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What am I thinking??

bugedd

Jedi Knight
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Four years ago, I sat in my aunts husbands bugeye with my son, and had to have one. A short time later I found one on Craigslist in Oregon (I'm in California) that sounded like a good, a solid driving project for a reasonable price. I randomly found a guy who was moving up that way, a fellow motorhead, and was using his enclosed car hauler for the move. He offered to pick it up for me, so I went for it. When I got it, I was okay with its condition. After doing a ton of work to it, I wanted to get the front frame rail extensions aligned because they were offset to one side a bit, causing the bonnet to sit crooked. That's when I got the bad news that the car took a good hit once, pushing the drivers side frame rail back, with the bend going all the way back to the transmission tunnel.
Bummer.
I was way too far into it to scrap it, so I started looking for a shell. After about six months, I found a roller that sounded good. No cancer, just surface rust from sitting in a shed for 20+ years. Its an old, retired racer with roll hoop, barely recognizable stripes, and scary looking, but straight with the exception of a couple dents. I bought it and had it hauled to my friends body shop for inspection, where he verified that its a good tub.
I went down and stripped it of every nut and bolt to ready it for pressure washing and abrasive blasting to rid it of all the surface rust. Then it hit me. This is one heck of a project! I've never attempted anything like this before, and now I am looking at a body swap, along with rotisserie of the replacement tub. And with being a single dad with no money, it looks like I'll be doing the body work/paint! That scares the heck out of me.
Anyhow, attached are pics of the tub after gutting it and pressure washing it. As of right now, the doors have been blasted and primed. Hopefully he will get to the tub soon so I can get started. I'll post pics and update as things evolve, which will be very slow. In the mean time, I'll keep driving my bent driver :smile: Hopefully that will keep me motivated.
If anyone wants to donate to my beer fund, feel free. I have a feeling this project will induce a fair amount of consumption!
 

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David_Doan

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I started off just getting mine running so my MIL could sell it, it had been sitting for 10 years after her husband died. I had never been interested in such a low-power car.... until we got it running and took it for a test drive with just the hand brake working. It was like a street legal go cart. After that she gave it to me. I'm also working with a very small budget so i do everything myself. working on this car is the best stress management tool I have ever tried. Nothing better than getting lost in the garage for the whole day.
 

RickB

Yoda
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I have a shell that looks like that sitting at home, actually I think yours looks a lot better.
I need to get the 73 out of my shed so I can mount the Bugeye onto some kind of home build rotisserie and get started on it before the rust takes it all away.
Good thing Peter can get his permit in August, that gives me the kick in the rear I need to get moving in that direction!
Hopefully it will motivate him too.
Nothing like having a Bugeye Midget driver, a project RWA underway and a Bugeye shell waiting in the wings!
Life just doesn't get any better than this!
 

drooartz

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It is a huge project, but that tub looks to be in pretty decent shape. As long as you're willing to invest the time it will take (think in terms of years, not months) you can wind up with a very nice project. Swapping parts over to the new tub shouldn't be too hard -- a Bugeye is about as basic a car as you can possibly have after all.

The real danger will be this: once that new tub is all pretty and painted up, will you want to move over all your existing dirty/un-rebuilt parts? Or will you go down the rat hole of needing to refurbish every bit before it goes onto the new shell? Resist that urge, and this is not too expensive. Give in to that desire (and believe me I know how powerful that is!) and you'll be a few more years out.

Still, if you like auto restoration you'll have a ball with the Bugeye.
 

RickB

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Yes, he will.
For mine I hope to get really good with my sandblaster, I need to build a cabinet but those are pretty simple.
I'll be removing a lot of stuff from a MK1 Midget and use whatever works on the Bugeye.
It will all need to be cleaned and painted at a bare minimum.
Of course, that's after the RWA car is done and out on the street.
So I figure I have a plan for the next decade or thereabouts.
 

David_Doan

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I have a shell that looks like that sitting at home, actually I think yours looks a lot better.
I need to get the 73 out of my shed so I can mount the Bugeye onto some kind of home build rotisserie and get started on it before the rust takes it all away.
Good thing Peter can get his permit in August, that gives me the kick in the rear I need to get moving in that direction!
Hopefully it will motivate him too.
Nothing like having a Bugeye Midget driver, a project RWA underway and a Bugeye shell waiting in the wings!
Life just doesn't get any better than this!

Rick,

How do you manage teens drives and classic cars? I have mine insured through Heritage for about $120 a year. My teen son is only covered if I am with him. (Although their rules sound soft)
 

Jim_Gruber

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Cowl and New A Post Rocker.jpgBonnet - 1.jpgBrake Lenses - Misc Bolts and Fittings.jpgDash with instruments and Key.jpgFront of Tub.jpgWell my wife is going to cr_p when she sees what I drag home with Bugsy II. But all of the bits are there and all of the metal work is complete and was sprayed with Aircraft Preservation Primer 25 years ago. But other than front suspension, everything and I mean everything is in boxes for Bugsy II. Going to be a whole lot of WTH is this, cataloging and sorting and indexing, plastic bags, labeler, and plastic tubs. Cleaning and repair and making look nice of sub assemblies to come first. I like what David Doan has done with his rear end rework on his blog for example making it look simple. Then getting into more complex stuff like engine rebuild and rotisserie work on the body. Painting to be last followed by reassembly.

