Believe it or not, the writers here at Hack a Day do their own projects too, we don’t just write about yours! I’ve just started a new project, and I want your advice! A few friends and I are converting a custom-made dune buggy — to electric.
The project will be chronicled over on Hackaday.io, with (hopefully) weekly updates on our progress. If you’ve been perusing Projects, you may have noticed my Electric Car conversion from a few years ago. First year of my engineering degree, my friend and I converted a 1993 Honda Del Sol to electric, using the guts of an electric forklift.
We got it going over 100km/h on used batteries our school donated to us. Unfortunately, there was a bit too much red tape and bureaucracy for us to get it on the road legally. That and we were poor university students who couldn’t afford new batteries, or the ridiculous amount insurance companies wanted to put it on the road. The project got scrapped after sitting in the backyard for a few years.
Fast forward to today, and we’ve both graduated and are working our “cushy” engineering jobs, and for the first time in our lives, we have some disposable income. We needed a new project to work on.
Introducing the Flux Buggy. We found this dune buggy / go kart on Kijiji for $1,500. It was actually custom made for the guy selling it, and we’re impressed at the build quality. The whole thing is made of 1-1/4″ steel tubing, all the bearings and pivot points have grease fittings, there’s aluminum tread plate siding, and some good quality brakes! We’d be hard pressed to even be able to buy the parts for that price!
It originally came with a 13HP Honda engine, which could get it going around 50km/h — slow acceleration though since it was direct drive — no transmission. We sold the engine for $300 and brought it home… on top of a truck!
This was about a month ago. Since then we’ve bought half a dozen marine grade 12V lead-acid batteries, started machining the gearbox, and fabricating battery mounts off the side of the buggy. I’ve been taking videos along the way and will try to release new ones on a weekly basis. Take a look and let me know what you think!
Now — this is where we need your help! Suggest things you want to see — we don’t care how crazy they are!
- The Name:
We need a better name for this. We thought about calling it something silly, like a person’s name –like Sven. But the only way I’m willing to do that is if SVEN is actually a clever acronym for the vehicle.
We’re planning on having two sets of tires for this bad boy. 17″ knobby truck tires for off-roading (it will look like a giant RC car with those proportions), and slick regular tires for the track.It will have two gear ratios for now. High speed, and high torque. We’re expecting about 111km/h for the high speed version (we’ll need seat belts) and only about 60km/h for low-speed — but will it ever go! What do you want to see? Paintball gun turrets? LED flood lights? Sound system? Auto-pilot? Flight mode? A turbo button? Let us know!
- The Videos:
Be honest — were they boring? I’m working on cutting things down as much as possible to keep it entertaining, and interesting. What do you want to see more of? What do you want to see less of?
I think that’s all for now. We hope you like it! Don’t forget to follow it on Hackaday Projects — the next time it hits the front page probably won’t be until we test drive it!