Introduction: How I Installed Vinyl on My Buggy

it all started because riding without padding on the bars you rest your arm on was uncomfortable.

Step 1: First Decide What Color Vinyl, I Chose Red and Black Obviously.

now start measuring and planning. I used all measurements for the armrests and upper headrests ... also I installed zippers so that I can replace the foam if it goes bad It can easily be replaced

I sewed in a tunnel "in picture 2" to hold zip ties at each ends of the vinyl covers so when installed they hold tightly to the bars and help keep water from collecting inside

NOTE: I kept having feeding problems with the sewing machine. it kept hanging up I figured out that the problem was the vinyl was sticking to the metal foot and lower metal plate.

quick fix: wipe the vinyl with WD40 and that problem was solved

ANOTHER NOTE: wherever there's a folded piece you have to sew its best to iron it under wax paper. it helps keep the fold from slipping and it keeps you're lines straight. use a scrap piece to get the heat settings dialed in as well as the best technique to hold, fold and iron at the same time

Step 2: The First Is Always the Worst But It Gets Better and Goes Faster I Promise

in the middle of sewing I had an idea that it would be cool to actually install headrests and my dad donated the 2 rear headrests in his van. his justifications were no one sits back in the 3rd row anyways so grab them!

NOTE: I had carefully taken the fabric off one of the headrests to get a pattern and ran into a problem the vinyl from the headrest had a foam backing. so the patterns I cut out were a little oversized because they didn't have foam backing so i needed to reinstall the old fabric so it wasn't loose and the new vinyl cover fit snugly on

Step 3: Tada

the foil thing is in a separate tutorial

Step 4: Seats

next was the disgustingly itchy burlap covered seats. this was installed by the previous owner. I liked the ratrod look but didn't like itchy fibers all over so it had to go

Step 5: Had Some Patchwork to Take Care Of

after taking the burlap off I found some cracks in the fiberglass so I patched them and braced any weak spots on the backside of the seats then prepped them for some 3M spray glue. then I sewed the vinyl

Step 6:

I didn't wait for the glue to get tacky first before I started molding the vinyl over the seat... this wasn't a problem it just took longer and a lot more rubbing and smoothing to get it to stick... first ones always the worst one!. eventually it stuck though

Step 7: Dash and Center Console

the dash was done like the seats and stuck on with 3M spray glue I then lined the edges with chrome car door trim.

the center console was installed with some closed cell foam and wrapped under 2 lengths of wood on each side and screwed in with boat screws with recessed washers

Step 8:

this was my first time sewing vinyl and the first time I had sewn anything since I took a home economics class in middle school. laugh if you want! but because of that class I can make some bad A## banana bread!

Step 9: Buggy Fun

the whole family enjoys it

Step 10: Ready to Ride

including the road dog!

Comments

author
PlaidPete (author)2016-09-02

Swag, bruh. You have archived swag

author
vicesat (author)2015-07-18

Before is better look

author
drosenkranz (author)vicesat2015-07-22

that's my thoughts as well but everyone says it looks good don't change it. I like the rat rod look myself but I can't bring myself to remove everything I spent money and time on

author
mrandle (author)drosenkranz2015-12-09

In my opinion sometimes you need function over form. I know that you were saying it was uncomfortable hitting your arm, head etc around all the inside metal bits. If you hate driving it, then you don't drive, which defeats the purpose of something fun like this. I think it looks great!

author
drosenkranz (author)mrandle2015-12-10

having something comfortable to drive has nothing to do with not being able to drive it. the majority of the padding and the headrests are in case of an accident. I personally don't want my head split open if I get rear ended

author
vanessakeith (author)2015-04-15

amazing :)

author
drosenkranz (author)vanessakeith2015-04-18

thank you

author
prabhasfan3869 (author)2015-04-10

is that a custom build buggy

author

The buggy was based off of a big boy frame. The top was chopped and re designed

author
Billymac814 (author)2015-04-05

Good job on the vinyl. I use a walking foot machine to sew vinyl and leather but they are pretty pricey for a diy project however there are attachments you can buy for home machines that either simulate a walking foot or have Teflon feet so it doesn't stick, both should be cheap but I can't vouch for how well either work, wd40 might be just as good.

author
Uncle Kudzu (author)2015-03-29

Nice work! It looks sharp, but I kinda like the rat rod look. Is it street legal?

