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It is beyond the scope of these plans to teach some of you basic pipe fitting. However, if you decide to build the rounded fender bracing I can give you some tips. Cut a 50” piece of ¾” EMT. On each end bend a 90 degree bend. Lay this piece (which is way too long) across the four front fender braces that you just tacked up and match up one of the bends to one of the outside braces. The 2 outside braces will have to be sawed off whatever the distance is that the bend reaches rearwards. Mark and cut each outside brace. Measure the outside to outside distance of the cut off braces. Remove whatever material is necessary to make the randomly bent piece with the 2-90 degree bends fit this distance. After cutting this piece to the correct length I normally lay it on the shop floor to tack it up since this assures me that the bends are properly indexed.
76 Position this piece onto the front fender braces, saddle the 2 inner braces to fit, and weld. We are up to the grill guard. It connects the front fender braces to the lower frame half.
77 Grill Guard
Cut 2 pieces of ¾” EMT 20“ long. Bend one end 90 degrees. Cut off the excess bend and leave only enough to actually make 90 degrees as shown in photo above. Saddle the upper ends to fit the front fender bracing, hold into position on 18’ centers at the top and cut to fit into the open ends of the lower frame rails as shown above. Cut 2 pieces of ¾” EMT 17“ long. Saddle both ends and insert into the grill guard as pictured or to your tastes. Weld out. We have welded out some light mounting brackets to our grill guard. They are simply pieces of 1” x .125” flat material cut to fit our WalMart lights.
78 After you have your fender support structure in place you can start “skinning” the ATV. I have skinned using 26ga sheetmetal, .032 aluminum, and .125” thick ABS plastic. All work well. Use what you have available and are comfortable working with. I use .125” x .375” long steel pop rivets to secure the skin to the fender substructure. I cut the long strips of skin first as seen in the photos. Skin the outside sections of the fenders first, then skin the openings between the fenders last. Skinning takes me about 4 hours. Then I am ready to sand and paint the entire ATV if it requires painting. If you use ABS plastic it requires no paint.
Mounting Your Engine
Whatever engine you decide to use will determine precisely how you mount it. Cut mounting slots (.250”) into the engine plate that will fit your engines mounting holes. Make the slots at least 1.25” long to insure that you can tighten your chain properly. Bolt your engine to the engine plate. The ATV requires a torque converter to perform as designed. Install the torque converter per the instructions from the manufacturer. Proper installation of the converter is MANDATORY. Improper installation will result in bad performance (belt slippage) and short belt life. After the engine/converter is loosely bolted to the engine plate and at the rearmost position of travel you are ready to install your chain.
At this point your axle assembly should already be bolted into place. Here are a few refresher shots to help you remember how the axle should look at various stages.
below is another variation
This is the ATV plans 4-wheeled ATV. This booklet will show you how to build it.
Table of Contents
Introduction Material List Recommended Engines and torque converter Where To Buy Listing Required Tool List Main Frame - Lower Half Main Frame – Upper Half Front Axle Front Spindles Tie Rod and Drag Link Handlebars Engine Mounting Throttle Control Rear Axle Brake System Brake Control Seat Mount
Please read this booklet completely before ordering materials or beginning construction of this ATV.
When constructed properly this ATV will do almost anything that a “bought” 2wd ATV will do for about 25% of the cost. This booklet will enable the homebuilder, either advanced or novice, to build an “honest to goodness” 4-wheeled ATV. Please do not be tempted to add an additional brace “here and there”. Doing so will add many more pounds of weight to the ATV making it heavier and reducing it’s performance. The reason so many ATVs are now 4-wheel drive is because they are so heavy that they get stuck easily. Light weight ATVs are very difficult to stick and do not require 4wd to go in most conditions. The frame of this ATV is constructed entirely of mild steel tubing and is of welded construction. You may weld the frame using any method you are comfortable with. You may substitute different gauges and slightly different sizes of metal if you need to. You may even have enough metal laying around your shop to build this ATV. Remember, you are building an ATV, not an aircraft. Kick back, relax and enjoy the process ☺
Required Materials, Engine, Etc.
