Last Update 05/12/2005 - SOLD!
I know, your asking yourself "Why in the world would anyone purchase a 1/2 scale metal jeep body with no running gear, steering, suspension or drive train"? Simply - because it's yet another challenge and sounds like a fun little project. And my dad and I like a good engineering project! :-) I had previously seen a couple of other small scale vehicles, primarily aircraft and really wanted to do a military vehicle to take along to the shows and parades. This seemed like the perfect little project. Some of the "vehicles" I've seen or located include the following:
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So, with that in mind, I broke down and purchased the Mini-MB, complete with body tub, fenders, grill, hood, windshield frame, top bow and seat. The metalwork is incredible and the thickness is the same as the reproduction bodies currently manufactured. The scale is just about 1/2. Some items are 48% while others are 52% of the original MB. However, the wheelbase is an even 40" and the front/rear track is 24" or exactly 1/2 of the original.
When the body arrived, I set about to taking pictures to get an idea of
what would be required. The more I looked at it, the more I wanted
to fabricate all the little parts for it such as shovel, axe, brackets,
b/o markers, headlights, bumpers, correct wheels/tires, floating
During the initial assessment, it became apparent that the engine/drive train combination would be the difficult part. I've seen pictures of these mounted on somewhat modified garden tractors (complete with mower decks) and that was the starting point. However, with my requirements growing, that may not be the best choice.
The original requirements include:
After looking at many pictures of others, I concluded that most people have strayed away from originality in tire size. I wanted to remain original which would leave an 8" rim, 14.5" overall tire diameter and 3" wide. I also began to look at drive train assemblies and to have an engine in the front bay area required a long chain and or belt system to transmit power to a rear axle of some type. This also made reverse a real nightmare. Braking remains simple with a disc of some type from a garden tractor or go-kart. Steering remains simple utilizing garden tractor components or go-kart components.
With the above floating around in my head, I started looking at an electric drive system. The batteries could be located in the engine bay and all that is required to the rear is a positive cable to a small electric motor. This would solve the long chain/belt issue as well as provide reverse and braking all in one mechanism.
Work to date includes:
02/21/2003 (Frame #1)
02/22/2003 (Frame #1 continued)
10/10/2003 (Frame #2 - Better)
12/17/2003 - Rolling Chassis Completion!
04/02/2004 - Steering/Tie-Rod Ends etc...
04/06/2004 - Correct reversed pitman arm error, cut faux radiator
04/08/2004 - Finish steering, fabricate jerry can bracket/spare tire bracket and install