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An introduction and explanation:

Approximately eight years ago the following website was created about a family’s adventure into
designing and building a homemade ATV four wheeler. They were even nice enough to post pics of their
hand drawn plans.

I enjoyed that site and referred to it over and over. Then things changed in my life. Apparently things
also changed in the life of the Homemade ATV. Many years later, I went to see how the site was doing
only to find the site gone.

I spent some time looking over the internet for an alternate site. I thought surely someone would have
kept it alive. I emailed the Homemade ATV builders only to get bounced emails.

So here I will post a pdf of their website and the plans on good faith that I mean no disrespect or harm
and seek no monetary reward.

I hope I am not overstepping my limits, but a site such as this should live forever. All that hard work
with successful reward is an inspiration to me and many others.

Thank You


Welcome to the Homemade ATV page of Jeff, Alex, and Sam.

Our goal was to build a home-built all terrain vehicle just like this Maiden Voyage, July 4, 2002 - Here's the Quad we built:

The above is a picture we stole from the web site

of the guys who built and designed it

This was a three generation project. (Grandpa) Sam was our engineering expert; using the
pictures from their web site, he drew up full scale plans and instructions for Alex and Jeff to Pictures of the
use. Alex and Jeff learned oxy-acetylene welding, and are the production team. Do-it-
yourself ATV production began in September, 2001. ATV in Action

Section 1: Center Frame supplies/startup page

Section 2: Forward Frame Instructions, Plans, and PDF BLUEPRINTS;

Beginning production and
(updated 6/6/02)
Section 3: Seat/Stearing/Upper Frame pictures

Section 4: A-arms Building experience

Section 5: Rear Trunion How much did it cost? and parts list
Section 6: Assembly and small parts
Info sent to us by others (1 of 2)2/11/2006 10:37:46 AM


Disclaimer: ATV's are DANGEROUS!!!!! You could get

injured or killed riding them or building them. Your hair could
get wrapped around the axle and rip your head off!! Don't
build or ride one of these. You will burn your hand when you
touch the hot metal!

You may notice that we are intentionally hiding our identity

behind this free web site - that's so your nearest living
relative can't sue us after you kill yourself on an ATV. We
have no idea if this design is safe, it probably isn't. Welding
is not safe. Neither are saws and grinders and drills. Go
buy a commercially made ATV, they are safer and cheaper.
Questions? Comments?

Last updated 7/23/03 (2 of 2)2/11/2006 10:37:46 AM


We needed a lot of clamps

This $50 chop saw was great. The home depot blades lasted a lot longer than cheaper ones.

A cheap drill press and vise were also handy

We also bought this smaller chop saw. We ended

up burning out a gear - we probably should have We also used the angle grinder a lot
bought 1 good saw instead of 2 cheap ones. (1 of 2)2/11/2006 10:38:44 AM


We started off using tiny welding cylinders, but we kept having to

get them refilled. It ended up being cheaper to rent the larger
cylinders. Note the adapter on the Acetylene regulator. We stuck
with gas welding over arc, even though we did get some metal

Back to HOME (2 of 2)2/11/2006 10:38:44 AM


The first thing we did was a little practice welding on 1 x 1 square tube.

Here's the first part we made:

Here's the main frame assembly. You can see where we added
additional support under the seat.

This is a fixture Sam designed so we could weld precise A arms.

Note the Heim joint which is used in the upper A arm. The flat
plate in the picture is used as a spacer only and not welded, as is
the middle 7" piece of pipe. The wood tended to catch fire, so we
tack welded and then removed from the fixture, and kept water (1 of 2)2/11/2006 10:39:46 AM

on hand. We also learned to weld outside only - the garage

quickly filled with smoke.

