If you came to this page you are probably looking for a go kart engine or a predator 212cc engine, you are in luck. I have been upgrading and building go karts for years and have some engine buying advice for the racer, or novice yard kart driver. Lets have a look at the options for performance mods & stock engines:
Go Kart Engines
Most go kart engines fall into the category of race karts, or fun / yard karts. That lines have blurred with the advent of cheap Chinese predator 212cc go kart engines.
Go kart engines can be used for racing or just putting around the yard depending on what performance parts (or mods) that you upgrade.
There are many small industrial 4 stroke engines you can use, but who cares about them. Lets skip all those, and just go straight to the cheapest, and very reliable go kart engine: the predator 212cc 6.5 hp engine.
Predator engines have destroyed the competition. Because they are so inexpensive, predator engines have opened a whole new world to go karters. They are cheap, and can easily be modified for added performance.
Predator engines literally bolt right on to virtually all standard go karts ever made. The bolt mounting pattern is universal.
If you have an old go kart you need to restore, you can simply buy a predator 212cc engine (amazon link) and breath new life into an old go kart. This engine is a performer right out of the box, and should get your go kart running anywhere from 20 mph all the way up to 35mph in its stock form. But we cant leave well enough alone can we? Let’s get to the modifications.
Predator 212cc Engine Performance Parts
Predator 212cc engines can have their stock parts removed, and replaced with performance parts (parts that increase horsepower and speed compared to the stock predator 6.5 hp engine). Here is a quick overview of what I recommend doing first.
Engines need three things: air, fuel and spark. When you add more air and fuel into an engine, you get more torque and horsepower, which is the cheapest bang for your buck.
Intake The stock air filter and intake keeps the engine from ‘breathing in’ too much air. The less restriction you have for the engine’s air intake, the more air and fuel will enter the combustion chamber. A predator 212cc high flow intake adapter and high flow air filter literally bolt on to the existing carburetor and require no more than a wrench and screwdriver to install. This will give you extra power when you step on the gas.
Exhaust The stock predator muffler keeps the engine from ‘breathing out’ too much air. If you have lots of air coming into the engine, you need to release it with little resistance for added performance. That’s when the predator 212cc performance high flow exhaust header really comes into play. You are now able to shove air and fuel quickly into the engine, and release it with little resistance, adding some serious horsepower and torque that you can FEEL when you step on the gas.
Re-Jet With all the air you are putting into the engine, you may also need to drill out the jet a little bigger. Making the hole in the jet larger will allow more fuel to enter the combustion chamber, preventing a ‘lean’ condition that overheats and destroys engines when they have the governor removed. If you have the intake and exhaust complete, go ahead and drill out the jet. Most people use between a #36 and #38 jet in conjunction with the predator 212cc performance parts. If this is something you are not comfortable doing, you can always search for a jet and install one like I did in this short video below.
Remove Governor The governor does what it is named after. It governs the rotations per minute (RPMs) of the go kart engine. Removal is kind of difficult as you will need to open up the crankcase cover, remove the governor, plug the hole you created, and hook up a direct throttle afterwards. Sound complicated? Heres a video. If you are not comfortable doing this, you can REALLY mess up an engine by improperly removing the governor, dropping lifters, or bending valves because you didn’t know what the heck the engine timing was all about and didn’t line up the camshaft dots. Does any of this not make sense to you? If so, scroll below the video for the answer.
Not mechanically inclined? Small engines are perfect to learn on as they are very simple. You can find a standard predator212cc engine online, then work your way up with mods by replacing the intake, exhaust, jet, and disconnecting the governor. It is up to you what you would like to do, and I have added just enough information here for you to get into the go kart engine scene. Good luck and have fun zooming around in your modded predator 212cc performance go kart engine!