About

Who is KartFab?

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Honda GX390 Black and Orange, KartFabHi! I’m the founder of KartFab.com. I’m here to share my knowledge of go karts. I produce sick videos of my go kart builds, restorations, and go kart maintenance tips and tricks. I also post extra pictures and inside stuff only on my social media so go ahead and follow me above.

As a child I always wanted a go kart, so my dad helped me build a wooden one from scratch! I never was able to put an engine on it (wood and engines really aren’t meant for each other). I then acquired an old ‘Tote-Gote’ mini bike and drove it until the bearings failed.

Abrasive Cut Off SAwFast forward a few decades, with the added professional experience in welding and fabrication, I built up my own hobby flipping go karts (or obsession as my wife puts it). I purchase used go karts and mini bikes, fix them up, let my kids ride them for a while, then sell them. Its always fun to peruse Craigslist in search of my next project. A few more years went by, then the hobby turned into something more.

dual engine go kartI joined DIYGoKarts.com, a forum where like minded go kart people are able to support the addiction by making some wheeled craziness, (e.g. bar-stool racers, mini-jeeps, minibikes, dual engine karts) or just answer questions about general maintenance and repair of a go kart.

go kart wheelieI have contributed to the madness there almost daily, and made a modified Manco Dingo kart that I like to call MIDAS. It has a touch of gold, polished diamond plate, and an engine that is 3 times larger than the original. This thing pops wheelies like nobody’s business and its FAST. Its not safe, but it sure is fun!

building a go kart frame from scratchRight now, I’m cooking up my next go kart video, maintenance tip, and have written up free go kart plans. Subscribe to me on YouTube (below) for some entertaining go kart videos, and follow me on your social media of choice for behind the scenes content of my next project.

Thanks for visiting kartfab.com! If you want to help contribute to this website, and my build projects, you can become one of my build supporters. Click the donation option that you want, then click subscribe to keep my youtube, go kart builds, and website updates coming!


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115 thoughts on “About”

  1. KartFab,
    First, thanks for all your videos and instructions — all very interesting, helpful and well done!

    I have a couple questions. I downloaded the free fixed axle plans, bought the steel that was listed in the plans to build the frame, and then bought the Standard Live Axle kit from GoPowerSports. I then went back to your site and paid for the Standard Live Axle plans, which I also downloaded.
    Here are my questions:

    1. I did not see in your LiveAxle instructions a list of the steel (only the hardware). As I examine all the diagrams, it seems to be basically the same as in the free fixed axle plans, except the LiveAxle diagrams also include a 3/16″ – 1″ flat bar that is used both under the motor mount and to support the steering hoop. Can you confirm if this is the only additional piece of steel needed or am I missing something? (and was there a list of steel in the LiveAxle instructions which I somehow missed?).
    2. I see on your site there is a MyAccount link but I did not get a password with my purchase confirmation. Should I have gotten a password? Other than the link to the LiveAxle instructions and the XXXXXXX password to enter the site, was I supposed to get an account for some other info available?

    Thanks again!
    Lance

    1. 1) live axle instructions have a list of the steel, it is on the 4th page highlighted in light red. Please reference that for what steel you need.
      2) You did get a password with your purchase confirmation. You just posted it to the world so I edited your reply to avoid giving it out to the internet. You received an email that is your purchase receipt/purchase confirmation with the web address and password for both the deluxe live axle, and the standard live axle versions of the plans.
      3) there are the plans that you have downloaded, then there are the webpages (1 for deluxe, 1 for standard) that you have the passwords to that have full size images of the same images you have in yoru PDF files in case you need to look at extra fine details.

      To answer your question about the standard live axle plans, no, they are not the same as the free plans. Similiar? Yes, but the motor mount, brakes, axle weldment positions, steering hoop, steering hoop brace, brake rod, and brake rod length are all different. Also, the parts for the free plans vs the standard live axle plan are different. If you want to know which one to build, please reference the plans of the one you want to build. If you want to know which parts you need, please reference the parts kit page for the parts you need to get.

      Hope that helps, and have fun with your build!

