[Kartbuilding] wooden chassis fibreglass kart

Stephen Burke sburke at burkesys.com
Mon Jun 16 20:22:22 IST 2008

Hi Rob,

I had often thought of using the metal chassis off a pedal go cart. While 
its possible, again, it would be suitable for high speed. Typically nylon 
bushings are used in pedal go carts. For high speed, bearings should be 
used throughout, from steering to king-pins to axles.

You could indeed try and use the front end and analyse the steering setup. 
The basics of the steering on a pedal cart are the same as on racing 
karts. Again however, I would only use the parts off the pedal cart for 
testing purposes only.

If your looking towards clutches and gears, you had to think and plan out 
what you want. I would recommend using an automatic centrifical clutch. 
There is no wiring up etc. It just works. See:
As for gears, I would leave these for another revision of a kart. If you 
want both a clutch and gears working, then you should look towards getting 
a small 100cc motorbike engine.

The 2hp strimmer might be usable to power a kart, however it would have to 
be geared down a lot to move a kart. As a result with an estimate of a 
1:10 gear ratio which would be required, the cart would only move 

Best of Luck,

On Thu, 5 Jun 2008, robyn young wrote:

> hey steve,
> thanks a million for  the advice. you are probably right about the speed
> because the chassis might crack or snap completely with that much power
> going through it. i am only 16 so i do need some of the advice like that.
> would it be possible to use a metal chassis off a pedal go cart. in fact
> even use the steering mechanism also. where i have a problem now is the
> clutch system. i have no clue as to how i can wire up the clutch or how i
> can manage gear selection.
> i have one more strange question to ask and that is would a 2hp strimmer
> motor be good for anything. the strimmer just broke but the motor is working
> fine so it would be great if i could use it for something.
> thanks
> rob
> On 6/4/08, Stephen Burke wrote:
>> Hi Rob,
>> You seem to know what you want to do regarding the kart. I would be a
>> little weary/cautious of achieving the speeds you mention. You are going to
>> have to give a lot of thought to the bearings, axles and steering of the
>> kart. There wont be much room for error. Also, if you are going down the
>> wooden spaceframe chassis path, you need to make sure that you do everything
>> properly. I cant even recommend or say of anyone who has made a wooden kart
>> chassis from wood and for it to achieve 60+mph. However if you are still
>> going ahead, I would suggest using a hardwood (teak or ash) for the chassis
>> with all joints glued and assembled properly.
>> I wouldn't worry too much about the fiberglass at this stage. I think it
>> would be more critical figuring out the drive, axles, bearings and steering.
>> The chassis is going to need a lot of time. As for blueprints, you are going
>> to have to get a pencil and paper and sketch out various designs yourself.
>> Again the following page has links to two chassis design pages which should
>> help:
>> http://lists.kartbuilding.net/2008-May/000556.html
>> There is more information regarding space frame design, however I dont have
>> the material in electronic format.
>> I suggest you google for off-road karts with the theme you are looking for
>> and go from there. Once you have your initial chassis shape and layout, you
>> can take things from there.
>> Best of luck,
>> -steve
>> On Wed, 4 Jun 2008, robyn young wrote:
>> hey my name is rob and i hope you can help me. i am going to build a kart
>>> using a wooden chassis and a 125cc powervalve motorbike engine. the kart
>>> is
>>> going to be relatively big as i am going to make it look like a hotrod and
>>> would need to fit an adult. if u could give me suggestions or draw me up a
>>> blueprint for the fibreglass shell/body it would be great. i also need
>>> some
>>> help with how to fit a starter motor and the accelorator mechanism. the
>>> kart
>>> will be fast and have a top speed of between 60 and 80mph (the engine in
>>> the
>>> motorbike has a top speed of 115mph and 0-60 time of 8sec). The chassis i
>>> will be making from wood will not be crude and will be a sort of space
>>> frame
>>> design with many struts. i will put a fibreglass floorpan over the
>>> chassis.
>>> i hope you can help and thanks for taking the time to read this

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