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Justjim75
Justjim75 Dork
6/18/20 10:55 p.m.

Gloves and shoes!

volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter)
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/22/20 6:52 a.m.

Yesterday (Father's Day, fittingly, I started work on this little Craftsman ride the kids had been putting around the yard on.  The biggest issue is they can't reach the pedal...

volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter)
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/22/20 6:53 a.m.

By bedtime last night, it had progressed to this:

volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter)
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/30/20 10:22 a.m.

Took it out for the inaugural spin around the yard a few days ago.

Never before has so much fun been had at 2-1/2 mph.  laugh

Got a few more things to do...clean up the wiring, dress some sharp edges, and of course the important thing- figure out how to dress it up and paint it. 

Daughter gets adventurous and takes it into the woods.  She's...mostly on the path.

Maniac0301
Maniac0301 HalfDork
7/1/20 10:40 a.m.

I hadn't realized people carried on in the comment section of this article its great seeing everyone's creativity.   So should we setup a GRM $200.20 lawnmower challenge class?   I setup a build thread for my kart project at:

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/maniacs-john-dyr-yard-cart-summer-project-with-the-spawn/174023/page1/

earlybroncoguy1
earlybroncoguy1 Reader
9/15/21 5:17 p.m.

OK, I didn't exactly make a go kart out of a lawnmower, but I did hot-rod a Power Wheels truck for my kid:

Started with a Power Wheels Bigfoot monster truck a neighbor was throwing out - dead 6 volt battery. Cleaned it up, took all the decals off, gave it a paint job. Fabricated a rear suspension subframe out of angle iron and worn out minivan liftgate gas shocks, with hardware springs around them to turn them into coil overs. Front spindles got springs around the uprights for a basic suspension. Used a garden tractor size 12 volt battery, installed under the seat, wired into the dual 6 volt motors on the rear wheels.

I tell you what, 12 volts going through little 6 volt motors sure made it fun. Plus, that big battery had plenty of capacity, it would run for hours. I'd charge it overnight, take it and the boy to the local park, and he'd run all over. Literally - he ran over stuff. He figured out pretty quick if he got going full speed in reverse, then flipped the forward/reverse toggle switch, the momentum and power surge would result in a pretty impressive wheelie.  

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/16/21 8:31 a.m.

Love seeing all of the homebuilts. Yes, please keep sharing them. 

psteav (Forum Supporter)
psteav (Forum Supporter) Dork
9/16/21 11:36 a.m.
earlybroncoguy1 said:

OK, I didn't exactly make a go kart out of a lawnmower, but I did hot-rod a Power Wheels truck for my kid:

Started with a Power Wheels Bigfoot monster truck a neighbor was throwing out - dead 6 volt battery. Cleaned it up, took all the decals off, gave it a paint job. Fabricated a rear suspension subframe out of angle iron and worn out minivan liftgate gas shocks, with hardware springs around them to turn them into coil overs. Front spindles got springs around the uprights for a basic suspension. Used a garden tractor size 12 volt battery, installed under the seat, wired into the dual 6 volt motors on the rear wheels.

I tell you what, 12 volts going through little 6 volt motors sure made it fun. Plus, that big battery had plenty of capacity, it would run for hours. I'd charge it overnight, take it and the boy to the local park, and he'd run all over. Literally - he ran over stuff. He figured out pretty quick if he got going full speed in reverse, then flipped the forward/reverse toggle switch, the momentum and power surge would result in a pretty impressive wheelie.  

Dude, you're way more ambitious than I am.  I took a 12V power wheels Escalade I got off of FB Marketplace for $20, wired in a battery plug for my Dewalt 20V drill batteries, and then gave it to my kid. It's fast enough in "high gear" that he's afraid of it.   Thankfully, it's traction limited by the slick plastic wheels...cause I'm not sure my fat ass could catch it if he took off in high towards something dangerous.  

Also, did you know a Power Wheels turned on its side in a full pickup bed basically becomes a giant airfoil at 55 mph?  I sure didn't!  

Unrelated, anyone got a hood for a Power Wheels Escalade they'd be willing to ship?  Asking for a friend.

mke
mke Dork
2/6/22 9:42 a.m.

Having gone down this path in my youth and being a parent now, I'll reiterate the author's point about mower engines having enough power to make more speed  than you need or want in a yard toy.  20mph is FAST in a residential yard on a kart with no suspension and a relatively high center of gravity and relatively narrow track.....from experience these things will trip over often without much effort so keeping the top speed in check is important.

 

My other point is this minibike

The first thing it taught me was its just stupid to buy a minibike for a child that can't ride a bicycle.  I was walking though sears with my I think 4 year old at the time and saw it....I dreamed of a minibike when I was a kids so I sat him on it and tiptoed he could taught he ground and it was on sale....so home it came.   

