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Kid crawler

Eddyj

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Jan 18, 2012
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Birmingham
I’m looking at getting a little rig for my daughter to drive. I really don’t like having my kids in my buggy cause the guy that built it is an idiot and did not take safety into consideration. Ask anyone who has rode in the passenger seat. I’m not looking to build a full on kids buggy yet until I know she is really interested. For some reason I’m hung up on trackers. Seem like a good starting point plus you can always go toy axles later. I’ve got no experience with trackers except they seem to be overpriced. I’ve also noticed the 1999 and up hardtops are cheaper than the 1998 and older soft tops.
Any info on these little units I’d appreciate.
I got one lined up cheap from a buddy but it’s a 5 speed which may be a lot for an 11year olds first shitbox.
 

TBItoy

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Jul 2, 2010
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10,870
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Dodson Branch, TN
honestly any small 4wd vehicle will be about the same for a kid driving. Trackers are "cute" and all, but leave a lot to be desired for a real vehicle.

I think a small regular cab 4wd pickup like a Ranger or S10 would make a good "kid rig", they are generally less $ than a Toyota or Nissan, and a lot were automatic. Plus if the kid wants to learn to fab, building a custom tube/flat bed is a cool project without the constraints of building inside a body (like an interior cage)

Don't overlook a Bronco 2 or little Explorers, either. Especially the 90s models that had D35TTB and 8.8 rear end. They'll handle a beatdown with 31s.

I always wanted a 2 door Isuzu Amigo when I was a kid/pre-teen. badass tough little vehicles
11 y/o me thought this was hot ****
1990_isuzu_amigo_2dr-suv_s_fq_oem_1_500.jpg
 

The Luke

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Dec 12, 2010
Messages
4,239
honestly any small 4wd vehicle will be about the same for a kid driving. Trackers are "cute" and all, but leave a lot to be desired for a real vehicle.

I think a small regular cab 4wd pickup like a Ranger or S10 would make a good "kid rig", they are generally less $ than a Toyota or Nissan, and a lot were automatic. Plus if the kid wants to learn to fab, building a custom tube/flat bed is a cool project without the constraints of building inside a body (like an interior cage)

Don't overlook a Bronco 2 or little Explorers, either. Especially the 90s models that had D35TTB and 8.8 rear end. They'll handle a beatdown with 31s.

I always wanted a 2 door Isuzu Amigo when I was a kid/pre-teen. badass tough little vehicles
11 y/o me thought this was hot ****
1990_isuzu_amigo_2dr-suv_s_fq_oem_1_500.jpg
You see the dirt every day where they sas'd and mid engined one of the rav4's? I freakin love that thing.
Rad4
 

RustyC

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Joined
Dec 15, 2010
Messages
1,247
Whatever you plan for remember this. Kids grow fast. Don't plan for a rig that fits today. Plan one that fits in 2-5 years. I really like the Amigo, Rav4 idea on Toyota axles.

Seems like it was just a couple of years ago I started a kids buggy. :rolleyes:
 

Eddyj

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Jan 18, 2012
Messages
6,555
Location
Birmingham
Exactly why I don’t want to do a custom chassis that is small. I’d rather just chop up a small 4x4. Cause it should fit for a long time and have potential to be upgraded as her abilities grow.
I’ve upgraded my enclosed trailer and have room for second rig just has to be short.
Amigos are for chumps! Real OGs build P-90s
 

Eddyj

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Jan 18, 2012
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Birmingham
You can actually find the 1999 and up trackers for cheaper than a 2door auto 1998 and older.
anyone have experience with the second gen trackers?
 

zukimaster

Hold my beer and watch this!
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Dec 9, 2010
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Location
Ft. payne AL
The trackers have independent front ends with aluminum center sections, very weak, but put a straight axle in it and rock out.
 

paradisepwoffrd

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Jun 5, 2012
Messages
1,164
Location
Hickory, NC
The 2nd gen has much more power, and autos seem more common. The 2nd gen has a weaker transfer case, but a 1st gen can be swapped in. 2nd gen has less aftermarket support.

If you want to stay ifs, you can get a front housing from a grand vitals, they were steel.

Trackers are wider than Samurai. Actually they are closer to the width of a jeep. A toy axle is about the same width as tracker rear.

The tracker tcase is chain driven, has a crap low range, and has slip yokes f&r. But you can get sye cheap, and 4.24 gears for them. Some also swap sami case in them.

The trackers are geared 4.56-5.13 stock, so there's not much room to gear deeper for bigger tires, other than tcase or axle swaps.

But they have a flat frame & 4link rear, factory. My 1st gen was under 1500lbs after gutting and caging, on stock suspension.

As others have said, a different vehicle might be easier/better to slowly build into a crawler, unless fabrication/custom is the desire
 

Eddyj

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Jan 18, 2012
Messages
6,555
Location
Birmingham
Suggestions?
I’ve seen a couple people bouncing around in trackers. I figured a toy front axle and rock out after she learns to drive.
Side note: she just yelled at me cause I’m looking for an automatic, she just told me she ain’t no sissy girl and can learn to drive a stick.
She’s 11...
 

ridered3

Not Rigless
Joined
Jun 24, 2010
Messages
7,317
Location
Rockvale, TN
Suggestions?
I’ve seen a couple people bouncing around in trackers. I figured a toy front axle and rock out after she learns to drive.
Side note: she just yelled at me cause I’m looking for an automatic, she just told me she ain’t no sissy girl and can learn to drive a stick.
She’s 11...

That's a good way to Save the Manuals.
 

whiskeymakin

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Joined
Sep 10, 2008
Messages
1,688
Location
Mid TN
Granted its a yard toy, but its the best 500 ive ever spent. The little motor will scream..I originally got it for the motor to swap in a buggy build, but he wasnt having that. I like the interior layout and how low you sit in a tracker plus you have a back seat. Ive been thinking about building 1 ton version and stretching it out. I think it would make a great trail rig. Find a 2wd auto, stick a sammy case behind it. Or just completely switch to a gm platform 4.3, 4.8, 5.3 etc...
 

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Markrobinson

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Aug 13, 2010
Messages
649
I like the idea of a tracker that they can grow into. Sizing controls (seat, pedals, steering, shifter...) that they can reach now and as they grow seems tough. My 7 year old can’t reach the pedals in my pathfinder with the seat all the way forward. Can’t imagine making something fit him now and in a few years when he is more grown wee feller sized like me.
 

Markrobinson

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Aug 13, 2010
Messages
649
Granted its a yard toy, but its the best 500 ive ever spent. The little motor will scream..I originally got it for the motor to swap in a buggy build, but he wasnt having that. I like the interior layout and how low you sit in a tracker plus you have a back seat. Ive been thinking about building 1 ton version and stretching it out. I think it would make a great trail rig. Find a 2wd auto, stick a sammy case behind it. Or just completely switch to a gm platform 4.3, 4.8, 5.3 etc...

John, do you think it would be hard to make a tracker into a firewall buggy a kid could scoot around in?
 

paradisepwoffrd

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Jun 5, 2012
Messages
1,164
Location
Hickory, NC
John, do you think it would be hard to make a tracker into a firewall buggy a kid could scoot around in?

Someone posted one on here a few years back. Basically stock drivetrain and suspension, but a tube chassis on top. Looked pretty killer.

Edit: found a few in my archive
 

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