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on 13 April 2003
I had already bought ron's other book "build your own sports car for 250" and was impressed by the quallity of that book, so when I saw "build an off-road buggy" I decided to get it.
At first look it seemed like a good effot, clean layout and good photograph's. After reading the book cover to cover a couple of time, my friend and I decided to go for it and build the buggy.
We have now finished the buggy and I have a number of critisims about this book, though the total cost is actually quite acievable if your very lucky (ours worked out at about just over 100 quid)
Ron obviously has access to a very good workshop, so he always talks about machining things to size, and that if you don't have access to a lathe then a company will be able to do it for little cost. All the shops we went to were asking £40 just for a tiny amount of work.
He says to use a 30mm axle, and then use diff flanges as sproket holders. In my opinion this is a bad idea.
The diff flanges are not 30mm and require re-sizing, but they are hardend steel so it costs a small fortune to machine them.
In the end we manged to purchase some proper aluminum go-cart item for a fraction of the cost of machining the drive flanges.
We used a 200cc engine for our cart, the 30mm axle can't really cut the amount of power that is produced, though ron states the cart should be good for 250cc.
I would use 40mm axles to build your carts because this is far stronger, and it's the go-carting standard so you can get hold of plenty of cheap bits to fit it.
He skips any details on wheel hubs which have been a major stumbling block for us. In the book his mate kindly gave him a decent set of hubs, and thats all he says about them. Not very helpfully ron.
I know that this book is only a rough guide, but I was expecting it to be up to the same quaillty as "build your own sports car".
Unfortunatly it isn't it lacking in so many area's, and the cart design is seriously limited.
Please don't let this review put you off the idea of building your own buggy. but if you do get this book make sure you don't take ron's word as final.
Happy building
Ruu
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on 16 August 2005
Some people I have spoken to seemed to think that this book would hold your hand through every tiny step of the build. I don't think the book sets out to do that. For example it is not within the scope of this book to teach welding, if you have never welded before you should either seek professional instruction or buy a good book on the subject and practice, practice, practice. The same goes for other skills needed for the build.
Once you have achieved the basic fabrication and welding skills required you should find the build fairly easy.
The advice given on components is sound, however it is up to the builder to ensure that the components are up to scratch. For example it is important that the grade of steel used for all the fabricated components (from the chassis frame to the tiniest bracket) is adequate. A good quality 30mm bar for the axle will be adequate for all but the heaviest drivers and most powerful engines, bear in mind the size of the driveshafts on many cars. A poor grade of steel however would probably lead to a bent or broken axle in fairly short order. For this reason I would advise against using scrap steel. The only way to be sure of the quality of your components is to buy new.
The basic buggy can easilly be improved upon, meaning that this could be the start of a continous adventure in development. There's no reason why somebody starting with this book could not be designing and building their own full suspension rail after a few years.
I only have two real critcisms of the book; firstly the projected price is ridiculously low, even if you bought everything required second hand you would find it difficult to achieve the £100 target; and secondly the safety aspects of the finished buggy are somewhat questionable, there is no way I would allow my son to drive such a buggy without a proper seat and a seatbelt.
The former is understandable, Ron would not sell nearly so many copies were he honest about the price. The second matter however is unforgivable. An old plastic school chair would be questionable on a smooth surface, but when bouncing around off road? I leave the potential for disaster to your imagination. A racing kart seat can be had at a reasonable cost, as can a simple three point harness.
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on 1 April 2003
On reading this book I was suprised with the simplisty of building my own off road buggy. This book is a extreamley pratical book ideal for the budding engineer it has comprehensive infomation on how to build your own off road buggy using a old motorbike engine,infomation on design, materials, tool use and much much more. The book even includes scale drawings of parts of the buggy.
The book is ideal for any youngster wanting to get into pratical engineering and design, even though some basic tools and equipment are required to construct the buggy including welding.
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on 12 January 2015
Always good to know, I may never make a buggy but its nice to know how to make something like this out of old crap.
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on 12 May 2013
Excellent material and very well written and obviously has been tried and tested many times over. You do have to have a fair knowledge of bench fitting and simple engineering and understanding of Health & Safety to fully build and operate in a safe environment. It is very well laid out on the ideas of where to source materials and then terrific knowledge in planning and building. I feel some thought should be given to the age group that you wish to build it for as in younger person or older person as in speed and if you wish to add to the safety characteristics of the finished article. I would give it top marks. Build this and you can mover on to building bigger and better with the greatest of ease as not only do you learn to build a great idea and if it is your first time and have some engineering knowledge. Then there is lots of scope to advance your skills as you build. If you do not posses some skill, I would advise after you read the book and before you start that you take some type of bench fitting course where you have some chance to use Pipe benders and various welding tools with Health & safety as an added bonus from professionals as there is a serious and quite definite element of danger if you take a chance and do or get it wrong in the process of building it for yourself and other persons using the finished project. Skill is important and Health & safety is paramount and a good knowledge of all of the tools that you will be using as other peoples lives as well as your own will depend on the quality of the finished article
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on 23 September 2015
Perfect price fast delivery
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on 12 September 2011
With wild thoughts of building a Se7en, I bought this to hone my welding skills on first. Don't bother. If you have the same requirement, just practice by making grow bag frames for the elderly neighbour down the road. Half the stuff you need is prohibitively expensive or impossible to get. Fine if you have access to a lathe! If you have the land to use something like this, you would be better off with an MOT failure for the children. At least then you can pull on the handbrake! If you do want to build a buggy, then it does that. Just be on the look-out for two year old Chinese motorcycles going cheap rather than a C90 engine.
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on 18 October 2015
intresting
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on 30 December 2011
This book looks very good but sadly I could not read it as I bought it for a present for my best mate. I have been wanting to build one fore ages so I might have to ask to borrow after he is finished. Anyway he loves it. I took a peep at the first few pages just out of interest and if you have a welder and know how to weld then this book would be good for you. Im sure its not too hard to learn how to weld though.
Looks a good buy for money.
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on 11 November 2013
Very informative book but quite a lot of specialist tools needed. Can't really be done for £100. Not sure this buggy will ever get built.
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