Build a Fun 4-wheel Buggy on Your Own!

Paining & Assembling
09/22/2002 Updated


Painting


I started painting, with anti-rust paint in gray color.





All painting work has been complete.
I chose sky blue for the color which gives me an image of a sky blue in the summer. For others such as suspension arms, anti-roll bar and the support, and drive shafts, I chose mat black.
I do not know how the combination of the colors look at the end. I will start assembling all together at the next slot that I can't wait!


Assembling of Chassis


The summer is now around the corner, and I really want to make it complete for run! I started assembling work at the rear section.
First, I put the rear shaft assembly in a proper position in order to have a brake rotor in the right place relatively to the caliper that I have installed already.

80kg!

Then, front and rear suspension arms, steering components and linkages, tires, and anti-roll bar.
Look, overall of it has become more like a buggy.

80kg!
I wondered how heavy the buggy has become at this moment, and measured. I put a panta graph jack on a meter and lifted up the buggy. The weight measured was as heavy as 80kg (excluding the weight of the jack that is 3kg.)
The weight measure was more than I expected. Thinking that the engine, the heaviest component, will be also installed later, I thought it would be quite a hard job for me to lift the rear end of by buggy for installation into my van.


Installation of Engine and Drive Chain


I pulled the engine back from the place where I had stored it for a while, and installed on the frame.



Right after installation of the engine, I cut the two sets of non-sealed chains into length and put into place.
I have simply assumed that I could make adjustment of the chain tensed by a sets of adjusters, however I found it quite difficult job. Making adjustment of two chains simultaneously in a good balance with only a set of adjusters.
I had to put several pieces of spacers underneath the bearing units for precise adjustment, and finally the step of the adjustment I had to follow was 1mm.


Wiring, Installation of Electrical Equipment


I make some modifications on the original wire harness to get a GB taco meter connected. Then I fixed whole the wire harness onto the frame by using plastic locking bands.


Miscellaneous Components


A core structure of the air cleaner of XLR is to be installed as it was originally.
I placed a green transparent tube for fuel tank of Suzuki scooter so that I can monitor the level inside the tank at any time.


A 4-point seat belt was put in place for safety. Protection padding is in process for the places where my head and arms may come closer or hit.


Kick pedal has been the only remaining issue that I have wondered what the design can be like and how I could solve the interference problem with right-rear suspension unit.
I added a long piece of steel material for an extension onto the original kick pedal mounting. This pedal then became a lever to be pulled up when I need to start the engine.
The operating force was less than expected. It will hopefully work.


Heavy...


Heavy. What a heavy rear portion it is. It is painful when I store the buggy into my van every time I finish the work at the day. It should came not only from my less-organized design but also from the weight of the 250cc engine that was heavier than expected.
The real concern is that I could get myself hurt someday. If I would not make a set of slopes or something like that, I could become unable to drive it before I complete.
Then, I made a simple buck to lift up the rear.

However, except those small issues live mentioned above, my buggy itself has become almost completed !!


Suspension re-arrangement


To accommodate the heavier-than-expected weight of the buggy, I replaced the front suspension units with another one equipped with harder spring associated with shocks having better damping performance. New ones were designed for Honda Monkey, length of 270mm.
At the same time, I put a reinforcement brace to connect the right and left sides of the upper mounting points of front suspensions.


Here shows the replaced rear suspension with new ones as well as for front. The new ones (although used ones) were for Suzuki, at a condition of no leakage of damper oil and in a good condition on the appearance.
I made and put a set of adapters for them to accommodate the length which is shorter than those I previously installed.


Completed !


As a final set of work, I got the brake line bled, drained motor oil that had been in the engine for the last 9 years (it smelled amazingly bad enough to get myself headache), put new motor oil, and replaced an oil filter with a new one.
I then put a silencer (that I can't miss because my home is located in a middle of residential restrict here), pulled up a lever to start the engine. Engine started successfully with no difficulty.
I confirmed that the tachometer I installed additionally and all the other electronic equipment work perfectly.

It has taken almost 2 years to get my buggy completed since I picked up the original Honda XLR250. It has been quite a long way to go.
Well, next thing I have to think about is where I can drive it.


A Buck to Lift Her Rear Up


Measured dry weight of the buggy was 116kg, lighter than expected and lighter than the original weight of XLR that was 121kg.
This, however, still requires me a tough job when I lift it up every time to store into my van. Then, I made a supporting buck to lift the rear section of the buggy with less effort.


... To be continued.

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