Sit ‘n Spin for Big Kids

Humans seem to have a strange love affair with testing their limits, especially when it comes to spinning. Perhaps they ride the Gravitron while dreaming they’re in NASA’s 20 g test centrifuge. When carnival rides aren’t enough though, a few intrepid hackers bust out the welders and take matters into their own hands. This is a hack that goes by many names, though  “The Redneck Spin Chair” will bring up plenty of hits on YouTube.

The design is dead simple. Take a rear differential and axle assembly out of an old car or truck. Rotate it 90 degrees, so the diff is now pointing up. Weld a chair on. Finally, weld on a couple of tow bars. Pulling the whole mess will cause the wheels to spin, which transmits power through the differential and rotates the chair. The ride doesn’t have be pulled very fast, as automotive differentials generally have reduction between 3:1 and 5:1. We’re running things in reverse, so that reduction becomes a multiplier. The result, which can be seen in the video below is a very dizzy rider.

The earliest incarnation of this ride we could find was created at Eagle Mountain in Burtrum, Minnesota. We’re betting this particular hack has been around for decades longer though. The closest in our recent memory is North Street Labs’ Centrifury. Do you know of an earlier incarnation? Let us know in the comments!

16 thoughts on “Sit ‘n Spin for Big Kids

  1. There is at least one video of kids spinning a playground merry-go-round at ludicrous speeds by pressing a gas powered scooter tire to the edge.
    If a proper seat with a headrest was ratchet strapped in place, it could be arranged so the forces were mostly on the correct axis.
    Still, that is very dangerous. Perhaps it should be reserved for special cases where someone is locked in a porta-potty and then the whole thing is placed on the merry-go-round.

  2. Mount it with the diff’s input shaft pointing down, attach a giant blade and you’ve got a very useful car-towed lawnmower. No more need to keep a second engine in good repair, and you mow the grass in a quarter the time.

  3. It sounds like the speed and direction of rotation is related to the difference in rotation of the 2 wheels. So being pulled to the left would rotate you in the opposite direction as being pulled to the right. If you were to weave back and fort on the quad, I wonder what would fail first, the diff, the chair, or the rider…

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