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General chit chat for & about 4x4's.:

Lets talk kid buggies...



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Old 10-09-2014, 08:19 PM   #1
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Lets talk kid buggies...

Soooooo I've been talking it over with the wife for a while and she is all for it. My son is 6 years old and I'd like to get him started early on crawling. I'd like to start gathering parts to allow me to build him a buggy and since he is still pretty young and the fact that nothing I do is fast this may take a few years to complete. The problem is I can't seem to figure out what I want to do. I've had so many different ideas that they are getting mixed up in my head.

I've seen the tiny Willys kid buggy with the ATV motor and "Honda Powered Kids Buggy" on pirate and I don't think that is the route I want to take. What I am leaning towards is basically a scale version of a normal front engine tube buggy built very light with a 4cyl, auto and perhaps Toyota axles. I'd like to get some ideas from others that their ideal setup would be. I am not against propane but it will need to be an auto. It would also be nice to have enough room to fit myself in it even if it is a bit cramped.

Another thought I had (and I don't know how hard it would be to do) is to check and see if it is possible to set up a buggy with full hydro and dual steering wheels. Basically I would have a set of pedals and a steering wheel on the passenger side and my son to have the same on the drivers side. Thought it would be a sweet way to teach him how to wheel while being in the rig with him and being able to take over if things got hairy.

So, now that you've closed this thread because I rambled waaaay too long what do you think?
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Old 10-10-2014, 01:10 PM   #2
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I would go with samurai axles and t-case, older sidekicks came with a three speed automatic but you could run any engine and tranny you wanted to with the divorced case. Suzuki stuff is small, light, and cheap for the most part. Ive seen heavy equipment with dual steering wheel hyd steering systems so its possible.
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Old 10-10-2014, 04:42 PM   #3
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Lol, I'm thinking along same lines as you, but for me not my kid lol!!
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Old 10-11-2014, 03:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzukiMan View Post
I would go with samurai axles and t-case, older sidekicks came with a three speed automatic but you could run any engine and tranny you wanted to with the divorced case. Suzuki stuff is small, light, and cheap for the most part. Ive seen heavy equipment with dual steering wheel hyd steering systems so its possible.
Intersting ideas, I'm temped to use toy axles simply in case we decide to up the tire size past what the zuk axles can handle. I also thought about a 4cyl transaxle rig but not sure I want to deal with stuff I'm that unfamiliar with.

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Originally Posted by Big4x4ride View Post
Lol, I'm thinking along same lines as you, but for me not my kid lol!!
Haveoto admit I really want to build it big enough for me to fit in in case I want to take it out without him. Trying to figure out how to do that is making it intersting. Love to hear some more brainstorming ideas.
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Old 10-11-2014, 04:03 PM   #5
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Id use toy axles, that way you can upgrade as he gets better. Im thinking of doing a small two seater so both the my boys can cause some trouble. Just trying to figure out the best platform, thinking a small tubed out Sami or something similar.

Transaxle would be cool, just not sure if its worth the effort.
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Old 10-11-2014, 04:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Hiapo View Post
Id use toy axles, that way you can upgrade as he gets better. Im thinking of doing a small two seater so both the my boys can cause some trouble. Just trying to figure out the best platform, thinking a small tubed out Sami or something similar.

Transaxle would be cool, just not sure if its worth the effort.
Pretty much exactly what I'm looking at. I just dont want to try and teach a 6 year old to drive a stick in the rocks. Light and auto are my main concerns right now.
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Old 10-11-2014, 10:05 PM   #7
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I'm thinking front and rear steering 44's Sami 1.3 or sidekick 1.6/auto/Sami case. Single seat on 37's.
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Old 10-12-2014, 06:46 AM   #8
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I don't know but a few adults that can effectively operate rear steer. I'd teach the kiddo to drive a stick before I worried about looking cool on the trail.
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Old 10-12-2014, 09:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudnmyvayne View Post
I don't know but a few adults that can effectively operate rear steer. I'd teach the kiddo to drive a stick before I worried about looking cool on the trail.

Rear steer would be for me, not the kiddo. Wanting to build a small light rig for me lol.
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Old 10-12-2014, 03:51 PM   #10
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I figured the auto vs. stick debate would show up, just not interested in going that route. I've got some decent ideas about how to make it to where I can wheel it and in about 15 minutes swap up the driver side to allow him to reach. It'll also mean it can grow as he does.
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Old 10-13-2014, 08:45 AM   #11
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First off, I applaud you for wanting to bring your kid into the world of wheel at such an early age. He'll be the coolest kid around!