Below is a complete list of materials / etc. that are required to build this
ATV. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 60’ of 1” round tubing .062” wall (emt works fine also) 8’ of .750 x .125 flat steel (bracing for skin to pop to) 30’ of 1x1 14 or 16ga. square tubing 30’ of .750 x .750 x 14 or 16ga. square tubing 8’ of .875 O.D. pipe (handlebars, steering rod) 2’ of 1.500 x 1.500 x 14 or 16ga. square tubing (frt axle) 2’ of 1x.375 flat steel (can go heavier but not lighter)(steering arms) 6’ of .500” O.D. round tubing (tie rod body) 4x8 sheet of .125” abs plastic OR 4x8 sheet of 26 ga. Steel (skin body) 4 wheels and tires with a 4 on 4 bolt pattern materials to make a seat OR good used motorcycle/ ATV seat twist grip throttle control (must fit 7/8” handlebars) clamp-on brake lever (must fit 7/8” handlebars) assorted .250 and .312 bolts, nuts, and lock washers ,std grade two .750x5 gr. 8 bolts and lock nuts (spindles) two .500x4 gr. 8 bolts and lock nuts (king pins) four .312 female tie rod ends (for tie rods) 5 hp or larger horizontal shaft engine (3/4” or 1” shaft) Torque Converter for your specific engine (must match your shaft) Complete rear axle assembly with brake and rear hubs Brake and throttle control cables and housings 2-Front hubs with sealed bearings
We sell most everything needed to build this ATV. Whatever you don’t have already, just contact us and we most likely have it or you can most likely buy it at one of your local tractor supply stores. The steel used during the construction of your ATV is mild steel. It is available from almost any “metals dealers”. If you live in a very small town you may have to go to a larger town to get your metal. It all depends upon where you live. However, you may already have the very materials you need laying around your shop.
The minimum engine required for this ATV is 5 horsepower. You can use almost any horizontal shaft engine from 5 hp to 13 hp. Just be sure when you choose your engine that you can get a torque converter to fit the output shaft. You can get converters to fit ¾” and 7/8th inch shafts with no problem at all. You may even have a perfect engine just sitting there unused on a go kart, mini bike, log splitter, snow blower, garden tractor or tiller. Just look around your place and see.
Note: we recommend #40 chain for use with 5.5 and 6.5hp engines. 10 feet of #40 chain is $20.00. The complete set of four painted 8x7 wheels and tires are $290.00 shipping included inside the lower 48 states. Polished aluminum wheels are $100.00 extra. The complete rear axle parts package including sprocket for #40 chain, drum brake assembly, axle bearings and flanges, weldments to frame, all keys and allen set screws, lock nuts for axle, lug nuts and rear hubs is $300.00. The throttle control with housing and cable and cable stops is $16.00. The brake lever with cable, housing , midway and cable stop is $10.35.
Tie rod end package (4 tie rods) is $12.00 Spindle brackets are $4.20 for the pair Front hubs (with lug nuts) are $73.00 for the pair The seat that we sell is $39.50
If you wish to order any of the parts shown in the preceding pages, decide what you want and contact us at email@example.com for shipping costs. Send a complete listing of the parts you are ordering.
Required Tools The tools listed below or their equivalents are required to build the ATV.
Speed square- necessary for laying out angles Soapstone Measuring tape Tri-square C-clamps (3 inch) 4-inch side grinder “Sawz-all” type reciprocating saw or “cut off” saw or both Drill motor and bit selection
Hammer Center punch Conduit bender (1 inch) Any type of welding system that will penetrate 14 gauge material Jack stands or saw horses Hydraulic tubing bender-don’t buy one, borrow one. You’ll only use it once.
Main Frame-Lower Half
Cut 2 pieces of 1x1 square tubing 60 inches long, square cut both ends.
