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Old 02-03-2020, 07:40 AM
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Default Tips on extending go kart frame

I love my go kart but I already have to bend my knees a lot when riding and I'm afraid if I get any taller/larger then I won't fit anymore. I've thought about cutting the frame in the middle (in front of the seat but behind the steering so that nothing important is cut up) and extending the frame a little bit. The bottom plate is bolted on, not welded, so there won't be trouble extending that, but I was wondering if anyone had experience or tips on what I should do/expect with extending the frame.

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Old 02-03-2020, 08:20 AM
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Use tubing the same size and thickness as what was used to build the frame, and find some tubing that will slide into it. Drill holes in the tubing so that you not only weld the joint, but can weld the inner and outer tubing together through the holes. Google rosette welding for a better idea of what I’m talking about.
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Old 02-03-2020, 08:43 AM
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You do know how to weld, right?
That frame does look pretty small! Best advice I can give is clean up the metal real nice before welding(including where the ground clamp will attach!), and keep a steady hand while welding.
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Old 02-03-2020, 10:08 AM
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My best advise, don't do it! Hard to keep them straight, keep the steering geometry correct, have to make new longer linkages ect. I had a dingo that was done all wrong before I got it, had being the operative word. I'd look for a frame that fits you better in factory configuration even if it's a project and pass that kart down to a shorter family member or something. It can be done of course, but unless you are seasoned in metal work I wouldn't chance it.
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Old 02-03-2020, 10:10 AM
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^^Good point. Keeping it straight will be tricky.
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Old 02-03-2020, 10:21 AM
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Get solid round bar for frame slugs. I always make mine 4-6" long. That way if the frame flexes there is plenty inside to take the flex and not bend. To keep it straight while welding go to get 4 right angle welding magnets and put two in each side where the tubing is being spliced in. This will keep it straight and actually not that tricky as the other two comments have said it would be. Put two tack welds on each side alternating aides between each tack weld.

DO NOT FINISH WELD UNTIL ITS ALL TACKED IN PLACE AND SET CORRECTLY!!!!!
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Old 02-03-2020, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5814SpeedCo View Post
Get solid round bar for frame slugs. I always make mine 4-6" long. That way if the frame flexes there is plenty inside to take the flex and not bend. To keep it straight while welding go to get 4 right angle welding magnets and put two in each side where the tubing is being spliced in. This will keep it straight and actually not that tricky as the other two comments have said it would be. Put two tack welds on each side alternating aides between each tack weld.

DO NOT FINISH WELD UNTIL ITS ALL TACKED IN PLACE AND SET CORRECTLY!!!!!
Ok, but if you are 1/8" off on one "extension bar" the whole frame will be tweaked, and if the steering is changed at all, which it likely would be, it may not track correctly. Using your method did not keep my roll cage perfectly straight either, with the plugs installed you can run the risk of the pipe having a weak point on both ends of the plug and could still cause the frame to crack under stress. Say you do get it perfectly straight, and don't booger steering geometry, you have still cut, and heated the metal, any heating and beating will weaken the metal. Ultimately up to you, but as I stated above, if you are not good or completely comfortable with metal work it could be a very tricky job to get it right, and may cause more damage than good. Make sure everything is exact if you do move forward, but I still wouldn't recommend it, frames are meant to have some give to them, and frame slugs eliminate any flexibility, just saying.
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Old 02-03-2020, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smerft85 View Post
Make sure everything is exact if you do move forward, but I still wouldn't recommend it, frames are meant to have some give to them, and frame slugs eliminate any flexibility, just saying.
So are you suggesting butt welding the tubing only is a better solution?

I have spliced a few frames , and never had one fail/ not "flex" , or not be square, or any type of issue at all.

The "frame slugs " dont travel the whole length of the frame, and without them to keep the frame lined up, will be difficult to butt weld the frame together square, under .125 tolerance.

Its easy to set both "extenders" side by side to see if they are even, thats just common sense

Its much safer to have a solid plug supporting the frame, than only the butt welded tubing. Who cares if you loose a fraction of flex, its not a racing kart.

