This project started with some pictures on the internet of a mini jeep built onto the chassis of a ride on mower with an I/C engine..... I had to have a go at building one for myself!
I located and purchased a westwood ride on that I had seen languishing in the corner of the yard of a local car repair shop. It wasn't pretty but was complete. It turned out to be a very early gazelle model with a single bolt front axle fitment. It also has a gear change which is operated via a tube around the steering column.
I stripped off the bits I would not need, rear mudguards and bonnet, then set to getting the engine running and replacing the front wheels with a pair the same diameter as the rear.
A lot of the bodywork roughed out and as soon as work quietens down and I am less tired I will get back to building some more.
As this mower is around 25 years old it came as no surprise to find a lot of wear on the gear change/brake shaft.
Picture 1 shows that there is a 3mm gap at the top of the shaft which made the gearchange a bit clunky and had caused damage to the brake pads.
Picture 2 shows a bronze bush I machined to take up the gap.
Picture 3 shows the bush fitted.
The end result is a gearbox with a nice smooth action and, after fitting some new pads, a working brake.
I looked at dozens of photographs of jeeps to get a feel for proportions then produced a basic GA to see what it would look like. It will end up with a lifted body, which I feel is a good look with the wide wheels.
Once I was happy with the design I looked at extending the chassis, front and rear to accept the bodywork.
The material chosen was 100mm X 50mm steel box section.... as I had some knocking around the workshop.
I started with the front bumper. With the materials cut it was time to offer up to the front end to see how things looked. this was when I discovered that the front of the mower chassis was way out of square.
You can see the error, circled in yellow above, what you cannot see is the downhill slope of the bumper bar, after a lot of grinding, re-cutting and packing of parts I was happy with the result so tacked it up.
I rested the grill on to get a better idea of how it was looking....To find out how to make the grill see below :)
The rear bumper and support frame are constructed from a mix of 50mm x 30mm, 50mm x 50mm and 50mm x 100mm box section.
Parts for rear bumper ready for welding. As this sits on the shelf of the rear chassis the support bars are made by welding 30mm x 50mm under 50mm x 50mm to create a gap to miss the welds on the tractor.
Parts shaded grey are tractor chassis, purple part is rear bumper support. Also shown is the body support outrigger.
Clamped up and ready for welding.
Rear bumper fitted to tractor with body support outrigger clamped in place.
The front of the tractor foot plates need to be cut off to miss the back corner of the front wing and clear the front end of the outrigger.
All ready for welding up.
All vehicles have a face, in my opinion the grill of the jeep is the most important part, if it looks right hopefully the rest will look right too.
The method of construction I chose was 1/2" marine ply cut to shape then wrapped in 0.5mm aluminium sheet.
With the wooden frame ready for covering the aluminium sheet was cut to size with plasma cutter and shears ready for swaging around the wooden former.
Using wooden forms and a rubber mallet the grill takes shape.
The mounting for the grill need to be be easy to undo and remove to facilitate servicing of the engine, 2 angle brackets were made with sloted holes at the base, which match the bumper mounting bolts, and tapped holes at the sides to join to the mudguards. To remove grill take out 6 easily accessible bolts and loosen two others.
Once the grill brackets were mounted it was time to start on the back plates for the front wings.
I have found that plastic twinwall sheet, the stuff used for house "for sale" signs, is very good for making templates. It can be cut with a scalpel and easily bent in one direction only so work out the best way round to use it.
Once it was offered up to the chassis and adjusted it was time to transfer the dimensions to metal.
This was plasma cut and some holes drilled for fixing and welding.
Trial fitted. It needs a bit of reworking in the area behind the wheel so a bit more cutting drilling and welding.
The wing tops cut and folded.
Clamped up, ready to weld.
Welding completed and trial fitted.
A The tub will be constructed from 0.7mm MS sheet, first pieces marked and cut were the tub sides.
After a bit of bending and folding the tub sides were trial fitted.
The tub is stiffened by 10mm square tube welded around the edges, this involved a lot of complicated bending.
All welded up, the sides are now nice and stiff.
Fitted to the chassis.
Time to get rid of the seat, steering and some of the chassis to clear the new bodywork....
The scuttle taking shape