This will be the horizontal mainframe members. Cut 6 pieces of 1x1 square tubing 16” long, square cut both ends. These will be the cross members for the horizontal mainframe members as well as the uprights connecting the rear of the main frame to the upper half of the frame. Cut 1 piece of 1x1 square tubing 18” long. This piece will tie the uprights tighter. Lay out the 2-60” pieces on your workbench or whatever you are working with. Outside to outside measurement should be 18”. Cross square them. Working at each end, tack up the front and rear crossmembers. Designate one end of the frame as the rear. Hook your tape onto the rear crossmember and measure forward and place marks at 20” and 33.5” respectively. These marks are the CENTER of the other 3-16” engine plate crossmembers. Weld the last engine plate crossmember in the direct center of where the engine plate will be. This stops any flex when using a large engine. Be sure to square the crossmembers. You engine mounting plate will weld to the engine plate crossmembers. Cut a piece of .125” thick steel plate 6” x 14”. This is the engine mounting plate. Center the engine mounting plate (side to side) on the engine mount crossmembers and weld it out. The engine mounting plate will need engine mounting slots cut into it. These slots will need to fit the bolt pattern of your particular engine. Center the engine onto the plate in all directions and mark though the holes in the engine onto the plate. Create slots using your marks as the center of the slots. The slots need to be 1.25” long to give you plenty of adjustment when
13 you tension your drive chain. I use a milling machine to make my slots but a torch will do just fine. Hook your tape once more to the rear crossmember and measure forward 8”. Place a mark there. Do this on each side. These marks are the center of your 16” uprights. Square and plumb and tack the uprights and THEIR crossmember into place. See drawings and photos below. Please note that I made my engine mounting plate out of 2 pieces of metal. You can also if you need to.
At this point we will divert our attention from the construction of the frame to the loose assembly of the rear axle. I say loose because it is far too soon to tighten or to key any of the pieces of the rear axle and proper alignment of the various pieces cannot be done until the frame is almost complete and the engine is test mounted. We offer a complete rear axle kit. If you have bought this kit EVERY part you need is included. However, you may already have a complete rear axle assembly sitting in your garage in the form of a live axle go kart. If so, you can use it just fine. We have tried various gear ratios and brakes. Different engines require different sprockets. However, I have found that a rear sprocket with 82 teeth works great with 5-8hp engines. An engine larger than 8 hp can use a 72 tooth sprocket pretty well. We prefer the internal expanding drum brake over the disk brake or band brake. None of the brakes will lock the rear wheels but this ATV does not need much braking power because it is so light.
Lay out all the axle parts that came with your kit. Slide your sprocket hub and sprocket on first. It will eventually go on the left side (viewed from the rear) of the axle. Next, from the right side of the axle slide on the brake backing plate, then the brake drum. Now you can slide on the axle bearings and 2-hole flanges and rear hubs. Included in your rear axle kit are two axle flange “weldments”. See photo below. weldments
Loosely bolt the weldments to the bearing flanges. These weldments (and thus the axle) will be centered 8” forward of the rear of the frame. I like to lay the frame upside down and then lay the loosely assembled rear axle where it should go on the frame. When the weldments are where they should be, tack in place. Now cut two pieces of 1x1 square tubing 3 inches long. These pieces connect the front side of the weldments to the bottom side of the frame (see photo below) . Weld out these braces and the weldments. The rear axle is temped in place. Please note the photos below show a disk brake installed instead of the reccomended drum brake. The disk brake looks cool but does not work well at all.
Cut a piece of 1.5” x 1.5” square tubing 23.5” long. We sell king pin brackets for the front axle but you can make your own if you want to. The king pin brackets are made with an offset. The offset goes to the bottom side of the axle. Be sure that you understand this. Orientate, and center (both directions) the king pin brackets (spindle component) on the front axle. Tack up and weld out. Spindle Components
After it is cool, insert (top side up as it will eventually be run) the welded front axle into a hydraulic tubing bender similar to the one shown below. Use the 1” ram dies since you are going to let the tubing ride on the shoulders of the die anyway. Put a degree finder (Walmart-$9.99) onto one side of the axle and bend the axle till the degree finder shows 2.5 degrees.
