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 Kid's mini buggy?

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njcraddock
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PostSubject: Kid's mini buggy?   Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:44 am

Yesterday I came into possession of a 2002 Honda Rancher ES that has close to 8000 miles on the odometer and has been beat all to hell. The plastics are FUBARd, brakes are non-existent, starter doesn't work (it has a backup pull start), tires are bald, seat is shredded, bumpers and racks are bent, missing one front halfshaft and the other is popping, but it runs like a scalded dog (it is a Honda). My neighbor had it and used it on his farm until he got a newer Suzuki Quadrunner 500. I traded an old Cub Cadet tractor that's been sitting for a couple years that I gave $300 for.
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My initial thought was to spend a little money on it fixing it up to use around my place and let the kids ride it when they get a little older. They have an old Honda ATC 70 that I was planning on to let them start on this winter. However, Missy and I were checking out a RZR 170 a couple months ago and really like the idea of a roll cage and something they can both enjoy at the same time. The problem is that the RZR 170 is a POS, it's two wheel drive, and there is zero suspension travel. They will also outgrow it in very short order. They're also expensive.

You might be able to find a decent one for $3500, then spend another few grand upgrading tires and wheels, swingarms, shocks, sprockets, and all kinds of other crap and you are still left with a 170cc two-wheel-drive buggy with a little more than zero suspension.

So the gears have been turning overnight. How cool would it be to build a SxS 4-wheel-drive kid's buggy? Something along these lines using the Honda drivetrain.

Have any of y'all thought about a project like this? Do you have some ideas?

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Goose
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PostSubject: Re: Kid's mini buggy?   Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:57 am

Sounds like a good project to get the kids involved in. A little practical knowledge on using wrenches. allright
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RedNeckRanger
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PostSubject: Re: Kid's mini buggy?   Tue Aug 25, 2015 6:17 pm

The problem is the 4 wheelers are mid engine....a lot of fab work to change it or a real long front shaft and body.If you could find a wrecked Polaris 570 unit ,wheeler,ranger,rzr ect ....it would be easier because the trans and rear end are one .
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njcraddock
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PostSubject: Re: Kid's mini buggy?   Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:48 am

That is true. By using the Honda drivetrain I will have to substantially lengthen the wheelbase. It will end up being longer than the 170 by at least the length of the swingarm, which I am okay with. I am also okay with lengthening the front driveshaft. The potential pitfall I see is width. The stock Rancher is 44" wide, I would like for it to be at least 50" for stability. My initial thought is to use a 2" spacer and 1" deeper offset wheel to gain the necessary 3" per side front and rear. Is that going to put too much stress on the axleshafts and ball joints? I don't know. But there do not appear to be any other options. It probably would be easier to find a wrecked 570, then you would get IRS and four wheel disc brakes. But that may end up being too much buggy for a 6 or 7 year old. I guess another aspect is going to be relative cost and being able to use what I already have.

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T.napier93

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PostSubject: Re: Kid's mini buggy?   Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:12 pm

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ridepate
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PostSubject: Re: Kid's mini buggy?   Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:31 pm

Pretty ambitious project Nathan. IMO, not worth the effort. I admire self-built stuff, but sometimes you have to factor-in your time, the end-result, and the cost. A clone RZR-170 (The Polaris is a Chino POS also) would get my vote. Remember kids grow fast, get bored fast and out-grow stuff fast. At least then you can some return of your money. A custom-one-off buggy conversion....You might as well cut it up when you're done. I'm just being the realist here....Been there, done that.

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njcraddock
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PostSubject: Re: Kid's mini buggy?   Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:35 pm

You bring up some valid points Jim. Let's assume that I am going to fix/restore the ATV. By my rough estimation it is going to take close to $1000 in parts to fix this quad, and that's just the things I know about. At the end of the day it is still only going to be worth around $1500. Lord only knows what I'll end up spending on a custom buggy build. A lot of the costs will be the same, and it probably will end up being a bit more expensive to go that route, but they will also be spread out over time and easier to hide from the wife. A RZR 170 Chinese clone is going to run around $2500 or so. When the time comes I would end up having to dump it for next to nothing as they REALLY have no value. And parts? The market for the Polaris RZR 170 is actually quite good, they hold their value pretty well and parts are plentiful. However, as we both agree, they are POS's. So either way I go I will be working for free and pissing my money away. The question is how much time and how much money? Other questions are how long will the motor with 8000 miles last and how long before the kids outgrow it or lose interest?

Goose also brought up a good point. I vividly remember as a child helping my dad build and work on stuff. We had a little go-kart that needed constant attention and it was always a joy when we had it put back together. Looking back now I couldn't tell you which I appreciate more, the fact that the go-kart was running again or the time my father spent teaching me how shit works. Hopefully I can instill the same type of interest in my children.

I guess you can tell which way I'm leaning. Let's throw caution to the wind and go for it.




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njcraddock
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PostSubject: Re: Kid's mini buggy?   Thu Aug 27, 2015 6:05 pm

On that note, I did some tear-down yesterday to take stock of what I have and do some measurements.




I also did a few Google image searches and found these...



I know the last one has WAY more suspension than what I will do, but I do like the way the buggy looks. it is actually a factory built buggy, Redline Revolt, but it appears they are no longer in business. The kid's Jeep is all over the web and was done very nicely. The guy sold it when his kid grew out of it for $6k, not too bad. The one with the little girl was done pretty well too. With the mid engine mine may end up looking similar even though I like the look of the rail buggy more.

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ridepate
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PostSubject: Re: Kid's mini buggy?   Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:46 pm

Building with your child, I agree, you can't put a dollar-figure on that! Back to the Honda then.

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Big-R
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PostSubject: Re: Kid's mini buggy?   Fri Aug 28, 2015 3:27 pm

It could be a fun project no matter the cost!

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