Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to make a go kart for yourself.
The internet has a wealth of free and low cost plans available which can offer you frame dimensions. However they may well omit details on steering, cable connections, axle, and throttle, preferring to leave those specs up to the builder. Here’s where you can look through the websites for parts suppliers to discover additional kit and methods.
2. The Frame
You’ll need a hacksaw to cut the metal tubing to length. Follow this by clamping the pieces before filing or grinding the edges to a smooth finish. Out comes the MIG welder to put together the pieces, ensuring a tight fit and finish.
You’ll need to take the upper steering block and weld it to the steering post on the kart. The lower steering block is similarly welded to the front of the frame. Then, take the steering wheel and screw it to the steering shaft. The shaft assembly will be threaded through the upper and lower steering blocks. Use nylock nuts to bolt two spherical rods, at the bottom of the shaft, to the steering arm. Next, take the spindle brackets and weld to the front corners of the frame. The opposite ends of the tie rods will be bolted to the arms of the brackets to ensure both ends of the rods are connected. You’ll want to thread the stub axle on to each bracket and into the front wheel hubs. To mount the front tyres, put each one on rims then bolt them to the hubs.
4. Rear Axle
The bearing hangers will be welded to the bottom face of the rear legs of the frame. Now centre the sprocket, Uni-Hub and brake drum on the axle. At this point you may need to adjust the axle parts. Now you can fit the rear tyres and rims to their axle ends, bolting the rims to the wheel hubs.
The engine and its accessories should be bought together to make sure all components are compatible. Take the mounting plate and weld to the rear centre of the frame. Now bolt the engine to the mounting plate. To add the clutch to the engine crankshaft, use a set of screws in the clutch hub. To align the axle sprocket with the clutch sprocket, slide the Uni-Hub along the axle. Take a shaped piece of 3/8-inch rod and weld it to the frame. It needs to cross in front of the brake drum; this will anchor the brake band. Now ensure all screws on the Uni-Hub, drum and bearings are tightened. Lastly, loop the chain around both sprockets and remove enough chain links so you have half an inch of slack.
Firstly you need to attach the brake and throttle cables to both foot pedals. Feed the cable to the rear of the kart, then fasten the sheaths to the frame. Cable should be pulled, so they are just tense. To pin the brake cable to the upper end of the brake band, use the wire stops. This enables the band to grip the drum, arresting the motion of the axle. With the engine in the idle position, you can pin the throttle cable to the engine throttle. Now mount the kill switch, leading the cable to the engine. With the kart on blocks you are ready to start the engine to test your pedal connections.
You can make a basic seat by stapling vinyl and foam cushion to plywood. Bolt the seat and a seatbelt to the seat post and the frame. Now you’re ready to test your kart out.
Due to health and safety as well as legal reasons we do not allow you to race your own go karts, especially ones you’ve built yourselves! You can drive your personal karts on private property you own or have permission to be on. Failing that, you could look for a trail or off-roading areas that allows four wheelers.