At the time it had a 2.5hp? engine with centrifugal clutch driving the wheel....and was in no way able to make it around my not flat year carrying with me and my 4 yo (since he wanted to go on it but couldn't ride it alone) so $20 and a day installing a jackshaft kit to slow it down and power it up and it was good to go.  I think when he got to about 9 or 10 yo he was finally able to ride it himself and enjoy it...he could ride it before but the weight and general strength needed meant it more terrified him than anything else....so finally one summer he rode it almost non-stop.  The next year the engine died, as in locked up solid with no hope of repair :(

By now his younger but much much more cautious brother was starting to show some interest in it...but the engine was dead.  Can't have that! The $100 engine at HF was  a little bigger....like 6.5hp....so PERFECT I thought! devil

It had a different shaft size so needed a new clutch...so yeah, I took the opportunity to upgrade it to a torque converter.  After a couple weekends work with older son it was running again!  If you blip the throttle too quick it will flip over backwards or drive right out from under you, throttle on a hill? yup, flip over backwards. Top speed...30-35?  so plenty dangerous around a trees and buildings and the tires have nowhere near the grip to deal with that speed no the frame the lean angle clearance needed so crashing is all but certain should you choose to open the throttle.

Now they were both too scared of it to ride it. surprise

I guess sometimes being a good dad means giving them something slow, safe,  and age appropriate........and even the kids understood that the track drive tank like gokart I tried to talk them into building wasn't something their mother would ever let them use.

 

mke
mke Dork
2/6/22 9:51 a.m.
psteav (Forum Supporter) said:

Thankfully, it's traction limited by the slick plastic wheels...

I ended up doing sheetmetal screws in the plastic wheels of my son's "tractor".  He would ride it onto a hill and sit there stuck with the plastic wheels spinning....meaning a lot of walking for me to point him in a more useful direction because he was too young to understand putting it in reverse or going up hills on an angle.   The screws sorted it. 

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) SuperDork
10/13/22 7:30 p.m.

How about a shopping cart...that has a turbo and Fueltech ecu?

These guys have the record for fastest MR2 and NSX.

 

03Panther
03Panther PowerDork
10/13/22 8:49 p.m.
Justjim75 said:

Gloves and shoes!

Agggh!!!!

LONG Pants!!!!

It ain't pretty when them things catch and jump back into bare skin. 
OK, also ain't pretty when they go through cloth, but every bit helps!

And instills a good "safety culture " thought process that might save their life one day!!!

As a former jeans and T shirts 'rider, I have now developed "ATAT" on motorcycles: all the gear, all the time. 
even more important here. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/18/22 8:11 p.m.

Love that a dozen years later, people are still getting enjoyment out of this article. (See also: Carl is the best.)

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
10/18/22 9:29 p.m.

I just started on this baby that mg father-in-law was junking.  No spare time right now.

No Time
No Time UltraDork
10/18/22 10:04 p.m.

In reply to Datsun310Guy :

Watching your progress for ideas, I have a craftsman LT tractor sitting in the backyard looking for purpose. 

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
10/18/22 11:06 p.m.

In reply to No Time :

You want ideas Pal?  

LS Fest had my exact rider.  Now I'm messed up in my head on which directions to go.


just messing with you.  I'll do a thread when I get to it. 
 

gokartwiki
gokartwiki New Reader
10/31/22 11:07 p.m.

This article inspires me to build my own kart, the post is very detailed. By the way, do you have a final video when it is finished?

jmabarone
jmabarone Reader
11/1/22 8:13 a.m.

My wife's grandpa has at least 5 old lawn mowers around his house.  I wonder if he'd let me have one to convert...

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE SuperDork
11/1/22 11:27 a.m.

I'm gonna keep my eyes peeled in my city for one too; I'm mostly looking for a free engine for a ratbike idea I have, though I'll be the first to admit I have no idea how to make it.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse UltimaDork
12/7/22 8:42 a.m.

A bit over 2 years ago I posted (above) the Crappy Craftsman 'kart' I hacked together for the little VCH's.  I cut the rider down so that my then-3 and 5 year olds could reach the pedals and steering wheel.  Sorta.  I didn't touch the drive, so top speed was limited to about 5 mph in top gear.  There was also no "gas pedal", I basically just stuck the throttle at some medium amount, tossed it in gear, and let them putter around.  Which they loved.

Unfortunately, the 'kart' has sat most of this year.  Two of the tires are flat and won't hold air long enough to ride it around the yard.  I made some noises about buying the little VCH's a minibike, but Mrs. VCH quickly nixed that idea (despite, or perhaps, because of the fact that they're both regular daredevils on 2 wheeled devices of the human-powered variety) and said "they've already got that go-kart thing you built for them!"

Time to make her regret that statement.

Here's the kart in its current state:

The other night I yanked out the battery, fuel tank, trailer hitch bracket, and transaxle.  The drive pulley arrangement is pretty straightforward, and since this creation will never again host a mower deck, the big deck drive pulley can go.  

The loop at the top is where the big pulley on the transaxle went.  Measuring and calculating I figured the engine:transaxle pulley diameter was about 1:4.  After checking out McMaster and Grainger I settled on a new pulley ratio of about 3:4.  This should triple the maximum theoretical top end to about 15 mph- in top gear.  The nice thing about the rider is it has 5 speeds, so I can put it in lower gears for them to practice on, and I can rip around in top gear.  laugh

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE SuperDork
12/7/22 1:00 p.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse :

And with the low gears it can potentially tow things in the yard too!

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/8/22 10:13 a.m.

I guess this is a thing, too.

 

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