View Full Version : Twin GSXR1000 Barracuda build

12-13-2010, 04:14 PM
In the beginning ( a proper way to start a thread :cool: ) I knew nothing of this forum, or what others have done with these grown up go karts. I found the Edge web site through Google and never being one to shrink from a challenge decided to build a Barracuda. With four sons and a spouse, all taking turns driving, and a desire to range out pretty far, I decided to build two…. Since setting up and making the first part is a large effort, doing an extra set of everything at the same time made sense to me. So this is it, a twin build, two Baracudas.
Since I am doing everything as close to the plans as I can, there isn’t a lot of “new thought,” from a design stand point. After a friend refered me to this site, I have been reading posts for the last year. There seem to be a lot of questions on how to do things. So my plan on this thread is to focus on how I am making parts, and putting this thing together rather than the design. I suspect some of my methods will be fairly primitive to those of you who are machinists etc.. but they have worked for me so far and might help others. (if nothing else, an example of how you don’t want to do it. [smilie=ecstatic.gi: )
I started with the lathe work since I wanted to do the most time consuming/least expensive work first. I didn’t see the point in having a $1000 chassis sitting there gathering dust while I machined and fabricated the suspension and drive components for the next two years.
My lathe is a 1953 Sears 6” bench top model with a 4 jaw independent chuck. I paid $600 for it. It is smooth and tight, but about as basic as you can get.
I added a quick change tool holder, and got a magnetic 2” dial indicator to keep track of lateral carriage movement. It has all of the gears for cutting threads, and various carbide and tool steel cutters.

I started with the various adapters and spacers. As the parts got more complicated, I researched and learned how to make each new cut. Most cuts don’t need to be high precision since they are for clearance etc.. If you look at how the part interfaces and goes together it isn’t hard to know what has to be precise and what can be approximate. For those cuts like bearing seats that need to be within 0.0005 inches, approaching them slow with great care and knowing how the machine cuts gets the precision needed on a basic machine. I now have all of the machining done except a few spacers.

These spindles are a good example. The bearing seats need to be precise, but no other measurement needs to be closer than a few thousands ..... some within a 1/16th is good.


The threads were turned on the lathe, but chased with a die to clean them up.


The hub is a little more difficult. I did all of the external work first, then the bore. Removing the piece, turning end for end and remounting the piece making all of the cuts external and internal for that end. In each case it is a process of establishing a referance surface that has a precise location and making all cuts as an offset to that surface.


Tapers are cut by setting the cross slide to the desired angle and using the cross slide feed to make the cut. You use the fore aft feeds to position the cutter.

The bearing holders and hubs for the rear drive were more of the same ... just in aluminum that cuts much faster.


For drilling, since I didn't have a rotary table, I calculated the precise location of each hole using Trig. My mill has a digital read out, so after centering the clamped piece, I drilled at each coordinate location.

Enough for now. [smilie=ecstatic.gi:


12-13-2010, 05:49 PM
Nice, I think this a great concept for a build thread. Focus on the tooling and skills needed rather then the buggy design. Can't wait to see more.

12-13-2010, 06:09 PM
I am subscribing to this thread. I want to do a similar thing. I have never done any machine work, but I am looking for a lathe and/or a mill to start making parts for my next build too. Thanks for posting all your work.

12-13-2010, 07:19 PM
Pattern cutting plate …….

I know a lot of the people on the board have their parts cut by waterjet. Having owned a 50 hp two head water jet, I know how nice of a job they do. However, the water jet is gone [smilie=dunno.gif] and I wanted to utilize my plasma.


Here are four large and four small plates to mount the front A arms. The first thing I do is draw the part and spray glue the drawing to a piece of 1/4" plywood.


I cut patterns out of ¼ inch plywood, offsetting the drawing by about 1/8" to allow for the tip of the plasma gun. Then I relieve the edges on my router table to a thickness that works with the plasma gun.


The plasma slides smoothly around cutting the various shapes from 1/4 inch steel.


I clip the pattern onto the steel with spring clamps, moving as needed to go around the pattern. I can get +/- 1/16th of an inch without much problem. If I need better, I set a datum and machine any high accuracy areas as needed.

In this case I machined the flats and notches to get a datum to use for drilling the holes. That way I can clamp all of the pieces in exactly the same position.
These pedal boxes were made the same way.

It has worked well. If the edges need to be welded, you have to get all of the dross (slag, melted stuff, ick) off by grinding or the weld will be full of porosity.

Happy building....

12-13-2010, 08:07 PM
Yes!another spray gluer!I also used a glue stick to stick a printed out pattern to aluminum ,then bandsaw,and spindle sand to the pattern.

Great thread,thanks for taking the time.

12-13-2010, 09:10 PM
Great thread! You have done a nice job on all of the machining.

12-13-2010, 09:27 PM
Thanks everyone....

You can't beat spray glue when you need to attach a paper pattern to material for cutting. Nothing moves! The down side is the only thing that will take the stuff off is acetone or laqure thinner.

12-14-2010, 08:16 AM
Nice work!! I love the "I dont need fancy tools" thought process. It allows us to remember that before water jet and laser there were actual artists creating these parts. I use a very simillar method as well and the plywood tactic works awesome. Cant wait to see more pics.


12-14-2010, 11:04 AM
Great thread. For small parts I use adhesive backed printer paper. Draw the part in cad then print out 1 to 1
It too is a pain to remove.

12-14-2010, 03:37 PM
Great thread. For small parts I use adhesive backed printer paper. Draw the part in cad then print out 1 to 1
It too is a pain to remove.

Rick have you tried low tack vinyl, its the stuff I use as well. Its used for making templates for decals and it comes off really easy. I paid $150 cad for a 150' roll

12-14-2010, 07:57 PM
No I have not tried that. The only time I use the paper is when trimming my dash panels for the stock gauge mounting.

12-14-2010, 09:14 PM
Rick have you tried low tack vinyl, its the stuff I use as well. Its used for making templates for decals and it comes off really easy. I paid $150 cad for a 150' roll

Nice, didn't think about that. I have a Craft ROBO I use to cut vinyl stickers. It would work well for 8x11 templates. Actually can do 8x whatever once you configure it with a hacked driver. Acts just like a plotter with an exacto knife. lol

12-15-2010, 11:37 AM
Wow... impressive work! Gives me some great idea to try out. How long did it take you to make the rear PIRCV parts out of aluminum?

12-15-2010, 09:56 PM
Thanks for the comments. I usually try to get a few new tools out of each major project. When I looked at purchasing completed buggy parts from Edge (or sources in the US) vs. buying a plasma or lathe and cutting the parts myself ...... I have less total money out of pocket and have the tools to keep.
I'm not sure what anyone has spent on Laser or Water jet, for a buggy like the Barracuda .... I do know what I would have had to charge with my water jet, and this method has been very cost effective in my view. Timewise, doing up the cad files, getting drawings and materials to a laser or water jet cutter ...

I have used self stick vinyl shelf cover in the past as a mask for sandblasting. The stuff you are talking about must be thicker material. The thin stuff I used stretches and might not hold dimensions real well.

The first hub I turned took me close to 8 hours start to finish. For each Cuda I needed 6 (so I made 12). After the first one, having the sequence of cuts figured out and all of the tools set up in holders, about 3 hours each. The aluminum cuts fast. On my little lathe, I cut steel at about 0.015" per pass. Aluminum cuts at about twice that depending on the specific material and diameter.


I started the hubs with square solid stock. I cut blocks to thickness + about 1/8". I trimed the corners off on my horizontal band saw. (that saves a lot of passes with the lathe to round the blank) It would have been faster to start with round bar stock blanks, but I was buying square drops for about a 1/3 savings on materials.


I don't have seperate pics of the bearing carriers. They are about 6.25" in diameter and fit the bearing at 115 mm (so about 5" i.d.) I started with a 7" x 1" disk of aluminum. I cored the center with a parting tool, popping out about a 4" disk. I faced the disk and cut the i.d. /o.d. features. I then reversed the piece in the chuck and faced the other side to final deminsions. I would guess about 3 hours per piece with two per PIRCV.


The center hub is steel. I cut it from a 2 1/2" slab of round bar. Cutting is about the same as the other pieces. Chuck the piece in the lathe, face it, bore the center and cut the i.d. /o.d. features on one side. Reverse and recenter the piece and finish the second side. They take about 2 hours each. I waited and drilled all of the pieces at the same time since the set up and most of the hole locations were common.


Spacers and other bits add a few hours of lathe time, but go fast and are pretty easy piece by piece. All of the plate work was done the same way as the previous post with patterns and the plasma, clean up and machining.

I'll go into the A arms later. But all together including the plate work, welding and machining I have about 60-80 hours in each PIRCV out to the wheel hubs. Subtracting the $s for materials and comparing the cost to buy ...... my machinist compensation is about minimum wage [smilie=dunno.gif] ..... but the experience, bragging rights, tools etc. are priceless. :cool:

Thanks again for looking


12-16-2010, 08:20 AM
Great work! Your parts look fantastic. I can't wait to start on mine now. Look like such a fun project.

12-16-2010, 03:47 PM
Nice, didn't think about that. I have a Craft ROBO I use to cut vinyl stickers. It would work well for 8x11 templates. Actually can do 8x whatever once you configure it with a hacked driver. Acts just like a plotter with an exacto knife. lol

Exactly print them at 1:1 and there you go instant tempplate.
Very clean work on your buggy and great aluminum work. Cant wait to see more pics

12-16-2010, 07:18 PM
For a second I thought I was going to see something that had 2 engines in it.

12-17-2010, 06:56 AM
For a second I thought I was going to see something that had 2 engines in it.

Funny... I was thinking the same from the title

12-17-2010, 09:54 PM
Yeah, I noticed the double meaning on the title after I posted. It never hurts to have a little punctuation in the right places. "Twin, GSXR1000 Barracuda build". .... A twin engine build would be quite a buggy [smilie=ecstatic.gi:


12-31-2010, 12:55 AM
It’s been a while since I updated this thread. I spent two weeks on the road graduating a son from college and trying to enjoy a little warmer weather …. Back to the frigid north!

I started on the A arms first since they were reasonably small and would show a completed assembly fairly quick. There are four different arms on the Barracuda with upper and lower back and front arms are all unique. Only the front upper a arm is handed.

There are a lot of small machined parts with threaded bungs, adjuster nuts etc.. In addition the geometry and angles required jigging to get everything positioned correctly for welding. Once all of the bits and pieces were machined, I started bending and notching the tubing to fit. Here I used the tubing bender I made from Tsakas Cycles plans and pro dies. It has a pneumatically actuated cylinder on it, so you just put the digital angle gage on the tube and press the button.

There are all sorts of methods you can use to notch tubing. In the past, before I had most of my tools, I notched using a band saw and a grinding wheel dressed to the correct radius. For this project I purchased a Harbor Freight notcher to start the ‘a arms’ with. It gets bad reviews from many, but will hold up ok for a cart or two if you go slow and keeping it well lubed. Once I got my mill up and running, an end mill to match the tubing size makes great fits easy. (That assumes you have the correct angles in all three axis). I set up the angle in the vise and using the quill feed I take off a small bite at a time slowly feeding about 1/16th inch at a time. I have heard of others doing the same on the lathe, but I don’t have a vise/jig to bolt onto the tool holder. The plans from Edge give measurements for each individual piece based on metric bend radi or on the bigger more complex bends, just extra length to cut to a custom fit. They also base their measurements on a different size tube (metric) so nothing is an exact match. All parts need to be custom fit. In the end, you want the critical measurements, angles etc. (those that determine the basic geometry and interfaces) to match the plans.
I set the piece in place (on the jig or chassis), mark, cut, notch, and grind the final fit.
The welding jigs I used were made of wood blocks glued into place on ¾ plywood with a hot glue gun. They are not ideal for making lots of parts, but for one-four parts they work well enough and are quick to make.
Unlike a solid steel jig, they won’t do a lot to resist welding distortion, but hold fine for tacking up. Especially if you are careful to tack opposing sides to keep the pull to a minimum.
Since the Barracuda a arms are adjustable with threaded heims the precision isn’t as critical as it might be if design relied on exact welding/fitting to set wheel camber, castor, etc.. I know this method produces a repeatable parts since one of my base boards had a small warp in it and the parts all matched with a 1 degree twist …. Rats … should ‘a been more careful!
This is jumping way ahead in my story, but the most recent activity has been to build a rotisserie to weld the chassis. I needed to get the car off the table. Also, since I am not the best welder I wanted to be able to rotate the car for all of the up, down and overhead welds.
I didn’t want to weld the turning pins onto the chassis so I made these clamps to fasten the rotisserie to the rear drive.


I know my methods might be a little crude to some of the truly skilled people on this site. This is just how I did it, with no guarantee that I might learn better for next time. If you have better ideas, or methods, feel free to add then in here.

Thanks for looking


12-31-2010, 07:58 AM
Not crude at all. Logical and well thought out.

12-31-2010, 08:52 AM
Well thought out and way to use your head on making jigs to keep the same angles and everything in place. I am in the midst of building a rotisserie as well nice design on yours!!!

12-31-2010, 12:07 PM
I have to say I am impressed. It is not often I get a chance to read a post so unique and different from what we usually see on the internet.
Like most people I am pretty big on just posting my latest update and a photo.
If possible I post about how I did it but I haven't come close to the level of detail and information you have given on how you did your parts and the tools you used. Not to mention the amount of time it takes and how to either use square stock to shave pricing to 1/3rd the cost or use round to speed up the process but pay more.
That kind of info and detail really sets your post a part from most I have read.

