Archive for the 'Other Kart Plans' Category

Book Review: Build Your Own Off-Road Buggy for as Little as £100


I recently bought the book “Build Your Own Off-Road Buggy for as Little as £100” for £8 including postage and shipping from amazon. Overall it was an enjoyable read. I had hoped for more in-depth discussion and details on certain aspects of the kart. The book provided details on building one particular design but didn’t explain why or how to a lot of the details and measurements chosen. That could well be a good thing for a person making their first kart (or buggy as its called). For you folk working in dollars, 100 UK Pounds = 155 Dollars. After reading the book, and looking at the parts the author used (e.g. the wheels and bearings etc.), it would be a tight stretch to get the whole kart built for £100 or $155.


The book is geared towards adults helping them build a kart (buggy). The person building the kart would want a good level of DIY skills. It is also expected that a person obtain a welder either by buying a new or second-hand welder, or hiring one. It was difficult following the text and images in some places, trying to fully understand what is been described and I found myself reading paragraphs three and four times.


The book was highly relevant to a person confident with DIY skills in building an engine powered go-kart. While it did not explain the “why” of certain angles and details, it provided enough dimensions, that if all followed correctly would work.
I did feel that some of the areas were sparse and outside the scope of home workshop capability. One example of this is where a “differential flange” from a ford car was used and modified to act as a hub for mounting the rear wheels. Another flange was then used for the sprocket carrier and brake disc carrier. While this in fact is a very innovative idea and one which I had not considered, modifying one of these differential flanges would require a metalwork lathe and a lot of work. (Of course the option of buying new or old hubs from a go-kart is suggested).

The book which has 90 pages has just enough information and diagrams to build the standard kart. It is clear that the author has made a few of the karts themselves. The author also got a friend to try following the book and building the same kart.
I do think a simpler design could have been chosen. The kart chassis has 3 members requiring a pipe bender. I also think the pedal design is poor. Using 5mm flat steel bent into an L shape would in my opinion be insufficient and would bend easily (as the pivot is just a hole in the 5mm steel bar). I prefer using 20mm pipe for the pedals.


  1. Skills required
  2. Tools, equipment and workshop safety
  3. Sourcing what you need
  4. Making the frame
  5. Front axle and steering
  6. The engine and gearbox
  7. Drivetrain and brake
  8. Controls and starting devices
  9. Finishing and final build
  10. Using your Buggy

Good Points

  • Information on different places to source parts, materials and engineering services were outlined.
  • Information on kart safety, safety when building the kart, best places to drive the kart is provided.
  • Loads of information on welding, different types of welding and background information on Gas Welding is detailed.

Poor Points

  • No explanation of certain areas (such as camber, castor and ackermann angles) of building the part is outlined.
  • No set of complete plans, but rather all details were spread out throughout the book.
  • To build the kart as shown, you would need a pipe bender and metalwork lathe (to machine the hubs and sprocket carrier)
  • While “alternative solutions” were provided for example track rod ends, no measurements or details of these were given.


I have previously purchased complete sets of plans for off-road karts and buggies. While I found this book enjoyable, easy to read and informative, I think it didn’t explain enough of the details. I would have also liked to see 15 pages with complete drawings of all components together. I like to be able to print the 15-20 pages showing the complete set of plans showing all the dimensions together. However for £8 it is certainly cheap and well worth a read and will help you make your first go-kart with a motorbike engine.

Popular Science – Archives of Go-Kart articles

Popular science recently put all of their published magazines on the Internet. As soon as I heard, I couldn’t wait to search for any “kart” related articles. I remember seeing old magazines amongst my fathers collection and was amazed at the details and information which was available for making all sorts of projects going back even to the start of the 19th century. A quick search here led me to some of the articles shown in the image below.

Direct links to two of the articles are:

I came across lots of advertisements and classifieds for go-kart kits but a lot of these were pretty old. Other search keywords which returned lots of results were “buggy” and “engine” and “motorcycle”. Have fun searching through. If anyone comes across any more good articles, feel free to email them on or add a comment. In case anyone was wondering it is an old “Modern Mechanix” magazine article showing kart plans from 1962 on the main website.

Want some pedal power for your wooden go-kart?

I recently recieved a comment from Jason with a link to his website where he has put details of making a very cool wooden go-kart. Whats very nice about this kart is that it uses a pedal crank and chain to drive the kart. I get a lot of emails asking how to implement a pedal drive for the wooden-go-karts listed here. Typically these people want to make the wooden push go-kart first. Then upgrade to a pedal powered wooden-go-kart and finally maybe attach a small engine.

