When you are building a go-kart, you can salvage many parts with the primary part being the go-kart engine. A go-kart is essentially a miniature car that many people use for racing. Aftermarket parts often sell at a high premium, but that fact alone should not stop anyone from enjoying go-kart racing. To circumvent the high costs for aftermarket parts, you can use a lawnmower engine. The following steps will share with you how to make a go-kart engine from a lawnmower engine.
Step 1 - Select and Remove the Lawnmower Engine
Your go-kart engine needs to have some power behind it, but it also has to be able to drive at least one to two axles, depending on if you want all-wheel drive, rear- or front-wheel drive. A push lawn mower is not suitable to be salvaged for a go-kart engine. The engine in a push lawn mower spins the blade. Automatic lawn mowers that push themselves are also too weak. The only real solution is to use an engine from a riding lawn mower. Open the hood of the mower and disconnect all of the wires and cables. Use the wrench and pliers to remove all of the nuts and bolts that keep the engine in place. Carefully remove the engine from the lawn mower with a hoist and place it on a dolly.
Step 2 - Place the Engine
Roll the engine to the go-kart and use the hoist to lift the engine and place it in the go-kart. This can either be in the back or the front, depending on the orientation of the go-kart. Either way, you need to mount the drive shaft horizontally over the rear axle.
Step 3 - Make Engine Modifications
The lawnmower engine has some issues that are easily remedied. Once the axles are ready, you can set up the new go-kart engine. Weld the yoke of the drive shaft to the output shaft on the new go-kart engine. If you are not familiar with using a welder, ask a professional to do this for you. Cut the axles to the length you need. Remove the length from the center of the axle tubes and not the end.
Step 4 - Finish Up
Install the rear box and chain to the engine. This step will cause both axles to rotate and drive the go-kart. Attach the centrifugal clutch to the go-kart engine. Attach any cables, wires, or hoses to the new engine. If you already had the oil pan and gas tank placed, you may need to modify their placement in order to make the go-kart engine work.