It's funny hearing you say primitive or simple.. ha ha.. your using your own lathe, plasma cutter and building your own fixtures to build your buggy.. which looks great by the way.
Talk about primitive I am the guy that has to run to a machine shop to have my stuff cut.
I'm paying for everything and paying someone to do it. Your actually building the parts you need.
That's awesome. Don't get me wrong several of the guys on here do and that's one of the big reasons I like this site. I want to learn more and take in as much info as I can.
So I really appreciate you taking the time to post the level of detail you have and the amount of info on how to actually build your buggies.. ... and yes I thought is was a dual engine at first as well.. ha ha.

I look forward to reading more and sorry I have not posted sooner I needed a free morning to sit down and read your post from start to finish and actually take it all in not just look at the pics.

Again great job and really looking forward to seeing more updates.

01-01-2011, 08:34 PM
Thanks Rick and Dirt .... I appreciate the feedback.

I visited Rick for an hour yesterday ... Thanks Rick and what a nice shop, build, tools and conversation. You are a real craftsman. That powder coat looks fantastic!

Thanks for the kind words. I am really impressed by your build threads, so it means a lot coming from you.
I decided to to offer up the details of how I'm building things since I can't add much on design philosophy and wanted to contribute to the forum. Being a tool nut, I'd always try to justify a new tool or two as part of a project budget. I priced out all of the parts for the Barracuda at about $10,000 (depending on the exchange rate) not including the engine. With a GSXR 1000 engine included, I will have about $6,000 into each buggy .... that pays for a lot of tools.
It seems many of the questions on the forum revolve around where to get bits and pieces ... a lot of which are pretty easy with some basic tools. I learn a lot from others and just want to pass it on as best I can.


04-01-2011, 09:49 PM
The Chassis
It’s been about 3 months since I have added to this thread. I let the project sit for a while due to many other things around the house and an acute shortage of parts. Since I have now parted with a few thousand dollars and have all of the key bits to finish the buggy I need to move forward. Just for the record, I don’t keep a detailed tally of costs, but guess that I am into this somewhere north of $6,000 so far.
I know most everyone on this site knows how to run tubing. I’m not sure I will be adding anything of interest here, but at least some of you will get a good laugh when I mention some of my screw ups. I learned a long time ago as a woodworker to cut my biggest pieces first, so at least if I messed up I could use the stock for smaller pieces. This came in handy a few times when I reversed a few angles or misread my tape measure.Tubing is not real hard to do, but takes a lot of checking and rechecking to make sure everything stays straight and square.


The chassis on the Barracuda starts with an assembly of square tubing. Edge recommended a 0.065” wall material even though the balance of the tubing is nearly twice as thick. This didn’t make sense to me since some of the main structural loads are tied directly to the square tube such as the front suspension mounts. I selected a 1 ¼” 0.85 wall material. Careful fit up and welding resulted in a flat structure ……. Well almost. In spite of frequent careful study of the plans I screwed up and swapped the front and rear cross members. Of course I didn’t notice the mistake until after I fully welded the assembly…grrrrrr. (not all that was said..) Careful cutting, adjusting and re-welding and all was on track again. I fully welded the assembly rather than leaving it with tack welds since many if the subsequent runs of tubing overlaid the joints of the base. I’m not sure if that is standard practice on these buggies, but in complex joints I want all of the tubes completely welded. Also, don’t forget to provide a vent hole when closing a tube completely. If you don’t the last bit of weld will will blow out from internal pressure generated by the heat. The result is a bit of nasty porous weld that will have to be ground out and rewelded.


Using my home made bender and a few tube bending programs (google is a wonderful thing) I bent the mid rail piece and the main role bar hoop. I selected a 1 ¼ “ X 0.120” DOM tube for the main structural components and 1” X 0.095 DOM for the minor. Edge gives 25mm and 30mm ‘pipe’ as their recommendations, but after a question and answer to edge that gave no help for a US substitute. I chose something as close as I could with a bias to stronger. For those in the Michigan area there is a place called Pontiac Steel that has great prices. They don’t carry DOM but will order anything you want at about 2/3 of the ALRO prices. Well worth the effort.
Just a couple of notes on the fabrication: Welding a flat and square structure for the base takes a little thinking. Welds will always pull the material in the direction facing the weld. The trick is 1. To clamp everything as well as possible, and 2. Weld sections in an order that pulls the material back into flatness. I also use substantial tacks and try to weld the sides that pull into the structure first, i.e. the inside joints of a square.
As the chassis started to take shape, I set up temporary jigs to hold each piece in alignment while I fitted the joints and confirmed the correct position. Sometimes this is as simple as a couple of clamps located to hold the piece up while measuring for the correct position. As the chassis grew, I would spring clamp a straight edge to the position of the next tube and use it as a reference to get the desired length and the angles for the next piece. Each piece was firmly tacked in place when I was satisfied with the fit. If the joint was going to be covered by the next piece I finish welded that section of the joint.


There seems to be a lot of comments on notching tubing, so I’ll make a few comments on what I did here. I used a combination of three methods depending on the desired result. I set up my mill with an end mill the same size as the tube I was joining to. This made a very clean joint, but was limited to about 60 degrees. I also found it difficult to make joints on the mill requiring multiple angle cuts. I also used one of the hole saw based tubing notchers. It worked great for large components or bent pieces that would not fit in the mill. It didn’t work at all when I need to clamp on the short end of the tube since it needed about 4 inches to clamp. I really hate to throw bits of tubing away that are left over from clamping givrn the price per inch of DOM. My solution is to dress a grinding stone to the radius needed for the joint and make the final adjustments. It is easy enough to get a nice fit with a radiused grinding wheel that you could do a whole chassis without anything more sophisticated than a bench grinder.



So here I am with a basically finished chassis …. 80% done with 80% to go. There are an absolute ton of tabs, brackets, panels, etc., to fabricate and attach. I still have the chassis on a rotisserie to help get at the many pieces I still need to weld from various angles. I weld with TIG and do my best welds upright and flat. So there it is, one chassis mostly done, one to go.


Next installment will be attaching all of the brackets to hold the A arms. If I really feel like punishing myself I'll add the saga of finishing the wheel hubs and getting the front brake calipers mounted.
I would like to say my fabrication is precise to the plans, but small variations in bending and positioning the tubing, and small variations in the weldments are making for a lot of custom fitting.


04-02-2011, 04:50 PM
Is that a plane in your shop? :D

04-02-2011, 10:43 PM

Yeah, it's my other project! [smilie=ecstatic.gi: I had been gas welding all of the parts for the plane and wanted to switch to TIG. When I got the TIG I decided I needed another project to get accustomed to the new welding rig. I am guessing I should have it down pretty good by the time the buggy is done. Here are a few pics of some of the retractable front landing gear.....


Sorry about this being on it's side.


This pic is of the gear in the up position although I took the lower section off to swing past the table.


Someday I'll get back to it. :confused:


04-02-2011, 11:18 PM
I have tried to stay fairly true to the plans from Edge since this is my first buggy. Since the buggy was designed in Australia in metric sizes a lot of adjustments need to be made unless you want to pay shipping from down under. I also had it in my mind to purchase a full GSXR 1000 and use as many components from the bike as I could. Now that I am starting to put everything together, the variation in components and my inaccuracies in building up the sub assemblies are making for a lot of additional work.


When fitting the front suspension brackets I made up earlier (see the earlier post on pattern cutting with the plasma cutter) the tubing position was off about ½” and the brackets didn’t fit.


Rather than toss them aside and start over, I tacked the bottom end in place on the frame. I needed to add a small wedge of metal at the top to fare them into the chassis mid rail. With then tacked in place I cut, ground and fit a small addition to the top of the bracket and tacked it in place. I removed the brackets and fully welded the pieces and ground them flush. My learning moment is to fit up a pattern before I spend hours prefabricating complex components. Wood is a lot easier to cut than metal.
All in all, I think the front suspension looks good and solid. I’m really looking forward to getting the shocks and steering worked out.



I made up the nerf bars next. Bending the tubing went smoothly.


I made up attachment pads for the end of the bars and the chassis. Building them right in place makes sure I have a good fit on everything.


The next chore was the finish the front and rear spindles now that I have the rims I will be using. Edge uses a 6 lug rear rim and 4 lug front. I looked everywhere for 6 lug 10” rims and found nothing except buying edge rims and shipping them from down under (not a cost effective approach). I went with some nice looking 10” ITP aluminum rims and a set of 27”mud lite tires. I figured a week or two to get everything sorted out and on the car ….. ha!
The first task was to cut disks from ¼” for the front and rear spindles.


A mentioned in an earlier thread I already machined all of the hubs. Once cut, a little quality time on the lathe cut a nice precise center hole.


I reversed the teeth on the lathe chuck. Holding the disks by the center hole I cleaned up the OD of the disks. I had searched all over for brake disks that would fit the hubs as well, and found nothing except ordering a set from edge. If you haven’t figured out by now that I would rather spend time than money on shipping and exchange rates, then you haven’t been paying attention. So, while I was at It with the wheel adaptor disks I cut the brake rotors as well. Same basic machine set ups, so it was well to do them at the same time.


After the disks were done with the lathe work, I positioned them on a rotary table for drilling the array of holes. In the past I had clamped the disks on the table, centered the digital read out, and drilled the holes by X,Y coordinates. The results were ok, but not as precise as I wanted. I also found the rotary table much quicker once everything was centered and clamped.
The front disks got 4 holes for the tire lugs, the back disks got the 4 lug holes plus an array of 6 counter sunk holes to fasten then to the aluminum rear hubs.


The front brake rotors got 4 mounting holes and an array of cooling/cleaning holes spinning out from the center. Three weeks (I only get a few evening hours and part of a weekend in the shop) into this step, and still drilling holes.


I found out the easiest way to press lugs into a plate and keep the plate flat is to put a piece of 1” X ¼” wall DOM over the threaded end of the stud and press it down. I found out the hard way that pressing them in with the plate sitting on a couple of blocks warps the plate. Once “studded” I welded the plates to the front hubs, and bolted the rear plates on.
Now came the next adjustment to the plans. The brake calipers I am using come from the front of the GSXR 1000. They do not in any way match the calipers Edge drew the plans for. They are bigger, wider and bolt on from the top rather than from the side. When in place as dictated by the brake rotor position the caliper body interfered with the back of the wheel studs. I read somewhere on this form that you should build the car from the outside in. I don’t remember where or I would give credit, but wiser words of hard experience were never spoken.
After a few days of pricing other calipers, and almost breaking down and ordering a set from Edge, I figured out that a spacer would give me the clearance I needed without causing any other problems. So, I went back to the lathe to make spacers.


I cut the mounting point designed by Edge off,


machined a new right angle bracket in a few short hours only to find out I had miss drilled the mounting points. Back to the mill for a second try, and now a near perfect fit. It is amazing how much easier the second part is after struggling with the first attempt.




Another bit of work on the spindles and that is behind me. I have the seats, seat belts and steering gear standing by for installation. That will be next. I have 4 remote reservoir 12” coil overs coming from FOA in the next week or so. Once those are on, I will officially have a roller!

I hope someone's getting something out of this. At least you might avoid a few mistakes or get an idea or two.

Thanks for reading


04-03-2011, 05:40 AM
Looking good. Do you think you may have one ready this season?

04-03-2011, 07:09 AM
I was really hoping to have it done by the 4th of July, but I'm not sure seeing how long I am spending on the brakes and spindles. I hate to put a deadline on it since that will tempt me to cut corners.
No matter what, I will have it done sometime this season.

04-03-2011, 08:40 AM
We'll have to make a trip up to Silver Lake then. I'm hoping to head up there with Blueracer the weekend of the Woodward Dream Cruise.
I've never been to SL in the summer though. Could be problems geting in. I'm hoping that weekend would be a good one to go. I plan to go again at least once after Labor Day.

04-03-2011, 11:33 AM
I'm loving the twin build concept, and your quality looks good to me. I hadn't realized that you had slowed down on updates until I saw your new post yesterday. Before I even clicked into it, I was thinking,"Oh yeah, leok, I wonder how his are coming". I'm glad to see they didn't get pushed to far back in the garage, like so many of these kind of builds do.

04-04-2011, 08:15 AM
Great work! I really enjoy seeing the hand made parts. Do you have any pictures showing how you mounted your hub face plate to your rotary table? I'm just learning how to use mine and I'm never sure the best way to mount it.

04-04-2011, 03:48 PM

I'm looking forward to a little bit of playin' after so much time in the shop. I have some friends that also do a lot of riding up north by Gaylord. I just need to make sure the thing is reliable, give it a good shake out once it's rolling. [smilie=jumping.gif]


At some point you need to break down and buy some parts. I did all of the high labor, low cost stuff first. I reached that point back in January and needed a little time to save up. Now I have more parts than time to put them together. I like this better.


I will take a few pics of how I did it. I think a real machinist might get a good laugh. It worked, so it can't be all bad.


04-04-2011, 09:43 PM

Here is a little synopsis of how I set the mill up to drill an array of holes.

First step is to get the rotary table clamped down to the table so it can't move. Next step is to get the Mill set exactly in the center of the table and zeroing the x,y. My Mill has a DRO (Digital Read Out) that I can zero. The final step is to clamp your work to the rotary table centered on the x,y zero points.

