Next up is the go kart brakes. This guide shows how to attach the 4 inch brake band to the kart, fabricate the brake rod, and attach the brake rod to the pedal.
Go Kart Brake Parts Needed
When installing the go kart brake band assembly, the following parts will be required, and are part of the go kart kit that I received for the build. Links to the individual go kart brake setup are listed below if you don’t need the kit:
- 4 inch go kart brake band
- 4 inch go kart brake drum (part of the drive wheel assembly)
- go kart brake and throttle pedals
- brake pedal return spring
Other materials needed to install the go kart brakes that aren’t in the go kart parts kit can be purchased at any hardware store such as a farm implement or big box store. I also got my steel at a steel distributor. You can get small amounts of steel at most hardware stores as well, but it does cost more.
- (2x) cotter pins (1/8″ and 5/32″)
- (1x) clevis pin (3/8″x 1 1/4″ or cut a ‘universal’ pin to 1 1/4″)
- (1x) 5/16-18 nut
- (1x) 5/16-18 x 2″ bolt
- (3x) 1/4″-20 nuts
- (2x) 1/4-20 x 1″ bolts
- approximately 6 feet of 1/4″ steel round bar
- approximately 7 inches of 3/8″ steel round bar
- approximetly 2 square inches of 3/16″ steel plate
Brake Band Retaining Stud Fabrication
Cut a 2 1/4″ section of the 3/8″ round bar. This will serve as the stud that the go kart brake band will pivot on as you step on the brake pedal. The retaining stud placement is important. Any small variance in position could make the brake band rub on the brake drum when driving. When I installed the retaining stud, I clamped the 4 inch go kart brake band over the drum, then tacked the stud into place with the drive wheel assembly installed and the stud over the brake band. The spot where the retaining stud ended up is pictured below:
The edge of the dead axle tubing measures 1 1/2″ from the center line of the retaining stud. The stud lines up exactly parallel to the axle, being flush with the inside edge of the frame. I drilled a 5/32″ hole where the brake band should go for the cotter pin to go through.
Go Kart Brake Pedal Assembly
The go kart brake pedal assembly process includes involves cutting out the pedal stops. The pedal stops hold the brake rod in its ‘off’ position, as well as preventing the pedal from contacting the tie rods when depressed. You will need the associated nuts, bolts, go kart brake pedal, and return spring when assembling the pedal.
First, cut two 2″ sections of 3/8″ round bar, then weld them onto the kart frame. The first bar measures 1/2″ from the outside edge of the front axle to the outside edge of the round bar. The distance between the two round bars is exactly 1 3/8″. Ignore the discrepancy in the plans vs the picture. I already welded something else on it, only to realize the 3/8″ round bar was much easier to use and would fit the return spring much better.
Brake Rod Fabrication
Now that you have the brake band pivot stud and the brake pedal installed, you can fabricate the go kart brake rod. Here are the steps:
- Tack weld the brake rod guide tab onto the kart. This is needed to keep the brake band from rubbing on the brake drum when the pedal is in the resting position, as well as keep the band from moving left or right when the pedal is depressed.
- Drill a 3/8″ hole in the 3/16″ plate. This will fit onto the cotter pin and join the go kart brake rod to the brake band. Grind off any excess steel, and weld it to the end of your 1/4″ round bar.
- Insert the clevis pin into the other end of the go kart brake band, including the end of the brake rod in the center. Secure the clevis pin and brake rod with the 1/8″ cotter pin, but don’t bend it into place yet, this will be done after the kart is painted.
- Hammer the 1/4″ round bar used as the brake rod material. Use a vise to hold the bar as you shape it to conform with the go kart frame. Then slide the round bar through the guide tab.
- Drill a 1/4″ hole in the 3/16″ plate and grind off any excess steel. This will be used as the other end of the brake rod that attaches to the pedal.
- Adjust the brake rod so that the band is close to the brake drum when the pedal is in its resting position. Use a clamp to hold the brake rod to the plate, and operate the pedal to make sure everything lines up.
- Weld the brake rod to the plate. Make the final welds to secure the brake rod guide tab as well.
Now that you have the go kart brake assembly and setup complete, its time to focus on the throttle assembly.