Futaba Safari Buggy (vintage)

Futaba Safari-Buggy

Release date: unknown (probably mid 70’s)
Type: 2WD Dune Buggy
Drive: Shaft and Chain drive
Scale: 1/8
Engine: OPS 3.5 cc (.21 ci)
Length: 500 mm  (19.68 inch)
Width: 295 mm  (11.61 inch)
Wheelbase: 315 mm  (12.4 inch)
Weight: 3700 gram  (8.15 lb)
Suspension: 4-wheel independent. Not adjustable, simple spring mounted shock.

Read more:
– Futaba Safari Buggy (vintage)
Assembly Manual
Body Work pt.1
– Body Work pt.2 – The Repair
Body Paint
Wind Shield
Muffler Restored
Body Paint completed
Engine Restored
Air seal the engine and install Perry Pump

This is my new (August 2010) vintage from Futaba; a Safari Buggy.

The last owner got it as secondhand in early 80’s. It has been shoved away for more than 25 years.

Not much information available for the buggy. Here is what I know about this buggy:

  • On the front bumper we can clearly see it says: Safari-Buggy
  • On the wheels we can see: Futaba-Buggy
  • The engine is an OPS 3.5 (0.21)
  • Engine cooling fan
  • Carburettor inbuilt pump (most likely Perry pump, does it exist in 70’s?)
  • Full aluminium chassis with aluminium/steel parts. Few parts such as rims and belt-transmission gears are indeed plastic
  • Simple spring suspensions
  • Airtight wheels
  • As usual in 70 and 80’s; no air filter, no tank filter and no inline filter

From various sources like RCMagvintage, Tamiya Club and last and not least from www.h6.dion.ne.jp/~kenkou.s/ (sorry, Google Translate does the best it can but still I can’t get the name of the author from the site):

Futaba released the first buggy; Nag-Buggy and then Safari-Buggy before Spital released Super-Safari followed up with Spital Safari-Custom X and finally with an advanced Spital Sarafi-GTX in 1977. All of them produced between 1972 and 1979.

As you can see I don’t have much information about this buggy. As much appreciated if anyone can bring some light into this buggy.

I’ve started the process of restoration. Here is a short list of to do:

– The engine needs a lot of work and it looks like the carburettor with pump (pretty sure it’s has a pump inside, maybe a Perry-pump) is stucked and missing throttle arm.

– Do a clean up of everything. More than 25 years of grease and dirt really set it marks.

– Rebuild/reproduce the engine cooling fan.

– Fix front right suspension arm.

– Fix exhaust and pip.

The list will grown as soon as I tear the car apart.

Here are some pictures of the buggy before I started the restoration.

Futaba Safari-Buggy (front, before restoration)

Futaba Safari-Buggy (rear, before restoration)

Futaba Safari-Buggy (rear suspension, before restoration)

Futaba Safari-Buggy (front suspension, before restoration)

Futaba Safari-Buggy (inside, before restoration)

Futaba Safari-Buggy (buttom, before restoration)

brake goes directly up on clutch bell.

Futaba Safari-Buggy (pipes, before restoration)

11 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by gsjman on October 29, 2010 at 21:58

    Hello I am also looking for the car ~
    To find a better position to complete the car, it is very difficult ~
    Last time there was not the United States in the Ebay found no boxed vehicle assembly, which offer that is too high, remember, 93000 JPY, the seller claimed that goods in good condition, I only see it texture, do not see practical components, with, bathe ending of the auction money, felt a little adventure ~
    Such a high price, shipping costs are also not enumerated, into, together with previous generations to buy (standard) the company’s costs, all add up, such as receipt, will be a small fee than not, I can not accept it .. ..
    (40 something years ago, it is necessary to open up such a high price)?

    Sale of vehicles without the ~ ~ to have to find a first look it, the whole car assembly instructions, looking for a site for a long time, until you have found this site, let me download it to the desired, assembly instructions …..
    Thank you very much to have this website to provide information sharing ~
    I am visiting from Taiwan ~
    Thank you ~
    (I have not read or write English, which is translated by Google) ~

    哈囉 我也在找尋這輛車~
    上次有在沒 美國Ebay 找到,未組裝的盒裝車子,它開價覺得太高,記得是93000 JPY,賣家宣稱,商品的狀況很好,我也只有看到它的貼圖,沒有看到實際的零組件,,跟它結標匯款,覺得有點冒險~

    買賣沒有了~ 車輛也找不到了~ 就只好先找尋它的,全車組裝說明書,找了網站很久,一 直到有找到你們這個網站,也讓我下載到所要的,組裝說明書…..


