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Boardbysled's Buggy Build


Well-known member
Jun 11, 2020
Member Number
NW Oregon
Crossposted from PBB. Started back in Sept. of 2016.

I recently started a new project and figured it was getting far enough along to share.

This build will be a budget build reusing many parts from my old rig ( The Pathy). (which is currently still together and I am still wheeling it for the time being.

New rig will be lots of tube with just mostly the firewall and windshield frame left from the stock rig. Frame will be cutoff in front of the motor mounts and behind the seats.


Couple reasons for starting fresh versus just building my current rig:

-Pathy's motor is on deaths doorstep

-Pathy has a 5 speed versus an auto in the new rig

-Fresh frame (Pathy's frame has a few patch jobs on it

Parts I plan to use off the Pathy include:

-Waggy D44 Front axle (4.56's, yukon chromos & super joints, lock-right)

-NWF TX-10/D300 doubler kit & JB Fab twinsticks

-Rear H233b 4.63 third member w/lock-right

and thats about all haha.

Here is the 'new' project. Stock 1992 Pathfinder VG30E and a auto trans.

Some new parts,

EMPI Wide vinyl suspension seats from Jeep Swag

2.5"x16" FOA Coilover shocks with reservoirs

Speedway steering wheel and quick disconnect


Pulled the housing and stripped the brackets off it and shaved the drain plug


Started building an axle truss





20160716_133657_zps6xzworpy by boardbysled, on Flickr


Fabb'd up the rear 4 link, double triangulated with decent numbers according to the 4link calculator. Barnes 4wd brackets and heim joints. PVC links for now.

20160717_173948_zpshufws5o4 by boardbysled, on Flickr

20160717_173958_zpsgxgkvwal by boardbysled, on Flickr

Started on the tube work! Most of the tube is 1.75"x.120" DOM with some 1.75"x.120" HREW where it won't make contact with rock, along with some 1.5"x.120" HREW mixed in.

Hole-sawed a hole in the frame.

20160724_145829_zps8drsnnpk by boardbysled, on Flickr

Cut it off in the center of the hole so the tube mates up well.

20160724_153118_zps2bnhcyha by boardbysled, on Flickr

20160724_165807_zpshdljxqfu by boardbysled, on Flickr

Broke the follower die getting the bends too close together.:mad3:

20160724_204425_zpsstomxxun by boardbysled, on Flickr

New style follower die from JD2.

20160821_150204_zpshv6nzdzp by boardbysled, on Flickr

HF notcher setup. (Drill died today after about 18 notches)

20160724_212754_zpsvnfynmqi by boardbysled, on Flickr

Notch fresh from the HF setup, just needs a little flap wheel work.

20160724_212745_zpsviuiyvgg by boardbysled, on Flickr
Matching rear 'framerail'

20160828_144304_zpssl3pjs1z by boardbysled, on Flickr

Crossbar in the rear (hopefully setup for a rear swaybar in the future)

20160828_151809_zpsmyanobfk by boardbysled, on Flickr

Cut the rocker panel off to make room for the slider bar.

20160828_182940_zpsg75qlnim by boardbysled, on Flickr

Slider bar and b-pillar mocked up.

20160903_172715_zpsxtcj2c7g by boardbysled, on Flickr

Rear belt-line bar mocked up

20160903_211845_zpssilvmehq by boardbysled, on Flickr

Rear seatbar mocked in

20160905_201933_zps9ivyk29s by boardbysled, on Flickr

Bend in the front seatbar to clear the transmission shifter cable

20160917_152358_zps4xhpkrkb by boardbysled, on Flickr
Didn't get a chance to work on it a whole lot this weekend, but got a little bit done.

Got the A-pillar/roofline/C-pillar bar in. All one piece, 3 bends, with 2 offsets.