So here are the pics of how I did/do it untill someone helps me out with an easier way.

My Rotary Table is an 8" with a M3 taper hole in the center. I put a M3 drill chuck adaptor in the hole to give me a table center to work from.


Guessing the zero on one axis and locking the z (spindle height) I approach each side on the other axis with an edge finder getting the net difference between the two. Divide in half and set your zero on that axis.



I repeat the process for the other axis. Then I usually go back and check each axis agian. That will usually get me to within a few 1/1000th. If I need better I put a rotary center finder in the spindle and fine tune the zero. This device works with the mill turning at slow RPMs wagging the indicator back and forth until you adjust each axis to exactly the center of rotation when the indicator stabilizes.


You can also confirm you have the exact center of rotation by putting an indicator on the mill spindle (such as the rotary center finder) and turning the table 360 degrees noting any deviation. At that point it is easy to find the high and low spots if any, divide the difference by two and rezero the DRO (or vernier).

Once I have the center of the Rotary table established I place the work on the table and clamp lightly. If I had a decent set of parallels I could get a little better accuracy, but using a pair of 1 x 1/2 HR steel pieces works ok. In my case the critical dimension was the ID hole so I used that to center the work. If you have a good OD that works as well. It's just tougher to work around the clamps.

I follow the same basic process as zeroing the Rotary Table but now with the work piece. I tap the work piece lightly into position until I am happy with the edge finder readings. I snug the clamps a little and repeat with the rotary edge finder. Again this is done with the mill at a low RPM working to get the needle to settle to no movement as the probe spins in the surface of the work piece indicating a precise center.


One last check is to leave the rotary edge finder stationary in the work piece (or other type of dial indicator) and rotate the rotary table 360 degrees noting any deviation and what location. lightly tap to center as needed.

Drilling an array of holes from here is as easy as setting the radius on on axis and spinning the table to each angle desired. If a clamp is in the way move one at a time adding one first before removing one. On the piece pictured I found 3 clamps worked better than two. It was just a little harder to find three open spots.

Any comments form anyone who knows how to do it easier would be welcomed. [smilie=dunno.gif]

Thanks for reading


04-06-2011, 11:23 AM
Thanks for the info. Looks good to me.

04-08-2011, 07:33 AM
Nice mill work, and the twins are coming along very nicely. Cant wait to see more

04-10-2011, 09:04 PM
I got a little time in on the buggy this week . I didn't get much done because my son decided to try his hand at rebuilding his trucks automatic transmission in my shop. A few home made tools and some sage [smilie=dunno.gif] advice made for many interuptions.

I did get the seat in the buggy. I really like the look.


I even pulled myself up into the seat for the first time to check the fit. The seat comes with fore aft adjust and back tilt so all I needed was solid support and bolt holes.


The tube under the front is the torque tube for the shifter passing under the seat. I want the shifter on the right, set up like a car. So on the right side the tube will get a shift lever and on the left side a tab to push/pull a shift cable.

The next step is the harness mounts and the steering column/wheel. [smilie=non_banana1:

Thanks for reading once again,


04-24-2011, 09:57 PM
I had a little time each night for the past week. It is amazing how long it takes to get each piece right. I added the seat belt now that the seat is in. I think I spent at least 2 hours thinking about how I wanted each piece to attach. Safety restraints are my real job, and most of my friends are seatbelt or airbag engineers. I'll really get a hard time if I get this wrong! :eek: With the seats being adjustable, I needed to consider seat movement as well. So here they are, 5 point harness with a cam lock buckle. This should make sure I don’t bump my noggin ‘when’ I (or my son, wife, etc.) roll this thing.


The attach points are very robust and won't be letting loose when I need them.

I am going to wait on the Steering gear until I have the buggy sitting on the ground. As with the shocks I want to get the buggy on all fours to set full bump and droop. I have learned to mistrust the plans since I am not using exactly the same components as Edge designed the buggy for. A word to the newbies like myself, make sure you have all of the purchased parts ahead of time and work out the fit, or you will do twice the work modifying and rebuilding everything.

I added a 65 tooth sprocket to the rear PIRCV center drive unit and built up the brake rotor (more on that later) only to find out the spacing was not even close to allowing me to use the 6 piston caliper I have off the GSXR donor bike. I needed 1 1/2” plus clearance to fit the caliper without rubbing on the sprocket and had about 1 3/16ths. There is no way to widen the center of the drive without starting over. The only option is to offset the sprocket and brake rotor using adaptor/spacer plates. The next problem was after offsetting the sprocket it hit the bearing carrier. That problem was solved by boring the center of the sprocket to clear the bearing carrier. I made a spacer for the brake rotor, and machined as much as I dared off the caliper mount netting out with about 3/32” clearance.

I still have a small issue with clearance of the chain to the tensioning device. I'll fix that when I get the motor set and run the chain so I know what I need to do.

I took a series of pictures while making the brake rotor. The first step was to cut a disk out of plate with the plasma. The rear rotor is just over 11” diameter. That is too big for my little lathe, so all of the machining had to be done on the mill.
I used a boring bar to clean up the ID from the plasma cut. A nice quick process after clamping the disk to the table.

Next problem was clamping an 11” disk to an 8” rotary table to machine the outer edge and drill the holes. I machined a clamping block/jig on the lathe that allowed free access to spin and drill the disk.
Drilling an array of holes is easy by offsetting the mill table for the diameter and spinning the rotary table 30 degrees for each hole.
With the drive assembly in place I reattached the rear A arms and hubs to get a feel for the length and position of the CVs and drive shafts.


While I was at it I wanted to see what the buggy looked like with the new tires on. So here is a pic with the rear wheels on. Not bad!



I'll spend some time welding tabs on to attach the body panels before I take the chassis off the rotisserie and set it on the tires. At that point I can set the positions for the front and rear shocks. I went with FOA dual coil overs with remote reservoir.


That’s it for this update. [smilie=dancing.gif] Thanks for reading.


04-25-2011, 05:08 PM
Great build!

I really like the Barracuda.. great piece of engineering!

Keep on posting pictures.. ;)

Have fun!

04-25-2011, 08:59 PM
Great work on the mill once again!

04-28-2011, 09:22 PM
Thanks Daaboots

As always, I appreciate your comments. :D

Thanks Erwin, I’ll keep putting pics up until I get this thing done. I really like the Barracuda as well. The designers have really put a lot of thought into the design.

That said, now that I am this far along, there are a number of things I would do differently if I did it again. Most stem from taking an Aussie design and building it here in the US. I have read a couple of other post that make the same comments, but never found any specifics. For those that might be interested in buying a set of plans I’ll put some of those specifics here……:confused:

First let me say the plans are worth every penny. Even if I wanted to create my own plans, and if I was as experienced and capable of creating a good set of plans it would take me a hundred or more hours. I would also waste more time and materials reworking things to get the bugs out than the plans cost from Edge…..

Every call out for materials is metric. You will need to convert all to locally available materials if in the US. Edge does not offer any support or recommendations there. All of the assemblies are dimensioned based on metric thickness and will need to be refigured.

Edge does not appear to know anything about GD&T (geometric dimensioning and tolerancing). Basically this means to pick one or two datums and referencing all measurements from them. So if I set a piece of metal in a machine and establish an x,y zero point I can move to any feature to cut. I have needed to refigure and add measurements to most parts, including using trig on many to get required dimensions to machine parts.

Edge does not provide any info on what purchased components they used. This means any sprockets, brake rotors, calipers, steering rack, wheels, etc you do not purchase from them will likely not fit without modifying or adapting the design. An example is the drive shafts are specified in the plans as 22.6”. That is only available as a custom shaft. 22” and 23” are available off the shelf.

All of the above are minor complaints, but still annoying in my view. I would have saved much work if I had known ahead of time what to look for. [smilie=alright.gif]

I have yet to sort out the front suspension. I can already tell I am going to have some problems there. I just don’t know much work it will take. I will post details of what I run into when I get there. The rear suspension looks to be solid … no issues so far.


04-28-2011, 11:02 PM
I pretty much redesigned my whole cuda using inch parts. Took a lot of work, but most is standardized now. Also, I am using f150 outer joints instead of 930s. Saves a lot of money over their expensive cv cups and bearings.

04-29-2011, 08:35 AM
Everything looks really nice! One question.. How did you calculate your spring weights without weighing all 4 corners?


04-29-2011, 10:31 AM
Thanks Daaboots

Edge does not appear to know anything about GD&T (geometric dimensioning and tolerancing). Basically this means to pick one or two datums and referencing all measurements from them. So if I set a piece of metal in a machine and establish an x,y zero point I can move to any feature to cut. I have needed to refigure and add measurements to most parts, including using trig on many to get required dimensions to machine parts.


oK Leok I have never run a cnc machine & I am a professional designer, detailer
I am working on drawings for my next rail & I do understand there are no two machinists in the country that share the same opinion on how to build any particular part. But what makes more sense to you? To have the 0 datum point at 0,0,0 and to the side and below the part so all the x,y numbers are positive numbers?

Or do you prefer to have the datum centered on the part so it uses pos and neg entries in both the X an y planes.

Just seeking what makes more sense to you?

04-29-2011, 04:03 PM

Thanks for the comment. I choose materials that were as close as I could get to the metric. In areas that were high stress, I biased towards the thicker materials. Others I chose the closest even if a little thinner. For the tube, I went down a little in diameter and up a little in thickness to balance out. For machined parts I just converted the metric to inches as I went along. There were a few spots like on the square tube sub frame I went thicker because it didn't make sense to tie heavier tubing together with 0.65 wall material.
I will say again that I consider the plans a bargain for the amount of thought and knowledge that went into them. I would be much further behind in cash and time without them, and the product wouldn't be as good.


The short answer on the springs and weight distribution is that I guessed. It was an educated guess, but until I get done and try it out .... still a guess.

I figure the final weight at about 1000 pounds or less. Add my weight and I get 1200. Looking at the weight distribution I guessed about 40% on the front wheels and 60% rear. My thought at the time was that a stiffer front was a good thing if I jump much. Edge recommends the same shock, and if I remember right, 240 lb springs all the way around. A call to FOA and some discussion we arrived at 250 lower and 120 upper. According to FOA the in a dual coil system the upper spring sets your normal ride droop and the lower is the primary working spring. All the gas pressure/reservoir does is dampen motion (i.e. remove energy) not hold the car up. So in the end if I don't like what I have $75 per spring will change it.

04-29-2011, 08:42 PM

Thanks for the comment, and that’s a good question.

Dimensioning in CAD is always going to show an offset so it doesn’t really matter where the 0,0,0 point is. More important than the actual zero position is that once you start dimensioning, all features can be easily found by reference to a single distinctive point or surface using the x,y,z coordinates.

Let me try and answer from the perspective of someone who has to make the part. From a machining standpoint the first thing you do is clamp a piece in position and establish the 0,0,0 position, wherever that might be. It would typically be key feature or edge(s) that can be used to reference all other features. The key to precision machining is to know precisely where you are, and move precisely to your next cut. You typically don’t want to re-zero once you start on a piece, so the dimensions all need to build off the starting point. This also prevents additive tolerances (think trying to measure 12” or 12 one inch segments). Each time you re-zero you add position errors.

Now from a GD&T perspective: If I have bracket that needs a series of precisely spaced holes but has an odd shape I would set datums in a square grid, imagine placing the part against a builders square. Now I can use the edges of the part against the square to get my 0,0 point. The edges of the square that touch the part become the x,y datums. If the dimensions of all of the needed holes reference back to the 0,0 point I can easily move the cutter to the right point and make all of the holes.

So now I look at a more complex drawing, say like a chassis (or a full car). A datum would be set in the x,y,and z planes (a 0,0,0, point) that identifies a feature that is easy to measure from. A good example is the square tube base of the Barracuda. Setting a datum at the back of the cross tube behind the seat establishes a point that is easy to measure from both fore and aft. I set the z datum (up and down) as the bottom of the tube. Everything above the base is easy to measure by reference to the plane established by the bottom frame.

I might be making this more complex than your question needed. The bottom line is that to make a part from a well done drawing, I should not have to hand figure a bunch of dimensions to proceed.

Hope this helps


04-29-2011, 09:59 PM
Sorry fellas but for a garage monkey tubing out a 1972 pintowagon, that was like charlie brown talking to one of the parents. But seriously my buddy and father run a shop that builds under drive pulleys for racing, and i just stare and nod. But i am following the build and if you dont mind me asking what are the specs on the shocks and price if thats not to personal. Great build keep it coming

04-30-2011, 07:23 AM
Sorry Pinto, sometimes it's a little like this ......


Anyway, you question on the shocks. Not too personal at all. I went with FOA dual coil over remote reservoir with a 12” travel. Here is the link for the web site: Coil Over w/reservoir 2.0 : FOA OFF-ROAD Shock Absorbers (http://f-o-a.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=24_42&products_id=23) The base shock with dual coil hardware is $205 plus $75 per spring for an all up price of $355 each. If you go with Fox add about $150 each, and King add ….. well I’m not sure, but what I looked at was more expensive than Fox.

Other than the engine the shocks are the most expensive purchased part on the kart.


