2023 - Volume #47, Issue #1, Page #38[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
How He Built This Custom Runabout
“I couldn’t say no, so that’s how this ‘runabout’ got its start,” says Heron. “The plan was to give it to the grandkids when they got bigger.”
He began with old bed rails for the frame, which he covered with fitted plywood body pieces. He wanted something inexpensive for wheels, so decided on bicycle rims and tires. For the hood, he salvaged an old lawn tractor hood and cut it to the right size and shape.
Heron’s original plan was to build a smaller cart, but he decided to expand it to add a longer steering shaft. He installed an old 70 cc Honda clone, electric-start engine from a scrapped quad to power the runabout. It came with a centrifugal clutch that wouldn’t engage the wheels until it was throttled up. A drive chain, jackshaft and sprocket system were assembled to drive the wheels. He connected a cable to a foot pedal for easy throttle control.
For braking, he used bicycle coaster brakes linked by a shaft to a non-driven wheel.
“It’s not designed for speed but if you’re gentle with it, the brakes slow it down all right,” Heron says. “The steering system was simple as well with a basic steering mantle on the front.”
Heron used IBC tote metal for the seat frame that his wife Leonie covered with cut-up pieces of a canvas tote bag. The cushion uses thick foam for a softer ride.
As one grandchild asked for green color and another wanted yellow, they decided on a combination for the color scheme.
Heron estimates the finished runabout cost him about $200 as he already had most of the major pieces lying around. His biggest expense was a $40 battery.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Michael Heron, RR1, Site 1, Box 1, Main Station, Lloydminster, Sask., Canada S9V 0X6 (ph 306-307-8632; firstname.lastname@example.org).
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