Introduction: Gas (petrol) Powered Jeep From Ride on Mower

Picture of Gas (petrol) Powered Jeep From Ride on Mower

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!
It it not far from finished and I hope to be riding it around in the summer.

This build needs a lot of space and equipment to make it happen, I am lucky to have both of those....oh, and a lifetimes experience of designing and constructing things. There are kits out there on the web that can be built using a basic tool box and woodworking skills so if the idea of building one of these for the grand kids appeals to you, go google!.

Step 1: Starting Point

Picture of Starting Point

I found the tractor lurking in the corner of the yard of a local car repair shop, folding stuff changed hands and I had my base vehicle.
An hours work and a few new parts had the engine running and the gearbox tested.....those front wheels though, who has seen a jeep with small front wheels?
Soon replaced with some nice wide wheels the same size as at the back!

Step 2: The Design

Picture of The Design
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 for the chassis was 100mm X 50mm steel box section.... as I had some knocking around the workshop.

Step 3: Chassis Build One

Picture of Chassis Build One
 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 :)


Step 4: Chassis Build Two

Picture of Chassis Build Two

Rear bumper and outriggers were then cut and welded

Step 5: Grill

Picture of Grill

The shape was cut out of 1/2" marine plywood which is then covered in 1/2mm aluminium sheet this was cut out and swaged around the wooden former.
Brackets were made to mount it to the front bumper.

Step 6: Front Wings

Picture of 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.
Wing tops cut folded and welded in place.

Step 7: Tub, Sides

Picture of Tub, Sides

A big job in very few words.....
Tub sides were cut from 0.7mm sheet steel, bent to shape and offered up to the chassis.

I then folded/rolled/bent/welded a stiffening frame from 10mm square steel tube.

Step 8: Tub, Scuttle and Bonnet

Picture of Tub, Scuttle and Bonnet

Steering system and seat were removed to make space for the scuttle, this will end up being a very rare 2 seater right hand drive jeep!

Scuttle was then cut folded and welded onto the tub, the whole lot recieved a coat of red oxide paint to prevent rust.

...too late for the bonnet steel which had got wet whilst waiting for me to work it :(

Step 9: Screen

Picture of Screen
The frame for the screen was 3/4" round tube for the uprights, 20mm X 20mm angle for the glass frame and 10mm square tube for the glazing bars, my first attempt looked to high for its width so I cut it down by 2" to a more pleasing size.

This is where I am at at the moment, jobs left to do
  • Paint it
  • Install lights
  • Re-wire it all
  • Install the bench seat (back seat from a swb series land rover)
  • Take it for a drive

If it ever stops raining I will get on with this to get ready for summer, I will update here when I do!

Step 10: At Last, Nearly Done!

Picture of At Last, Nearly Done!

The poor jeep slipped down the to do list for a while but is back to the top, in the last few weeks I have finished fabricating all the metal work and painted most of it.
The interior is also ready to instal (I didn't like the look of the land rover seat so have gone for 2 plastic seat pans). Mounted so that they tilt forward to allow access to the battery box.

Step 11: Going Green

Picture of Going Green

The painting moves on apace, semi gloss olive drab. Just the windscreen and front wheels to do....I await delivery of more paint :(

Step 12: Assembly

Picture of Assembly

Last weekend (30-aug-13) I installed the body tub grill and dashboard then wired it all up.
With a splash of fuel in the tank and the battery installed it started on the second turn of the key! That is the first time in 2 years that it has run.

I would have taken it out for a run round but I could not find the circlips that hold the wheels on and the fuel pipe had perished and was leaking onto the exhaust manifold.

Step 13: Done and Dusted!

Picture of Done and Dusted!

That is it! All done, I took it for a run out today to test everything and it passed with flying colours.
While I was driving one handed I took a bit of movie footage which I have cobbled together to make this....

Home made mini Jeep, first outing from Rog8811 on Vimeo.


wearmouth (author)2017-12-09


i would love to make this but i anm 12 years old, but how long did it take you to make it. i could get my dad to make one for me but he doesn't have a lot of time spear

thank you

rog8811 (author)wearmouth2017-12-10

If I had worked on this full time I could have done it within a month, It is quite a big job. But I had to keep coming back to it when other jobs got in the way so it took me a couple of years :)

You are of an age where you could consider building most of the body from plywood using power hand tools, with supervision. As long as your dad can come up with the means for mounting it on the tractor frame you could still go for it.

carpntir (author)2017-11-17

I want to make this, could you email me the drawing and if there is any cost..


rog8811 (author) carpntir2017-11-20

Drawings on their way, good luck :)


carpntir (author)rog88112017-11-20

Thankyou so much. I have looked for hours for some decent plans anywhere. So glad I found yours, it is going to

be my winter project in my basement.... thanks again.

carpntir (author)2017-11-12

Hi, I would definately like to be able to read the plans you have in one of the pictures above. Is there anyway I can get a copy... have a garden tractor that needs this.. Plus my grandson will love to ride around my yard thankyou. My email address is looking forwards to hearing from you..


Paul MathieuG (author)2017-10-20

Hello, can you give me ou sold me the plan on tour mini jeep?


rog8811 (author)Paul MathieuG2017-10-21

I have e-mailed them to you, they are not comprehensive but should be enough to work from.

Best of luck with it.

Regards Rog

silverknight1944 (author)2017-08-22

Hi, In step 6 you have a drawing on a piece of ply, could you please send a clear copy to be able to read the measurements as the drawing in step 2 is unreadable. As a veteran I am converting my mower to use at our retreat here. Do you also have clear drawings with measurements for the sides in step 7? I am also into reverse engineering drawings of real railroad locos and scaling them down for ride on train clubs and building DIY multi purpose metal working tools to do this. I am air force trained avionics technician and technical writer since retired after serving here in Australia and overseas.