05-01-2011, 12:20 AM
Thanks for the video it slowed it down enough to understand lol. And thanks for the shock info also. I was looking at some offroad 4x4 mag and came across some gas shocks the name slips my mind but they were also an idea i had other than the fox's. Well also like the tranfer to right side shift, would like to know how that turns out

05-01-2011, 07:46 PM
I use the upper left corner as the datum when detailing individual parts.
It's done this way for the machinist. Especially if they are using a Bridgeport style mill to make the part. The back jaw (stationary jaw) is usually set to zero on the digital readout. On the left side of the vise I will set up the other zero stop. This way I'm always set up to just throw my parts in the vise without having to re-set my zero for every part.
I have not used my mill in a week, but the readout's power is on right now and set to zero as I described. I never turn it off.
I also place a small paint mark on the upper left corner of each part. This way I can do all of my center drilling on batch runs and then swap out the center drill. As long as I place the parts back in the vise with the dot to the upper left I still have my zero. I also make sure that I draw my parts in the right attitude on the detail print. For example, a long part would always be placed in the vise lengthwise. So it should also be drawn lengthwise. Same goes for parts to be turned in the lathe. Drawn laid down with the machining to the right.

05-01-2011, 08:26 PM
I agree with rick,except i use the back jaw and the right side,where the stop is set.Its easier(faster) for me to load parts with my left hand and operate the vise with my right.

Its a pain to add a negative to all the dims but its a prototrak so its not too bad.

05-01-2011, 08:41 PM

Sorry, I left 1 detail out on the shocks. The lower springs are 14" and the upper springs are 10"


05-03-2011, 09:00 PM
Rick, Bull,

I typicaly zero to the back right as you mentioned unless there is a better feature on what I am working on. That really works great when you have a number of the parts to make and have to swap them in and out of the mill. I'm no machinist, so I'm pretty happy with what I've managed to do so far.

I just finished bolting up the CVs and drive shafts in the rear this weekend. I was really happy when every last bolt went in true and straight on the parts I made. [smilie=ecstatic.gi: I positioned and tack welded the rear shock mounts, installed the rear shocks, and welded a bunch of body panel mounting tabs well. It's really starting to look good! :D
I'll post some pics in the next few days. My wife was not happy with the amount of time I spent in the shop this weekend. :mad:


05-04-2011, 01:20 AM
:D Nice work. My wife is always happy when i spend a lot of time in the shop!

05-21-2011, 10:14 PM
It’s been a while since I posted an update so here goes. I installed the drive shafts and CV joints, tying the rear drive together. I still have a little rub on the center drive module and will need to take it apart once more ….. I’ll do that later when I break it down to paint some of the parts.


I also started welding tabs to attach the body panels. My son talked me into separate panels for each opening so the tubing shows. Each panel takes at least 5-6 tabs with the larger panels taking more. I stopped counting at 85 tabs. I am guessing around 100 give or take.



Each tab is positioned and welded from the inside. Once the panel is fitted I use the tabs as a guide to drill a 1/4” hole in the panel. Removing the panel I drill out the tab to ½” and install a ¼-20 cinch nut. It takes time, but gives perfect alignment on the panel.



With all of the rotating of the chassis to weld the tabs on, I was getting worried I would bang up the remote reservoirs of the shocks, so I stopped work on the tabs to make brackets. I have a lot of 5/8” aluminum sheet hanging around from a long past bad experience. So with 8 brackets per buggy and two buggies (some day) I needed 16 brackets.


Note the stack of tabs all ready to be drilled before welding.


I cut 16 5”X3” blanks from the aluminum. (Believe it or not I used a standard worm drive saw with a carbide blade to cut the 5” strips off of the larger sheet. Very noisy, but it works well.) I worked the needed holes up to 1” with drill bits and finished the 1 ¼” and 2” holes by plunge cutting on the mill with end mills. I pre drilled the bolt hole through the center while the parts were still rectangular.


I tapered the edges by milling a tapper block to use in the vise to set the angle and rounded the ends using the rotary table on the mill. In the pics you can see the little fixture I made for each end to provide the center of rotation. I clamped each piece on the rotary table per the picture and rotated the table to feed the work into the stationary cutter. This sure would be easier if I had computer power control on the mill!


The next step once shaped was to make a simple jig to hold the parts while cutting through the center on the band saw. A little clean up, tap the hole on one half and drill out the other, and a finished bracket. Since I’m not worried too much about the amount of time I spend on the buggy, but more what I learn in the process I have decided to anodize and stain the brackets to match the color scheme I have chosen.



On the other hand, looking at Rick’s build is making me anxious to get to the driving part of this adventure. [smilie=icon_bolt.g:


Glock n Ballz
05-22-2011, 07:54 AM
Very nice Leo. Leo was my Grandfathers name.

Cool lil shop bud.

05-22-2011, 01:39 PM
Nice work. It's fun to see what can be done with a mill, even if it is not a CNC.

05-23-2011, 09:04 PM
Great post Leo. I'm learning so much from your build! Keep up the great work!

05-23-2011, 11:50 PM

Do you plan on doing the Anodizing yourself?

05-24-2011, 01:47 AM
Its funny you mention using the carbide tipped saw blade on aluminum. At work, we have the same setup. I believe the blades are made for aluminum, but they look similar to a fine wood blade. I've cut through 1.5 inch sheet like nothing. An air oiling system really helps when cutting hard.

05-26-2011, 11:24 PM
it's impressive to see all the custom work... i'm learning alot from this build Leok. great job.

05-28-2011, 10:10 PM
Thanks for looking Glock, my parents used my great grandfathers name on me. So far it's worked out ok!

Gene, I would love to have the ease and precision of NC on the mill. I just can't justify the cost yet. Maybe some day. I look at the amazing work the old machinists did before NC and try to figure out how to make the various cuts.

Thanks Daaboots, Wheels, it confirms that it's worth the time to put together these posts. Much of what I am doing is a first or second for me, so I'm always happy when it works out.

Yeah Krunch, I do plan on doing the anodizing myself. I am actually a chemist, but have been doing engineering for the last 25 years. I always like to try a little chemisty once in a while :D

PLK, I think the key on using a carbide blade for cutting thick aluminum is having a lot of torque and a relativly low blade speed. A worm drive saw turns a lot slower and is geared for torque compared to a typical circular saw. Is the saw your talking abour at work called a cold saw? I have heard the term several times but never used one.

Thanks for taking the time to comment,


05-29-2011, 12:50 AM

If you need some advice on anodizing let me know. I used to own my own anodizing shop, so i'm pretty versed in it. I actually started doing it myself in my garage as a hobby, and well it snowballed and I ended up having a commercial shop for a few years.

05-29-2011, 05:10 AM
Hi i like what you have done so far it looks mint the barracuda is a nice buggy and if all goes well with my st4 badlands ill be making one of them for my next buggy :D so im now on the hunt for the plans

05-29-2011, 06:54 AM
Thanks for the offer Krunch. I'll post up the results I get with any questions. Anodizing is pretty simple in concept, but I'm sure the devil(s) will be in the details.

Darin, I agree. I really like the looks of the Baracuda. I'm just getting to sorting out the front end geometry. That's seems to be the area that gives builders the most problems. I'll post what I run into.
I can already see I'm going to have problems getting the camber right. :mad:


05-29-2011, 03:57 PM
Awesome build I will def refer to this when i start my project, i love all the custom work an milling [smilie=thumbs_up.g:

05-29-2011, 07:27 PM

The key with Ano is finish in - finish out. If it goes in dirty, the ano will be crap. If you polish it, it comes out gloss, if you dust (glass bead) it comes out semi-gloss. I have been writing up a how to do it at home for the home section. Should have it up in a week or so.

05-29-2011, 08:45 PM
im going to have the same problems i say as mine is fix ends. the dude from the wheel alinement shop said put all the weight on all four wheels and set it up with a 1degre camber and you shouldnt be to far away

06-08-2011, 10:21 PM
Well after about 100 tabs I ran out of excuses to avoid the front suspension and steering. I have been looking at the excessive camber (leaning in, I guess that is negative) in excess of 15-20 degrees for weeks now. I measured everything multiple times and new I couldn't be that far off [smilie=ecstatic.gi: . So anyway more measuring, scratching my head, checking the plans and eureka!! :eek: I had the uprights upside down on the wrond side [smilie=bs_help.gif] ....... Quick fix, and it was off to the races.

I leveled, proped and braced everything at full bump and welded (tacked so far) the shock mounts in place. I clamped the reservoirs on the mid rail behind the shocks with more of the clamps I made in the last post.


I'm liking the looks of this better all of the time.
So one step forward ..... I make up one tie rod and set the rack in the best position for minimizing bump steer. Everything is going too easy.

I decide to check the clearance on the pedals since I had them out to make a little more working room. Crap, d#%m, the rack and the brake pedals ard trying to occupy the same space.


When I lift the rack up into position ..... no go [smilie=alright.gif] If I move it forward in vehicle, then the tie rods go through the coils of the shock. I really don't want to bend the tie rods since that will weaken them considerably ....

I think I got a solution, but it's late and work comes early, so I'll finish this tomorrow.

Thanks for looking, Leo

06-09-2011, 07:00 AM
The barracuda does have a lot of negative camber in the front as the suspension compresses. I have a set of plans for the PIRCV rear end and it shows -10 degree at full bump... seems a bit excessive to me... what do I know though.

06-09-2011, 12:33 PM

The rear end on mine is hanging at full extension right now, and the wheels are almost straight up and down. In fact I might need to move the shocks a little since the CVs are sitting at 24.5 degrees .... a little too much as I am getting a litte clicking from one side when I rotate them. I havn't tryed to cycle the suspension all the way up to see what happens since I don't plan on changing anything anyway unless I have handling prolems.

The fronts, before I discovered my error were in serious trouble. Say 15 degrees inward lean at full extension and 30 or so at full bump! Once the uprights were fitted right side up and on the correct side of the vehicle .... shazam .... problem solved.
The wheels now stand up straight with plenty of fine tuning adjustment available. I'm just gald I hadn't started ctting steel to fix the "problem" before I found my mistake.

Even though I found the plans a little hard to understand, in putting all of the parts together, I have to say I am pleased with how it's all comming together.

My real problem to solve is based on my desire to have a cluch pedal like a car .... after all, this is a car not a motorcycle or 4 wheeler :confused:. When I added a cluch pedal, the brake pedal pushed over into the near center of the vehicle. The design calls for the steering shaft to come straight up the center between the brake and gas. Not possible with three pedals.
Now I have/had a real problem to solve. I need to get a few more pics to show what I plan since I am in midstream on fitting it all up. I am swapping sides with the uprights. This moves the tie rods to the front of the A arm rather than behind. I fliped the rack to get the correct motion. Now I have a straight shot with the steering shaft to the steering wheel, high enough to avoid all conflicts with the pedals. A side benifit is that no u-joints are even needed in the steering shaft.

I'll be curious to see if anybody with more experience thinks I have this wrong.


09-02-2011, 11:00 PM
It’s been a long time since I posted any updates. I was hoping to be driving the buggy by now, but just haven’t had the time to put into it.

In the last post I was just getting the steering sorted out with the rack location, steering shaft, tie rods etc. Because I wanted a clutch pedal rather than a hand clutch on the shifter, the brakes interfered with Edge’s location of the rack, steering shaft and tie rods rearward of the front A arms. To make it all work I swapped the front uprights side to side putting the tie rods forward of the A arms.


With the rack further forward the steering shaft angles high enough to clear the pedal swing and even eliminates any u-joints in the shaft.


After a great deal of thought on various mounting options, I hit on an easy and solid mount using a piece of angle iron and a small plate.


I spent a bit of time figuring out the Steering Wheel installation. I welded up a steel adapter to bolt to the Wheel and turned an aluminum adaptor to fit the shaft. It is good and solid and allows easy disassembly for service. I also installed the rear support further forward than in the plans. The Steering Wheel was too close to the seat for driving comfort.



I had to put a small bend in the tie rod near the outboard end since the heim joint angle was too much at full droop.


I spent a few days cleaning and painting all of the bits and pieces getting the front suspension ready to put the wheel on and set the buggy on the floor.


As soon as I get the floor pan made up and installed, the rear suspension cleaned and painted I will put the wheels on and have a roller. Then the engine.


09-03-2011, 02:45 PM
Looks real nice Leo, I have enjoyed and learned from your build.
Thank you,

09-04-2011, 04:20 PM
Great build! I also like the colors you picked![smilie=cool.gif]

I really love the Barracuda!

I'm going to order the download plans within a hour[smilie=ecstatic.gi:

I'm still busy building my Badland ST2 buggy but I want to build a Barracuda in the future and the plans are now 50% off. Now I can take a good look at the plans and do some research...

Please keep us updated!

09-05-2011, 10:41 AM
Does swapping the spindles not effect your ackerman angles?

09-05-2011, 06:52 PM
thanks Sqweeker and Erwin, I appreciate your comments.

Daaboots. you are right on. I haven't had a chance to measure the angles yet, but I need to. Just lookin' at the front hubs, I now have reverse ackerman. Not a good thing. I'll do the measurements and post the results as well as whatever I do to fix it.

All of this so I can put A clutch pedal in. It's amazing how much work results from a simple modification.


09-05-2011, 07:00 PM
Looking good Leo.
For better Ackerman, move the tie rod end as close as you possibly can to the rotor.
This will get you close.

09-05-2011, 09:14 PM
Thanks Rick. I'll keep that in mind when I get a chance to look close at it. I have so much going on in the summer, I just haven't had much time to work on it.

The video on your car looks great. I really wanted to have mine done for this summer.......
Maybe this fall. :cool:

09-05-2011, 09:48 PM
If you finish before SL closes maybe we can plan a day trip up there.