20161009_143527_zpsk5qzuk3z by boardbysled, on Flickr

No pictures, but worked on the seat mounts some. Being 6'4" and mostly torso is making it a little challenging.
After about 4 different variations, I was able to get the seat mounts in. I'm 6'4" 300lbs so it was hard to get them low enough without having to raise the roofline a bunch. They are sat as low as they can go in the chassis, but should work good.

20161015_200512_zps0ijxoa2v by boardbysled, on Flickr

Got the passenger side roofline bar bent up. Had to cut and sleeve this one as one of my offsets was a few degrees off.

20161016_151110_zps9gcadc1u by boardbysled, on Flickr

20161016_151126_zpsq4lokzbl by boardbysled, on Flickr

20161016_151140_zpsfvfcbgrg by boardbysled, on Flickr

20161016_151147_zpsue0as8av by boardbysled, on Flickr

Did a timelapse of bending up the roofline bar:


Got one of the roof bars in along with the harness bar. Also got some of the triangulation bars for the B-pillar in. I plan on ditching the normal headrests and making some that attach to the diagonal bars.

20161016_183436_zpstca6h0gc by boardbysled, on Flickr

20161016_183448_zps6gvulciy by boardbysled, on Flickr

20161016_183614_zpsq4surdd1 by boardbysled, on Flickr
Wanted to see where I was going next, so I did some layout with painter's tape.

20161017_165831_zpsfdffg20v by boardbysled, on Flickr

20161017_165847_zpsezksrx8u by boardbysled, on Flickr

Got started on the rear shock mounts. Shocks are 16"x2.5" FOA's. Using a behind the axle shock mount bracket from Barnes 4wd.

Had a bunch of grand ideas for shock mounts, but once I mock'd it up, a plan for a nice easy mount came together, almost like I had planned it...

Looks like I should end up with 6" uptravel and 10" down.

20161023_163341_zpseasy9a9w by boardbysled, on Flickr

20161023_163354_zpswzipuapg by boardbysled, on Flickr

20161023_165340_zpsudshvnsd by boardbysled, on Flickr

20161023_165353_zpsyue6djgn by boardbysled, on Flickr

20161023_181939_zpscyjefvuz by boardbysled, on Flickr

20161023_182023_zpskzhlcchi by boardbysled, on Flickr

20161023_182033_zpsj3jghjk4 by boardbysled, on Flickr

I'll build a bracket in between the tubes for the upper shock mount.

The hope will be to squeeze a 2"x2" airbump in as well, should be plenty of room.
Haven't had much of a chance to work on this the last few months, busy with work and the holidays. But I have amassed a pile of parts:

For the Front:

2.5"x14" FOA reservoir coil overs

3 link kit w/7/8" heims from Barnes4wd

2.5"x8" Surplus Center Ram

22"Wx19"H crossflow aluminum radiator from Speedway

Set of Pacesetter headers (stock manifold is cracked to shit)

For the Rear:

22 gallon RCI fuel cell

2.5"x2" FOA air bumps

Still need to get a pile of steel to finish out the rear and start on the front.

20170224_194603_zpsgqxlfz8e by boardbysled, on Flickr

20170224_194610_zpsm6qvxppf by boardbysled, on Flickr

20170224_193704_zpsqomwkbk0 by boardbysled, on Flickr
Finally killed the motor in my old rig a few weeks back so time to spend some more time on this.

Got a 2.5"x8" Surplus Center Ram.

20170303_172027_zpslu2tr26a by boardbysled, on Flickr

Was able to take a closer look at some of the stuff in the parts pile. Kinda disappointed with the quality of the FOA shocks and bumpstops. But they aren't leaking oil yet and the price was cheap enough to put up with some cosmetic issues. Not sure on the dual rate slider with 2 short sides though...

20170304_163510_zpscavwuxio by boardbysled, on Flickr

20170304_163600_zpsf1wwlodp by boardbysled, on Flickr

Hard plastic pads on the bumps should hopefully mean they are at least somewhat quieter then the all aluminum style.

