Dust Buggy

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    Dust Buggy

    Many of you know me from the HydroDynamic Buggy. Around Thanksgiving 2017 we had some family over and we took the buggy out for some night runs around the ranch. One of the last runs was with my three boys, the 4 and 6 year old sitting in the passenger seat and the 2 year old sitting with me. They were yelling to go faster, go faster. It was in that moment, that it was clear that the buggy no longer fit my needs. I wanted a traditional four seat trail rig that could go fast not only for fun but to handle long distance trips. Something fast and agile enough that would leave a cloud of dust behind. Something that I could take the boys out with to a destination and carry all the camping gear and cargo. Something that anyone could work on in the middle of no mans land and gets parts for at a local parts house. I had taken the hydraulic concept as far as I wanted to go. I had proven to myself what it could be and at this point it was only a matter of funding for advanced hydraulic high speed hydraulic parts.
    I looked at selling it as is for awhile but being that it was so unique I could have been waiting for a long while and eventually had a mothballed old rig that just sat around. Or like many others rig, sold for the value of the parts alone. I decided to re-purpose all the parts that I could and sell or trade anything that I couldn't reuse. This would be the fastest and most economical way to build the new buggy. This way also transforms the old buggy into the new so personally I don't feel like the old one is wasting away somewhere. The frame went to recycle-ling to pay for new tube and plate. The old steering was sold to pay for new steering. The motor, wiring, fuel system and electrical system is being reused. The coilovers are being reused, the back ones will be on rear trailing arms and the fronts will be rebuilt with longer bodies and shafts. The rod ends and joints are being reused. The seats are being reused. Odds and ends are being reused. Alot of the knowledge and tech and CAD from the first build will roll right into the second build. Dust Buggy was chosen as the name for the intended driving style and the miles of dust I hope to leave behind.
    You can also follow along on Instagram

    Dust Buggy Specs:
    2010 6.0L
    4L80 with Winters shifter with Radesigns switches
    Ford NP205 with forged 1410 u-bolt yokes
    NP241 planetary NWF Ecobox
    F550 Super 60 2005 front with Yukon spool and 1410 yoke and 2000 F250 rear rotors and calipers
    Sterling 10.5 2005 rear with air locker and 1410 yoke
    Ibex plate sub-frame
    Autodesk Inventor 3D one off 1.75" DOM tube chassis .120" upper and .25" lower
    40" or 42" on 17” beadlocks
    118" wheelbase
    PRP high back comp seats front and full size rear bench and room for gear
    Warn M12000
    Rigid lights
    Thermal Transfer MA-32 trans and MA-4 steering cooler
    Triton radiator
    Spal brushless fans
    Dual Optima Yellow tops and dual alternators
    40" links with Ballistic forged rod ends & FK rod ends
    3" exhaust with Carven mufflers and Magnaflow high flow cats
    Fox 2.5" 14" piggybacks front, 10" piggybacks on rear arms
    PSC XR series steering

    F550 Super 60 and Sterling 10.5 both 2005
    Attached Files
    Last edited by HYDRODYNAMIC; 05-20-2020, 11:10 AM.


      Super 60 truss and PSC steering cylinder mount
      Attached Files
      Last edited by HYDRODYNAMIC; 05-20-2020, 11:10 AM.


        Goat Built sub frame assembly. This thing was super hot when welding it up in the middle of the summer with no wind so the gas wound not blow away. The metal is unforgiving because its so strong. There is no hitting it with a hammer to straighten. Once its welded that's the shape it stays, so clamping and fit up are important.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by HYDRODYNAMIC; 05-20-2020, 11:10 AM.


          Goat Built subframe assembly.
          Attached Files
          Last edited by HYDRODYNAMIC; 05-20-2020, 11:11 AM.


            The F550 brakes will only clear a 20" wheel and I wanted to be able to run a 17" to keep things standard. I first adapted a set of Willwood Dynalites and through more research found out they would flex and not provide the stopping power and also have a soft pedal due to the flex with the spacers needed for a wide rotor. I then thought about narrowing the rotor to 3/8 width and taking out the caliper spacers. Then I remembered that I didn't want all these one off wear parts, or under powered brakes. I ended up using F250 2000 rear wheel calipers and 13"x1.18" rotors. The rotors needed the flange mounting ID opened up a little. The caliper brackets and adapter did need some machining to sit true and flat and some sanding for clearance and a new bolt pattern to clear the knuckle. The piston size 1.75" Dia = 4.8" area and will be the same in the front and rear now. The Willwood AT6 which is their go to caliper for Ultra4, SCORE, BITD is a 5.4" area, so the Ford rear caliper at 4.8" is 89% of that so pedal and line pressures should be ideal. The wheel clearance is great. A bent wheel or small rocks will not get jammed between the wheel and the caliper. All the wear parts are available off the shelf and the brake pads are larger with more material and different pad compositions are available. The pistons are sealed for dirt and water ingress. The calipers are stiff for minimal flex. The rotors are thick vented so I don't have to worry about overheating. The pedal is a Willwood 7:1 swing mount tru bar for dual master cylinders.
            Attached Files
            Last edited by HYDRODYNAMIC; 05-20-2020, 11:12 AM.


