100% Recycled Go Kart(trike)

Introduction: 100% Recycled Go Kart(trike)


So You Want a Kart on the Cheep, of Course You Do!

this instruct-able is not a step by step tutorial but more of a guide to you own devices, also this is my first instructable so bare with me.

Alright lets get started

Step 1: Tools Needed

general tools:(hammer screwdriver ratchet.. etc)

Metal cutting tools: (grinders, chop saws handsaws work too but...)

Welder: A welder, (no matter what kind) is recommended you could make your cart bolt together but it will take you more time too, (BUT Somme pieces are better bolt on for maintenance purposes) \

Step 2: Finding Resources, for Free

Alright, most instructables will tell you to brainstorm your design make plans and have a general idea of what your doing first,

Personally i believe finding metal and resources tend to inspire me, i found a semi square frame a old bicycle and snow blower and the idea already popped in my head. the shape of the metal often make it all the way in the finished product

Here are Somme guideline to follow, 1/4"steel is pretty much as thin you will go, heaver is good but make sure your equipment can cut/weld the metal.

square tubes or Angle steel is great, when metal have a indent or shape it tends to make it stronger

so old steel bed frames pipping etc collect anything 1/4" or bigger(within reason)

things you can also salvage lawnmower/snow blower wheels WHOLE ENGINES/ i got mine from a pressure washer. chains and gears, and a chair or seat

Step 3: Where to Start?

i typically start from the engine down, so here i have a 2.2 hp pressure washer engine who i slapped a centrifugal clutch assembly on (i found mine on a dilapidated minibike)

I then gutted the inside of a snow blower discovering a shaft that had a chain on it, removes all the stuff i dint need, slip plates and allot of speed control stuff, dont trow everything away, i ended up keeping two gear, a big and small one, just to create a gear down ratio from engine to wheels.

so i hacked the top of the assembly off drilled four holes for the engine to mount on, found old chain and cut it to length and installed it. (using magic links).

if you have a little but of ingenuity you should have a rear drive. i did have a few problems, the original exhaust jetted directly in my back, so i had to weld a custom pipe from a old Yamaha pipe, the exhaust is still one of my favorite features of this thing, challenging situation often lead to surprising outcomes

Step 4: So What About the Front

here in this picture i am about to fit the powerhouse to a previous project of mine a gravity trike, i chopped the wheels off and was preparing to make mounts to fuse both section together.

(in this picture you can also notice the original exhaust, would be kinda painful

Step 5: Wiring Up the Power

so you got a seat, steering, power.. how about throttle?

i use the snow blower parts to make a throttle assembly like a bike brake there is a cable inside a sleeve that can move either forward or backwards, one end of the cable was on the throttle, and the other one was attached to the carburetor's governor arm also set a shut off switch for the engine, i had one already integrated on the engine, but you can, also use a switch between the coil and the spark plug.

AND DONT FORGET BRAKES, since i used a bicycle front section i was easily able to use normal brakes on this

Step 6: Make It Pretty

So now that you welded brasses and made it pretty sturdy. and it works and runs fine you can make it pretty,

i added a larger fuel can a headlight chains and genalay made it stronger, i also had to make one of the wheels free sniping because there was no differential on this, and it would jitter when turning, so its basically a one wheel drive trike

i intentionally omitted allot of detailed steps from this instuctable, because most information can be found on this website, welding cutting engine work and throttle cabling can all be meticulous work. but is generally made easy with this great community.

the making of this project was a winter long adventure who took time and dedication. the journey is mostly in building it for yourself. so i invite you to try things for yourself and find clever solutions to your problems.

i hope this project brings you as much joy as it did for me.

Dont forget to work safely and wear all of your safety equipment. i almost lost a finger with a grinder during this project and had 5 stitches on my hand. if you are young make sure you have a knowledgeable adult with you and follow safety instructions



    • Water Contest

      Water Contest
    • Metalworking Contest

      Metalworking Contest
    • Creative Misuse Contest

      Creative Misuse Contest

    15 Discussions

    This is a great idea, about how much speed can you get out of your cart and what is the biggest engine you would put on this frame safely?

    2 replies

    seems to me "safely" is defined by your personal sense of adventure. if you find yourself compelled to gear up like a dirt bike rider before you take it out for a spin, the engine is probably near the maximum size for the frame.

    tthe engine size is not very important if you gear it for torque. this is a 200 cc and a single speed. to get it to accelerate reasonably i am limiting myself to 25 kmh. its not supper fast. i would almost try to add in a lawnmower transmission in it. i had started another project but never really finished it

    Love it! You build like I do, why spend a bunch of money if you dont have to!

    Keep on makin!

    Awesome work :) How does it sound with the big muffler?

    3 replies

    suprisingly well, sounds like a big quad, since it only has one piston when the engine idles it a big american type of sound, the stock exhaust used to sound like a lawn mower

    I've always wanted to experiment with different types of exhaust on a small engine. Any chance you have a sound clip???

    Unfortunately the trike is at my summer cottage and i wont be there in quite a while. i might update the instructables if i have a chance. PS if you exhaust is constrictive it will kill these little motors, mot kill mechanically just not let them run, this one i had to dill out holes in the muffler part so that the airflow would be less obstructive. i have seen a good performance increase because of this. these little engines really like airflow

    i wish i was, i used to love this show, its probably my main influence in asking duct tape for Christmas as a kid haha

    It needs a cruise control. It definately needs a cruise control!

    Nice fun project! Like the way you work. Look what you have and use that, in stead for shopping al the things.

    You have my vote!

    1 reply

    funny you mention, it dose. the snow blower throttle stays where you put it at, i find this risky but it is very comfortable. but the way i geared it down it doesn't go supper fast just has allot of toque so its not crazy dangerous, i weigh 180 ponds an can do donuts on this thing

    haha thanks, but the key is to have fun all along the way, some moments in a big project may be hard but finding clever solutions that work leaves you with a sense of accomplishment that I really enjoy

    My nephew would flip over this! He loves anything and everything that will go fast. :)