Custom large scale project (Mini-mo)

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Well-Known Member
Laval, Quebec
Here's one of the custom projects I've been working on. I'll give a little intro and then dig through my archives to show how it came together.

This one I named Mini-mo, and is built with a pocket bike engine, miscellaneous suspension parts from a T-Maxx, some Integy parts, and custom cut aluminum. The car is 4 wheel drive as's its current state:


Of course, it didn't always look like that so I'll be posting shortly the progress (and do some reminiscing) along the way...

In the beginning...

I initially thought that keeping it simple would be the best thing. I used what I had lying around in the garage and was easy to work with: wood. I know, I know, but I'm not a machinist nor an engineer. So, I formulated the following equation:


Of course, more things were required, but that's the idea - take a pocket bike engine, build a crude chassis and make a car with easily obtainable aftermarket parts. I got my hands on some T-Maxx suspension arms, with big bore aluminum shocks, Proline 40 series Dirt Hawgs on White Wabash rims, 23 mm wheel adapters and a set of CVDs:


I managed to mill a sprocket or two to use for the driveshaft - made it easier to couple to the engine.


After getting everything put together I ended up with this (to the right).


The one on the left is Mini-mo's predecessor, Craftsmanstein! Of course, driving the car in the snow was pretty fun, so here's a quick vid of it:


After bashing for a while, there was a small crash, which meant it was time to take it apart...


As with the real large scales, when you guys break something, you usually upgrade it, so I decided to make some changes to it - replace the wood with aluminum.
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I'm actually surprised the wood stands up to that engine power.


It was nice to see that it held up for a while, but it had issues with it. Although I strengthened the chassis by having an upper and lower layer attached by aluminum braces, there was still some flexing. It was annoying because when you would pull the throttle open, the force of the engine would bend the chassis slightly, so that the throttle would close up a bit. This lead to a gas/no gas problem and a not so smooth take off. The all aluminum chassis eventually fixed that problem.
I pulled up some more of my build pics.

Once the wood chasis was torn apart I took some 1/8" aluminum plates and cut them to fit the body. I designed it so there was a lower and upper level:



Between the two levels would be all of the hidden mechanics such as the driveshaft going from the engine to the front and rear differentials, the receiver, servos and the battery pack.


Once mock placement was done, I made an aluminum housing for the battery and receiver box. It has relatively easy access via a plexiglass cover.



A lot of effort was placed in making the parts screw into both the lower and upper levels, which added rigidity to the chassis.

Once everything was in place, I bolted the engine and gas tank in and it was ready to roll.

that thing is awesome. i wish i could make something like that.

Thanks - No need to wish, it really only takes some planning and lots of time to build something like this. I had no machining skills and was able to do well, I'd say. I hope that by posting, I'll instill some ideas in some hidden builders! If you ever need help, I'm sure that lots of people on the forum would be able to help.

Gas tank pressurizer

A quick update on the build was adding in a pressure line from the exhaust to the gas tank, which pressurized the tank. Normally, gravity forces the gas into the float carb, but since its difficult to mount the tank really high, the float bowl often runs dry before the gas tank does. This quick fix mostly works:

Hows the power from that pocketbike engine?

I've never driven a Baja, FG or any conventional large scales but I have to say that the power is more than enough for the size of the project. I find that it's got significant amounts of torque and anything more than a small throttle squeeze can lead to wheel spinning, and it's 4 wheel drive. When I was looking for something to use, I saw they use this engine on a pocket bike, so I figured it'd be enough power :D
that craftsmenstien is a beast! What did you use for an engine in that thing?

I used a 28 cc Craftsman leaf blower. That was my first custom large scale and is quite rugged. The engine has less power than the pocket bike engine, but is still lots of fun. Here's a quick snow vid of it.

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Making the dual exhaust

The last of the already done mods was making the dual exhaust. Not difficult, since I had an exhaust pipe from the pocket bike engine. All I had to do was cut it to pieces and weld it up.


I wasn't able to fit the expansion chamber it had, which was a shame but here's a few different angles of it:


Not much, but I find it looks better than it did with the single exhaust, at least for now...
I'd like to see a MT body on it, but haven't seen anything I'd really like at the moment. I guess it's more one of a kind like this.

As per your other question wannagofaster, just for Mini-mo I'm in over $500. Craftsmanstein would be less since I already had more of the components required. I recently upgraded to a Spektrum DX 3.0 for both, but that's not in the total. If you compare a similar car, custom doesn't always mean cheaper, lol. I wish it did...
Mini-mo doing doughnuts in the snow

I agree, wannagofaster, the satisfaction is more than enough. Here's one of my latest clips showing some doughnuts on hard packed snow:


The doughnuts were fun but it's a shame that it couldn't get more traction to show a high speed shot. Anyway, hope you guys like it,

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