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.