View Full Version : Piranha: need help with frame size

08-04-2010, 12:26 PM
I'm about to start a Piranha build and have some questions about the frame length. I know it is a common practice to add some length to parts of the frame sections to make it longer. Add a couple inches to the engine compartment or to the cockpit to give it more room. I have looked at alot of piranha pics and I can tell some are longer then others but it's hard to judge the size/scale without a driver sitting in it. To make a long story short the piranha in this pic and vid looks to be the perfect size for what I plan to use it for. I know the builders name is Russell but thats about it.


YouTube - TL 1000 Piranha II (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6PAjKuXo18&feature=related)

Does anyone know anything about this piranha or how I might contact the builder. I would like to know if the length has been modified from the plans and if so where was it added..... Thanks for the help

08-04-2010, 02:29 PM
russel kartmel
check the buildersforum off the edge.
the double front is his own desing and the plans for them are a free download from the edge site.
The EDGE Products - Builder Forums • Index page (http://www.edge.au.com/forum1/index.php)
The EDGE Products - Builder Forums • View topic - AA arm front plans (http://www.edge.au.com/forum1/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=5072)

08-04-2010, 03:20 PM
I suspected that he was that "Russell" . I registered with Edge this morning so I could post and try and contact Russell. Still waiting for confirmation E-mail from Edge, not sure why i have not gotten it yet. I wonder if he is on this site?

08-04-2010, 03:58 PM
Not sure how to contact Russel, other than on the Edge forum.

As far as frame size goes, If I could jump in a time machine and go back in time, I definitely would have extended the frame both in engine compartment as well as cockpit. One thing we overlooked was that to do the double A-arm front suspension, it takes some room away from the legs and makes mounting the pedals a bit trickier in the space that was left. For this reason alone, another 3 to 4 inches would have been nice.

I used an R1 motor in mine which leans a bit more forward than a GSXR, so for that reason, an additional 2-3 inches would have been nice in the engine bay. I ended up making some sacrifices to make everything work (without cutting the frame and extending, which was in the plans for a few days) I leaned the seat a few degrees forward which helped with the engine clearance, and squeezed the pedals in where they would fit, not the optimal placement. Just for reference, I'm 5'-10".

In hind sight, I would have made the top frame wider than the bottom also, which would give more arm room, but a change like this is getting away from the original design quite a bit.

I don't think there's much to lose by lengthening a bit. If you already have your motor, measure it, it's worth the time. You might also want to measure where your pedals will be located in relation to your seat. Check if this will all fit in the existing plans, adjust accordingly.


08-04-2010, 05:34 PM
thanks for the input, I am 5'10" also and am doing the double a-arm front and back. Small is good with the kind of trails and off- road parks here but just hope to get it right from the get go. I want to take advantage of all the know-how here.

08-04-2010, 09:02 PM
I extended my first Piranha 6"
4" engine bay and 2" cockpit.
With Russel's design you'll loose about 3" in the cockpit because the pedals have to move back. The front end will still be too soft because it uses The Edge shocks which are only 3.15" stroke. His intent was to use the The same Edge shocks as on the single a. It's a cheap way to go if you're modifying an existing single a buggy. If you're starting new I'd go with longer shocks mounted outboard.

08-05-2010, 04:22 AM
Russel's is a great build! BUT
i also have the same regrets as fatal, i have a VTR 1000 in mine
and its a very tight fit.
But like fatal said go wider and longer in the cockpit and make sure you have good leg room for the pedals.
Iv done alot of changes to mine ( its really done my head in :D )
but thats building!
so take your time and get it right the 1st time.
theres nothing worse when your have spent all that time building
and you dont have comfortable ride.

08-06-2010, 10:29 AM
More than a few people will tell you to start at the wheels and work your way to the spindles then the arms then the frame. Easier to get it right usualy that way. The frame just connects it all.

Of course if you build the suspension then need an extra five inches of length to clear your feet.... It might not fit in the rules if you race... To long bub. Sorry.

Build a cage around you of PVC tube. Can be done cheap and you might be surprised how cramped one can be if you are a bigger guy.

Heck there is a PVC tube bender (uses heat) near me on Criags list. I was tossing around the idea of getting it to mock up some cages.

