View Full Version : AR51 build in KY

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11-07-2011, 01:24 PM
I'm getting started on building a RickS. AR51 design. I spent most of a day getting my garage in order to start and have not made much actual progress. I'll keep the thread updated with pics and info as I build. Rick has been very helpful with drawings and advice so far. Realistically I should have this thing as a roller before spring of next year, and then the sourcing of a motorcycle and finishing it off will determine when it actually gets put to use.




I would really like to get this one complete and then also build a two seater. Let's see how this one goes first.

11-09-2011, 02:57 PM
Welcome WJ, you'll love how it will go together; I have built one of his buggies been very pleased with the detail of his plans. Enjoy the build:D

11-10-2011, 12:33 PM
I'll be watching this build. Love Rick's buggy!

11-12-2011, 02:39 PM
Interesting way to use a drill press, work well? [smilie=jumping.gif]

11-13-2011, 07:28 AM
I was converting the drill press from a bench model to a floor model so I could get full range of use out of my protools tube notcher. The table height range of the 32" 2.5" pipe stand got replaced by a 5' 2.5" pipe, and I had a friend turn a new collar so that I could move the table rack up and down the pipe for more flexibility. I bought this 82 model duracraft from a local guy off craigslist because it has a 1725 rpm 3/4 HP motor, and the lowest speed is 195 rpm.

11-16-2011, 09:43 PM
A few more pictures. Hopefully I'll have the front end together in the next couple weeks.

Pile as of yesterday:


More tubes from tonight. I'm using a chop saw for the first angle and then a cutoff wheel for the second on compound tube ends:


11-19-2011, 03:29 AM
Great work , plenty of pic's are required.

You have quite a bizarre collection of garage stuff, does the boss know you are showering her stuff with grinding dust. hehehe

11-19-2011, 06:47 AM
I move stuff around and use a big fan with the garage door partially open when I'm cutting and grinding. I usually take pictures after I clean up and make room for the wife's car again. My wife relocated a lot of things to the garage when she had one of those pyramid scheme parties (tastefully simple/candlelight/scrapbookers anonymous/etc.). :D

11-19-2011, 08:37 AM
Awesome. Hey he can play rock band drums form the garage. Hey your not alone. My wife decided to shop early for xmas yesterday and thinks the garage is the perfect place to shore her stuff..(Just as a side point.. its a 1 car garage... WHO builds houses with 1 car garages)

Here is my garage as of yesterday Any way look forward to your project... and your not alone with the storage issues...HA I gave my wife this face yesterday>:mad:http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k5/chikin1974/IMAG0007.jpg

Thats funny shit...My wife went to a candle party/Scheme last weekend. Yeah were out 38 dollars, and she wants US to have a candle host party... Yeah right! Her argument was and I quote "Oh.. well we make 25% of the total sales....we can make some money"
I bet you had the same conversion??

11-19-2011, 09:10 PM
Got my first package from RickS. Somehow he got all those parts into that small flat rate box:


I started putting some holes in tubes and bar for the steering rack mount:


Here's the extended drill press that was once on the floor:


11-19-2011, 09:16 PM
Great to see your moving along, Every time I see some of Rick's work it just keeps getting better.

Keep us posted I am very interested in what she will look like.

The only Pyramids are in the desert lol

Glock n Ballz
11-19-2011, 09:42 PM
Merry Christmas!!

Get it!!

11-20-2011, 03:55 AM
Yea dont worry about the mess your garage is super clean compared to mine. inlaws crap and bro inlaws crap, and wood for shop addition. i have to go outside to get inside lol went from 2 bay to 1/2 but wont be long and shop will be done and i can start moving stuff (MINE). Good luck on the build and keep up with pics

11-26-2011, 10:58 PM
I had a couple hours tonight to start welding the front end parts together. A few pics are below. I ended up using a spring compressor's 5/8" bolt to help align some of the suspension tabs. It's good to finally have some parts welded together and square..





Kid was happy too:

11-27-2011, 06:26 PM
Looks good. Great idea with the threaded rod and nuts!

11-28-2011, 01:29 AM
Digital Vernier ,,,,,, Now your showing off. hahahahaha Great to assemble some peices hey.

11-28-2011, 09:05 AM
I was always told to 'measure it with a micrometer and cut it with a chainsaw.' :D

11-28-2011, 09:14 AM
First off welcome to the site..
You look like your off to a great start and your in good hands with RickS helping you and making your parts etc.. very good.

Great to see all the pics and updates.. we really enjoy seeing them so please keep them coming and good luck on your build.


11-28-2011, 08:47 PM
Thanks for the responses and welcome. It looks like my next real 'free time' to work will be Sunday when the wife and kid go to a party for a few hours. I was reading through RickS' plans earlier tonight looking for places to screw up something. He does a great job on his plans of putting 'PAY ATTENTION.' :D

It appears a nice steel stud/MDF build table would really help with making sure the frame is flat and square. My weld table isn't quite big enough to fit the larger frame sections, and it's definitely not perfectly flat.

Build table examples on locostusa website:

LocostUSA.com • View topic - The ULTIMATE Build Table (http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=103010#p103010)

11-29-2011, 10:48 PM
I got a box of goodies from Rick today, and I spent about three hours on the internet cross-shopping hardware websites and ordering precision heims and jam nuts. Fun fun!!! [smilie=ecstatic.gi:


11-30-2011, 06:21 AM
Very nice!

11-30-2011, 07:07 AM
I've got spacers, hubs and bearings on the way from Doug Heim as well as a lot of nuts and bolts from bolt depot and pegasusautoracing. I should be able to put up a lot of pictures after Sunday's full day of work.

11-30-2011, 01:33 PM
Rack from Rick also?

Glock n Ballz
11-30-2011, 01:35 PM
I like your A Arms!!!!

11-30-2011, 06:06 PM
Rick provided everything in the picture. I'd like to fab everything myself, but I don't have the time or tools to make it as 'purdy' and strong as Rick and his suppliers. I'd like to have a sound and reliable buggy by summer next year, so I'll rely on the pros where I can afford to.

I've been sourcing parts from Doug Heim, Steve at aftershock (Livewire) and Rick mostly. Their pricing seems to be comparable or better than some of the big internet stores, so I'm going to buy from the guys that are on the forums and support the fab addiction. :cool:

11-30-2011, 10:35 PM
Santa was kind to you, why invent the wheel when these guys are experts. It takes all the guess work and extra expense of doing it twice..

You may even be finished before Glocks Frankenstien Build ;) lol.

Glock n Ballz
12-01-2011, 10:17 AM

You may even be finished before Glocks Frankenstien Build ;) lol.

MY NAME IS FrankensteIn!!!

HAHAHA, I love it.

Road Warrior, not Frankenstein! Lol.

12-02-2011, 06:31 PM
Mas picturas.

I was able to start assembling the front end, and I was glad I waited for the steering rack. I ended up having to drill out a couple rosette welds on a tap plate, knock it out and reposition it to get the rack square. Rick made some slightly oversized spacers to use for welding the control arm tabs as well. I hope to get the front end completely together by Sunday.






Glock n Ballz
12-02-2011, 07:54 PM
Good for you WJ! Very exciting!!

12-03-2011, 04:08 AM
It Lives,,, it has left the paper and is starting to exist. Keep us posted I really want to see what this puppy looks like.


12-03-2011, 09:32 PM
Tonight I got the shock mounts and cross tube finished, and I spent a lot of time 'massaging' the lower and upper front frame to get it within Rick's +/- .060" tolerance. I left a couple of my vertical tubes about 1/8th of an inch too long, so I'm having to grind down the legs a bit at a time until I get to the correct height while still maintaining a flat connection between the two pieces. This should save me from having to 'custom' fit the main frame to the front end later.

Shock mount clamped and spaced ready to tack:


Working towards tacking the cross tube to the shock mounts:

It's real purdy:


Glock n Ballz
12-04-2011, 07:33 AM
Yeah buddy..
Go piddle around in your garage even if it's just ten minutes. Keep going...

12-04-2011, 07:45 AM
I plan to hit it hard later today. ;)

Glock n Ballz
12-04-2011, 07:47 AM
I'm gonna do that too. Every little bit helps.

12-04-2011, 09:43 AM
Getting ready to tack the lower and upper together. It's funny, but if you make the parts exactly like Rick's drawings then everything fits together and dimensions correctly. :D My little buddy heater, the welder and the grinder are raising the garage temperature as I type.

