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This is a simple, small and light 4 wheel vehicle on pedals. Behind the seat there is enough space to move the seat back and fit the vehicle for an adult person. You can use it as a toy or to go to the nearest shop or bar (if the traffic situation in your neighbourhood allows it). It is a fun to drive it, but even a bigger fun to build it. And you suddenly become the biggest attraction in your neighbourhood! I wanted my 9 years old son to learn basics of construction and working with metal and wood. He did almost all hand works by himself and he is very proud on it. It is a very good way to move your child from TV and computer games!
Construction of our do it yourself bike car is made of square Aluminium tubes, burden parts are made of steel. The whole construction is put together with screws, most of them M6.
Let begin our free plans with dimensions of our 4 wheel bike. It is 160 cm long and 83 cm wide. We made some sketches, than we improvised. Dimensions on following photos (free plans) are a good information to get an idea about basics of this construction, but it's up to you to remake it to fit your own needs.
Chassis is made of Aluminium, red coloured parts are made of steel, pedals, steering and front wheel carriers are made of stainless steel, while the seat is made of wood.
Base of this self made four wheel bicycles is made of two longitudinal 135 cm long 30x40x2 mm Aluminium square tubes (A). At the back side, they are screwed on two transversal 77 cm long 20x30x2 mm Aluminium square tubes (B,C), on the front on another transversal 51 cm long 30x40x2 mm Aluminium square tube (D). Distance between longitudinal tubes (A) is 52 cm at the back (C) and 39 cm in front (D) - that conical shape gives enought space for the seat inside the back side of the pedalcar and space to turn wheels left and right, outside the front part of it.
At the back, there are four longitudinal 57 cm long 25x25x3 mm Steel L profiles to hold the rear wheels (E,F,G,H). On the base we put vertically four 20 cm long 35x35x3 mm Aluminium L profiles(I). Upper transversal front holder (J) is made of 51 cm long 30x40x2 mm Aluminium square tube - because of high burdening. Upper longitudinal profiles are two 135 cm long 20x30x2 mm Aluminium square tubes. (K), at the back connected with transversal 52 cm long 20x20x2 mm Aluminium square tube(L).
At the front, back and on both sides, there are 2 mm aluminium plates (PL), screwed on chassis with M4 screws (bigger holes weaken the profiles vertical hardiness) to give construction additional hardiness.
Between transversal and longitudinal profiles we put trgles made of 1.5 mm Aluminium to prevent moving junctions around the screw.
Front wheels must turn to steer the four wheel bicycle. We took 30x5 mm stainless steel (M1) and asked the local locksmith to bend it in U form for our needs (width Wd depends on width of your wheels, a tolerance of up to +/- 0,5 cm is allowed). Ask your local dealer for kind of stainless steel, suitable for high burden of wheel holders.
At the end of one side it must be bend in L-shape to mount wheel on the chassis. You need another L shaped piece (M2) to mount the other side of wheel holder on chassis. On front transversal profiles (D,J) we mounted another 30x5 mm stainless steel (N), where wheel holders are mounted on. We took three front and one rear 20 inch wheels from used bicycles. The rear has 5-speed gears, but we didn't mount change-speed transmission. If you don't think about speed-change (the chain is quite long so I doubt it works well), it's a better solution to take a transmission wheel with only one gear, because the gear and chain not made for change-speed transmission are deeper and there is less chance for chain falling down from the gear. The rear wheels are mounted on L steel profiles (E,F,G,H). For the right wheel you just need to drill a hole for the wheel axle, while on the left one (transmission) make about 3-4 cm long jag, so you can later stretch the transmission chain by pulling the transmission wheel back. Mount the drive-wheel as close as possible to longitudinal profile (A), to have chain as parallel as possible with the rear gear!
The transversal distance between E-F and G-H profiles depends on the width of your wheels. Transmission wheel is usually wider! It is a good idea to make drive wheel parallel with left longitudinal profile (A) by declining drive wheels holders (E,F - green) by the same degree as the left longitudinal profile (A) - make them parallel with it. It is important to make chain (yellow), front gear (orange) and rear gear (light blue) as parallel as possible to prevent chain falling down from gears.
Breaks are mounted on transversal profile B, so the longitudinal position of the hole for the wheels axis (B-dist) depends on your breaks.
