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Old 10-02-2013, 08:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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John Deere Gator into a paintball tank

This was a Damage Inc team project

Started with a 6x4 John Deere Gator we found on the ohio craigslist. Special thanks to the Bootman for helping out out since it was in his neck of the woods.

It had an ill fitting aftermarket cab and smashed up plastic fenders on it when we picked it up but i forgot to take a picture.



Now we wanted it to look live a Vietnam era 5 ton gun truck. During the war the US military used these vehicles to support convoys. They were allowed a certain amount of liberties when it came to up armoring and arming the trucks. I would recommend a stroll through the Google images section for anyone who hasn't seen these vehicles, just punch in Vietnam gun truck.

So with the goal of keeping the proportions as close as possible and fulfilling
our goal of being able to hold gunners at all four corners, we knew the stock bed size wasnt going to cut it. We also knew we didn't want 3 feet of bed hanging off the back of our truck. That would hurt performance as well as look really stupid. So we did what any logical person would do. We cut the Gator in Half.



First things first we made a new sub frame section to span the gap between our two chunks of gator. The empty space in the center channel is used to house brake and throttle cables as well as the entire wire harness. All of which had to be cut and lengthened along with the frame.



Next we decided on the dimensions for our new cab. We pushed the seats back a few inches from the original location to all enough space to fit two grown adults comfortably.



After that the frame work came together pretty quickly. Everything got frame in with 1x1 square tubing. We chose to retain the ability to tilt the bed using the stock actuator. This would allow us quick and easy access to the engine compartment for maintenance and repairs.





After the frame work was completed we went ahead and covered the sides and cab in 16 gauge sheet metal.



you can see we made the front end bigger to help try and keep it more proportional to the now much larger bed. The stock hood was removed it was left on in the picture to protect all the wiring underneath during welding.



New fenders were hand formed since we didn't have the appropriate equipment at the shop the bend the sheet metal.

We decided we wanted to take it out for a test run before the season winds down for winter. We still have a lot of detail work to complete but testing the chassis out was something we wanted to do before proceeding to far.

So this weekend we decided to take it out to Hell Survivors for the Tippmann world challenge. After a quick and temporary net job on the cab we mounted some guns in the corners and took her on the maiden voyage.



The players on both teams loved trading paint with our gunners who remain exposed unlike most tanks that are completely netted off.




Our hands caught the worst of it during the first run.



Along with our two gunners we invited other players to fill in the other corners. Here you can see our team mate Tim along with the world team general mike Paxson after a run.


All said the truck fared well with only a small thermostat issue temporary slowing us down for a few minutes. We look forward to spending the winter finishing up the final details on our truck.

2014 update. More armor, new paint, and added details.


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Last edited by weekendballer; 08-06-2014 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Cool project! Are you using scubas as your air source for twin A5's?
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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We had 114/4500.

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Old 10-03-2013, 12:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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That this is awesome. Do you guys go to Living Legends at all? I would love to see this in person.
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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All said the truck fared well with only a small thermostat issue temporary slowing us down for a few minutes. We look forward to spending the winter finishing up the final details on our truck.
please put this in consideration because your wheel configurations is already perfect for it: M8 Greyhound - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Old 10-03-2013, 02:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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anybody in ohio ever tell you Michigan boys you suck?
that is my exact plans for a tank as well, but a turret on top and holes on the sides for troops to be shooting which can be dropped off and out the back.
those and 8x8 argos are the best but i just dont see myself ever getting an argo cuz they command such a nice price.

very nice work i might add.
what did you guys pick it up for?
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Old 10-03-2013, 05:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I considered the M8 when I made Automagnus a dozen years ago.

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Old 10-03-2013, 04:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I considered the M8 when I made Automagnus a dozen years ago.
HPIM0528.jpg

We have talked about a gun truck for years if we ever got back into tanking.
8RRFS-Gun-Trucks-11.jpg

Our tanks function only with exposed gunners. I feel strongly that if you are able to shoot people on the field, those same people should be able to shoot you.
Otherwise feels cowardly.

Recently, Josh has been the driving motivator for:
A. finding an affordable Gator.
B. pushing for getting it done enough for a trial run before the season is out.
By next year it will be tits.
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Old 10-03-2013, 04:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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That's awesome. Quite impressed with the frame modification.
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