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Project Fun Buggy Plumbing - Radiator, Exhaust, Air Intake Install

Posted in Project Vehicles on April 1, 2008
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The Fun buggy is getting closer and closer To the trail. in case you've missed previous episodes, i've been working on this fun buggy project for just over two years. I started with computer-aided design, then chassis fabrication, suspension, and drivetrain layout. now we are moving into some of the final stages of the build. i'm working with the crew at poly performance, where we have been putting in weekends and evenings to showcase the many products poly performance offers for anyone looking to build their own rock buggy.

For this month's progress on the Fun buggy we did lots of plumbing. With the layout of the buggy we decided on a rear-mounted radiator. This required piping the coolant back and forth to the ron Davis radiator from the front-mounted Chevy V-8. in addition, we needed a custom exhaust to clear all the drivetrain and suspension components. Feeding that healthy 383ci V-8 is a canister air filter and intake from unique Metal products (uMp), which also needed some plumbing to get to the throttle body. so now the 13/4-inch DOM steel tube chassis is accessorized with plumbing made of silicone, aluminum, and stainless steel. Tune in next time when we continue on the interior, truss up the rear axle, and hopefully get some fuel running to the engine. For more detailed photos and up-to-the-minute updates, check out the project vehicle section, blogs, and forum on our Web site,

PhotosView Slideshow
PhotosView Slideshow

Behind the cats, the exhaust converges into a 3-inch collector before routing around the transmission and transfer case. From there it dives into a 16-inch pro-series Hushpower muffl er from Flowmaster. The design of the Hushpower is such that the heat and flow of the exhaust gases can continue out the tailpipe quickly, but the noise waves are reflected back onto themselves so that the exiting sound waves are greatly reduced. i wanted a good sound while still being able to hear a spotter or the person sitting next to me.

All this plumbing required some delicate welding, as both the stainless exhaust and the coolant and air aluminum tubing are thin-wall variety and there can't be any leaks. Drew's Tig-welding skills are approximately 98 times better than mine so he was elected for this part of the job. We used both his industrial Miller synchrowave 250 and my entry-lever Miller synchrowave 200, which are both great machines for this type of work. The stainless tubing was welded with Er308 rod for the stainless to stainless such as when we added the summit racing stainless exhaust hangers and burn's stainless V-band clamp. And Er312 for stainless to steel such as when we attached the Hushpower muffler. The aluminum tubing was welded with Er4043 rod, and we are looking into having the coolant lines heat-treated to reduce stress and make them stronger. Also we will be adding heatshields on much of the exhaust to protect the starter and coolant lines from the exhaust temps.


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Poly Performance
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