Go Kart Materials

go kart materials
Here is a list of all the tools, parts, and materials needed to build a go kart.

Tools Needed to Build a Go Kart

millermatic 211 gas mig welder

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 on amazon 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.

dewalt 4.5 inch angle grinder

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 amazon here. 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.

makita drill and drill bit set

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 amazon as well.

level, tape measure, square, protractor, razor blade

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

go kart parts kit for kartfab build

I got my go kart parts kit to build the kart in a package from a reputable go kart parts store. 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).

heavy duty go kart pedals and seat slider parts

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

go kart steel thickness

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

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.

Plans | Materials | Cut | Frame | Axle | Floor | Engine | Seat | Steering | Brakes | Throttle | Extras | Paint | Final Assembly |

133 thoughts on “Go Kart Materials”

  1. Hello kart fab, I recently purchased plans for standard and deluxe karts. I looking to use these please to build a kart to accommodate 2 full sized adults basically(both around 5’8” in height). Do you think the plans as is will he enough room or do you recommend adding length somewhere. Please advise on this situation.

  2. Outstanding instructions and kit. Thank you for that.

    Does the steel supply list shown in your pdf, allow for the update from 8″ to 11″ slider? I am getting ready to order my steel and I wanted to check on that. If not, how should the steel supply list be updated to accommodate for the 11″ slider?


    1. Thanks for asking that question Chad. That is also my wondering.
      Take care. If you have heard back please let me know. Take care.

  3. Your plans for the deluxe list a 5/8 x 1 ” spacer for the front spindles and 3/4 x 1″ spacer for the steering shaft. I’m having trouble figuring out what these are. Are they like the steel spacers, and if so, what are the ID OD and length? If not, are they like washers? The 2.5 in flat washer for the steering wheel doesn’t list an inner diameter. I’ve been searching this stuff on Menards, Home Depot, Lowes, etc. Didn’t want to be the loser that had to contact you but I can’t find an answer. Can you explain?

    1. the spacer for the front spindles keeps the tires from rubbing on the spindle bracket. I used a piece of tubing that had roughly a 5/8″ inner diameter (3/4″ 16ga tubing) and cut it to a 1″ length. The steering shaft spacer just needs to have an inner diameter of 3/4″ so the shaft can slide through it, and be approx 1″ in length. The flat washer for the steering shaft just needs to be big enough for the steering wheel to bolt to, and a 2.5″ flat washer from the hardware store is a perfect fit. The reason why i dont list an inner diameter, is because it doesn’t matter what the ID is. It just welds up to the shaft. I went to tractor supply and walked in and bought every single piece of hardware in one stop. They sell it by the pound and it is way less expensive than getting online. home depot is the last place on earth i would shop for bolts washers. Lowes is good, mernards is good, ace hardware is better, and tractor supply is better.

  4. Love your site. I live in Peru and have a teen son and daughter. We plan to build a go kart based on your plans.
    I don’t have access to your providers but I have good resources.
    What would you say is the most important, first purchase, for the go kart? I thought it would be the engine. I’m looking at a Honda 9hp.
    Let me know your thoughts.
    Jens Erickson

  5. How do u attach the gear to the axle? I’m doing my own go-kart plan but I’m not sure how to do that part.

  6. Hi
    Can i have your plans in CM please? Because in inch its difficile for me. For example how much is 5 3/4″ in centimètre

    Thanks for your help

    1. well take 5 3/4″ and turn it into 5.75 and take 5.75 and times it by 2.54:

      (2.54 cm in 1 in)

      5.75 in x 2.54 cm = 14.61 cm

  7. Do u have any suggestions on tires I’m only 12 and I’m building my own kart by myself so I need some suggestions

  8. Hey KarFab, I’m in my last year of school and my friend and I plan to try and make a semi budget go kart with a decently powered motor, most likely a shifter with foot clutch. Id just like to ask you, if you could estimate, what would you say something like that would cost to build?

  9. I’m a high school student who’s running a project to build a go-kart but my school requires a 3D model of it. I have Solidworks on my laptop and was wondering which design you would recommend making to make the Kart cheaper but reliable. If possible do you have the plans stored as a CAD file that I could download to show your original plans without me needing to replicate them? Thanks!

    1. Your school requires a 3D model of it and you just want to copy mine? Sounds like you need to put in some work on your own to earn the grades instead of plagiarizing someone else’s work. I give out my plans freely for the one hweel drive go kart, but they are in fact copywrited. Good luck with your project, and I know you will do well if you just put in the effort to do it yourself.

