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Old 06-23-2012, 10:02 PM
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Default (PROJECT) AmEx Black

Hello all,

Just thought I'd share my newest project with you. While I love (PROJECT) Street Dingo, it has a couple of drawbacks. First, the thing is big. I can't fit it in the back of my Yukon, so I have to trailer it everywhere. Plus, I bust a nut trying to load it by myself. And with a solid axle and 14" wide tires, it plows in the turns like crazy. You have to steer it with the throttle.

But the big benefit of the Dingo is it's totally reliable. Starts on the 2nd pull everytime. And I'm not afraid to let anyone ride it. So I've been watching for a nice addition to the Dingo. Something smaller, but with the same reliability and simplicity to drive.

Then I stumbled upon this on Craigslist...



It's a Manco American Express. Came out in the 80's. It's basically a 3/4 size Manco Dingo. Alot lighter too. Had a 5hp Briggs on it the seller said ran good. The price is right so I snagged it.

Got 'er home, powerwashed her and gave her a good once-over. Everything looked good.









This one gives you a good idea of the size difference between the two machines.



Found some small issues like a boogered electrical circuit for the kill switch, broken/duct taped nassau panel, and non-stock wheels/tires on the back. No biggie though.

However the biggest problem was the motor. It just wouldn't stay running without the choke at idle. I did all the tricks-clean the carb and emulsion tubes, new gaskets, diaphram, etc. No luck. Finally I threw my hands up and said "forget it!". Time for the Briggs to go.

So seeing as Fathers Day was just around the corner, I started dropping some hints around the house. Luckily, my wife and kids are pretty preceptive. (Or I just was a little too obvious). So last Sunday AM, I woke up to this bad boy in the living room.





That's right...the new 212cc Predator clone. With the Fathers Day sale and a coupon, she walked out paying just over $95. I was about to spend that much at the local small engine repair shop on the 5hp, so I got a brand new 7hp instead. Don't worry flathead purists, my Dad is a Briggs nut. He's the new owner. He'll get it rockin.

Initial mockup unearthed a couple of problems. First, the gas tank was hitting the seat and I still couldn't line up the holes. So I cut off the mount, moved it back 2" inches, and re-welded it back up.





After a couple of coats of semi-gloss black, you'd never know I did any mods.



Now the motor bolted up just fine. Next up was the throttle cable. The stock cable was too short. And Manco's throttle cables have a weird hoop-end to them with a threaded adjuster. So I ordered one for a Dingo-same end but just longer. Hooked up to the Predator throttle provision perfect. Also ordered a throttle pedal spring that my Dingo has but the AmEx didn't. Works great!





After bypassing the oil shutoff and running a tank of gas through 'er at half-throttle to break it in, she was ready for the clutch and chain. Digging through my inventory of clutches didn't yield me anything that would work. They were either totally roached or fused to another motors' crankshaft. So I ran down to the local small engine shop and scored a nice Max-Torque with some new chain.

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Old 06-23-2012, 10:12 PM
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So here she is-the motor all ready to go.









Took it out for the maiden voyage tonite and it ran like stink! Waaaay more torque than the Briggs, smoother, quieter, and twists up alot higher-even with the governor still attached! Like night and day. Drifts on concrete at will!

But I pretty much ruined the back tires doing high-speed drifts all night. I scored a full set of brand new Maxxis racing kart rain tires and 7 sets of Van K aluminum wheel halves off CL recently. So it looks like I'm gonna get 'em on sooner rather than later.



Need to order some hubs and probably some new mounting hardware, but they should fit perfect. Plus this thing sees most of its' duty on dirt roads and grass so the tread on the rain tires should work nice.

I'll post up more pics as I make improvements, and of course some video!

-Fast Eddie
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:54 AM
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That looks cool, I want one
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Old 06-24-2012, 03:41 AM
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That looks very cool! Could you make us a video of it running?
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Old 06-24-2012, 09:13 AM
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Great score, Eddie! How perfect is it, that it's the little brother to your dingo! That's just awesome! Happy Father's Day with the new engine!
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Old 06-24-2012, 03:12 PM
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Nice kart there! Lol, I like how you as a dad get a new engine, and your dad gets the old one, smooth.
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:28 AM
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Looks like the American Express has international appeal!! UK, Belgium, Australia and Canada. Shweet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabroman View Post
That looks cool, I want one
Thanks bro.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodroz View Post
That looks very cool! Could you make us a video of it running?
You bet. I think there may be an Emmett Outlaw meeting this Friday. Perfect time to get some footage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toystory_4wd View Post
Great score, Eddie! How perfect is it, that it's the little brother to your dingo! That's just awesome! Happy Father's Day with the new engine!
HaHa! Thanks bro.

Quote:
Originally Posted by r_chez_08 View Post
Nice kart there! Lol, I like how you as a dad get a new engine, and your dad gets the old one, smooth.
Kind of a Sadie Hawkins Fathers Day, huh?
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:29 AM
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I have saved this project in my "favorites" map. I'm going to rebuild my gokart in the same style as yours. I just love it too much!

Could you please post a picture for me with all the dimensions? How thick is your axle? Does it has a keyway? What for sort of brake is that?
Could you also please post some pictures of the spindles and the whole steering set up?

I'm sorry for asking all these questions.
Thanks in advance.

Regards,
Alex
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodroz View Post
What for sort of brake is that?
It's a band brake... stick with hydraulic lol

I just noticed the spindles; are they springs at the top? Mini suspension, what a cool idea!