Even a wooden mockup can be done cheap and tell you a bit. Mockups are for us guys who cannot do all that fancy puter stuff. (cad/solidworks etc)

08-09-2010, 10:47 PM
You might have a hard time contacting Russel, as i know that after building his Barracuda, he had an injury(?) and decided to leave the buggy building industry lol

08-10-2010, 08:09 PM
well i have given up on getting ahold of him but thats ok. with the help I have gotten here I think I can figure it out. will make it around 6" longer, not sure yet how I will devide it up. I will also make it wider at the top for more room. I bought all of willysp's piranha project today- gsxr 600 motor and alot of other stuff- he had done alot of work but needed to give it up for a time. so I now have most of the stuff to build 2 buggys. To be honest, sitting in my garage today looking at all the stuff i have collected and bought- thousands of dollars in equipment and tooling, parts and stuff I got a little overwelmed. All that is involved in building a buggy- susp, electrical, brakes, motor cooling, drive train ect,ect,ect- I couldn't help but wonder how you guys do it. I have already tried 2 times and failed. but maybe my problem is that i try and figure it all out before i start and it's not possible for me to do it. Anyway i have plans, parts, equipment and this site so there is hope. I will order a bunch of steel next week and get started, face 1 problem at a time till I'm done------- hope the third time's the charm:D

08-11-2010, 09:09 AM
Like many projects, approach it compartmentally. Set out to complete a portion of the car so you see a series of successes rather than a series of incompletes.

One piece at a time - and never give up!

07-01-2011, 04:53 AM
Whatever happened to this build? Sometimes you have to stop thinking about it and just start doing it. Maybe he "thought his way out of it" again?

07-01-2011, 06:34 AM
I've been working on a pair of Barracuda buggies for about two years now. The way I look at, it;s just a lot of little projects that all hook together. I machined most of my parts at home, and each one was a project/learning experience all by itself. The most amazing part is when they start coming together and it all fits :D
I had to make a few changes from the plan to keep the cockpit space I wanted, so don't be shy about taking a few measurements. Sit on the floor against a wall in driving position,... put a can of beans out there for the pedals and measure what fits. You might look funny, but it's cheaper than steel.
Good luck and post what you work out. There will always be someone following behind you that appreciates your learmings.


07-01-2011, 08:43 AM
Whatever happened to this build? Sometimes you have to stop thinking about it and just start doing it. Maybe he "thought his way out of it" again?

I am still going to build the piranha. We just moved to our farm in GA and there has been much to do. Had to lease our house in SC, move everything, plant a garden.. ect. ect. ect. And I had no shop here so I bought a 24'x26' metal building, had to grade and get a slab poored. Shop is now up and I'm doing the electrical now. I also picked up another lathe.... small, old atlas but in great shape. I want to get a Tig/Plasma combo unit as well to go with my mig welder but need to sell my motorcycle 1st. We are less then 20 miles from Durhamtown Plantation which is a great place to ride with 150 miles of trails and they do buggy / sxs / races there as well. At some point soon I hope to start a build thread for this buggy but I still have much to do 1st but hopefully by september.

07-01-2011, 02:26 PM
http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/247349_170632636331637_100001547064223_429434_4354 408_n.jpg

http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/249800_170633219664912_100001547064223_429442_4225 041_n.jpg

couple pics of new shop. electrical is about done now.

07-02-2011, 06:19 AM
Now THAT is a SHOP. Congrats.

07-02-2011, 06:33 AM
Enjoy the space!! If your like me you'll fill it up quick.

07-02-2011, 09:16 PM
thanks guys, the shop seems smaller then I had hoped but bigger then my 2 car garage I was working out of. Yes it will fill up fast. I resigned my job in SC so we could move and have not worked in 4 months so I do need to watch my spending. For years I have done side work (welding/fab/machine work) and built trailers to make extra money and hope to do the same here. I don't plan on getting a job till the middle of next year so I'm hoping to get several projects done thru the winter, the main 1 being my buggy. I have learned so much from the people on this site, it is a great resource. Shop should be ready to go in a couple weeks then I'll order steel for some trailers and the buggy. Plus I signed a contract with a company to do prototyping work for them but I should still have lots of time to do buggy...... I hope.

07-03-2011, 09:33 PM
Hi there, I m glad you still with that project in mind. Waiting for more pics!!!

07-03-2011, 10:56 PM
Damn dude, glad to hear from you. I figured you left the country. I see you moved to Seattle, as you can see we moved also. Hope all is well with you, what are you doing now?

07-04-2011, 03:41 AM
Any reason why the tin is horizontal? Just curious, I've always seen it placed vertically on the walls.

Nevermind, I see that the building doesn't have purlins. Does the water get stuck on the roof though?

07-04-2011, 08:58 AM
have not had any water issues yet. The building is the absolute cheapest I could find but so far so good. We`ve had a couple bad storms since it was put up (70mph winds durring 1) and it was fine. I'm pretty happy with it.