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Christ 06-12-2009 11:33 PM

Off-road cart made road legal?
Anyone see a problem with using something like this:

As a daily driver/city vehicle? Using a very small engine (probably no more than 5 HP), acceptably efficient chaindrive/CVT setup, and making a body and lights sufficient to sustain legality under applicable traffic safety laws, it could be registered as a kit car in most states... any downfall to this?

I'd think it's a half decent frame concept to start with, ultra light (if you built it yourself, it could be made of aluminum), sufficiently powerful, and with proper body work, it could be made decently aero as well... I'm working on getting the piping to start building one, so I can use a small Briggs motor and a kerosene conversion (running waste oil instead).

I dunno if I'll ever get it done, b/c it's a "wanna" project, but it would be nice, wouldn't it?

SVOboy 06-12-2009 11:35 PM


Christ 06-12-2009 11:37 PM

In what context? It can handle HUGE impacts to the frame from off-road air-borne stupidity... I wouldn't see why it can't handle a fender bender in redlight traffic.

I'm not suggesting 70 MPH on the freeway, and obviously, it would need steering and braking systems reworked to make it "safer" for road use...

BTW - that was fast.

Christ 06-12-2009 11:38 PM

That particular model has a hydraulic brake with a single caliper/rotor on the live axle in the rear.

Frank Lee 06-12-2009 11:55 PM

Needs street tires.

I'd drive it on the road but I question whether it could be registered.

Christ 06-12-2009 11:59 PM

Ok, so we'll throw some small street tires on it. Probably some 155/80R13?

I'm 99% sure I could get it registered in PA as a kit car... not sure about the provisions of other states, but in PA, it just needs to pass safety inspections and have "required equipment", same as a car.

In PA - if it runs on diesel, or a derivative thereof, it doesn't need an emissions inspection. Kit cars also don't need them, IIRC.

I'll look into it further as the idea progresses, but I'm getting too many fingers in too many pots to consider this idea really "worthwhile" at the moment... the racing tractor comes first!

Frank Lee 06-13-2009 12:02 AM

That would rock with one of those little diesel Yanmar clones.

Christ 06-13-2009 12:03 AM

Yanmar clone = ~$700...

Briggs motor with kerosene conversion and filtered waste oil = Check dad's back yard... I'm sure there's one somewhere... LOL.

I agree, it would be sweet though.

Frank Lee 06-13-2009 12:14 AM

Tell me more about the B&S conversion...

Christ 06-13-2009 12:27 AM

It's in a Briggs manual I have from 1977.. (don't ask)

You basically use low-compression heads, or double stack gaskets on certain models. You use a hotter spark plug (I think hotter, maybe colder, don't have the book right now), and you add a second fuel tank... it technically still starts on gas, b/c the kerosene needs a higher cylinder temp to run efficiently, but once you've warmed up the engine, you can just flip a valve and run it on the kero tank.

Once you're done running it, you can either drain the bowl and re-fill it with gasoline, to ease the next start, or you can let it run for another minute w/ the kero shut off, then turn the gas valve back on.

Briggs says expected HP is about 15 % less, and fuel economy should increase 20-25% using clean kerosene. I figure that since Kero and Diesel share many of the same properties, I should be able to run filtered/thinned out waste oil in the engine as well, which equates to free fuel. It's easy to get used oil around here. We even have a garage heater that runs on it.

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