Buggy Frame Material

Discussion in 'Shop - Fabrication' started by stoprez2006, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. stoprez2006

    stoprez2006 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Location:
    Lompoc, CA
    Hey guys, I am trying to help my 13 year old brother out with a go-kart/dune buggy thing and I am not sure what I should use. The plan is a buggy that he can take to Pismo and cruise around the dunes in and be able to run with the "big guys". We originally planned for a little motor so he can run the beach and has manifested into much more. We had been looking at using the engine and trans from a 1980 RM80 but the motor is frozen solid. A call to a friend who has a motorcycle grave yard has this project looking at possibly using even a 450cc street bike motor. I'll take what I can get but I prefer no more than a 200cc. When this started as a lawn mower powered car we planned on 1"x.120" welded seam tubing but if we go to the 450 or even the 200 I am thinking we better step it to DOM, what do you guys think? Could we maybe get away with welded seam if we go with a bigger size or would it be better to stay at a smaller size with DOM? I know DOM is better but we are trying to do this on the cheap and I want it to be safe as well. Also what size tubing should we go with? Please help me out guys, thanks in advance!
  2. Scott_F

    Scott_F Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2003
    Location:
    Tucson, was Anaheim
    1 x .120 is not a good choice. With a little motor, you need to keep it light if you want this thing to get out of it's own way. The biggest I would use is mild 1.5 x .095 for the main cage hoops and rails, 1.25 x .095 for the rest of the cage and diagonals, 1.25 x .063 for any non-critical chassis tubes, and 1 x .063 and .75 x .063 for miscellaneous mounts and whatnot. You can make a very strong cage using this tubing for your little toy, but ONLY if you have a good strong design.
  3. stoprez2006

    stoprez2006 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Location:
    Lompoc, CA
    Scott, thanks for the help. I was wondering though are you talking DOM or welded seam?
  4. partybarge_pilot

    partybarge_pilot Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2002
    Location:
    Easton, KS
    Try to get a water cooled motor, air cooled motors don't like to be mounted behind the seat with no airflow on a vehicle that weighs way more than the original bike.
  5. Scott_F

    Scott_F Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2003
    Location:
    Tucson, was Anaheim
    I was recommending mild steel welded seam. You are building a toy, not a race car. Design is more important than material.
  6. stoprez2006

    stoprez2006 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Location:
    Lompoc, CA
    partybarge_pilot, I have a friend with a motorcycle graveyard that is hooking me up with the motor so I have to make it to his shop and see what he has. We are looking to build a Honda Odyssey type of thing what size motor would you recommend, keeping in mind this is for a 13 year old kid?

    Scott, I was hoping you were going to say that. As far as design goes it will probably be over built just because I worry about safety and I would hate to see my younger brother get injured. Thanks for your insight!

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