Build Your Own Partyquad (party-ATV)




Ever been to a party and been annoyed at having to lug your beer a mile up a woodland track? Or not being able to bring a sound system bigger than a pocket sized iPod (boo) dock?

Well, this is the instructable for you! In the next few pages I'll document how I built my very own partyquad, and maybe include a few pictures of the uber-hip parties that you know you'll get invited to once you build one (and the multiple chicks you'll also pull, assuming you're male. If you're a girl, guys will TOTALLY dig a girl that can weld ;-)

I'm writing this in first person, as this is just how I did things. someone else will do it differently, as they will almost certainly have different source materials. I'm also going to apologise for the bad puns in the titles, as it's late and it seems like a good idea.

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Step 1: Materials

OK, this is a bit of a tricky one. Due to the nature of the project, there is no real list of parts you need to go and buy to make it work. I begged and borrowed most of the parts for this project from friends and neighbours, and out of skips (dumpsters) in some cases. Here's a list of the stuff I used anyway. Bear in mind prices on the stuff I bought vary WILDLY

All prices in GBP. If you're in the US, expect them to be about the same number of dollars. Things work that way...

Mini Quad bike (some chinese knock off of a 70's japanese design) - Free from a friend's neighbour
Some steel tubing - Free from a friend's old bed
3mm ABS sheet - rescued from a skip (dumpster) by a friend's dad. The rest (around half a ton of it!) went to school
2x 25w 4 inch car speakers - 12.99 at maplin
40w self contained amplifier module - 15.99
Heatsink for amp - Free (old pentium 2 heatsink)
Glowing amp switch - 2 from maplin
Non glowing (thought it glowed in the shop, turns out it didn't :-( switch for light - 2 (again at maplin).
Assorted engine parts - Free from old strimmer (weedwhacker)

Step 2: First Things First

My lucky break came when a friend mentioned a neighbour was taking an old childrens' quad bike down to the tip. I walked home with him, and had a look at the quad. It was in terrible shape. The wiring looked much like a rats' nest, and all the metal was rusty. Many parts were also missing.

However, all the main parts were there, and the engine turned over. That evening, I stripped the whole thing, and put it back together. The next 2 nights my friend and I rebuilt the engine (including a full carb rebuild to remove a mysterious piece of gasket that was floating around inside). And it ran! OK, it wasn't pokey (A Chinese 50CC lawnmower engine with a horizontal shaft), but it ran. (It later loosened up to the point where I could wheely, but that comes later).

Step 3: The Bare Essentials

As you see below, the quad looked MUCH neater stripped. While stripping it we found that the stock electronic ignition was supplemented by regular magneto ignition. SO we re-wired it (MUCH easier to do with no experience in ignition than electronic ignition, as all my experience is with miniature diesel engines such as the ones used in radio controlled cars). This made it all a huge amount neater.

The quad was kept in this state for a few weeks (of near constant, midnight footpath rallying, noisy, oily fun), before the engine mounts broke and it was left in my back garden for a few months.

Step 4: Sounds Good?

Well, I decided to bite the bullet and organise a party. I had 2 weeks to finish the build. The only problem was, one of my friends was borrowing our welder. Guess where he was for the next week? On holiday. Damn him. I passed the time by setting up the sound system, a handy module built onto some ABS sheet that is simply cable tied to the chassis.

Step 5: Longquad

Inspired by longcat, I decided to stretch the quad. I initially decided on 10 feet (!!!), but had to make it realistic, so I decided to stretch it by about 2 feet to around 5'5".

Thankfully, due to the design of the quad, all four of the bars that made up the main frame were paralell. I simply chopped them in half with a hacksaw, wire-brushed the paint off to aid the welding, and jammed the (helpfully perfectly sized) steel tubes over the ends. I tied a luggage strap round the whole thing, and welded it.

This gave me room to fit the car battery and sound system, and I also found it was A LOT easier for all 6'7" of me to ride this now, it was almost like a chopper. It also left room for someone to ride pillion (if the didn't mind groping the driver).

Step 6: Now the Juicy Bit

Now it was getting hairy. I had 2 days left until the party. The good thing was, however, I'd already cut out the body panels in anticipation of it all being welded. With the help of a friend, a glue gun and lots of cable ties and tape, I fitted all the panels and the sound system, along with various mod-cons like headlights powered by the alternator (yes, the damn thing has an alternator!) and a bendy spotlight. (I fitted the spotlight just after this pic was taken, and the headlights had fallen off at this point). The car battery was roped in against the body panels, and everything wired up.

Things were coming together!

