Project BMP

Page 25


Tipping the Scales

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I finally got around to weighing Project BMP. There was a scale close to the place we stayed in Moab so one morning I stopped and drove the buggy over the scales.  I was loaded pretty heavy with a spare rear axle, an extra ammo box of spare parts, extra oil, p/s fluid and brake fluid.  I also had a full tank of gas and water in the tires.  When I pulled onto the scale the readout settled at 3500lbs.  This was a little heavier than I thought but I couldn't figure the exact  weight till I arrived back home and could weigh the tires to determine how much water I had on board.

Once I made it back home I got out the scale and started weighing stuff.  First up was myself at 170lbs (to many doughnuts in Moab), spare parts and tools came to approximately 107lbs. (I forgot to add the spare birfield joint) and then I started to remove the tires. Next, each tire was weighed with the water in them, I came up with 192.5lbs, 202.5lbs, 198.5lbs and 207lbs for the tires. I then drained one tire of water and weighed the tire/wheel combo which came to exactly 100lbs.  Doing the math I determined I had 400.5lbs of water in the tires when the buggy was weighed.  Subtracting all these weights from the initial 3500lbs leaves me with about 2802lbs, within two pounds of my goal of 2800lbs.  Not too bad.

Somewhere along the way I decided I wanted to close off the passenger cabin more than I had initially planned.  I think this thought occurred to me during one of the rolls that occurred while testing the rig, the rocks were a little close to my knee than I would have liked them to be.  After the Moab trip I finally got motivated to make the required changes.  The door bar started out 36" long, I then cut a 70 degree angle on one end with my chop saw and ground it to fit.

I picked up a set 5 used 17" Stazworks double beadlocks a few months back.  These rims are a two piece design, the large plastic insert shown in the second picture is placed inside the tire, then the two halves of the rim are bolted together sandwiching the inner and outer tire beads against the insert.  The other nice thing about this design is there are no bolts to grind against the rocks like a traditional beadlock.

The next task was the install of the third seat, which was the entire reason for building this buggy in the first place.  As you can see the PRP Preemy seat is about 1/3rd the size of my Beard Ultras and is designed for a 1-4 year old child.  This was my first time buying a PRP product, the finish was very nice but the fit was a little off.  The tabs on the bottom were welded on crooked with the rear ones having the proper 10" spacing but the fronts were too close with a 9.75" spacing. 

I started fabricating the mount for the new seat by removing my bolt on storage rack and then bolting 4 new tabs to the frame.  I then cut two 19.25" long pieces of  1.00" tubing and tack welded them to the new mounting tabs. Some 1 x 1" steel angle and some small 3.25" standoffs were used to tie the two 19.25" long bars together.  The standoffs in front tilt the seat back about 5 degrees,

Close-up of the mounting tab and a top view of the tacked together assembly.  At this point I pulled the whole unit out and did the finish welding on it.

3/8" mounting holes were drilled into the steel angle to mount the seat and the seat was installed.  Next up is welding some tabs for the harness.  Stay tuned.....

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