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  • Go Kart Fun!

     Elliott updated 1 hour, 25 minutes ago 6 Members · 55 Posts
  • 123Toid

    Administrator
    August 21, 2021 at 2:36 am

    Well I thought I would tell you guys about a new project I have going on. I was bored this week during my vacation and looked and found this awesome go-kart frame for a really good deal. Unfortunately it had no motor. No worries I’ll just add one. Here’s what the frame looks like. 

    It’s actually in excellent condition. It came from a go-kart called a crossfire 150. It was just an inexpensive Chinese go-kart, but they did a really good job with their frame. Especially the suspension in the front. It’s definitely a lot better than most of these other go karts. Also my friend Robbie just showed me that the front tires are on backwards. So I guess I’ll switch  those around. Whoops.

    I didhave to buy an engine for it and since this is going to be for my kids as well, I just decided to get the harbor freight predator 250. 

    Nothing real special here. It’s about $150 and is used quite often in go-kart builds. They actually sell quite a few upgrades for it is it’s really a clone of a Honda engine that’s used quite often. I will have to do a few tricks to it such as removing the governor putting a spring on it to return it back to the off position when you’re not pressing on the accelerator and rotate the pull start to the back side of the motor.

    I’m hoping to have this completed in about 3 weeks. But I don’t know how to weld yet, so I’m going to have to rely on the welder’s time frame. He’s going to have to weld me on the mounting plate for the go-kart motor. I’ll show you some of the unique problems I have using this motor on this frame on another post. But I hope this will be a lot of fun for me and the kids. 

  • TVOR-Ceasar

    Member
    August 21, 2021 at 4:24 am

    Nice find. Those Harbor Freight engines are good utilitarian units, open to many mods. Plus they’re “inexpensive enough” that if you hurt it, it won’t hurt your wallet. Been watching any channels for inspiration? 

    Oh man, I haven’t welded in years. Once I got past the Pigeon poop phase, I could lay down a decent bead with a cheap old Sears stick welder. Fun days. Keep us posted.

  • 123Toid

    Administrator
    August 21, 2021 at 9:36 am

    @tvor-ceasar 

    The sad thing is I have a welder, but I haven’t actually attempted to weld anything yet. I feel like something as important as whether the engine will stay on or not is probably not the best thing to weld first. So I’ll probably leave this one to the professionals. 

    I’ve been watching a few different YouTube channels. I’ve been watching a lot of cars and cameras. https://youtube.com/c/CarsandCamera

    I also found this great video that goes over how to remove the governor without having to internally remove it. Although I would have been happy to internally remove it if it was necessary.

    I also found this video which kind of goes over how to set up the predator engine when you get it. Such as removing the oil sensor and a few other things.

  • TVOR-Ceasar

    Member
    August 21, 2021 at 12:14 pm

    ^^ I see 3 of the channels I had in mind – Cars and Cameras I’ve watched for years now. Also suggest Grind Hard Plumbing, Build Break Repeat, and Vasily Builds. There’s a ton more out there. 

    Yeah, the engine mount is kinda important, and would be best left to someone with experience. 😁 You can practice laying down a good bead on some scrap, reserving the decent stuff for when you are more confident. Just remember to  go in tiny circles with the rod or wire, like you have a slight tremor in your hand. That’s how they get those little waves in the weld. Then practice on depth of weld, because that’s what actually holds it together. I bet you’d start laying down an acceptable bead by the end of the first day, if not by the middle of that day. It’s a good skill to have. You never know when you’ll have to fix something on the kart or tractor/mower/car etc.

  • 123Toid

    Administrator
    August 23, 2021 at 7:07 am

    @tvor-ceasar 

    I think that’s a good idea. I’ll probably go ahead and start practicing on some scrap outside. I do have to get some welding sticks though. But I really do want to learn how to weld for a lot of reasons. So I’ll probably go ahead and take your advice.