But yes, ideally a straight run of tubing without splices will awlays be best, but again, common sense will tell you that.

If you are uncomfortable welding it yourself, set it up, and bring it to a professional shop for final welding.

And when in doubt, break out the tape measure!
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Old 02-03-2020, 03:08 PM
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Not once have I mentioned butt welding anything. I have added to frames as well as shortened them after someone else messed it up in the first place, plus I've seen factory welds be off too. You make it all seem like there is no rush whatsoever, but there is, always.
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Old 02-03-2020, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smerft85 View Post
You make it all seem like there is no rush whatsoever, but there is, always.
Building or modifying a frame, or most mechanical work in general is not something that should be rushed, work at a pace your comfortable with , the end result usually turns out better.

Unfortunately we are becoming a very impatient society.

If its a Gotta have it now, then do what you suggested, leave it as is or buy another kart.
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Old 02-03-2020, 03:48 PM
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That "rush" was supposed to be "risk", auto correct is just wonderful sometimes. There is a risk anytime you cut, heat, or beat steel, no way around it, all will weaken the steel. I do agree, take your time on everything, it's scary doing 40-45 and then finding out you lost a bolt in the brakes while you are aimed at traffic on a busy street, don't ask how I know, let's just say I got in an excited hurry. Whatever you decide to do, be careful and sure of your work before a top speed test.
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Old 02-06-2020, 05:44 PM
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1st off grab a pen paper and tape measure angle protractor etc, and measure frame before doing anything, this will tell what your starting point is.

Cut at red lines, grind paint off 3 inches back, deburr inside holes. Make four 4 inch long slugs to go inside tubes (solid or tube) .

Now drill two 1/4 inch dia holes 1 inch back on all tubes. Now drill two 1/4 inch dia hole 1-1/2 inches back, 90* from 1st set.

You now have 32 holes drilled, deburr them so the slugs still go into tubes.

Use a sharpy and draw a line around slugs in the middle, you should have about a 1/16 line.

Insert a slug until the marker line just touches tube, now you have 2 inches sticking out.

Plug weld one hole, now repeat on other 3 legs on one half of cart DO NOT WELD ALL 16 HOLES, you should now have 4 holes welded and four plugs in.

Now slid front 4 frame ends onto the slugs, use a penny ~1/16 of an inch as a spacer to set gap and check with tap measure for square and plumb.

Plug weld 1 hole of those four frame parts.

Now frame is tacked together, dbl check squareness etc, finish plug welding each hole, alternate between all 8 ends, when done burn in the 8 tube ends .

A flat surface to clamp bottom down before welding anything would really help

The top tube will really help with flex issues 1 rail carts would have
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Old 02-06-2020, 06:53 PM
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Why not just make a front porch and move your feet and pedals. Leave the axle where it is.
This way your not cutting the frame and all that.

Even flipping your pedals will do wonders. Make em curve away from you.
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Old 02-07-2020, 07:14 AM
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O.P. hasn't put any input back with us, why are we still on the topic? The two posts above me are indeed probably two of the better ways to get more space. Let's see if the O.P. comes back?
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Old 02-07-2020, 08:38 PM
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I agree with flipping the pedals. It's a 445. I'm like 5'9 and have some room. My pedals are the other direction. Click image for larger version

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Old 02-08-2020, 02:45 AM
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Old 02-08-2020, 07:55 AM
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Heavily experienced in fabrication-go for it.(my guess is no or you would have just done it already.) Cant weld, limited fabrication skills-buy different frame. To be honest no place to start your first fabrication project.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:50 AM
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I used to build chopper frames in my garage floor with a level, a plumb bob, and a tape measure.
I’ve been way over 100mph on several of them.
Extending a frame is very doable, take your time, measure, and cross measure, and jig it up where everything is level.
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Old 02-10-2020, 08:40 AM
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Thank you to everyone for your input. I'm going to consider all the options put forth. I would respond to you guys individually but there's a good deal of comments on here now so again thank you to everyone for your help
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