Back to HOME (2 of 2)2/11/2006 10:39:46 AM


We started with the center frame section

This was a good place to start because the welding was pretty simple - we had warping problems,
and we later found out that one of the frame frame supports was in the way of an engine mounting
bolt. We ended up welding a second support on, and then cutting out the first one:

The Original: With Two supports corrected version (1 of 2)2/11/2006 10:41:07 AM


Back to HOME (2 of 2)2/11/2006 10:41:07 AM


The second section was the forward frame. It took a while to make and weld all the little tabs

We inserted the rod prior to welding to ensure everything was lined up

Using the fixture for exact spacing: (1 of 2)2/11/2006 10:42:06 AM


Finished and attached

Back to HOME (2 of 2)2/11/2006 10:42:06 AM


We used another fixture to support the seat for welding: (1 of 2)2/11/2006 10:42:59 AM


Back to HOME (2 of 2)2/11/2006 10:42:59 AM


The front A-arms were tough. We used 1/2" PVC as inserts/bushings. In order to make them fit
snug around the 5/8 bolt, Sam cut a slice out of the PVC with a hacksaw. The PVC fit inside the 1"
tube. Here's a picture of how it worked:

Here's the fixture Sam designed for welding the A-arms. note the 1/8 and 3/16 plate spacers
underneath to hold everything at the correct height. We had to rebuild the fixture each time due
to fire damage from welding. Solid bar stock inside the 1" tubing holds everything in alignment
during welding, the wood block on top is screwed in to hold everything in place:

Here are the completed A-arms, with one taped Here are the spindle brackets, which attach to
and ready for welding the shock mount tabs: the end of the A-arms. One is done, one is
clamped with spacers, ready to weld: (1 of 2)2/11/2006 10:44:11 AM


And finally, done.....

Back to HOME (2 of 2)2/11/2006 10:44:11 AM

The trunion used heavy duty 1 x 2 steel. We tried to avoid warping problems by spot welding it together
first. We had trouble clamping it in place, so we used a little duct tape to help hold it together for welding

We had problems getting the 1 inch holes drilled

straight, it took 5 tries to get it right

We welded in place using a 3/4" bar for a fixture:

The bearing mounts were difficult to properly align - if

we did it again, I would screw them onto a 2x4 cut to
the correct length, to hold them straight during welding.
Ours also warped during welding, we should have
clamped some 1x1 to them to keep them straight.
Luckily, the bearings have a lot of forgiveness built in,
and we got the whole thing lined up pretty well:

When we did the final assembly, we

found that the trunion just barely fit our
36" axel - we only had 1/8" clearance
from the end to the rim of the tire - of
course, a grinder solves all clearance
problems: (1 of 2)2/11/2006 10:45:24 AM

Back to HOME (2 of 2)2/11/2006 10:45:24 AM

Doing all the little stuff took a long time, mostly because there was a lot to do. Here are links to other
parts we made:

Rear Shock Mount


Motor mount

Light Mounts

Control Panel

Front Bumper

Battery Box


Torque Converter modification




Electrical connection

Paint 10:45:46 AM

Here's the upper rear shock mount, ready to weld. You can also see we've welded tabs for the lower
shock mount. We were glad to finally be done welding tabs. The Trunion has been attached to the main
frame by 1/4 inch U brackets:

With the shock mounts finished, the trunion is pretty much done: (1 of 2)2/11/2006 10:46:20 AM

Back to HOME (2 of 2)2/11/2006 10:46:20 AM

The steering arm was made with 3/4 inch rod welded to 1/4 plate. In the first picture you
can see the components for the lower control arm prior to welding:

Here's the lower arm after welding to the lock collars. Our plan to use the removable
lock collars did not work. There was too much force on the allen screws, and the did not
hold. we ended up welding the whole piece to the steering rod: (1 of 2)2/11/2006 10:47:01 AM

We bought some commercially made clamps and handlebars:

Back to HOME (2 of 2)2/11/2006 10:47:01 AM

We used a cutting torch on some 1/4 plate to make the motor mount:

We needed to make slots for the engine mounting bolts, because this is how you adjust the chain tension.
To make the slots, we first drilled holes at the ends. We clamped surplus steel into place as guides, and
then used a cutting torch to finish off the slots. (1 of 2)2/11/2006 10:47:46 AM

Here's the engine mounting plate welded into place - note the heat lines from the underside welding that
displaced the rust. You can also see the expanded metal we welded on for footpads. (2 of 2)2/11/2006 10:47:46 AM

Unlike the original ATV we copied, we decided to go with an electric start engine, in part so we
could install lights - good for saftey during the day, and also handy on night rides. We made a
quick light mount using 1/8" steel, and welded across the front.