Step 7: Finishing Touches

Friday, the day of the party. I had a brainwave, and used the last of my steel to add a rack for a coolbox (or maybe a third rider, depending on how bruised they liked their nether regions). It was a pretty simple affair, tack welded on in opportune places. However, it was strong enough to jump on, so I guessed it would be able to carry our impressive haul to the site of the party.

Step 8: Party!

People started arriving soon after, So I decided to get the coolbox out. Within no time it was filled with industrial ethanol, ice packs and sunglasses (?).

However, it wasn't all fun and games. The poor little lawnmower clutch, which had never been great, decided to completely lock up as I was starting the engine. As a result, an uncomfortably fast and juddery ride took me about halfway to the party spot, before the engine mounting bolts fell out of the engine. I resorted to pushing.

Here's some more photos of the party.

Step 9: Conclusion

All in all, it was a great little project, let down only by the engine. I might toy with an electric motor at some point, or maybe find another engine somewhere (for free, duh!). Everything else worked perfectly though, and the sound system was more than loud enough for an open air party.

Thanks for reading, I really would like to know if anyone builds one of these themselves, so please message me with a link to some kind of build thread if you do! Also, please message me or comment if I've missed anything vital out, and I'll try update the instructable. I'm not sure if I can or not, this is my first.

Rock out!

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    18 Discussions


    8 years ago on Step 3

    Do you know what kind of motor is that? I want to build a mini bike, and I have the motor but I want to get the gear box like the one on your quad. Your help will be very appreciated.
    Thank you,
    Jesse M.

    3 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 3

    I have no idea, sorry. It seems to be some kind of Chinese lawnmower engine; no names, maker's marks etc. Unfortunately the only ebay seller of parts for it that I found has closed down.


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 3

    Thank you very much! I know that on Chinese things they always use different parts for the same product, that is why it is hard to tell which they were using, just by the picture. But I will continue my search. Wish me luck.
    Great instructable, by the way.


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 3

    Keep an eye out on sites and, specifically, ebay sellers, where mini moto and mini ATV parts are sold, you might be lucky.



    It would be a treat to see a big metal cooler be integreated into the frame somehow. It might add tpo frame strength and riding comfort. 

    2 replies

     cant wait to see it :)  while I dont party much anymore :(  I do have a beat to near death riding mower that may just make a revival for just such a project!  I know its a bit off tangent from your party quad and a lot prefabbed but I might be able to cross your idea with a golf cart I saw at a biker rally that had a deck behind the seat and a stripping pole with flashy lights and all!  LOL maybe incorporate a keg holder and flip out bar. HMMMM i might just have to go out and strip down the cavalier for a bigger platform...... er, well, maybe not. The missus would not be so keen on THAT idea.  but hey great job and keep us posted :)


    9 years ago on Introduction

    You should have welded the nuts for the engine mounting bolts to the frame; that way, they wouldn't have been able to wiggle loose as easily. Also, you forgot to 1)add a backrest in front of the cooler holder and 2)add a post or something to stop the cooler from falling off at an incline.

    3 replies

    You're correct about the bolts. However, I'm currently rebuilding the rear end around a 125cc moped engine, gearbox and wheel assembly. The backrest wasn't actually needed, and I wouldn't have had enough steel to make it anyway. And I thought the same about the cooler, but 3 bungie cords held it on plenty strong enough.

    I'll get an instructable for the moped engine rebuild up in the new year. I hear it's going to be fast...


    Ah. Still, for the next one, if you use an electric cooler, you can build a backrest onto the side with the hinge and have it open toward the back of the thing and permanently install the cooler so you don't need to bungee cord it into place. That way, you'll both have a backrest and a very sturdy cooler holder. You really only need a couple of angle brackets to attach one to something like this, even if they aren't free, they're cheap.


    9 years ago on Step 9

    That thing looks wicked. I may have to look into building one. Anything you would do different for the next one? I might have access to a bigger motor, have to check the want ads.

    2 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Next time I would find one wider so that I could fit multiple car batteries down it, and still be wide enough for the speakers (they take up a couple of inches). I'd then make it electric, because I'm never going to go further than about a mile from my house, so very little chance of it dieing on me, and the engine is unreliable as hell, and not very powerful. The engine also attracts undue attention when trying to sneak past gangs of marauding chavs. Plus, petrol is expensive, and electricity is free (at least, for me. Not for my parents lol)


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    oh, I'd also use a small peltier cooler to keep the cooler ice cold. Ice packs worked well, but took up lots of room.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    pretty cool idea..... you could make it have a huge round seat in the middle with a table and actually have a party on it

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    LOL that might be a little too much for the engine. Plus at this size it fits under some fences, and through the anti-motorbike gates on certain bits of woodland.