Introduction: Homemade Go Kart

Picture of Homemade Go Kart

Me and a friend got tired of being bored and we don't have money to go out so we decided to build a go kart from scratch using materials we found around the shop. We custom built every single part on this go kart, from the steering to the brakes. This project took 3 days and at a total cost of $0.

Step 1: Materials

What you will need:
Square/Round tubing for frame and support
Steering wheel
Flat stock
Round rod
Assorted bolts

Step 2: The Frame

Picture of The Frame

We built the frame out of 1" square tubing that has been sitting next to the house for years. We started by researching racing kart frames and came up with a design. 

Step 3: The Spindles

Picture of The Spindles

To build the spindles you take a piece of 1" flat stock that is 7" long and bend it so you have 2"-3"-2" U shape. Make two of these. Once they are bent, drill a hole the size of the bolt you are using in the top and bottom. Now cut a piece of round tube that is a little bit smaller than the inside height of the spindle. This piece needs to be a snug fit to the bolt your using so the tube will turn freely around the bolt but not so tight that its difficult to rotate. Now for the part that actually rotates, I used 1/2" square tube to make this part. Weld a bolt that is long enough and wide enough to go on the wheels you are using onto the piece of tube that the bolt goes through. At a 90 degree angle to this piece weld another piece of tube that the steering components will attach to.

Step 4: Steering Shaft

Picture of Steering Shaft

The steering shaft is a piece of 1/2" hollow round tube. The length is determined by where you want the steering wheel. we made our shaft about 18" long which is perfect for use cause were both skinny. You will need two industrial washers to hold the shaft in place so the wheels will actually turn instead of the shaft. 

Step 5: Steering

Picture of Steering

We made the steering components out of a solid piece of round stock. We welded the round stock to some tie rod ends and then to a industrial washer. The tie rod end is bolted to a bolt that we welded to the square stock on the spindle. Now you need to make a steering knuckle that the steering shaft welds to. We took a 4" section of 1" square tube and welded two big bolts to opposite sides of the tube and those bolts sit inside the washers that are welded onto the round stock.

Step 6: Front Wheels

Picture of Front Wheels

We used wheels from old mini bikes for the front and back. Its as simple as sliding the wheel on and bolting it down.

Step 7: Rear Wheels

Picture of Rear Wheels

The axle for the rear wheels is made from the axles from the mini bikes we had. We measured the distance we needed for the wheels and sprockets to clear and cut them. Weld the axle onto the side of the frame. 

Step 8: Engine

Picture of Engine

We used an old 3HP tiller engine to mount on our homemade go kart. We used the original engine mount and welded it to the frame.

Step 9: The Seat and Controls

Picture of The Seat and Controls

We used an old seat we found on the side of the house. We cut the legs off and welded it to the frame. We used the brakes from the mini bikes and made a hand brake on the side. For the gas pedal we used the brake lever from one of the mini bikes and welded a support on the front bumper. The brakes are operated by another brake lever from one of the mini bikes and we welded it to a support bar on the side by the seat. 

Step 10: Final Product

Picture of Final Product

After building this go kart there are some things that I would have different if I had the material. I would have made the rear axle solid all the way across so it would be stronger. I would have designed the pedal location better, we didn't think about pedals when doing the steering components. Future upgrades include a bigger engine with a clutch and maybe a transmission so we can shift it. I turned out pretty good for being hand built from whatever we could find. We tested it by jumping on it and dropping it and it seems pretty strong. After everything was completed I painted it all black.


andersonkameronpillay (author)2017-04-18

can you show us how the motor is fitted and coneected

Dino Lover 1102 (author)2016-10-11

I've been wanting something like this for a few years but my dad said I can't have one until I have the money, materials, a design, and a license to drive it to school with it having headlights and tail lights

Igotmybukkit (author)2016-08-30

Ahem, it is not free because of the fact that I do not have a welder. Besides that, this thing is great!

AleemA1 (author)2016-06-29

how did you find what kind of chain the mini bike wheel nmeeded. 35 chsin, 41 chain?

VincentN20 (author)2016-02-12

hi I was wondering if maybe you can give me the measurements? I need those for my school project ?

Malbaiji (author)VincentN202016-06-09

have you made yours ?

