Buggy Build, finally moved

Posted: October 13, 2013 in Uncategorized



Sorry, didn’t mean to make a post out of this, was just trying to upload a photo with my iphone.  Anyhow, since it posted, I may as well share and give an update since it’s been a while.

I’ve been busy moving the last 10 months or so for a new job and finally getting my garage back in order to start building again.   Basically, got a new job, had to finish the old house remodel, sell most everything, rent out the old house, move to a temporary apartment while house hunting, and just finally bought a second home and moved in about a month ago.  Moved to Bend, OR which is about 3 hours north of the old homestead and now living the life of my dream job.  Still settling in, but finally feeling like I have some time to play again.

This is my custom framed two seater, 17″ of travel in front and 18″ in the rear.  Motor is a GSXR600, Fox 2.0 air shocks.  Designed and modeled the frame myself.  Only 55″ wide (trail friendly), I wanted it to be capable of running through most trails at the dunes and also super light weight.  Frame alone is only about 150lb, hoping the total buggy weight is under 7-800lb.  Been building it for about two years now, little by little.

Here are some older build in progress pictures:

Full suspension compressed:

Of coarse I can’t just start building without a little science.  Here is some of the earlier FEM analysis when designing the frame:

Chain drive rear allows more suspension travel for the narrow width.  Modeled it after some truggy designs with the live jackshaft through the trailing arms.

And here are a couple of pics of the kids buggy I built before, still a bit of a work in progress but a cool toy for the kids to drive around.  It has a 16hp 420cc industrial motor with a comet 500 CVT.

My better half and daughter testing out the kids buggy at CoosBay dunes.

Anyhow, nothing new on the liquidlabs front, but I am finally all moved and finished with remodeling my old house/renting it out.  Time to start playing yet again.

Figured I’d start some tinkering on the buggies first then maybe do some more PC stuff this winter when the garage gets too cold.  We’ll see..but that’s what I’ve been up to…moving…now playing with buggies.


  1. MorroW says:

    Lot’s of tube, but can’t see any rads/pumps 😦

  2. okstef says:

    i get it. The cooling happens in the exposed pipes while the pump is driven by the front wheels. The pc is located in the cigarette lighter next to the steering column,

  3. Gene says:

    How cool is that? Are you going to zip tie on some thin panels in some of the open spaces to enclose the cockpit?

    It is also likely just the camera angle…but isn’t the CG kind of high compared to a typical buggy?

    • Martinm210 says:

      Sorry, didn’t mean for this to post, was just trying to upload a photo on my phone. But since it’s up, why not leave one. Yes, I plan to enclose all the sides, hood, roof, etc. It is a little more narrow, but I have a beefy sway bar in place. The trail polaris razors are 50″ wide with only 9″ of travel. I wanted this to also be fairly trail friendly, it is 55″ wide but double the travel.

  4. Good lord! I for one am feeling a little more inferior after looking at that. Really amazing that you could take that from design to final product.

  5. owcraftsman says:

    Looks like great family fun. Enjoy! and thanks for the update

  6. Now that is just amazing, martin! Truly amazing. Being a lover of dune buggies, I can only imagine the fun your children had…awesome work there!

  7. Captivate says:

    A fan of your work man, good stuff. Being enrolled in an FEM class this semester, your analysis of the frame is cool too. What software did you use?

    • Martinm210 says:

      It was a freeware tool I stumbled on called frameworks. It can do 2D or 3D truss systems. I just used it to model the frame in 3D so I could find some weak point using a few loading scenarios. Not quite a complete analysis as some software that is out there like solid works but better than nothing and it did point me toward some minor edits like increasing the roof height and squaring up that windshield/roof angle a bit. A lot of hobby buggy builders just build things without any analysis and field trial/error and end up with frames that have little truss/frame structure and triangulation. This leads to a flimsy frame that puts a lot of stress on he welded connections. I have even seen some Buggy businesses builders miss critical frame bracing in their roof structure. I guess if they never roll hard and put their frames through extreme loading it is fine and they never learn otherwise.

      There is some really cool software out there, wish I could try solidworks and a few others out. It is all hobby for me now. Went to school for civil and did some structural design 15 years ago, but that was a while back and was always more civil than mechanical. It’s all pretty new to me but similar principles as a building truss.

      • HandsomeChow says:

        Hey, Martin, i am a big fan of your testing. It has always been very professional and accurate. But i was wondering would you ever do some single fan rad testing E.g (120mm/140mm). And i was looking everywhere on your site for some Alphacool Monsta Radiator benchmarks since i am planning to use one in my SFF watercooling build. But i can’t find them. Don’t know if you did testing on them but can you send me a link to them if it is present on the site?

        • Martinm210 says:

          Sorry, no I haven’t done either and no near term plans. Having too much fun with the buggy build stuff and haven’t been following any of the lastest products. You could probably use the differences between ST30 thru UT60 and come up with a prediction. Should flatten the dissipated curve a bit for more high speed preference and likely going to loose some at the slow speed end.

  8. owcraftsman says:

    Never thought it would be your last post. Thanks for all you did here! and hope all is well with you and yours.

    • Martinm210 says:

      Thanks! Maybe not, just in the middle of the buggy build finish. I got the big buggy running, but blew up the old motor I had. Went and got an almost new motor and in the process of rebuilding the rear end/controls/electrical.

      I may come back to watercooling after some more buggy play..:)