12-04-2011, 10:25 AM
Wow!Ricks plans look very thorough!

12-04-2011, 12:25 PM
Looking great so far. Good to hear everything is lining up as it should.
Build every piece to print and it will all go together like a puzzle.
There is nothing to be ground or fit at assembly in the AR51 plans.
Every piece on the car is completely detailed including every notch.

12-04-2011, 12:59 PM
The pile of paper in the picture is probably $10,000 worth of books and notes from college. It's all calculus, statics, dynamics, electronics, antenna design, etc. :D

Rick's plans do call out every needed detail. There was one angle that wasn't listed on the rack and pinion, so I called Rick and he told me 30*. I dropped the rack and plate where it needed to go and it was exactly at 30*. Checking every dimension two or three times before cutting or welding pays off.

So, I'm done for today. I have to pick up kids stuff, see family and reunite with old friends. Here's what I accomplished before getting to a stopping point (where the font end mates to the main chassis).

Front end top and bottom locating and tacking:


It's scary how exact the fit of the shock brace was to the lines Rick's plans call for you to scribe. It wedged right between the tubes on the scribe marks, square and touching on all four sides. The front link arm tabs lined right up on center also, and the extra front end support tubes went in easily:


Teeny amount of daylight on either side:




Pan around the almost done front end:




Test fitting the bonnet to frame supports. I need to build the main chassis and get my notcher setup before I tack these thing on with tabs:



12-04-2011, 03:46 PM
Wow great job! And photos. Nice to see one of these finally going together here.
Looks really straight too. Keep it going.

Glock n Ballz
12-04-2011, 04:18 PM
Is that the donor bike in the background of last pic?

12-04-2011, 05:08 PM
I'm with Rick,beautiful job!Your haulin the mail with this project too!

I hope Rick is ready to supply parts and plans,because this is going to be a sure bet to get a killer proven buggy!

12-04-2011, 07:15 PM
Lookin great. Makes me want to get started on mine!

12-05-2011, 12:04 PM
Is that the donor bike in the background of last pic?

That's my 6,000 mile 2009 FZ1 that's going up for sale soon. I'm going to replace it with the buggy, and it's too nice to tear apart. It would be an awesome donor, though.

12-05-2011, 03:37 PM
Wow what a nice and clean build!

It looks like a set Lego plans and parts! Everything is fitting exactly, perfect!:eek:

It's coming along nicely, great to see it piece by piece build up.. Your front-end is almost done.. how nice is that!

Can't wait to see some more progress!


12-06-2011, 01:00 PM
Very nice progress on this build - Would you mind keeping tabs of actual cost for building this thing?
It'd be a great way for newbies (like me) to know what's involved in building this.

12-06-2011, 01:36 PM
I loosely estimated $5,000 to $7,000 just in purchased materials when I started. The tools alone to do this in my garage cost close to $3,000.

If I was more resourceful like a locost car build, I'd be finding junkyard steering racks, hubs and brakes, rear ends, drivelines and then designing a buggy around them. That may be my next endeavor, but the design time to make something safe that performs well takes a lot of time and know how. Thankfully, Al Gore invented the internet.

I'll start a spreadsheet tonight and put in ranges of cost for everything I've done. I have receipts for everything so far.

12-06-2011, 09:21 PM
I mounted my tube notcher tonight and made a compound angle clamp for compound angle notching square tube. It's just two 1" internal diameter split collars with the lower halves welded to a section of 1.25" OD square tube with a .120 wall thickness. A 3/4" OD square tube fits snugly in the collars and you can rotate it relative to the 1.25" OD square tube to create a second angle while notching.



12-07-2011, 10:30 AM
Nice build its coming along great

12-07-2011, 07:23 PM
The product of a couple hours with an abrasive chop saw (in a 46*F garage). That's all of the square tubes to form most of the main chassis. This weekend will be tube bending time.


Anybody need any used synthetic oil?

I also found this guy 'chilling' on my garage door. He really woke up when I hit him with a propane torch. Now it's time to ortho max the entire house.


12-07-2011, 07:34 PM
^^ Pretty sure thats a lady spider...

Not really posting just to add a useless trolling comment though. I like this thread, I'm excited to see another AR51 being built. Commenting to subscribe and get it flagged every time I jump on MBN. Keep up the progress.

12-07-2011, 07:38 PM
Black widows are what we call them here. I hear they are very common in AZ. They are easy to find around KY too.

12-07-2011, 08:18 PM
A black widow!!?!?! :eek:

12-07-2011, 10:13 PM
They actually found brown widow spiders at a Cali college that are twice as poisonous as the black widow.. But not as aggressive... This was about 5 years ago

12-09-2011, 02:48 AM
looks like what we call a Red Back Spider here in Australia. usually found in wood piles or under outback toilet seats.

Is that a red blob on it or some weird camera issue?

12-09-2011, 09:02 AM
Well since some of the people on here may have not seen this spider in the previous page.... Stay away from it... It sucks when you get bit from it... Lets say you will have a bad week.

Or from its friend the brown recluse spider. (another bad week but it comes with a baseball size lump with maybe a 1/2 inch whole 2 inches deep where the poison eats your skin.) Google Brown recluse spider bites.

Ok well back to the thread >>> I like the notcher. Good work and like reading the updates

12-09-2011, 10:49 AM
Yeah, that's an adult female black widow (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latrodectus), they have the red hourglass on the abdomen like that. We have a lot of them around here, they like dark moist areas like crawl spaces, wood piles, etc. Anyhow, that's one of the more "stay away" from types like the brown recluse or hobo spider. Never been bit myself, but it is one you need to go get medical attention if you do.

Anyhow, like the tubing notcher setup...looks great!

12-10-2011, 09:43 PM
I picked up the wiring, cluster, controls and engine from a 2001 FZ1 this morning. It will need some work to get it all together, but it will be a labor of love, right? :D

12-13-2011, 09:37 PM
I'm still around. I've been busy trying to part out remnants of the bike I bought. I was able to get an hour in drilling holes tonight. I may take a half day of vacation tomorrow to get the main chassis pieces built. Here are pictures of my holes.


Big drill bit:


Garage looks small from far back:


12-16-2011, 08:42 PM
Things are going okay on the build. I got four or five hours tonight to continue drilling frame holes and finish all the tap plates for the cockpit frame. I have just about mastered hand tapping threads in bar stock on my drill press using a centering bit, clamps and a can of WD40.

It was too late (sleeping kid) to chop saw up the bar into the individual tap plates and weld them into the frame tubes, so I decided to try and notch two of the holes into the square frame tubes. These are offset, angled holes in square tube, so nothing too complicated. I took some time to scribe where the hole saw would cut through the tube and set it up.

Things were going well until the hole saw locked up in the tube, and when I tried to back it out the chuck pulled out of the press. :D This thing had some play in it, and it appears the chuck is not true. I'll probably pick up a new chuck. The play has broken three of my small diameter steel drill bits so far because it flexes the bits when drilling thick bar and tube.

Party! This project is helping me get better at basic metal work, and it's going to be pretty darn satisfying to ride this thing around at 50mph pretty soon. [smilie=giddy.gif]

Pictures as always:

Tap tap tap

Like we sing in church, "Holy-holy-holy..."


Looks like it will work


Maybe not. Hey, half-way!

Charles came out of his hole

12-16-2011, 09:04 PM
Looking good.

Thats a jacobs super chuck?Pretty tough piece and very common.Not sure whats available nowadays but think twice before replacing with a china copy.

Where is the play?You can adjust the runout with a deadblow mallet and an indicator of some type.

The taper needs to be really clean,dry and no burrs.Also clean and dry the bore,it will stay in there if you get it right.

12-16-2011, 09:17 PM
It is a 14N Jacobs chuck. I'm starting to think it wasn't seated well, and that was what was causing the play. I noticed tonight before this incident that the chuck play seemed to vary. I suppose it was getting more and more loose before it pulled out.

12-17-2011, 02:40 AM
This happened with my china(Clarke) drill press when i was tube notching with same set up just give it too muh vibration and chuck kept falling loose[smilie=mad.gif]

So i cleaned it and put some bearing sealant on there which dries in no air situations metal on metal

Havn't had a problem yet :)


12-19-2011, 07:07 PM
After reading a bit on the interwebz I decided to clean the arbor (No.2 morse taper) and the press and use the rubber mallet reseat technique. That appears to have trued up the chuck travel. After reinstalling the arbor and chuck I tried the notcher and it worked perfectly.



12-19-2011, 07:33 PM
Thats cool.

