How to build a dune buggy frame

Written by patrice lesco
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How to build a dune buggy frame
(Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Dune buggies were originally made from the frame of Volkswagen "Bugs," which is how they got their name.The sand rail dune buggy has an open frame style similar to many go-karts. The easiest way to build your frame for the sand rail is to purchase a sand rail kit. Kits vary in price, depending on what components are included with the kit. Most kits include metal frames that require welding. The project requires specialised equipment and it will take some time to complete, depending on your welding expertise.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Dune buggy kit
  • Sand rail plans
  • Mig welder
  • Clamps

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  1. 1

    Open your kit and lay out your frame components on a flat concrete surface, along with the sand rail plans that come with your kit. Lay out your parts in the order that they should be connected to one another as you weld.

  2. 2

    Find the centre of the front axle and mark it with a marker. Tack weld the front axle to the parts in the kit that are connected to it with a mig welder. Use your kit plans as a guide.

  3. 3

    Work your way across the front of the frame, tack welding all the parts together, then tack weld all of the parts along both sides and finally at the rear of the vehicle. Your tack weld should be strong enough to hold all of the pieces in place before your final weld.

  4. 4

    Clamp the frame at the front axle and the rear bumper with the appropriate sized clamps. This will secure the frame and prevent it from warping. Be sure that the frame is straight before you continue.

  5. 5

    Weld all of the components of the frame together. Start at the front axle and work your way down each side, and across the rear of the vehicle.

Tips and warnings

  • If you do not have access to a welder, or do not know how to weld, take your kit to a professional welder to construct the frame.
  • Welding requires specialised knowledge to accomplish and should not be attempted by anyone without welding experience or knowledge of the equipment.

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