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                   Frequently Asked Questions

What materials will you need?

The majority of the vehicle is constructed from planed softwood sections and medium density fibreboard (MDF) sheet with the former user to construct the chassis frame and the latter to form the bodywork. There are some metal parts used, primarily where strength is required for supporting the engine and in drive train components. Of course the other things that you will need are those parts that carry and propel the vehicle, namely the wheels and the engine.

Many of the metal components are pre-manufactured components that can be purchased from suppliers and require little or no modification. However there are a small number of parts, such as the engine mounting plate and the control pedals that need to be formed from raw metal sections. The design is based on the ability to source these materials typically from your local DIY superstore.

Aside from these materials which make up the majority of the vehicle, a variety of fixings, including wood screws, machine screws, bolts, washers, spring washers, nuts and coach bolts will secure all the parts together. It is also recommended that wooden parts are fastened together with the aid of a good strong adhesive, and a polyurethane adhesive that is moisture cured has been found to give good results.

What tools will you need?  

It is entirely possible to build this vehicle using only hand tools, such as hand saws, hack saw, block planes, hand drills, screwdrivers, hammers, files and a set of spanners. There is absolutely no reason why you should not build a vehicle if you only have access to such tools. The metal parts of the vehicle have been designed to reduce, as far as possible, the metal working required and generally the parts can be obtained ready for direct installation without a great deal of modification.

Most of us these days have a basic compliment of power tools, whether they be power drills, circular saws, jig saws, chop saws, routers, power planes, battery operated screwdrivers, electric sanders, angle grinders, even air powered impact wrenches. Any or all of these will make the task of preparing and assembling the components easier, but it is not essential to have every power tool under the sun in order to build one of these vehicles.  

What do the drawings show?

All of the drawings are drawn in ‘Third Angle Projection’ and carry the  symbol to identify this. This is widely used in the United Kingdom and North America and means that when viewing a drawn object, the top view is drawn above the front view of the object, the right view is drawn to the right, the left view is drawn to the left, and the underside view is drawn below the front view. All drawings are dimensioned in millimetres, though a small number of components may be supplied with reference to an imperial size. . Sufficient dimensions exist to allow all parts to be set out adequately.

The construction of the vehicle is broken down into two main assemblies, the chassis and the bodywork. Each of these are broken down into sub-assemblies that come together to make a whole unit. Finally, you put the two together and end up with the completed vehicle ready for final trimming and finishing. The drawings show clearly the components required for each assembly, indicating the size and layout of the components including the position and size of any holes or fixing positions.

What does the build manual show?

The build manual will guide you through the complete process of construction, including preparation of all component parts, arrangement of sub-assemblies, and fitting together sub-assemblies to form the complete vehicle. There are also ideas and tips on completing your vehicle to look just like the real thing.  Numerous colour photographs show clearly how to assemble one of these vehicles

Throughout the manual there are hints, tips and recommendations to make the build process easier and help you achieve a high standard of build that you can be proud of.

Can I use any engine?

The vehicles have been designed to use engines from the Honda GX series, offering a choice of 4, 5.5 or 6.5 Horsepower. These compact single cylinder, four stroke, overhead valve petrol engines are economical and reliable and fit perfectly inside the engine bay of a Little Leafer. These engines are regularly used in racing Go-Karts, and their horizontal output shaft is perfectly suited to powering the chain driven transmission system. The transmission system gives an overall reduction ratio of 16:1 ensuring that the speed of the vehicle is safe for younger drivers.

It is possible to use other engines but these will undoubtedly require alteration of the design to accommodate their different requirements. If you do intend to use a different engine, you must ensure that your are competent to be able to carry out the work necessary to make the installation of the engine and its effect on the rest of the vehicle safe.

Do you sell complete vehicles or kits?

No. The plans and build manuals are sold to enable home builders to assemble their own vehicle as a home workshop project. It is not practical for us to produce whole vehicles for sale and ship them as complete units. Similarly it is not practical for us to distribute kits to build one of these vehicles as many of the materials are available from your local DIY store and the ability to shop around for the mechanical parts gives the opportunity to keep the build cost down.

It's possible to build one of these vehicles for less than £1000; substantially less if you shop around for components. If we sold complete vehicles or kits, the costs would be considerably greater; possibly double. Our suppliers page contains details of recommended sources of component parts.

Take it from us, there's nothing more rewarding than somebody complimenting you on your vehicle and asking whether you bought it or built it from a kit. Just watch the look on their face when you tell them you built it all yourself!

 

© Little-Leafers 2015