Introduction: How to Build a Go-Kart

This instructable will be featuring the design of a go-kart, from liquidhandwash,, who is the teacher of our Karts Class. The design that we will be previewing is slightly modified compared to the design featured in liquidhandwash's instructable, for example we shortened the frame so that it wasn't as wide, and also shortened the back bumper, so that were wasn't as much junk in the trunk. This kart is a group project, and is being completed by a group of year 10's, who some have little to no experience in the field of mechanics, though due to the simplistic layout of the Instructable's provided by liquidhandwash, we are able to slowly complete the components and even out the workload between us all.

Step 1: Parts You Will Need

  • Go Kart Slicks Tires
  • Axle
  • Brakes
  • 25mm RHS
  • 25mm Tube
  • 15mm Tube
  • Fibre Glass Seat
  • Chain
  • Bearing's
  • Steering Wheel
  • 10mm Rod
  • Motor
  • Welder
  • Lathe
  • Bolts
  • 25mm Rod
  • Tie Rod Ends
  • Magnesium Rims
  • Hubs
  • Brake Callipers

Some but not all the parts are displayed above as we didn't have much time to get the instructable completed so we ran out of time to take pictures of all the parts.

Step 2: Research

Before we could actually start designing the kart we had to research all the need to know information about karts and all the necessities a Go Kart must contain. Most research was just sourced from liquidhandwash's instructable but some research was also sited elsewhere.

Step 3: Designing the Frame

The design of the frame that is shown above, differs from the original, as many of the measurements have been modified to suit our group

The frame we made for this go kart was in two parts the first part was a stencil on a piece of plywood and the second part was placing some RHS together on the plywood in the basic outline of the kart's frame.

When we were planing out the design we had to put into consideration changes in design like the new engine which requires less space then the original one this is a advantage because it means we could have a shorter wheel base and make it more agile, we also had to put into consideration that because of these changes it had to be more narrower.

We started the design process by measuring up the size of our kart on a long piece of plywood and drew out the measurements we wanted the kart to be. After we finished drawing the kart outline we got the pieces of RHS and laid them down on the outline. Then we had to make the king pins and weld the frame together. We need the king pins so we know what the steering angle had to be.

Step 4: Making/Assembling the Frame

The frame was assembled on a piece of strong sturdy plywood, which allowed us to move our sketch from the metal bench top onto it without fuss. Once the lines were all drawn up, the next part was to cut the metal and place them according to the lines, and then we screwed some wooden blocks on each side of the metal tubes/poles to keep the frame in place. The curved areas in the frame were done using a pipe bender to curve tubing, this part took a little extra time, as the curve had to be symmetrical. The next part was to add the bumper to the front, these turned out to take longer than it should of because our measurements had been messed up a few times, so the bumper wasn't correct, resulting in the entire piece having to be redone, but eventually it ended up fine.

Step 5: Other Components

Of course the Go Kart will need more than just a frame so we had to attach a Steering Column and Wheel, Acceleration and Brake Levers, Kingpins and Wheels and other little knick knacks too make the kart run. We built the Steering Column just using some 25mm metal pipe.

Step 6: Welding

When welding the frame we tacked everything together and checked if everything was right before we welded everything together properly. In a couple places we had some gaps so we filled them in with a bit of metal cutout that was welded into the gap.

Step 7: Fixing Up the Small Things

After everything had been assembled the next part was too fix up any small mistakes that had occurred, including the small pieces of metal that had not been rounded off, overall the kart is in good condition and only needs a few more adjustments before it is completely finished.

Step 8: Floor and Chain Guard

You go-kart needs a floor, we decided to make our floor out of a thick bit aluminium, to build it trace around the front of the kart and cut out with a nibbler, the sand sharp edges. For something to attach the floor to the kart you need to weld some metal tabs so you can bolt the floor in place. You need make about 10 to 12 tabs, drill the tabs out with a 6mm drill bit. Then weld the tabs to the frame, bolt the floor on with 6mm screws and nylock bolts. Do NOT paint the floor as it will wear off near the pedals!

You will need:

10 - 12 metal tabs 25mm x 3m flat

6mm screws and nylock bolts



Whiteboard marker (to trace around the frame)

Step 9: Throttles and Spring

For the kart to go you will obviously need to be able to control the way it accelarates by using the throttle and a spring to pull it back into position. You also need to brake throttle so you can stop the kart if necessary.

Step 10: Testing the Kart

When testing the Kart we had a couple problems. The Bumper came off, the wheel came loose and the the engine stopped running. The engine stopped running because it was getting to much fuel because the jet had fell out of the carbie, we suspect that some student fiddled with it.

Step 11: Doing All the Last Finicky Bits: Smoothing

Step 12: Putting the Coverings On

In this step the Kart is ready to go and is fully functional except for a few malfunctions that had been remodied, the plastic coverings for the front still hadn't arrived, but the sideguards are ready to be put together. After adjusting the metal slightly due to miscuts, it is now ready to be welded on the base, and then have the sideguards bolted to it.

Step 13: Paint and Reassembly

During the development of this go kart, we first had to almost mimic the design provided by our teacher, but adjusting it slightly to add our own touches and improve the design. We first roughly sketched the design on paper, and then after agreeing on what it would look like we drew it on to the metal top of a bench. During the next classes we began by drawing the final sketch onto a piece of wood that would be the base of our project, this was then followed by cutting the metal into pieces to correlate with the lines drawn out.

The parts of the design that I viewed as difficult were trying to find a happy medium with all of the people in the class, and then after it was all settled, drawing the lines both symmetrical and to scale was challenging as the wood wasn’t perfectly square, having to adjust the measurements after we discovered it was off by a little bit. We were constrained with our design in the way that we had to follow one set out online, but were freed by the fact that we could adjust the way it looked as well as the size and other small things. Once the lines were in place, and the pipe had been been placed on top of the lines, cork blocks were put down to stop the frame from moving when it was being built.

During the build of this Kart, I was the one doing some of the finicky things that you had to be very picky with, such as the lines that were drawn onto the wood, which had to be exact and had to be slightly adjusted. I also took pictures of the different stages and put them onto an online website, to which I wrote up information detailing the different parts, that would be published as a copy cat design provided by LiquidHandWash.

The final product that we had set out to create has undoubtedly proved to be a success, granted that some parts of it were a bit of a struggle, having to be redone a couple of times, and after a few test drives, repairing the motor, and reattaching the back bumper which had not been well attached. In the end the design proved to be an incredible help in maintaining a set path for the kart, meaning that we would not stray from what was necessary and make silly mistakes which could be easily avoided.

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