The tailight was just screwed into the bottom of the seat using an ordinary L bracket and
wood screws: 10:48:14 AM

We also needed to add a control panel for our electric start engine, and lights. We used
1/16" sheet steel (same as the battery box) drilled holes for our switches, and welded it
on: (1 of 2)2/11/2006 10:48:38 AM

Back to HOME (2 of 2)2/11/2006 10:48:38 AM

The front bumper was designed primarily to protect the welded tabs on the underside of the front frame,
which hold the A-arms. It also provides a small carry space in the front. Sam's plans called for five
mounting points on each side - but because this was a non-structural piece, and we were in a hurry to finish,
we took a shortcut and used only three. We used leftover scrap pieces for all of the parts, and the tubing
bender to make the bends:

We started by Welding the bottom support rods: Then clamped in place for welding:

After welding to bottom supports:

The front supports and cross bream clamped for welding:

The final bumper - note the protection provided to the lower tabs: (1 of 2)2/11/2006 10:49:32 AM (2 of 2)2/11/2006 10:49:32 AM

We built the battery box out of 1/16" sheet steel. The front, bottom, and back sides were made out of
one piece and bent on the bench vise. The two sides were then welded on, with a hole in the bottom
for drainage. We also welded on a "U" shaped bungee cord retainer:

Here is a picture of the battery box welded into position, behind the forward frame and in front of the
engine mount plate. If you look close, you can see the holes for the solenoid on the near side, and the
ground screw hole on the far side. You can also see both bungee cord retainers, one on the box and one
on the inside piece of the forward frame: 10:50:07 AM

We made the ATV seat out of 3/4" plywood, a 2" layer of high density foam, and a 1" layer of softer
foam. We bought some black vinly at a fabric store:

Because of the bend , we cut the wood in two pieces, clamped in place, and then screwed together
with wood screws - we reinforced the joint with epoxy:

We used T-nuts mounted on holes drilled in the plywood, and secured the seat with 1/4" bolts - the T-
nuts must be placed prior to doing the seat cover:

Cut the foam, cut the fabric, and staple, staple, staple (with a staplegun): (1 of 2)2/11/2006 10:51:00 AM (2 of 2)2/11/2006 10:51:00 AM

We initially decided to gear the ATV very low, so we would have lots of torque and not so much
speed. We accomplished this by using a 72 inch rear sprocket (see below for additional problems and
why you can skip this entire procedure). By the time we had the frame built and the engine and
torque converter purchased, we realized we had a chain clearance problem - The chain would be too
low to clear the trunion properly when the trunion flexed in certain positions - So Sam got out his
slide rule and made some calculations. The easy solution would be to raise the whole engine up an
inch, but we didn't have the clearance under the seat. So we decided to rotate the torque converter
and raise the back edge (with the chain sprocket) one inch. To do this we had to drill additional holes
in the Converter mount - Sam designed a template for us with instructions. Here's what we did:

1. With the template level and taped in position, 2. We then measured and rotated the
we cut out the three mounting holes (our engine template so point B was one inch higher, and
only has three) cut out the new holes (making slots) - we also
marked another mounting hole found on our

3. We then put the template on the mount plate, The rest of the torque converter was then mounted:
lining up the original holes, and drilled the slots
and new hole - When mounted, this raised the
sprocket up 1"

This shows the rear end setup, with the chain fitted on the sprocket in the torque converter, with
clearance on both sides of the trunion. We haven't cut the chain yet so its too long. (1 of 2)2/11/2006 10:52:33 AM

This all worked out fine, until we put together our 72 tooth sprocket with our 18 inch tires (also
purchased for high torque/low speed). We then discovered we had less than 3 inches of ground
clearance under the sprocket - not good. Solution is a 60 tooth sprocket (also much cheaper) and/or 20
inch tires. We'll probably go with the 60 tooth sprocket, and then weld on a sprocket guard.