    I did do some more work on the go-kart. It didn’t take any pictures, but I took off some old engine mounts that we’re going to get in the way of the new engine. I also took off the old wiring harness that is no longer needed. And I tested out the gas tank that came with the crossfire originally. They had a secondary gas tank wired to it, so I was thinking that maybe the original leaked. But after doing a leak test, it actually is fine. 

    I I did go ahead and remove the gas tank on the harbor freight engine. I got to say it looks a lot meaner without that gas tank on top. I do think I’m going to go ahead and order a different air filter. I think it’s going to end up being necessary due to the way it’s going to sit in the frame. Well I’m at it, I’ll probably just order a new exhaust as well. I already have a new jet for the carburetor. So I have a few minor upgrades to it. 

    The torque converter should be here tomorrow and the engine mount the day after. Then hopefully I can figure out exactly how I need to mount this. If I have everything that I need I’m going to go ahead and take it over to the welder this week. If not, it’ll end up being next week.

     

  • TVOR-Ceasar

    Member
    August 23, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    Quick question.

    On the Predator, doesn’t the output shaft go on the left (left leg) side for normal rotation? If so, you’ll have to flip the sprocket assembly around on the axle to get things to line up, and take that into account when setting up the engine mounting plate for welding, along with any chain tensioner assembly. Can’t hurt to check rotation.

    (Also, new engine, don’t forget oil. 😀 )

     

  • 123Toid

    Administrator
    August 23, 2021 at 11:06 pm

    @tvor-ceasar 

    You’re absolutely right. But I’m going to do something just a little bit different. It’s kind of funny though, my dad said well you just flip the motor around. My response, because I don’t want to go backwards all the time LOL. But what you can do instead is actually buy a jack shaft and extend it the opposite way. So instead of having the gear in the normal spot on the torque converter, you actually buy a much longer Jack shaft. This Jack shaft will actually go out the right hand side and the drive gear will connect to that. And that will allow you to now have your drive gear right in line with your sprocket depending on the size of the jackshaft you get. Here’s a good picture of what someone else did. I might have another issue though, I’m not sure until I actually get the engine mount on as well as the torque converter. My main concern now is that the frame might get in the way. I know I can work it out, I’m just not sure exactly how until I see it. 

  • 123Toid

    Administrator
    August 23, 2021 at 11:25 pm

    I might end up having to replace the air filter and exhaust as well. I’m just not sure that they’re going to fit very well with as far back as I’m going to have to move the motor. It’s not a real big deal, I was planning on doing it anyway. I just wasn’t sure if I was going to do it right away. I just might end up doing it sooner than later though.

  • Zarbo Audio Projects

    Member
    August 24, 2021 at 3:40 pm

    That looks like a lot of fun. Both the building and the riding. 

    Speaking of welding… This HFT welder… Flux 125 Welder (harborfreight.com) Is a pretty good unit… I have the 90 amp wire feed version they stopped selling awhile back, but it’s basically the same thing as far as how it works. 

    You would be amazed at how easy it is to weld with this thing. It never sticks like a stick welder, and it’s very intuitive to adjust the amperage and feed rate to get good penetration without burning holes in even sheet metal. I was amazed how nice of a job it did and the quality results I got for so little money. I think you could get 1/4″ thick stuff to hold well with multiple passes.

    I have welded thicker than 1/8″ stuff onto my lawn tractor and it’s held perfectly. 

    I see the wisdom in getting a pro welder do some of the heavy duty stuff, I do that sometimes too for  beefier pieces that need to be Tom-Proof, but for almost everything else, I’m able to do it with my little 90 amp wire feed.

    Just trying to help you spend your money. 🙂

    TomZ

  • 123Toid

    Administrator
    August 24, 2021 at 8:44 pm

    @zarbo-audio-projects  thanks tom, I might have to look into that. As of right now I do have a welder that was given to me from a gentleman that was clearing out the small airfield by my house. I have yet to use it and it is a stick welder so I’m sure it’s going to be fairly hard. But I might get some material and test it out. The thing that kind of stinks about it is it’s a 220 volt, so I do have to run an extension out of my shop. So it is a little bit harder to hook up.

