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    Thread: Birth of a CUSTOM off-road kart/Buggy!!!

    1. #1

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      Smile Birth of a CUSTOM off-road kart/Buggy!!!

      Hello Gearheads!!!

      Im Nishanth from Chennai. Im new to this forum and this is my first thread. To start with, im basically a car and aircraft freak! Especially, when it comes to cars, i like SUVs, go-karts, dune buggies etc. This report is all about how i built an off-road kart. It is now 70% completed and i have actually completed the test run with a test engine and the results came out good. Only thing which i was not able to judge was the performance, because i used a puny 135cc 4-stroke Yamaha as a test engine. I barely did 40kmph with that engine. I want something bigger like a 500cc plus engine or a used Maruti Zen engine with Automatic transmission. Im now waiting for a proper engine installation and i have not yet decided what engine i should go for. The chassis and the frame together now weighs between 230 and 240kgs. I hope all the Gearheads out there will help me choose an engine for this buggy!

      Lets just get back to the days from where it all started. As most of us would have had our own childhood dreams, i wanted to build an off-road kart/buggy on my own. One fine day, me and my friend went to a local workshop where he actually repairs his jeep. Whenever i go to that garage, i just look into the things lying around in the workshop as you can find some interesting stuff out there since the workshop owner also deals with some vintage cars.

      Up in one corner i saw 2 small cars stacked one over the other. When i went up close i came to know that those two were Sipani Dolphin and a Montana. The chassis and the engine were missing from those two cars. I asked the garage owner whether does he have the original chassis and the engine of those cars. He said yes and took me to another place where i found one of the chassis with the original engine in a bad shape. I asked whether can he give the chassis and the engine to me and immediately he asked, "why do you want this one?". He was quite interested when i told him about my plans.

      My plans were, i wanted to build an off-road kart which must be sturdy, look good and run good within a tight budget. I wanted to make use of the chassis because it was very small, light weight and quite well engineered compared to the one which i was planning to build. Before looking at this Montana's chassis i looked for many other chassis like Bajaj autorickshaws and also tried to build one and nothing worked out due to time constrain. And i needed something interesting which must trigger this project and this project kicked off with this Montana's chassis. I struck a deal with the workshop owner and the next day i towed the chassis along with the engine to my home.

      For now, i will post some of the initial pics. There has been lot of progress after these pics. Tonnes of pics and information are coming soon!!! It would be great if i can get some suggestions like, the design, suitable engine etc from my fellow members.

      As of now, enjoy the pics, (Sorry for the picture quality, taken from a phone cam)
      To Be Continued..............................

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      Last edited by KRRaj; 14th Jun 2012 at 17:11. Reason: Moved Pics Inline

    2. #2

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      It's cool that you're a part of this community. It would be fun to read your build log. It's like making your own car. Congrats & waiting for the rest.

    3. #3

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      Nishant its just cool. I'm loving it. Making a car yourself. I am waiting for next update.
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    5. #5

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      Welcome Nishanth. Nice project wish you all the best for that and sure you will get all the support from here to make your dream come true.
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    6. #6
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      nice project nishant, subscribed to this thread, i think you've chosen the chassis wisely, the suspension seems suited to your application, please keep this thread updated with pics and other details, did you use black japan paint as a rust proofing agent? did you get the chassis sand blasted before you painted it?

      for the engine you would need one which can be mounted transversly, and a differential which is not integrated into the housing of the gearbox, which is why your engine choice would be limited to
      800cc van engine
      1000cc of 1300cc gypsy engine
      i wouldn't suggest any others since you are on a tight budget, these can be found commonly and rebuilt or reconditioned at a nominal cost(because they are quite common)
      and i think with the light chassis and low weight this would cover all your power needs as well

      i would advise you to beef up the rear of the chassis with cross beams to limit flex and maintain rigidity, something that is prevelant in ladder frame chassis

      EDIT:what are your thoughts on the axle at the rear? are you planning to run it as is(live axle)? or are your hoping to convert it to semi float or a fully floating type?
      Last edited by blackhorn; 14th Jun 2012 at 12:35.
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      Quote Originally Posted by blackhorn View Post
      for the engine you would need one which can be mounted transversly,....
      Did you mean to say Longitudinally? just clarifying.

      Quote Originally Posted by blackhorn View Post
      ......and a differential which is not integrated into the housing of the gearbox, which is why your engine choice would be limited to
      800cc van engine
      1000cc of 1300cc gypsy engine
      i wouldn't suggest any others since you are on a tight budget, these can be found commonly and rebuilt or reconditioned at a nominal cost(because they are quite common)
      and i think with the light chassis and low weight this would cover all your power needs as well

      i would advise you to beef up the rear of the chassis with cross beams to limit flex and maintain rigidity, something that is prevelant in ladder frame chassis
      gnishan, in addition, I'd say you need to stiffen up the suspension and limit travel. you could also chop off the rear chassis a bit and shorten it. Reweld the whole chassis to add stiffness and add cross bracing too. all this , like blackhorn says, is to limit flex and therefore the moments.
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    8. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by avinash View Post
      Longitudinally? just clarifying
      oh ya
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    9. #9
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      Welcome Nishanth, Thats a nice project you are doing. You will definitely get some good help and pointers from Gearheads. Looking forward to hear more about this
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    10. #10

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      Hello guys, Thank you for all of your valuable inputs.

      blackhorn: Yes the Chassis was sandblasted before painting and rust proof paint has been used.

      Before we get on any further, i would like to let you guys know that im planning on a rear engine setup. Im not going to use the differential and the drive shaft with the front engine. I removed the engine and the drive shaft. As of now, JUST FOR TESTING purpose, i fitted a Yamaha RD350 chain sprocket to the rear differential and fitted a Yamaha 4-stroke engine just above the rear differential using a chain as a drive with 2-way chain tension-er just to compensate the rear leaf spring movement. All these were done in a crude and temporary manner just for testing purposes.

      Now im confused as of which engine to go for? I have many things in my mind now;
      * Use a Maruti 800 engine with a sequential transmission (as used in FISSME race cars) or mate an automatic transmission to the Maruti 800 engine. (my mechanic said both of these can be done easily, but i don't know how he will do it)

      * Or try to source in a Tata Nano engine which is already a rear engine setup and go for a sequential set-up with Dog clutch rather than the usual snychromesh clutch.

      * Or buy a 350cc automatic engine, gearbox and rear suspension setup from this guy from Bangalore. (But, this is going to be an expensive affair)

      Spares
      __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _____________________

      First i was actually thinking of the CBU dune buggy from the Bangalore guy. I got a quote, delivery time etc from him, but later i thought why should i not try building one with half the cost of the CBU buggy and then started this project.
      Here is the link of the buggy available for sale;

      PowerSport Dune Buggy 300cc Safari Fully Automatic india
      __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _____________________

      In order to install the engine in the rear, the rear part of the chassis is to be beefed up with extra cross sectional and base support to handle the engine load. Im also planning to use the rear suspension setup same as the Maruti 800's front suspension setup. (Multi-link independent suspension). This setup can be done easily while using the default Maruti 800's engine bed at the rear.(according to the mechanic). My mechanic has told me to budget for INR 1 lakh for the engine installation which i comfortable with.

      I will post some pictures for now. I have also attached a picture displaying the approx center of Gravity point BEFORE and AFTER the rear engine installation. This was calculated in layman way by using just a hydraulic crane and the CG point are approximate only.

      Guys, do let me know about the flaws or difficulties in my plan. Your suggestions are most welcome. Thank you.

      To Be continued..............

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      Last edited by KRRaj; 14th Jun 2012 at 22:02.

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