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Car/truck/suv to Go Kart


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I'm looking for ideas for a new project.  I'm looking to turn a running driving vehicle into an offroad/mixed terrain go kart. My buddy's daughter rolled his Sidekick and he signed it over before I got a chance to ask about it.. Any ideas on what vehicles I could look for? 


- I'm looking for cheap: like $500

- Smaller the better

- body on frame is a must

- independent suspension at least up front would be nice

- 4wd/AWD would also be nice


I plan on cutting the top off, adding a roll cage, and making it like a small truck for use around the property as well as have some fun offroad without caring if it breaks.  Think better/Slightly bigger John Deere Gator. 

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Ditto, the Sami's are super easy to work on and very simply built.  Not a real powerhouse though.  Adding a Sidekick engine to a Sami can add to that some.  Rust is a HUGE issue with those though, both body and frame.  I built a Sami from 2 that had issues, one clean body and the Sidekick engine, the other had lots of the off road drive train and bits.  When finished, very capable off road but damn did it ride terrible!  Very violent on rocky terrain and lack of power steering left my wrists sore after a day of trying to control the steering wheel.









An early Chevy S10 Blazer or truck with the 4.3 V6 could also be an option as it has IFS and a decent drivetrain.  A 2dr Blazer with the top and doors removed and caged could be a hoot.  A standard cab short bed S10 could also be shortened after the cab and you could make a flat bed or use a drop side bed from one of those mini japanese "cushman" style vehicles, or make your own fairly easily.






Ok, so this pic is just to bring the phunnay........... :wink:

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Honestly, a Sami sounds like what you're looking for.  But, thinking out side the box, you could chop the top off an old AWD Subaru and basically make a home-made Baja.  Slap some A/T tires on that heap and you'll be in the woods turning heads.





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To expand on my thinking, I'm imagining a simple go-kart but on a slightly larger scale with more power.  Something I can thrash on like a quad or go-kart, but also have a practical use with the ability to haul things around.  Similar to yellaheep's pictures above but more tire clearance and much more stripped down. 


I'm looking to gut the thing like you would do when building a race car and only keep the essentials.  Less crap to break and less crap in the way when the important stuff does break.  


I am also in the thinking of a tracker/sidekick or an s10 but they are hard to come by around me and are usually on the expensive side.   There is one Tracker for sale near me that is only $450 running and driving but the guy hasn't responded at all today.  


Luckily I heard back from my buddy who talked to the autoshop he signed his wrecked sidekick over to and they are willing to sell it back for $200.  The body is absolutely demolished and there is possible suspension damage (his daughter rolled it into a cornfield at 55mph and somehow walked away totally fine).  We are going to go do a thurough survey of the damage tomorrow to see if the drivetrain and suspension are in good enough shape. 


I'll report back with info on what I come up with and pictures.  

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OK so unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of it in the daylight but man is the body bad.. The only body panel that isn't bashed in is the drivers rear door.  The hood is jammed closed but I could see well enough to know the engine bay is intact.  The stuff mounted to the inner fenders is moved around but all looked to be in good shape.  The radiator isn't even damaged which is great.  


The body is broke loose from the frame on the passenger side and has a crazy lean but some new hardware and some welding should fix that up.  


As for the suspension.. Well the front drivers side tire is turned about 10* - 15* left while the passenger one is straight.  Both sit pretty well vertical.   I couldn't see any broken suspension parts so I'm hoping it just bent something that I can either straighten or replace.   The drivers rear wheel has some reverse camber going on but the wheel is bent quite badly so I'm hoping that is the issue there.  I'm expecting the axle shaft on that side is bent but we'll see.  


Overall I'm actually surprised at how intact the thing still is with how bad the body is.  It looks to have started as a barrel roll and immediately turned into an end over end flip before landing on its side.  Either way I feel confident enough the damage isn't too bad to the critical components and I plan on paying the $200 tomorrow and a buddy is gonna bring his trailer to haul it home for me on Thursday.  


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Here are the two pictures I do have of it from the night it was rolled. The first picture is how it came to rest. The picture was taken from the road it was on when she lost control. 7bb398445a5f15e569bf3162af81eac8.jpg5e9e2c916c6f5411cf117db1862261cd.jpg


Sent from my HTC U11 using Tapatalk





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