Go kart seats will keep your butt from becoming sore as the kart bounces around while driving. You can either build your own homemade go kart seat, or buy a cheap go kart seat. The cost is about the same when you factor in the vinyl cover, high density foam cushion, and other materials.
How to Make a Go Kart Seat
Making a go kart seat is kind of a pain to do. But you can make some cool seat designs that aren’t pre-fabricated. The pictured seat and adjuster was pre-fabricated as part of the go kart kit I purchased (how to make the framing is explained 3 sections down). So if you want to make your own go kart seat, here is a list of equipment and materials you will need:
- Sewing Machine with Nylon Thread
- Marine Vinyl
- Piping or Welting
- 2″ High Density Foam
- 1/2″ plywood with T-Nuts
- Tools to cut out the wood, and drill holes for the T-Nuts
I made a video about how to build a go kart seat, which explains how to use these materials in detail. If you just want to put together the seat frame for the kit you can skip this part, but for those that want to make their own, here is the video walk through:
Buy a Cheap Manco Go Kart Seat
You can buy some cheap go kart seats instead of making your own. When I built my own, it cost me about $80, plus I had to have a nice sewing machine. The ones that I could have bought are less expensive, and of equal quality. I still don’t regret making my own because of the custom look I wanted to have. If you just want a quality, inexpensive go kart seat, then you may just want to get one online.
Go Kart Seat Adjuster Bracket
The go kart seat adjuster or seat slider is what is used to move the seat forward or backward. The go kart frame needs to have two 3/16″ steel plates welded to it for the seat adjuster bracket to bolt to. The seat slider also bolts to the underside of the seat frame, connecting the seat frame to the go kart frame. The seat adjuster came in my go kart parts kit for this build. If you are just looking for a go kart seat adjuster, you can select it from the kit and order it seperately. The pictured slider is for a manco go kart, but it will work with anything you want to make.
Go Kart Seat Framing
The seat framing is what the seat and seat slider will bolt to. It is very important to get the brackets and measurements as close as possible because the seat already has holes pre-drilled in it with T-Nuts installed. Using the dimensions from the go kart plans I offer for free, the seat framing is 18″ wide, with the backrest (measuring from the outside) being 18″ tall, and the horizontal support being 12″ long. I made a cut so that the angle between the horizontal supports and vertical supports equals 105 degrees so you can lean back slightly while riding along. The cut measured on a protractor would be made at 52.5° or 37.5° for an abrasive chop saw.
The vertical (back rest) brackets should have a 14″ spacing from the hole centers. The horizontal (seat) brackets are 8″ apart (width) and about 12 1/2″ from hole centers (length) for the seat. The holes closest to the frame are for the seat sliders (see the second picture from the top above).
How to Install a Bench Style Go Kart Seat
I would recommend installing the seat just to make sure your measurements and welds were done properly, and to make sure the seat slides forward and backward. After you verify this, take the seat back off because you will need to do a little more welding and you don’t want to melt anything.
Seat: Using the hardware you bought for the seat, bolt the seat back to the seat frame with two (2x)1/4-20 x1″ bolts. Four (4x) 1/4-20×1 1/2″ bolts are used to secure the seat to the frame on the bottom.
Seat Frame to Seat Slider: Take the top four seat slider studs, and insert them under the seat frame. Secure the frame to the seat slider with four (4x) 5/16-18 nuts. It is a tight fit, so you may have to use a hand wrench for this.
Seat Assembly to Frame: Insert the seat slider over the four holes drilled into the two brackets you welded to the go kart frame. Secure the four studs from the seat adjuster with four (4x)5/16″ washers and four (4x) 5/16-18 nuts.
Your go kart is coming along nicely. You have most of the frame complete, lets focus on the steering assembly next.