Introduction: Ride-On Toy Car

About: I prefer wood and metal on my projects but I also have done some Raspberry and Arduino projects.

A ride-on toy car for children made of an old bike, a stroller found in a trash bin, a steel plate and some steel pipe.

Step 1: Planning

This project was launched when I saw a neighbor kid driving one of these. These do not really cost that much, cheapest are like 50€ so it would be just stupid to build one of your own right?

Anyways I basically just took quick measurements and started building the frame. The maximum hull height is around 200 mm so that the feet of my 1-year old touches the ground when she drives. The total length of the car is 600 mm and wheelbase is 400 mm. The maximum width of the hull is 200 mm. I did not take proper picture out of my sketches seen here on the pictures as I did not follow my own plans during the making.

Step 2: Creating the Shape of the Frame

The frame is made of 15 mm black steel pipe. I used steel rod bending machine to create the bottom shape and U-shaped pieces and welded the U-pieces upside-down to the bottom part. Then I linked the uppermost parts of the U-pieces. As seen in the picture, I was not very careful with this but that does not matter as the frame will be covered later with a sheet of metal.

For the bow and stern parts I made a paper template which I then cut out of tin plate. As I did not have any proper tools nor time for rounding of those pieces I just forced them into shape and carefully welded them in place with the lowest possible current.

Step 3: Steering

At first I was going to make track rod steering but to save time I abandoned that idea and basically just cut out the steering from an abandoned bike and welded the bearing housing to the frame. I added a couple of pipes to strengthen the construction as I had to cut and curve the original bike fork to have the desired wheel base.

The axles and tires came out of a stroller which I found from a trash bin. That stroller was also the raw material for the steering wheel - I cut out the handle of the stroller and curved that into a wheel. I needed to curve the axles to make the car ride lower and welded the rear axle to the frame and the front axle to the bike fork.

Step 4: Casing

The shell of the car is made of thin sheet of metal which required only a hole for the bearing housing and careful bending to the U-shape. As you see in the pictures, I found it extremely difficult to weld thin metal sheets even with the lowest possible current.

After I had welded the sheet in place I bent the lower edges of the metal sheet around the base of the frame with some careful hammering. That gave the skirt a nice and safe look.

Step 5: Welding and Cleaning

After I managed to weld everything in place I filled the weld sews with some more careful welding and used a grinder to level all the crinkles and mistakes I had made

Step 6: Grain Blasting, Puttying and Painting

I used grain blaster to clean all the surfaces before using putty to even out especially the stern and bow that had a lot dents on them. After some serious sanding the car was ready for white primer and matte white spray paint.

Step 7: Ready for Driving

I did not waste too much time for detailing or finishing the car as the car is used only outdoors and will not be treated very gently by the kids in our neighborhood.

My daughter do like her ride though the steering should have been based on steering rod instead of what I built. The turning radius is way too big in my opinion. Other thing that I regret a bit is the painting, I actually did like the untouched "rat look" more than the one I'm looking at now.