Of course, with a 60 tooth sprocket, we need to move the torque converter back to its original
position. So, we strongly reccommend going with the 60 tooth sprocket and skipping this entire
process of messing with the torque converter. (2 of 2)2/11/2006 10:52:33 AM

We think adding a chain guard is important. If clothes, hair, or body parts get caught in the chain,
serious injury can result. We used sheet metal to make the chainguard. Since we didn't have a
bending brake, we improvised using a 2x4 and clamps:

Once we had the metal clamped on one side, we just rolled it over the 2x4, and then clamped
again. We used extra metal tubing between the clamps and the sheetmetal to keep it uniform:

We made L brackets out of 1/8" metal,

welded them to the chainguard, and
drilled holes for the back two and slots
for the fronts two: (1 of 2)2/11/2006 10:53:31 AM

We needed the chainguard to be

removable so we can accesses the chain,
so we used bolts, which were welded on
to the trunion. (2 of 2)2/11/2006 10:53:31 AM

We simplified the brake, using a single disc brake rather than dual band brakes. We also welded our
own pedal. The disc brake we purchased came with a bracket to be welded on to the frame:

We welded an additional support bar onto

the trunion, and the bracket on to the bar:

The brake pedal parts:

Clamped for welding:

A closeup of the spring tab and connection

We welded some 3/16 to the bottom of the bracket, both

for support and for a protective skid plate: The total assembly: (1 of 2)2/11/2006 10:54:43 AM

The welded pedal (view of the upside down ATV): (2 of 2)2/11/2006 10:54:43 AM

Parts list and costs: (If you are building it yourself to save money, think again. You can buy a new ATV
for less.) Here's a sample of ATV's for sale.
Here's a source list where we bought most of the parts.

This is what we've spent so far: $2,326

Raw steel: $175

8hp Briggs and Stratton with electric Start #192407 $415
4130 steel tube for A arms (special order) $55
Rear Tires and rims 18 x 9.50 x 8 $110
Front wheels, Azusa 1004 $56
Front Tires 18 x 6.50 x 8 $68
Torque Converter TAV 30 (used) $120
Wood (for assemby fixtures) $20
Front spindles, rear bearings $66
Acetylene and oxygen, welding rods, tank rental $314 (this would have been about $50 less if we had
rented the large tanks to begin with)
welding tip (#3) and adapter for larger tanks $35
pillow blocks $23 (had to buy 4 after we melted the first two)
Brake: caliper (Comet DC 1), mount and disk $83
lock collars (for steering) $20
Front wheel hubs #13828 $70
Rear hubs #13829 $45
Handlebars and fittings $35
headlight $16
bolts/hardware $69
Tie Rods $34
blueprint copies $20
Heim Joints $30
Axle $31
Shock absorbers $98
misc shop supplies ~$50
seat foam $28
Paint and primer $13
tail light $4
chain $25
rearview mirror $8
Battery $28
seat fabric $6
Brake linkage rod $5
throttle assembly $20
Electrical pushbutton switches $12
Rear axle sprocket 60 tooth $20
Rear axle sprocket 72 tooth $50
Battery $28
Sprocket holder $18
Exhaust pipe $6
Tools we bought:

14" Chop saw $50

Chop blades/grinder blades $62

8" mitre saw $62

Clamps, magnetic welding clamps $50

Set of large drill bits $31 (1 of 2)2/11/2006 10:55:10 AM

Welding masks (2) $60

Welding gloves $21

Tubing bender $80

Second angle grinder $20 (burned out the first)

Second Bench Grinder $55 (burned out the first)

Tools we used but already had:

Small oxy-acetylene welding outfit $250

Small drill press $50

Angle grinder $18

hand drill, grinding stones, drill bits, hammer, anvil, vise, wrenches

Back to HOME (2 of 2)2/11/2006 10:55:10 AM


Here's some info we were sent by E-mail:

Hello.. I saw your web site and wanted to share something. I just got done
with my ATV I built. For the steel, I go to the local steel scrapyard! All
the tubing, angle iron, round and square stock only costed me about
15.00. The bad part is, you have to clean it before welding!

