Introduction: Mini Monster Truck Grave Digger (approximately 16 Hour Build)
Mini Monster Grave Digger,
Start by finding a small quad, i found a 125cc three speed with reverse and centrifugal clutch. Also found a 24 volt Grave Digger that was broken online for sale.
Left truck is final product, Right truck is what i started with.
Step 1: Find Doner Vehicles
My father bought this old chinese quad when my oldest son was one years old with intensions of fixing it up for him to ride. At the time i didn't feel like it was what we needed at the time, just a bit young for a quad. Wheels started turning in my head on how to make it safer for a young kid to ride. I came up with the idea of making it into a ride in go cart. I started the process of getting it operational and ordered all the parts to do so. I was constantly looking for a small truck or jeep body of some kind and found them to be very expensive and not a lot of options. Parts started arriving my business started picking up, had multiple projects around the house and soon it wasn’t a priority of mine anymore. We all know how that goes. Long story cut short. We moved and all my toys and The quad just sat there on my parents side yard for five years until one day i bought a 24 volt ride on grave digger for my youngest son a his 3rd birthday. This was soo cool, two kids could ride, it had hi and low speed with reverse. It was well built with a metal frame, plastic body and working shocks. This sparked my interest again. I was pondering getting my six year old a small quad when i remembered that i had already had one. Thats where al the peaces of the puzzle came together and this project that i had stared five years ago was finally doable. I located a broken grave digger online and got to work. Dug out all the new parts that i had ordered a got the little quad running good.
Step 2: Brain Storming.
I stripped the body off the quad and set them side by side with my sons working one and started measuring. They were almost identical wheel base and same distance from axle to axle. This got me excited. I located a broken one online for sale. My boys and picked it up on a Wednesday night about seven pm. After getting the boys to bed a got to work in the garage. I was so excited that i lost track of time ( Wife was out of town for three days ) so no distractions.
Step 3: Prepping the Chassis and Body
I stripped the running gear off the truck, removed handle bars, and set body on frame.
Step 4: Ride Height
once i put the body on the quad frame i discovered that it was way to high and not proportional. I decided that i would have to lower the body some how, so i started cutting.
Step 5: Chopping the Frame
I cut off everything not needed, brake light, body supports, steering shaft, running boards, and removed exhaust. I cut the frame in several locations to lower it about three inches total. Tack welded everything together and Finally set the body back on and was happy with final ride height.
Step 6: Final Ride Height
finally settled on ride height and centered body front to back on frame. I zip screwed the frames together and started figuring out how the steering was going to work.
Step 7: Steering
i removed the dash and started mocking up the steering shaft location. I realized that the original loction would come up straight through the hood. I cut the shaft, cut off the steering support from the frame and cut the welds enough to change the angle of the shaft so that it would come through the dash. I cut the firewall so the shaft will fit through. Re welded steering support to a new location on frame. I used 1/2” emt pipe to mock up height of steering bracket. Once i was happy with location i replaced the thin wall emt pipe with a thicker wall pipe that i cut from the old axle that was on the electric truck. I really wanted to install a steering wheel but ended up using the original quad handle bars for now. Steering complete.
Step 8: Brakes
I installed new brakes in existing location and got to work modifying the pedal assembly to relocate into the floor of the body. Sorry not the best pictures.
Step 9: Stance
i realized that the back tires sat closer together then the fronts and didn’t look right. Quickly realized that the wheels were offset and that i can easily flip the wheels around and gain abound three inches wider which turned out perfect.
Step 10: Gas Tank Location
luckily there is a empty space under the hood that had just enough room for the existing gas tank. I had to make two brackets and drill whole in hood. Easy solution.
Step 11: Shifter
welded extension to shift lever so that i can hand shift the gears and kids cant change out of first gear. When they get the hang of driving it ill extend shifter into body some how so they can use 2nd and 3rd gear plus reverse. Haven’t had time to figure out a solution for this yet. They just get first gear that goes about 10 miles an hour.
Step 12: Final Product
welded frame and reassembled. Testing time. Everything tested great, kid approved. Just need to install shorter handlebars. Also found that the old shocks need to be replaced because they are old.
Remember that this was a night time build while working full time during the day. I started on Wednesday night and we were driving it Saturday afternoon. It has electric start and very easy for kids to operate.
Step 13: Happy Kids Having Fun.
Both Grave Diggers in action. Happy kids, Happy Wife, Happy Dad, Happy Life