12-19-2011, 07:40 PM
The best part of fabrication and building projects is the learning along the way. Before starting this build I would have no idea how to dismantle a drill press and figure out how to get new arbors/chucks/bearings etc. Now I have at least a novice understanding of how to use a press correctly and get things done. You can only read so much before you go and grab a hold of a piece of steel and learn something (grind/file cut edges or you'll bleed). :D

12-20-2011, 11:43 PM
You will always have trouble cutting through only 1 edge, the teeth on the hole saw will try to climb on the 1 side. You just have to adjust the amount of pressure you apply to the drill press handle and go very very slowly with just enough pressure for the teeth to cut away. When you have the hole saw centered on any kind of metal its fine all teeth are chewing away equally, You will get used to how much pressure you need to apply.

Have you had any helicopters yet or do you brace the metal piece against the Drill press following the DOR.

Keep up the great work.

Glock n Ballz
12-21-2011, 03:40 AM
Doc is asking you the right questions. DOR- direction of rotation? Pretty sure that's what he meant. I would add to that lube. Spraying some oil helps also. I have used motor oil, WD-40(which I think smells good for some reason) and actual cutting fluid like Tap Magic. Any of these work. It's messy, but stuff around your drill press table top tends not to rust after you clean up your mess. Start off drilling a dry hole then add the WD-40(another reason I like WD-40 is that it comes with the red straw that allows for pin point lubrication and you waste less that way IMO). You'll be able to feel the difference in your drill press' crank handle.
Crank handle? You mean what I know.
Your build looks great! Very excited to see AR-51 built. I know Rick is too. Have you seen his videos of his U.P. ride?

12-21-2011, 11:40 AM
Doc is asking you the right questions. DOR- direction of rotation? Pretty sure that's what he meant. I would add to that lube. Spraying some oil helps also. I have used motor oil, WD-40(which I think smells good for some reason) and actual cutting fluid like Tap Magic. Any of these work. It's messy, but stuff around your drill press table top tends not to rust after you clean up your mess. Start off drilling a dry hole then add the WD-40(another reason I like WD-40 is that it comes with the red straw that allows for pin point lubrication and you waste less that way IMO). You'll be able to feel the difference in your drill press' crank handle.
Crank handle? You mean what I know.
Your build looks great! Very excited to see AR-51 built. I know Rick is too. Have you seen his videos of his U.P. ride?

I'm with ya there man... I love the smell of wd40. Should be a cologne that smells like it.

12-21-2011, 05:25 PM
Fish like it too!

12-21-2011, 11:07 PM
The clamp on the notcher has no problem holding the piece, and I use WD40 when notching, tapping, etc. I actually ran out of WD40 the other night when tapping holes, so I'm using a lighter penetrating oil until I get more WD40. I use it to keep the heat in check and clear the flutes on the taps. I use 5w30 on the notcher shaft. I'm one of those crazy bastards that reads instructions. :D

My first attempt at notching was causing the hole saw to grab on each rotation due to the runout on the chuck/arbor. After cleaning and reseating it never hung up once on both cuts. I learned early on that the table, work piece and drill have to be tight as possible to prevent any deflection or I'd end up with broken bits and poorly placed holes. I use 195 rpm for most of the work. Sometimes on smaller drilled holes I'll move the belt up to the 300-400 range.

Thanks for the tips. I have watched all of Rick's videos several times. My 2.5 year old daughter likes the ones where the camera is mounted on the right side on the trails.

Here are some of my gopro videos from kayaking and whatnot for fun (some bad language and microphone clipping):

My wife wants me to use my 09 FZ1 as the donor so that I never ride it again :(


12-22-2011, 07:29 AM
It would be a shame to ruin a nice bike like that...
But the thought of an AR51-FZ1 is freaking awesome. They have a slightly better lower-end than the R1 right?

12-22-2011, 08:03 AM
The GEN1s (-05) had pretty nice torque curves, but the GEN2s (06+) require exhaust and fuel work to get the midrange back up where it needs to be. The best thing about the Yamaha engines to me is the valve adjustment intervals. You're supposed to check the valves at 25,000 miles, but most don't need adjusting even at 50,000 miles if you don't run it hard.

I've been planning to sell the 09 FZ1 in the spring. I've been looking for a wrecked and running insurance bike for a while now, but the decent ones seem to be selling for $3,000+. I can buy a running bike in good shape to part out for that much.

Glock n Ballz
12-23-2011, 07:39 AM
If I ever build another buggy it'll be an AR51 but with Busa.
Say I won't.

12-27-2011, 08:19 PM
I spent a lot of time today cutting up tap plates and welding them in. I also put together the lower frame and fully welded it.


Installing tap plates:



Fitting lower frame:

Grinding, and aren't those tap plates pretty:


Lower frame is together:


12-28-2011, 03:01 AM
Looking very good nice progress there first thing up together

Tabs look cool :)


Glock n Ballz
12-30-2011, 06:52 AM
Yeah Jason,
Looking good bro. Tap plates-genius.
Good bevels for welding!

01-02-2012, 07:35 PM
Setup my tube bender and picked up a nearly complete GSXR 750 motor. Things are looking up. The bike was rear ended, so the exhaust isn't exactly straight, but the headers are in good shape.







Glock n Ballz
01-02-2012, 08:44 PM

01-02-2012, 09:13 PM
This is good. Mounts for this will be similar to the GSXR 1000.
Should also be able to house the electronics like I did mine.

01-02-2012, 09:22 PM
The one big item I don't have is the ignition switch. I'm reading about bypassing it now. I'm going to get some 10x1.25mm bolts and thread some rod to make an engine stand for it this week. I have the stock fuel pump assembly, so I need to look into making or buying a fuel cell I can mount it in. I'll give you a call for some pointers, Rick.

01-05-2012, 08:08 AM
Last night was ebay and ronayers madness. I bought nuts, bolts, o-rings, filters, ignition switches and sprocket covers with sensors and clutch cables....

01-07-2012, 05:00 PM
This afternoon I started bending tube for the buggy. It took a little while to get use to the bender, but I have it figured out.






Glock n Ballz
01-07-2012, 07:21 PM

01-07-2012, 08:08 PM
How did the templates work for ya?
Looks like the bars are right on.
Not sure why you got so much extra on the one bar though.
Did I have something wrong on the prints?

01-07-2012, 10:35 PM
You didn't do anything wrong, Rick. I just didn't trust that I would bend them correctly, so I started with longer pieces for insurance purposes. I have about twice as much round tube as I need, so I'm not worried about running out.

I just spent a few hours in AutoCAD redrawing some of the small tubes in 1" schedule 40 pipe, and the differences are very small. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't going to run into any problems later. On a few of the bends I wanted to have the start and stop marks like you give at the top of your plans. I think you converted all of the round tube drawings except Sec. 10, Sh 3,4,5,6,7. The template you created has the main hoops, nerf bars and the rear uprights, but not the optional raised roof bars or shock cross members, etc.

I've been hand sawing the round tube, and I think it's faster than all the setup and cutting time required to get out the abrasive chop saw. It's better exercise and less carcinogenic dust too. :D

01-07-2012, 10:52 PM
I understand. Now you should be a pro for the remainder.
I don't use templates for any of the straight tubes.
I'll have to add the raised bar to the template dwg.

01-09-2012, 11:00 PM
LOOKING GOOD i remember when mine looked like that such a nice feeling and love to see it every night in the garge alittle further along each day

Glock n Ballz
01-10-2012, 04:17 AM
Trust the Plans.

Looks awesome! You are going to inspire people to build AR-51's!!
2 years from now there might be enough AR-51's to have a racing season up there in Michigan!!
How cool would that be? I'm always reading about mini lites this- or mini lights that- how about AR-51's this- AR-51's that-? That would be cool huh?

Or if there were a half dozen fellas on a weekend U.P. trip and they were all Rollin 51's?
Too fun.

01-10-2012, 04:49 AM
Cool! Nice looking bends. I know the feeling of getting that first bend right...and the second, and the third, and the 4th...DOH!! it's looking cool.


01-10-2012, 07:25 PM
It looks like something. Once again, it's awesome to start shoving different assemblies against each other and everything lines up. :cool: I got my last square frame hoop together and hastily clamped parts sort of where they go. [smilie=giddy.gif]





01-10-2012, 10:48 PM
Looking Great....!!!

01-11-2012, 02:21 AM
Looking great Great stage to get all the bits actually looking like something!! :)

Great Work


Glock n Ballz
01-11-2012, 04:18 AM
Exciting isn't it?

