Okay to use go cart base as mutant vehicle?

Okay to use go cart base as mutant vehicle?

Postby fountainpen6 » Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:53 pm

Is it okay to use a go cart art (dune buggy) as a base for Mutant Vehicle if it looks nothing like a go-kart when it's finished? Or is this base frowned upon?
Thanks for any input!
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:02 pm

you will probably want to gear it way down so it is easy to drive 5 mph or under. Many go carts are built for 20+mph. If yours has a centrifugal clutch that can be a weak point if one has to get on and off the throttle a bunch to keep it going slow.

Base does not matter. Final product does. They don't like it when it looks plain or like a road vehicle.
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Postby oneeyeddick » Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:10 pm

My fountainpen is bigger than your sword.
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Postby fountainpen6 » Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:26 pm

Hey, thanks for the info on the go cart and the need to alter it to fit the playa regarding speed, etc. I'm thinking of going with a gas golf cart instead, maybe this is a better idea? I want to do the design of the "top side" and I know I need to pay attention to the "bottom side" because it's pretty important. See what happens when you're an artist and only want to do the design of the "fun part?" Any advice/input would be appreciated!!!!! Happy BM 2010!!!!
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:12 am

Gas golf carts work great. Many people like to modify them to go as fast as they can. The golf cart I bought had all the linkages adjusted to make it go fast. You may find that you have to tinker with the throttle and governor on the one you buy to get it back to where the cart will go slow. At least that is what I had to do. One can always take it to a dealership and have them do a service on it and put things right.
I have a club car golf cart that has been to the playa twice. It does awesome out there. It goes really slow and it is 100% stock.

Hurry and buy your golf cart now. Prices rise as people start to get more interested in doing things outside. At lest that is the case up here. Every once in a while you can find a good gas golf cart on craigslist for 500$.

Don't worry about a windshield. You do not want one out there. It just gets covered with dust and impossible to see through at night.
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Postby gyre » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:18 am

Top side?
Bottom side?
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:10 am

Or you could build something. If it was never a car, it won't look like one!
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Postby fountainpen6 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:01 am

That sounds great if you have the mad skill set of knowing how to build a moving vehicle from scratch. If we couldn't use existing vehicles as bases there's no way I could participate in BM with a mutant vehicle. With that said, I wish I had the know-how to build from the ground up!
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Postby Isotopia » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:42 am

Is it okay to use a go cart art (dune buggy) as a base for Mutant Vehicle if it looks nothing like a go-kart when it's finished? Or is this base frowned upon?
Thanks for any input!


Short answer: not likely. Though I don't speak with any real authority for the event or anything else, I will say that the approval process of the last few years has been geared toward mutant vehicles that are capable of serving the community.

It would have to be one FANTASTIC piece of art for it to be approved for a single driver to jot around the playa.

I suggest submitting your proposal for your idea before the deadline and, well, maybe not hold your breath too long.
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:06 pm

Isotopia wrote: I will say that the approval process of the last few years has been geared toward mutant vehicles that are capable of serving the community.

It would have to be one FANTASTIC piece of art for it to be approved for a single driver to jot around the playa.

I suggest submitting your proposal for your idea before the deadline and, well, maybe not hold your breath too long.


I agree that the approval process has stressed that vehicles are to be for public service(transport). I think they word it that way to affect change and to have an argument to present to the BLM who supposedly wants no motorized vehicles (except the obvious exceptions for EMS etc.) operating during the event.

In my experience I see many 1 or 2 passenger vehicles that get approved. Hell I fixed 2 small vehicles made by a guy that brought 3 single person mutant vehicles to the playa last year. They were all based off of four wheelers. The 5 or 6 other MVs I worked on were all of the golf cart/utility vehicle type.

Definitely apply early and with good pictures, artwork or mockup of what the vehicle will look like and try to make the vehicle carry as many people as the chassis will handle while not impacting the mutation of the vehicle. Applying early really does help so get on it and good luck!
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:30 pm

There is definitely a variable passenger capacity/mutation requirement ratio.
If you bring a full-size bus and haul 50+ people around, the DMV wants you to make it somewhat cool but it can look very much like a bus. The fewer people you can entertain, the more impressive your creation needs to be. A one or two man rig has to have a ton of "Wow! That's SO amazing and cool! I'm glad I got to see that!"
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Postby rodiponer » Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:15 pm

To what extent are go-cart based mutant vehicles grandfathered in from previous years? Or does the DMV not take that into account when approving for the current year?
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Postby oneeyeddick » Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:31 pm

Grandfather clause stopped being used about 5-6 years ago, with sufficient warnings being given to those who were intent on being snotty about it.
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Postby Isotopia » Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:11 pm

Yep. What I was about to say.
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Postby fountainpen6 » Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:54 pm

If 1/5 of all applications are denied, then 4/5 are accepted, which sounds like pretty good odds to me! I trust the DMV is doing their best to make sure all vehicles are safe, visually stimulating and/or participatory. Are there any DMV folks out there who could comment on the transport necessity of the MV vs. artistic "wow" factor? Can a smaller vehicle transport only 4 or 5 people if it has enough artistic merit?
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Postby gyre » Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:55 pm

Golf carts are easier to modify if you remove the body first.

