Friday, July 13, 2012

How to Build an Abnormal Topless Vehicle (ATV)

The other day my mother asked me for advice on buying a UTV. I didn't know what one was, but I said I'd do it because opinions. Turns out a UTV is an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) with "utility" substituted for "all". Instead of riding it like a saddle it has a seat like a golf cart. ATVs are mostly supposed to be fun, and that's pretty much what my mother wanted. Most of the utility needs we have take a whole truck or a tractor, which we've got. Also her idea of fun is not racing around at top speed, bouncing all over the place. Being in the woods to observe nature is the fun part. She just thought the seat with room for two side by side looked better for her and my aunt tooling around with a gin and tonic in the cool of the evening. She'd found a place that would sell her a used UTV for around $5000. You can get a whole truck for that! She didn't realize that a UTV is so much narrower than a standard vehicle it wouldn't line up with the ruts in our roads, making it ride at an uncomfortable angle all the time. I asked my mother why she wanted one at all, considering she has no way to haul a trailer to get it serviced, let alone get it here in the first place. She had very specific things she wanted. 
  • To get out of the house on a hot afternoon
  • Stay up out of the ticks
  • Have some wind in her face
  • Not have her grandchildren in the back of the truck while she's driving where she can't talk to them
Oh, well she just needs some modifications to the truck. She and my aunt share an old rusted out diesel Isuzu P'up my grandmother bought new in 1986. It's been resigned from road use for two years already. Might as well commit to it. I asked my friend Ronnie if he wanted to chop an old truck. He said sure! My mother set up a dinner party with my aunts to discuss it. They thought it sounded like a great idea and gave the go-ahead. When Ronnie had time to come over from Jacksonville for a few days we turned the truck into a fun ATV (Abnormal Topless Vehicle) that meets all my mother's requirements. It's basically a diesel powered porch for retired women in the woods.

The main problem with Phase 1 of our project is that the truck doesn't start anymore. That's sort of a bummer. We think maybe the welding messed up the starter. It will push start fine, and we live on hills. If I can find a replacement for it then I get to play mechanic. Ronnie only had 4 days off work and had to go back home yesterday. {Link to Picasa Album with Captions and Videos}

1 comment:

  1. Terrific. Lots of work but lots of fun.
    Makes me want to move to the swamp and heat so I can have one, too.

    Wait. No way in hell.