01-11-2012, 08:06 PM
Looking great! An inspiration to get my build on the go!

Rick, are you're frame plans for sale now?

01-11-2012, 08:41 PM
Yes, and the rear also.

Glock n Ballz
01-12-2012, 04:36 AM
Get the plans and start a build thread...everybody's doing it...

01-12-2012, 07:52 AM
thanks for the pics... I cant wait to see more

01-12-2012, 09:54 AM
Get the plans and start a build thread...everybody's doing it...

LOL... It's just a matter of time now. I'm slowly collecting parts. I have the front suspension plate kit, steering kit, shocks, seat, Protodie engine cradle, and GSXR 600 power plant. RPM box is next... and the list goes on and on.

01-12-2012, 02:21 PM
Wow that's a list from heaven, and a great way to do it.I built awhile ordered parts, waited...............built somemore ordered, parts,waited...................... built more and so on. How nice it would have been to have a pile of the good stuff you've collected staring at me every time I went out to the shop. what motivation daaboots have fun, good luck. Don

01-12-2012, 03:07 PM
Man that is coming together nicely a credit to both you and rick ,good stuff.

01-12-2012, 08:58 PM
I spent quite a bit of time tonight trimming tubes, grinding and preparing tubes to be welded. I stuck the main frame together and checked all of my dimensions over and over and over and over. I decided to tack them into position until I get the rear end together and fitted. My kid and dog came out for a while to check out the snow.

To cap it all off I made room for my wife's car, and turned the dehumidifier on high to keep all my steel from turning to rust.














01-14-2012, 02:17 PM
Cool, cool, cool!! Just one question. How tall are you? Reason I ask, I am 6'3", and I want to make sure I could fit into one. Keep up the good work man! An nice truck too! My wife has a 4 door 150, and she loves it!


01-14-2012, 06:28 PM
Looking good.

Speaking of your truck,is that the turbo v-6 version?

01-14-2012, 07:03 PM
Good question Bull, I have wanted to hear real world seat of the pants feeling, and gas mileage. Ours gets 19 to 20 in the summer, and 16 ish in the winter and has the 5.4, 6 speed auto.. Sorry for the thread jack. I smell a new build coming up....hint hint.


01-14-2012, 07:33 PM
Whats that white stuff on the lawn and the car...(I live in Phoenix AZ... Kidding)

Looks good...

01-14-2012, 07:35 PM
Whats that white stuff on the lawn and the car...(I live in Phoenix AZ... Kidding)

Looks good...

Lmbo!! We had a foot of snow the last 2 days here in Michigan.

01-14-2012, 07:37 PM
I'm 6'-0" 220, but I'm going to install the optional extended head room tubes over the cockpit versus the straight ones on Rick's AR51. My brother in law is 6'-5", and I don't want to tell him, "Sorry you don't fit."

My truck is a 2010 5.4L V8 (310HP 365TQ) 6speed auto I bought used last year. In 2011 they switched to the 5.0 V8 (360HP 380TQ) and V6 ecoboost (420TQ, I think) motors. I get 20mpg at 55mph, 18mpg at 70mph and about 16mpg combined with 30%+ city driving. The sad thing is I get the same highway fuel economy in this 5700lb truck as I did in my 4300lb four door tacoma 4.0L V6. I tow a 4,000 127" tall travel trailer quite a bit in the hills and some mountains, so I got rid of the Tacoma for an F150.

01-16-2012, 07:58 PM
Hey guys just wanted to chime in and say that I love this buggy and since Im in the process of getting started on one of my own this thread is a huge help to me I pretty sure I have checked it everytime I made a cut or tacked anything together I may even print off your pics so I can put them with my plans when they arrive since I have been going off of his sample plans just to see if I can handle this type of build Keep up the good work

Oh and by the way my father has the F150 with the supercharged v6 and he loves it he gets 21mpg city and about 23 or 24 highway and towing our boat he still gets 21

01-16-2012, 09:03 PM
I just unboxed some more goodies from Rick a few minutes ago. I'm going to have to nominate him for 'packer of the year.' He does an awesome job of getting items safely and securely packaged in the smallest box possible. Order a plate kit from him, and you'll see what I mean. :D

Rick has been super helpful with tips and tricks for welding, bending, and notching all the parts I've made in my garage. I've gained a lot of knowledge from this site specific to buggy building, and I've only scratched the surface. I'd encourage anyone who's looking to build to get a realistic idea of what you want to build and drive, and then jump in. You might cut a short tube or drill an errant hole here or there, but once you learn the tricks and get proficient working with the steel it's very rewarding to see a project come together.

The input and info from the vendors and members here has been awesome, and I never would have started a build without a knowledge base like this. A plan built vehicle like the AR51 is a great guide so that you know you're going to end up with a great vehicle once you're done even without a lot of fab experience when you start.

01-24-2012, 08:38 PM
Made some progress. 24 pictures follow. Got the basic frame together.

























Glock n Ballz
01-24-2012, 08:50 PM
Looks friggin killer!!!!!!!

01-25-2012, 06:59 AM
Great work!

01-25-2012, 08:04 PM
I installed some gusset plates, rear link arm pickups and two top tubes this afternoon. I had hoped to do more, but my two top tubes turned out to be about 1/2" short. I ended up rebending them. The old tubes weren't exactly true anyhow, and parts of them will be reused elsewhere. I'm about 10 times faster using my bender now, and I can notch like a mofo. Practice makes perfect. :o





01-26-2012, 02:23 AM
Looks awesome

Looks better with the wider top frame than the piranha and the rear roll bar tubes.

Great work and yes practitce does make perfect

You learn so much :cool: :cool:


Glock n Ballz
01-26-2012, 04:41 AM
Looks great Jason. I like the smell of the WD-40 when notching tubes.
Prolly causes cancer or something. Maybe my head will swell up like nuclear Stewie!

01-26-2012, 07:46 PM
More tubes and notching. I wanted to finish the roof, but the wife requested a grocery run at 9PM.






Glock n Ballz
01-26-2012, 08:20 PM
If I were there I bet I could see your taill wagging thru your jeans! hahahaha!
Great man, great!!

01-27-2012, 11:08 AM
My brother in law is 6'-5", and I don't want to tell him, "Sorry you don't fit."I loved telling my brother in law that...:p Unfortunately with the rebuild I'm doing right now, he may fit...I'll have to find another excuse.

The buggy is looking great!

02-09-2012, 03:49 PM
I just ordered a bunch of nuts, bolts, washers, shock boots, spacers and collars for the rear end. I've been out of town for work the last couple weeks, but I hope to make progress next week with more pictures.

02-09-2012, 03:53 PM
I forgot to mention that the last few tube notching sessions were held up by a slight offset in my front hoop. I got the two main bends out of plane which kept everything from lining up perfectly, but it was nothing that a torch, clamps, welding table and 220lbs of bodyweight couldn't fix. :D

02-14-2012, 11:08 PM
I got the top tubes and front hoop in. I used two 32* bent tubes instead of the standard straight tubes. I like head clearance. I also got my wheels and tires in from aftershockmotorsports.com. They are 12x7 and 12x8 wheels with 26" and 28" tires.


Glock n Ballz
02-15-2012, 04:46 AM

02-15-2012, 10:36 AM
Nice toy[smilie=thumbs_up.g:

02-15-2012, 08:32 PM
I grinded, cut, grinded and notched six diagonals tonight and tacked them onto the frame. My wife kept popping her head in the garage door to distract me, and I ended up making two left handed tubes with compound angled ends. Redoing one of those wasted some time.

Here's the 1.5 hours worth of damage:



Glock n Ballz
02-15-2012, 08:47 PM
Awesome Brother.
Wish there were more AR builds going. Yours is the best so far..[smilie=bow.gif]

02-16-2012, 09:56 AM
I have to say that I like this buggy alot, you seem to be making amazing progress on it. how many hours do you think you have into it?

02-16-2012, 11:48 AM
I have been working on it for three months now, and I put in at least 10 hours a week. I'd say I have 200 hours of tube cutting, grinding, notching and welding. I probably have another 100 hours of gathering parts and reading on the internet here at minibuggy.net and other sites. I usually get a couple 2 hour nights of work and maybe one 6 hour weekend slot each week.

