Well, it's time to start on something a little different. I'm a bit tired of PIC programming and PCB design after getting the Arcsin into production, so it is time for a mechanical project. The kids are just as excited about this as I am, so sit back, relax and take a look at how to build a rather cool electric go-kart!

Tech Specs:

  • Motor: 24V Wheelchair motor donated by fellow CNC enthusiast Robert.
  • Controller: Curtis 1204 Golf-kart controller donated by Brian.
  • Drive: Chain to wheel
  • Power: 2-12V deep-cycle marine batteries
  • Top speed: 2-4mph adjustable with a pot so I can slow it down for the kids and speed it up for me!

    The go-kart started out as three sticks of 1" x .065" chrom moly tubing. I paid for 1" mild steel tubing, but when I went to pick it up, they were out. So, they offered to give me chromoly at the same price. SCORE!!!


    I picked up a 12 ton tubing bender from Harbor Freight for $70 on sale. It is kind of over kill for this project, but I can always convert it into a press when the go-kart project is complete.


    Welded up the base frame the other night. I've built this thing in my head at least 10 times, so it is really going together exactly how I imagined it would.


    After a few hours at the bender and tubing notcher, here is what we have so far. Not too bad for 3 hours of work. The steering really turned out sweet thanks to Northern Tool and Equipment. I picked up the spindles, axles, wheels, and steering parts from them and I'm quite pleased with the quality of the parts.


    I still have to weld up the back-end of the kart, but it is really shaping up. I spend the rest of the afternoon pushing the kids around in the backyard.


    It was tricky getting all of these angles to work together, but somehow, I managed to eye-ball it close enough.


    A piece of MDF for a seat is good enough for now. I'll mess with the upholstery and foam seats later.


    My Lincoln Mig welder works like a charm on this Chromoly. The cool thing about a wire-feed is that you can fill up the gaps quite easily when you screw up with the notcher.


    Amazingly symmetrical even though I eye-balled all of the angles!


    This is the first time out on the go-kart and it was very cool. Jesse and Joey absolutely loved it! Starting off was a bit rough because I had to just touch the wire to the battery terminal and it really jerked into motion. It is much smoother now that the Curtis controller is installed. Thankyou Brian from BnB Submersibles for the nice controller and throttle pot! Check out Brian's site here: Bnb Submersible Systems


    The kids are really interested in trying to figure out how to drive this thing. They have no concept of wheels and direction, but I'm sure they'll learn fast.


    The go-kart is going to provide a lot of fun for us as the kids learn to drive.


    Joey takes the wheel, ready to go.


    Chain drive directly to the wheel. This setup has loads of torque and and you can just barely hear the motor. Thankyou Robert for the motor!


    The Curtis 1204 controller is currently strapped to the battery boxes. I have lots of wiring and welding to do still, but I just had to give it a drive to see how it would work. I am impressed! Thanks for the controller Brian!


    Golf kart throttle pot laying on the nice comfortable seat.


    Jesse had his paint brush all ready to help with the paint job. He ended up playing with the sand blaster gun more than anything.


    After a hitting all of the welds with the sand blaster and then giving the frame a once over to rough it up for the primer, I laid down the industrial primer in several thin coats.


    Amazing, but there was actually a breeze this morning. It has been over 100 for what seems like a month now, so it sure was nice to wake up to nice cool 60 degree morning.


    I then laid 3 coats of blue paint onto the frame and let it dry for several hours. Then I put the wheels back on and got the rolling chassis ready to go.


    This thing turned out looking like a mini sand rail more than a go kart, but the kids and I sure like it!


    I can't wait until they are older and we can put a YZ125 shifter motor on this thing!