What Materials Are Needed to Make a Go Kart?

Written by michael signal
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What Materials Are Needed to Make a Go Kart?
You need a lot of materials to build a go kart from the ground up. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Commercial go kart tracks do not usually use homemade go karts, but that does not mean you cannot build one for your own use. The easiest way to build a go kart is to buy a kit with all the materials included. Another method is to use plans to build one from materials that you can find at a building materials store and in the garage. You may still need to rely on some pre-manufactured go kart parts, even if you want to build the go kart from your own materials.

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Chassis

Every part of the go kart connects in some way to the chassis. It is possible to use wood for the chassis, but you will probably want to construct a welded frame from metal tubing. Tubing with a 25mm outside diameter will make a durable frame. Draw an outline of the chassis in chalk on the ground. This will help you measure and assemble the different pieces of tubing.

Engine

You can purchase an engine made specifically for go karts, but a lawnmower engine also will do. After you remove the engine from the lawnmower, you mount it to the chassis sideways. Take engine placement into consideration when you build the chassis. You need to have a suitable place on the chassis to mount the engine, or you can build an engine cradle.

Axles and Wheels

You need front and rear axles on which to mount the wheels. These can be complicated, especially in front where the wheels are also used for steering. Buy the axles from a go kart retailer. You can also buy specialised go kart wheels or use wheels borrowed from other motorised machines. But you may need to use a particular type and size of wheel, depending on the axles you choose.

Brakes

Go karts need to stop as well as go. You need a round piece of metal to act as a brake disc and two brake pads for each wheel that you install brakes on. You can fabricate these parts or purchase them pre-made for go kart use.

Steering

Metal tubing will serve as a steering column and most of the steering linkage parts. It may be a good idea to purchase these items as well, or at least use detailed plans on how to attach the steering linkage to the chassis and the steering wheel.

Seat

The driver must have a place to sit, and you need to design part of the chassis to accommodate a seat. You can modify several types of seats to mount to a go kart, make a seat from scratch or purchase a go kart seat.

Pedals

You can use metal tubing to make small frames that act as brake and throttle pedals or modify pedals from some other motorised machine. As with most other go kart parts, you can also purchase pedals from a retailer.

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