How to Build Your Own Trike

Updated February 21, 2017

Building your own trike can be a difficult process, but one way that you can reduce the difficulty is to convert a Volkswagen to a trike. Many drivers have done this successfully, and when you are done your trike will have approximately 100 horsepower, and will have four speeds and reverse. This is a great way to live the green lifestyle and recycle a car that might otherwise end up as junk.

Roll the Volkswagen on its side.

Using an oxyacetylene torch cut out the back end of the Volkswagen. The rear suspension and engine transmission will fall out in one piece when you do this.

Form your seat and storage area by welding pieces of 1-inch steel stock together. Measure the area between your wheels, making sure to leave enough room between the wheels and your seat and storage area so there is no friction. Cut your steel stock into the right lengths based on your measurements to form your storage box and seat. With your oxyacetylene torch, weld the pieces together to form the frame of the storage box and seat.

Cover the frame with your sheet steel. You will need to poke holes for where the stereo, lights and anything else you might want to add will go.

Rebuild your engine with one mild cam and one big bore kit (see Resources below). Using your kits, replace the cylinders, alloy pistons (they will bolt in easily), every piston ring, pin and clip, all the main rod and cam bearings that are in standard size, the full-engine set of intake and exhaust valves, the valve guides, the push rod tubes, and the engine overhaul gasket set. This is a matter of looking at your old engine and matching up the new pieces with the old ones and replacing the new pieces with the old ones.

Cover every piece of the engine that comes loose with chrome plating.

Add chrome rims to your wheels. Measure your wheels to see what size chrome rims you need and purchase the new rims. Take out the old rims on your tires and replace them with your new chrome rims (see Resources below).

Paint your trike.


An old Karmann Ghia Volkswagen is one of the best kinds to use for a trike because its wheels are 4 inches wider than a Volkswagen bug.


Veer away from loud colours for your trike, you don't want to draw too much attention.

Things You'll Need

  • An older Volkswagen model
  • An oxyacetylene torch
  • Sheet steel
  • Mild cam and big bor kits
  • Several sticks of 1-inch square steel stock
  • Chrome plating
  • Chrome rims for your wheels
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