How to Build a Go-Kart
Making a home-made go-kart can be a safe, family-fun activity if you use the right tools and invest a considerable amount of time including learning how to build a go-kart. Building a go-kart that can accommodate both children and adults takes a lot of money, hard work and dedication.
Tips for Building Your Own Go-Kart
Every go-kart begins with a frame measurement plan and creative insight. The standard DIY go-kart assemblage plan can be split up into four main parts: the front A-arms construction, main frame construction, the steering system and the drive axle assembly.
A resource such as GIY Go-Karts can be a good starting point for figuring out what you envision a go-kart should look like.
Many sites also offer go-kart kits and plans for purchase, but you have the power to alter and add to existing plans in order to customize your go-kart to meet your needs. Some critical choices you’ll have to make include how many seats you want your go-kart to hold, how powerful its engine will be and what type of brakes it will have.
Build Your Own Go-Kart – A-Step-by-Step-Guide suggests that your final go-kart include the following parts:
- Steering wheel
- Tires and wheels
- Seat belts
- Centrifugal clutch
- Torque converter
Make sure you have a go-kart plan that includes all of those components before you begin the process of learning how to build a go-kart. Once you have acquired the necessary components you can follow the tips for building your own go-kart shown below.
Building the Front A-arms and Main Frame on a Go-Kart
For the main steel frame, take care to measure the support beams carefully and equally. Do not use welded materials for the main supports of the go-karts. Check your A-arm measurements with a template or guide so that they are precise and suitable for wielding.
For your main frame, take care to measure and lay the steel pipes on a flat concrete surface before welding. Also, place your bucket seating or bench seating inside the pipes to make sure you have measured your interior piping accurately.
As far as materials go, www.diygokarts.com suggests using a combination of round and squared tubing because though it may compromise uniform physical aesthetics, it is much less painful to weld together. For example, if you were to weld two round pieces of tubing together, you would have to take a long time shading one of the round ends into a fish mouth in order to effectively weld it into the other tube.
But if you used a combination of round and squared tubing, welding the tubes together becomes much simpler and sturdier.
Use Steel Clips
When you are ready to weld your go-kart parts together, make sure you secure them to steel clips for support. Welding can be dangerous and can not only blind you, but also yield fatal fumes. Make sure you have a proper auto-darkening helmet and other protective attire when you begin wielding your A-arm joints together.
Go-Kart Engines and Brakes
A smaller kart will require a 3 Horsepower engine but most quality go-karting vehicles use at least a 5 Horsepower engine. A 5 Horsepower engine will run a go-kart as fast as 20 miles per hour. Adult go-kart enthusiasts tend to go for an 8 or 10 Horsepower engine so it is easier for their vehicle to climb hilly areas.
Many people use Briggs, Tecumseh and Honda brand engines for building their go-karts. When you purchase an engine for your go-kart, make sure to use a horizontal rather than vertical mount engine. Lawn mowers usually consist of vertical engines but customizing a vertical engine for use in a go-kart can be quite costly.
Go-Kart Brake Types
Four common types of brakes for go-karts include scrub brakes, band brakes, drum brakes and disc brakes. Scrub brakes tend to be the most affordable but they also tend to ruin your tires as they are connected to your rear tires. Scrub brakes can come as a metal footplate or a handbrake.
Band brakes are also very cheap in price but do not perform well in wet weather. A band brake mechanism is such that a small metal band tightens around a brake drum when the driver of the go-kart presses on the gas pedal. Drum brakes are just the opposite as band brakes swell inside a brake drum in order to stop the go-kart.
Disk brakes are a slightly more expensive option but definitely have high durability and consumer satisfaction.
Suspension and Steering
Usually, go-karts require a solid steering and suspension system in order to ensure the safety of your vehicle. Steering wheel assemblage requires a steering shaft, which involves the actual steering wheel and the pit arm. Spindles and tie rods are also essential materials that complete your vehicle’s steering connection and stability.
In terms of suspension systems, many people install shocks into their go-karts to make the ride smoother. Other people compensate for a lack of suspension by installing large tires on their go-karts.
Taking Time to Build Your Go-Kart
Taking the time to build a go-kart with careful technique is paramount to having a safer vehicle. Go-karts can be a fun sport for the family and it is important that you have the will, money, time and tools to build a go-kart that is both safe and fun. Make sure you do not skip on quality materials if you plan on building a quality go-kart.
Also, take a considerable amount of time to practice welding junk pieces together before you move on to the actual project. Now that you know how to build a go-kart, you can participate in a great bonding activity for you entire family.