There's nothing I don't like about this kart so, last night, I drew up plans to build one: new kart coming soon...
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:26 PM
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how tall are those back tires? you might need a smaller rear sprocket if it bottoms out
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:38 AM
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I love this kart too. Even though it is smaller than the other manco a adult can still ride it.
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Old 06-26-2012, 05:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabroman View Post
It's a band brake... stick with hydraulic lol
They seem to be quite cheap. Are they reliable?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabroman View Post
I just noticed the spindles; are they springs at the top? Mini suspension, what a cool idea!
I just noticed that also! ****, that's a nice idea. I guess I'll implement that in my gokart also.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabroman View Post
I
There's nothing I don't like about this kart so, last night, I drew up plans to build one: new kart coming soon...
Can't wait!

I'm already drawing some plans based on this gokart.
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Old 06-26-2012, 05:50 AM
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Quote:
Quote:
I just noticed the spindles; are they springs at the top? Mini suspension, what a cool idea!
I just noticed that also! ****, that's a nice idea. I guess I'll implement that in my gokart also.
I did that on my kart.
Food for thought-


C/O DCproductions


CLICKY
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodroz View Post
I have saved this project in my "favorites" map. I'm going to rebuild my gokart in the same style as yours. I just love it too much!

Could you please post a picture for me with all the dimensions? How thick is your axle? Does it has a keyway? What for sort of brake is that?
Could you also please post some pictures of the spindles and the whole steering set up?

I'm sorry for asking all these questions.
Thanks in advance.

Regards,
Alex
I'll post up some detailed pics...but honestly it would be waay easier to just buy an AmEx frame. I paid $140 for a running kart. I couldn't replicate it for even $140 in materials...much less the labor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabroman View Post
It's a band brake... stick with hydraulic lol

I just noticed the spindles; are they springs at the top? Mini suspension, what a cool idea!

There's nothing I don't like about this kart so, last night, I drew up plans to build one: new kart coming soon...
Thanks bro. Thats the first thing I noticed. With the Briggs the band brake worked fine. I'm definately runnin' too hard for it now. A brake upgrade will be in the future for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluethunder3320 View Post
how tall are those back tires? you might need a smaller rear sprocket if it bottoms out
It'll be close. But by going to smaller tires, it's gonna mess up my final drive ratio anyway so I may need to go to a smaller axle sprocket.

But I wanna upgrade to a Comet TAV before I do that then fine tune top end with the sprocket dia.

Quote:
Originally Posted by landuse View Post
I love this kart too. Even though it is smaller than the other manco a adult can still ride it.
Yeah, I'm 6'2" and I fit perfectly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by r_chez_08 View Post
I did that on my kart.
Food for thought-
My Dingo doesn't have any front suspension. I like the AmEx suspension because I can hit little curbs and cracks in the cement without breaking my ankles and wrists anymore.

I found this one on CL for $450. Kinda what I wanna do to mine. More of a street kart. But my treaded rain tires will be better on gravel and grass. BTW-here is a link to it on CL

Manco American Express
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Eddie View Post
I'll post up some detailed pics...but honestly it would be waay easier to just buy an AmEx frame. I paid $140 for a running kart. I couldn't replicate it for even $140 in materials...much less the labor.
That would be great! Thanks!

If you can find ANY used gokart frame (apart from real karts) here in Belgium, please tell me! I'm looking on Belgian websites where people sell their used stuff (like Craiglist) but I have never found any real gokart frame like a Dingo, AmEx, whatsoever.

I will need to make it myself...
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Old 06-27-2012, 02:11 AM
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Dang Ed, your stuff always nicer than mine...
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodroz View Post
That would be great! Thanks!

If you can find ANY used gokart frame (apart from real karts) here in Belgium, please tell me! I'm looking on Belgian websites where people sell their used stuff (like Craiglist) but I have never found any real gokart frame like a Dingo, AmEx, whatsoever.

I will need to make it myself...
Sorry to hear that bro. Maybe you should get together with a few buddys and arrange to freight a bunch of kart and minibike stuff from the states. Then you could have some cool stuff and sell the rest. I had a friend that moved from Australia. He shipped his tools standard freight. Took 2 months but it was pretty cheap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orange Krate View Post
Dang Ed, your stuff always nicer than mine...
Sup O.K.! How's the General Lee?

Took the kill switch off the motor and JB-welded it to the steering wheel. When I take pics tonite of the front spindles I'll show you my JB mastery!
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Old 06-29-2012, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodroz View Post
If you can find ANY used gokart frame (apart from real karts) here in Belgium, please tell me! I'm looking on Belgian websites where people sell their used stuff (like Craiglist) but I have never found any real gokart frame like a Dingo, AmEx, whatsoever.

I will need to make it myself...
Same problem over here; you see one or two occasionally, like fallenleopards, but nothing like this.

As for shipping; based on ebay prices, to ship anything from the US to Australia usually costs more than the item is worth
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Old 07-17-2012, 12:09 AM
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My street conversion is similar to the blue kart in a previous post. I also have an American Express I am starting to build, but going a little different route than my current one. Here are some pics.


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Old 07-17-2012, 07:57 AM
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Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I'm right in the middle of moving and working on the new house. I blew out a rear tire so I went to Tractor Supply to get a set of tires to get me by til I get new hubs for the Van-K's. They're 3" shorter so it killed my top-end. Just bounces off the gov at about 30. Awesome out of the hole though! Gotta switch from my 72 tooth to something in the mid-50's.

Anyone in the Motor City wanna swap sprockets?


Quote:
Originally Posted by rkinney View Post
My street conversion is similar to the blue kart in a previous post. I also have an American Express I am starting to build, but going a little different route than my current one...
Dude that thing is sweet! You swap out the axle to a longer one? What a great re-use of the gas tank. Like it was made to go right there! So you didn't have to mess with your mount either.

Plus I dig the orange.
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