Wanting to build a new rig


New member
Been out of the game for a long time. (Long to be but about 6 years) been thinking of building a rig. The goals are to come in under 20k (prefer 15k)
Be able to wheel moon rocks prison hill ect
Be light!!! Last thing I need to do is buy a new truck to tow it!!! So under 3k
Links are a must I'm not bothering with leafs anymore.
Must be safe
Must be able to be built or bought with out buying tons of big ticket tools (big welders, notchers benders ect.)

I had basically three or 2.5 ideas.
I have a 66 jeepster commando tub and a .166 wall 2x3 frame I was thinking of doing;
Ls th400 205
40" tires
Trailing arm rear 4 or 3 link front
2" cage

I think that may start getting a little pricey if I have to get the cage built ect

The 2nd idea or second and a half or 3rd depending how you want to look at it.
Was a toy axle based buggy either transaxle buggy or I am liking the lizard crawler chassis.

I want an automatic trans and if I did the lizard chassis seems like a 22re would be the way to go but the auto trans market for 22res is limited. Basic research suggests to get a adaptor to run a th350 but seems you need a custom made converter. Also toy axles are new to me I wanted to be cheap and buy a 4x toy pick up with axles and a 22re but I see that's not an option. Seems like the ifs rear end is the way to go as well.

Really not sure which route I want to go. I like the idea of building the jeepster because I like going fast and a fun trailing arm rear with an ls seems to suit most of my needs the budget gets stretched thin. The rock lizard or transaxle buggy could be fairly lowwer cost but I feel like I would need to get lucky to score the parts unless I buy off the shelf fabd toy housings


Staff member
Your best bet is to keep looking on classifieds for a done rig. It would be hard to build all from scratch to handle 40" tires and keep it reasonable cost-wise. Wheels/tires/axles alone will put you over 10k easy.


New member
I'd have to find the right "done" rig. I'm very picky on safty and "reliability" (nothing that is a toy is reliable) I've been putting some cash aside. Been trying to avoid buying anything in case I find a rig to buy. I do have a fully built 14bff shave kit, disks, hubs, all the goodies I sold to a friend who never paid. He will give it back or trade for a fully built front toy axle.

My biggest issue is I'm anal and picky on products and brands. That's why a lot of my old builds and other hobbies end up with scope creep (where the project grows as time advances)

In a perfect world I'd rather just rent a buggy for a weekend at a time. But I'm fairly certain Avis doesn't rent crawlers hahah


Well-known member
Premium Member
I thought brands mattered until I realized I’m not rich and sponsored so the cheap stuff will work until it doesn’t. By that time the price of enjoying what I have vs staring at a pile of parts can’t be bought.
it seems everyone sells their cars on facebook marketplace now, if you search "crawler" there are things in the 4-8k range