Hydraulic Bender (borrow one) This may or may not be exactly perfect but if it’s not perfect you’ll never know it. The purpose of the bend is to make the spindles run horizontal when installed onto the king pins.
21 Center the bent axle 6” rearward onto the bottom of the lower frame half and side to side and weld into place. See photos below.
Spindles, Tie Rod, Drag Link
The spindles are made from a pair of ¾” x 5” gr 8 bolts welded to a pair of 2.5” lengths of heavy wall tubing having a 5/8” inside diameter so that the king pin bolts will have a nice,tight fit. The tubing I use is ¾” outside diameter and 5/8” inside diameter. If you can’t find it, I sell it. Mark the center of each of the 2.5” lengths of tubing. Grind the marks off the heads of the ¾” bolts. Tack the bolts square and plumb to the center of the tubing. When satisfied that they are square and plumb, weld out very well. After the spindles are cool bolt them to the front axle using 5/8” x 4” gr 8 bolts and lock nuts. Work the spindles through their full travel and oil. The spindle parts fit in a weird way, not quite flush on the bottom. But they work well. As they loosen, tighten the bolts more. Repeat this until it all fits well and it is not too tight and not too loose. After you begin riding your ATV you will need to tighten and oil the king pin bolts every once and a while. I do not use the plastic bushings on mine. They are not heavy duty enough. Cut two pieces of 3/16” x 1” flat material. Drill a 5/16” hole ½” from the end of each of the pieces. These pieces will weld onto the backside of the intersection of your spindle bolts and the tubing that you just welded. These are your steering arms and MUST be welded very well. There is a lot of force on these arms when off road in rough terrain and you want them to be of top quality construction. See photos below.
Steering Arm, left side
Steering Arm, right side
Steering Arms, both sides
The tie rod for this ATV is built from ½” outside diameter round tubing but you can use anything similar in size. Cut a piece of ½” round tubing 18” long. Weld a 5/16” x 1.5” fine threaded bolt (weld the head) to each end of the tube. Screw on a 5/16” nut and a female tie rod end to each of the bolts you just welded on. The nuts are tightened to secure the tie rod end in position after adjusting toe in. Using a pair of 5/16” x 1.5” std thread bolts and lock nuts, secure the tie rod to the steering arms. Toe in should be about ¼”. Too little toe in will make the ATV road walk badly at higher speeds. Too much will do the same.
31 Remember, this is not a $7000.00 ATV with nice independent suspension and racing geometry and it will not drive like one of them. I regularly drive my ATV 30-35 mph on the road and do well but faster than that and it can get dangerous. Cut a piece of ½” tubing 1 ¾” long. Just as you did with the tie rod, weld the same bolts to this piece and assemble. This is your drag link. It connects the steering shaft to the tie rod and transfers handlebar movement to the front wheels.
Upper Frame Half
The Upper frame half is made from 1” round tubing or EMT. Cut two pieces of 1” round tubing 60” long. Place a 55 degree bend with the center of the bend 21” from what will be the front end of the tubes. These pieces will be long on each end so you may fit them to the lower frame by holding each tube in place and marking the cuts. I miter the front end of each tube till it fits the top of the front axle (roughly a 35 degree miter) and then position, mark and cut the rear end of the tube where it intersects the upper frame crossmember. The upper frame halves are centered on the lower frame on 9.5” centers. See photos and drawings.