  2. My 9 year old son and I would like to make a go-Kart out of wood. With Steering wheel. Can you recommend something for us. I do not have the proper tools for welding so wood is our best option. We would also like to have it as a 2-person go kart with a easy to bolt down pulley system motor in the back. Please help us with options. searching the web has not helped much.

    1. jeff, try youtube. There is a video series about how to make a go kart out of wood. Please understand that the reason why wood is not used is because it is not sturdy, it rots, and people have made them out of wood in the past only to have them break and seriously injure themselves.

  3. I was wondering it you do custom designs for steering systems?
    I was needing a heavy duty design for my custom BBQ Pit. it weights about 500 pounds and i need to add a way to manually turn the front tires so i can load it on to my toy hauler for competitions.

    1. Ughh sounds dangerous. Wish i could help. You are probably overthinking it. Might want to look into a floor jack, or even a motorized wheel that you can steer (like the ones they use for small airplanes or trailer movers).

  4. How much would the steel cost for the deluxe live axle frame? I wanted to get the deluxe live axle kit with a 420cc engine on it but I wanted to know how much all of the parts for the frame would generally cost if I went to a steel yard.

  5. Just bought a 212cc Predator motor for my go kart.. got it all mounted and set up for the throttle. Problem I’m having is that when i start the motor the cam spins which makes the rear tire spin also.. What do i have to do so that its not spinning and just sits at idle so all i have to do is get on and go and not have to worry about the kart taking off every time i start it?

    1. adjust the throttle so the friction nut is loose (10mm nut that the throttle lever pivots on). Adjust it to idle with the black plastic screw on the top of the carb so it idles around 1600 rpm. This is below the clutch engagement rpm so it will idle just fine.

  6. My kids have downloaded your free go kart plans and purchased your kit. I’m giving them guidance on how to set thing up. They have followed your instructions and video. They are 95% complete. The instructions and videos are excellent.

    We have watched your video on installing the brake band and brakes. They are having troubles with setting up the tension on the brake band and braking. It seems it is a delicate balance between friction on the back tire and braking. On the bench, the tire stops when you press the brake. When the go kart is mock up with the tires on the ground, it does not stop very well when we push it. Can you give us guidance on how much pressure on the break band vs friction on the tire. The travel on the brake pressure is about 1/2″ because of the brake stops. Our concern is when you have the motor running and you can’t stop. The travel on the stops limits the braking power. Can you recommend how we will fix this.

    Thanks

    1. If the travel is 1/2″, then you didn’t install the pedal stops far enough away from the pedal. When installing the brake band stud you want to compress the brake band all the way around the drum, then that is the spot for the stud to be welded (with brake band compressed). The rod/pedal should hold the brake band away from the drum just far enough to where it doesn’t rub on the drum. Hope that helps! The drum on the kart I built locks up at any speed if you mash on the brake hard enough, and this is with the pedal pushed in approximately half way without the steering stops being an issue.

  7. HI there, I’ve got a vintage 60-70’s manco go kart, I was wondering if you can tell me what model it is if I send ya a few photos.
    Thank u Lee

  8. hey man love the go cart plans if you could please email me with some contact information I got a few things id like to talk to you about

  9. On the Preadator 212, is it necessary to completely remove the governor? I removed the linkage rod and springs from the governor and fabricated a linkage to get full throttle.

    1. Something tells me you already know what you need to do, and you are just trying to find an easy way out. The engine is only $100 anyway, and gambling is fun.

  10. Is it safe to run a 212cc predator engine with the filter and jet upgrade with header and add a autolite performance spark plug and 18lb valve springs

  11. Need some help. Your video on drive and driven clutch overhaul was great. I have rebuilt the clutch/torque converter and have a question. The belt surfaces on the clutch were pretty pitted, wire wheeled them and all the rust is removed, they are shiny but still pitted, not smooth. I am not sure if polishing is going to solve the problem. Is the pitting even a problem? I guess that is my question. How smooth do you get it and how.

    1. You can only go so far when fixing these up. There isn’t much you can do for pitting short of replacing it. If it runs great with the pitting and it isn’t rusted, then I’d call that a success.

    2. Hi, I really enjoy this!!!! I always wanted a kart as a kid. 59 now…… and finally have one. Would like to fix it up and would like to know where to find parts. 920- 203-2170. Thank you! Tony.