Yes she will pronounce me nuts. But that is the journey I must follow. All of the bits are there.
 

drooartz

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Luckily Bugeyes have far fewer pieces then many cars. Heck, even my MGB seems complex in comparison. :smile:
 

BlueMax

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Take your time, been into mine now for 3 ½ years. The body work if done right will take copious amounts of time and money. When finish will surely turn a few heads.
 
OP
bugedd

bugedd

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When I decided to get the tub and go this route, I started rebuilding bits so that when the time comes for the tub swap, it will be as simple as unbolt and bolt up. Then I will rattle can the random bits that I haven't already addressed. The car will be a driver, not a show car, though I might take it to the local shows. But it will be driven on wet roads, so I'm not going to be too crazy. But then again, you never know.
 

apbos

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Here is my 2 cents and it is worth 2 cents. If you want a driver, do not go crazy with the paint. Take out the dents, prep over the old paint, primer and paint it with a single stage poly. The factory did not paint many of these cars undercarriage or the interior of the boot so use a factory color primer (maybe POR15 in areas without paint and/or rust) in those areas and leave it. Jim and I have done the $50 paint roller job and it can be done to look better than the factory original paint, but is much more work than spaying. I had mine sprayed as I ran out of time, but it cost $. However, we did use single stage poly (Interlux Birghtside) and it cost about $90 for the paint. Big costs are body work, expensive paint and rebuilding the drive train. Doing most of the work yourself can save you big $. I think that makes sense with these cars as even the best rarely bring over 14K. Do not take 5 years like I did to get the thing back on the road, life is short and I am so looking forward to being able to drive one of my cars (hopefully will be driving in 5 weeks).
Paul

Paul
 
OP
bugedd

bugedd

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Wow, that car looks just like mine does now, roll bar, color, wheels, everything. Crazy
 

Jim_Gruber

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Drivers Side - Interior Bulkhead Replacement.jpgThat's what Bugsy II is a big mpodel to put together with none of the parts identified. A few mpre pics. Rear Bulkhead DS Replaced. Drivers Side - Footwell and Crossmember.jpgDS - Rear Molding Faired in brass.jpgBack of tub all body work done in lead not bondo and primered with Aircraft Preservation Primer. DS - Rear Molding Faired in brass.jpgParts - Hood hinges fan voltage regulator.jpgParts, Hardtop Exterior 2.jpgparts, parts and a nice hardtop.
 
OP
bugedd

bugedd

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oh ya, I am still driving it. it drives straight, though the drivers side front wheel sits 1" back from the other side. So I will drive it until paint is done on the other tub, then swap parts. When I am done, I will have a spare tub, rear axle, and suspension to make it a roller. Soooo......if anyone wants it, it will be up for grabs. No bonnet included. It would make a decent enough racer, something that you could cut up and not feel bad about.
 
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bugedd

bugedd

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This is the tub I will be replacing.
 

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Millrat

Jedi Hopeful
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I started off just getting mine running so my MIL could sell it, it had been sitting for 10 years after her husband died. I had never been interested in such a low-power car.... until we got it running and took it for a test drive with just the hand brake working. It was like a street legal go cart. After that she gave it to me. I'm also working with a very small budget so i do everything myself. working on this car is the best stress management tool I have ever tried. Nothing better than getting lost in the garage for the whole day.

Those Mother- In -Law cars are killers! It's the most expensive "free" item I have aquired by a long shot.:greedy_dollars:
 

nomad

Yoda
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Here is my 2 cents and it is worth 2 cents. If you want a driver, do not go crazy with the paint. Take out the dents, prep over the old paint, primer and paint it with a single stage poly. The factory did not paint many of these cars undercarriage or the interior of the boot so use a factory color primer (maybe POR15 in areas without paint and/or rust) in those areas and leave it. Jim and I have done the $50 paint roller job and it can be done to look better than the factory original paint, but is much more work than spaying. I had mine sprayed as I ran out of time, but it cost $. However, we did use single stage poly (Interlux Birghtside) and it cost about $90 for the paint. Big costs are body work, expensive paint and rebuilding the drive train. Doing most of the work yourself can save you big $. I think that makes sense with these cars as even the best rarely bring over 14K. Do not take 5 years like I did to get the thing back on the road, life is short and I am so looking forward to being able to drive one of my cars (hopefully will be driving in 5 weeks).
Paul

Paul

Much wisdom in those word's Paul!!
 

apbos

Jedi Knight
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Thanks Nomad. School of hard knocks makes you realize that everyone derives more pleasure from driving these cars vs paying someone to repair or spending much of your free time repairing your only LBC. I think car #2 will be more fun, because it will be a labor love and not necessity. It looks like bugedd will be able to quickly turn his old BE into a new BE without losing a lot of drive time.
Regards
Paul
 
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