For steering we used stainless steel 12 mm round stick (P) and local locksmith bended it. On the upper side it is bended to mount steering wheel on it, on front to move the steering mechanism. To make our pedalcar as short as possible, we put the steering mechanism in front of chassis (usually it comes inside the chassis). To turn wheels the right way (left, when you turn steering wheel left, right, when you turn it right), the stick must be below the steering mechanism (otherwise you will turn steering wheel in one direction and the car will turn in the oposite direction :-). Steering stick is mounted on the chassis with two pieces of steel L profiles 25x25x3 mm (T1,T2) with a 12 mm hole in it. You must file the hole to adjust it to the angle of the steering stick. In the middle of the chassis comes a construction, made of 30x15x2 mm Aluminium square tubes (two vertical 43 cm high and one horizontal between them), carrying the upper part of the steering stick.
All moving parts (Mp) are made of a screw, two nuts and a lock washer between. Live some space between the screw and the first nut, so moving parts can move between themselves, but pull tight one nut against the other, so they can't unwind.
A mechanism to move wheels with steering stick are made of 20x20x3 mm steel L profiles. One (S) is mounted on the front wheel carrier (with a trgle again!), the other one (R) lies between the first one (S) and the steering stick (P). Steering wheel is not a real wheel. It is based on two M 12 endless screws, two 25 cm long steel 20x3 mm profiles (ST) and two 16 cm long 22 mm round Aluminium sticks as handles (HA). Use sticks instead tubes, so you can drill a 5.5 M hole in it. Just screw M6 screw tight in the hole and that's it. In between is 8 cm long steel 20x3 mm profile (SR), so the wheels turning point is in the middle of the steering wheel, not in the bottom.
Below is, perpendicular to ST, a small piece of a steel 25x25x3 mm L profile, preventing steering wheel to turn around the steering stick or to go up from it. On handles (HA) we mount breaks, so choose the diameter of handles (HA) regarding to your breaks. Use a little waterworks nut with screw to prevent steering stick to move forwards. Pedals are made of stainless steel 12 mm stick bended by local locksmith. We mount it on the chassis with two pieces of steel 40x5 mm (U), where we drilled a 12 mm hole. To make chain running parallel with the front gear, move the right side of pedals a little back (d2 > d1), so there is a rightangle between the pedals and the longitudinal profile (A). You will have to file holes in (U) because of it.
Use some lock washers between pedals and (U) to prevent moving pedals left-right. Take a front gear from a bicycle (we took one with two gears and couldn't unmount one from another). The chain is different if the drive wheel (left rear) has just one gear or more gears (like most mountain bikes). So is different also the front gear. Don't do anything before you are sure, you have the right combination of the front gear, chain and the drive wheel! Go to your local turner to make you a little tube with inner diameter as for the pedals (12 mm) and outer diameter to fit the inner diameter of the front gear. You need just a gear - if there is still a pedal of the bicycle on it, unmount or cut it away.
Than cut a jag in the tube made by your turner to fit the wedge in it, to connect the tube with the gear. Than drill a hole in the tube and the pedal together and put a treenail in it to connect the pedals with the tube. If treenail isn't tight fixed, use a tape to prevent loosing it from the hole.
Mount the drive wheel a bit sideways, so it is possibly parallel with the longitudinal profile (A). It is possible because of the jag in the wheel carriers (E,F). It might be even a better solution to make wheel carriers (E,F) parallel with (A). We had problems with the chain, falling down on the smaller gear, so we made a shield from 3 mm Aluminium with a hole inside (W), to prevent it. Than we also mounted an L aluminium profile (Z) on it to prevent the chain on the bottom side to move left-right.
You need a custom length chain. Take two chains of the same type and mount them together with a special key, you should find in some specialised bicycle shops.
Don't forget: the gear should be parallel with the longitudinal profile (A) - otherwise it's very possible the chain will keep falling from the gear! We made the seat of wood. Plain and simple. Seat (Q1) and back (Q2) are inclined back regards to the floor (red lines).
It is all mounted with wood screws on another board, mounted on longitudinal carriers (A,B). Annual rings of the board must be transversal to carriers to attain strength.
The vehicle is as good as good are its breaks!
We used two bicycle breaks. They are mounted on transversal carrier (B). Jugs are on the steering wheels. While entering vehicle from the left side, the left break cable goes around to prevent stepping on it while entering the car. We had to turn around all parts of break to get wider part on the outer side, because there wasn't enought space on the inner side of the wheel.
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