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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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 Post subject: Gokart for the kiddies
PostPosted: August 5, 2016, 4:02 pm 
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When we first had kids I wanted to build a little go-cart for them to drive, but that's not real useful for a baby. They're getting bigger now (4 and 5), and seem to like spending time in the shop with me, so I thought maybe now's a good time to build something for them. On my last set of days off I found a pair of little chinese kids quads on Kijiji for not too much, so we picked those up. One of them was basically new, other than having sat outside for a few years, so the kids can ride that one how it is. The other one was a bit rougher, so it's getting canabalized to build a little gokart. It was missing the air filter, and the pullstart was broken, plus the carb was gummed up. I found a new engine on eBay for $100, complete with a 3:1 gear reduction on it, so I ordered that and it showed up just before I got home from work. The quads had a 6 tooth front sprocket and 54 rear, so 9:1 overall. The gearbox version ends up being 11.57:1 overall, so it should help the clutch life a bit with kids going slow. Yesterday I hacked up the donor frame and got the engine, axle, and exhaust figured out. I'm going to build the rest of the frame from 1" x .065" stainless tubing because I have some scraps from work. On to some pics I guess.
Here's the starting point.
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Here's most of the one I stripped.
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Here's the motor mount and axle mount. I cut the brackets off the swingarm for the chain guard, then cut the swingarm pivot section out of the frame to see if I could use it for my engine mount in any way. Turns out the shock mount lined up perfect with the one on the swingarm, and looked about right for engine positioning. I cut the motor mount plate out of the frame and welded that on after lining up the sprockets.
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No picture, but I mocked it up with my daughter in the seat making vroom vroom noises to check some measurements, and the exhaust takes up way to much space being in front of the engine, so that's getting rerouted.
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That's a bit better.
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Used a piece of 3/4" stainless for the muffler re-location and modified the existing exhaust mount tab to go to the chain case.
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That's all for now, I should get more done on it after the weekend. It should end upgoing not too bad, it's a 49cc two-stroke for power.
Kristian

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PostPosted: August 6, 2016, 10:46 pm 
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Got home from our weekend away from the kids today and and tacked some frame tubes on the gokart, then set the seat on the rails and got the kids in it to see where the pedals should be. Looks like 40" ahead of the rear axle will be just about right for my daughter, and my son will just be able to reach for now. I'll alsoake sure i can slide the seat back a couple inches when they get a bit bigger. I made sure to take pictures this time too. I think I'm going to be in trouble with these two in a few years.

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PostPosted: August 9, 2016, 12:13 am 
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Got a bit more done today, in between dirt bike and quad rides with the kids. I got the front axle all welded up today, built the pedals and pivots, and welded in the steering support plate. I still have to build a support for the steering wheel end of the column, but the rest is pretty much set. The wheelbase is 38", and I set the front to 10 degrees caster. There's not much weight, so it shouldn't be too difficult for them to steer, but hopefully it'll be relatively stable.

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PostPosted: August 9, 2016, 1:16 pm 
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Is that Kamloops lake in the background? We spent some time in Banff last year, beautiful country.

Are you going to make the seat position adjustable?

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PostPosted: August 9, 2016, 6:23 pm 
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RickAllen wrote:
Is that Kamloops lake in the background? We spent some time in Banff last year, beautiful country.

Are you going to make the seat position adjustable?

Nope, that's the North Thompson river. It joins up with the South Thompson to become the Thompson right at Kamloops, then flows into Kamloops Lake shortly after that. It's pretty similar country up our way compared to around Kamloops Lake, but not quite as dry. Things get greener pretty quick going up the North Thompson valley though.

I'll figure out some way to adjust the seat. I've got a couple ideas, buy still not quite sure. Most likely will be a couple of pieces of flat bar with a series of holes drilled in them. I think I'm going to rivet some aluminum sheet to the seat that will bolt to the flat bar.
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PostPosted: August 10, 2016, 12:42 am 
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Lost track of time in the shop after supper tonight, so the kids got to stay up late helping me. Got the go-kart on it's wheels and on the floor for a little test drive and see how the kids fit. Still have to mount the seat, gas tank, and run the brake and throttle cables. I don't have much for other plans tomorrow, so maybe we'll get to fire it up soon.

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On our walk today we found a little rabbit. It was all by itself, and way too young for that. Hopefully it gets back to it's mama ok.

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Kristian

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PostPosted: August 10, 2016, 5:20 am 
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Why did you put the pedals in front of the front wheels?