SzymonO2 (author)2016-04-18


D_n_sh (author)2016-02-07

I just wanna know that where to get steering wheel

EthanD10 (author)2015-12-09

Anybody have the measurements???

Amazing right an about to start making mind

salwathura (author)2015-05-21

good work bro.keep it up

Andresbatman2003 (author)2015-03-30

I do want to put the gas pedal on the steering wheel

rhys25690811234 (author)2013-03-08

is it electric

sco_oter (author)rhys256908112342013-03-08

no its gas

Nice go kart and can you give me the measurements

Andresbatman2003 (author)2015-03-30

Nice go kart and can you give me the measurements so I can try to build one cause they are awesome and beast

Rares I (author)2015-03-02

i want to put the gas pedal on the steering wheel.

It's that possible?

(I want to make it off-road)

Solocup (author)2015-02-12

Why would you need measurements ? This is clearly a build it with what you have instructable. Nice job for a first attempt.:) a axel and a clutch and your good to go!

wbannister (author)2013-09-20

Can u give me all the measurements please?? (author)wbannister2015-01-16

did he give you the prints i just need the prints for the frame.

giffo05 (author)2014-11-28

thinking of making it could u please give me the measurments for it.

i am a sing a song about big fat butts wiggle wiggle

bilko99 (author)2014-06-20

could you plz put the measurments up

joshr123 (author)2014-03-21

if anyone wanted a 3d model kinda like this heres a link.

kate2515 (author)2013-12-20

wat r the measurement

kblaugrana (author)2013-11-24

dimension frame plz

Reece69 (author)2013-10-31

Could you possibly send me the dimensions to your kart?

kyle_is_bored (author)2013-03-08

awesome job but needs more defence

rhys25690811234 (author)2013-03-08

thanx, please follow me did you say you need pedals oe a gas tank or even how to link and connect this stuff??

holdens_can_suck_it (author)2013-01-17

Hi when you say, add a clutch what happens right now with out a clutch?

cchartré-bouchard (author)2013-01-10

What measures are in centimeters

Nice go kart

toxictwin (author)2012-12-28

Awesome job,

yayo23 (author)2012-10-30

well as i know you said you used parts around the shop but what did you get your parts off to make your frame

sco_oter (author)yayo232012-10-31

The frame was cut from square tubing from behind the shop

jamob (author)2012-07-30

how well does it work>

mahdisamiei (author)2012-07-18

it`s very good

yholiyat (author)2012-07-10

Very awesome project, me and my friend are doing this over the summer and we hope i works out. But can you post any videos or links to videos of you riding it, just for a little engorgement and taste of it.

Very awesome and thank you!

Litewatefitr (author)2012-04-26

Very cool, man. Impressive build. Would you be willing to send me your plans? I also have a bunch of steel laying around and just picked up a welder... I'm itching to let 'er rip. thanks! Have a good one!

Hippymike96 (author)2012-04-19

Is there welding?

goldenshuttle (author)2012-04-14

Great work indeed; and it looks almost as good as company made I give u thumbs up.

ak3580 (author)2012-03-31

where did you get your base model ????????????

sco_oter (author)ak35802012-04-01

We googled racing kart frames and searched till we found one we liked.

garytoast (author)sco_oter2012-04-03

How is it free then?

sco_oter (author)garytoast2012-04-03

Its free because i didn't buy anything for this project.

garytoast (author)sco_oter2012-04-08

So you made the frame

sco_oter (author)garytoast2012-04-08

I made everything on the go kart except the engine, wheels, and steering wheel and those i salvaged from two mini likes, an edger, and my car.

jcksparr0w (author)2012-04-06

Thanks for this. i now know what i need to do to my frame to make the steering work!!! Thanks again!

Noodles For Free (author)2012-04-04

I just wanted to say that you have a seat and asorted bolts in the materials list but no wheels! This is a new turn of events in the mobility world. Grab the balloons! we're going up!

just kidding though. cool project

Phil B (author)2012-03-24

Do you think there is a weight limit for the rider? If so, what do you think it would be? It appears from the flux dust that you did not use a MIG welder, but either a flux core wire feed welder or a stick welder. Which did you use?

This is a nice project that should provide much enjoyment for a long time. Thank you for sharing it.

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