20170304_164036_zpsft2q9uop by boardbysled, on Flickr

Looks like they should fit good on the rear axle. Little worried about fitting 2.5" on the front, guess we will have to see when I get it all mock'd up.

20170304_171648_zpspfbsdwj7 by boardbysled, on Flickr

Corners of the RCI cell are all beat up. Should be able to straighten them out though.

20170304_170347_zpsu83grel3 by boardbysled, on Flickr

Threw the fuel cell in to see how well it fit. Fits almost like I had planned for it all along! Should be plenty of room behind it for tool/spare storage. It will sit an in and a half lower when it is all said and done. Plenty of link clearance.

20170304_171533_zpsjiwk3eqz by boardbysled, on Flickr

20170304_171537_zpsixjpdlx9 by boardbysled, on Flickr

20170304_171558_zpsw5jcm7zn by boardbysled, on Flickr
The time came to steal the good parts off my original Pathy. It will be sad to take it to the scrap heap, but the time has come. It was my first vehicle and the one I really learned how to fix/fabricate on. Owned it for 9 years and it had been straight axle'd for 7 years.

20170228_132034_zpsctbpcuo7 by boardbysled, on Flickr

Got the t-case setup out of it along with the front axle, rear third member, and some other goodies.

20170402_164256_zpsxyxdy6ap by boardbysled, on Flickr

Little more work on the cage. Got the roofbars in.

20170416_190438_zpsuo3xjx6w by boardbysled, on Flickr

20170416_190420_zpscaibjqqo by boardbysled, on Flickr

Tied to cage into the door hinge mounts.

20170416_142316_zpsljz8eagk by boardbysled, on Flickr

Got some more goodies: Trail-gear orbital, mount, & column and 2"x2" FOA bumpstops.

20170502_182742_zpso3o13jux by boardbysled, on Flickr

20170509_193809_zpsseidlwuh by boardbysled, on Flickr

Been slowly working on cutting all the un-needed junk off the front:

20170325_170922_zpscaiy4ka4 by boardbysled, on Flickr

Finally got the front suspension cut out of it today.

20170514_183708_zpsrhyuxhwk by boardbysled, on Flickr

Next step is to get the front of the frame cut-off in front of the motor-mounts, get the new front frame-rails built, then mock up the front axle/suspension.
Glad to see photobucket changed their linked images policy. I will update this with some fresh pictures! Haven't made as much progress as I wish but starting to move forward pretty good now.

Onto pictures!

Manual transmission TX-10 t-cases have this little lip on the input of the t-case. Auto TX-10 t-cases simply have this lip removed. So I cut the lip off my manual TX-10 range box and it bolted up perfectly to my auto trans.

20170730_153353_zpslqbesu08 by boardbysled, on Flickr

20170730_172528_zps9hcw6bvl by boardbysled, on Flickr

Took the old rig to scrap, was a sad day, it was my first vehicle and I had owned it almost 10 years, 8 of those being SAS'd. It taught me a lot about wheeling and fabrication.

20170913_133039_zps57ubl4yr by boardbysled, on Flickr

Came home with a fresh load of tube

20170913_151311_zpss2kqo0cz by boardbysled, on Flickr

Finished out some tube work in the rear

20171001_163616_zpssmzcjbxh by boardbysled, on Flickr

Built a mount for my 26 gallon fuel cell

20171007_182218_zpsxzs4jdpo by boardbysled, on Flickr
More parts arrived

20180218_173535_zpsdd4ndjne by boardbysled, on Flickr

Some sweet Ruff Stuff gussets

IMG_20171001_163920_222_zpsa3hwzwrg by boardbysled, on Flickr

And a heavily discounted Ruff Stuff aluminum rear facing lightbar

20171001_142903_zpse9d3c5ns by boardbysled, on Flickr

Started work on the front end. Chopped the frame just behind the motor mounts and started my tube frame.

