Introduction: How to Make a Go-Kart

Picture of How to Make a Go-Kart


The first thing you need to do, is make a design. You have to design everything for it to work out in the end. First is to design the frame. How big is it going to be, how wide? Draw it on a sheet of copy paper first and think of how long you want it. Figure out all of the dimensions and angles in it. Next, transfer the small drawing on to a big sheet of paper so that it will be the exact size that the frame will turn out to be.

Step 1: The Jig

Picture of The Jig

The next step is to build a jig. A jig will help a lot with building the frame. After drawing out the design to the exact dimensions, lay it out on a sheet of plywood. Then screw 1x2 down all around the frame part. After this, take the paper off and you have a jig.

Step 2: The Frame

Picture of The Frame

After the Jig is built, the next step isa to make the frame. I used 1 1/4 inch steep square tubing. Cut the steep at the right angel and put it in the Jig. I also had to bend the two side peices because it would be weaker if I had cut and welded them. To cut the steel, I used a horizontal bandsaw.

Step 3: Welding Frame

Picture of Welding Frame

After all of the pieces fit together in the Jig, the next step is to weld it all together. Weld all of the top joints and then flip the frame over and weld all of the bottom ones. After welding, grind all of the welds down to a smooth finish.

Step 4: Attaching the Axel

Picture of Attaching the Axel

After all of the welding and grinding, the next step is to attach the axel. Go ahead and put all of the components on the axel in order, but they don't have to be lined up yet. Drill holes through the frame and attach the pillow blocks to it with bolts. In the pictures the frame is upside-down. Attach the axel so that the pillow blocks bolt holes are upwards towards the frame and the axel is below that. After attaching the axel, put the back tires on.

Step 5: The Front

Picture of The Front

Next step is to attach the front C brackets which holds the spindles. Tilt them back a little if the front tires are smaller than the rear ones. Once you have them mounted, then put in the spindle with the kingpin.Then put on the spacers, washers and front tires. (I replaced all of the washers with PVC pipe and left one washer on either side of the wheel.)

Step 6: Tie Rods and Pitman Arm

Picture of Tie Rods and Pitman Arm

For this step, have a piece of steel attach to the steering shaft and attach the tie rods to the top of it. Then, attach the other end of the tie rods to the spindle. To hold the end of the steering shaft, I put a pillow block on there and also fabricated a holder for it.

Step 7: Seat Bracket and Floor Pan

Picture of Seat Bracket and Floor Pan

Next is the Seat bracket. To make it, map out where you want it and cut it out of some heavy duty steel. I used some diamond plate. After you cut it out, measure and drill holes for the seat to attach to it. Then weld it to the top of the frame. For the Floor pan, it is pretty much the same thing. Map out where you want it and cut it out of steel. I used the diamond plate again. After cutting it, just weld it to the frame.

Step 8: Motor Mount

Picture of Motor Mount

Next is to make the motor mount. I make it out of steel that I cut and welded together. If your kart is at an angel then make the front of the mount higher than the back and use a level to try to make it as level as possible.

Step 9: Mount Engine, Chain, and Torque Converter

Picture of Mount Engine, Chain, and Torque Converter

Next is to mount the Motor, Chain, and Torque Converter. First put the torque converter on the engine and make the bolts nice and tight and use lock washers. Make sure that the belt is on the right way and all the keys are in the key ways. Next, mount the motor on the motor mount, but don't tighten it down yet, put the chain on first. Put the chain in with the master link and have the clip facing away from the engine and the round end of it going the way that the chain is going to be turning the most. Then, pull the engine back to get the chain tight and tighten down the engine with bolts.

Step 10: Hook Up and Assemble Pedels

Picture of Hook Up and Assemble Pedels

For this part, either fabricate or buy some pedals and find out a way for them to attach to your frame. Then, attach a cable from the engine to the pedal and set up the throttle linkage. For the brake, make a rod that goes from the lever on the caliper to the top of the pedal.

Step 11: Test Drive

Picture of Test Drive

After everything is set up and working, put the right oil and gas into the motor and take it for a test drive. For a Predator 212cc 6.5hp it takes 10w-30 oil and unleaded gasoline. Let the motor warm up a while and break in.

Step 12: Tear Apart and Paint

Picture of Tear Apart and Paint

For this part, strip down the kart to the bear frame and prime it and paint it. First, since there was a lot of rust on mine, I sand blasted it and got all of the rust off, then primed it, then painted the spots that I wanted to be orange, orange. Then I put pin striping tape over it and painted black over that then pulled the take off carefully.

Step 13: Put Back Together

Picture of Put Back Together

Next step is to assemble the go-cart and get everything hooked up again and working.

Step 14: HAVE FUN!!

Picture of HAVE FUN!!

Go rompin and get muddy, do some doughnuts and have some fun!!


REDWOOD123 (author)2017-04-16

you would need a seat belt in case of....... you know

ReyM18 (author)2017-02-26

What did it cost to build this? Also how much would a welder and a saw to cut metal with cost?

12037144 (author)2017-01-31

This is already informative

medicbutler (author)2016-08-31

How do you figure out the clutch and drive sprocket? and how do you attach them to the motor

thegokartguy (author)medicbutler2016-09-01

I used a torque converter instead of a centrifugal clutch. Bolt the torque converter assembly to the engine and run the chain from the shaft on the torque converter sprocket to the axle. You should have another sprocket on the axle that the chain should go around.

DarylA13 (author)2016-08-06

How much would you charge to build one of these from scratch and ship it to Dallas, Texas with a steering instead?

thegokartguy (author)DarylA132016-08-11

i don't know. what would you pay?

