How to Convert a Lawnmower Engine for a Go Kart

top of a small engine
  • 5-10 hours
  • Advanced
  • 1,000-5,000
What You'll Need
Riding Lawn Mower
Welding Equipment
Metal Plate
Safety Eye Wear
Metal Plate

Go karts can be a lot of fun to have and ride, but they can also be expensive. As an alternative to buying a new one, you may benefit from converting your old lawnmower into a new go kart. This task is not very challenging as long as you know the proper steps to take and have the right experience.

Step 1 - Safety First

You will have to have your safety in mind before you begin to work on this project. You will find that an assistant can be a big help in case any problems should come up. You should also be sure to give yourself plenty of time and not rush, especially if you are a novice when it comes to mechanics. Be sure that you have plenty of room to do the job and that you have some experience when it comes to welding. If you don't then you should find someone that does to do this task.

Step 2 - Engine Removal

man pulling the cord on a lawn mower engine

The most important part of the go kart is going to be the engine. You will need to begin by emptying the gas and oil out of the engine. Then take the engine out of the lawnmower and set it on a piece of plywood or on the grass. Get your assistant to help you lift it, as these engines can be quite heavy. Be sure to wear your gloves during the engine removal. Pay very close attention to how the engine is attached, because you will have to attach it to the go kart in a similar way. Taking a few photos with your cell phone will help provide a reference.

Step 3 - Welding

Once you have removed the motor you will need to find the vertical shaft. Weld your metal plate onto the vertical shaft.

Step 4 - Wheel Placement

A third wheel will be required for your go kart. You will have to place it on the back axle. The engine is going to need to be put where the metal plate and the third wheel will have constant contact with each other. This is what will make your actual go kart move forward.

Step 5 - Motor Attachment

boy smiling, sitting in a go kart

When you are attaching the motor to the go kart you will need to make sure that the motor is going to be able to move about the wheel with ease. This will help make a variable transmission for your go kart.

Step 6 - Test

You will need to test out the go kart carefully and slowly once you have finished putting it all together. It is in your best interest to have someone nearby in case something goes wrong. It is a good idea to start off very slowly and gradually build up speed. Of course, do not increase speed if the go kart seems to be shaky or have problems with a slow start.

Remember to always use safety and wear a helmet, even when you are testing out the go kart.