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

About: 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 to items with no reason to be....other than the idea popped into my hea…

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

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

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

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

Rear bumper and outriggers were then cut and welded

Step 5: 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

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

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

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

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!

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

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

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!

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.

Metal Challenge

Runner Up in the
Metal Challenge

Wheels Challenge

Finalist in the
Wheels Challenge

Make It Real Challenge

Participated in the
Make It Real Challenge