Keep in mind I had very little metal working experience before starting, and I have done everything without help from anyone. You can see I have used clamps, angles and sometimes the engine hoist to provide extra hands. Setup often takes more time this way, but I can get things done fairly well. I can get a lot more done when I have a full day to get going and get in a rhythm. Last night I dorked up a tube because of distractions and not checking what I was doing before cutting. Understanding the plans and how it all goes together before you get started helps prevent 'awww-schitt' moments during the build.

02-16-2012, 01:29 PM
Hey man I've got slow down your going to start making look like a slacker. Nice rims by the way I talked to live wire about rims to fit a while back . Did you use the same bolt pattern front and back 5 on 4.5 ?
I wish I was far ahead but slow and steady wins the race so they say "who ever they are"

02-16-2012, 02:48 PM
I got Rick to do all the mill and lathe work as well as getting the control arms tig welded. :D

I bought a leftover set of edge cast 4x156mm hubs from Doug Heim for the front, but the rear are intrepid 5x4.5" (5x114.3mm) hubs. I think Rick offers billet hubs with your choice of bolt pattern. I know 4x110mm and 4x115mm are popular sizes for the wheel manufacturers.

I just received my brake calipers, pressure switch, pads, master cylinders and hoses/fittings from Aftershock Motorsports today.

02-16-2012, 03:56 PM
Very nice!!! And we all have to Oh sh*%$^#t momnets. First set of rear A-arms i built came out awsome and since building my own to my specs instead of the plans i have due to being 4x4 didnt have specs to go by. When i got them all tacked and welded up except for the tube ends thank god, i put them on the buggy still they looked sweet then i measured track width. and this is where my holy sh*&%$t moment came in with both sides on buggy they measured wider than my tundra track width!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! didnt look that bad by them selves lol or on buggy but with bth sides attached CRAP!!!
Keep up good work and get an intercom system for wife to use while your in garage(MAN CAVE theycall it that for a reason)[smilie=non_banana1:

02-17-2012, 08:29 AM
wjfawb0, this looks awesome. Like to come by and take a look at your master piece, Rick did some awesome work with the plans. Sorry for not keeping up with your build, only when I could get on line at work that I'd take a peak at what you have done! I'm now up and running again, and able to keep track of whats going on in the mini buggy world. I have new computer, my old computer gave up.
Looks great can't wait to seeit going, keep up the good work.

02-17-2012, 09:03 PM
BLUERACER, I was down your way back in January 2009 working the ice storm around Madisonville, Earlington, Dawson Springs and Princeton. If I can get my buggy together by this summer maybe we can both head up to the UP with Rick some time.

02-18-2012, 08:46 AM
Great work, I have to throw a huge thank you to Mr Vicegrip those c lamps work a treat built my whole house using those (Steel Frame house)

You will rival Ricks work of art when you are done,, Great craftsmanship you are showing, I second the intercom.. Unless she's wearing a french maids outfit.lol

02-19-2012, 08:27 PM
4 lbs of .030 solid wire does not last long when you're welding and not just tacking things together. I ran out an hour ago, so I have to wait until tomorrow to go buy some more. I'm getting better at this welding thing too. :)

02-20-2012, 01:19 PM
BLUERACER, I was down your way back in January 2009 working the ice storm around Madisonville, Earlington, Dawson Springs and Princeton. If I can get my buggy together by this summer maybe we can both head up to the UP with Rick some time.

Looking forward to it, so get busy:D

02-21-2012, 07:57 PM
More welding and such. I think I need to move the gun a little faster. I'm burning into the steel just fine, but I'm laying a little too much on top.

No wheels and I've already flipped it over:


I shouldn't run out of wire in the next couple weeks:


Tubes are pretty easy to weld due to thick wall and edge I put on them:








I'm sure I worry the neighbors when I walk out like this to get a breath of fresh air:


02-22-2012, 06:32 AM
Welds look really nice to me.

02-22-2012, 08:00 AM
Good job on the welds :D

Glock n Ballz
02-22-2012, 10:03 AM
It all really looks great. One question though...Ihave alway been told to tack everything first before you final weld...(which I did NOT do on mine). Just curious as to why you are fully welding eveything...
and as i am writing this this it just occurred to me that the plans may instruct you to do so. If that's the case, then I retract my query.:D

02-22-2012, 11:07 AM
Welds look nice

Yeh i get what Glock just said i agree totally but with Rick's plans and you are doing it to the plans then i guess it isn't so bad because it should all be fine and right but when you change off the plans thats when you need to tack as i found out on numerous times :):D:p :rolleyes: LOL


02-22-2012, 11:22 AM
Well, I did tack everything that is currently on the main chassis. All I have left to add are mounting tabs and other items that will not be affected by final welding. It's been pretty difficult to get to some of the front end joints, so if I had to do it over again I would have fully welded a few more items up front before completing it.

Rick's instructions tell you to position, clamp, double check and tack everything along the way. For the front module (like sodman said in his thread) you should only fully weld the front assembly after it has been attached to the main chassis hoops. You want to get everything together, square and at the right dimension using four corner tacks. Once it is all together you have to fully weld alternating sides and loads trying to minimize shrinkage and 'preloads' or built in stresses in members due to the welding.

For instance, if you close a big gap with a big nice hot welding bead you just created a big mass of molten metal that's going to contract as it cools and pull the joint together. This is shrinkage and will warp, bend and throw things out of whack. Tubes that are mated up nice and flush with chamfered edges to get weld penetration will experience less shrinkage and deformation.

02-22-2012, 07:41 PM
It will be fine. I full weld mine when at that stage. I do full weld quite a few of the tight areas along the way too. But only areas that I know won't pull or affect the fitment of other members. We know the GSXR 750 will drop right in there. Mounts are all removable. Built to plans, so I see no need to wait.
I don't even test drive mine before powdercoat. I do wiring, brakes, and plumbing at final assembly.
I can't see doing all of that work twice.

02-22-2012, 08:50 PM
It's not easy to get a MIG nozzle into a 30* joint and put down a good and pretty weld. :D I suppose it would be easier to switch over to flux wire and stick the tip up in the joint?

I welded for another couple hours tonight. The large mass of my round tube makes it cake to weld together, but the .065 wall 3/4" square tube takes quite a bit more care. Next time in the garage I hope to hit the few last joints in the front and finish the front suspension tabs as well as get started on my uprights and rear link arms. I may have a roller before February is over. :)

02-23-2012, 04:15 AM
For the tight areas I use a nozzle that I turned down on the lathe.
Wasn't able to neck it down much, but its enough to get into those tight spots.

02-23-2012, 06:50 AM
For a guy that hasn't work with metal, does one heck of a job. Looks good, your closer[smilie=wbounce.gif]

02-23-2012, 09:06 AM
Well, I buy hundreds of thousands of pounds of metal at work each year, but it's all heavy structures that are hot dip galvanized for outdoor use. I stare at a lot of detail drawings like Rick's AR51 plans when checking design work. Rick's plans are very clear and easy to read compared to some of the shop drawings I have to decipher.

I am not 100% satisfied with my welding on the buggy frame so far, but I'm pretty hard on myself. I know it's not going to fold up on me, but I want it to be pretty as well as functional. I can already see that I'm going to be grinding and filing and polishing more than I need to before I send it off to be blasted and painted/coated.

02-24-2012, 09:03 PM
I was able to weld for another hour or so tonight. I got the front suspension tabs welded and found a few more missing seams. Next up is smoothing out some rough spots and then on to suspension fitting and uprights. I'm excited to get it on the wheels and the motor in it.











Glock n Ballz
02-24-2012, 10:03 PM
Close enough for the girls I go with! Very good. A little bird told me that your gas tank was getting welded up tomorrow and mailed out next week.:D

02-25-2012, 06:14 AM
VEry Nice

02-25-2012, 11:15 AM
Hey those welds are looking nice [smilie=ecstatic.gi:

02-26-2012, 12:26 PM
I agree, very nice job! What motor are you going to use?

02-26-2012, 01:46 PM
I'm using a 2003 GSXR 750 motor.

Here's some of the tube and plate work from the last few hours.

I found a use for the welding magnets someone gave me:




A friend came over and learned how to bend tube. We started on the nerf bars last night, and I finished 4 of the 6 tubes this afternoon:





02-26-2012, 05:07 PM
Man, that is looking really good! One of these days, i'm gonna get these drawings!


02-26-2012, 06:25 PM
A 750 will be a nice motor. I have a 600 gsxr for mine, once I get around to building it.

02-27-2012, 01:44 AM
That thing is looking awsome. I wish I was building one but I like the sled engines and these are set up for a bike engine. Maybe for my next build if I ever get back to my firs one.