09-06-2011, 12:07 PM
Thats 1 nice build leok

Sorry 2 lol

09-09-2011, 01:02 PM
I just finished reading your whole build thread. Like alot of other guys, I realy like the way you are making everything yourself. It's prety easy to get all caught up in technology like laser cutters and cnc machinery. I just bought the baracuda plans last week, so this build realy interests me.
I haven't had time to look that close at the drawings, but I do like the look of the buggy.

10-05-2011, 09:17 PM
Another quick update.

Here is one project of many that is taking time from buggy building this summer....


The pumpkin grew in our garden and weighs in at about 400 lbs. Believe it or not, it is on to the small side for competitive pumpkin growing.

So on the the buggy. A lot of cleaning and painting, and it's now on it's own wheels. A roller .....


from the front .....


I like this shot .....


Here is a close up of the front A arm, steering etc.. Notice I had to switch the uprights to put the steering forward of the A arms to correct an interferance with the pedals. I thought I had a problem with the ackerman, but once adjusted the ackerman is positive .... lookin good!


A close up of the rear end ....


Another .....


Next step is the engine .....

Fall is comming, so I can get a little more time in and get this first buggie done.

Thanks for looking, Leo

p.s. I really needed to add a few more views ....





10-05-2011, 09:38 PM
Looks really good. Great work!

10-05-2011, 11:55 PM
Wow, very very nice!!

10-06-2011, 05:24 AM
How much bumpsteer do you get? Just curious, because judging by the view of the front it looks like you may get a tiny bit.

10-06-2011, 08:10 AM
I'd be a little concerned with strength of the tie rods with them bent like that... Or are all cudas that way?

10-06-2011, 05:18 PM
Thanks, Daaboots, Martin,

I appreciate your comments.

Jester, I'm not sure on the bump steer since I didn't do a full cycle with the shocks/springs off to check. I do know there is some since I had the wheels alligned within 0.5 degrees at full extension, and with weight on them there is a noticable toe out. It looks like a few degrees as it sits or maybe 5 degrees with full cycle. Since I didn't get rid of all of the bump steer in my positioning, at least toe out will tend to pull the buggy down on all fours in an off axis landing. (Since the compression of the arm will steer away fron the center line of the cart) I just hope it's not enough to degrade the handling.
I think the bump steer I have is due to not using the Edge rack...... for pivot point rather than relocating forward. I set it at a near identical height and offset from the A arm position. Edge does not include a measurement of the rack width to the centerpoint of the inner heims in the plans ....... you just have to guess and work from there.

Ah09, no, all cudas are not bent like that. I put the bend in because the heims were binding up well short of full extension. I either had to redo the uprights to angle the bolt or put a 10 degree bend in the shaft to relieve the angle in the heim joint. The tube is pretty thick, at I think 0.70", and the hits to the wheels while driving will tend to 'unbend' rather than 'kink'. I should be fine. One more consequence of varying from the plans carrying through many many parts. I also modified the rack to a larger 1/2" heim since it came with what I think was a 5/16"...... way too small for my confidence.


10-07-2011, 12:26 PM
Damn Leo, I can't believe that I haven't seen this build thread before. I just read it from front to back and have to say this is an excellent post and build. It's nice to see you doing all of the fabrication on your own, without hired work. Your machining skills look top notch, and those will be the parts you look at when it's done with pride.

Anyways, excellent work and post. Thanks for taking the time to share the story. That buggy looks awesome! :D

10-08-2011, 03:05 PM
how dod you make the dust caps of the front hubs??
are they threaded pr just a tight press??

Fantastic build buy the way, i like your machine work! Keep it up!

10-10-2011, 12:51 PM
Ah09, no, all cudas are not bent like that. I put the bend in because the heims were binding up well short of full extension. I either had to redo the uprights to angle the bolt or put a 10 degree bend in the shaft to relieve the angle in the heim joint. The tube is pretty thick, at I think 0.70", and the hits to the wheels while driving will tend to 'unbend' rather than 'kink'. I should be fine. One more consequence of varying from the plans carrying through many many parts. I also modified the rack to a larger 1/2" heim since it came with what I think was a 5/16"...... way too small for my confidence.


Thats good, I wasn't sure if that was a solid rod or tubing. You do very nice and clean fab work. Great build!

10-10-2011, 02:24 PM
Looking awsome Leok. How wide are the front tires, they look realy wide. Maybe it is an opticle allussion.

10-10-2011, 06:33 PM
Thanks Fatal, I appreciate the kind words.


The hubs are press fit. You buy the size you need i.e. 40mm and they are sized to press into a 40.00 mm hole. I know there is some tolerance, but don't remember exactly. Fitting them is very similar to fitting bearings ..... you creep up on the size very slowly.

Thanks again AH09


The front tires are 8" wide the rear are 10" wide. I think I would have gone with 6 or 7" but they didn't come in that size. I got them from Nebraska tires on the internet.


10-11-2011, 03:34 PM
It must have been the way the picture was take because they look wider than that. Thats the same size my tires are going to be.

01-02-2012, 09:33 PM
I have been doing about everything else other than building the buggy ... but with the change in the weather I am getting back to it again ...

Question for anybody that might know. The GSXR 1000 engine fits best in the Baracuda if I tip it rearward relative to how it sat in the bike .... How far can I tip it without affecting the function, specifically the oil system?
To get the chain path to work with the shift lever, clutch cover and rear drive, I need to lower the engine below the bottom of the buggie (oil pan hangs down below the chassis base) or tip the engine (top of the engine to the rear) substantially.
Also to get the oil pan to clear the side of the frame I am limited in how far down it will go without altering the base frame rail.

Thanks for any info


01-02-2012, 10:20 PM
You could add and idler sprocket to lift the chain clear of the shifter shaft.
This is what I did with my AR51. Was able to keep the oil pan above the frame too.
Idler makes a whine, but no performance problems.

01-02-2012, 10:43 PM

Thanks for the suggestion, unfortunatly I already tried an idler. There is no room for it. The engine bay is so short that the engine in "bike position" lays right up against the front (top front of the engine) and rear tubes (bottom rear of the engine). To clear the engine in that position, the idler sprocket is touching the main sprocket. Nothing for it as far as I can see other than lowering the engine and adding a bash plate. (about 2" below the bottom of the chasis)
As far as the vertical position of the engine; If i set the oil pan drain at the chasis bottom plane the chain won't clear the engine sprocket housing, shift shaft, etcc. without rotating the engine top rearward..

I'll take some pics and post in the next few days to show the details.

By the way, your AR51 KY build is looking fantastic!


01-03-2012, 01:54 PM
Awesome build blog, man. Nice that you show all the clever little behind-the-scenes mill and lathe tricks needed to get one of these built right. It's more than just slapping some steel and aluminum together! =) Well done!!! :)

01-04-2012, 09:22 PM
Thanks DMoney. since I'm not adding much new to the design info, I'm trying to offer a good description of what and how I am doing things.

So here is the follow up from my previous post....
There are times when a second set of eyes can help you see something that was there all the time … but you couldn’t see it to save your life. So here is the rest of the story ……
Thinking I had the engine in the perfect position, I fabricated three of the four engine mount brackets. I intended to use an idler sprocket to route the chain around the shift lever shaft, only to find out when I put the clutch, sprocket cover on the idler wouldn’t fit as noted in the previous post.
When I lowered the engine to where the chain could be routed with out the idler the engine oil pan was several inches below the bottom of the chassis. This wouldn’t work without a bash plate and a loss of 3” of clearance. If I rotated the engine top rearward, I could bring the oil pan up, but now the engine was tiped far from the bike position … not a good solution since the engine wouldn’t oil per the design.

In steps my 19 year old son, no formal training, but a good wrench. One quick look and he says “why don’t you do this” and proceeded to set the engine and idler with the mounting point on a different location …… shazam ….. problem solved.

So here are the pictures with descriptions and the engine in hopefully the final position/height;

This pic shows the idler in position with the ofending cover in place. With this position the engine is level (to the bike position) and even with the bottom of the chassis.


This pic shows the detail without the cover in place. As you can see I have some modifications to make on the upper cross member. I have the idler tacked in position.


This pic is of the other side of the engine with the original engine mount still in position. Note the two bolts on the engine cylinder. This is very close to the final position now that the chain routing is worked out.


I was surprised how far the engine ended up off center to line up the engine sprocket to the rear drive. The next two pics show the position.



Thanks Rick for your suggestion to use an idler … as you can see, I was going that direction, but wasn’t getting it quite right. With the weather change, I can get back at it and get this buggy dine.

Thanks for reading, Leo

01-05-2012, 07:09 AM
Drop your countershaft sprocket to 13 or 14T.
I run 13/60 or 14/60. Looks like the stock front sprocket on there now.

01-05-2012, 02:02 PM
Drop your countershaft sprocket to 13 or 14T.
I run 13/60 or 14/60. Looks like the stock front sprocket on there now.

14/60 with 26" tires was perfect for mine as well....

01-05-2012, 02:08 PM
Right now I'm running 13/55 with 26" tires. Just picked up an 11 front, hoping to get a little more lift of front tires off a roller dune!!!. If this gearing feels better will have Rick make a new larger rear. Front sprockets are cheaper to swap around.

01-05-2012, 02:24 PM
I havn't run it yet but I switched mine to 15/70 I had a 3/8 abrasion resistant steel 70 tooth sprocket waterjet at work... its a beast of a sprocket. I can't wait to try it. My last 60 tooth alum rear was missing 23 teeth when i took it off...lol

01-08-2012, 11:04 PM
Thanks Rick, Jerdunz, Carl,

I do have the stock bike sprocket on there now. I have a 65 tooth on the rear and plan on changing out the sprocket on the motor, but haven't gotten to it yet. The bike motor sprocket is a 17, so I'll need to go down for sure. The chanin routing and clearances get better with the smaller sprocket.

Another fun part of the Baracuda design is the upper front structural member of the rear drive unit. It tells you right in the plans that you might have to cut it out to let the chain path go through the area, but no other suggestions ..... so sure enough, with the engine positioned (I think correctly this time) I had to cut through a frame cross member and the rear drive housing. To provide structural carry through and an easy to adjust chain path, I welded in a piece of square tubing in the cut out.
Here is a pic of the chain carry through and the now finished rear upper engine mount.



Here is a pic of the right side engine mount.


The left side is almost complete, but I will need to add a tube since there is no natural spot to attach it. I am also thinking about adding a lower rear mount, but there was none on the bike. So I’m not sure it is needed.

This last pic is a little project I made for my wife today … I needed to earn some wife points so I can continue spending time on the buggy! The pic is one end of an adjustable light stand for her plant grow lights.


Thanks for looking, Leo

01-09-2012, 08:25 AM
A couple of things I'd like to suggest..........

The bolts that you have inserted on the passenger side forward edge of the swing arm mounts should be turned around and inserted from the rear. This will make removing the swing arms in the future much easier without removing the engine.

It also doesn't look like you're using the little female hex plates to keep the swing arm bolts from rotating? I also like to put zerk fittings in the pivot tube to allow me to grease the bushings. The grease fittings work well on the front lower arms also. The following picture is all I had here to try and show you the to show you the bolt anti-rotation lock thingys.. If you look close you can also see the zerk fittings.


Thanks Rick, Jerdunz, Carl,

Thanks for looking, Leo

01-09-2012, 05:33 PM
Thanks Lance, good catch on the A arm bolt. I hadn't noticed the bolt direction. I have to tear down the whole thing once everything is fitted and tack welded to finish the welding and repaint the weld areas. (I can't get to all of the welds and I don't weld very good upside down) I just need to remember your comment when I put it back together. :D As for the anti rotation on the nuts, I have nyloc nuts on all of the bolts. If I notice any backing out in use I will add cotter pins or some such devices.

Also the zerks are a good idea. I hadn't thought too much about them since Edge didn't have them in the design. They will be easy to add when I have the buggy torn down.

Thanks again, Leo

01-10-2012, 09:54 AM
leok, I'm sure you already thought of this but that small section of square tube is going to want to crush real easy like so get some good thick crush gussets overr the top of it. I know I would at least.. some 1/4 plate should do. I know my paint drawing is rough but it gets the idea across i think.

01-13-2012, 04:36 PM

Thanks for the comments. I'll keep a close eye on that section of the structure in case there is any tendency to flex or bend. Your suggestion on a brace is a great idea if it turns out I need it. The structure there is not a primary load path but may see some twist mainly.
The way the rear of the Cudda is designed the rear drive assembly is hard welded to the base of the chassis in the front, and then the bending loads (loads trying to push the rear up) are taken by the rear upright tubes. The tube I cut is marginally there to stabilize the top front of the drive assembly and keep the chassis from twisting. It just isn't in the right place to counter twist really well, but does stabilize the drive unit.
The tube section I put in is 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" by quarter inch wall. It will take a lot to bend that. With the tube ends and the drive unit top brace all welded to the square section, it should be stronger than the Edge design without it. Tying all of the components in the area together .... Edge just says in the plans to cut it out if it is in the way of the chain routing.