I get the idea of making it rear steer and standard with light axles and all that, but might suggest to do none of that?

Rear steer is complicated enough and not to get into a debate but lots of folks argue that it's a crutch of someone who can't drive. I don't think that is the case but their points are valid. If you can get out of a funky situation without rear steer, then the knowledge you have earned makes you a bad mammajamma when you get older and have it. Plus it's confusing.

Same goes for keeping it leaf sprung instead of linked. Leafs put greater limitations on what the vehicle can do. If your son learns to wheel with leafs, when he steps up to links he'll be that much better of a driver for learning how to make a vehicle function instead of letting it function. Also, if he only likes the idea of wheeling but doesn't know he doesn't like wheeling till he actually does it (seen this happen a lot), building a leaf sprung rig is sooo much easier to do than links.

As for standard vs auto, you want this to be enjoyable for him so that you don't spend a year or two building a rig just so he can be completely turned off from wheeling because it's too hard to do.

We've seen samurai axles break getting on a trailer. Forget them. Grown ups do stupid stuff to break built one ton axles. I guarantee you an elementary aged kid is going to do stupid stuff and breakage will happen. Again, the name of the game is fun for the little guy. Breaking SUCKS. (especially when it's your rig) Kids get discouraged easy. And it's no fun to work on two rigs.

Definitely allow him to room to grow.

So, If I were doing this, it would be the following:

leaf sprung with the ability to switch to links at later date
22re or jeep 4cyl (with a very restrictive rev limiter)
auto transmission
d300 (single stick at first but easily converted to twin as ability allows)
built d44 or Toyota front axle (minimum)
ford 9 in the rear
front steer only
35-37" tires
adjustable seat, steering column and pedal mounting locations

Obviously this is just my .02. Whatever you decide to do, you'll be a hero in your kid's eyes and a hell of a dad in mine.
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Old 10-13-2014, 08:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discarded View Post
First off, I applaud you for wanting to bring your kid into the world of wheel at such an early age. He'll be the coolest kid around!

I get the idea of making it rear steer and standard with light axles and all that, but might suggest to do none of that?

Rear steer is complicated enough and not to get into a debate but lots of folks argue that it's a crutch of someone who can't drive. I don't think that is the case but their points are valid. If you can get out of a funky situation without rear steer, then the knowledge you have earned makes you a bad mammajamma when you get older and have it. Plus it's confusing.

Same goes for keeping it leaf sprung instead of linked. Leafs put greater limitations on what the vehicle can do. If your son learns to wheel with leafs, when he steps up to links he'll be that much better of a driver for learning how to make a vehicle function instead of letting it function. Also, if he only likes the idea of wheeling but doesn't know he doesn't like wheeling till he actually does it (seen this happen a lot), building a leaf sprung rig is sooo much easier to do than links.

As for standard vs auto, you want this to be enjoyable for him so that you don't spend a year or two building a rig just so he can be completely turned off from wheeling because it's too hard to do.

We've seen samurai axles break getting on a trailer. Forget them. Grown ups do stupid stuff to break built one ton axles. I guarantee you an elementary aged kid is going to do stupid stuff and breakage will happen. Again, the name of the game is fun for the little guy. Breaking SUCKS. (especially when it's your rig) Kids get discouraged easy. And it's no fun to work on two rigs.

Definitely allow him to room to grow.

So, If I were doing this, it would be the following:

leaf sprung with the ability to switch to links at later date
22re or jeep 4cyl (with a very restrictive rev limiter)
auto transmission
d300 (single stick at first but easily converted to twin as ability allows)
built d44 or Toyota front axle (minimum)
ford 9 in the rear
front steer only
35-37" tires
adjustable seat, steering column and pedal mounting locations

Obviously this is just my .02. Whatever you decide to do, you'll be a hero in your kid's eyes and a hell of a dad in mine.
What he said.
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Old 10-13-2014, 05:46 PM   #13
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Totota axles front and rear, forget the rear steer. 1.8L Tracker motor and 3 speed auto. Cheap, dang near bullet proof, easy to package. 37" tires, you wont break the axles with this combo of super light weight, smallish tires and low HP. No need to overthink this.....he might hate it the first time he gets in it.
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