lil’bugga

16/04/21 – Introduction

Don’t get me wrong…

“The Boogie” / X 8GGY

When I finished The Boogie I was super happy with it… but… it wasn’t quite as buggy-ish as I wanted. It is IDEAL for greenlaning though, as it still has a windscreen and a soft-top roof, and is still identifiable as a Jimny that it is based on, so registration and insurance, and thus road legality was not an issue… But, I still long for a tubular buggy, and being as the Boogie build has kept me safe and sane through the Covid pandemic, self-isolating in my garage with my tools, tinkering away… Happy as a pig in poo 😉

So I’ve decided to build another buggy over the next few winters, to keep me out of mischief… 😉

But this one, hence the working-name “lil’bugga” needs to be smaller, a single seater, not as wide, and not as long… and so my crazy mind started working overtime…

I might as well use Suzuki / Jimny parts that I know and are easy enough to get hold of… so in early March (2021) I contacted my mate James Priestley who breaks the odd Jimny and gave him a list of things I’d need…

On April the 12th the borders opened after Covid travel restrictions were lifted, so on the 14th I made the trip over to collect my goodies:

So… basically… two front axles with radius arms, steering bars, two steering boxes, and one power steering pump, a steering column and steering wheel, and four three spoke alloy wheels with some “working” tyres on (i.e. just for the build process). Oh, and James had some JimnyBits HD adustable panhard rods in stock too, so I also bought them as well (to shorten later 😉 read on…)

The idea being, to combine that lot with some parts I’ve already got – my old bucket seat, a rocklobster crawler box, a set of TrailGear front HD shafts from JimnyBits… but… here’s the surprise – with two short sided shafts! Ummm, I’m going to cut 12″ out of the longer axle tube side and narrow the axles so that I can run two short side half shafts, on both ends of the buggy… so, yes, four wheel steer, and four wheel disk brakes, so that will probably lead to fiddle brakes too! (Independently braked rears so you can lock one to turn real tight, especially with four wheel steer too)…

So this bit between the two arrows will be cut out and rewelded (and braces welded on too)

This idea (of using a front axle on the rear) was also influenced by discussions with another couple of mates – Brett and Riccy – about rear floating axles, using the front hubs on the rear as they are more reliable (bearing wise) and easier to maintain (no drum brakes in the way too!), so I figured why not run a front axle on the rear and try and make it rear steer too! Hence the two steering boxes and one power steering pump… I have another friend who makes up hydraulic hoses!
Also, using two narrowed front axles with the shorter front radius arms will achieve the smaller single seat buggy I would like…

The rocklobster SJ transfer box with a strengthening spine… this will give me nice low gearing for slow intricate manoeuvring..

This is an electric (starter) motor reverse kit I found on eBay, designed for motorbike engined kit cars, so you get an idea from that where I’m heading too…

… the CNC profile cut gear wheel will be drilled as sketched above and will fit on one end of the input drive (prop) shaft from the engine to the transfer box depending on the rotation direction needed for a reverse “gear”…

I’m hoping it won’t need to go backwards often though! 😉

That’s it for now, I’ll be amassing parts ready to start in the winter months, I’m planning on spending the summer driving the Boogie as much as I can around the greenlanes of the UK 😉

I’ll update this page from time to time, but nothing much will happen until the end of the summer…


28/07/21 – More Parts Have Arrived

So much for the above comment that nothing much will happen for a while… 😉

Four Front Springs – standard length (see more below)
Four Long Shocks
Four Spring Clamps
4 Panhard Rod Bushes “PolyBush”es

The four long shocks are BlackRaptors from JimnyBits, these are long rear Grand Vitara shocks and are 28″ extended and 15″ compressed, so 13″ of articulation… I’ll be using standard front springs all-round as I’m using two front axles. I don’t want the buggy to sit too high as it would get tippy with a high centre of gravity and narrowed axles (and a smaller wheelbase) so I’m planning on making the springs dislocate, hence the four spring clamps… 😉


14/05/21 –
I had to visit James again to collect a replacement gearbox for The Boogie… while I was there I also collected a pedal box assembly and a bonnet to eventually cut down to lil’bugga size 😉
I also had the tyres removed from the three spoke wheels, not the original idea! I was going to use them with the road tyres on during the build process, but thought I might as well clean them up and paint them, and in the meantime start saving up for some tyres 🙂


17/06/21 –
I’d been finishing redecorating the front of our shop in the morning, so I had the afternoon free, so I thought I’d spruce up the alloy wheels –

Looking good…

When you consider they started like this…! But!…

There was a nasty ding in the left hand one 😦
So I heated it up with a blowtorch and tried to knock it out…

Oops! That’s torn it… literally!

So, I ordered a replacement from eBay…

23/06/21 –

I dropped it off before going greenlaning for the day, and then collected it in the afternoon –

Jamie my mate who runs the local tyre bay had split it from the tyre so that it’s ready for cleaning, and a tyre when I’ve saved up for a set… 😉