02-27-2012, 06:10 AM
I had a friend stop in from out of town this weekend, and he pointed out a few places I missed on final chassis welding. Hopefully I'll be able to take some time off this week to finish the pedal box mounts and other chassis tabs along with the nerf bars.

I had one little mishap with my bender Saturday night. I was making a 131* bend, and I forgot to back off the holding screw before trying to remove the pipe from the die. I ended up bending the end of the bolt and denting my tube trying to break it free from the die. After I figured that out, I cut off the end of the bolt, cleaned it up with a thread die and stuck it back in. The pipe repair was done with the MIG in about 0.5 seconds.

Having all these metal working tools sure is handy. [smilie=biggrin.gif]

02-28-2012, 12:23 AM
The nerf bars are done. I think I'm done bending for this project. The 3/8"x2" concrete anchors I used for the bender were about to give up anyway. :D





02-28-2012, 09:43 AM
Very nice job.

Rick-thats a kick-azz idea with the full size tube prints!

Cover it with some aluminum sheet and put a one of those heli jet engines in the back!

02-28-2012, 09:57 AM
IMO The full size templates are a must for very accurate hoops. My plans also show all of the tubes before bending. Complete with bend tangents all dimensioned and bend loss already figured in.
I can also provide this custom for whatever tube size and CLR radius you decide to use.
I use 1-1/4 dia with 4-1/2 CLR. This build is 1.31 dia with 5" CLR if I remember it correctly.

02-28-2012, 10:18 AM
Rick adapted his plans to my 1" sched 40 pipe (1.315" OD and .133" wall) and 5" center line radius die like he said. That was awfully nice of him, because I had about 100' of the 1" sched 40 pipe already in my garage. I also substituted some thicker walled square tube in a few locations due to what I had on hand. I have enough round tube left over to build another buggy, so I'll probably use it for a two seater. :D

I'm looking forward to getting my stainless gas tank. :cool:

02-28-2012, 01:35 PM
I didn't finish it this weekend. We were hoping to finish off the current argon bottle on
other parts. Didn't want to run out in the middle of doing the tank.
Can't believe it's still not empty. It will be done this weekend though.

03-06-2012, 12:20 PM
I haven't been accomplishing much work this week. I am going through my last round of acquisitions. I've been buying nuts, bolts, screws, washers, rivnuts, tools, seats, steering wheels, harnesses, radiators, ball joints (throttle cable), fuel tank parts, phosphoric acid (stripper), paint, rollers, brushes, sheet aluminum, etc.

Hopefully I'll get to finish the uprights and install the suspension soon. I've got my front shocks, but the rears are on back order.

I'll post some pictures when I actually get something done. :D

03-06-2012, 08:52 PM
I welded an upright and test fitted the spindle, rotor, hub, bearings and caliper. So far so good.

Video of it spinning:














03-07-2012, 08:41 PM
All welded and ready to be coated in something:






03-08-2012, 10:02 AM
Rick's hubs ,Dougs hubs or edge hubs ? Looking real good man you keep going like this you'll have it up and running in no time . But like someone on here said it's the last 5% of the build that seems to take the longest to finish up.

Glock n Ballz
03-08-2012, 10:08 AM
:mad:I cant see your pix man...

03-08-2012, 10:49 AM
The hubs are Edge hubs 4x156mm that I got from Doug that Rick let me know about. :D

The high misalignment spacers came from Doug as well. I got the wilwood calipers, pads, fittings and other brake parts from Aftershock Motorsports. The uprights, rotors and spindles all came from RickS.

If I had it to do over again I would look to get 4x110mm or 5x114.3mm (4.5") front hubs to match the rear intrepid hubs. This would make wheel selection easier.

03-08-2012, 12:27 PM
But like someone on here said it's the last 5% of the build that seems to take the longest to finish up.

Second that :D
Its taking ages just cant wait to get it test running [smilie=thumbs_up.g:

03-10-2012, 09:12 PM
Tonight I welded pedal box tabs, bonnet tabs, skid tabs and the rear uprights. I don't have a bender for plate, so I used my angle grinder to score the tabs that needed bending to make it easier. I've come a long way with MIG welding.












03-11-2012, 09:12 AM
Looking good.
Do you ground to the table when your welding or to the part.(your first pic shows clamp on table)I dont want to start a welding thread here.But,ground to the part on BARE metal when you can.The stock ground clamps suck!(just look at the surface area!)If you ground to the bench,grind a clean spot for the clamp AND your work.The mig will thank you for it.
You'll be making engine noises in no time!

03-11-2012, 09:20 AM
Very nice! Im jealous now!!!

03-11-2012, 11:29 AM
Looking good.
Do you ground to the table when your welding or to the part.(your first pic shows clamp on table)I dont want to start a welding thread here.But,ground to the part on BARE metal when you can.The stock ground clamps suck!(just look at the surface area!)If you ground to the bench,grind a clean spot for the clamp AND your work.The mig will thank you for it.
You'll be making engine noises in no time!

I always connect the return to the work piece. I was clamping it on the table while I rotated the part during welding. I'm an EE, so I like low impedance connections. I sometimes even think about the Ixb (current cross mag field) right hand rule if I think the arc is being influenced by return path through the workpiece. If I'm welding 1/4" to 1/16" steel I try to position the return so that the current path is through the thicker piece to help prevent melting or blowing holes.

03-12-2012, 10:46 PM
I always connect the return to the work piece. I was clamping it on the table while I rotated the part during welding. I'm an EE, so I like low impedance connections. I sometimes even think about the Ixb (current cross mag field) right hand rule if I think the arc is being influenced by return path through the workpiece. If I'm welding 1/4" to 1/16" steel I try to position the return so that the current path is through the thicker piece to help prevent melting or blowing holes.

Now you have gone to far, (cross mag feild, return path) lmao.. Keep building this baby your thinking tooo much..... We just use to weld a bolt to the table leg and use a lug on the earth cable, bolt it up and off you go..

Great to see your having fun with doing this keep the pace up I love reading these builds.


Glock n Ballz
03-13-2012, 04:43 AM
Hellz yeah..
It's fun putting those heims together with the front uprights n stuff huh?

03-16-2012, 09:03 PM
I had some fun for a few hours mounting up the steering in the buggy. As always the angles and dimensions were perfect with parts cut to plan. I've had a few people sit in it, and they want it done faster now. :D






03-17-2012, 05:03 PM
Lookin' very nice!

03-18-2012, 08:47 PM
I assembled the rear hardware and shocks this afternoon. I spent most of my time getting the crush sleeves and control arms with delrin to fit snugly into the rear end I welded up. If you see any bolts that look a tad bit too long, I do need to go get some shorter 5/8" and 1/2" bolts for some of the suspension points.






03-20-2012, 12:48 PM
How come none of you all told me my steering rack was upside down? :D

Fortunately I followed Rick's instructions for the steering mounts and everything else, so all I had to do was flip it over. I'll post up pictures of the front end assembled later tonight. It will be rolling before the week is over.

03-20-2012, 04:44 PM
We thought you did it on purpose as a joke! :D Just kidding. I didn't really notice. Your doing such a nice clean job, we probably assumed you got it right. :p

Sweet work dude. Keep it up.


03-20-2012, 05:22 PM
You cant notice very easily with them racks they look pretty much the same.

Glock n Ballz
03-20-2012, 08:08 PM
Guys, I don't think this kid is f__kin' around...

Looks really good J.

03-21-2012, 04:54 PM
Got the front suspension put together last night. Works great with the rack oriented correctly. :)








Glock n Ballz
03-21-2012, 08:00 PM
Nice. Feels good huh?

03-22-2012, 06:43 AM
Looks awesome really liking the look of these AR-51s the more i look at them :D:D

Looks like great work keep it up cant wait too see it nearer the end :)

03-23-2012, 10:40 PM
So, at night, when I can't really make any noise grinding or hammering, what do I do? The tortuous stripping, cleaning and painting of the control arms. :D

I don't like hand stripping, scrubbing and spray painting. [smilie=sad.gif]

I found some folks on a race car site who were using rustoleum appliance epoxy for roll cages and other applications where they wanted a quick decent job that was fairly tough. I gave it a try with my control arms and uprights. I used phosphoric acid in the form of rust converter/stripper to help take off any mill scale and any surface rust. I scrubbed off the acid with a scouring pad and water and let them dry. Then I used acetone as the last step to wipe down the parts before spraying with the epoxy paint. It came out pretty well so far. I've got the front suspension finished, and once I file/sand/grind the flat surfaces on the rear uprights I'll paint the rear suspension parts too.




