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    Input: Mini Monster Truck Build (design stages)
    #1
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    (If you don't wanna hear the back story of why I want do this, skip to paragraph 3). So basically, I've always loved monster trucks. I basically grew up with them, to an extent with my dad. He'd take me to monster truck shows, we'd build models, and watch them on TV. So, being in my early 20s now, I've always had to mind to fabricate, so I wanted to sort of do this as a homage to him I guess.

    He's a small engine mechanic, so he's always working on little projects (he built me my first mini-bike, first ATV, ect). Since I've grown, I've developed a love to go fast, so currently I love getting out and riding my YZ250 2stroke dirtbike whenever, if ever possible. I LOVE the sand dunes (here in Michigan we have Silverlake, a sanctioned ORV sand dune area, most in nearby states probably heard if not been to it). I love seeing all the cool toys people bring, and I thought it would be really sweet to build/bring a Mini Monster Truck there.

    Sample:

    (I know this is probably top of the line stuff like nitro shocks and stuff, not looking for that, basically an ATV monster truck is what i'm picking at)

    Something more like this, just with the monster truck style shock setup or something:


    I don't have a HUGE budget (wanna keep it around 1-2k in parts), but I can do most fabrication, welding, and all that fun work by myself, if not with a buddy (so most of the money is just in parts). What I need help with, is ideas on how to make this thing into fruition. I have two general ideas, but don't know which would pan out better. I want to make this thing as light as possible, but still be very durable/strong, and also the ability (like monster trucks should) be able to jump decently well and not blow out as well as be fast (want it to keep up with my GF and cousins Raptor 700s and my bike, so around 60+ mph). I've seen a lot of people doing weird custom projects like this, but nothing like the Junior Monster Truck division people are doing, at least nothing free that I can look off and design off.

    I'm going to mock everything up in a CAD style program (AutoDesk Inventor). My first and more hopeful idea is obviously one based off a real monster truck, just like the junior/mini monster trucks, but I can't seem to find parts or anything on these. I rarely see these built backyard style outside private companies. My issue with this is that they seem to be driveshafted like cars, so I'm not sure if I'd have to fabricate one to an extent or if I could find one small enough to cut down and use.

    My other idea is a dune buggy/ATV style build, but that changes the setup on where the motor mounts and the like. If I built the frame independently high enough over the tires like most monster trucks are, I could conceal the engine in the frame under the bed, but I was hoping to have it work like a real truck, and have an open/fold down-able tailgate to haul gas cans around or just random things that you can't carry easily on sport atv's or dirtbikes.

    My main idea is for a truck style (with useable bed), high off the ground (tires at least 24+ inch tires, hoping for 30-32 sandrail style high tires), fast mini monster truck. Prefer rear wheel drive (I've seen front wheel done) but don't care for 4x4 and the motor in the front section. Even if the motor isn't great stock, I'd mod it to get it going. Also, engine ideas need to have reverse and electric start (my initial plans is something like a crotch rocket motor or sled engine). I eventually want it to have headlights as well.
    Last edited by kstnflip360; 09-20-2012 at 12:20 AM.
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    Re: Input: Mini Monster Truck Build (design stages)
    #2
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    Cool man, you could probably use something like a Trophy Kart plans, but with bigger wheels. 1-2k is going to be pretty tight if you want to keep up to a rappy 700 and still be able to keep it straight. Most of the second pic ones use the tires as suspension, so they bounce around heaps.
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    Re: Input: Mini Monster Truck Build (design stages)
    #3
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    Find an old Polaris scrambler, 2 stroke 4x4, they can be had pretty cheap, it's chain driven 4x4, and you just make a frame that will work with the rear axles and front a-arms set up.
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    Re: Input: Mini Monster Truck Build (design stages)
    #4
    Senior Member
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    Welcome to the site, look around on here and you will find something that you can use to build your own project. I have never seen something quite like your describing, at least not a build that would be and do everything you are wanting it to do. My best advise is to look around and plan everything out before you start so you wont have to change/ modify a part of your build over again and again before its even through. That will save time and money. Some pictures as you go along will be nice for us and will help anyone attempting the same type of build too. Some other sites are shopfloortalk - practicalmachinist- thegaragejournalboard - pirate4x4.com- hotrodders.com- wasuperlites.com- offroadfabnet.com- and more that i cant remember right now. Please keep us informed of your build, i hope someone no here has the info that you need.
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    Re: Input: Mini Monster Truck Build (design stages)
    #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tappet Head View Post
    Cool man, you could probably use something like a Trophy Kart plans, but with bigger wheels. 1-2k is going to be pretty tight if you want to keep up to a rappy 700 and still be able to keep it straight. Most of the second pic ones use the tires as suspension, so they bounce around heaps.
    1-2k is mainly the frame and such, depending. I'm in no way rushing this build (it would be done about mid next year at the earliest). Just mainly trying to get the blueprints down so I can plan everything out and get it solid before I even start buying anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by anatram View Post
    Find an old Polaris scrambler, 2 stroke 4x4, they can be had pretty cheap, it's chain driven 4x4, and you just make a frame that will work with the rear axles and front a-arms set up.
    My GF's parents actually have one, but I don't personally like the scrambler (would rather stay away from 2 strokes). Like I said 4x4 isn't a big thing. It'd be nice of course, but prefer rear wheel drive. The main thing with using an ATV motor and such, is I'd have to re-engineer certain things (chain would have to be longer if I'm mounting the engine in the front of the frame, and the chain all the way to the back). Also, I'm drifting more towards a buggy style build that has 4 shocks (2 front , 2 back) instead of the larger one rear shock on the atvs. The main thing that's bugging me, is if I go the 2 rear style shocks, the rear axle setup has to be more like a rear axle shaft with the shocks on the mounts. And, I'm not sure off hand how much play I have with moving the scrambler motor from it's drive train and all that, since ATV motors sit beneath you, if I need to move it 2 feet from where it sits on the scrambler frame, and things don't line up, I might have a problem using it.

