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Old 10-24-2019, 12:26 PM
Jamie P Jamie P is offline
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Default New guy here, introducing myself

My name is Jamie. I live in Maine. I got my first go kart when I was about 8, and my dad and I restored it. I used it until I outgrew it, then my brother used it for a few more years. I won my second go kart in a contest when I was 11, but I outgrew that one within a couple years. Then I moved on to other things for 30 years.

Now I have a nine-year-old daughter, and I thought it would be fun to pick up something for her to play with in the yard. Everything I saw on Craigslist seemed too expensive, but on my way home one day there was a cool go kart on the side of the road for $100 (the blue one in the attached photos). The guy was home and said if I took that one and the one in his garage (the yellow one) for another $150 he would deliver them.

I thought I was immune to impulse buys, but I guess not because as soon as I got visions of my daughter and I racing around together I went for it, and suddenly I had two go karts.

The guy said they needed tinkering. I guess I was too excited to listen. Once they were home I started messing with them. The blue one wouldn't start. It had spark and compression, but maybe the carb is no good. I'm not sure, but I had no interest in tearing into the engine, so I gave up on it and bought a Predator 212 cc. I had that installed and running (with one pull!) in an hour, but then I realized this thing was way too fast for a 9-year-old who has never driven anything. I was used to old B&S 5hp engines, and this Predator was a lot more engine. I decided that go kart would be mine. It's a fun little thing.

I moved on to the yellow one. It is a Tao Tao ATK125A. It starts right up and runs fine, although maybe a bit rich as it makes a lot of fumes. It has hydraulic brakes, and they do absolutely nothing. I'll get to that in another thread someday. It has three forward speeds, but either the transmission is worn out, or it is just junk because it shifts hard. It's also really finicky. What I mean is you have to have just the right RPMs to shift or it will either vibrate the crap out of you or bog down really badly. My daughter has enough to learn with go, stop, and steer. Figuring out when to shift is way too much. Plus it takes about 20 pounds of force to shift it. If you can figure out how to shift it has no problem going 30 mph. Yeah, I know...no brakes, but my yard is big and open.

I realized that neither of those karts is ideal for my daughter to ride (without some modification). So maybe I'm an idiot, but I found a third one on Craigslist (the black and red one), super cheap.

So three weeks ago I had no go karts, and now my garage is full of them. My wife probably thinks I've lost it.

My plan at this point is to find a cheap 3hp engine for the black & red cart so my daughter can learn. Then maybe she'll graduate to the blue one. Over the winter maybe I'll modify the yellow one for me. I'm so impressed with the Predator engines that I'm thinking about modifying the rear frame and installing a Predator and a torque converter. The noisy, stinky, clunky stock engine has to go away. I have the skills and the vision, but an engine swap like that is a lofty goal.

Anyway, thanks for reading. I'm open to your thoughts on my fleet of karts. I'll do further threads on how to fix my brakes and maybe an engine trade (a running 3hp for a couple 5hp engines that need work).

-Jamie
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Old 10-24-2019, 01:33 PM
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Pics didn't work, here's how to post 'em:http://www.diygokarts.com/vb/showthread.php?t=737
Sounds fun!
Those Chinese Tao Taos and the like are generally regarded as junk.
I wouldn't even bother with it, but that's up to you. If you do, be prepared to retrofit quality components, as the Chinese parts will wear out unbelievably fast.
Briggs 5 HP flatties aren't slow compared to Predator 212s, although the 1.5 HP might have you think differently. My flatty will fly with just a header, and I would hesitate to bet that it could outrun a 212 as long as I have the tuning right. I would definitely revive it, they have a really cool vintage qaulity about them, plus they're made in the USA and crazy reliable.
If you send me the codes on the blower housing, I can decode them and help you find carb parts.
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Old 10-25-2019, 07:56 AM
Jamie P Jamie P is offline
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JTSpeedDemon, thanks for the advice on the photos. I figured maybe photos were just invisible to the person who posts them, but I must have missed a step. Got 'em now.

I'll look up the number on the old Briggs. It would be nice to revive it. I could use it on the red cart, maybe just gear it down or limit how far the gas pedal can go, or something to keep my daughter from getting spooked before she gets comfortable on it.
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Old 10-25-2019, 08:06 AM
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It's got a centrifugal clutch, so a limiting screw might result in a burnt up clutch.
Gearing it down is much better, or the best: Make sure she know how to drive it!!
FYI the codes might be partially hidden behind the carb. They're on the upper part of the blower/starter housing near the cylinder head, three sets of numbers stamped in. At least, that applies to most Briggs.
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Old 10-29-2019, 09:48 AM
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I've attached photos of the old B&S engine. It gets good spark, and compression feels right, but it won't start. I think it sat for years with old fuel in the tank. Should I replace the carb, which is only around $20, or is there anything else I should try first?

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Old 10-29-2019, 09:44 PM
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Nice score on the blue kart--It's a Brister's Thunder Kart and basically in factory/stock condition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie P View Post
...I used it until I outgrew it, then my brother used it for a few more years. I won my second go kart in a contest when I was 11, but I outgrew that one within a couple years.
You can't really (physically) outgrow a go kart--they were never designed for kids in the first place, but as small racing cars for grown men.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie P View Post
...The noisy, stinky, clunky stock engine has to go away.
Aren't they ALL noisy, stinky and clunky?

I'd start with a new fuel pump diaphragm for the Briggs 5 HP, part number 270026. That's the most likely culprit if it isn't getting fuel.
https://shop.briggsandstratton.com/a...70026#q=270026

I'd look for a set of two or more...
https://www.ebay.com/itm/5-Sets-For-...YAAOSws5FdstIo

That's also part of the Carburetor Overhaul Kit #494624
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Old 10-30-2019, 07:39 AM
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That red and black kart will be way too dangerous, that Sunoco sticker has 20-30 hp at least.
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Old 10-30-2019, 08:32 AM
Jamie P Jamie P is offline
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Thanks for the advice guys. Yes, they are all noisy and stinky, just some more than others!

I think once my 9-year-old puts a couple Disney Frozen stickers on there it will balance out the Sunoco sticker. Those are good for negative 15 hp at least.

If the fuel pump diaphragm fixes it that will be the world's cheapest repair. Thanks again!
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Old 10-30-2019, 10:00 AM
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It will keep requiring repair if you don’t feed these karts nuthin but 100% gasoline! No telling how gummed up the insides of the carb just might be....

Seriously, stay away from the gasoline + ethanol mix that the gub’mint mandates. Seek out a station that sells 0%, E0 or 100% gasoline. It even smells different. Smells ‘right’.

Use it in all your small motors and lawnmowers. Cars too, it can only benefit and not harm a modern fuel injected computerized living-room-on-wheels.

https://www.pure-gas.org
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Old 10-30-2019, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellion View Post
It will keep requiring repair if you don’t feed these karts nuthin but 100% gasoline! No telling how gummed up the insides of the carb just might be....

Seriously, stay away from the gasoline + ethanol mix that the gub’mint mandates. Seek out a station that sells 0%, E0 or 100% gasoline. It even smells different. Smells ‘right’.

Use it in all your small motors and lawnmowers. Cars too, it can only benefit and not harm a modern fuel injected computerized living-room-on-wheels.

https://www.pure-gas.org
Unfortunately, that's just not an option in some communities...(like mine). I can get fuel like that from some stores, but it's so crazy expensive, that it's really cheaper to replace the engines...( if necessary. )
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Old 10-30-2019, 04:02 PM
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My parents would probably go ballistic if I started stockpiling race gas....
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