The exact link to the page with the pedal crank drive is: I hope someone finds this useful and helps them.

Website Review – DIY Kart Step by Step

I had hoped to do an extensive review of the many websites on designing and making go-karts, but I came across the following one which stitches together many different sites on kart plans into one single page in a step by step manner. It has YouTube Videos, Picture slideshows, photos and lots of other information.

It divides up the Step by Step How to Guide into four major sections:

  1. Front A-arms assembly
  2. Main frame assembly
  3. Steering system assembly
  4. Drive axle assembly

It has lots of useful information on engines, videos of engines in use on karts and much more. A picture of it can be seen below. The website address is:—A-Step-by-Step-Guide Hopefully this link and website will remain active. Here is an image of the website:

When I started the first Kartbuilding website in 2001 (archive link), there was very little information available on karts and kart plans on the Internet. In the last few years however the information, videos, plans etc. has increased enormously. This is great news for anyone wanting to build a kart. If you have any good websites on building karts, feel free to drop us an email ( kartbuilding at )

SolidWorks CAD Drawing of a Tony Kart Chassis

ABout Tony Kart

Tony Kart produces high quality racing kart chassis. A catalogue of their kart chassis can be found on their website. A particular chassis model, a Tony Kart Extreme ’97, was modelled using SolidWorks, and is available for download. Below is an overview of the chassis, in isometric and in a plan view.

Overview of Chassis in SolidWorks

This chassis is modelled perfectly in SolidWorks, with each member as an individual part and fully in-context. With the complete assembly and part files, it would be very easy to create 2d drawings of the chassis. The chassis is full size, so no scaling would have to be carried out.
Perhaps in the future the author will complete a fully dimensioned chassis using SolidWorks. Please contact the author if you have any queries etc. regarding this.

Download SolidWorks Files

The SolidWorks assembly file can be downloaded from its original location here, along with some other CAD drawings also. A backup local copy of the SolidWorks chassis is also available.

eDrawings Download of the Chassis

In case you don’t have a copy of SolidWorks to open and measure the components, the eDrawings viewer can be used to open the chassis, measure each component, and create a section view through the chassis. The chassis opened in eDrawings can be seen below:

Tony Kart Chassis in eDrawings

Download the Tony Kart Chassis ’97 eDrawing
Note: the eDrawings download of the chassis contains a self executable viewer application.


Hopefully the detailed professional chassis design will give you ideas on how to design and create your own chassis. An idea of the size of the chassis design can also be obtained using the eDrawing. Best of Luck!
If you have any queries or comments, please email them to the author at:

Edit: A few people emailed me asking for the above Tony Kart in AutoCAD DWG Forma: PDF Format of Tony Kart | DWG Format of Tony Kart (in a Zip File) | STEP Format (in a Zip File)

Vintage Go-Karts: A Website Review

The following website ( has some excellent photos and articles on old vintage go-karts. These karts were made using the basic necessities, and still achieved high speeds with excellent cornering and handling. Several ideas can be taken from these vintage karts where there were “no frills” to building gokarts. Ideas which can be combed from the gallery of photos include:

  • Twin Engines
  • Simple friction brakes
  • Types of Seats
  • Keeping Chassis Designs Simple

Thumbnail Previews of’s Gallery: 


View more photos here:

Preview of’s Articles:

There are also some excellent in-depth articles about the history of karting, right up to the current day! Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Karting Grand Nationals, from 1960 to 2005
  • Transportation of GoKarts
  • Women Gokart Racers
  • Rocket Powered Karts
  • McCulloch’s Entry into Karting

Hopefully this website will provide further insight and details as to how simple engine powered gokarts were and can be made. If you would like your karting website reviewed and mentioned here, or if you have any comments on this or any other article, please contact the author by email at

Video on making a Go-Kart with Suspension

Dirt Devil KartThe following well produced video shows the stages involved in making a Go-Kart using the Dirt Devil  kart plans. The stages shown in the video below are:

  • Welding, Cutting and making the Chassis
  • Obtaining parts for the Suspension
  • The 18hp Engine
  • The Rear brake Calliper
  • Steering Setup
  • Testing and Racing the Go-Kart with Suspension

A lot of parts were taken from a quad and an other working go-kart! The suspension seems to work very well, however the camber angle on the front wheels seems too much. The front wheels are splayed out sidewards. Perhaps this is the suspension, but ideally this would need to be readjusted. Read more on camber angles here.