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Cheap but powerful option for a go-cart motor?

I'm pretty keen to build a motorized go-cart with my friend, but we both have run out of chores to do for money, too young to get a job and are on a pretty low budget. We've already got a go-cart that doesn't have a motor, but is well-built (welded frame) and has a proper steering mechanism (not just rope attached to the front axle).

Two questions:
Would it be easier to make an entirely new go-cart or to adapt the go cart we've got now to suit the engine we get?
And
What's a cheap option for a motor that has some torque and can go around 40-50km/h? I'm talking cheap like under $100NZ (around 70$US I think?)

EDIT: PLEASE DON'T SAY BUY A LAWNMOWER ENGINE UNLESS YOU CAN GIVE ME A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF HOW TO USE A LAWNMOWER ENGINE ON A GO-CART - Lawnmower engines have vertical driveshafts, and you can't just tip them sideways. A V-belt is not ideal.


canucksgirl2 years ago
Well I seem to recall my brother using an old (but working) lawn mower motor for his go-cart. You can find them at flea markets, garage sales, some thrift type stores etc, and shouldn't cost you very much at all. Just look for something that works well, that you can handle taking apart and modifying for your current go-cart. The motors on lawn mowers are fairly powerful and should reach a good speed as long as your cart isn't too heavy.
isaacwilk (author)  canucksgirl2 years ago
Thanks, but I don't think a lawnmower engine is ideal after doing some research. You need a V-belt which isn't very strong or some sort of gear link which could be tricky and expensive. Sorry I probably should have made it clear beforehand.
Here's a YouTube video showing a rather fast go-cart that uses twin chainsaw motors. They don't explain the how to's, but you may draw some inspiration from their build.

If you want to go with a specific go-cart motor, there's an ehow video that gives some tips in deciding what motor to select.

From one of the other links I provided is a page discussing motors for go-carts and they suggest a "garden tiller" motor as they are horizontal mounted.

The last option I would suggest is going with a motorcycle of moped engine. You should be able to modify it for your existing cart.
isaacwilk (author)  canucksgirl2 years ago
Thanks! Actually I've just found a few cheap small motorcycle engines on trademe which could work pretty well. Might give one of them a go!
You're welcome. I glad you found something that may work. Good luck with it! :)
* motorcycle OR moped
You'll find a good information herehere and here for making a lawn mower engine powered go-cart.
David972 years ago
Its probally easyer too adapt the frame you have but it is hard to tell without pictures. If you go to a second handstore or a lawnmower shop you can get somthing decent for $15(NZD) ( have picked up a few) I live in NZ too so if you tell me what city u are in i might be able to give you a heads up on where you can go.
David97 David972 years ago
You may need to keep your eye out for a while. you might wantto checkout trademe. for lawnmowers.
David97 David972 years ago
dependin on power you want to look at these mowers

http://www.trademe.co.nz/home-living/outdoor-garden-conservatory/lawnmowers/petrol/auction-441657342.htm

http://www.trademe.co.nz/home-living/outdoor-garden-conservatory/lawnmowers/petrol/auction-441148237.htm

http://www.trademe.co.nz/home-living/outdoor-garden-conservatory/lawnmowers/petrol/auction-440533548.htm

or at least thet type of mower
isaacwilk (author)  David972 years ago
Those are vertical shaft aren't they? You can't just tip them on their side. You either need to reposition the carb and make sure the oil is getting to the engine or use a V-belt/some sort of gear link like on a ride-on mower. The V-belt wouldn't stand up to the sort of terrain we'd drive it over (shingle roads and paddocks) I don't think and a gear link would be expensive.
No they are all horozontal shaft mowers..... Have you looked at them. they are the old fasionned type mower. They will work without modifactation
David97 David972 years ago
also they already have a clutch
jbaker222 years ago
Craigs list and junkyards can sell working mowers cheap.
nurdee12 years ago
I would look for an engine from an old rototller these tend to have larger engines than lawn mowers and they also have a horizontal shaft which will be easier to adapt to your frame. Also tillers are one of those things that people buy because they seem like a good idea but then they don't work as well as they anticipated and the people sell them at garage sales for a little bit of nothing.

Good Luck
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