How to make a homemade electric go kart

Written by palmer owyoung
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How to make a homemade electric go kart
Electric go-karts are a lot of fun to ride and even more fun to make! (Junior Go Karting image by Dan Marsh from Fotolia.com)

Go-karting is a popular hobby with both children and adults, and with the right tools and some time, it is possible for you to construct your own little go kart vehicle at home. Note that the process is highly involved and will require a lot of dedication and time commitment, but you will reap the rewards of building your own go kart.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Go-kart design pattern or template
  • Steel piping or tubing
  • Metal inert gas (MIG) welder
  • Go-kart seats
  • 36 Volt 750 Watt motors
  • Reversing controllers
  • Speed and brake pedal assembly
  • Batteries (12V)
  • Lawnmower differential
  • Type 50 chain
  • Sprockets
  • Brake disc
  • Steering wheel
  • Electric drill
  • Nuts and bolts

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Purchase patterns and tools. Keeping in mind the exact size of the internal components to be fitted into the kart, such as the seating assembly, electric motor and batteries, purchase, measure and/or cut steel pipes to a correct size. You will need steel pipes to construct an A-arm frame, body and roof frame. A kart assembly template is also required.

  2. 2

    Assemble the vehicle's front A-arms. Using a life-size kart-design template, arrange the steel pipes as shown in the design layout and then weld the steel pipe kart arms into the shape of the A-arm. Then lock the pieces into place with nuts and bolts.

  3. 3

    Assemble the mainframe of the kart. Place the template for the body and roof frames on the floor. Then lay the steel pipes for these parts on the template, and weld the pieces into place. Position the bucket seats on the body frame after the welding is complete to determine the final size of the kart body.

  4. 4

    Assemble the drive axle system. The drive axle is put together by linking a lawnmower differential with a type 50 chain. Note that the lawnmower differential should have a sprocket with 13 teeth and an axle with 9 teeth. Also include a chain guard to prevent the chain from dropping off during operation of the go-kart.

  5. 5

    Assemble the steering wheel and frame system. Drill holes into the pipe steel where the frame is to be joined to the steering system. Securely position the steering system using steel clips pushed through the drilled holes to keep it in place on the steel pipe. Provide additional securing using nuts and bolts.

  6. 6

    Install the electric motor/engine. Position the electric motor as well as the batteries at the back of the seats. For example, you can install a 1500W machine driven by a pair of 36 Volt 750 Watt motors, or for a smaller kart, a 2x250 Watt electric motor. The motors should not be 'freewheeling' types -- they should be attached to the speeders and brake pedals. Install a suitably sized battery by belting it to the kart frame on a battery tray. For example, three 12 Volt 40 Amp batteries can be used to power a 36 Volt motor continuously for 90 minutes. Connect the controllers for the engine to the engine and the accelerators. Connect the batteries to the engine and to a switch that will be used to turn the motor on and off.

  7. 7

    Test the kart. Make sure the batteries are charged, then put the kart in reverse gear and start the engine. Check that everything is installed securely and that the cart is balanced correctly. The go-kart is now ready to use and can be fitted with other components such as a speed gauge, or it can be painted.

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