Vintage Go Kart Restorations

Here are a few vintage go karts that I have restored in the past, all of these are American made. The likes of which include Manco, and Bristers Thunder Kart, which were popular in the 90’s, and have since gone out of business.

Midas: The wheelie monster (Baja 200 or Manco Dingo)

Manco Dingo 13 HP off road go kart

Brister’s ThunderKart with 22″ Tires

Brister’s Thunderkart

Three 2 Seat Manco Go Karts for Kids Just in Time for Christmas

Go Kart Alley – Restoring Go Karts

I have helped restore karts in association with Go-Kart Alley, a novel by Dennis Van Vleet. He has restored many go karts to be used in an upcoming film. Check him out on facebook for the most up to date status and great pictures and video of all of his karts.

34 thoughts on “Vintage Go Kart Restorations”

  1. I have rebuilt 5 karts already but I have this same blue 2 seater and can’t find the breaks. Anyone can let me no sizing or suggestions on convertor?

  2. I have an old amusement park go kart car that I tried to rebuild and messed it up. It has a fiberglass body and a new Honda motor. I am looking for some one to rebuild it wright. Thanks Phil

  3. I am restoring a old go kart with a short axel. I can’t find anything on how to keep the wheel on as far as washers go. The axel go’s from a 1 in down to a 3/4. The wheel eventually just works off the axel? Anyone out there?

    1. Robert,
      I know this suggestion will grate against many. I live in Peru where we don’t have access to all the great go kart resources that the US has. We will typically use spot welds for that kind of thing. Later when we need to replace something on the axle we grind off the spot welds. By the way, this is for an off-road, low speed kart. I would NOT recommend that for a racing kart.
      If I were in the US I’d order a new axle with a long, deep keyway and start from the beginning.

  4. i bought a murray explorer go cat with a 420cc engine on it. the previous owner had a 20 series torque converter on it that broke and thats why he sold it lol. i already got a 40 series for it. but on the engines throttle setup he really jacked up the springs and the throttle doesnt close or open fully. any suggestion on how to set it up? im also considering buying the arc top plate, but then i need a new location for the gas tank…

  5. So where do you find engine assembly guilds? I have a predator 212 and would like to torque everything down after i put my stage 4 kit into it. Also have a snow blower that engine. Blows blue smoke. I took the engine apart and cant find a guild for what the ring gap would be. The cylinder wall looks brand new. I honded it anyways. Also what does a stage 4 predator make power wise.

  6. My son just bought a kart frame with a separate Briggs 5.5hp engine. Modifying the frame and fabricating parts are beyond my expertise. I don’t have the knowhow nor the equipment. Are there places I can take it to and tell them “make it work for me“?

  7. Hey,
    I just modded the heck out of my Predator 212 in complete disregard of needing a stronger torque converter but i do have a regular centrifugal clutch lying around.

    Do you think a regular $20 centrifugal clutch could handle 20 horsepower for at least 2 runs ?

    1. 1. You didn’t get 20 hp from “modding the heck out of a predator 212”
      2. Neither your centrifugal clutch nor your torque converter will handle a highly modified predator 212cc
      3. A bully clutch or noram cheetah clutch can handle all the modifications you could feasibly put on a predator 212cc if geared properly.
      Take your engine to a race kart shop or similiar small engine shop, and have then do a dyno run before you make outrageous 20 hp claims. Most people, if they do it right might get about 8-10 hp from their 6.5 hp predator engine.

  8. Looking to buy go kart for my son and I. I am mechanically inclined so I don’t mind wrenching but I would like to stay away from doing any serious metal fab I don’t have access to tube benders. What brand of frames are good and what should I stay away from

    1. Stay away from anything chinese, or labeled “YerfDog”. Some excellent brands would be Manco (also known as FOX in some karts), Carter, Murray, ThunderKart, and maybe a few others. Some yerf dogs are pretty fun, but overall kinda flimsy and prone to breaking due to inferior materials, build quality, and skimpy welds. If you do end up breaking down and going chinese because you cant find any quality used go karts, trailmaster and hammerhead are a decent value and they dont really have serious issues like you would see with some other chinese brands. All go karts built today are pretty much made in china. American sportworks (formerly manco) does have a few current models they make, but are kind of hard to find.

  9. Hi KartFab I messaged you on youtube maybe a day ago but for the message to make more sense I think it would benefit if i shared some pictures. How should I send those?

  10. Hello
    I need some guidance on upgrading a Chinese buggy. The buggy is a two seater with 22 rear tires. It was originally a 150c.f. with a reverse gear, however I just picked up a Honda gx340 with a tappered shaft. What do I need to complete the conversion?

    1. new 1″ live axle to the appropriate length 60t axle sprocket, 2×1″ bearings, bearing hangars, weld on axle hangars, hubs x2, rimsx2, possibly new tires, but if tires are in good shape, you can buy the right sized rims to fit the tires. Some steel tubing and a big block engine mount. Welding/fab work required. Im not joking either. This is the legit only way to do it, unless you go fix up your existing engine. Also, you will lose reverse capability. The problem is that the existing engine was internally geared different, and the sprocket is too small/non moveable. Hope you can figure it out. For the crank, you might just need to purchase a 1″ straight shaft crank. Also need to get a bolt on 40 series torque converter or fab up your own jackshaft too. 10t is sufficient for jackshaft sprocket if you dont go over 22″ tires. You can go down to 9t or 8t for jackshaft sprocket (40/41/420p) to get more torque. Max speed at 10t is 40 mph, less with the smaller sprockets.

  11. I’m making that go kart would you be able to put a roll cage on it and suspicions

    the motor will me a quad bike motor and the suspicions is from a quad bike and I will have quad bike wheels as well I have an old quad bike that i don’t use

  12. I have about 185 follow budget watch I want to get a go-cart that is someone working but is not very good so I can take it and fix it up would you think Craigslist Maybe

  13. I need help trying to find a go kart that is cheap to fix but kinda old I am 11 and have about 200 dollars saved any help?

  14. Can I get some advice on a decision to go with the single drive, vs dual drive axel? I have been building to the free (single wheel), have all the metal cut and most of the base frame welded, although not the engine mount or rear vertical bar for the engine mount plate. I have not done the rear axel either. If I wanted a dual drive / live axel, is their a height adjustment I could make on the rear (free plan) model to accommodate the additional height required for the additional sprocket, i.e. 4″ or so? I would, of course also center mount the engine. Could I simply buy the free kit parts package and maybe swap out (or add in) the additional hardware for the dual drive, sprocket, axel, bigger rear tiress? Possible? Thanks Ken (Northern CA

    1. You could buy the standard live axle parts kit package, it has everything you need and is literally the cheapest way to do it. Cant really do it cheaper.

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Free Go Kart Plans, Restorations, and Maintenance