  2. Posted by gsjman on October 31, 2010 at 20:19

    Will ~ this clutch components inside, whether there is to the film?
    ~ Clutch cover outside or that when combined, which have a friction mount chip?
    Thank you ~

    請問~ 這離合器組件裡面,是否有來令片?
    或是說~ 離合器罩外在結合時,裡面是否有黏著一片磨擦片?


    • Hi gsjman

      First of all, Thank You for kind comments.

      I’m not sure I understand your question. But I may guess you’re asking about the clutch. It’s a one shoe clutch and it’s inside the clutch bell.

      You may find clutch shoe at this image: click here for the image

      It’s a cone object on the left of the carburettor. The spring, can be seen in the image below the clutch shoe (not easy to see it’s a spring) will be in between clutch shoe and clutch bell. Once the engine spins, it will push the clutch shoe forward the clutch bell and create a friction to spin the bell/pinion.

      Click here for more info about the engine

      and here.

      Let me know if it’s still unclear. I’ll try to explain better or create some images.


  3. Posted by gsjman on October 31, 2010 at 22:43

    Map of your clutch, I have seen ~
    I mainly want to ask, the clutch body inside, whether there is sticky to the film?
    (A gear with the clutch cover which, here, I do not see that it’s texture) ~
    Thank you ~



    • The clutch shoe (body) is held back by a spring.

      Engine house -> flywheel -> clutch shoe -> spring -> clutch bell.

      As you can see, the spring between clutch shoe and clutch bell will prevent the shoe to come into contact with the bell. Once the engine spins, the centrifugal force will push the shoe forward the bell (the spring will be compressed).

      The technique is very primitive and not very effective.


  4. Posted by gsjman on November 1, 2010 at 07:39

    I want to know ~ CX-49 Clutch disc & CX-52 Clutch bell two parts, it’s the back of the map, just where you do not shine ~
    In the “Engine Restored (Futaba Safari-Biggy)” inside, map img _1799, clutch shaft, in front of that, the clutch bell, and the clutch shaft, conical bottom, the disk part, the opposite of the two maps ~
    Thank you ~

    我想了解~ CX-49 Clutch disc & CX-52 Clutch bell這兩個零件,它的背面貼圖,剛好你這裡沒有照到 ~
    在 “Engine Restored (Futaba Safari-Biggy)” 裡面,貼圖img _1799 ,離合器軸芯,前面那個,離合器鐘,及離合器軸芯,底下的圓錐型的,圓盤零件,這兩個的反面貼圖 ~
    謝謝 ~


    • Hi gsjman

      Google translate does a terrible job, because the translation is difficult to understand. 😦

      You want me to take a picture of the backside of CX-49 and CX-52?


  5. Posted by gsjman on November 1, 2010 at 21:00

    I will not speak and write in English, only through translation software ~
    Yes ~ download here, the statement did not draw, CX-49 & CX-52 on the back of its graphics ~
    Just you there, did not shine, this part, the negative location map ~
    So I want this two parts, the opposite map ~
    Thank you ~

    I will say write English, can only penetrate translation software ~ is ~ will download in here, the instruction booklet has not drawn, CX-49 & CX-52 its back graph ~ just your there, also has not illuminated, this components, reverse side site plan ~, therefore I want, these 2 components, the reverse side pastes chart ~ to thank ~

    我也不會說寫英文,只能透過翻譯軟體 ~
    是的 ~ 在這裡下載的,說明書沒畫出,CX-49 & CX-52它的背面圖形 ~
    剛好你那裡,也沒有照到,這個零件,反面的位置圖 ~
    所以我想要,這2個零件的,反面貼圖 ~
    謝謝 ~


    • I’ll disassemble the engine this weekend or as soon as possible and take picture of the backside of all parts.

      I’ll post them as soon as they are ready.


  6. Posted by gsjman on November 1, 2010 at 21:38

    Please do understand ~
    Thank you ~

    Understood that ~ that was troublesome your ~
    to thank ~

    了解 ~ 那就麻煩你了~
    謝謝 ~


  7. Posted by gsjman on November 6, 2010 at 11:40

    Will ~ The car, and you were, where to buy, goods and freight, the two spent how much?
    Also ~ I’m waiting for your CX -49 Clutch diso & CX-52 Clutch bell opposite map ~
    Thank you ~

    請問~ 這輛車子,你當時是,在那裡買的,商品及運費,這兩項花費了多少錢?
    另外~ 我在等待,你的 CX -49 Clutch diso & CX-52 Clutch bell 的反面貼圖~


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