The washing machine go kart. Things are not always what they seem.

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The washing machine go kart. Things are not always what they seem.

Post  Herkimer on Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:24 am

In a moment of inspiration, I decided to combine bits of an old washing machine, with parts from a defunct powered wheelchair to create a machine, with one purpose. Whimsy!


I freely admit that this isn't exactly steampunk, but I defy you not to wear a goofy grin while thinking of all the possiblilities.


Anyway, the first version was just something I and a couple teenage boys threw together in a few hours one Saturday. It had a lot of problems. There was a lot of wasted space so I couldn't get all the way down inside it, and the back of the thing had a huge chunk cut out of it so the back wheels could stick out. Add to that, the duct taped together panels, visible screws, etc. etc...

I wanted to make it look like a washing machine, and not a washing machine with wheels sticking out of the back. I recently hauled away my sisters old washing machine which has now been gutted. We designed a new base which is stronger, and compact, and installed it. The drive wheels are farther forward. Been given slightly more ground clearance, to keep it from dragging, etc. All of which adds up to this. I can fit all the way down inside of it and close the lid briefly. Although it's a bit uncomfortable to bend my spine that far for any length of time.

Anyway here's some pictures.



Just a washing machine...



Wait... Why is this thing hollow?




The little boxes in the bottom are fenders for the wheels.



From beneath. I have a 2x4 frame surrounding the bottom so this is as far forward as I can get the wheels. Also it raises the thing about 1" further than we had it, but it lets me sit 6" lower down inside.



A buddy of mine had some left over led's so we wired them up to one of the switches on the control panel.



Running the wiring... I connected the original cord to the on board battery charger, while I was running the wire for the leds.




Lights!



Taking it for a spin*, all lit up.



Me contorting my spine to get further down inside...


Success! Well just barely, and only for a very short time, but I can even close the lid. Maybe now I should put my spare up camera and screen in it for stealth maneuvering. LOL.



We'll have to get it out and mess with a few more drive thru employees soon.

A short video of it in action.




A very silly video my niece made for her film class. If you must comment be nice, she's a kid and this is her first attempt.
The narration is yours truly, just goofing off. If I had known they were going to actually use it I would have tried harder.

Enjoy.



P.S. We scared one of my neighbors something awful with the crash sequence. They saw the kids out playing with this thing all day, then...
I was careful to make sure everyone stayed safe. It never dawned on me what anyone would think if they witnessed it.


I'm still waiting on the finished video from where we took the first version out to some local fast foot places and ran it through the drive through. I'll post that whenever I get it.



*pun very much intended!

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Re: The washing machine go kart. Things are not always what they seem.

Post  The Lady Branwyn on Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:50 pm

That is epically awesome! Whimsy for the win!

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Re: The washing machine go kart. Things are not always what they seem.

Post  Mr. Tower on Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:12 pm

Thats great, looks like a better use of a washing machine than what I just spent two days doing with one.

My parents 15 year old whirlpool broke down a few days ago and there is no money to buy a new one so I took it apart and figured out that the problem was in the transmission, which is ridiculously complicated. Oddly, you can still buy new transmissions for about $200, more than they paid for the machine in the first place, or you can buy replacement parts for about $14 if you can figure out how to put them back together. Of course I chose the path of most suffering and ordered the parts even though the only place to work on it is my parents porch, did I mention that it was only 10º F here?

Got the old thing running and it only took me about eight hours to figure it out and do it. It really would have only took a half an hour if I knew what I was doing but I have no experience with washing machines, just general mechanics so I had to take out each part and study it for a while, put it back and see how it interacted with the other parts, take some of those out, put some of them back in etc. I know have detailed knowledge of how a 15 year old whirlpool washing machine transmission works though if anyone needs advice.

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Re: The washing machine go kart. Things are not always what they seem.

Post  Dr. Hax on Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:25 pm

Mr. Tower wrote:Thats great, looks like a better use of a washing machine than what I just spent two days doing with one.

My parents 15 year old whirlpool broke down a few days ago and there is no money to buy a new one so I took it apart and figured out that the problem was in the transmission, which is ridiculously complicated. Oddly, you can still buy new transmissions for about $200, more than they paid for the machine in the first place, or you can buy replacement parts for about $14 if you can figure out how to put them back together. Of course I chose the path of most suffering and ordered the parts even though the only place to work on it is my parents porch, did I mention that it was only 10º F here?

Got the old thing running and it only took me about eight hours to figure it out and do it. It really would have only took a half an hour if I knew what I was doing but I have no experience with washing machines, just general mechanics so I had to take out each part and study it for a while, put it back and see how it interacted with the other parts, take some of those out, put some of them back in etc. I know have detailed knowledge of how a 15 year old whirlpool washing machine transmission works though if anyone needs advice.
That's the reason why my family bought an old 1950's maytag washing machine for 50$ the old agitating type, it actually cleans more efficiently then the newer ones and is less harsh on the clothes... also you can use bath water in the thing. Ahaha, yes i'm an oddity I like old stuff to use it for its purpose... I guess you could call me a steampunk survivalist. AHaha or just crazy; there's that too.

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Re: The washing machine go kart. Things are not always what they seem.

Post  Lady Evelyn Grey on Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:10 pm

Mr. Herkimer, this is a truly marvelous invention and a excellent use of creativity! Well done!

It really would have only took a half an hour if I knew what I was doing but I have no experience with washing machines, just general mechanics so I had to take out each part and study it for a while, put it back and see how it interacted with the other parts, take some of those out, put some of them back in etc. I know have detailed knowledge of how a 15 year old whirlpool washing machine transmission works though if anyone needs advice.

I need mechanical skills like this....

The best I can claim is that when the tape recorder I was using in my research position broke I googled the old user manual to fix it. My supervisor was shocked that I didn't immediately run to her with the problem.

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Re: The washing machine go kart. Things are not always what they seem.

Post  The Lady Branwyn on Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:58 am

Dr. Hax wrote:That's the reason why my family bought an old 1950's maytag washing machine for 50$ the old agitating type, it actually cleans more efficiently then the newer ones and is less harsh on the clothes... also you can use bath water in the thing. Ahaha, yes i'm an oddity I like old stuff to use it for its purpose... I guess you could call me a steampunk survivalist. AHaha or just crazy; there's that too.

I'm the same way! We just bought a 97 year old clawfoot bathtub, and they people we bought it from asked us what we planned to do with it. "Take baths," I said. "Put hot water in it and wash myself," Mr. Tower replied. I bake bread in a wood fired oven.

I'd love to have an old style washing machine (back before they all needed computers and were designed to break two weeks after the warranty expires). My problem is we have somewhat limited water capabilities (see Mr. Tower's posts about The Tower... I live there too). Still have to solve that problem...

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