              F250 2000 rear wheel calipers and rotors.
              Attached Files
              Last edited by HYDRODYNAMIC; 05-20-2020, 11:12 AM.


                PSC XR series

                XR CBR race pump is 11.3cc = .689ci with -12 suction and -8 pressure with no relief or flow control valve, this means the pump has full flow and output so it requires an adjustable external relief valve which sends any overloaded oil through the cooler and back to the filter reservoir, this means there is no hot oil looping inside the pump which can cause wear, PSC recently switched to the billet CNC housing over the forged or cast housings so they are much more robust. The pump needs a two piece pulley to set the right spacing for use on the LS 6.0 truck motor, I’m running the @Goatbuilt CBR pump bracket so it’s easy to install the pump either way but the two piece pulley allows for installing a the pump first and bolting on the pulley second.

                The PSC CBR XR pump is 11.3cc/rev = .689ci/rev
                The pulley size is close to the crank pulley guessing 1:1, if over or under driven, flow will change
                at 4000 rpm 11.93 GPM
                at 2000 rpm 5.97 GPM = 1 second lock to lock if the wheel could turn fast enough, 2.64 turns
                at 1000 rpm 2.98 GPM

                External relief valve - The external relief valve is inline after the pump that will dump oil to the filter/reservoir if the pressure is backed up and reaches the set point. These are adjustable and since the race pumps do not have a warranty because they have no built in safety bypass, some thought needs to be put into how high you really want to set the relief setting. If you set the pressure high at idle but then rev it up to red line while in use you will be over pressure because pressure relief valves have some resistance. This also goes for cold oil vs hot oil settings, were viscosity will change pressure due to resistance. Ideally you want to set the pressure to be below what PSC says is the MAX (1800 PSI) when your at red line and full flow with cold oil. That would be worst case conditions.

                XR race ram in 8” stroke 2.5” bore for a couple reasons over the standard ram.
                1st. it has a welded one piece rod so the rod and piston can not come unscrewed and it gives it more strength
                2nd it comes with four clamps instead of two and the body has notches so the cylinder can not slide in the clamps
                3rd it has a super shiny nickel coating and machined emblem with easy to service anodized caps so it will resist corrosion and look good longer and be easier to work on
                4th when you factor in the cost of the welded rods and two extra clamps included it is not much more to get the better body

                PSC/Eaton orbital was a hard decision on output choices, I dug around for as much info and opinions as possible to balance steering wheel size, wheel rotations lock to lock, and input force. I chose the 160cc over the 185cc unit as it should have lighter input and less response for non seasoned racers learning to drive including myself and boys who will learn to drive the buggy before they learn to drive a street legal car. Right now I have a 14” wheel and might go down in size if needed. I intend to run an extended rod from the wheel to the orbital with a support rod end or bushing to make the mounting more universal.

                The cooler is a Thermal Transfer MA-4 with 8" or 10" Spal fan. The core is 8" x 8" x 2.5" and the overall is 10.5 x 9.7 x 2.6 with #16 SAE ports. The MA series is similar to the bar and fin style oil coolers sold by Griffin, CBR, and Triton which are commonly used for transmissions or engine oil coolers.
                The MA-4 is rated at a 10psi pressure drop at 20GPM.
                100ETD = 180* hot entering oil - 80* cooling ambient air.
                It can remove 18,000 BTU/H @ 100 ETD or 7HP worth of heat if the hot oil is 180 and the outside air is 80.
                It can remove 9,000 BTU/H @ 50 ETD or 3.5HP worth of heat if the hot oil is 130 and the outside air is 80.
                Attached Files
                Last edited by HYDRODYNAMIC; 01-14-2021, 03:47 PM.



                  Solid modeled most everything I could before starting to fabricate.
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by HYDRODYNAMIC; 05-20-2020, 11:14 AM.


                    Planning on running a rear sway bar off the rear arms. I was going to use 2.5" square tube for easier mounting of all the brackets but decided to go 2.5" DOM for higher strength in all directions. The rear arms use a linkage to stop the wobble.
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by HYDRODYNAMIC; 05-20-2020, 11:14 AM.