     I did get the torque converter in today. It looks like I’m going to have to really finagle how I mount this. I might end up having to get a few aftermarket parts that Orient themselves a little differently, that way I don’t have to cut into the frame that protects the motor. But I’m going to go ahead and mount it tonight and take a look at what I think is going to be an issue. Maybe I can somehow figure out a way around it.

  • TVOR-Ceasar

    Member
    August 25, 2021 at 12:47 am

    @123toid If you learn to weld well with a stick/arc welder, the other types of welding come that much easier. (Lincoln is a good brand)

    If you need more room for the engine, width wise, you could relocate the shocks outward by about an inch or so each side. Use a long rod that just fits though the mounting holes, some spacers and castle nuts w/cotter pins to hold them in place. If there’s flex in the rod, you can put a mid mount under the engine mount plate to stiffen it up, and do the same with the top rod via the crossbar where they are mounted. Actually easier than cutting and re-welding/fabricating all new mounts.

  • 123Toid

    Administrator
    August 29, 2021 at 3:59 am

    @tvor-ceasar 

    Those are great points.  It’s not really room for the engine that I am most concerned with, but more the size of the sprocket I can use due to the welded part of the frame. I am going to have to go with a smaller chain and I am not sure how that will do. I have come to the conclusion that if this engine doesn’t work well, I will go ahead and buy a cheap yard cart and throw this engine on it and stick a snowmobile engine on this one 😆 .

    Unfortunately, I ran into a few issues.  I went to add oil in the motor the other day, only to find oil in it already.  Then I loosened the bolt to the carb and gas came out.  This motor sure was used and then sold to me as used. I took it back and exchanged it.  When I got home I realized they gave me the Hemi version. Which is a good motor, but the parts I already purchased won’t work on the Hemi version. So now I have to go back to another Harbor Freight and see if I can exchange it again for a non hemi version. 

    Of course, every Harbor Freight is completely sold out of this engine, so the closest one to get it is an hour and a half away 🙄  I’m not looking forward to that drive tomorrow.  But it looks like it might be necessary. 

  • 123Toid

    Administrator
    August 29, 2021 at 4:20 am

    Here’s a question about engine location.  Anyone have any suggestions?  I am thinking of placing the motor further towards the driver (more like a mid engine) and running the chain around the frame. If I do that, I might be able to run a larger chain and sprocket later.  Of course, I can always change how it is run at a later date and time.  But this is what I am leaning towards.

     

  • TVOR-Ceasar

    Member
    August 29, 2021 at 2:32 pm

    One thing I do know from watching all these videos is that once you strip off the tank and airbox, the engine is much more petite than it’s original packaging belies. Doing so should help somewhat, and you did allude to that.

    Next is the use of the jackshaft, mentioned way above. Best thing about that is you can mount that almost anywhere, forward/back, up/down, so as to be able to get the gearing you need, and you can even compound the gearing via the jackshaft, so that you can get close to what you need using the main sprocket you already have.

    Really, the best thing to do at the moment is grab some scrap plywood and mock it up to see what you really can and cannot do. Then proceed from there.

    Ugh, sorry about all the engine fiasco. Hope you get a brand new one this time around. I’d open it up before I left the store to make sure.

  • 123Toid

    Administrator
    August 30, 2021 at 4:51 am

    I was able to exchange the motor out today.  Unfortunately the closest to me was 2 hours away!  But I did get it and removed the governor when I got home. Tomorrow, if I get time, I’ll try to start it and run it for a few hours.  Once I know it is working well, I’ll replace the flywheel with the billet flywheel and drain the oil. I think most of the other parts won’t come until Wednesday, so I probably won’t get it finished this week, but who knows.  If I can, the kids and I will have to test it out this weekend. 

    I am still concerned that it will be pretty slow.  But no matter what, I think the kids will enjoy it. 

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