  12. I was interested in the paid plans, however the form is not submitted via SSL. I’m not comfortable filling out that level of detail and sending it via HTTP is there another way?

  13. Hi kartfab can u fabricate a camshaft that make my 16hp briggs and stratton engine to make it 4000 rpm im using it fo boat racing can u help me make my engine powerful and im planning to buy billet flywheel for my engine can I have ur phone nr or ur address thank a lot happy holiday

      1. Hi kartfab thanks for ur reply and if u know a web site for small engine cam or dynocam I appreciate ur kindness thank u

  14. I am looking to build a kart for my son. We are looking for something that is a little more off road orientated? Do you have any plans or suggestions for building this? Any info is very much appreciated!

    Thanks!

  15. how long did it take for you to make the go kart, also, do I need the live axle plans in order to build a live axle go kart?

  16. Thank You. One more question. When using the 11″ seat slides and the bigger 12″ slider braces. What position do you weld the braces at? Do you keep the 1″ 10 1/2″ measurement from the front of the cart to the front of the brace or do you move the brace forward forward?

    Richard

    1. I recently purchased the live axle plans and would like to build the standard frame with the torque converter, disk brakes and slick tires. Will the standard frame support these options or is the deluxe frame rear offset necessary to accommodate these parts? I’m essentially looking to build the deluxe model without having to use 18″ rear tires. Thanks!

  17. I bought the live axle plans, im at the bearing and live axle installation part, im assembling the live acle so i can get my brake system set up correct. I have the 4 flangettes, the bearing, the 4 split collar locks, and the 2 rigid twist collar locks, im able to tell that the twist locks have a recess in them to fit onto the lip on the bearing. My question is the orientation of the flangettes, and orientation of the bearings. Do the flangettes face lip out or lip in? And does the lip side of bearing face inward facing motor, or outwards facing tire?

    1. James, orientation of bearings and lock collars doesn’t matter much as long as you have room for it to fit and you can lock them down. Flangettes have a lip on them that goes around the bearing, so the widest part of the flangette goes over the bearing, two flangettes per bearing.

      1. Thank You. One more question. When using the 11″ seat slides and the bigger 12″ slider braces. What position do you weld the braces at? Do you keep the 1″ 10 1/2″ measurement from the front of the cart to the front of the brace or do you move the brace forward forward?

        Richard

  18. hey…I switched computers and misplaced my downloads. any chance you can email me another link? the one I have says it’s no longer valid.

    thanks!

      1. Hi,

        thanks!

        I purchased May 22, 2016 under the email address that this post is under. I’d prefer not to post it here so bots don’t pick up my info. Let me know if you can grab that from the posting.

        Scott Kornblatt

  19. Hi I wanted to do something with my grand son, Can you recommend kits orold Kart is ok to refurbish. List of stuff you sell

      1. Just a reminder, I’m still interested in a quote for a complete bolt together go kart kit when you have a minute. My zip code is 95864. Thanks

  20. Need a go kart for my son. 13hp or more. I’d like it to do 40 or so mph with a roll cage. Can you build one for us? Like to be $1500 or under.

    1. Bryan. Please don’t take offense to this, but $1500 is not even going to cover the cost of materials. Try looking at a Trailmaster 300, and you will see that what you are wanting will cost between $3000 and $5000 built in china for less than what can be done in the US. Thanks.

    1. the free plans are for a simple 1 wheel drive kart, and the paid plans are for a more advanced kart with better traction and off road capabilities.

  21. Hey…back in may I purchased the Live Axel plans, but only downloaded the Standard and not the Deluxe.

    I checked out the gallery area hoping a copy of the plans would also be there but was no so lucky.

    any chance I’d be able to confirm my transaction to get a download of the Deluxe plans?
    Thanks!
    -Scott

  22. where do I get the brake rod and throttle cable guide tab and the eyelets..do I make them, buy it or does it come in the kit.

  23. Hi – We are using a predator 212 which we modified with a straight exhaust and curved extended intake manifold in order to fit the engine inside the cart we are restoring. The governor is still on the engine. The engine is flooding and preventing it from starting. Any ideas if the flooding is related to the mods of the intake and exhaust?