Once I finish the engine mounts, it’s on to all the various connections. Lance’s post on making sure I have the suspension bolts in correctly to remove without taking the engine out, made me realize I need to make the right side engine mount removable as well. I’ll need to take the engine out the right side unless I also want to take all of the battery, electrical etc.. that will mount in the open space to the left. So thanks once again Lance. :D


02-17-2012, 08:18 AM
Leo, this is an amazing build. One that makes me envious. There are truly some artists on this site, you being one of them. I only wish I had the space and talent that you do so I could brag that I built it all my self. My hat is off with my standing-O

03-28-2012, 08:41 AM

Thanks for the comment. I look at my work and see all of the flaws, so it's nice to have someone look and tell me I haven't screwed it all up. :eek: I'm fairly handy, but not a machinist or fabricator, and this is my first buggy. Plans, use plans ..... don't try this without plans ..... (you won't like everything in the plans ... but use plans if you are not experienced ..... any questions? ;) )

It's been a long time since I updated this thread, so I need to get at it. I have been working (slowly) on sorting all of the various attachments and systems from the engine to the buggy.

I fabed a gas tank from scratch, cables to the clutch, throttle, choke, etc... and reworked the wire harness. There is much to say on each, and some pictures to post. I'm currently running brake lines, moving the oil cooler (thanks Rick for the 'how to' on the lines) fabing exhaust header and running radiator lines.
I'm sure there are other ways to make each of these attachments, but will show in the spirit of this thread how I did it. So I'll get the post made and let the jury decide. :D
I am 90% there and 90% to go ..... whew....

More later,


03-28-2012, 11:04 AM
Don't be so hard on yourself. You've done what the vast majority of the population could never do ;)

03-30-2012, 10:53 AM
True daboots. Also the last 10% is the detail... And the hardest part to any build.

03-30-2012, 12:24 PM
True dat! When it's all together, it's amazing how you don't notice the little things anymore. :D


03-30-2012, 01:26 PM
Thanks Daaboots, Chickin, Fatal
I appreciate the comments. I am serious though, most of this stuff is the first time and I'm just winging it. When it comes out good, I am suprised and happy.
Now to get an updated post done.

I’ve been slowly working along. I intended to spend a lot more time finishing the buggy this winter, but just haven’t had the energy after work. The other slow part is that I no longer have plans to follow. Chickin, you are absolutly right. Every task at this point is a new invention/design. Once you get to the engine and controls system, you are on your own to figure things out. So here is what I have been working on….

My goal is to have the buggy drive like a car with pedals, shifter clutch, etc. all in classic car positions. This means shifting from a lever in the right hand, clutch pedal on the floor and keeping all of the functions of the cycle switches intact. I also plan on some full days in the buggy, so comfort and ergonomics are critical.
In order to keep all of the control cable ends on the engine, I had to weld extensions on all of the cables. The clutch is a 2.5mm cable and the throttle and choke cables are 1.5mm. With the TIG at 20 amps in one or two attempts I can usually get a nice solid weld. I start the arc on a piece of backing plate and walk it into each end of the cable I intend to weld seperatly. Once a bead forms I grind it back to the diameter of the cable on a sanding disk, then weld the two solid ends together. Even at 20 amps the weld is very quick. A final careful grind and the cable and the fit in the housing is near perfect.
I modified the Edge pedal boxes to bring in the cables and cable housings. I drilled out a 1 1/2” long bolt for the cable and housing and welded in a threaded boss for adjustability. For the cable ends at the pedal, I made a pair of drilled straps with a cross drilled and threaded pivot bar to lock the cable. The clutch gets one cable and the throttle two …. It’s a push pull system so you can “pull” an open throttle closed if needed. The choke cable needed both ends welded to splice in the length needed to fit the repositioned switch on the Instrument panel.
For the instrument panel (IP) I decided to make a minimum size to fit the bike panel and the key. For all of the switches I attached small plastic stubs just long enough for the motorcycle switch pods to attach. It’s not real fancy, but I keep all of the bike functions intact using the original bike switches and a minimum of fuss.
I kept the shifter linkage as a torque tube and push/pull rod. I like the handle well enough, but not sure how this will all hold up with rough usage. If I need to I will replace the linkage with a cable. I made the clevis from solid aluminum stock and threaded the rod to connect to the stock bike shift arm. Forward is lower gears and back is higher gears.
I need to load a pic of the shift handle .... next post.



More views of the Instrument panel

The only thing I don't like about the installation is that the Steering Wheel obscures the cluster.


I'll post more later. I have the fuel tank done as well as the Electronics tray. I also have the front break line in and the rear brake lines almost done. I have the parts for the exhaust, and need to make a few parts to move the oil cooler up near the radiator ..... etc..etc...
Thanks for looking,


03-30-2012, 01:37 PM
Yeah well I will say this from your last posting just above this one...you have common sence and well most people do not.... I still belive that if you are not pissed off 80% of everyday... Your not paying attention to the stuff people are doing around you..

Hey not to jump ship on the topic, I have a dwarf car. Well there is a motor and suspension that turned right in order to drift around a track going left. I have felt the impossible mission during the entire build of mine. Now for me to make it turn left and right... And have over 12 inches of travel! Well my car was never designed to do either. I am over thinking my car and well most all of it. I went to the dwarf car shop here in town and well there is a bunch of track cars that have huge bump steer... Like 5 inches of travel and 30 degrees of bump steer... YIKES!

THERE. Are times I go in to my garage and well I feel anxious and lost at the same time.... It happens to all of us. I look forward to your posts and hope it goes well.... But never hesitate to ask questions. Were all here helping and in the same boat if you get what I mean.

05-21-2012, 10:12 PM
Way past time for another post on this thread. I’ve been watching the fast progress on the AR51 buggies and am impressed …. .Rick, you do an awesome job.

I’ll jump ahead of the story here and just say flat out, other than the exhaust, the mechanical work is done. I’ll tell the whole story for those who like the details later, but tomorrow the buggy goes out for the first spin …… nothing but straight pipes. Here it is ready to exit the shop …..

The noise the GSXR 1000 makes with open headers is amazing [smilie=giddy.gif][smilie=giddy.gif][smilie=giddy.gif]

So where was I….. I mentioned last time I would post up a pic of my shifter. This isn’t a close up, but shows the shifter, the torque tube under the seat, and the leaver/clevis on the vehicle left side (right in the pic)


There's a ton of little details and and fixes over the last month getting everthing ready, and to complete the build thread I need to get it down on (virtual) paper and post it up. But not tonight. It’s late, and work comes early, so it’s off to bed. Tomorrow I’ll take videos of the first run, and post as soon as I can figure out how.

Thanks for looking, Leo

05-22-2012, 07:26 PM
Great job Leo! All that hard work is about to pay off :D

05-22-2012, 07:46 PM
Congrats Leo!
I've enjoyed following your build.
Really like the shifter setup.

Posting vids to utoob is easy.
If I can do it anybody can!
I use the microsoft moviemaker.Came with my computer.
Just hit "save for computer" first so it reformats it,then upload to you tube.
Then post the link form the "share" box on youtube.

05-22-2012, 10:10 PM
Thanks Daaboots, Bull,

SO HERE IT IS!!!!!!!

Barracuda Buggy pics :: P1000968.mp4 video by leokno - Photobucket (http://s153.photobucket.com/albums/s222/leokno/Barracuda%20Buggy%20pics/?action=view&current=P1000968.mp4)

I posted it to Photobucket, so you'll have to use the link to view. That's my son driving. After he took a spin, I made about ten laps up and down the yard (to my wife's dismay) before shutting down. Unfortunatly my son didn't know how to use the camera, so I have no good videos of my first ride .... bummer.

I had a few problems that I will need to work through. First the clutch is way, way too sensitive with less than 1/8" from first movement to full engagement. Second the front sprocket is still the 17 tooth from the bike. The combination made it nearly impossible to start out from anything other than flat smooth pavement.

Easy fixes for both. I have a 14 tooth sprocket on order, and I can move the clutch cable attach point closer to the pivot point to reduce the motion for the same pedal movement.

Beyond that, as you can see with the video, lots of cosmetic work on body panels etc.. I still need to post up the last two months of work on systems. I'll do that in the next few days/weeks as I write it up. ..... More video as well .....

Thanks for all the great feedback and info gained from other build threads ....


05-22-2012, 10:49 PM
You don't think your going to get off that easy .. you have to post up a good clip with some nice cameras.. go to bust buy or where ever and get yourself 3 hero 2's and get busy..lol

05-23-2012, 08:14 AM

Yeah I know, pretty crappy clip. The camera is good, the holder (me) was so excited to see the car on the move that I didn't hold very still. After a few mods to the clutch and sprocket, I'll take more video and do a proper job.

This was just proof that it moves under it's own power ... way cool [smilie=rockout3.gi::eek:


05-23-2012, 09:51 AM

Yeah I know, pretty crappy clip. The camera is good, the holder (me) was so excited to see the car on the move that I didn't hold very still. After a few mods to the clutch and sprocket, I'll take more video and do a proper job.

This was just proof that it moves under it's own power ... way cool [smilie=rockout3.gi::eek:


I know what your feeling I am just bustin ballz...lol I love what you've built there.
Your going to have a hard time beating the buzz you get of that first Ride where you realize for the first time just how insane fast these bike powered cars feel.
Can you say turbo... Woot Woot

05-28-2012, 04:24 PM
Leok, I just read through your entire build and I gotta say You got Skillz! Great job, I can only hope my build turns out half as nice. I dont have a mill or a lathe but I am doing the best I can with what I have. Again, nice build![smilie=jumping.gif]:cool:

05-29-2012, 09:56 PM

Thanks for the comments. It is an unbelieveable feeling to drive the buggy for the first time. I changed out the 17 tooth sprocket for a 14 tooth. I also moved the attach point of the clutch cable closer to the piviot point of the pedal to make the clutch less sensitive. The combination made a huge difference in the ability to go from a standstill without killing the engine. I might still go for a 13 tooth sprocket, but want to drive the buggy a little to get a better feel for it.
Without a muffler it's really loud. And, my wife is really against me tearing up the yard, which it does any time you give it a little gas. So, soon I need to trailer it up north to get some drive time and really feel it out. I am also adjusting the shocks and wheel alignment as I go to get a better ride.

thanks for the compliment. Most of the work on the buggy is my first time through anything like this. I have a long history of making stuff, and just read, study and give it a go. Most of the time things work out better than I expect.... :)
I picked up the lathe and mill for less than I would have spent on machining if I had things done. As long as I don't count my time the numbers work out in my favor. Much of the work I do on the lathe and mill can be done on lesser equipment, just not as precise and/or easy.

Best of luck on your build .... it's worth it when you finish.

I'll post more on all of the system installation as soon as I have it written up and photographed.


06-04-2012, 10:18 PM
It's a lot more fun to put the chasis together since the buggey takes shape day by day. The rest of this stuff isn't quite so sexy, but I wanted to post a little on wiring, running the brake lines, moving the radiator, moving the oil cooler and mounting all of the electrics to tie this first build up. I really hate to admit it, but these were things that I was really having a hard time digging into. Mostly because I didn’t really know what I was doing. Once I dug into each one, they came together better than I ever thought they would.

For the wire harness, I decided to keep all of the functionality of the donor bike. The main thing I needed to do was add about 18” to extend the section that comes to the front of the buggy. After reattaching the harness to the engine, and mounting the cluster and switch pods in the front, I simply measured the added length needed and spliced in the wire length.

The only problem I had was mixing up the main ground and hot lead. Hard to explain, and easy to find once I started trouble shooting the circuit. I finally broke down and bought a service manual for the GSXR1000 (which I needed anyway for future maintenance) and it took about 15 min to find my mistake. I haven’t mounted any lights yet, but the leads are there. I plan on mounting lights in the future.
I welded on tabs to secure the main harness and fabricated a small electronics tray. The tray fits under the gas tank over the main center drive. I think I mentioned before that I mounted the gas tank high so I could position the fuel pump in the same relative position as the donor bike. This way I could use the stock fuel line.
I still need to make a cover to keep dirt and muck out. I mounted all of the components in the same relative position as on the bike. Tip Over sensor and all the various boxes, battery and the kick stand switch (mounted to close the switch permanently) all fit with ease.
I have a 30 ton shop press that I made a few years ago with a HF bottle jack. I also made a 12 inch ‘V’ tongue/ ‘V’ groove tool so I could use the press as a small break. It was easy to make using a grinder and patience to form the ‘V’ notch and point. It works great for bends on material up to ¼” and 12” wide. I used that to bend up the tray.

Once again, I had been putting off Brake lines since I had never run any. My experience to date was replacing lines on a 20 year old rusted up truck. A few trips to the auto parts store cleared up all of the mystery and resulted in a reasonably nice job. Banjo bolts with AN adaptors, to AN flex lines, to AN/ flare adaptors, then standard lines into the master cylinders.
A few more tabs to hold everything in place. I had a few problems with leaks, but sorted them out with a little effort. A little trick I learned on flare fittings to stop leaks is to run the nut down tight, then off, then tight several times to work in the seat. If you just crank on them, they will break often times before they seal.
The Radiator and Oil Cooler had been on the agenda for a while as well. I moved both above the engine up where the air movement should be good. I had planned to splice additional length on to the stock radiator lines. It was easier and cleaner to simply replace the hoses with new 1” ID bulk heater hose from the auto parts store. It fit perfectly on the engine and radiator barbs.
The oil cooler lines from the bike have machined fittings on each end with a center flex section. Cutting off the crimps, I found stock oil line hose that pushed right in the barbs and clamped easily in place.
A few mounting points welded on and that job was done. If I had known how easy the solution was, I would have done it long ago!
The Exhaust is still kicking my butt. I bought all stainless mandrel bends to reroute as needed. After cutting the stock header and fitting up the next bends, I discovered the stock header is titanium. :confused: You can’t weld stainless to titanium (as far as I know).
I had the option of redoing the exhaust entirely of stainless, or figuring out how to work with titanium. Prices for titanium tubing are unbelievable!!! I priced out about $400 either way I went.
After rolling it around for a few days I hit on a solution. I bought another stock titanium header on eBay for $100 and plan on cutting out the bends I need to route the exhaust. It looks like I will try my hand at welding titanium.
The next problem I am woking on is getting TIG rod. The local welding supply will order it for me by the pound at $120 minimum order. Thanks to eBay, I have 4 rods on the way for $20 ...

