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    Ford powered ST4 based buggy
    #1
    Senior Member dangeranger93's Avatar
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    I've been on here for a few years now and I'm finally going to start on a build. Originally I had planned on building 2 of these with a buddy but he likes to back out of things so it will probably only be one. We decided on the ST4 and got the plans and since following other builds on this forum I have decided to make the cab area 8" longer, 4" wider, and 3" taller. I am also getting rid of the square tube and going all round, basically the longer I've been on here the more I've decided to change on the frame, the plans have become more of something to get ideas from instead of following.

    I do have a surgery coming up at the end of this month so no real work will be getting done for a few weeks but I wanted to share what I have planned and ask a few questions so when the time comes I'm ready to go.

    Drivetrain: Ford 2.5 Duratec with a turbo with a VW/Audi 012 transaxle. I chose the duratec because it is cheap, aluminum, and I am familiar with the platform already. There are limited transaxle options and in the spirit of budget friendly VW fits, I also found an adapter plate setup so the decision was made. As far as axles, hubs, and brakes I plan to use all off the shelf car parts to keep it cheap and easy to work on in the future. the trans uses 108mm output flanges so if my cheap shelf axles don't hold up I can always upgrade to 930 stuff in the future.

    Frame: Like I said it is based off an st4 with lots of changes, I have taken a lot of design ques from another member here, iflytii. I need to determine what I am going to do with suspension before i get to much farther with my design, I feel the st4 plans geometry leaves a lot to be desired but I have looked through threads here and still cant figure out were to start with figuring out better. for the rear I think I might copy the 3 link from an rzr with a few tweaks to fit my dimensions, I don't have one to measure and really check out to see how doable that is but I'm leaning that direction

    That's all I'll bore you with for now, if you have any input, suggestions, criticism, or anything to say lets hear it, I posted early so people can tell me I'm stupid before I start or tell me I'm on the right track

    And because everyone likes pics here's the very few I have of my engine/trans setup so far, sorry they are sideways thats just how they loaded here


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    Re: Ford powered ST4 based buggy
    #2
    Senior Member dangeranger93's Avatar
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    I'm going to use this thread to ask some questions instead of starting a bunch. this is my first time building a completely custom round tube chassis, I have built a few rectangle tube rangers but I have dimensions to build to with those

    I plan on using 1.5" tube for everything, what is a typical thickness people use? I've seen people say to use .120 for suspension mounts and main hoop and thinner for other areas, how much weight are you really saving doing that? seems to me using .120 for everything wouldn't be much heavier, and easier to keep track of. Also I feel dumb for asking but is ERW a no no? I know DOM is stronger but at 1/3 the cost ERW looks nice, I know in the end the extra cost isn't really anything but still want to ask.

    How wide do people typically build buggys? with my axle selection mine is looking like it is going to be pretty wide, maybe you guys could post your track widths so I have some examples and can get an idea what to shoot for.

    I know this thread isn't exciting but thanks for reading, I'll put some ranger pictures in here to spice it up a bit

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    Re: Ford powered ST4 based buggy
    #3
    Senior Member Jerm's Avatar
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    It is an exciting thread! great pics!
    Your frame design will drive what you use for tube thickness. I used .065" wall on most of my buggy with .100" at suspension mounts. Mine also isn't using a car engine like you plan to. Its all about how efficiently you design it with proper load paths etc..
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    Re: Ford powered ST4 based buggy
    #4
    Keeper of the Asylum K-fab's Avatar
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    Sounds like a good start.

    The whole ERW vs DOM has been argued over in more than one thread. If you’re not racing, ERW is probably just fine in the real world - especially with the tube spec you’ve mentioned.

    1.5” is a good size to work with and do consider thickness variations; .065 is half the weight of .120 and it does ad up pretty quickly. You’d get twice the tubing use for the weight - go light in cross bars and bracing and keep the 120 wall for lower frame, mid rails and cage. You’ll be surprised how much is taken up by the bracing.

    The Deztaz is 82” wide and a pain in anything other than wide open spaces. UTVs are generally right at 64” wide and go everywhere and more places open up as they explore - it’s kinda becoming an unspoken standard. I’m out in areas that will support a wider vehicle (Mini-Raptor is 75” wide) but I’ll still be limited a tad in some local trails. Stay under 70” and you should be pretty good.

    It’ll be good to see some traffic here on the site so post away!
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    Re: Ford powered ST4 based buggy
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    Senior Member dangeranger93's Avatar
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    Thanks, I'll have to do some more pricing to see if its really worth thinking about ERW or not, I'll also try to determine where to put thinner tubes, I'm ok with a little overbuilding. I've gotten a bit old man with my safety lately at 27 and about to have my second hip replaced I'd like to avoid getting tore up as much as possible if i crash it.

    The ST4 is advertised at 73.5" wide, right now my front suspension using st4 dimensions and my hubs and brakes I am at 68.5" hub to hub with the arms flat so with suspension drooped at ride height it will narrow up a touch. That measurement is without wheels and tires as I don't know what they measure out to. I plan on running rzr wheels since they are readily available and cheap. I'm no rzr pro so I don't know what model to get them from but if anyone has one with the 14" wheels can you measure from wheel mounting surface to outside of tire for me?

    rear width is my problem area I'm looking at 74.8 hub to hub right now due to axle selection, I need to do some searching and see if i can find one a little shorter that will fit

    another question i have is seats, suspension seats or regular racing style seats?
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    Re: Ford powered ST4 based buggy
    #6
    Keeper of the Asylum K-fab's Avatar
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    Someone on the forum should be able to get you those dimensions.

    Seats are totally a personal choice. I’ve had Beard and Corbeau suspension seats and they were just fine but I like my Sparcos better. Try each one if you have a chance.
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    Re: Ford powered ST4 based buggy
    #7
    Senior Member darwinpayne2000's Avatar
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    Yeah, go big or go home, right!!

    As far as tubing, it's all about the engineering. Using 1 1/2 inch tubing sounds about right for the size/weight of your buggy. A .065 tube in the right place will offer more strength than a .120 tube in the wrong place. Since you're basically working off a set of plans, the tubing should be in the right place, so I would agree with K-fab's assessment and recommend lighter tubing where possible.
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    Re: Ford powered ST4 based buggy
    #8
    Senior Member dangeranger93's Avatar
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    if you've followed any st4 builds you know there are lots of dead tubes and plenty of changes to make its more of a guideline at this point. I'll have to think about the whole lighter tubing thing, I just don't know where to put it vs the .120 stuff.

    I also found an axle that should work that will take about 6" off each side, getting me to 63.5" hub to hub with the axle flat, so that should get me under or at 70 with tires, it also uses a bigger outboard joint and a higher spline count so in theory its stronger, its also cheaper locally so warranty when they break wont be a big deal.

    For seats I don't have any experience with suspension seats I just assumed they were better until lately, I've had sparco and corbeau regular fixed back seats in street cars and can't complain. I also thought about getting some rzr take outs for cheap, but i can probably get some faded corbeaus for cheaper.

    I'm struggling with suspension geometry, I might just run the plans for the front, but I was really hoping to copy the rzr 3 link in the rear
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    Re: Ford powered ST4 based buggy
    #9
    Keeper of the Asylum K-fab's Avatar
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    It’s more complicated than the RZR, but look at the X3’s rear end. I am quite impressed with it.
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    Re: Ford powered ST4 based buggy
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    Senior Member dangeranger93's Avatar
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    I saw you used that i don't quite have the ability to machine those uprights though, i would like it, i should be in a sea of sxs next weekend ill look around

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk
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