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Buggy drivetrain removal

Snowracer

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Jun 25, 2020
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Getting started on my new build and been doing some thinking about how i want to make the drivetrain removable from the chassis.

Leaning towards making my subframe and skid plates solid and non removable so that would mean trans and tcase would have to come out through the cab area. i see this making a stronger belly as can be solid with out removable tubes ect but makes servicing fluids and general maintanence more of a bitch. its pretty easy to make the seat mounts removable so can pulle them out and pull the drive train out that way but is it more of a hassle over dropping it out the bottom ?

flame away :homer: :flipoff2:
 
How old are you? Serious (rhetorical) question.

My last car, I made a solid, strong belly, non-removable, suspension links tied into it, transmission comes out the window. After the transfer case. After the floor. After the seats. Etc. I built that car in 2004 (I was 29 at the time). I took that car apart this year (I'm 45 now). It damn near killed me and my wife getting the transmission out. I'm not as young as I once was.

The car that trans went into (my current Jeep) was specifically built to have a drop-out belly, so that I didn't have to do that ever again. I can drop the belly, ratchet-strap whatever I want to the cage, and lower it slow to the ground from above, or I can tranny-jack it from below, but I don't have to hoss it out the window. None of the suspension has to be removed to take the trans/tcase out either, I don't like that idea any more than taking a trans out a window. I also make the floor strip-able so I can take all that crap out the top if I want, but mostly I did that so I can work on what I want, as I want, and not be tied to that I have to do it in "only this order".

If you're building a "race car" (my last one) you do whatever you have to, to make it better. A play rig (my current one), I'll put a little more time/effort/cost into as needed, to make working on it suck less.
 
How old are you? Serious (rhetorical) question.

My last car, I made a solid, strong belly, non-removable, suspension links tied into it, transmission comes out the window. After the transfer case. After the floor. After the seats. Etc. I built that car in 2004 (I was 29 at the time). I took that car apart this year (I'm 45 now). It damn near killed me and my wife getting the transmission out. I'm not as young as I once was.

The car that trans went into (my current Jeep) was specifically built to have a drop-out belly, so that I didn't have to do that ever again. I can drop the belly, ratchet-strap whatever I want to the cage, and lower it slow to the ground from above, or I can tranny-jack it from below, but I don't have to hoss it out the window. None of the suspension has to be removed to take the trans/tcase out either, I don't like that idea any more than taking a trans out a window. I also make the floor strip-able so I can take all that crap out the top if I want, but mostly I did that so I can work on what I want, as I want, and not be tied to that I have to do it in "only this order".

If you're building a "race car" (my last one) you do whatever you have to, to make it better. A play rig (my current one), I'll put a little more time/effort/cost into as needed, to make working on it suck less.

ok so not quite as old as you are but starting to get there as mid 30s :flipoff2:

buggy will be 70% trail and 30% race and not ultra 4 racing, local races ect so nothing crazy hardcore. im pretty sure i can pull the tcase out the back of the subframe so it would just be trans thats the main issue. my curret rig (truggy) i have to pull the links to ge the trans out and not a fan of that.
 
1 thought I pulled off before unplanned that may allow a smaller access. Goes well with the comment of also making all the floor removable.

Fed the engine hoist thru the window and got it hooked to the trans, then lowered it from there. Also lifted it back that way in. Might feel easier with smaller access vs using some versions of trans jacks or floor jacks from below.
 
ok so not quite as old as you are but starting to get there as mid 30s :flipoff2:

buggy will be 70% trail and 30% race and not ultra 4 racing, local races ect so nothing crazy hardcore. im pretty sure i can pull the tcase out the back of the subframe so it would just be trans thats the main issue. my curret rig (truggy) i have to pull the links to ge the trans out and not a fan of that.

So as much as it'll give my wife ammo with which to give me (more of) a hard time... plan for not just now, but for how long you plan to keep this rig. In my case, she's giving me a hard time because my (just wrapped up) Jeep doesn't have doors, you get in/out the windows. She keeps reminding me that one day, I'll be too old to do that, and she's probably right. But my friend's 80-something-year-old mom rode with me at Trail Hero last year and was in/out window of my car then, just not as fast as I am. And I'm probably slower at that than you would be.

I'd make it so you can get the trans out the bottom, if that means a couple extra tube junctions, they'll be worth it even if you only ever pull it once. But the longer you keep it, the more likely you will be to have to do tranny work, especially if you race it.
 
I can pull mine out either way but TBH if it's coming out it through the bottom or the entire drive train is coming out as one. I can pull my shifters and unbolt my cutting brake(mounted to my rear case) without pulling my skins/seats/floor. Drop my plastic, aluminum belly and it's just a cross member in the way under the car.
 
On mine the engine + transmission can be pulled through the "hood" area like a normal car. Belly skid drops and the t-case can be pulled from the bottom.
 
Every buggy I've seen you have to pull the drive trane out the window. It is not the kind of thing I'd be looking forward to, or building around. If i were to build one(haha yeah right) i would try my hardest to be able to pull trans and t case from the bottom(i am lucky though and have a 2 post lift) and engine out like a passenger car. It would be a possibility though to build it so the entire drive trane goes out the bottom, and lift the body off in one piece. Imo that would be easiest in the long run. I'm turning 41 in Feb, so as i get older i want things easier and simpler to work on. You should also consider this some you are mid thirties and will be where I'm at before you know it.
 
id say installing my tranny through the window using a cherry picker was easier than doing it like normal from underneath the rig, not sure what everyone is scared of :laughing:
 
Most true race cars you have to pull the transmission out through a window and even then it still sucks.
I've more focus on building a removable sub frame so the trans and engine and can be removed as a simple unit.
 
My current rig the trans comes out the bottom...But depending on where I take it apart determines the method.

When it's in my garage I use my winch and a snatch block and go through the roof and lower it to the ground. If it's on the rack I use a trans jack.

I guess it still goes out the bottom either way but it's a pain in the ass both ways.


The one thing to consider is this.

Can you do it by yourself when you have to do it.

Because it never fails...At some point you will have to do it by yourself.
 
Why not just use these style weld in flanges? Why make it harder than it needs to be?
tube-connectors-4140-chromoly-tubing-disconnect-weld-on-1-5-tubing-095-notch-3.jpg
 
Thanks for all the input.

as of right now the plan is solid sub frame for strength but have the skid plate removable so can drop the trans pan and make servicing parts ect easier. tcase will be able to come out the back of the sub frame but trans will come out with motor or out the cab if it needs to be pulled
 
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