20180304_150256_zpsf7lcfdcr by boardbysled, on Flickr

Started eyeballing the radiator placement

IMG_20180318_155341_530_zpsrrgep7d5 by boardbysled, on Flickr

Custom motormounts built

20180318_201043_zpsq9gjhsht by boardbysled, on Flickr

Front radiator support hoop coming together

IMG_20180325_181846_710_zpsfh6agfs3 by boardbysled, on Flickr

Hoodline bars in

IMG_20180407_180932_546_zpskiv90twz by boardbysled, on Flickr

And cross tubes/support tubes that I will build the front coil mounts off

IMG_20180421_195022_829_zpsbeq7hnxp by boardbysled, on Flickr
Mock'd up the t-case setup. The D300 will allow for a flat belly, but the range box sits about 1.5" below the frame. We will see how it ends up.

20180415_160022_zpss1omflyp by boardbysled, on Flickr

Couldn't find a frame side panhard bar mount for tube I cared for, so I started building this one

IMG_20180422_202601_270_zpsyixsmvqp by boardbysled, on Flickr

Front axle all cleaned up and started the cut and turn. Shooting for 8-10* of caster.

20180428_192553_zpsxho4ewpy by boardbysled, on Flickr

Started on some custom high steer on the D44 knuckles.

IMG_20180512_182131_120_zpsie0hghwo by boardbysled, on Flickr

Got some sweet 2 1/8"x36" 7075-T651 aluminum round bar for $26 a piece off Amazon! Should make some sweet bling-bling links.

IMG_20180505_163059_882_zpsdi7ut1sp by boardbysled, on Flickr

Got the Speedway radiator mounted top and bottom along with the Derale 2 speed fan and shroud mounted

IMG_20180506_183653_416_zpsll7jsspr by boardbysled, on Flickr

And that pretty much catches us up. Next up is getting the steering ram mounted, front links setup, and then the front shocks and bumpstops mounted. Then need to work on getting the PSC steering pump and GM 1-wire alternator mounted.
Decided to sleeve the passenger side frame rail for the track-bar mount.

20180617_153935_zpsdwv4xibo by boardbysled, on Flickr

Track-bar mount built.

20180617_190745_zpse13sh54d by boardbysled, on Flickr

Got my China-Spec power steering cooler mounted.

20180617_190753_zpsjtbhsxmg by boardbysled, on Flickr

Oil pan hangs way too low. Looks like a 2wd pan will be a good replacement and give me some clearance.

20180617_174724_zpsskrbbgmw by boardbysled, on Flickr

And a current overall view

20180617_190818_zpswqktwq15 by boardbysled, on Flic
Slow progress, mocked up the passenger upper link. Barely clears the starter and will have to be clearance'd for the PS pump. Checking where the shocks/bumpstops will end up. Shocks are 2.5"x14" FOA coilovers with reservoirs and bumpstops are 2"x2" FOA bumps.

Long tube headers won't fit stock, gonna have to cut them down to mid-length.

IMG_20180630_171428_835_zpsebbsrlbg by boardbysled, on Flickr

Got the lower links in. Also got the orbital mocked up. For what it is worth, the steering column adapter for the orbital meant for toyota pickups fits the Nissan splines. Orbital is a little close to the header, will wrap the header and build a simple heat shield.

20180701_194147_zpsmax1vmzl by boardbysled, on Flickr

Tack'd the driveside mounts in using cool lower knuckle gusset/shock mount combo from Motobilt. Pretty happy with how everything is shaping up. Looks like I will end up with a 22" belly with 5" of uptravel in the front.

20180707_195830_zpspdj0mppq by boardbysled, on Flickr
Thanks! I'll update this thread to where it is currently. Haven't really been working on it much this year but hope to get back to it.
This is looking killer. I'm curious to see how that Surplus Center DE ram works out for you, I'd love to eventually do a 4500 class style "ram assist" "3/4 hydro" whatever you want to call it steering with a DE ram to replace my tie rod.