The fenders I have are from the top rim of two rubbermaid 45gal.
garbage cans(painted red of course). the gas tank is from a motorcycle wrecking
yard($5.00). The most expensive part was the Honda ATC110 motor and
rear axle. It was 125.00 for both on The tires were pretty spendy
too! has awsome prices for atv tires(walmart/sams club
The flexable cover over the steering shaft is an old air duct from a
1987 Tempo.

Just thought I might want to share the info where some good prices are
at! My atv looked real close to yours until I put on the fenders and gas
tank. I'll let people know about your site. The plans are really nice to
have, and the disclaimer was a really good idea! Got to go... have fun riding! 10:56:15 AM

We used some simple fixtures to align the tabs for welding,:

In order to align the steering, we first mounted the steering shaft to the pillow blocks, then
mounted the pillow blocks to the mounting plates. We then welded the plates into exact position.
Unfortunatly, this melted the first set of pillow blocks: (1 of 2)2/11/2006 10:56:53 AM


The engine mounting bolt conflicted with the main frame support, we had to add an extra
support and then cut out the first one:

Back to HOME (2 of 2)2/11/2006 10:56:53 AM


Here are the answers to some questions we've been asked:

Q: I was on your website, I have been looking for plans for an ATV. I was trying to download them
but some of them didn't work. Are you still in the process of building or was it just my browser.

A: On busy days, Geocities shuts down the website for an hour when too many hits are received.
Wait an hour and try it again. You can also download the Blueprint plans in a zip file at

Q: hi there, just want to know are dimensions in Inches or what? thanks,

A: Everything on the web site and plans is in inches

Q: Is your frame built from all square tubing or is there some round tubing used as well? It's hard to
tell from the pictures.

A: The main frame, forward frame, and trunion are all square, most everything else is round tubing

Q: I noticed that you have listed a cost of $175 for the steel used in your ATV frame. For the life of
me, I can't see that much money in steel as per your pictures. Where is all the extra steel? Or is it just
that steel is expensive in your area?

A: Retail steel is more expensive than you think, especially when purchased in small quantities. We
also paid a premium to have the exact size 4130 tubing shipped to us. For an exact breakdown (more
or less) click here.

Q: I was wondering how strong the welds are on it because they look messy. I was wondering if they
are able to hold up to the stress of riding or have they ever broken?

A: So far, so good, although we've only been riding it a short time. We did test our welding
technique by cuting and re-welding a piece of 1 x 1 tubing - we placed this in the tubing bender - the
1 x 1 gave and the weld held. We also had a proffessional welder look at our welds and give us the O.
K. The nice thing about oxy/acetalyne - we can take our small tanks with us to the field and make
any needed repairs.

Have a question?? E-mail us at (1 of 2)2/11/2006 10:57:32 AM (2 of 2)2/11/2006 10:57:32 AM

Welcome to the Homemade ATV PLANS download page. For instructions and additional
information, go to the main site at Homemadeatv

Click here to download the Zip file of all the PDF Blueprint plans.

The plans and information are totally free. All we ask is that when you finish, you send a
picture to:

If you just want to take a quick look, you can view JPG photos of the plans on our
plans page.

The file containing the blueprints is too large to send by e-mail - However, you should be able to
download the file direct to your computer. It is a "zip" file, which requires the program winzip to
extract. You can download a free evaluation version of winzip at

The files themselves are PDF, which requires adobe acrobat reader, which you can download
free at: 10:58:16 AM

Here are some pictures of the Homemade ATV in action: (1 of 2)2/20/2006 2:07:00 PM

pictures (2 of 2)2/20/2006 2:07:00 PM