My 'GoMo' GoKart

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Finished 11/11/2007 - Read the build below

View the GoMo Slide Show

New project for my Dad and me. Turning an old riding lawnmower into a go kart
After pretty much using up the mowing deck on the old lawnmower we had talked about making it into a go kart for some time. First the fenders were pulled, the seat lowered and some gearing up done as well as bypassing the governor. But it still was a little hard to use so on to the next step...
The "GoMo"

09/17/2006 Update - Pedals, fitting and waiting for pipe

09/26/2006 - Got Pipe? We do and we've gotten somewhat started

10/2/2006 - Roll Bar basics, Linked up Linkage, and Rack and Pinion

10/22/2006 - Steering, Brakes, and Clutch working along with more piping

11/19/2006 - Starts - Run - Needs Tweaking

11/11/2007 - It Lives - Finally, plus build pics

09/09/2006 - The Beginnings | Next

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The original plan..

Not really but it would be a crazy ride. Here we've moved up the transmission to see how close it can be to the engine and still allow a belt and belt clutch setup.

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This is more like it...

This is more of the plan. Rear engine drive, 5 speeds, reverse and electric start. Should make for a fun ride. The ride height will be a little higher.. actually a lot higher but it should be fun. Basically we just cut off the front and the back of the mower and will move the trans up closer.

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Rear view

Rear shot make it look like a rear engine dragster with treaded tires. We're keeping the original tranny and changing pulley sizes to get the speed out of it. We'll have a plastic or aluminum Go Kart gas tank mounted on the back far away from the seat.

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Front view

Yeah stupid pic. Dad told me he was going to put this on the Internet. Front shot looks wild too though. There will be 1 1/8" steel tubing running from the front axle back to an old axle cross member that is mounted in front of the engine. This will allow some swivel or twisting of the engine versus the front section since it will be quite long.

09/17/2006 - Pedals, fitting, and waiting for pipe | Next

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Picked up the two pedals on the left from eBay for clutch and brake. The one on the right is left over from the pedal set for the 69 Mustang. A hinge was added to the throttle pedal to allow a future cable connection.

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This is the add on lever for the brake rod activation. The rod looks like it will have a pretty clean run from the tiny rear disc used on the tranny to the front pedal mount. We really can't tell until the pipe gets here to put the front chassis together.

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The basic drive layout is as shown. The existing tensioner should work with the existing clutch control. Either cable or rod drive clutch activation will be used (likely cable for the pull needs). A 5" front pulley is planned (not the one shown since the engine has a 1" shaft) and a 3.5" rear. That combination with the 13:1 final tranny drive should provide a 9.1 to 1 final drive which is supposed to be about right for racing lawnmowers so maybe it will work here as well.

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Drilled the holes (all eight!) for the 1.5" tubing to run through for the front chassis mount. The lower cross member is the one from the mower while the one on top was picked up from a salvage yard a couple years ago. Didn't really know what we were going to do with it back then but it's worked out perfect now. The pipe will connect the front cross member with the rear.

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Here is the basic engine chassis after sanding off the paint and mocking the engine back up. We made a template of the existing motor mount tabs out of paper, flipped it around and marked/drilled the holes to mount it. The transmission mount holes are also done as well.

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This is the rear view of the engine chassis. The transmission mounts at the very end of this This is looking from the back of the future kart forward.

Waiting on pipe...
The steel pipe has been ordered but we are waiting on delivery. Ordered 12 feet of 1.5" and 16 feet of 1 1/8". The 1.5 inch is the basic chassis and will connect the two cross members together and will also be used for support across the two frame rails. The 1 1/8" pipe is for the cross over roll bar and the two front roll bars as well as for the steering system mount. Hope the pipe gets here soon so we can actually make the thing look like a go kart then.

09/26/2006 - Got Pipe? - We do and we've gotten somewhat started
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The pipe arrived - 18' or 1.5" and 24' of 1 1/8". Here is a mock up of the 1.5" frame rails. Looks like the rear mount may be a problem as there is more slack in the single bolt that we thought there would be.
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Here's the mock up in the garage with the seat blocked in about where it would go. This was needed to insure the roll bar was going to be high enough to clear a taller person sitting in it.
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Rear view of the mock up... very long...
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The aluminum gas tank also arrived.. slightly smaller than expected but it will work just fine. It has a sight tube on the front side to keep tabs on how much gas is left. We kind of like the radiation sticker... "GoMoReactive" maybe??

10/2/2006 - Roll Bar basics, Linked up Linkage, and Rack and Pinion

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The rack and pinion arrived from an ebay purchase. Not bad it seems for $34.95. The width is just about perfect for the width of the kart.
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Here the rack and pinion is laid out with the heim joints for the ends. With double heims there should be enough movement for full lock to lock steering.
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The bent pipe for the main roll bar hoop and the top bars before installation.
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Seat mounting is taken care of by a couple 1 1/8" cross bars. They drop a bit to keep the driver a little lower and look better. The mount shown is the standard riding lawnmower plate and allows about 6" of front to back seat adjustment for different size drivers.
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Work pic - Austin and Dad fitting one of the top bars in place to tack weld.
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Details of the clutch transfer linkage. Originally this was going to be run on the bottom with a push/pull setup. Austin noted that it would be easily damaged and saw we could mount the clutch pedal on the outside of the frame rail and run the linkage on top without getting in the way of the seat. This will work better linking back to the clutch bar as well.
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Pedal layout shown. The brake pedal in the middle will pull a lever that will push the small disc brake on the transmission. The pipe shown will loop around to mount the rack and pinion below the sheet metal.
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Low shot of the progress so far.