    1. I would aid like a list. My 14 years has a frame (typical frame (exactly the frame from places your rent go karts) and need a list of parts. We don’t know where to start and in what order

  10. i dream about having a go kart personally made by me like you. i admire those people who can afford, have it and make it and off course enjoying making it. but as for me it just a dream hahahha 😀 😀 its too expensive for me for poor people like me.

    1. my nephew was too poor to do anything, then he got a job and gets paid minimum wage and is able to afford things he once thought he never could. To make your dreams a reality, think about what you could do to earn money, then make a plan on how you are going to do that, and then DO IT!!! You will be proud of yourself once you actually do what it takes to accomplish your dreams. We have all been there, including myself.

  11. Hello. I am 15 and wanting parts for christmas. I cannot weld, and am not allowed to learn to weld. Is there any way that I can build a kart with a 212cc 6.5 predator, without welding? i only have simple tools like ratchets and sockets and stuff like that.

  12. The pictures of the parts cut out look like a CAD drawing. Can I download a DXF or SVG, or CAD of the cutout so I can get them cut on a CNC plasma?

    1. You can take the list to a real hardware store and get the hardware. Places like tractor supply, ace hardware, and Lowe’s are a good place.

  13. I’m planning a plywood body around a kart for the kids…I’m having trouble around the drive wheel since the sprocket and brake drum are mounted just inside the tire. I’d like those parts to be hidden by the body. I see the live axle has a more centered sprocket which would make this easier for me. Is there a way to mount the fixed axle sprocket and brake drum more towards the center of the body to hide it better?

    1. yeah, you just weld the bolt for the fixed axle wherever you want it to go. Or, you could brace up a “live axle” version that acts as a 1 wheel drive, using the same diameter rod as the fixed axle bolt.

  14. Hey,dude did you afford a $450 go kart kit? lol lol lol lol lol I’m not sure if you afford it. I like the one orange

  15. I have a quick question? I’m intrested in building a go kart and using your plans, but the only thing is i dont know how much to cut each steel?

  16. i will make a go kart. but i have confused that how i assembled brake lines in disk brake and how the master cylinder is attach with frame and pedals

    1. Yes, but I will not show how to, just tell you. First you buy a comet FNR gearbox, and you attach the driven unit of a comet 30 series torque converter to it and you can then reverse after fabricating a bracket and attaching a lever for FNR.

    2. A quick question about hardware. Does it matter if it is zinc, galvanized, or etc. For the nuts and bolts?

      1. Grade 5 or grade 8 will work. Id shoot for grade 8 on the axle bolts, the rest can be grade 5. Most bolts are zinc plated (galvanized).

  17. Hey, I am trying to plan the go kart I’m about to build, but I’d like some imput, I was wondering what axle kit is best for me, I was thinking of using a drift trike axle kit would be fine since it is the rear, my neighbor used one for his drift trike so I have seen and worked on them once or twice. I like and extremely prefer the axle kits that drive both rear wheels.

    1. Antonio, actually you will be missing half of the equipment needed to build the go kart if you do a drift trike kit, if you look at my live axle plans page, you will see a link to a complete live axle kit that lets you choose between front springer suspension, transmission, brakes, tire size etc so that should meet your needs there. Heres the link to it http://kartfab.com/live-axle-go-kart-plans

  18. If I want to upgrade to (only) torque converter from the standard live axle plans, the directions state to follow the deluxe plans for the frame. Would the rear 6″ tires will make the cart lower in the rear? Maybe I’m missing something?

    1. Yes you are missing something. Deluxe plans have the axle higher up and a different frame. No big deal though, you can opt for standard live axle plans and the smaller tires. The go kart will accelerate pretty quickly, but top out at maybe 30 mph iirc.

      1. That was my original intent (standard live axle plans) and upgrade from c-clutch to TC.
        The instructions seemed to point to needing the deluxe frame if TC was used.

        Do I need the deluxe frame to fit the TC?

  19. Hello, I live in Kingston in Canada,
    And I was wondering how much it would cost to have your go cart kit shipped to us. Also how much would you charge extra to include all the parts necessary to fully build the go cart. Thanks

    1. Kian, you will need to click on the link to the kit, then fill out your shipping information to estimate shipping. I do not sell the kit, just link to it.

  20. I recently acquired an old rusty Bird Engineering go kart frame from a buddy at work. My sons,7&5 helped me strip the frame,prime it and paint it. We used a 212 predator,12t hilliard extreme duty clutch,60t rear sprocket,6 inch rims and tires,etc. every part new. We learned how to weld,grind,etc. Its been a lot of fun. Just wanted to say thanks as this site and your videos helped us tremedously! Thanks again.