03-24-2012, 04:25 AM
I also use Rustoleum on parts I can't put in the powder coat oven. ie steering joints.
Good stuff.

03-24-2012, 09:35 PM
Tonight I put a second coat on the front end parts, welded up my rear link arms and got the motor in the air on the engine hoist. I'm going to clean it up and check over the electronics before I stick it in the frame to finalize the motor mounts. I probably spent an hour cleaning up the garage. I had to dig out my push mower and cut the grass today. It started up on the first pull like always. I run the carb dry each time I use it. ;)

03-25-2012, 07:03 AM
That looks sweet :p

03-27-2012, 01:54 PM
I painted the rear suspension arms and uprights last night. Did I mention I hate painting things?

I also went through my GSXR750 harness using a wiring diagram for the bike. From what I can tell, I lack the connectors for the front and rear left turn signals. It would seem that the accident that totaled the bike did a lot of left side damage when it went down. The rash on the generator cover seems to support that theory. Otherwise everything is in good shape, and I have all the small parts that dangle off of the harness like the ignition switch, gage cluster, left and right hand controls, ECM, rectifier, fuse box, starter relay, horn, fuel pump relay, bank angle, etc. I don't have a side stand switch or fan motor switch, but I'm looking into those now.

03-27-2012, 02:07 PM
Good job on prep. Many give "paint" a bad rap when it was really the "prep"er.

04-01-2012, 08:42 AM
AH the joy of paint prep!!! Being in auto body i know what your talking about. Alot of work but i like it, great feeling going from a lump of rusted metal to a nice looking ride. ANd with all the work you put into building your buggy why skimp on the niceset part. Its what people notice and how they see how much time and effort you put into it.

04-01-2012, 09:45 AM
I've got a few more things to weld before I strip and paint the chassis. Hopefully I can finish it up before June. [smilie=ext_beer2.g:

04-07-2012, 09:23 PM
I have not had much time lately to work on the buggy due to sickness and schedule, but I have made some progress. I've got pictures below of positioning the motor and assembling the pedal boxes. I hope to get all the pedal boxes welded and installed tomorrow.











04-10-2012, 09:53 PM
Pedal boxes got mounted in the car to weld up the hanging tabs:




I got started on the exhaust too. I pulled the motor out to mount the header and work on turning the tubes after the 4 to 2 to the right side of the buggy. I bought 180* SS bends and some straights from Verocious Motorsports and put 308L wire in my MIG welder with C25. Trimix is the preferred gas, but not for the little amount of welding I'm doing. I used my hand saw to saw up the .065" wall stainless exhaust in a vice. It worked pretty well. Darn good exercise too. [smilie=ecstatic.gi:










Once I get the motor back in the car I'll tack the turns up and then work on a 90* at the back of the Y to mount the can. That will be a couple weeks, I imagine.

04-10-2012, 09:59 PM
I've been soaking my plate work and other steel in a water/phosphoric acid bath for about an hour to strip rust and scale. I typically use a scouring pad and agitate the parts in a trashcan. After they're done soaking I wash them with water, dry and set in front of the fan before painting. Tonight I soaked the rear motor mounts, rotor and sprocket. They cleaned up well, and the paint seems to be bonding well. I used cold galvanizing on the rotor and sprocket. I have been unsuccessful finding a plater nearby that will answer their phone.

After etch:





I put a little silver appliance epoxy and cold galvanize on the parts:


04-11-2012, 05:50 AM
it almost looks like the exhaust pipe is two different diameters in one of those pics. everything looks good.

side note: we have that same door matte... 'wipe your paws' :D

04-11-2012, 06:21 AM
Very nice work! How do you clean/strip the plate parts that are already welded to the chasis? You just gonna sand blast?

04-11-2012, 07:48 AM
very nice! :D

04-11-2012, 09:28 AM
it almost looks like the exhaust pipe is two different diameters in one of those pics.

The pipes had not been trimmed, so a slight angle and some distance made it look different.

04-11-2012, 09:33 AM
Very nice work! How do you clean/strip the plate parts that are already welded to the chasis? You just gonna sand blast?

I'm going to use a paint/rust stripper wheel on my electric drill as well as 2" abrasive pads on an angle die grinder to clean the round and square tube. Around welds and hard to get to areas I'll probably brush on the phosphoric acid and scrub with a brush. I'm going to roll and brush paint the chassis.

I might be able to get a local guy to sandblast and spray the chassis, but I don't like the idea of letting someone else blast my tabs and mounts. I'd also have to put bolts in all the tap plate holes and mounts everywhere to keep sand out of the tubes. Between transporting the thing and waiting, it will probably be quicker to spread plastic and clean it myself at home.

04-12-2012, 07:29 AM
Last night I jig sawed out my main floor/skid. It took about a half hour of frame square marking and autopunching followed by a solid 10 minutes of sawing through about 70 inches of 1/8" aluminum sheet. I put a bimetal coarse blade in my dewalt jig with straight action only and the best speed I could find was about 4.5 out of 7 on the dial. The saw only cut about an inch every 6 seconds, but it did make a nice cut.

I also received my stainless tank from RickS. It fits great and will look right at home once I do some polish work on it and get it mounted on tabs.







04-12-2012, 10:07 AM
Looking great! After all that work though, why don't you powder-coat it?

04-12-2012, 10:23 AM
I can repair paint easily and not powdercoat. Also, in my area there are a couple powdercoaters that can handle entire frames, but none of them have a great reputation. I plan on using the buggy and taking care of it, but it will see its share of rocks and logs I'm sure. Powder coating is just a quick way to get a good coating compared to paint, right? Also I don't trust most people to do a good job in a timely manner. I want this project done as soon as possible, and I don't want to wait a few weeks for someone else to prep and coat it while I twiddle my thumbs. If I lived in Michigan I'd be getting all sorts of plating done, but I can't seem to get anyone in KY to answer their phone.

04-12-2012, 03:33 PM
Next time you cut aluminum , just use you circular saw. It will be much faster

04-12-2012, 03:51 PM
Pretty much any wood working tool will cut aluminum, although for sheet stock, I also use my jig saw. I put it on the max forward/backwards setting, and can slice through it like butter. This is also assuming that you are using a new, high quality blade, and for aluminum, it can be pretty coarse. The Bosch ones are top notch.

I hope you buggy goes as fast as your build!

04-12-2012, 04:21 PM
I can repair paint easily and not powdercoat. Also, in my area there are a couple powdercoaters that can handle entire frames, but none of them have a great reputation. I plan on using the buggy and taking care of it, but it will see its share of rocks and logs I'm sure. Powder coating is just a quick way to get a good coating compared to paint, right? Also I don't trust most people to do a good job in a timely manner. I want this project done as soon as possible, and I don't want to wait a few weeks for someone else to prep and coat it while I twiddle my thumbs. If I lived in Michigan I'd be getting all sorts of plating done, but I can't seem to get anyone in KY to answer their phone.
ok powder coat is very very strong but costly and u can not repair it, as a painter by i want to say trade but i am not licenced but i have been painting industrial and auto for 5 years and i love yousing the 2 part epoxy it is very strong i have hit it with a hammer and i was ok

here is a bike frame i did for my self never chiped and looks as good a powder imo any way just use a 2 part paint and shell be strong!!:cool:

04-12-2012, 04:22 PM

04-12-2012, 04:26 PM

this is also 2 part

04-12-2012, 04:48 PM
I've been using the rustoleum appliance epoxy where I can on bare metal because of recommendations from race car builders. We'll see how it holds up.

04-12-2012, 05:15 PM
ok that works i guess but unless u mean rally cars, nothing out of a can is strong and nothing that says rustoleum is strong not evean there BBQ paint. but we will see if it holds up!:)

04-12-2012, 07:19 PM
I suffered through jig sawing out the rest of the skids. I tried every type of metal blade I had, but the aluminum seemed to foul the teeth up after an inch, so I had to back off, let it cool and go back at it. I'm thinking the aluminum I got is softer than what I need to be using. One skid needed a 32* bend so I clamped it down and used a block of wood and my weight to fold it. Next I'll be drilling and rivnutting these sheets to the bottom of the chassis. While I have the suspension off of the frame I'm going to roll it over and do this work.






