Tools Needed to Build a Go Kart
A welder is a must have for building a go kart frame. To weld properly, you will need a little practice on some scrap metal. Learning how to weld is like learning how to draw. It takes a little practice, but once you have it down, you can make something amazing! The two basic welders that are most commonly used are wire feed, and stick. The wire feed welder (above) is a MIG welder that uses 75%Ar/25%CO2 mix. Inexpensive wire feed welders, such as these welders found on ebay will also do the job and don’t require a shielding gas. Stick welders are a little harder to weld with, but are also inexpensive.
An angle grinder is by far the best tool to have as it can do so many things. I used this almost exclusively for all of my tubing cuts with a metal cut off wheel (pictured on grinder), and all of my plate cuts were done with the cut off wheel as well. You can get an angle grinder on ebay with this link. The wire wheel is used to remove surface rust and burrs. The grinding disc is used to grind down some welds, and bevel edges. The sanding wheel is used to polish up and round the steel.
A drill was used to drill holes for the pedals, steering wheel, throttle cable, brake rod, seat, steering shaft, Pitman arm, and mounting brackets for the seat. You can get a 1/2″ cordless drill from ebay as well.
Measuring Tools were used to level and position the frame, and mark angles to be cut. The level was used to make sure the frame was level, the square was used to keep the frame square, tape measure for checking distances, protractor for angles other than 90 degrees, and the razor blade was used to mark the steel for visibility when cutting.
Go Kart Parts Kit
I got my go kart parts kit to build the kart in a package from gopowersports. They were kind enough to work with me and make a kit available on their website when they found out I was going to make free plans available and a step by step guide (what go kart parts supplier wouldn’t right? – I contacted others, but they didn’t respond so there ya have it). I already got a lot of my parts from them anyway, and I made sure that they would make the parts much less expensive than if somebody were to go out and buy them separately. The below parts are what I ended up figuring out I needed for the kart with all the hardware too (the rims come grey).
Its your choice to get whatever parts you want because the plans list them out individually, but the kit is there and all of the parts will work perfectly with the build! Tires, rims, seat, motor mount, drive wheel, clutch, sprocket, chain, throttle cable, bearings, tie rods, spindles, spindle brackets, steering wheel, kill switch, seat slider, return springs, and heavy duty gas and brake pedals – all of which would be a royal pain to get separately – you can thank me later by sending me a picture of your finished kart, or thumbing up all of my cheesy videos on youtube.
Steel Needed To Build a Go Kart
The steel you need to build a go kart can be broken down into steel tube with its associated thickness (also known as gauge), sheet metal, round bar, angle iron, and steel plate. Some good places to buy go kart steel materials are at your fingertips, just search for “steel distributors near me” or “steel suppliers”. For this particular kart, I used the following materials for the frame:
- 12″x12″x3/16″ mild steel plate (brackets, mounting tabs)
- 1″x1″x11ga square tubing, 50 feet is more than enough
- 26×20″x16ga sheet metal, for the floor pan
- 3/4″x11ga round tubing, 18″ section used for the steering shaft
- 1″x1″x1/8″ angle iron, a 1″ section was used as a steering stop.
- 3/8″ round bar, a 36″ section for throttle and brake pedal stops, brake band mount, and the passenger side foot rest
- 1/4″ round bar, a 60″ section was used for the brake rod.
Go Kart Hardware
Nuts, bolts, washers, spacers, cotter pins, and a clevis pin are all hardware that will be needed to assemble the parts kit to the go kart frame you will be building. You can take the build plans to your local hardware store and spend about $20-$30 USD for all hardware in one stop. I got mine at a local farm implement store.
The exact hardware with lengths, quantities, and locations of assembly are in the go kart plans, but here is a quick rundown of the hardware.
- 5/8″ nuts and bolts are used for the axles
- 1/2″ nuts and bolts are used for the spindles
- 3/8″ nuts and bolts are used for the steering assembly
- 5/16″ nuts and bolts are used for engine mounting, pedals, seat slider, and drive wheel assembly.
- 1/4″ nuts and bolts are used for mounting the brakes and throttle linkages to the kart pedals, kill switch, steering wheel, and seat to seat frame.
- A clevis pin and cotter pins are used to mount the brake band to the frame and brake rod.
Well, now that you have all of your materials out of the way, let’s get down to cutting up your newly acquired steel with that angle grinder.