Thanks for looking once again.


06-05-2012, 05:38 AM
If you have trouble welding the titanium you might try a gsxr 750 header pipe.
Most are stainless and will fit the 1000 depending on the year.
I believe you need to flood the titanium in argon to weld it.

06-05-2012, 06:41 AM
Thanks Rick, I didn't know that. I do have a second tank and regulator to back purge the the Titanium while I weld it. It shouldn't be too much of a problem.
I read up on the techniques. It is supposed to be just like welding Stainless, and stainless is supposed to be only a little harder than mild steel. I know this isn't welding web, but I'll post however it turns out ..... :):(

Since this thread is more about the process than the design, I have one more learning that is a little embarrassing…..

We had some friends over last Saturday. My wife relented on letting me drive the buggy in “her” yard so I could show the friends. I drove to the bottom of the yard and for the first time really put my foot in it. WOW does that GSXR1000 pull in the higher RPMs!!!! About half way up the hill, something felt a little funny in the rear. I let off the gas, and the left rear wheel passed me as I coasted to a stop.?%$* :eek::eek::eek:

I had forgotten to lock tight the wheel adapter screws and they backed out.

Now the learning…. The repair was easy, but in the process, I checked every screw/bold in the rear drive. 50% were loose even though I torqued everything down when I put it together. After a little driving to exercise all of the joints, go back and re-torque all of the joints. :D


06-05-2012, 07:11 AM
LOL!! I've have a few tires roll past me. Never a good feeling. One time I was doing a bunch of donuts in front of a bunch of kids and my rear tire hub broke and my wheel went rolling away on me [smilie=gun_chair.g:

06-05-2012, 07:32 AM

I just figured it was a rookie mistake.... I know next time after the first ride or two I will be checking all of the bolts to make sure they stay tight. :p

06-05-2012, 11:59 AM
Would this ruin the loctite if you re-torque after your first run??

06-06-2012, 10:04 PM

Thanks for your comment..
I figured if the bolt moved, then the loctite was either not working anyway or the parts had worked in and/or relaxed a little and needed tightening. You are right, if you break a loctite bolt loose, you should remove clean and re-apply additional loctite to get the same bonding strength. I did that on some of the critical bolts, but not all.


rally camaro
06-22-2012, 02:30 PM
If you have trouble welding the titanium you might try a gsxr 750 header pipe.
Most are stainless and will fit the 1000 depending on the year.
I believe you need to flood the titanium in argon to weld it.

RickS is absolutely right. If you don't use an argon flood you will get micro cracks in the weld due to high oxygen content and the vibration will cause the welds to crack, no question.

You need to build plugs for each end of the pipe you are welding, purge the tube with argon, use a large gas cup outside and all should be good. If you don't purge the tube you will get the same micro crack issue due to O2 on the inside. Your other option would be to build a flood cover or find a shop that can weld it for you.

Be careful, Argon is clear, odorless, heavier than air and will build up if in a closed space. It is a suffocation hazard in closed spaces as it will push O2 up to the ceiling as the room fills.

I spent 15 years making Ti castings for the aero industry so am very familiar with the process. If you can get around the purge issue, Ti welds like butter, really nice.

Build is great. I especially like all the machining information you shared.


06-25-2012, 09:39 PM
Thanks for the comments. I had done a little reading on Titanium TIG welding and was aware of the need to back purge. I picked up a second Argon regulator a few weeks ago to use on back purging Stainless Steel, and had a couple of extra tanks of Argon on hand.

The biggest issue was getting Titanium filler rod. The local welding supply does not stock and could only order by the pound. At $125 per pound, it was more than I was willing to spend to use 1 or 2 sticks and let the balance sit around and gather dust. eBay to the rescue with $4 per stick ½ stick.

With an extra GSXR1000 header ($100 on eBay) I had plenty of donor tube and bends to reroute the exhaust where I needed it. It was a lot of careful fitting with some trial and error tacking, but came out great. I back purged the tube with 4-5 cfm argon, taping the ends of the tubes as I went along to hold the back purge. I welded slow making sure I kept the torch over the metal until cooled. It welded very easily as you mentioned and looks nice and shiny. Hopefully all of the welds are good.

Here are a couple of picks of the finished exhaust installed…..

I also finished most of the panel work, so here is a pick of the buggy as it sits now….

The next task is to buy or build a trailer to take it somewhere to ride ..... Silver Lake or up to Northern Michigan.
Thanks for all of the kind words and encouragement as I worked along on this build. Other than a few details on lights etc., this buggy is done. I plan on starting number two later this summer.


rally camaro
06-26-2012, 05:16 AM
If the welds are shiny you are golden. When they start to go beyond straw colored is when you need to start to worry. Ti makes beautiful blues and purples when it oxidizes because of heat (that's how they make the jewelry) but those colors are indicators of the onset of micro-cracks. Looking great. Can't wait to see the vid.


08-28-2012, 09:56 PM
Well, I finially got a trailer and took the buggy out for a long weekend up north. It was a great time, and the buggy was near flawless. Here is a nice little video compiled from the many hours of fun.

first run - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxBDhQMPyRI&feature=youtu.be)

I taped the camera to the top of the frame with a paper towel for a cushion. You can see how smooth the suspension is by the lack of shake in the video. Enjoy ...


08-29-2012, 12:06 AM
Thanks Leo ,cool trails looked like a blast,,,nice tune to havnt heard a bit of purple for a long time.:)

08-29-2012, 02:23 PM
Good video, although those loose, sandy roads aren't the ideal place to explore the high speed handling of a new and unfamiliar machine with that much power, I imagine! It looks like it (you) did just fine.:cool: By the way, how's the twin?

There are more than a couple sweet Michigan buggies with production roots, as well as current Rorty and Cuda builds like Leo's around here. I smell a photo op!

08-29-2012, 08:29 PM
Thanks Talon and Ody,

It was fantastic to get out and really run the buggy hard. I half expected some kind of a break down to put me out of action, since this was the first real run other than around the neighborhood. No problems .... no breakdowns.

The acceleration is amazing. The steering is positive if not a little heavy. I think I need to make a few small adjustments in the front end to lighten things up a little. There were some clear areas in the trails where I was comfortable opening the speed up to around 85. Based on the red line of the engine, with the current gearing the buggy will top out at a little over 100 mph. (13 front, 65 back). I think I am completly hooked on driving this thing !!!! [smilie=ecstatic.gi:[smilie=ecstatic.gi:[smilie=ecstatic.gi:[smilie=ecstatic.gi:

I have a small list of "want to change" items that I'll be working on. Better shift linkage, move the gas pedal 1" outboard, soften the clutch linkage, a tiny leak in the gas tank .... This is really getting close to complete, done, finished.

As for the twin, I will start the chassis when the fall tasks are done or the weather goes to crap. I plan on adding 3-4" to the chasis to make more comfort for the driver.

Thanks for looking, Leo

08-29-2012, 09:04 PM
Hey Leo,,, Good to see it completed, and no break downs.
How about the U.P. on the 7th?
Have 6 going up so far. 4 buggys and a couple dirt bikes,,, I think.
Anyway, awesome job and video. Be great if you could make it.

08-30-2012, 06:42 AM
As for the twin, I will start the chassis when the fall tasks are done or the weather goes to crap. I plan on adding 3-4" to the chasis to make more comfort for the driver.

Thanks for looking, Leo

So they are faternal.:D Thanks for the update!

08-30-2012, 10:52 AM
So far just one bike. I can't wait to get out and ride! Gotta finish up my hidden hitch for the 300, but the bike is ready!! Braaaappp! C'mon up Leo!

10-01-2012, 08:57 PM
Time to start on the twin .... I happened across another GSXR 1000 for the right price. By the time I part out the bits that I don't need, I should be out of pocket less than $1000 for the motor and other pieces I plan on using ... woo hoo [smilie=jumping.gif][smilie=ecstatic.gi:



10-01-2012, 09:00 PM

10-01-2012, 09:12 PM
Dang! I forgot about how beautiful your garage is!

Congrats on the new engine.

10-01-2012, 09:31 PM
The guy who sold it to me had to get rid of it due to far too many tickets, impoundments etc... He gave me the Dyno for the bike, 144 hp at the rear tire. I'm really suprised at the price he let me have it for .... less than the last one, and that one had been tumbled.

I have to be honest about this configuration of bike. I had a Goldwing for about 12 years and really enjoyed riding, mostly out west in the mountians.
Every time I ride one of these crotch rockets .... well lets just say it is verrrrry uncomfortable. As one squirel said to the other, "It's all fun and games until someone looses a nut"

Now tires, shocks, Steering Wheel, etc, etc... this will be a busy winter.


10-02-2012, 05:36 AM
Great to hear! Awesome motor for these cars.
Don't need to tell you that though. I need to pay you a visit and check out your shop.

10-02-2012, 05:39 AM
Come on down any time. I think you still have my number to make sure I'm around. The wife is going out of town Wed - Fri so I'll be out in the shop as much as possible.:p


10-02-2012, 08:13 AM
Great find!

01-07-2013, 09:21 PM
It's about time to update the progress on the twin. Between 'Honey Do' projects and rebuilding my truck's transmission the progress has been a little slow .... but steady.

I have all of the tubing completed for the second chassis.


I added three inches to the center to give a little more space for seating. The Barracuda as designed is a little cramped. I also moved the pedal position forward about an inch for a total of 4 inches.


I also changed the structure around the front of the center carrier in the rear . As designed, the top front of the carrier doesn't attach to the cross tube directly without spacers. In order to route the chain on the GSXR 1000 I ended up cutting through the top cross member and tube any way ... after 4 trips with the first buggy a weld cracked in the area indicating the frame is flexing. This should really strengthen the area.


This is the first buggy, built according to the plans.... you can see where the chain passes through a short piece of square tubing. This is per the plans.

Someone mentioned in my earlier post that this area needed additional support, and I let it slide. They were right .... nice call. ;) The rear A arms must flex this area on acceleration and deceleration. I will be adding additional structure to the first buggy before spring.


Next steps are welding everything up and adding all the other pieces.


01-08-2013, 09:56 AM
That's quite the update. Yeah the honey do list always seems to get in the way
It's like they know when your busy in your mind

01-08-2013, 04:31 PM
Thanks Chikin,

Along the way I made a number of smaller mods in addition to those mentioned above. I added an inch to the roll cage height since it is hard to pull on my helment after getting in the first buggie. I also lowered the cross brace on the front rails so I can run a single body panel in the front center instead of breaking it in the middle. I moved the front roof cross tube rearward and the lower front cross tube forward to add a little larger wind shield opening. The sight line over the buggy as designed is a little restricted.

In other words, I am taking each tube and deciding if I want to make any adjustments to make the buggy more comfortable .... all the better for those long rides in northern Michigan. If I could give any advice to someone building their first Barracuda: Sit in one. Get a feel for how comfortable you are. Put the seatbelt on, make some car noises and throw yourself around like you are banging through whoops. [smilie=jumping.gif][smilie=jumping.gif][smilie=jumping.gif]Reach for all of the controls, start, shift, clutch etc... See how it all feels. Then make a list of all the changes you might want. If you don't change anything a lot, keep the same suspension geometry, feel free to make the buggy your own.

If anything, I was too careful to follow the plans on the first buggy. Now that I have the first one completed, and some ride time, I see all kinds of little tweeks that should add up to a much better fit for me.


01-10-2013, 07:20 PM
Awesome builds, I need to learn how to make my own machined parts now!

02-02-2013, 08:19 AM
Sweet build, i am doing a college project and have to build the barracuda on solidworks. I have a set of the plans but one component is really bothering me. The centre drive load washer. Can someone please tell me its location in the buggy please [smilie=gun_bash.gi:

02-02-2013, 09:33 AM
I posted on your other thread, but here is the picture again. They are spacers to the bolts that hold the PIRCV in the housing. 3 each side.



02-14-2013, 01:22 PM
Thanks Chikin,

Along the way I made a number of smaller mods in addition to those mentioned above. I added an inch to the roll cage height since it is hard to pull on my helment after getting in the first buggie. I also lowered the cross brace on the front rails so I can run a single body panel in the front center instead of breaking it in the middle. I moved the front roof cross tube rearward and the lower front cross tube forward to add a little larger wind shield opening. The sight line over the buggy as designed is a little restricted.

In other words, I am taking each tube and deciding if I want to make any adjustments to make the buggy more comfortable .... all the better for those long rides in northern Michigan. If I could give any advice to someone building their first Barracuda: Sit in one. Get a feel for how comfortable you are. Put the seatbelt on, make some car noises and throw yourself around like you are banging through whoops. [smilie=jumping.gif][smilie=jumping.gif][smilie=jumping.gif]Reach for all of the controls, start, shift, clutch etc... See how it all feels. Then make a list of all the changes you might want. If you don't change anything a lot, keep the same suspension geometry, feel free to make the buggy your own.

