Originally Posted by Rezso
My friend and I want to motorize a pedal car that we can then cover with a custom fiberglass shell. This is one option that we are considering:
Heavy Duty Adult Pedal Car
This pedal car is from a local store called Tractor Supply, and t appeals to me as a base for a custom because it seems solidly built, with ample room to add on an engine etc.
We are very curious to hear opinions about wether this would be a good base to build on or not. If someone has a better(cheaper or whatever) suggestion, please share it!
I've looked into this Adult Pedal Car before, at TSC. I've been shopping at that place for eons. I was thinking the same thing you were quite a while ago. But I developed some concerns about this thing; you can take 'em for what they're worth. Here are a few:
1) As mentioned above, check your local laws. If you have four wheels, in most places you have a car - regardless of engine size. This means you need All required lighting, ALL required safety equipment, bumpers which are up to code, and other stuff which may be stipulated differently according to state law and to state law's interpretation of federal law. Three wheelers are a lot less legally restricted in general, and there are not as many hoops to jump through with the BMV (or DMV depending on where you live).
2) On this adult pedal car, I was disappointed how narrow the front track was. Not a problem if one is pedalling, but if you put a two-stroke back there and get going you could have some steering difficulties. I would also want to check how accurate the Ackerman angle was on this thing. I can't tell what the caster (trail) is. I can't tell what the camber angle is. I don't know how much toe-in it has. On just a pedal car, most folks wouldn't care. But, trust me, you put a motor on this thing, you'll start caring.
I only wrote all this because I care. It'd be a lot of money wasted if it didn't work out. You don't want that. And if you do make it run, then get injured on the thing because of design issues, I'd feel bad if I didn't say something beforehand. But, in the end, it is your decision how to take advice, and it's your build. If you've made up your mind, there's a few of us who'll help you however we can. Just be careful.
PS: nearly forgot - no differential on this thing. None. So you can either power just one rear wheel (which would involve extra work on the rear axle), or be mentally prepared to do a little skip-to-my-loo around the corners (unless you slow way down).