How To Make A Go Kart? 13 Steps To Build A Go Kart

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A go-kart has a simple structure, a small frame, four wheels, brakes and an automotive engine. This small vehicle is known as a kart or an off-road motor vehicle. The motor may seem challenging, but it is easy to make and build.

Building a go-kart is an exciting project for everyone; however, it takes time and needs necessary gear, dedication and financial resources. Here are the 13 easiest steps to help you make a fully functional go-kart.

How To Make A Go Kart 13 Steps To Build A Go Kart

We’ve divided the whole process into three parts to make it simpler for you. So follow each part and the sequence of its steps.

Here are 13 Easiest Steps to Make a Go Kart

Part 1: Project Planning

Sketch your Desired Go-Kart

First, you should create a detailed plan for your go-kart size, design, and structure. You can draw and make any design you want while considering the chassis, basic engine and steering/braking system essential.

For your creativity accomplishment, you can also check others’ inspirations. Besides, you can find online templates and modify them according to your schematics and plans.

Measure the Size of your Sketched Go-Kart

Mostly, we find three sizes in a go-kart;

What’s the intended size of your go-kart? After careful measurement, you should select the correct materials for your kart.

Collect your Material

collected materials for a go-karts making

Are you searching for “how to build a go-kart at a cheap price”? For this, visiting a scrap yard is the best recommendation. Here, you can find affordable parts and salvaging parts from a discarded riding lawnmower or go-kart.

Contact lawn mower repair services to learn about spare parts or used four-cycle engines with a horsepower range of 10 to 15, horizontal shaft, and drive clutch assembly. Here is a list of necessary items.

  • For chassis, you must have the material of 30 feet of 1-inch square tubing, 6 feet of 0.75-inch round steel bar stock, 6 feet of 0.5-inch bar stock, 3/16-inch thick steel plate slightly larger than your engine, plywood or metal and seat.
  • For an engine, you need to have a chain that holds the sprocket properly, bolts, washers, a gas tank and an engine.
  • Wheels, steering wheel, gear and handbrake, drive shaft, bearings, steering shaft, brake pedal, and go peddle are essential for the drivetrain.

Start Welding the Parts

welding the go kart frame

Now, it’s time to weld the different parts of the kart. Don’t go for it if you have no welding experience because a solid chassis needs to be properly welded and fitted to provide stability during driving and accommodate the engine.

However, to avoid getting stuck in welding, you can buy a go-kart build kit (nearly $550) and only fit it.

Building the Frame and Steering Mechanism

Cut the Metal Tubing

“How to build a go-kart frame”? According to your design, cut tubing with perfect measurements. In most designs, the front part has an arc angle, which would be thinner than the back part, permitting the tires to revolve and the chassis to roll slightly.

To perform this job, for a simple rotation, put a KingPin on the front corners where the tires are. To get rid of the constant calculation of the area where you are working, mark the ground with the help of sidewalk chalk. This is an easy-eye guide.

You can also draw the complete sketch on the ground and then start placing parts in the appropriate places.

Creating a Jig for Your Kart

This step is optional. A jig is a smooth metal length with space for clipping to hold the tubes. It supports you to weld the tubes on their right spots.

Weld the Go-Kart Frame According to your Design.

During the work, use concrete blocks to lift the frame and ensure that all the joints are firm and the chassis is safe. This welding work should not be low quality because it carries your and the engine’s weights. You should use bonds at all corners to make it more powerful.

Fit the Front Stub Axles

Assemble your axle using a 0.75-inch (2 cm) straight steel rod, and attach two bushings to your frame. To fit the assembly properly, the best tools were the washers and cotter pins drilled through the axle.

Install the front stubs before adjusting the steering column to enhance turning capability. Attach the KingPin to the steering arm and ensure the front wheels have a minimum of 110 degrees of angle.

Install your Rear Axle and Wheel Assembly

wheels attached with go kart frame

In this step, you need to assemble an axle carrier with a bearing bracket for the rear axle. This will allow the axle to be welded to the frame to ensure secure and free spinning. To secure the pressure plate, weld a steel plate onto the chassis and use high-tensile bolts and lock nuts to squeeze the bearing in place. These assemblies are also available in the market to buy.

Construct a Sturdy Seat by Fixing Plywood onto the Frame

To ensure a sturdy seat, drill holes in the plywood and install T nuts for support. Cover the plywood with 2″ high-density foam and marine vinyl. If you want to save money, you may try to find an old go-kart seat or a car seat appropriately sized at a junkyard. Till here, you have covered the query “how to make a go-kart without an engine”.

Installing the Engine and Steering Column

installing the engine on the go kart frame

Install the Engine

This part answers well “how to make a go-kart with the engine”. It’s simple: attach a 3/16-inch (0.5 cm) thick steel plate to the rear frame using welding. This will serve as the mount for the engine. Once attached, carefully place the engine onto the plate and mark the holes where the mounting bolts will go. Ensure that the engine pulley lines up perfectly with the drive pulley on your axle.

Fit your Steering Linkage

Opt for the 0.5-inch steel rod for the linkages, while the 0.75-inch rod is recommended for the axles. Access a torch to heat the steel for making 90-degree bends in the 0.75-inch rod.

installing the steering on the frame

Install the Wheel Assemblies, Brake Systems and Hand Throttle Cable

For optimal acceleration and control of your kart, it is recommended to get small racing wheels. These should then be fixed onto the axles using hubs. Attach a disc to the rear axle and a calliper assembly to the chassis to get a perfect kart brake system.

These assemblies can be found in good condition from discarded motorbikes. Now, you should install a brake pedal that can be operated with your foot. You may construct a foot pedal or throttle up the engine similarly to a lawnmower. You are all done; double-check your brakes and suspension system before the test.

Conclusion

Building a go-kart is easier than seeing one, especially with a pro guide like this. For flawless making and welding, you must follow the steps orderly. This way, you will not only learn about making a go-kart, but you will also save a lot of money. So stop searching about how to make a go-kart easily; open this guide and complete your go-kart project.

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