    And thanks boilermaker, I'll keep a tab on the other sites, see if anyone on one of those can help as well. I'll keep this updated as it progresses.

    Here's a quick (let me emphasize quick) mock up design:
    Last edited by kstnflip360; 09-20-2012 at 08:59 PM.
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    Re: Input: Mini Monster Truck Build (design stages)
    #6
    Millenium Member jersdunz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kstnflip360 View Post


    I don't have a HUGE budget (wanna keep it around 1-2k in parts), .
    With this budget you better be skilled at picking from salvage yards of maybe have some connections to a donor rig or something.

    I'll be watching this one.
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    Re: Input: Mini Monster Truck Build (design stages)
    #7
    Millenium Member Martinm210's Avatar
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    Awesome...always enjoy the smalls builds and anything unique...this will be both..
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    Re: Input: Mini Monster Truck Build (design stages)
    #8
    Millenium Member nutz4sand's Avatar
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    Depending on the travel you are looking for its a bit cheaper to to a solid rear axle but a little harder to setup if long travel and decent power with a straight axle.

    Might think about a irs rear end mounted to the frame?

    But a straight axle (or irs diff) coupled to a common bike engine with a dwarf car adaptor could be done reasonable cheap.

    Just build it with the idea of better shocks to be added later as you will likely want them.
    Now that NOBAMA has PROVEN he is the absolute WORST president in the history of history Jimmy Carter can thank him for stealing the dunce crown.

    Lets hope the next guy repeals NObama care along with the rest of the stupid crap this blight on our windshield has done.
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    Re: Input: Mini Monster Truck Build (design stages)
    #9
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    Depending on how wide you want to make it you can put the engine next to you and run a jack shaft to the transmission.

    I am running a polaris transmission in a 650 pound buggy powered by a gsxr 600 engine, I have the whole engine tranny packaged together in a 28"X 30", rectangle. Mine is independent suspension, using polaris rear spindles/hubs and arctic cat front spindles and polaris hubs. I just had to search for the correct bearing to make it all fit together,

    The engine sits just above the tranny. Coupling the two together was pretty easy. Remove the secondary clutch, disassemble it, take the secondary clutch main shaft, turn it down to 1-1/4" inches and cut a keyway into. Now you have multuple choices for your chain drive.

    This gives you an infnite number of gear choices, plus you have the hi/lo option of the stock polaris tranny.

    Run a shaft up to the front of the polaris front diff, and Bam, selectable 4x4.

    I am putting mine together now,

    I have a matched transmission and front differential I am going to post for sale here soon if you are interested.

    I have done a crap load of re-search on this and this was my best option. 4x4 capable, low weight, high horse power, and the majority of the parts are off the shelf, instead of custom made. I only have a few odd ball parts, the custon shaft from the polaris secondary clutch, the oddball front spindle bearings. Everything else I can run down to the local dealer and pickup replacement parts.

    I have a two seater buggy, it's 45" wide at it's widest point, a little over 9 feet long, it is runnign 28" tires and has about 18 inches of ground clearance.
    Last edited by anatram; 09-21-2012 at 07:56 AM.
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    Re: Input: Mini Monster Truck Build (design stages)
    #10
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    I'm trying to keep it around 50" max in width, the frame approximately 28" wide. Trying to keep it trail legal (here in Michigan, we're limited to 50" in state trails). I would love an IRS rear end, and it's probably the way I'm going to have to go for this project, since an ATV rear end would be the ideal width, but not a proper setup since a chain ran that long would be ridiculous and the whole swing arm deal with 1 rear shock isn't ideal.

    I'd rather not have the engine right next to the driver (want the seat like a monster truck, in the middle of it). I could run the engine underneath the seat with the head area between your legs sort of, if I built the frame deep enough (like ATVs are like now), but I'd rather not sit too high up for the chance of rolling it. (Similar to this RC monster truck frame setup):



    The main issue though, is finding a drivetrain/irs that is that small in width that would work properly with the engine.
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