      1. It’s nice to see that someone was considerate enough to thank you without wanting you to do all the work. Trouble with kids these days, they’re too lazy to do their own work with the research etc.. , and never grateful enough for the advice to at least thank you. I’m just putting that out there. Maybe it will do good for at least 1 or 2 of them then I feel it helped out someone.

        1. By the way. I’m about done with my project. GSXR600 on a modified go kart. Ridable. Waiting for header to finish exhaust. 120 mph so far.

  21. I am glad to see someone is willing to share a great idea. My question is I have a old suzuki 4 wheeler with no clutch and a shaft drive will your frame design handle the torque load that engine produces?

  22. Did you have any trouble in building the kart also, do you anyone or has anyone contacted you to tell you that they tried and succeeded in building the kart?

  23. What size engine do you feel is best for your design. I have a 100cc Honda horizontal shaft that I want to use for a kart… Seems too small? Looks like you run 200cc plus? Any 2-stroke engine frames that you’ve designed? Thanks for all the great insights. I just have a nice gx100 that is like to build into a kart, but feel it may be too small…

    1. yeah, 100cc is the lowest id go on a kart like that, only with small kids. Those smaller engines also use a 5/8″ shaft instead of a 3/4″ shaft iirc.

  24. I have a Briggs & Stratton engine from a power washer want to convert it from a vertical motion to horizontal motion to make a go kart do you have any plan on how to change it ??

  25. Dear Kart Fab, The only thing that I will need materials for is the steering, Brakes, Throttle and seat what parts would I need for those Four things
    Thank you!

  26. I want to use a higher power engine like a 420 cc, the mount might have to be changed slightly, but will everything in the kit be compatible? If you could give me a better engine or one that would work with this set other than the 212 cc engine.

    1. Ive got a 210cc 7hp, was running a cpr sports dry clutch. Was alot of fun, but sux on hills. Instead of buying a bigger motor, I got rid of the dry clutch, standard air filter, standard exhaust and got a torque converter, performance exhaust, pod filter and bigger jets for the carby and some stronger springs…. huge difference. Going to change sprockets to get better top speed. You can get alot of acceleration and top speed out of the small motors if you do abit of home work. I had a pretty small budget, and got more fun/power then i expected out of the easy changes. Hardest part was lining the motor up after adding the torque converter, and that is pretty easy to do with little knowledge

  27. hey…. can uh tell me the best material for making chassis …
    the one which is lighter n good in strength and is not too costly….

    1. Yeah, it’s in the plans (11 ga 1″ tubing) or you can get 14 ga tubing but that is as thin as you should go. The front and rear axles should be 11 ga though.

  28. You do a very good job of explaining everything. Wish I would have looked here before I spent money and other plans. I’m going to try my luck on a Motorized Drift Trike for the grandkids. I’ve been watching many Youtube videos and I think I can improve on what I have seen. If it works I’ll send you what I have and you can Critique it, and make it better.Thanks loads and hopefully you will hear from me soon…

    1. Cool! Let me know how it goes. I’m in the initial stages of planning. One major flaw is that motorized drift trikes have their center of gravity too far back.

    2. This is a good chance for student because they got lot of ideas for that go kart SPECIALY I THANK YOUR kartfab.com Web site

    1. Yeah but you will need to make sure it is thick enough (how thick I don’t know). You will also need to weld tabs to the kart to bolt the aluminum to the kart (I’m assuming you already knew this but this is for those that may think you can weld aluminum to steel).

      1. I didn’t know that! Ha-Ha I’m so new to this whole thing, I don’t know what I don’t know! But that said, I have watched these videos over and over and I’m learning more all the time. I’m quite concerned about my ability to make straight tubing cuts with the angle grinder. Any tips?

    1. The go kart kit that you need to get has everything you need in it for the plans. The kit uses a stronger chain. Its not just strength, but chain size. If you were to get the 60t sprocket, the #35 chain would not work as it is too small of a pitch.

    1. nope. But there is a slot in the seat so you could add a roll cage and seat-belts to the kart if you wanted to with your own ingenuity. This go kart is like an old school go kart, not a buggy.

  29. your site content is very informative ,but please help me out to select either square tubing or a cylindrical pipe for frame and of which material (i.e; aisi4130 ,mild steel ,etc)

      1. Hey man can u help me regarding steering system material for gocart,,which materials are suitable for steering system ?

        1. That’s me as well. I stumbled on to Kartfab.com and have been totally inspired. Going to look for steel material right now!

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