By Vic Farrington - Feb 2006
I have been asked before about softening the front end of the dune buggies. They ride so hard because the front end was designed the hold up a bug that weighs in a bit more than a buggy does. I was talking to some other buggy owners and after 3 or 4 days we came up with a set up that we all think will work. I just want to pass it on to everyone.
To soften the ride of a dune buggy front end.
Link pin beam:
Remove the front end from the buggy if that is easier. Remove the tie rod ends and swing arms. Loosen and remove the grub nut and bolt. Slide out all the leaf springs and clean them off. Keep them in order as they came out because of the grub nut and bolt line up with the notches on the ends and the center.
Remove one of the springs from both sets and cut them into three 4” pieces. Then weld them to the ends and middle of one of the other leafs. Only weld about ½” on the sides at the ends. You DON’T weld across the end but on the side and grind those to fit thought the swing arm ends. If you weld across the end the spring it will break there as your weld will remove the temper. These are now just a spacer and are welded to the other one so that they can be installed with out them moving on you as you install them. Try to round off the ends so they self center as they are slid into the front end. Reassemble the front end.
Ball joint beam:
Everything is the same but for the leaves. They are not all the same size. Do the same thing to the larger leaf and your front end will have a softer spring to it when you’re done. If you want more, then you can do this to one more leaf but no guarantees on this.
I have heard of some guys cutting the springs down the center so you have thinner ones. I have also heard of guys removing the top springs and replacing it with a solid round stock and not putting the bolt and grub nut on to use it as a stabilizer. I would think that is a lot of weight for just one set of springs in a dune buggy.