  24. I’m at a loss I wanna order parts for my restore but don’t know what kind of go kart it is, I just don’t wanna order wrong parts any suggestions

  25. I’m not a “Social Media” or “Computer” guy. Do you have a mechanism for me mailing a check for the plans and you sending them in the mail?

    1. All plans are emailed in PDF form. All you need to do is follow on screen instructions when buying them with a credit card and you will get an email with the plans in them. If you dont use a credit card, you can use paypal instead.

  26. Have you ever tried to incorporate your plans with a wood frame? Similar ones to what the gokartguru is doing. I would love to buy your plans, the parts from gopowersports and build the kart from wood using gokartguru. I just don’t have access to the metal frame. But would like to buy your frames.

    1. Brett, a wooden frame go kart is possible to build. However, my plans go over the best way to build a go kart. Wood rots, and can split easily. I’m not saying it cant be done, rather, that it is a very BAD idea to make a wooden go kart. A guy almost died when his fell apart (it was built pretty solid). If you lack the skills to build a metal one, rather than trying to make one out of wood, just get on Craigslist and buy an old one and fix it up. It may end up saving you from a serious injury or death.

      1. Kart fab i have briggs 5hp flat head like the one you built and i bought all the suplies to make a bronda but i dont have a axhaust or intake manifold do sell kits or can you make me one and ill buy it of of you

        1. you can buy an intake adaptor and use a 22 mm mikuni carb, and they sell prefabricated exhausts (try torque tubes) or just google briggs 5 hp performance exhaust.

  27. Do you know where to find a 16 ga sheet metal (26″x20″ section)? I’ve looked for quite a while,and I’m having trouble finding the exact measurements listed.

    1. Mattie, google “steel suppliers near me” and just call them up, say you need to get a piece of 26×20″ 16 ga sheet metal sheared and order the rest of your tubing and plate while you are at it.

  28. i replied to you via email. Ill put a reminder on my calendar to respond to you tonight when I have access to a computer. Youtube videos area already up for the majority of the build (similar to free plans), however, live axle build videos are currently being edited and should be out within the next 2 months. The plans are very detailed and will give you all the information you need to build the kart – the special access page and youtube videos are just supplemental info.

  29. Love the plans and videos. Roughly everything invested in the cart including engine and all, how much did you spend on the completed cart? I’d like to build one for my nephew.
    Thanks, kelly

  30. Great website and thanks for all the great information. I’m looking at building a motorized picnic table. The idea is to be able to drive from the rear. I would like to build it up from your plans. Looking to seat 4-6 adults and beverages. Not looking to be racing around, just enjoy it around the campground. Questions being. 1. Do you think the steel tube that you are using will be heavy enough to support my idea? 2. Will a 6.5hp be big enough? 3. What type of clutch would you recommend? Thank you for your time.

    1. Kevin, thats a great idea. You will need to gear it for a very very low speed so you don’t burn up the clutch. You will have to achieve this through compound reduction through jack-shafts. Id say the engine and clutch are not as important as your gearing. Gearing is the key to the entire thing.

  31. Hi,
    Would you just build me a two seater frame like the one in th videos? I don’t have the stuff to build one. I can’t find one anywhere. I would like to buy one and then get the go power kit and put it together.

  32. I just bought my first kart to work on with my kids. It’s an old two seat kart with a 6hp Tecumsuh (tecumseh engine 0HH60 71157D) that isn’t running and a bolt on roll cage. From what I have read I should just take that engine off and replace it with a predator 6.5hp. Is that something a novice can do fairly easily with the help of your videos? The steering wheel shaft is also rusted to the guide tube. Any tips on breaking that loose? Thanks.

    1. yeah, the bolt pattern for a predator and tecumseh are the same. you just unbolt it, and bolt on a new one. The steering wheel shaft would need some ‘pb blaster rust penetrating spray’ or similar spray to lube it up, then just work it back and forth until it gets loose.

  33. Hi. I am reading through your deluxe plans. I was wondering what the kart can top out at with the 6.5hp Predator engine? I was thinking of building a kart to your specs but using a larger engine and 40 series torque converter. What are your thoughts?