author
drosenkranz (author)Uncle Kudzu2015-03-31

yes its street legal, honestly I liked the ratrod look as well. I did this to the buggy 2 years ago and I think I got carried away lol the bars needed padding and the burlap seats really did suck. the only reason I got rid of the whitewalls was because they were an add on to your existing tires and were falling apart, one actually flew off on the highway and hit my durango busting out the tail light on the way home after I purchased it and towed it home. and the reason I changed the rims were because the buggy only had rear brakes, the front rims were just installed on a spindle and locked on with a center nut with no possible way of adding brakes. so I bought a 4 lug hub and brake assembly and rims to match. I'm thinking of going all black and redoing the vinyl and get rid of the flashiness but that might not be this year

author
neo71665 (author)2015-03-28

Non stick cooking spray is a bit easier to clean afterward than wd40 when sewing vinyl.

author
Omarsibles (author)neo716652015-03-29

Petroleum jelly (vaseline) would be even easier, I would think... Wouldn't it?

author
drosenkranz (author)neo716652015-03-28

I don't believe cooking oil would fair well with a sewing machine. if you ever cleaned the wall by the stove after having oil splattered on it for a week. its sticky and don't like to come off...or the filter vent above the stove. it turns to sludge. and having that in a sewing machine might not fair well. that's why I used wd40 it cleans up pretty easy

author
neo71665 (author)drosenkranz2015-03-28

Everybody entitled to their opinions but I've been using it for years doing auto upholstery. It doesn't attack some vinyls like wd40 does and cleans up with simple green without leaving a greasy film. You apply the heat that a cooking stove does it might cause problems but I think you would have issues with the vinyl at that point.

author
drosenkranz (author)neo716652015-03-28

if you visit the WD 40 website and look under the 2000 uses , it mentions its use on vinyl in more than one spot. including using it during sewing. also there are a lot of WD40 hits on google about its use on the fabric. after I knew it was safe for vinyl and is made with synthetic compounds it doesn't have the gummy nature or shelf life of vegetable oil and lasts over time... and since I had no inkling of tearing apart my sewing machine to clean it a simple wipe down was sufficient with WD40. also I just did a search for vegetable oil on a sewing machine just to see if I might have been wrong and in big bold letters it states DONT DO IT!!, it will gum up your machine but who am I to say different. I have never tried vegetable oil or ran into a problem I just went with other opinions and experiences in the first place

author
TheTutor11 (author)2015-03-28

Was your buggy made like this from the factory or did the original owner start with a donor vehicle and if they started with a donor what was it originally?

author
drosenkranz (author)TheTutor112015-03-28

I'm not sure of the name of the buggy frame that was used

author
drosenkranz (author)TheTutor112015-03-28

it was a donor buggy chassis they cit the top roll cage off and reconfigured it into more of a roadster style

author
Chopper Rob (author)2015-03-28

I learned to sew in home ec class. I still use it on motorcycle seats.

author
drosenkranz (author)Chopper Rob2015-03-28

its like riding a bicycle you never forget!

author
gunnyboy (author)2015-03-28

By the way, Step 7's title says "Dash and Center Council" rather than Console. Hope that helps.

author
drosenkranz (author)gunnyboy2015-03-28

thanks I didn't catch that

author
NathanSellers (author)2015-03-28

This looks so awesome! well done. I miss the white walks on the final pic though.

author

they were on the tires when I bought the buggy. they weren't real whitewalls. it was a glue on rubber that simulated whitewalls. I did like the nostalgic look they gave but they were falling appart

author
gunnyboy (author)2015-03-28

Needless to say, that buggy is bada**. But I'll say it anyways, and excellent work with the vinyl!

author
Kiteman (author)2015-03-28

That's a sweet-looking ride! Did you build her yourself?

author
drosenkranz (author)Kiteman2015-03-28

sadly I didn't. when I bought the buggy the frame was already re designed. also it wasnt in the best shape. some of the welds were spotty at best so I went over the worse ones. It had a transmission with no reverse and the motor wasn't running at its potential so I built another then turbocharged it. I went through the entire buggy front to back . its been an expensive journey 3 transmissions later 1 blown engine and 1 new engine then 1 rebuild on that one due to a cracked cylinder. it ended up blowing up again. sadly I am in need of another engine. I hate to say its a money pit so I'll say its an expensive hobby that loves spending my tax return money

author
Kiteman (author)drosenkranz2015-03-28

Haha, most things with wheels are a money pit.

It'll be a rich source of cool projects, though!

author
livichris (author)2015-03-28

stick the white walls and red rims back on, they look sweet.

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