Africa 2020 Buggy - Chassis Part 2
The Doon Shell
Thanks to Lee from Volksmagic and Doon
we have the amazing Doon buggy shell.
I wasn't initial going to get this till later in the build but in the end it made sense as we could design the framework on the chassis to ensure a better fit with the shell.
Why the Doon over other body shells
Well it came down to these features
The opening bonnet is one of the main key features of the Doon that sets it apart from the other buggy kits I looked at. My Previous buggy was a GP Super Buggy. It was a pain in the neck to remove the hood each time we had an issue with electrics or leaking fuel tank as we made our way from the UK to Mongolia.
One of the unique features of the Doon is the finished return lip around the whole perimeter of the main bodyshell tub. This not only adds immense strength without any additional weight but helps stiffen up the whole of the kit, removing the body shake traditionally associated with beach buggy kits.
Integrated Dashboard Panel
The complex integrated dashboard panel is one of the many unique features of the Doon buggy kit. This panel has been designed to cover the area between the bulkhead and dashboard to reduce the amount of cold air that can enter the cabin when driving. In addition this panel secures to the main body tub on both sides and at the top of the bulkhead to stiffen the whole of this area and remove the 'scuttle shake’ associated with some traditional forms of buggy kits. The panel also provides support for the battery, and houses other key components including the windscreen, hinges, fuse boards, wiring, clocks, switches, wiper motor, brake fluid reservoir and washer bottle.
The Doon kit has moulded in rubber conduits underneath both sides and across the rear. These allow the wiring loom to be run the whole length of the kit, whilst being hidden away for a neat installation and being fully weather protected.
The conduit across the rear allows for wiring to the engine and rear lights to be neatly installed whilst being tucked away from the moving parts of the engine. The conduits have an additional benefit of adding strength to the side areas where occupants tend to sit whilst entering and leaving the buggy.
Reinforcing the Chassis
Using the Doon shell it was possible to create the chassis structure to best fit the shell
At the the front some sheet metal was added to support the foot pedals. The buggy I had for the Mongol Rally split at this point so reinforcing this area was essential
At the rear of the floor plan the chassis was further reinforced with a triangulated section. This was further reinforced with the addition of some plate steel at the rear.
The Floor Plan
The floor plan for the buggy was made from a single sheet of aluminium. It was cut to fit the chassis and then bolted on. Currently it has been left unpainted until the roll cage has been fabricated and fitted. The plan will be to use Raptor paint on it prior to the final fit out.
Fitting the Front Beam
The warrior front beam that I purchased didn't come with the beetle front mounts so a donor beam was sourced. The brackets were then removed and welded in place on the new beam.
Fitting the beam with the Doon Shell
Another problem to solve was that the new front beam has 8 inch shock towers. This meant that they would be too tall for the Doon Shell. So holes had to be cut in the shell to accommodate the the taller towers.