If anything, I was too careful to follow the plans on the first buggy. Now that I have the first one completed, and some ride time, I see all kinds of little tweeks that should add up to a much better fit for me.


In addition to that, I would say that anyone considering a barracuda build may consider stretching the cockpit if you are a taller driver. I'm 6'2" and I stretched my cockpit 4" to give me some leg room. I'm glad I did! I have a beard seat and I don't think it would have fit in the stock dimensions.

Cool build BTW. I like the shifter setup. I did a shifter relay bar behind the seat in the engine compartment so I can shift with my right hand. You can see it here:


I didn't have the capability to weld Ti, and I didn't want to take a chance on trying to make a prefabbed header work so I went with Meg's Exhaust Warehouse for my tubing and made my own headers. I had my tips machined for the exhaust ports.

02-14-2013, 11:11 PM

I couldn't agree more on the cockpit length. I added 3" to the second buggy ..... with the seat and pedals in, it makes a huge difference and I am only 5'10" (and shrinking as I get older [smilie=alright.gif] )

By the way, I found Titanium welding to be quite easy, but it has to be TIG and you have to back purge. As far as I know MIG won't do it


02-20-2013, 10:02 AM
I read the whole thread, very detailed, very nice build!

02-20-2013, 06:16 PM
Thanks Ninja,

I've been slowly working on the second build.We get a nice little bonus $$s in the next few weeks at work, so I should be able to pick up the pace as parts come in. :D Not much to show in pics right now as all I'm doing is welding up the chasis. I have a number of mods I plan on as the parts go together, so I'll document them as I do them ... steering, front uprights, gas tank, electrical mounting, etc..


04-08-2013, 09:06 PM
So it's about time to add another update to this build. I am trying to make the second buggy better and avoid things that gave me problems on the first one. One of those items is the steering. On the first buggy I went to front steer to fix a conflict with a clutch pedal I added. I reversed the uprights (left to right, right to left) to get the steering arms in the front position. The result was a lack of ackerman (tighter inside radius vs. outside radius in a turn), mild bump steer, and bent tie rods to keep from binding the heim joints. In addition a friend with a buggy has had the same rack and pinion break twice jamming his steering ..... not good when riding trails. The bent tie rods flex and rotate under load giving slop in the steering system.

So first I bought a larger center load rack. To make it work in the car, I cut the center arm off (that I am holding in the pic below), about 2" off each end of the housing and made a new cover to close the rack top. I then took the rack, drilled and tapped the ends for a 1/2" heim.


Next I mounted the rack so the pivot now lines up with a line drawn between the two A arm pivot points as seen below.


I also cut off the stock (Edge design) steering arms and added new ones. I angled the arms to line up with the tie rod so I would not have a bend the tie rods. I also moved the pivot point as far out as I could to get some ackerman back. The way that works is to place the steering arm pivot point further out than a line between the outboard end of the A arms fro front steer (further in for rear steer). You can see this in the next two photos.



The net result is a strong R &P, no bump steer and no bend in the tie rod. One of these days, I need to rebuild the first cart to this steering system once it is proven.

The next modification was to move the rear tires out 1" on each side. I needed to do this because Edge has their own rims custom made with a larger than 'standard' offset. With standard ATV rims the clearance to the rear uprights is less than 1/16". The front is also wider than the rear by 2-3". I machined two new hubs with an extra inch of material. This moves the wheels out an extra inch on each side. You can see the difference in the next two pics.



The next steps are to complete the rear drive section to include idler sprocket, mounting the brake caliper, setting up the rear sprocket. Lots of other stuff ... it seams never ending. I hope to have it done this season, but I won't rush it and cut corners.


04-09-2013, 07:20 AM
Looks good.

One thing, if that pic of spindle/arm from front is at max droop,I believe you will max out steering heim too quick as you cycle up. If that pic is "ride height" then nevermind and carry on.

04-09-2013, 08:00 AM
Looking good, Leo! I especially like lowering the sight line over the front. I guess The Edge was intending to block roost with the design, but it always seemed like the drivers were peering over the hood.

04-09-2013, 04:25 PM
Carl, thanks for the comment. The pic is with the A arm at ride height. I have it strapped up waiting for the shocks to arrive.

Thanks Ody, I haven't minded the view on the first buggy too much, but think I can do better by a few inches. What can be done is a little limited because of the upper front shock mount. You can't really lower the tube without affecting the rake angle of the shock.
One nit to pick is the obscuration of the speedometer from the steering wheel. I am trying to get that a little better as well on the second buggy.

It just seems to take sooo long to do/make each item exactly right....[smilie=alright.gif]


04-09-2013, 07:56 PM
It just seems to take sooo long to do/make each item exactly right....[smilie=alright.gif]

Well we all sure appreciate your hard work!

04-21-2013, 04:28 PM
Wow Leok, very imprecise indeed. Thank for the link, was a great read.

04-22-2013, 09:38 PM
I keep plugging away at it.
Further progress has been the gear shift mechanism. Like the first buggy, I want to shift on the right similar to a car. I already rebuilt the shifter once on the first buggy, and still don't like it. Now this one corrects all of the dislikes, but is heavier than I think it needs to be ... it'll stay since I don't expect any functional problems. (after 3 trys I think I know how I would do it on the 4th .... but there won't be a fourth ;-) )

http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s222/leokno/DSCF3033_zps8bc2cf16.jpg (http://s153.photobucket.com/user/leokno/media/DSCF3033_zps8bc2cf16.jpg.html)

Next has been installing the shocks. I have FOA Coil over 12" remote reservoir with dual springs. I have 12"/250lb and 10"/125lb dual springs on the first buggy and I think the front is a little soft. Also the ride height adjustment is tightened down farther than I would like. So this time I bumped the 125 lb up to 150 lb. The damping is great with the first buggy (I think) since I landed from almost 8 feet in the air at a 45 degree nose down and didn't bottom out.

Anyway, here are a few pics of the shocks so far.

http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s222/leokno/DSCF3034_zps80cb21af.jpg (http://s153.photobucket.com/user/leokno/media/DSCF3034_zps80cb21af.jpg.html)

I have the max droop setting the CVs at 22 degrees. Could probably do a few more, but I don't think I need it.

http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s222/leokno/DSCF3030_zps34924643.jpg (http://s153.photobucket.com/user/leokno/media/DSCF3030_zps34924643.jpg.html)

I'm having a new sprocket and adapter plate cut at the local laser shop. Once that is in place I can finish up the rear. I want to get all of the tabs and engine mounting plates on and welded before I take the chassis down off the rotisserie... I'm not much for welding while lying on my back.

For the next few weeks I have to do a little work on the old buggy. We have the season opener with a group going up trail riding at St Helen, MI on April 18th. Anyone interested in joining us let me know. I have a few minor tasks that need attention and an oil change before we go.

Thanks for looking

Pstegs 101
04-23-2013, 10:50 AM
that looks really good nice job:)

07-05-2013, 08:31 AM


Hi Leo,

Just wondering what kind of clamps you're using to hold the part - those two long "hooks". I've never seen anything like that before.


07-08-2013, 10:17 PM

Those are old style forged jam clamps. I made them by clamping a piece of square stock in a vice and pounding each end over to create a sharp 'L' shape. They are just long enough to span the distance. I bang them sideways to tighten, and tap them straight to release. They bite real well in the aluminum block I was using for a backing block.

All I was looking for was a clamp that wouldn't interfere with the band saw, and would hold the part tight for cutting. I don't remember where I got the idea from, but it came from something I saw or read somewhere.


07-09-2013, 07:17 AM

Those are old style forged jam clamps. I made them by clamping a piece of square stock in a vice and pounding each end over to create a sharp 'L' shape. They are just long enough to span the distance. I bang them sideways to tighten, and tap them straight to release. They bite real well in the aluminum block I was using for a backing block.

All I was looking for was a clamp that wouldn't interfere with the band saw, and would hold the part tight for cutting. I don't remember where I got the idea from, but it came from something I saw or read somewhere.


Interesting - thanks!

05-06-2014, 10:34 PM
hi leo, i realise this thread has been dead for a while, but i just spent the last hour reading through it and it was great, i hope your second buggy worked out fine. I'm in the early stages of building a buggy myself and some of the modifications you have made on here will help me in my build I'm sure! like you started out i was planning on following plans strictly but i can see a bit of modification does no harm! I'm planning on building badlands megalodon, i think it is very similar to the barracuda, which i also looked at however my friend is going with the cuda and I'm taking on the megalodon. anyway just wanted to say great build! i know you've been told already but I'm now sitting at half midnight itching to get a pipe bender and welder out!!

05-08-2014, 02:21 AM
Thanks gwg22,

I know I haven't posted in a while on this thread .... nothing new on the second build other than the loooong finishing stretch . In the next month or so I'll take a few more pics and tie a bow on this. With the spring weather here my wife has me out cleaning up the yard.

I am in the process of final assembly of the second buggy. This time I welded all of the tabs and mounting pads while the frame is on the rotisserie before painting. I have a few more parts to reinstall and I will drop it on the wheels for good. Once on the wheels, I still have engine mounts, electrical, exhaust and body panels to finish. Not too much considering the whole project.


05-08-2014, 12:48 PM
COOL LEO!! Don't forget Loc-tite on that steering rack....The tree might be bigger next time..:p


05-11-2014, 01:25 AM
Hey Justin.... LOL

Everything on this buggy is either loc-tite or lock nuts!! :D
I was lucky the steering came loose when I had a little time to get the speed down before the tree got in the way. [smilie=drool.gif]


09-07-2014, 02:44 AM
So here it is, the last, well maybe not the last post. I finial finished the second buggy …. Well, almost finished since I haven’t cut the body panels yet. I thought it would only be a month or so last spring, but life got in the way. Four months and a lot of home projects out of the way, and I have had some time to work on the buggy. Now I really need it done to make room for other projects in the works.


So here are some of the details I haven't posted yet.......
The gas tank is set high like the first buggy. This preserves the relationship of the tank to the engine so I can use the stock fuel line. I cut the stock filler and fuel pump mount out of the bike tank and welded them into the new shape. I had the filler set too close to a cross member in the first buggy and it is tight to open and fill. The new one sits a little lower and more forward .. works great. I also mounted the tank a little different. I set a cross tube and two pieces of angle iron along the bottom side edges of the tank for it to sit on. This also gave a perfect place to mount the electronics tray with the vertical sides of the angle iron. I have a closed electronics area on the front side and a keyed ‘trunk’ (‘boot’ for you aussies) on the rear side to carry tools etc. for the trail repairs.


I used the taillight and turn lights right off the bike. They fit right in. I also kept everything in the harness as close as possible to the bike. The switch groups from the bike are clamped to delrin stubs on the side of the IP. All are functional. I will wire the HID lights to the high beam switch so I can turn them off. (the low beam head lights are always on from the bike)


The header is titanium re-routed to the side rather than straight back like the bike. Titanium tubing is out of this world expensive, so I bought a spare Ti header from ebay for $100 or so and cut out the bends I needed to re-route the exhaust.



Thanks for reading/looking


09-07-2014, 12:58 PM
Way to go! Two builds (even though there is some shared synergy) is quite a task. [smilie=thumbs_up.g:

09-29-2014, 12:25 AM
I took the new buggy out for a first ride yesterday. My son Tim and I went to St. Hellen's to do some trail riding with a few friends. Only one minor issue late in the day when the rear left wheel came off :D. I guess I forgot the Loctite on the hub bolts. That was after about 50-75 miles of hard riding, and on the last run, so not much of an issue. I put everything back together for a short ride to the trailer, but didn't want to do much more since sand got in the CV joints.

Anyways here are both buggies before the trip....



Here we are out on the trails ......


Here is a short video of the trails. I have a lot more video, but the files are monsters and I have not uploaded them yet ... nice fall colors [smilie=thumbs_up.g:

GOPR0032 - YouTube (http://youtu.be/gs4rBpEsmv8)

Sorry, not sure how to insert the video directly.


09-30-2014, 02:04 PM
Just watch it on Youtube, go up to the address bar, copy the URL, then paste it in your post. Hey, we don't have to remove the "s" from the "http" potion anymore! K-fab must have a lotta pull at Youtube!

Post up the next time you go if you want some company, Leo, I need to get the buggy out.

GOPR0032 - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gs4rBpEsmv8&feature=youtu.be)

edit: Hmmm, you did that, I'm not sure why yours didn't embed. It may have to do with the URL you posted was different from the final one. For some reason, when Youtube sends the notification that the video is live to the person that uploaded it, the URL is different from the URL that shows when someone watches on Youtube. I'm just guessing, though.

09-30-2014, 05:11 PM

I need to get you linked up and on the distribution for the group around here. They have been going almost every month all summer. It's a varied group with buggies, 4 wheelers and bikes. The common denominator is that we all like to go out and play. There have been as many as 12 people and as few as 2.
PM me an email an I'll add it to the list so get the monthly invites. A friend by the name of Kurt sends them out. (Also anyone else that wants to be included.)


09-30-2014, 07:10 PM
Congrats Leo! Good stuff.

09-30-2014, 07:32 PM

I need to get you linked up and on the distribution for the group around here. They have been going almost every month all summer. It's a varied group with buggies, 4 wheelers and bikes. The common denominator is that we all like to go out and play. There have been as many as 12 people and as few as 2.
PM me an email an I'll add it to the list so get the monthly invites. A friend by the name of Kurt sends them out. (Also anyone else that wants to be included.)


PM sent. Thanks!

Dave C.