MY backyard coaster.

Thursday, September 9, 2004 9:10 PM
At the beginning of the summer my friend and I started the construction of our backyard coaster, in my backyard.

Back in third great I made a 25 foot long coaster, with a small cart, that went down a hill and was gradually stopped with bungee cords. We used it for 2 summers but the wood became warped because it wasn't pressure treated, and I really didn't have the knowledge to improve it.

As of now, I have basically what I did before but with some major differences.

The track is 38 feet long
The track is made out of pressure treated wood
The car has road wheels and guide wheels
About 40 braces are used for the side friction track
There is always less than 1/2 inch of space between the side friction wheels and the track. Thats more accurate engineering than a Vekoma hang n bang people!

The ride itself is very fun. I use bungee cords brought back like a slingshot, and locked at the top. The slight hill and bungees give it a launch sensation.

I am currently working on a rewired garage door opener that is connected to a PVC piping that hooks to the car to hold it at the top. The motor moves it up and down with a push of a button. It just needs to be permanently mounted.

I realize this isn't as exciting as the Blue Flash or that other wooden coaster that a college student built. But I want to make it realistic. I plan on having warning signs, a logo, and queue line. As well as a fog machine and strobe lights to add to the affect.

I was thinking a Dragster Jr. I know the name is copyrighted but with the tame launch it sorta reminds me of it. I could race car theme it and put the wheels on the car. Maybe add the "Sunday Sunday Sunday" spiel. Who knows, I'll have to figure it out.

My friend is great with hydraulics so we are hoping to have a hydraulic lapbar that locks and unlocks at any position and is the same as found on Intamin rides.

As of now, the car has to be manually pushed back up the hill.

I'll post more pictures as it improves! Thanks for reading!

http://community.webshots.com/user/backyardcoaster

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Thursday, September 9, 2004 9:16 PM
Sounds cool. Maybe you could charge kids in your neighborhood to ride it to save enough money for an even better ride!
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Thursday, September 9, 2004 9:30 PM
There have been about 30+ rides on it the past couple days and no injuries yet!

I'm not opening it to the public and charging money for liability sake.

The ride is extremely safe. It runs great and there aren't any safety problems.

The past 3 days I have been tightening all the screws and bolts on it to be sure it's safe before letting anyone on. I'm going to fence it in too.

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Thursday, September 9, 2004 10:50 PM
You know you're crazy, right?

Seriously, kid, that looks like fun! I hope that it doesn't go too fast though.

You must have great parents to let you do crazy things like that in your backyard! I remember a few years back you did something like this.

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Thursday, September 9, 2004 11:38 PM
Wow...my backyard would be perfect for something like this...a nice bit steep of a slope, get some good speed...then i'd have to actually build a hill up of some kind to slow down and stop the coaster, lol.

But seriously, way to go so far, can't wait to see the finished product online!

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Friday, September 10, 2004 12:29 AM
I love the American flag you put on the coaster's highest point ;) Nice touch!
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Friday, September 10, 2004 12:38 AM
It would be pretty sad to say you died on that thing.
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Friday, September 10, 2004 2:05 AM

It would be pretty sad to say you died on that thing.


Yeah, It would be kind of embarassing to have to tell people that you died on that thing. ;-)

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Friday, September 10, 2004 6:55 AM
Say I stood up on the thing and fell off at the top of the hill? Do you think I'd die? It's only 3 feet tall!
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Friday, September 10, 2004 8:40 AM
Hey, maybe to us coaster enthusaiasts it's 3 feet tall... but to the average coaster rider & park guest... it's like... uhh... THREE feet! ;)

I say you should go all out on this & get that bad-boy a little steeper & a lot higher! Just gotta get a stronger bungee cord for a little more spring to get a little more speed.

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Friday, September 10, 2004 9:18 AM
Yes, I can see it now. You name it Dragster Jr. and it remains out of operation for the rest of the year. ;)
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Friday, September 10, 2004 9:53 AM
Cool concept, especially the low-budget launch that will undoubtedly be more reliable than anything Intamin could ever design. Good luck with the project and keep us posted! Looks great so far :)
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Friday, September 10, 2004 10:06 AM
You're very right about not opening it to the public and chraging - you'd have to go through a state inspection and carry some type of insurance, it's not worth the hassle.

The ride looks pretty good, though. Take it from me, I've gone through building one before.

http://photobucket.com/albums/v299/exitenglish/Elijahs%20Chariot/

He doesn't post here often, but my friend John (comatose) did all the math and designed the rolling stock, which we built out of aluminum, and we used a couple thousand dollars worth of wood, not to mention weeks of labor by him, his girfriend and me.

Don't mean to derail your thread into my own, so now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

-Josh (been thinking about that ride lately haven't looked at the pictures in a long time, though.)

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Friday, September 10, 2004 11:09 AM
Did Elijah's Chariot ever get completed?
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Friday, September 10, 2004 11:20 AM
If i tried buidling a coaster in my backyard, the city code inspectors would be all over me...
'hey, you got a permit, right???" lol
nice work!
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Friday, September 10, 2004 11:22 AM
Yes, it was completed, but we lost the power box before we ever had a chance to run it with the lift. Then on the 4th of july, some vandals had their way with the station (with fireworks) and the breaker box (with a hammer).

It was sold to a campground near Steubenville, OH and was moved in bents on a flatbed trailer. When it was dropped off, the campground tried to re-write the contract on the purchase, or something to that effect, so John put a halt on the reconstruction.

To this very day, it's sitting in bents at the campground, which I last heard is bankrupt. There's just no place to put it if it comes back here. :(

There were some problems with the turnaround, which were going to be fixed when it was re-built at the campground, but once again...

so, the question remains - who's got some spare land? :-D

-Josh

edit: I still remember getting in the car and having 2 other people push it up the hill just so we could at least ride the thing.

*** Edited 9/10/2004 3:25:55 PM UTC by Raven-Phile***

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Friday, September 10, 2004 11:24 AM
I'd skip my backyard and use the forty foot hill behind the small farm across the street. That would make for a very nice terrain coaster!
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Friday, September 10, 2004 2:35 PM
Wow thats awesome! That coaster is amazing!
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Friday, September 10, 2004 3:47 PM
So what was the ride like? Too bad it is sitting in pieces... if I had a well-hidden patch of land, you better believe I'd be buying the thing!
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Friday, September 10, 2004 3:52 PM
All the complaining you do about Darien and you have a coaster in your back yard!?!;)

Seriously, though, thats pretty cool. I wish I had had the yard my parents do now when I was a kid to make one, but oh well...

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