Go Kart Project

Constructing the ultimate Go Kart

Archive for October, 2012

Running the Go Kart and Saftey

Posted by admin, October 2nd, 2012

These electric motors are very powerful. With the strength and rapidly moving chain someone can easily get caught up and spit out the other side of these things. It can literally rip your arm off or worst. Some safety things we have added are a kill switch in the front and another one in the rear by the motor. These big bright red buttons shut the whole system down when pressed. I am also having our welder put a metal cage around the motor and chain to prevent curious kids from sticking their hands in.

We then connected the chain from the sprocket on the motor to the main hub/sprocket on the axle. Remember you can change the size of either sprocket to create more torque or speed. Gear Ratio just like a ten speed bike.

We are opting for more torque. This vehicle will go 40 mph if we set the controller to unlimited and the gear ratio to favor speed. But with younger kids there is no need to go  that fast. They will have just as much fun with more torque running through  trails and small hills.

We also bought racing helmets. These are NOT bike helmets. Bike helmets will not protect you enough in a go kart crash. You need one that completely covers the head, face and chin.


Posted by admin, October 2nd, 2012

I chose the new technology for our batteries. The lithium LiFEPO4 batteries. I have found a reputable source from China: http://www.pingbattery.com/servlet/StoreFront

The batteries have many advantages over lead acid or car batteries. They are a much safer chemistry, take up less than half the space and weight for the energy stored. They can be recharged over 2500 times with little degradation.

Installing new seats

Posted by admin, October 2nd, 2012

The old seats that came with the used Go Kart where old worn and the too attractive. So I had my boys take the old seats out. We again needed Mark from MR portable welding to come out and weld some new metal plates on the floor board so we could install the new Seat brackets, seat adjusting mechanism and then the seats. These were a little tricky to install and the seat adjustments work just OK. In order to fit two full size seats into this go kart I put the driver seat up higher and on adjusting rails so an adult or younger kids could reach the pedals. Then the passenger seat I needed to cut a little and set it lower to tuck underneath the driver seat. This allows two large seats to fit in this frame.

we then install new 5 point seat belts which provide a lot more safety than the standard seats belts.


Posted by admin, October 2nd, 2012

We decided to put a plexiglass windshield on the go kart. We plan to take the kart through wooded paths in our forest. This is nice to deflect to branches and spider webs. We simple went to Home Depot to buy a sheet of plexiglass and the tool use to cut it. We then drilled small holes around the perimeter of the sheet of plexiglass with a special bit used for glass. Then we took plastic zip ties and ran them through the holes and then around the frame.


Clean up and painting.

Posted by admin, October 2nd, 2012

The fun part. I gave both my boys a wire brush (mask and eye protection) and they scraped all the rust off the old frame. We then used a spray can of flat black Rustoleum to protect the metal and prevent the rust from coming back.

We then used some painters tape (masking tape) to cut in ares of the frame we wanted to paint blue.


New Axle

Posted by admin, October 2nd, 2012

We wanted new tires and rims along with a sprocket and brakes that were not compatible with the existing axle. We bought all our new parts off the parts list provide by Spider Carts but you can create your own setup. http://www.spidercarts.com/go-kart-parts.html

Pictures below show the Axles and collars being mounted to the newly welded plate (Square with Round cut out) on the frame the along with the sprocket installation, wheels, etc.


Needing to modify the frame

Posted by admin, October 2nd, 2012

After taking the gas motor out, it was time to think on placement of the electric motor and other components such as the brakes. The frame needing some minor welding to mount the electric motor, install the new axle, rear basket to hold the batteries. We had Mark from M&R Portable Welding come to the house and do this. Unless you are trained on welding, it is best to find a good portable welder to come out. https://plus.google.com/104257005889157769491/about?gl=us&hl=en

Motor and Controller

Posted by admin, October 2nd, 2012

After stripping all the old parts off the Gas Kart, it was time to start thinking about where the electric motor would go. We purchased a heavy duty golf cart motor from D&D motors: www.ddmotorsystems.com/ The motor cost about $600 but we got one of the larger more powerful ones. About 10 to 12 hp. You also need a Controller  to match up with your motor. This is a small black box (mini computer) that is the brain of your go kart. It not only regulates the voltage to the motor but many other things such as limiting speed, safety cut offs, and 30+ other values you can program into the controller. The controllers run between $200 and $800+. Our was $500 from BOHlinger, Inc. http://www.bohlinger.biz/ and they were very helpful in setting the intial settings on the controller and match it up to the voltage (48v) and motor we had.


My two boys and I wanted a  two sedater off road go kart. We also wanted something hi-tech. We started by buying a an older Gas-Powered Go Kart from Craigslist, around $400. We then stripped everything off the frame including the Gas motor, brakes, old seats, seat belts, etc. We purchased some plans from SpiderCarts http://www.spidercarts.com/go-kart-plans.html . These plans are awesome. But for the frame we decided to go with a used frame off of Craigslist because we did not know how to weld and no one locally really wanted to take on the job. Or if they did it would be much more expense than a used frame. But the plans and site were still very helpful since they listed out all the parts your need along with great ideas on the plans.

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