04-12-2012, 07:36 PM
regular old circular saw blade works great, not carbide. stay out of the way of the hot chips though and wear glasses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

04-12-2012, 07:44 PM
Bee-you-tiful job dude!

04-15-2012, 07:35 AM
On your jig saw blade a 14 tooth wood blade would have walked right through alum.
And by the way hurry up lol :DI'm ready to meet up with you and go riding, of course after I replace my brake caliper. Then I will be ready to ride! Looking good by the way.

04-15-2012, 07:48 AM
I tried a wood blade, and the teeth on it clogged with the aluminum too. I'm starting to think metal supermarket sold me some aluminum alloyed with depleted uranium.

On another note, I killed my dewalt 3/8" corded hand drill yesterday. I've had it for six years, but it finally gave out after all the 9/32" and 25/64" holes I drilled in steel yesterday.

I've got more pics to post up tonight. I got all the skids drilled and mounted, and now it's got the engine back in it getting exhaust work completed. The header is actually touching the skid just slightly under the motor right now, so I may have to massage the skid a bit to keep it from rattling.

04-15-2012, 07:51 AM
Yeah gummy aluminum is a pain in the !

I use wax sticks on this kind of stuff,keeps the blade from loading up and not as messy as oil.

04-15-2012, 10:01 AM
ahum, c.i.r.c,u,l,a.r saw with a regular cheap ass saw blade or circular saw blade in a table saw. be sure to use a zero clearance insert on table saw


04-15-2012, 10:44 AM
I heard you before, but I'm done with the 1/8" cutting now. I don't have a good saw horse setup so I decided against taking too many risks with the circular saw and a 6'x4' piece of aluminum.

04-15-2012, 10:51 AM
I agree,jigsaw is fine,slow,steady and accurate.
We used to throw 1/2 plate thru the table saw when I worked at Smartplay,(company that makes the lottery machines for every state in the US).Too much noise,chips,Blah,blah,blah.
Actually I bought a used 12GA hand shear made by dewalt,cruises right through sheetmetal,maybe thats something you could look into for future builds.
Anyway,awesome job.

04-15-2012, 10:57 AM
oh men. I love the ar51. It looks amazing. Can't wait to see it finished

04-15-2012, 08:56 PM
I'd say I got in at least 10 hours this weekend working on the buggy. I got aquainted with rivnuts, aluminum chips and welding stainless with a MIG.

The rivnuts are pretty handy and neat. Like a rivet you insert the rivnut into the drilled hole, but you have to thread it on the tool. Once in you give her a good squeeze and it mushrooms out to grab the tube or sheet. Pictures are worth a thousand words though...







I also was able to saw and tack and fit the exhaust. It went pretty well. After a couple seams I got pretty good at welding the stainless without much splatter or blowouts. Yee haw.







The welds progressed from left to right. Practice makes perfect. Can't wait to see where it leaks. [smilie=wacko.gif]


04-20-2012, 05:25 AM
The muffler is not in the way on full droop?

Looking great as usual..


04-20-2012, 06:07 AM
That is full droop

04-20-2012, 10:24 PM
i like how clean those rivnuts look. goofy question, but how do they stay? you said it mushrooms... is that on both sides of the metal?

04-20-2012, 10:43 PM
The illustration here shows it well:

Figure 5-5. *Rivnut Installation (http://tentsshelters.tpub.com/TM-10-5411-224-14/css/TM-10-5411-224-14_67.htm)

The ones I installed are knurled to help keep them from spinning:


04-20-2012, 10:59 PM
oh, ok... thanks for posting that.

04-21-2012, 09:42 AM
This buggy is awesome, I was looking at Ricks last weekend and it made my build look like a turd in comparison. Thats a sweet ride, and quite possibly my next build

04-21-2012, 09:49 AM
Sweet wheels by the way, I have the same ones. Summit racing 300 bucks for all 4:cool:

04-21-2012, 11:31 AM
Do you think those rivnuts could be a starting place for cracking?

04-21-2012, 12:48 PM
No more than any other hole in the tube. The holes are round and not square at least. Biggest hole is 25/64" in a 1.5" square tube. I'll keep an eye on them.

04-21-2012, 12:59 PM
Man its looking good. Yee ha indeed.

04-21-2012, 02:18 PM
I also used rivetnuts to hold on my body panels, but I welded on small tabs for them. This was mostly because I have only round tube in the front half of my buggy, and in general I don't like to put holes in tubes unless I am welding a sleeve in. At work we have the pneumatic rivetnut setter which makes it super easy. They will strip out kind of easily if you overtorque them, but at least they are replaceable. Although you might lose part of it inside the tube if you drill it out.

This build is looking really good so far.

04-22-2012, 07:20 AM
I fabricated a muffler mount from some 3/16" steel bar stock I have. It's fun how these little things can take over an hour to make from scratch when you're working with a cut off wheel, files, grinder, and a welder. My Dewalt 3/8" drill died last week, so I started using my hitachi hammer drill in drill mode. That thing works really well compared to the little dewalt. I don't think I'll buy another small drill. I'm addicted to the power. I bought a new set of black oxide steel bits, and they're making life better now as well.





04-25-2012, 09:32 PM
I decided to go ahead and reinstall all the suspension and mount the wheels and tires. Everything went great while installing the rear hubs, packing the front bearings and aligning the front end. Then I went to bolt the front wheels on and the cheap lug nuts from Advanced will not fit inside the wheels and allow a socket to fit on them. The holes in the wheels are the same diameter as the lug nuts. The lugs are 7/16"-20 with a wrench size of 13/16". I guess I'll have to look for some more nuts.



04-25-2012, 10:04 PM
Wow! now that's a neat looking buggy wjfawb0! [smilie=thumbs_up.g:

You have honestly inspired my next buggy build. Iv been following your build for awhile but the last pictures you posted just shouts "perfection" so i couldn't resist to post.

I have to say though that all the AR51 buggy's look so cool, there hasn't been one build that has been somewhat "cheap looking".

Anyway good job, there's nothing like seeing a buggy come all together from something you built from bare metal, it gave me pride and im sure you should be too!!

Ps. Thanks, now im going to spend thousands on machinery (already had a lathe in mind) to build my next AR51 or maybe 52 (2 seater)?

04-26-2012, 07:35 AM
yeah, that buggy looks sharp!

04-26-2012, 03:48 PM
It's amazing what you achieved in just 6 months. Keep it up.

04-26-2012, 06:44 PM
Rick's plans and his support with the lathe and mill work has kept me moving on the project. I should be getting some of his custom hose reducers and shroud for the radiator soon, and I'll be ready to plumb the engine, mount the tank and work on firing it up for the first time.

04-26-2012, 07:12 PM
thats so cool!!!!:D

04-26-2012, 07:47 PM
Really cool!! Yeah, all that little stuff takes forever! But the build quality is in the details. I still have to get my plans. Lol!!


04-26-2012, 07:52 PM
What's the link to ricks plans??

Glock n Ballz
04-26-2012, 08:03 PM
What's the link to ricks plans??


Glock n Ballz
04-26-2012, 08:07 PM
Congrats on a speedy build. It shows what a great set of plans combined with some one with attention to detail can do.

"Damn it feels good to be a gangsta..."

04-26-2012, 09:57 PM
What a great thread of a great build of a great design.

04-26-2012, 09:59 PM
In fact, thanks to wjfawb0 and Sodman, my planned Piranha build is now going to be an AR51.

04-30-2012, 09:51 PM
I spent the last few days welding on the remaining tabs. I still have the shifter mounts and electrical box mounts to do. I was able to actually get it rolling and my kid steered it as I pushed her around the house. :)

The gas tank mounts are in as well as the radiator mounts. I'm in the process of installing the shroud on the radiator now. It's important to take your time when you're drilling the sides of your radiator. :eek:

Everybody loves pictures:












This does not look like a good idea, does it? :D


04-30-2012, 10:00 PM
[smilie=shocker.gif] That first picture just makes me [smilie=ohmy.gif][smilie=non_banana2::p

That is such a nice buggy, and like i have said before definitely something to be proud of.

ps. Looks like i have a new background for my pc :D

05-01-2012, 09:39 PM
Finished the radiator tonight. Now I just have to plum the hoses and to it. I had to rivnut the sides for the shroud, drill and tap a mounting bung for a small coolant hose for bleeding off air and mount it up to what I welded the last couple days.










05-01-2012, 10:50 PM
what kind diff are u runing?

05-01-2012, 10:52 PM
what kind diff are u runing?

The rear is a spool or straight axle. There is no differential.