I don't think a vehicle has to carry even one person to pass, if it meets all requirements.
The more people trying to bring vehicles, the stricter registration has to become.

The ratio of passed vehicles probably depends on when in the process you ask the question.
At the earliest point, my guess is that it's far higher than 50%, but you can always modify or change your plans, until you run out of time, money or imagination.

I ran my last idea for an mv by the dmv before I even picked up the base I want to use.
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:08 pm

I'm not with the DMV but I've registered a lot of MVs.
You can get approval for an MV that transports no one, provided it has adequate "wow" factor. But it's really gotta be "wow".
Chances are, if you make something that people cannot walk up to and say "Hey look this is made out of a go-cart", that truly looks cool enough to make BRC a more interesting place, you'll get a license. But you can't be thinking "how can I decorate this go-cart" when you build it, make sure you have a vision of something and strive to create it.
And just out of curiosity, since we've been discussing your MV, what the heck ARE you making? Great big pulsating human heart that squirts blood all over the place? A big bong that carries people in the bowl? A tongue with a headlight on the front that also looks like a tongue-piercing? Nah... that'd never work...
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Postby oscillator » Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:39 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:You can get approval for an MV that transports no one, provided it has adequate "wow" factor. But it's really gotta be "wow".

For your viewing and infotainment pleasure....

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yM7Pd1Cpv0[/youtube]
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Postby fountainpen6 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:09 am

Sorry, Captain, it's not a huge red pumping heart that squirts blood (however that sounds totally awesome)! I got my base vehicle delivered (1993 ezgo golf cart) off craigslist yesterday. As I was counting out the money into the seller's hand I wondered if I'd gone totally insane. Then I realized that everyone who makes a mutant vehicle must be at least partially insane (and I mean that in the nicest way!)
So, to answer your question...my vehicle is going to be a 9 foot tall alien standing on his spaceship. There will be an interesting twist to him that I'm not fully prepared to discuss, but I think it will give it the wow factor. That's my hope anyway. I finished the mock up scale model and it doesn't look anything like a golf cart.
Does anyone know how to see the DMV application? When I go to the page now it just says that the opening day to apply is February 17, but you can't access the actual application.
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Postby rodiponer » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:15 am

I do not think the application from this year is online yet. You can find last years application, Google for:
"Department of Mutant Vehicles Questionnaire 2009"
and click 'cached'. Towards the bottom is the PDF they used last year. Which of course may be different for this year.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:05 pm

Hi fountainpen,

The MV we brought in 2008 could carry about seven people, including the engineer and pilot. So minus crew it could take 4-5 passengers around. This never seemed to come up during the DMV inspection process, but I think it was sort of understood. We had a fairly unique vehicle too, so that definitely helped. But even so, we were charged with some upgrades for any future appearances.

So, yeah… the less passengers it can take, the more “Wowâ€
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Postby oneeyeddick » Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:18 pm

gyre wrote:

I don't think a vehicle has to carry even one person to pass, if it meets all requirements.


It has to carry at least one person to meet all the requirements and pass as a vehicle.
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.
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Postby gyre » Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:21 pm

What upgrades were you asked to do?
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Postby gyre » Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:24 pm

oneeyeddick wrote:
gyre wrote:

I don't think a vehicle has to carry even one person to pass, if it meets all requirements.


It has to carry at least one person to meet all the requirements and pass as a vehicle.

Lynsey the electric giraffe had a remote control that could be used and passed easily, since it could not be mistaken for a stock giraffe.
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Postby oneeyeddick » Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:28 pm

But it was still able to have a passenger or two = VEHICLE !!

(don't make me link up the definition of vehicle for you, as defined by the DMV.)
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Postby LeChatNoir » Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:32 pm

What upgrades were you asked to do?


More lighting and sch. 80 pipe after the expansion chamber on the flame effects .
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:48 pm

Ironically, if you DON'T put the good pipe on your flame effects, you might get better lighting...
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Postby oneeyeddick » Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:55 pm

That all depends on whether your valve is full flow or not.
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Postby Dustdevil » Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:18 am

Actually whether the valve is full flow or restricted with an orifice does not change the pressure, only the time it takes to refill the accumulator to full pressure. SCH 40 is allowed, but only on a system that has a regulator to reduce the pressure. The flame effect is more intense at full pressure and the cost difference between 40 and 80 is not that huge. About four years ago the inspections became more focused on the correct pressure and fuel type rating for the piping and hoses. There had not been any major incidents, but taking a pro active step seemed like a good choice.
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Postby oneeyeddick » Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:13 am

I was talking about the valve "after" the accumulator, but you are absolutely right with what you said.

Everything on my flame effects is schedule 80 pipe and fittings,or liquid propane hoses except the pipe after the ball valve on the end, which is sch40, but I will get a new one for this year.
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