Upper frame halves
Steering Shaft, Handlebars
The steering shaft is built of ½” std wall pipe. Overall diameter is 7/8”. Cut a piece of ½” pipe 25” long. Cut a piece of 1” wide x .125” flat material 3.25” long. Drill a 5/16” bolt hole 7/8” from one end. This is the steering shaft arm. You can drill a hole closer to the radus to slow down the steering ratio if dsired. Position the arm as shown in the photo with the steering shaft flush with the undrilled end and weld. Cut two pieces of round tubing with a 7/8” internal diameter. These will be the sleeves that the steering shaft runs through. These sleeves weld to 2 braces that in turn, weld to the upper frame half. Slide these sleeves over the steering shaft now. The bottom sleeve should be positioned flush against the arm you just welded to the bottom of the shaft. To keep this sleeve in position and to also prevent the shaft from falling through the sleeve when vertical, you may weld a small tack to the steering shaft itself about 1/16” above the sleeve. Do not tack sleeve to shaft. To make the above braces you can use most any material. I used left over ¾” square tubing scraps. Measuring up from the top of the front axle along the upper frame halves, place marks at 3 5/8” and 17 ¼”. Weld the braces on these marks. Center the steering shaft vertically and side to side on the braces and weld the sleeves to the braces. Connect one end of the drag link to the shaft steering arm as shown below. Cut a piece of 1” x .125” flat material. Drill a 5/16” hole 5/8” from one end. Bolt this piece to the other end of the drag link. With the steering shaft arm running perfectly straight front to rear of the ATV tack this connector piece to the top side of the tie rod. If it all looks good weld it out.
36 Do all that you can do to make your steering shaft fit tight. This makes it drive much better.See photos.
Cut a 40” long piece of ½” pipe (7/8” O.D). This piece will be your handlebar. Working off of the center of the piece measure 6.5” off center each way. These marks will be the center of your primary bends. Leave the 1” dies in your hydraulic pipe bender. Position one of the marks you just made on the center of the die, put your degree finder on one side of the pipe to gauge your progress and pump slowly. Bend the pipe till the degree finder shows about 27 degrees. This will net you about a 55 degree bend. Being careful to index the piece in the bender, make the opposite bend in the same manner. The bends you just made provide the “rise” to your handlebar. Now you must level the outside ends of the handlebar. To do this, orientate the piece in the bender so that the bands will be in the proper direction. I like to flush the ends of the pipe with the outside roller of the bender and then pump until I like what I see. Some like a small amount
40 of upsweep on the bars, others like them dead level. Count your pumps this time and duplicate the bend on the other end when satisfied. After the bar shape is to my liking I like to put a 10 degree bend into the horizontal plane of the bar. This gives me a slightly sweptback feel. This is common ½” pipe. If you ruin a few pieces it’s ok and very cheap.SEE photos.
After your handlebar is bent to your liking center it on the top of the steering shaft and weld out securely.
Seat and Seat Mounting
The seat on this ATV can be built from scratch or purchased. We sell a nice seat that you can easily bolt onto this frame. You can also buy a good used ATV seat on Ebay if you like. Regardless of what seat you choose it is a simple matter to attach it to the frame. We use 1” x .125 flat seat braces or 1” round tubing saddled to the frame in the correct places for the seat you have chosen to use. Almost anything will do for seat mounts. Place the mounts whereever needed to fit the seat you have built or purchased. We will leave all this up to you. Pictured below are photos of a home made seat and the seat we sell.
we sell this seat
This ATV can be run with or without fenders. It just depends upon what type of terrain you will be riding over. I like to drive over muddy terrain so I have added fenders. If you live in sandy country I wouldn’t even bother building fenders. If, however, you want to plow through mud then you will really appreciate fenders☺ Cut four pieces of ¾” square tubing 44” long. These will be your fender crossmembers. Measuring from the rear of the bottom half of the frame forward place marks at 22.5” and 41 3/8”. These are the center marks for the lower rear and lower front crossmembers. Center up and weld. While we are here cut two pieces of ¾” square tubing 17 7/8” long and use these pieces to connect (front to rear) the crossmembers on each side. These serve to eventually lay your steel footrests (13” x 17.5” x .125” flat steel) on and weld to. Photos are below of footrests.