    1. The 6.5 hp engine with 30 series torque converter tops out at 36 mph, which is pretty fast for a go kart.

      What you are talking about for the 40 series is possible, I have done it to a few old go karts. The torque that they have is unsafe for a go kart, and I do not advise doing this (especially if you are wanting to put kids on the kart-see my YouTube video “go kart wheelies”). Safety is a huge deal with go karts as they are basically a small car with no safety features.

      With that being said. If you were to choose a larger engine and 40 series torque converter, the engine mount that comes in the deluxe kit is designed for the small AND big block engines (eg 8-22 hp size 4 stroke industrial predator 420 cc, honda gx390 etc).

      The engine will fit, but how to attach the torque converter? There are two options
      1) buy a bolt on 40 series torque converter http://www.gopowersports.com/40-series-torque-converter-kit-bolt-on/#_a_KartFab

      2) build your own jackshaft setup. I have built my own jackshaft holders using DOM tubing or pipe with an ID just over 1 3/8″ and put in a 5/8″ keyed shaft and bearings for the jackshaft to hold the driven unit. Then you would need to weld it to a second plate that keeps the center to center distance fixed. The holder and plate would be one unit, the engine would bolt through that unit and the supplied mount in the kit.

      So…. With all that said… I don’t advise putting in a large engine as the way I designed it is safe and still very powerful.

  34. I purchased the Deluxe plans and received an email telling me I have access to a password protected area. How do I get into that area? Thanks, Mike O’Brien

    1. Mike,

      Thanks for the question. Basically you get two plans, the standard live axle and the deluxe upgrade. Each plan has a support page. Within the plans themselves, you scroll down to the 3rd page where it says “Password protected area of KartFab.com for extra support and pictures ” and you will find a link below that and the password below the link. The password protected area is a supplement to the plans and has many of the same pictures in the plans, but in high resolution.

  35. Kartfab (your real name?), I’m doing a CL project for my two girls, and wonder if you could tell me if this seat on a older Manco Fox Tracer LXT is installed correctly? The bolts from the top of the seat slider push up into my new seat from Gopowersports, this being my first refurb I’m a little concerned. Here’s a pic, thank you! 🙂

    – Steve

      1. The bolts are welded to the seat slider, I cannot replace them. I thought you may have seen this before on karts you’ve refurbished and sold?

  36. Hey Man great videos! what is the average coast for the steel materials and cost of hardware? i can t seem to find a steel shop around me.

    1. CJ, the steel will run you about $150 at most. The hardware will be about $30. I got all mine at tractor supply and they sell it by the pound. Try searching in google for ‘steel distributors near me’ or ‘steel yards near me’ some metal recyclers buy used/extra steel and sell it at a discount. Im lucky enough to live in dallas where any steel yard wil ship me steel for $30 + cost of materials.

  37. Wow man so talented . I only wish I could do what you do .
    I can’t seem to find on your website where you guys work out of.
    I am not looking for custom built small engine motor for a go kart but for something else all together.
    I feel you have the skills to take what I have in my head and make it real.

    Feel free to get back to me if you are interest $

    Anyways man you guys are awesome !

  38. Hey I’m putting a 18hp v-twin key start mine and I need to find a clutch that will work for it….it’s going to be engine clutch chain drive shafts no torque converter or jack shaft

  39. Do you have instructions on how to align a go kart jackshaft? I moved mine over to replace the torque converter and now the jackshaft sprocket is a little too close to the engine and out of alignment.

    Thank you

    1. You can use machine washers to fine tune alignment left and right. Also, you can ‘eyeball’ the jackshaft with the axle shaft to make sure they are parallel. Sometimes pictures are needed, so check out the forum at DIYGoKarts.com and post pics. Lots of people can help over there.

      1. I moved the shaft to the left and to the right, but every time I tighten the driven pulley, the sprocket wants to push against the engine for some reason.

        Thanks

      2. Took your advice and put a washer behind the jackshaft sprocket. Everything lined up just right and I was able to use the kart with no issues afterward.

        Thanks!

  40. How does the Manco double seat stay latched on one side? I just installed a new seat and slider latch assembly on my kart, but one side just floats around.

    Thank you

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Free Go Kart Plans, Restorations, and Maintenance