Instructables

Brainstorm: Home made tracked buggy/large go cart

Whats better than a tracked off road vehicle? i'd like to build one but i need ideas for treads. i have not been succesful in locating a relatively easy to get but robust, and repairable tread. i can also use any advice you can give as far as general layout. thanks for looking.

I think what you're looking for might be found on diggers in scrap yards, look for excavators with rubber road tracks on or take the whole metal track assembly and guide rims, remember that you'll have to keep the front wheels steering so a thrid axle in the middle might be a solution since you'd have to devise and incredibly complicated gearbox to have full skid steering which can have one track going in reverse and one in forward... You could take a jeep chassis and throw the guts of a big bobcat digger in to it, not huge speed but massive tractive power from hydraulic motors and you get a rabbit button... That would be an easy skid steer conversion. You could also look for an older excavator that has a mechanical skid drive system, or a tank, rather than hydraulic, that would give you all the stuff you need in it.
or like i said before for independent steering hydrolics
No, you could do skid steering with a series hybrid.
marduke (author)  yourcat5 years ago
a what now?
yourcat marduke5 years ago
For instance, have a gasoline engine acting as generator to power an electric motor for each side. Skid steering would actually be pretty easy that way.
marduke (author)  yourcat5 years ago
that's actually the idea ive been toying with.
Interesting...
They used to make an add-on for Toyotas that used tracks. It had three (I think) steel rims in a triangle pattern with a track around them. You just removed the original wheels and bolted them on in their place. It was a direct replacement for the wheels, and you could just replace the rear wheels, or all 4, (if you could afford 4 of them). WIth this system you didn't have to worry about the skid steering and reverseing one (or slowing one down)to turn. It steered like a normal truck, but I suspect you had to keep it in low range.
Hmm, I remember seeing one of them, they seems to work alright but it probably was low range only because in four high it had a habit of stalling when moving off unless you had your foot mashed through the floor, plus steering was compromised to some extent.

By the way have you seen this? Being safe as a pillion passenger on a motorbike
ladleman5 years ago
ive been thinkin bout building a trackedmover.... i am very cheep and scavage as much stuff as i can i work in a steel mill and have acess to acres of junk scrap.TRACTOR TIRES? i think this is what i am going to use as tires with a sidewall tear are no good on a tractor there garbage. very easy to find as i live in wisc.for free
marduke (author)  ladleman5 years ago
Sounds like a good starting place to me. I've played with the idea of a tracked vehicle for quite some time and so far I've found that the easiest and cheapest method for steering and such would be to power an axle and use differential braking to turn. This system is used on the famous M-3 Halftrack of WW2 as well as the Universal or "Bren" Carrier of the same era. I hope this helps point you in a decent direction.
My way for steering and control would be hydrolics like they use on zero-turn tractors (a good example would be the dixie choppers because they are fast and have a very impressive amount of torque)
I would suggest using round baler belts. They are pretty thick, extremely durable. They somewhat resemble conveyor belts. They run from thicknesses of 4-10 inches. You could add a few different things to acquire traction, like screws, bolts, or adding actual tread blocks to the outside.
Kiteman7 years ago
If it's a "small" vehicle, how about cutting the walls off a gig tractor tyre, leaving a belt you can use on your vehicle.

If that's too small, cut lengths of similar bits of tyres, overlap the ends and rivet or bolt them together.

Either way, you'll probably need some sort of power saw to cut up the tyre, and wear a mask to avoid breathing in the dust (I don't know the dust is hazardous, but I wouldn't be surprised).
Oh on cutting the tyres it's not dusty, a reciprocating saw with a short metal cutting bit works best but it makes crumbs which are a nuisance, they'll get everywhere, no dust issues though...
marduke (author)  Kiteman7 years ago
thats a good idea. as far as size goes i was thinking about the same size as a willy's jeep as far as length and width, probably a bit smaller though. so maybe small wasn't the right word.
Kiteman Kiteman7 years ago
(That would be a big tractor tyre, of course...)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tjpva-ueEEEHey there, I have been wanting to build a similar vehicle but didn,t know about the tracks or drive system. I found this on youtube and saw some early war vehicles and it looks like they use industrial conveyor belt. They have two strips that are parallel to each other then connected with either metal or wood. I think this would be the best option cause it reasonably strong and simple and cheap to make compared to some of the alternatives.
jtobako7 years ago
If you don't insist on separate links, you could screw cleats on a strip of innertube.

Or do this, a 1/5th scale tank : )
marduke (author)  jtobako7 years ago
thanks for the link, i like the idea used for the sherman tracks alot. this could take a while......