It would seem to me, from having several types of carts & having kids drive them, that you'd want the wheels to hit things first, not their feet. Kids do seem to have to hit a few things before they learn. Heck, I'm still learning too.

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PostPosted: August 10, 2016, 3:13 pm 
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I was trying to keep the wheelbase decently short. I'm going to build a bumper so they don't run into things feet first. I still have to trim the frame rails a bit too, I don't think they need to stick out as far as they do.
Kristian

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PostPosted: August 10, 2016, 6:03 pm 
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I'm building something similar. What wheels and tires are those? Most of the go-kart wheels I've looked at are too wide and short.


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PostPosted: August 10, 2016, 11:18 pm 
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Pretty much all the parts came from a cheap Chinese kids quad. It was a gio 50cc. They're 4" wheels about 3" wide with 9" tall tires. I looked at buying stuff at the Canadian version of horrible freight, and stuff there is stupid expensive. I bought a pair of the quads for $360 used, and canabalized one of them for the gokart.
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PostPosted: August 14, 2016, 12:42 am 
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Well my couple days of no plans ended up with us picking up a little aluminum boat, motor, and trailer one day, then going camping with my parents for a couple days at a lake to see if it floats, so I still haven't got the go-kart done, but I got a bit closer tonight. Steering, brake, and throttle are done, now I have to mount the fuel tank and seat, then figure out some sort of bumper. We're planning g on heading to a lake with the boat again tomorrow to escape the heat a bit, and I've got to head back to work for another two week stint on Tuesday, not sure if I'll get it done before I leave either, but if it isn't done, they won't be bugging mom to let them drive it while I'm gone.

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I had a throttle return spring for a Holley in my toolbox, so I used that on the gas pedal. It seemed appropriate.
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I made the steering wheel from 3/8" x .035" tube that I formed around a gallon paint can.
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Kristian

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PostPosted: September 3, 2016, 1:04 am 
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I got home from work again late Wednesday, and got the gokart running this afternoon. I would have had it running yesterday, but the kids and I were out on the quad and dirt bike for pretty much the whole afternoon. Unfortunately both of my kids are too chicken to try driving it. The new eBay engine fired right up and seems to run good, but one of the clutch shoes broke right away, so the clutch won't disengage at all. I sent the seller a message to see if they offer to send a new clutch shoe, but probably won't hear anything back. I mounted the seat with a bit of leftover .063 aluminum sheet riveted to either side of the plastic seat and the frame tubes. It's not real easily adjustable, but they will both be able to drive it for now, and when they grow all I have to do is drill out a few rivets to slide it back some.
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Here's the broken clutch shoe.
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Kristian

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PostPosted: September 30, 2016, 1:56 am 
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Well my 4 year old is warming up to driving, he bombed around the yard a bit today. Still have to get him into looking where he wants to go, but he's getting better. He really likes that he can start it himself too, at least once it's warmed up a bit he can get it going himself. Hell be terrorizing the neighborhood in no time.

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Grandma had a go in it too.
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Kristian

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PostPosted: June 9, 2017, 2:52 pm 
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Finally got the little guy driving the gokart and the little quad too. He was on both of them today and yesterday while his sister was at school. He was first to ride a bike without training wheels too, and he's a year younger. I think he's going to be a bit of a daredevil. When we got down to the pavement today, he took right off. I couldn't keep up with my bicycle, even going down the hill. Turns out the gokart goes faster than I though. I'll try to get a video of him accelerating too, it's quick.



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He's not as comfortable on the quad though, probably a good thing. It's a shorter wheelbase and pretty unstable, not to mention a higher center of gravity and no real suspension. We did go on about a 1.5km ride this morning though. The quad is also geared higher, and he has a tendency to always be on and off the throttle, and never really going fast enough to lock up the centrifugal clutch. I rode the quad on the paved road once, it's scary fast. Probably about 50km/h with me on it. It's geared 9:1 off the crank, and the gokart has a chain case that puts it at about 11.7:1.

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Kristian

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PostPosted: June 9, 2017, 4:53 pm 
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My grandkids wanted to do something similar, a T-bucket but settled on what they had laying around. They were 5 and 7 at the time and insisted on doing the cutting and welding. Their parents made them do a proposal first, complete with drawings of what they wanted to build. They were loaned some jet engines from their dad's RC Jet.

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Kids and grandkids are never too young to build something.

Tom

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