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Old 12-12-2011, 03:14 AM   #1
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My New Project - Mini Jeep

Whas going on guy/gals? Ok so here we go...
Topic: Mini Jeep

Idea: Fabricate a 1 or 2 seater tube chassis that resembles a jeep but smaller, approx 9ft long and 4 ft wide and no taller than 4.5 or 5 ft tall. I want it to have full independent suspension and completely operable 4WD.

Parts in Hand: I have a donor 4 wheeler sitting in my garage. It's a 2004 Yamaha 350 Bruin 4x4 automatic, and I have access to multiple shops with all of the tools I need to complete the job. Thank God for friends that are into racing and dune buggies.

Problems: I need help decided what kind of tubing to use for the chassis. So far I have looked at 4130 Chromoly 1 1/2" O.D. 0.083 wall with 1.334 I.D. which is 1.256 lbs per foot and also at some Aluminum tubing with the same specs but lb/ft is like .357. There is a huge weight difference per foot. I am unsure what kind of tubing to use to keep it light weight but yet strong enough to uphol dduring a rollover. Also with me wanting to keep the body looking like a Jeep should I make the main frame out of Square tubing so it would be easier to attach a sheet metal body to it and make the rollcage out of round tubing? My idea was to make this chassis resemble the outer jeep body so if it does roll the replacement "body panels" would be easy to replace. I've never fabricated a full Chassis and roll cage by myself. I've made repairs to my buddies odyssey's before, actually we had to make a new roll cage for it but we made it a bolt on incase he wrecked it again. That in mind should I make the roll cage and chassis as one piece or a bolt on set up? I was hoping to keep the weight of this build around 400 lbs give or take a few. Another problem is with the shape of the motor I'm using I won't be able to front mount the engine without sacrificing leg room. I can handle making it a rear mounted project and extending the 4x4 drive shaft and such. The exact build specs for like the motor mount and such will have to wait til I get home and take some measure ments. Any and all advice/tips/ideas/or even constructive critism will be appreciated. Keep in mind that this first build will be a trial build so It won't have to be perfect but I would like to keep it rather nice for my little brother.

I'm using this as an excuse to make him a toy and help me decide how big to build my personal mini jeep. I want mine to be made out of a 2007 Polaris Sportsman 800 EFI and so on, but for now Thats what I'm working with. I actually am still in Afghanistan for a couple more months and I get home just before summer so I was hoping to start and finish this project before the summer is up. I have had, and still have, some time left to do research and finish drawing up my plans. I am still waiting on my 3D and bend tech pro program to be shipped to me so I can turn these paper drawings into something worth looking at.

I want to keep this Mini Jeep Buggy 2WD/4WD with all of the electrical components of the 4 wheeler ie Electric start, push button 4WD, low/high beams, winch, and Automatic shifter. I have read about a few builds where some guys did the same with a 2005 Sportsman 700 EFI but they just built a chassis that looked like every other buggy. I know it's possible and I have enough time once I get back home to work on this project. I know I forgot to put some information in here like the suspension modifications to the A-arms and 4x4 drive shafts to make them adapt to the wider vehicle width.

Alright so I laid out everything that I could remember off of the top of my head. I'll post more later when I have a chance to look over my build write up I have going.
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Old 12-12-2011, 03:29 AM   #2
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Want to see this

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Old 12-12-2011, 04:51 PM   #3
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Finished Yet? We want to see
2005 TJ Sport
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Old 12-12-2011, 05:40 PM   #4
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just a few small things i would add or think about:

if you know how to mold fiberglass, its lighter, easier, and quicker to repair.. all you do is have to make one body / pannel mold and just make, bolt in, and your done..

remember size vs. weight issues..

I would make the whole thing tubular "tubing", i think its best for sliding and bouncing off of this.. and you can add framing for mounting and stuff as needed..

I think your biggest issue would be the driveshaft and axles / suspention due to having a custom size..

unless you got through all the "proper" paperwork and certifications esp on the welding and rolecage / frame building you wont be able to register this in any kind of events. (well you might be able to but....)

just some small things to throw around in your head..
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:18 PM   #5
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No not finished I've only been gathering up supplies and learning how to mod some of the parts to make them work. Mainly researching now. I won't be home from Afghanistan for a few months.
AntiTrust - those are some good points, thank you for your input. I'm honestly not looking for entering this thing into any events of competitions, It will mainly be for fun on the farm, back roads, and some trails my grandfather has on some hunting land. However I will be looking into fiberglass molding though. I like the idea of lighter. On the suspenion and drive shave extensions...There is an axle shop back home that I have contacted and they said they can extend the drive shafts no problem. I've been looking into RZR and Rhino Suspension kits... They are made to fit the wider wheel base and also made to carry more weight than the 4 wheeler suspsension. i'll get back to you though when I make a final decision.
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:09 AM   #6
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Ok so here are some more of my ideas that I've hammered out. I was looking at some long arm suspension set up off of a rzr. That would allow me to have a wider stance without having to make or modify an existing swing arms. Also I was wanting to run 29" ATV tires all around.
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Old 12-13-2011, 04:54 AM   #7
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Go to Index of / there all your answers and dreams will be seen in true photographic evidence. Not sure if the link works but its ""

You can build the lower frame (Chassis) out of square tubing, then I would use 1.5" tubing for your main front and rear roll hoops plus overhead tie ins. You can then use 1" or 1.250" tubing for all the bracing and diagonals. Also using RHS for the subframe also allows you to attach a nice flat floor area with no hangups.

There is a guy on that site making a mini jeep for his son but its small kid size.

Have fun the guys on that site will steer you in all the right directions you need to head in. Watch out for the odd wise guy but enjoy your build..

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Old 12-16-2011, 03:17 PM   #8
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Good luck on your build! Be sure to shoot a picture our way when your finished!
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:43 AM   #9
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I'll be keeping up with this and anticipating the finished product!
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:56 AM   #10
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Old 12-21-2011, 03:09 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by camtron3712 View Post
2007 JKU - Pretty Much Stock
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:29 PM   #12

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x2 can't wait
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:23 PM   #13
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should be cool!
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:57 PM   #14

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Old 01-05-2012, 10:13 PM   #15
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that would be a sweet lawn mower

I want one of these
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:22 PM   #16
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they sell fiberglass body kits on eBay for golf carts... might want to use some parts???


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Old 01-05-2012, 10:39 PM   #17
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This is going to be awesome

Good luck to you on the build sir!!!
94 Jeep YJ Wrangler SE / 4.0L I-6 Engine ---- SOLD in February of 2014 ---- Now I am running a Frankenstiened tube chassis Rock Buggy


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Old 01-16-2012, 08:07 PM   #18
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I too am looking to build one for my grandson. Let me know how you make out. keep everyone posted on updates with pics Thanks Herb
Is it better to work longer for more money, or retire and enjoy what you have? H.F.
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:19 PM   #19
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I want one!!! Wow, nice! Could one of these be driven in the city like a golf cart with the appropriate permit?

Another idea I would have would be to scale up it. Would it be possible to make it large enough that you could register it as a kit and change the drvetrain to make it faster, more capable, and safer?

Edit: I found another commercial that shows how you use the MiniJeep/Beef in more detail as well as out it comes together. I love the voice! It sounds straight out of the 40s and 50s! I love it! As soon as I realized the voice, I saw, "Oh boy, the jeep's history is being paralleled with this Mini Jeep. Could this be history starting all over again?!"

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