Kiteman (author)2012-04-29

Cool, thanks for sharing - can't wait to see it finished.

rog8811 made it! (author)Kiteman2015-12-21

Another member pm'ed me for info on how I did the gear change, as I could not add a picture on pm I will post it here.

There is tube fitted over the steering column that is free to rotate, the gear lever is welded on one side at the top. The control rod to the gear box attaches with a pin to a lug sticking out at the bottom of the tube. The steering wheel, once fitted, stops the whole lot lifting up.

I hope that is reasonably clear.


snugglepants (author)2015-05-28

My grandson is 4 months old now so if I start today he should be driving it when he is five!!! Good build.

ali0098 (author)2014-08-17

خیلی قشنگ طراحی کردی

ali0098 (author)ali00982014-08-17

You can send me your car design file

rog8811 (author)ali00982014-08-22

Hi Ali, I will get onto it as soon as I have set up my home office and can access my files (just moved house)

yousefx5 (author)2014-08-03

great jop you r the man

cgarcia56 (author)2014-05-20

How fast does this go?

bwsandman (author)2014-05-18

Great job. That is really awesome.

kendall giles (author)2014-03-03

also could you show how to bent the tub to shape

rog8811 (author)kendall giles2014-03-05

All the big radii in the sheet steel were done round the same cardboard tube.
The final shape was dictated by the 10mm square tube that I used to edge all around. This was bent using a very simple bender held in a vice see attached sketch.

kendall giles (author)rog88112014-03-05

thank you good sir

drogers8 (author)2014-03-05

Dude you are good ! I am building a mini beep, a wood mini jeep and I need plans to go by and you did that with out any , you are good .

kendall giles (author)2014-02-26

what about a veiw to see it in action, and not from on the jeep?

rog8811 (author)kendall giles2014-03-05

Sorry I have sold it so no chance to film it.

rakeshgaruda (author)2014-01-26


thanks for showing a good simple concept. I am trying to do something like that. thanks a lot boss.

rog8811 (author)2014-01-22

The screen does fold flat, the rubber bump stops on the hood/bonnet are brake blocks from a bicycle :)

astral_mage (author)2014-01-02

shouldve made the front window folding.

cruzzinn (author)2013-12-29

Awesome project
Can't wait to have a grandson to built it for, or maybe will build it before he or she is born lol

THE GOOSE (author)2013-03-17

great job, i have been wanting to do this for some time. i just havent went and found a mower yet. i cant wait to see it done.

DogsOfWar08 (author)2012-04-29

Awesome metal work, can't wait to see it done!

thebear1 (author)DogsOfWar082012-11-28

for anyone who wants to look has a mini-jeep kit for sale by the way great job hope to see you rideing in it nice looking little mower/jeep god bless hav a nice day

MaskMarvl (author)2012-11-28

Looking great! :)

kdf.inc1969 (author)2012-10-20

did you have to do anything to the front to get the bigger wheels mounted?

rog8811 (author)kdf.inc19692012-10-20

I sleeved the existing stub axles to make them longer and a larger diameter. The wheels are located with circlips.

Rainh2o (author)2012-05-04

PLEASE SHOW US WHEN ITS DONE!...this is sweet. Change out the transaxle pulley to make it go a bit faster...might be more fun to drive. Great weld job! nothing like school of hard knocks to teach you something you want to do.

Purocuyu (author)2012-05-03

This is the sweetest ride! please please please put some updates as you work on it. Excellent job sir!

TSC (author)2012-05-03

This is sweet! I got to finsh geting some money so I can finsh building my custom mini chopper then I think maybe something like this will be my next project! Great job so far!!!

woodstockbirdy (author)2012-05-02

God, I wish I could weld. :( But I'm only 13 so there is courses I can take to learn.

rog8811 (author)woodstockbirdy2012-05-03

To start with.....many years ago....I just gave welding a try, I was rubbish at it!What turned me into a reasonable welder was the day I purchased a self darkening welding mask, I suddenly had a spare hand to guide the gun (mig) or the rod (stick welding). I will now happily join bits of metal together until the cows come home.

Get onto an evening class to learn the right way or go the trial and error route like I did, the choice is yours!

streetrod5 (author)2012-04-29

Rog - very fine work! Would love to see an Instructable on how you did the swaging.

rog8811 (author)streetrod52012-04-30

The pictures attached show that the bits of wood that were cut out of the grill blank were rounded off carefully driven into the holes, also rounded off, taking the aluminium with them. This only gets the shape close, a rubber malet did the rest.

arpoky (author)2012-04-30

Thank you for making my day! Is it possible to do something like this, except with a mower where the seat is above the engine? I just so happen to have an old MTD Yard Man Yard Bug (P.O.S.) that doesn't work, and thought this would be an amazing thing to do to it!

rog8811 (author)arpoky2012-04-30

You would need to do something to the steering as I believe that the steering wheel is too near the front but it is doable and you should get more leg room than in mine once you work it out.
Take a direct side on photo of your bug and then overlay the outline of a jeep shape to see how it would work.

Good luck with it!

florlayamp (author)2012-04-29

Great job on the Jeep! you should make it so that it can mow the yard still, thatd be something to see!

rog8811 (author)florlayamp2012-04-30

I will look to see if it will still take the cutter deck, it may not due to the bigger front wheels :)

heathbar64 (author)2012-04-29

Very Very cool!!!
I've always meant to do a mini jeep, but haven't yet. at one time actually made scal drawings. thinking now maybe I'll put it on my golf cart.

l8nite (author)2012-04-29

looking great !

About This Instructable




Bio: Woodsman and field tutor on a week day. Life long inventor, designer, engineer for the rest of the time. From items that make life easier ... More »
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