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Old 02-12-2019, 04:54 PM
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Default My half of the MacGyvers Workshop & The ASAP Automotive Channel Kart throwdown build!

Hello everyone!
This is my part of a friendly Father/Son throwdown project that we will be filming for our respective YouTube channels. I've gotten a huge head start on my son by virtue of finding a donor bike first, and already having a kart that I can build on. It's not a true racing kart, but I feel I can make it work! We will be filming our builds, and posting episodes to our channels. There will be some friendly trash talking and rivalry LOL! We hope it will be entertaining as well as boost our channel viewership. I want to post the pictures here so I can get some "peer review" if you will, as well as maybe catching something I may have missed so here goes!
This is the kart that I built for my Youngest son Niall back in 2012. He got tired of it as the modern karts have suspensions and ride better on dirt. We have much dirt! and gravel. So it pretty much beat you to death while riding it.
I found a wrecked bike on Craigslist not far from me for $250, I went and checked it out, bought it and had him load it up!
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:07 PM
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Default #2 Starting the build!

I cut the kart in half and made a jig on my shop lift so I could keep everything nice and level/even in order to stretch the frame...
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:12 PM
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Default #3 Stretching the frame

I extended the frame, and using a tubing notcher, made angled reinforcements that I welded into the frame extension. It is lightweight and extremely strong. Think of the oil derrick looking thing that you built in high school drafting class, and competed by putting weights on it until it finally collapsed. That's what this is. Those 45 degree angled reinforcements really strengthen the frame.
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:23 PM
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Default #4 Mounting the engine cradle from the donor bike.

The donor bike was a 2001 Katana 600. It's not as fast as a GSXR, but after some tuning, it should be pretty quick. I lined up and mounted the engine cradle, and test fit the motor. Also, some parts arrived, so I could test fit the 1.25" axle. I will have to come up with something clever to allow me to tighten the chain as it stretches. All the Gixxer kart builds I've seen so far, only have an idler, which can break when you decelerate into a corner. I know it will cost me in some weight, but I'm going to build in a method of tightening that huge #50 drive chain.
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:31 PM
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Default #5 More parts!

More parts arrived! I have the rims for my 10" wide racing slicks. I figure I'm going to need all the grip I can get.
I also hate the typical "Go-Kart" style steering so I bought a universal Rack & Pinion kit.
And I got a universal instrument cluster that has a speedo, tach, fuel level, and gear indicator built in.
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:44 PM
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Default #6 The chain tensioner

I used my bandsaw to make nice even cuts, then drilled the 2 parts together to make sure they are perfectly matched. There is an angle bracket that the axle bearing will mount to, and thick reinforcing plate that will go underneath the slider assembly. It is all locked together with 1/2" grade 8 bolts. Then you can see the finished product. There will be 3 of them, and they can draw the axle back nice and evenly (I will check it with a tape measure using the front axle as a guide).
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Old 02-13-2019, 04:47 AM
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Very interesting build. I am putting a Honda 750 into my kart so I will be watching yours with great enthusiasm. I had thought about an air shifter but It would be hard, if not impossible to find neutral. For safety reasons I wired mine so it could only be started in neutral. Plus all the extra room you need for the compressor and the cost (I'm on a budget) just didn't work for me. Cant wait to see chapter 2 of this build. How much travel do you get out of that rack?
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:14 AM
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You are right, an air shifter install is complicated, and you also need that engine kill box wired in so you don't grenade your transmission shifting under power. Another thing is that the guy at SAE Outlaw Performance tried to talk me out of using compressed air. Said I should have used CO2. I agree that would make for a lighter install not having to install a big compressor, but he said the compressor would not be able to keep up under track shifting conditions. I work IT in a manufacturing facility, and spoke with the mechanical maintenance guys (they work with pneumatic actuators on the factory floor), and they seem to think I should be okay since my tank pressure is 2x3 times the regulated pressure so I'm giving it a try. Film at 11 LOL! I may still have to convert it over, who knows.
If you keep the regulated pressure just low enough to give you a good shift, you shouldn't have any trouble finding neutral. When you run the pressure real high is when it becomes hard. I like your idea of a neutral safety. That will be easy using the Katana's existing neutral safety switch.
The steering rack I bought fits a Yerf-Dog cart, and is almost a full turn lock to lock, and I was lucky it works out perfectly on my cart with the original spindles. Not so sure on the new ones as the arms are shorter. I may need to put stops in to prevent the tires scrubbing on the frame. I'll know more soon as I get to that part of the build.
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:19 AM
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This is epic.
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:03 PM
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Default #24 Mounting the battery

