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How to Make a Cheap Go Kart

By Lindsay Haskell
Driving and racing go karts is a fun, inexpensive hobby.
kart pilot and coach image by Xavier MARCHANT from Fotolia.com

Go karts are a fun hobby to partake in with family. You can race go karts on tracks, or use them as cheap, easy, and fun modes of transportation. You can make your own go kart cheaply with tools and safety equipment you probably have at home and some supplies you can buy cheaply at any home appliance store.

Gather your tools and safety gear and purchase any materials you don't already have. Welding safety equipment includes a welding mask, gloves, and apron.

Design the plan for your go kart using pencil and paper, or print one from online for free. Ensure exact dimensions are written on it. Consider the size of the person driving the go kart. An adult driver will require more space than a child.

Remove the engine from your old lawnmower. If you do not have one, buy an old lawnmower at a flea market or yard sale.

Cut your metal tubing to the correct size according to your plan and weld it together to create your go kart's frame.

Put your go kart's steering column together. Use your 1/2-inch bar stock to create the linkage for the steering. Use your 3/4-inch bar stock to create axles for your wheels. Drill your cotter pins into your back axle to keep the assembly together.

Weld your drive pulley to the axle, and ensure it's perfectly aligned with the pulley on your lawnmower engine.

Weld the steel plate to the rear frame to serve as a mount for your engine. Place the engine on the steel plate and ensure it lines up exactly with your drive pulley. Use bolts to secure your engine in place.

Attach your throttle cable to your hand cable.

Use plywood to make a floorboard and seats. Follow the dimensions on your plan.


Things You Will Need

  • 30 feet of 1-inch square tubing
  • 6 feet of 3/4-inch round steel bar stock
  • 6 feet of 1/2-inch bar stock
  • Welder
  • Welding safety equipment
  • Old lawnmower engine
  • Drive pulley
  • Steel plate
  • Throttle cable
  • Hand cable
  • Drill
  • Cotter pins
  • Bolts
  • Plywood


  • Always wear a helmet when driving your go kart.

About the Author


Lindsay Haskell began writing fiction and nonfiction in 2008. Her debut novel, "Grace," is to be published in January 2011. Having lived in five different countries and traveled across five continents, Haskell specializes in Third World social and political issues, with a concentration in the Darfur conflict. She is currently a first-year student at Wellesley College studying history, Africana studies and English.