Malbaiji (author)2016-06-08

do you steel have it ?

johnh478 (author)2016-05-04

Its very usasome

Stud_Muffin (author)2016-04-28

Hello sir, some questions I like to ask you lead into a presentation I'm going to give to my class. I'm planning on telling them that creating a go-kart is a simple task. What are your thoughts?

It depends of what you mean by "simple task". I spent many hours on the designing part alone not to mention the countless hours I spent cutting, welding, testing and creating this product. It is definitely not a simple task if you ask me.

Stud_Muffin (author)2016-04-27

Hello, I'm looking for an expert in the process of creating a go-kart. I would like to ask some questions if you don't mind.

sure, no problem

thegokartguy (author)2015-04-07

Any one wanna buy it?

cenajaun (author)thegokartguy2016-02-01

how much

thegokartguy (author)cenajaun2016-02-02


Posh Josh (author)thegokartguy2015-07-03

Gladly, how much?

Vansh60 (author)2015-06-07

can you please explain the installation and working of front wheels I am stuck here. please reply.

spencdood (author)Vansh602015-08-17

ok man so what happens is you install the steering wheel like this |▪▪▪▪▪
you then put two bars like this |▪▪▪',▪▪

spencdood (author)spencdood2015-08-17

and then you install c brackets witch are shaped like C <===this, or you can study the picture the guy has here and that should get where you need to be.

ryguymain (author)2015-06-30

really nice great job

Vansh60 (author)2015-06-05

I will attach a steering wheel in mine

brandon.ofarrell.12 (author)2015-03-07

how much did it cost ?

about $750, but it could have been done for much cheaper

Ginga3 (author)thegokartguy2015-05-06

I can do $675?

thegokartguy (author)Ginga32015-05-06


brandon.ofarrell.12 (author)2015-03-08

what is the length of the tie rods? and thank you !!

andrewtodd123 (author)2014-11-23

What diameter of axel did you use?

1 inch live axle from northern tool

wikkit (author)2014-04-24

Very neat, it turned out well!

For beginner welders, unless the weld bead interferes with something then it is best to not grind the welds flat. With welds into tubing it can be very easy to get welds that look fine but have little penetration into the base metal, so that when ground down almost all of the strength is lost. It would be a pity to have the frame crack when you go over a big bump.

thegokartguy (author)wikkit2014-11-10

I didn't just have two cut pieces of metal and weld them together, I grinded a 45 degree angle on all four corners of both pieces of metal and then welded them together so they would actually be "connected"

jkarle (author)2014-06-29

What kind of motor

thegokartguy (author)jkarle2014-10-01

Predator engine from Harbor Freight, 6.5hp 212cc gas engine. Runs great ans starts on first pull.

nishant22 (author)2014-09-12

I want to make a electric car for mech. project I need a dc motor less than equal to 3000 w max rpm 3600 max torque 12.8nm at 2400 rpm power consumption max 48 volt can u recomend me some motor name or link which would suit best for me....thanx in advance...

thegokartguy (author)nishant222014-10-01

I don't know of any place to get one of those, I used a 212cc 6.5hp gas engine from Harbor Freight

Ricardo Furioso (author)2014-05-07

Great work.

Inspiring instructable.

Thank you.

millenium1X (author)2014-05-07

this is so freaking awesome, i can fiannly fulfill my childhoods dreams, now all i need to do is learn to weld other than buying a go kart :D

envirolutionary (author)2014-05-05

I can now fufill my childhood dream, while learning something new. Great work keep it coming!

tsavo (author)2014-05-05

I live on a ranch and we've had a store bought cart that we've had fun with for 15 years. I would love to see a design that retrofits your design (which is close to how mine was built) and incorporate some basic suspension/springs and add bigger tires. I've got 50 acres and we beat the crap out of ourselves racing the cart around without something to soften the (big) bumps - it feels as though your internal organs are getting rearranged after you'v riddden for more than 15 minutes. Nice job on your cart - I wish I had half your skills.

sali8 (author)2014-05-04

this is very cool!

sali8 (author)2014-05-04


samsanca (author)2014-05-01

Nice work, congrat !

excavatoree (author)2014-04-24

I see one improvement: The kingpins are angled toward the rear, but they need to be angled in the other plane as well. The best way to describe it is that a line through the center of the kingpin should intersect the contact patch of the tire. There are some youtube videos on steering geometry that show this.

It's a great design with a lot of attention to detail.

thegokartguy (author)excavatoree2014-04-24

When I was building this, I checked the camber, caster, ackerman and tow

excavatoree (author)thegokartguy2014-04-24

This is different from those parameters. They relate to the wheel in it's location, the kingpin angle affects the geonetry of the steering in a different way. Your wheels aren't pivoting on the contact patch, but are making an arc - thus making the vehicle more difficult to steer and hold. (any force acting on them has a larger moment arm with which to push the steering wheel and other front wheel.)

I was trying to find the relevant youtube video, because the person who made it explains it far better than I can. Here's one, but it's not the one I had in mind. You want to eliminate the "scrub radius."

This is a more concise explanation:

thegokartguy (author)excavatoree2014-04-24

Thanks, I will make that an improvement.

graydog111 (author)excavatoree2014-04-24

Nice Instructable but excavatoree is correct about the kingpins. Read up on Ackermann Steering Geometry.

Knight Lamune (author)2014-04-28

Having a metal rod mounted so close between my legs would make me fear any sort of collision or hard brake. Burying the nose of a cart is uncomfortable enough with a full harness, let alone Newton taking it out on my balls.

Homemade karts are so much fun. Just wear your cup, kids.

pepetito456 (author)2014-04-26

Did I miss the part where I can find links to the parts? Where can I find some of the things like rear axle and the more hard to find parts?

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