So I realized that everything but the connectors on the donor bikes wiring harness is pretty much useless! So as I wait for all my electrical wiring bits to arrive that I ordered, I made a mount for the battery. Not a lot of room on the drivers side due to all the air shifter bits, so I mounted it on the passenger side of the motor.
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Old 02-15-2019, 07:45 PM
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Default #25 Controls and such...

I wanted to use that racing switch panel, but I just couldn't find a good place for it and a good way to mount it along with the air gauge and the A/F ratio gauge. I managed to compress everything down into a 4x4 gray PVC box. The Red switch is the master, the middle one is the ignition, and the right toggle is for the air compressor, then of course the starter button. The one from the switch panel was just too big and unwieldy.
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Old 02-17-2019, 11:26 PM
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Default #26 Wiring...

This weekend I started wiring up the kart. Boy what a challenge that turned out to be. The basic stuff wasn't so bad, like the fuse block, and the fan, and air shifter compressor relays, but when I got to wiring up the ignitor, the data logger, instrument cluster, and kill box for the air shifter things got complicated really quick. But even though I wasn't able to test run the engine like I had hoped, tomorrow is another day!
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Old 02-20-2019, 10:35 AM
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Default #27 Exhaust

I was originally going to try and put a chamber muffler on the kart, but it would require too many tight bends so I opted for a short straight pipe with a slash cut on the end. I will jet the carb's accordingly.
I also welded an O2 sensor bung into the pipe for the AF meter/data collector.
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:01 PM
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Thanks Sil! Never had one of my projects called Epic!
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Old 02-21-2019, 12:48 PM
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Very impressive. This guy is jealous.
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Old 02-21-2019, 01:00 PM
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Put a secret kick-stand on it. Problem solved.
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Old 02-21-2019, 06:20 PM
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Default Kickstand

Well there Sil, I figured it out finally. After browsing the Internet for hours, I found that there is a 100 ohm resistor built in to the factory ignition switch that the ECU has to see before it will allow the engine to start (it's an anti-theft feature) If you look at the schematic, it shows the orange with red stripe wire being grounded by the ignition switch when it's turned on, but does not indicate the presence of the resistor. That's what was throwing me off. **** thing thought I was trying to hot wire it! Now I have to wait until my next Amazon order arrives this Saturday. Hopefully THIS weekend, I will be able to fire the engine up! Stay tuned!
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Old 02-21-2019, 07:14 PM
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This is awesome. I’m already looking forward to the ride videos. I’ve had to deal with resistor nonsense on GM VATS (I’m a mechanic by trade) and know how much fun that can be.
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Old 02-21-2019, 07:30 PM
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Default Flyin Reply

Thanks there "Flyin"
Oh I remember the VATS system. I was a wrench too back in the day. Now I do it as a hobby on the side. I fix folks cars, video the repair and post it to my YouTube channel "MacGyvers Workshop" The ride videos should be really cool as I plan to superimpose the datalogger info into the video. Makes the build a royal P.I.A. as it feels like i'm wiring an F16 LOL! but it will be worth it.
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Old 02-22-2019, 05:22 PM
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Default #29 Carb re-jetting and tuning

Another major challenge! After not being able to get the carbs right after re-jetting them, and many hours surfing bike forums, I learned that you just can't get "CV" carbs (Ones with a vacuum diaphragm that lift the needle). to work right with open K&N filters. For the life of me, I couldn't get it to run right. Turns out that they need to be enclosed in some sort of plenum (The big doofy looking airbox) in order to function properly. After I reinstalled the airbox it settled down and runs like a champ at least on the rack. I'll no doubt have more tuning to do when I take out and drive it under load.
I had to remount the oil cooler and stand it off another 4 inches. I can't say that I'm happy with the way it looks. Maybe it will grow on me LOL!

You can check out a brief video of me starting it here;

https://youtu.be/sx-AlMsx-58
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