Thursday, June 26, 2008

Go Kart Ran Into A Brick Wall

Why would I run my go kart into a brick wall? Surely that would be a death defying stunt!

Most defnitely. And most idiotically.

No, I am not talking about running into a brick wall with a go kart, but sometimes when we start these projects we run into "brick walls."

Go Kart projects can be that way. You are going down the nice path of developing this go kart.

You have all the stuff together. You have your ducks in a row, your plan, your engine, some wheels...

Then you run into this impediment, this edifice, this blockage, in your pursuit of the go kart of your dreams.

Most often this blockage starts in two areas:

-Converting a Lawn Mower Engine to Drive a Go Kart
-Converting Rider Lawn Mower Wheels so they work on a gokart

Believe it or not, converting the riding lawn mower wheels is a bit more involved or difficult than the Vertical Engine conversion...

The conundrum, or difficulty comes in actually getting the rear wheels to mate up with a drive shaft.

There are two ways to go here:

1.) Do not use an axel, but make the system a one wheel drive
2.) Use an axel and make the system a live axel

The first option is the easiest and definitely is not a brick wall, but the second option is a brick wall, at least it appears so on the surface...

To look at the problem, the typical axel shaft is 1 inch in diameter (for strength and durability, you do not want a bent shaft)

The hub diameter on a typical riding lawnmower is .750 in diameter.

The trick is getting the axel shaft and the hub on the wheel to mate.

How do you do it? Safely?

Why would I say safely?

Well to get a wheel to stay in place you need a reliable method of retaining it: ie 4 bolts, a single nut on the end of the shaft... something.

If you look at standard gokart axels they have 2 inches of .75 shaft sticking off of them. Unfortunately, the shaft is typically not long enough to extend beyond the hub on a lawnmower wheel.

And additionally, the shaft does not have the vital keyway for grabbing the wheel and actually turning it.

So what do you do?

There is a method which is simple. It requires that you have a welder though. (and NO it is not welding it to the shaft!)

Rule #1 of gokart design: It needs to come apart.

It again is simple enough, basic enough, and safe enough to put on a go kart.

Okay you are killing me, what is it?

Well the Go Kart Guru has run into this problem with his New Go Kart that he is converting from a riding lawnmower. The object is to use as much of the Riding Lawn Mower as possible and save money.

So far so good, but the brick wall has been the wheels. Actually, has been is more like it, because the solution has been there, just waiting in the wings.

See how the Go Kart Guru tackles the problem in the Go Kart Video series coming this fall...

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