                      Mid section is out of 1.75" x .120" wall DOM. Using a bandsaw, JMR tube notcher, and Bend Tech wraps for all miters and notching.
                      Attached Files
                      Last edited by HYDRODYNAMIC; 05-20-2020, 11:15 AM.


                        Lower tubes are 1.75" x .25" wall for dent and bend resistance. I don't want to replace a tube unless I total the whole thing.
                        Attached Files
                        Last edited by HYDRODYNAMIC; 05-20-2020, 11:15 AM.


                          waterhorse said:
                          Another follower, love the front axle. I like your writing style. Sorry to see the hydro buggy no more, but this will be fun to.

                          Curious about your insistance on 17" wheels. The work you did on the brakes is well thought out and I love reading about it, but your explaination "I want to keep it standard 17". Aren't 20" wheels standard also? My thought is 20" will be "more standard" in the future.

                          Anyways, thanks for posting.
                          I wanted the brakes to clear the 17" factory wheels then I can fit 20" if I want in the future. Finding a spare 17" tire on the trail is also way easier than finding a 20" tire. Unless you run a forged 20" the chances or bending a cast 20" wheel is guaranteed. 17" tires have more sidewall and are more forgiving.
                          giles45shop said:
                          Another great build! Followed along on your previous build, can't wait to see this one. Super clean fab work! Couple questions:

                          1. Choice of 6061 vs 7075 for steering linkage? You did the calculations and 6061 is plenty strong, but 7075 is quite a bit stronger than 6061. Were you worried about SCC or something else?

                          2. The design of the high steer is very interesting. Is this your own design or is it available somewhere?

                          Can't wait to see more!
                          My old links were 6061 and had zero issues. I just shortened up my old ones. The high steer is my own design. I wanted bolt on without machine work. Did not want or trust weld on style. I believe this is stronger than most machined options unless you replace the knuckle. I was also able to mount the cylinder up high and have the exact arm length to use all the ram and all the steer angle.
                          Technohead said:
                          Nice! You should be using 2" tube!

                          Looking forward to seeing this project develop!!
                          This was intentional so I have an excuse why I cant race it.
                          There will be so much tube on this thing when its done. I believe its more about the design than the weight of the tube to and extent.
                          sickboyboone said:
                          What’s your Instagram name? This looks cool as shit and I’d love to see some of the hydro buggy pics too. There was one at the at expo a number of years back, but I didn’t get to see it. I work in Ag and hydraulics is how everything works in Ag. I’d love to see some of this and your new project!
                          pennsylvaniaboy said:
                          So why do custom brakes? can you not use standard f250/f350 calipers and rotors?
                          F550 knuckles have different bolt spacing and they need adapters with narrower caliper bolt centers. Others have used different years and brands but I believe this gives plenty of clearance, ideal piston size, and was easy to adapt.


                            Bones said:
                            Thanks for sharing the build.
                            I know you are out west and it's dry/desert, but any worries about dirt/sand getting packed in the link mounts and causing premature wear on heims since they are fully boxed in?

                            I don't really see the boxed end holding in debris enough to cause issues. I have no desire to mud bog. Snow would be the only thing that I see getting packed in, but they are up high and the links are in the way. It could possibly keep the rod ends cleaner since they will be covered and dust and debris would have to enter from the side rather than falling on top of the rod end. Ideally rod ends would be mounted the other axis so they clean out but that would take up more room and complicate the truss design.
                            waterhorse said:
                            I keep studying your highsteer arms. I like them a lot. I have to admit I like your original design also. Do you have any more detail pics of them? On your current ones, are the nuts on studs or bolts. If bolts, were there any clearance issues? Did you countersunk or flatspot the inside of the knuckle?

                            The main reason for the change was to clear the wheel as you can see in the pictures. The old design was for a 20" wheel and or high offset 17". Once I saw how high the rod end was on the knuckle I decided the upright portion needed to be stronger for the leverage and another bolt was needed up higher and the lower stock tie rod bolt was not needed. I also bumped up the bolt size to 3/4" going thru the knuckle with the lock nut. The other two bolts are 5/8" and tapped into the knuckle in thick sections so thread engagement in the weaker material is not an issue. The knuckle is flat on the locations that the material is clamped to. All the parts were welded out on the knuckle so they would take the shape of the knuckle with the best fit possible. All the holes were drilled with a hand drill with the plates or bars as a jig to locate the holes and then tapped thru to keep things aligned.
                            Attached Files
                            Last edited by HYDRODYNAMIC; 05-20-2020, 11:17 AM.



