursday then it's gonna be off to DKGoodrich sometime soon), suspension needs tuning (I'll play with it some then I'll spend some time with Jake Burkey), interior needs tweaking, lights aren't there yet, I need to finalize the harness then pull it out to insulate it + add raychem boots, add rear steer, a bigger engine, I've got a ton of improvement ideas, new engine skid plate, steering ram skid plate, and so much more.

    I expect the tweaking/tuning phase to last about 1 or 2 seasons. When I'm done and happy with how it performs, I'll tear it down and cover the chassis (paint or powder hasn't been defined yet).

    I'm a notorious overthinker and can't leave anything alone so I expect this phase to last a while...
     
  20. Bebop

    Bebop Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2019
    Location:
    NC
    Little RBD recap after I took my buggy out for the first time this long weekend.

    I will start by saying that out of the 2 days of riding we had, every issue that rose up wasn’t related to the chassis nor the suspension. These were the key factors of why I knocked on Bent Fabrication’s door and I can say Tim delivered! Both of them performed excellent. The springs and shock valving are way off (I threw the shocks and springs on to make it to RBD), but it shows incredible potential already. Can’t wait to spend some time tweaking these with my buddy Jake from Busted Knuckle Offroad!

    I took it very easy on Thursday night, rode all day Friday with no issues and decided to beat on it Saturday.

    Here are the extensive list of the issues I had with it:

    - Loose lug nuts (my dumbass fault 100%)
    - Loose beadlock ring bolts (new racelines tend to do this it seems, I’ll keep a look on them)
    - Burped all air out of a tire.
    - Bent the passenger sway bar arm. It seems like the bracket on the link is a little off compared to the driver side. The arm bent itself very early in the ride on Thursday, then stayed there. I guess it found its happy place. I’ll keep monitoring but won’t do anything unless I see it move some more.
    - Bent both front square lower links. I guess they didn’t like my driving style. Will change for bigger/stronger.
    - The engine is pretty worn. 7ish PSI at idle and 19ish at WOT. I’ll try a couple of things, but if I can’t fix it for cheap, I’ll just run it until it blows.
    - The torque converter gave up on the way back to camp on Saturday, right after a proper bouncer beatdown. Symptoms are textbook converter failure (high pitched whirring noise, trans slips in all gears, builds up A TON of heat). I can’t be super mad at it since it’s a used unit with unknown past and still allowed me to drive the buggy back on the trailer and inside the garage.

    Overall, the buggy feels great!

    A little on the bigger side since I’m used to samurais, but the 45deg steering angle helps maneuverability a ton. It front digs very nicely.

    I never felt like I would hurt the axles at any moment. Big bells are an amazing peace of mind. I was really glad RCV allowed me to play with these and offers such a nice product at a solid price point. Not cheap, but in the ballpark of the higher end shafts from other manufacturers that don’t offer the upside of the orange units (CV joints and best warranty of the market).

    Stability is incredible. It feels like you can run it on its lid without actually rolling over. It probably comes from the fact the suspension is stiff but still, very impressive. All my friends agreed the grip is insane and as a buddy that has plenty of circle track experience noted, this unit has a lot of "forward bite". It really wants to climb over the obstacles with its front end.

    Front rad cooling package works well. Stupid easy to bleed and no issues during the ride. I’m glad I put the radiator there. Another good thinking by Bent Fabrications.

    Lastly, the unit feels way underpowered. I need to get a real number on weight but it’s not “ultra light”. I’d ballpark it around 4000lbs. I’ve been denied on a couple of obstacles due to the lack of torque/hp IMO. It doesn’t spin the tires as quickly as what was needed for these big climbs. I guess it’s a good thing to help me learn the vehicle. But it shows that if you want to do rockbouncer shit, you need a big thumping engine. I hope that adding NOS and a transbrake during the transmission rebuild will help mitigate the issue.

    Here are some pics:

    On the go:

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    Arrived at RBD:

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    Buggy in its element (I love these pictures :cool:)

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  21. Bebop

    Bebop Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2019
    Location:
    NC
    Drivetrain is out for rebuild/upgrades.
    Gonna sell my LJ, need some $$ back in the piggy bank.

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    While everything is out, I'm looking into modifying some stuff to make wrenching on it easier : better wiring harness routing and disconnects, shutoff valves and dry breaks connectors for the fluids, new engine mounts, etc
     
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  22. Infamous1

    Infamous1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2010
    Location:
    Pittsboro
    I dig it!!
     
  23. obullfish

    obullfish Carolina Trail Blazers

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Location:
    Candler N.C.
    LJ?
     
  24. Bebop

    Bebop Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2019
    Location:
    NC
    Thank you !

    I dig it too haha

    Unlimited TJ, like so:

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    doc likes this.
  25. CasterTroy

    CasterTroy Motarded

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Wallburg
    I just felt a disturbance in "the force"
     
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