Now, insert one of the 44” pieces of square tubing into the 1” square tubing crossmember that the upper frame halves were welded to. Center it up and weld. Cut a 17.5” piece of ¾” square tubing. Using the last 44” piece of square tubing create a “TEE” which will serve as the front fender crossmember. Photos are below.
heres the front “TEE”
After the crossmembers have been welded we come to the actual round tubing used for the fender substructure. You can use most any type of thinwall round tubing available. I use ¾” EMT (about 1” overall diameter) which is available anywhere in the USA for almost nothing. I use a 1” conduit bender to bend the emt. Below is a conduit bender without the handle installed.
62 Cut four pieces of ¾” tubing 41 inches long. Each piece should have a 32 degree bend centered at 23” from what will be the bottom (forward) end of the brace. The outside braces go on first. As seen in the photos the bottom end of each brace must be saddled lightly to mate to the ¾” square tubing crossmembers. Position the lower end of the outside braces flush with the ends of the crossmember and tack. Position the upper end about flush with the end of the upper crossmember and after making adjustments for square, tack and weld. Repeat for the other outside brace. The inside braces are installed the same way. Cut a piece of ¾” EMT 44” long. Saddle the ends of each of the upper braces, position this piece centered and weld out. Trim the ends flush after welding. Cut two pieces of ¾” EMT 20” long. These are the diagonal braces that connect the rear fender connector brace (44” piece) to the lower frame half. These provide load bearing ability to the ATV fender. SEE photos below. Please note that this rear brace in the photo below is saddled differently than the instructions call for. The method you were told to do is easier but you may do it either way.
Cut four pieces of ¾” EMT 37” long. Put a 60 degree bend centered at 23” on each piece. Position and tack each of these pieces as we did the rear bracing. Below are photos of the front fender bends. Study the photos and then we will continue.
Yes, there is a disc brake shown in the pictures. No, it did not work well. Position your rear sprocket near where it should be to line up with the countershaft sprocket on the torque converter. Install and tension the chain. Spin the rear wheels to find exactly where the rear sprocket should be secured. With the sprocket loose on the axle it will almost be self-centering. Secure the rear sprocket with set screws and key. Also, install keys and set screws in rear hubs and tight all including lock nuts that secure hubs to axle. Tension chain like you would a motorcycle. Lets talk about brakes. I have tested several brakes on this ATV and am not 100% satisfied with any of them. The good news is, this ATV needs very little braking power. I have had the best luck with the drum brake shown in the pictures below. Properly set up, it will hold the ATV to a slow crawl when going down a
86 hill. The brake is already on the axle (loosely) and now requires a restraining arm as shown in photos below. The restraining arm locates the brake backing plate. Connecting the backing plate to the frame.
note my trailer hitch. I can and do pull 12’ trailers, no problem.
midway With the brake backing plate and drum position on the rear axle cut a 10” long piece of ¾” x ¾” square tubing. Drill a .250” bolt hole on one end. Bolt the restraining arm to the slot provided on the backing plate and then weld to frame as shown above. Connect brake lever and cable to handlebars on left side. Install midway. Connect cable to brake actuation arm. After cycling brake lever a few times you will have to adjust cable again. After the rear axle is installed it is time to install the throttle control. Simply slip the twist grip throttle onto the right side of the handlebar and tighten the screws. Route the throttle cable to the engine and connect in whatever configuration is necessary for your particular engine. Be sure you have some method to kill the engine also. This varies from engine to engine. Crank your engine after verifying oil is in the crankcase and fuel is in the gas tank.
88 With your ATV on blocks or jacked up securely run the engine at slow speed and verify that chain is properly aligned. Now for the real fun, hop on the ATV and test ride. After a few minutes go over the entire ATV looking for loose bolts, etc. Readjust brake as needed. It wears in a lot during the first hour or so. Lastly, this ATV will run MUCH faster than it should be driven. Be wise and drive it at a safe speed at all times.
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