                              The GEN4 2010 6.0L engine ran great in the last buggy. It had plenty of torque and ran smooth. The Team 208 Motorsports harness and tune was set up for stand alone use as I did not have a trans attached, only the hydraulic pump. I was planning on running a TH400 for the longest time as it was a non electronic trans and I would not need to add the trans wiring and tuning. After doing more research, I decided to update to the 4L80. One of the reasons was parts availability. It appears that alot of people break stock cases and it was alot easier to find a 4L80 than a TH400. A Reid case was not really the answer I was looking for. The other reason is the 4th gear/overdrive.
                              For shifting I am planning on using a Radesigns stand alone shift module in a Winters shifter with a pre-cut gate. It was looking like the cost for a RMVB with engine braking was considerably more. $125 RADesigns vs ~$600+ for a RMVB. The Winters shifter is going to cost the same for both setups.
                              It sounds like there is a number of racers and non racers running 4l80 and 6l80 in the forward pattern with success. For my build the forward pattern should work fine.
                              I did some thinking about if I should take another step newer, 6l80 VS 4l80. While on paper the 6l80 looks best. It's shorter at 27.125” VS 29” bell housing to tail shaft or 23.3” VS 26” bell housing to case. It has a lower first 4.03 VS 2.48 and lower reverse gear 3.06 VS 2.07. With the 6th gear being close to the 4 gear on the 4l80 .67 VS .75 = 90%.
                              The 4l80 while not as glamorous on paper only having 4 gears also makes it simple. No computer. It can run a full manual valve body or solenoids and shifter operated. If you’re running a Winters style shifter you can run each position and not have to tap or side shift for the other 2 gears. Not as critical on year selection, some years are better than others. Cheap to pick up a core and rebuild at desired performance level. Plenty of racers are having success with it.
                              Packaging is another determining factor. 4l80/EcoBox/205 is going to be long but doable in a four seat with longer front and rear links. Shorter setups would need to run 4l80/Atlas or 6l80/Atlas or 6l80/205.
                              While searching I was able to find positive info about new builds and 6L80’s, but I was looking for feedback on running 6L80s. This is a summary of someone who ran a 6l80 and went back to to 4l80.
                              jrad12381 said:
                              I currently run a 6l80 with a 2:1 case. This combo gearing wise for trail wheeling is great, but I have a serious love hate relationship with this trans. It has been a tuning nightmare, and in my opinion sucks when it comes to racing. Way to many gears, very slow to respond to tap shift, and it doesn't play nice with the ecm when it comes to racing environment. Last race my 6l80 called it quits. I am getting ready to pull it out and replace it with a 4l80. I have had for different tuners try to get this thing to work, and it has fought us the entire way. I do feel that if you go with a 6l80 you are better off going with a 2012 and newer TCM They are suppose to respond much faster with tap shift.
                              For gearing options, my F550 front axle already had 4.88 gears so I figured that I might as well keep them. The NP205 with 2:1 was not low enough with the 4L80 at 2.48 with the 4.88 gears so the NWF with 241 planetaries at 2.72 was needed. Planning on a 40" tire.

                              Low Low
                              4.88 x 2.48 x 2 x 2.72 = 65.8
                              4.88 x .75 x 2 x 2.72 = 19.9

                              High Low
                              4.88 x 2.48 x 1 x 2.72 = 32.9
                              4.88 x .75 x 1 x 2.72 = 10

                              Low High
                              4.88 x 2.48 x 2 x 1 = 24.2
                              4.88 x .75 x 2 x 1 = 7.3

                              High High
                              4.88 x 2.48 x 1 x 1 = 12.1
                              4.88 x .75 x 1 x 1 = 3.66

                              Campbell cars with may more power = TH400 x Hero 1.5:1
                              5.43 x 2.48 x 1.5 = 20.2
                              5.43 x 1 x 1.5 = 8.1
                              5.43 x 2.48 x 1 = 13
                              5.43 x 1 x 1 = 5.4

                              Bomber cars also with way more power = 4L80 x Atlas 2:1
                              5.43 x 2.48 x 2 = 27
                              5.43 x .75 x 2 = 8
                              5.43 x 2.48 x 1 = 13.4
                              5.43 x .75 x 1 = 4

                              4.88, 4L80, Atlas 3.8
                              4.88 x 2.48 x 1 = 12.1
                              4.88 x .75 x 1 = 3.7
                              4.88 x 2.48 x 2.72 = 32.9
                              4.88 x .75 x 2.72 = 10
                              4.88 x 2.48 x 3.8 = 45
                              4.88 x .75 x 3.8 = 13.9
                              4.88 x 2.48 x 10.3 = 124
                              4.88 x .75 x 10.3 = 37.7

                              Having the lower gear options for relax trail riding is my plan vs more throttle, HP, and speed in a race style pace.