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A good "kid" 4x4?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by bugspray, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. bugspray

    bugspray 1/2 ton status

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    My son is 6 right now, and I figure in another 2-3 years he'll be ready for his own 4x4. I don't plan on getting plates for it-strictly off road (instead of a quad or dirt bike). I want something light weight that I can just put a tow bar on and drag it out to the desert with me. I was thinking a zuki, but recently almost got an 85 s10 blazer for free. It was already promised to someone else, but if they hadn't gotten it when they did, it was mine. Anyways, how good would a s10 blazer do? He wouldn't be cut loose with it, just following me. We mainly just do trails, wash beds etc with occasional obstacles and hill climbs. I plan on, whatever it is, basically pulling everything off of it and putting a full roll cage with skins on it. I want it to seat 4- I figure 4 off-road seats with 5 point harnesses. I would like to fit 31-33's. Any thought or anyone else doing anything similar? I figure I have 2-3 years to put together whatever I want.
     
  2. pvfjr

    pvfjr 1/2 ton status

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    6? Aren't you getting a little ahead of yourself?

    Well I'm guessing that there's a 1 missing. Anyway, if he is 16, don't let the age bother you much. Just get him good and trained and he'll be able to jump right into it. Neither me nor any of my friends ever "worked our way up" to full sizes. Just get him a junker so he can beat it up on the trails and let him earn his experience that way. If he really is 6, stick with bikes. That's just scary.
     
  3. TruckNutzDude

    TruckNutzDude 1/2 ton status

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    Sounds like you read the 4wpw magazine with the 14 year old kid in his buggy. I think you should see what your kid wants to do before you start building something for him. Maybe wait till he's old enough to actually help you build it himself (and I dont mean just hand you the tools). ;)
     
  4. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    IMHO a 8-9 year old boy is far to young to let drive a 4x4 by himself. Children that young just don't understand enough about vehicles and safety. Maybe an ATV or a small jet ski but thats about all I would let my 8-9 son operate. I would CONSIDER a 4x4 around the age of 13-14. I'm not trying to tell you how to parent or anything but personally I think letting a child that young operate a piece of equipment is dangerous to other people, but most importantly himself.
     
  5. rcurrier44

    rcurrier44 1/2 ton status

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    It all depends on the kid.

    I was driving trucks and tractors around the farm by the age of 10. I had a heavy eq certification at 14 and was running dozers, backhoes and farm eq for other local farmers.

    My younger sister was driving a truck & gooseneck around the farm when she was 11. When she was 14 she got her heavy eq certification also...but she realy only worked on our farm running ag equip.

    EDIT: Oh and a good kid 4x4 would be a solid axle toyota...they are hard to beat for reliability.
     
  6. PhoenixZorn

    PhoenixZorn 1/2 ton status

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    You and your sister are the exceptions... not the rule... yeah, if you can teach a kid the proper safety rules and get him running on private roadways first, it could turn out ok...

    Look at the Power Wheels kid... he's 5 years old, and driving Power Wheels at 13 MPH... that's faster than most of us drive on the trails... doesn't look like he crashes much... I'd trust him in a real 4x4 when he's 9 or 10 if he keeps driving the little stuff until then.

    Look at all these "Small Town, USAs" with 1/4 mile oval tracks... they have 8 year olds driving mini outlaws, mini indy cars, mini nastrucks... just about everything the big guys drive, just on a smaller scale...

    Personally, I think it would be bad ass to build your kid a buggy... full cage, 2 seater only though, double steering wheel capability so you can take over if something goes wrong, 30 inch or smaller tires, I'd personally start with a Zuke, remove the body, build a full cage, lock em up, and go have a blast... honestly, though... you can teach a kid to drive it when he's 5... but I wouldn't let him ride alone until he was around 14-15... He has to be able to get into it himself... if he can't, you built it too big.

    I'm thinking about building my kid a sand rail out of an old VW bug... the rear engine just makes it more fun... He's 5 right now, and if I start this year, it should be finished by the time his 10th B-Day rolls around... =)
     
  7. pauly383

    pauly383 Daddy383 Staff Member Moderator

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    I heard that they are getting a lot stricter about trucks with no plates on the fire roads by the trails .
     
  8. tdcombs

    tdcombs Registered Member

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    I guess that just depends on where your from. I was 6 when i first started driving trucks around our farm. By the time i was 8 I was running the combine and tractors. Most all of my friends started driving when they were about 10.

    It wasnt "my" vehicle but my cousin had a 4x4 Toy that hed bought as a hunting truck that he left at our farm that i drove alot when i was young. He bought it cheep and it was a pretty good truck.
     
  9. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    We are a rare exception these days....we are farmers and ranchers. it was the same way when I was young. I was harvesting rice with the combine and bank out by myself all day long when I was 13...and driving tractor a little younger....but.....we as farmers had the opportunity to learn about all that kind of stuff after school and on weekends instead of going home and sitting in front of the TV like all of my city friends did when I was young.
     
  10. 77crewcab

    77crewcab 1/2 ton status

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    Green acres is the place for me... :whistle:

    I too am of the farm crowd, I bought my first truck from my great-grandfather when I was 5 (yes he made me pay for it) to drive from field to field and to feed the cattle. I was working the fields in shifts with my grandfather by the time I was 10 (4hrs plowing 4hrs off etc for up to 5 days straight night and day during harvest) Stuff like that is just one of the benefits of growing up in the country and is considered normal.

    If you are just running dirt roads I say go for it, any thing more you might want to wait and see how he handles the dirt roads first. Just base your decision based on his maturity rather than the "right" age. An S10 would probably be very good starting point but a full size wouldnt be that much different. I would choose based on price and parts you already have/can get. A full size truck would be fine if you are going to chop it some anyway. Go to the yards and find one for $100-$300 and start teaching him how to work on it now so that it is not a waste of good learning experience. Even if he is just a tool gopher he will learn.
     
  11. blazinzuk

    blazinzuk Buzzbox voodoo Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I would start with a zuk they are easy to work on and are actually pretty bulletproof if you keep the tires to 31 or smaller. I too was driving when I was about 7 or 8, (grew up in a farming community) Hell I even had my license when I was 14
     
  12. bugspray

    bugspray 1/2 ton status

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    I'm not going to stick him in it until I feel he's ready. He has gone wheelin with me since before he could walk. I would think a controlled environment like following me would be good. I would feel a lot better about him being in a 5 point harness and full roll cage than a 100cc or bigger anything, even with helmet etc. He helps me whenever I wrench. He's not just a tool and beer fetcher, I make him do simple stuff like nuts and bolts. I didn't mean to get a debate going on "mature enough" ages for wheelin, just something ideal that I can have a tow bar and dragged behind my rig. I just might change my mind and wait till he's 16. I know it would take me a while though to build whatever it is I decide on.
     
  13. Jagged

    Jagged 1 ton status

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    If it makes you feel any better, I wish my father had spent more time teaching me stuff when I was younger. Now that I'm 22 and learned how to work on vehicles, drive off-road, and race through other means... whenever I call home and speak with him he's always telling me stories of the same things he did when he was younger. Would have been nice to have been taught when I was younger instead of having to seek out this knowledge on my own.
     
  14. down4thakrown

    down4thakrown 1/2 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    i think thats awsome your gettin your kid a truck already.dont wait earlier the better. a zuk or yota would be excellent for him. light wieght, no power, last as long as a chevy, perfect. and if your worried about them still goin to fast im sure you can rig up some kind of govnor, rev limiter or even a kill switch on the pass. side just in case he has a lead foot syndrome. :thumb:
     

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