Great base for smaller mv?

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Great base for smaller mv?

Postby uncle sticky » Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:25 pm

Last year I built a smallish (14 foot) MV, capable of carrying about 10 people comfortably. Not very tall, pretty close to ground level. I used an older ATV 4 stroke as the motor mated to a modified golf cart front end. It worked, but just barely. I had to rev the motor to get it started, and it was noisy then, and tended to stall (not an automatic). I'd like to take another run at the same concept, but am up in air on vehicles. I've considered small picups or cars (would make things taller), golf carts, electric carts. Any suggestions? What worked great, and what did you do to make it work?
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Re: Great base for smaller mv?

Postby trilobyte » Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:55 pm

I'm giving this a nudge over to the Transportation board, since that's a better fit for general questions about preparation (where the 2013 MV board is a place to talk about specific announced projects for the year's event).

I've only worked on MV's that used regular motor vehicles for a base (cargo vans, pickup trucks, box trucks). They work well enough for the purposes, but that may be bigger than you're looking to go. For something in between, what about a tractor? They come in all manner of shape and size and some are built to be able to pull quite a bit of weight. The only real down side would be lack of speed, but given BRC's 5mph limit that's kind of a non-issue. Whatever you go with, I recommend that your base vehicle is in as sound mechanical shape as possible - dealing with engine or transmission problems is much more of a hassle once the vehicle has been heavily mutated.
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Re: Great base for smaller mv?

Postby Token » Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:04 am

You want a base vehicle that is built on a frame + body. Avoid unibody vehicles. The moment you start hacking away metal from a unibody car/SUV you degrade the structural integrity of the chassis. With a frame based vehicle (lt trucks, jeep cj/wrangler, some big American SUVs etc.) the frame and big ass rails on which the body is attached provides a base which does not degrade as much when you start sawing away the bodywork.

Look under a US made pu truck. Observe the frame rails running bumper to bumper. That is what is preferred when selecting a vehicle.

Other good base design is what is used in dune buggies, tube frame truss pans, but keep in mind you cannot chop off the tubes going up overhead, where on a rail you can.

Go rail and avoid problems from the get-go.
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Re: Great base for smaller mv?

Postby Captain Goddammit » Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:07 pm

I think if I were looking to start with a modest-sized existing base vehicle I'd go for a small (Japanese or maybe Ford Ranger etc) pickup truck with an automatic transmission. Completely remove the body and you'd have a chassis ready to build on.
I believe automatic transmissions are the way to go on Burning Man MVs, and the cable-operated shifters make it that much easier to relocate the driving position. Water-cooled automotive engines with a good muffler are quieter than most small ATV/lawnmower/whatever motors and it's easy to mount an extra alternator or two. All Burning Man MVs tend to have high electrical demands because of the required "radical illumination".
Golf carts are one of the standard MV bases but if you want to carry ten or more people I think they are a bit light. If you go that route, there's always an ongoing debate on gas vs. electric. The general consensus seems to lean toward gas, especially since even if you go electric you're probably gonna have to run a gas generator for many hours to charge it.
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Re: Great base for smaller mv?

Postby lemur » Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:49 am

if what you want is great.. you want an austin mini moke convertible


Image

Image

Image

http://www.auctionsamerica.com/events/f ... 09&ID=r256

Austin designed the Moke as a lightweight, inexpensive military utility vehicle, a concept that didn't get any traction. Instead it proved to be way more popular with the stylish -- and a bit anti-establishment -- Carnaby Street crowd, who seized upon its simplicity and made it a popular accessory and functional counterpart to the glam posturing of Fiat Jolly owners.


yeah it says that.
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Re: Great base for smaller mv?

Postby lemur » Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:55 am

WIKIPEDIA

said this:

The Moke finally achieved success as a beach buggy—becoming a popular 'cult' vehicle in the Algarve, Seychelles, Australia, the United States and many tropical resorts in the Caribbean.


fuckin cult shit..
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Re: Great base for smaller mv?

Postby TomServo » Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:32 am

Electrics a pain in the ass! Plus, your burning gas just to keep it charged.
anything worth doing..is worth overdoing

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Re: Great base for smaller mv?

Postby Dork » Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:46 pm

For every person who says X vehicle won't work you'll find 10 who say they used one and it worked great. I used a unibody 5-speed for a car and it's been driven to/from the burn at least 8 times, operating all week.

Anything can be made to work - I'd recommend sticking to whatever type of vehicle you're most comfortable with. I used a little Japanese car because that's what I understand and I found one for a few hundred bucks that ran great but had bad cosmetic damage.

It would be worth a trip to a self-service junkyard to have a look around. You'll be able to see a bunch of different vehicles with their frames exposed and sometimes they have complete rebuildable cars for sale.
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Re: Great base for smaller mv?

Postby Captain Goddammit » Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:56 pm

I'm gonna go with/expand on what Dork said - usually the best thing to build on is whatever you have or can get your hands on free or cheap!
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Re: Great base for smaller mv?

Postby Ole Shi Ted » Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:01 pm

Personally I think a big american sedan with a v-8 is a great platform for a "smallish" MV. We built tons of them and it's not too late to find some old granny's gently used caddy for 1000 bux or so.They're wildly overpowered and heavy. The mileage has made them dinosaurs for the highway. stripping the body gives a few thousand pounds to play with. I agree about finding something on a frame....but that covers all the big old american cars save a Chrysler. My advise is to look for something without fuel injection or a computer, and be sure to block out the suspension and invest in tires with a high load range. Of course anything can be made to work and starting with something that you're comfortable with is important. You will need to develop an intimate knowledge.
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Re: Great base for smaller mv?

Postby MikeGyver » Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:36 pm

How about something like an old John Deere Gator, stays with the ATV base like you did before but they have a actual frame you can stip to and build off of. The only problem I see is lighting, but if you ran off of an ATV motor last time you already have that figured out.
The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.
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Re: Great base for smaller mv?

Postby Roark » Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:15 pm

Another possibility is an older garden tractor. A Deere G100 series would do it. 30 hp. You can find these surprisingly cheaply because the mower deck rusts out and its cheaper to replace the thing than fix it. But mechanically they are very stout. They are also designed to deal with ground-engaging implements (in contrast to the L and D series which are nothing more than cheaply made lawnmowers)

Look at your local repair shop. Should be under 600 bux for one in good running condition sans deck. You can tow a bunch with one and since they are hydrostatic drive, engine speed is somewhat independent ofground speed.
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