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Old 08-14-2009, 04:02 PM
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Default Solutions for using vertical shaft engines

this is from Kapitain

Vertical Shaft Engines and Go Karts

When it comes to finding an engine, I'm sure many of you have noticed its much easier to get a cheap vertical shaft engine, than a cheap horizontal shaft. I'm sure you have also noticed, a vertical shaft engine is not a "Plug 'n' Play" type of engine, it takes time, and some fabrication skills to make it work. There are 3 common ways to make a vertical shaft engine work for a go kart type vehicle; using a Right angle gear box (RAGB), using a lawnmower trans axle, and modifying the engine itself to run in a horizontal position.

Method #1: Right Angle Gear Box (RAGB)

A RAGB is one of the less complicated ways of using a vertical shaft engine in a go kart; it requires no modification of anything except for your frame. An RAGB is just a simple 90* gearbox, which normally consists of two bevel gears. They can be found fairly cheap on ebay, often for under $100.

The first step for setting up a RAGB would be to mount your motor, with room either in front or in back of it for your RAGB. You should then mount your RAGB onto your frame, with the input shaft Parallel to your engines crankshaft, and the output Parallel to your rear axle. If you are planning on using a torque converter MAKE SURE you mount your RAGB the proper distance from the crankshaft, the right distance depends on which torque converter your using. From here on its pretty straight forward, you will have to decide what gear ratio you want, and what type of clutch you are going to use (torque converter, Centrifugal, Belt Tensioner).

-Torque Converter

If you are using a Torque converter, simply install the driver on your crankshaft and your driven on the RAGB input shaft, If you have your torque converter already when you are buying your RAGB or vice versa, make sure you match your driven pulley to the RAGB's input shaft. Now you need to decide on what gear ratio you want, which depends on tire size, engine RPM, and engine Hp and torque ratings. No matter what you choose you should put your smaller sprocket on the output of the RAGB and your larger sprocket on your axle.

Belt Tensioner-

If you want to use a belt tensioner style clutch, simply buy 2 of the same size pulleys (i suggest at least 4" for minimum belt slip), install one on your RAGB, and the other one your engine, make sure they line up, now you will need to make sure tensioner, again this is up to you, the basic parts you will need are an idler pulley, some steel, and a very strong spring. The next thing you will have to do is make belt guides, belt guides help to keep the belt on, and stop it from grabbing when you don't want it to, Here is a good example of some well made belt guides. Now you need to decide on what gear ratio you want, which depends on tire size, engine RPM, and engine Hp and torque ratings. Nowmatter what you choose you should put your smaller sprocket on the output of the RAGB and your larger sprocket on your axle.

Centrifugal Clutch -

Setting up a centrifugal clutch is the easiest of the three. First your going to need either 2 sprockets of the same size and a chain, or 2 pulleys of the same size and a belt. Which you use is up to you, the belt is more forgiving when it comes to misalignment, but the chain will slip less. Put one of your pulleys or sprockets on your crankshaft, and the other on your RAGB input, then simply mount your centrifugal clutch on the RAGB output shaft, and run that to a sprocket on your back axle just like you would with a horizontal shaft engine.

Here is what i wrote
So you may be wondering how can i use a lawn mower engine with a vertical shaft to power a go kart other then using a RAGB or a mower trans axle. Well the way you would do that is turn the engine on its side, simple right? well not really. here I will enplane how to convert a vertical shaft engine into a horizontal shaft engine.

The first modification you would have to do is rotate the carb so the bowl faces downward unless you have a diaphragm style carb. you will have to machine a intake conversion. after you have that problem figured out you may think your done, well wrong you still have 2 other issues to worry about.

The second major issue you have to face is, oiling. how does one keep a engine oiled to prevent seizing of parts when the engine is run in a position it isn't supposed to be run in. a vertical shaft engine would either have a oil slinger or it may be full pressure lubed. the oil slingers are just a spinning piece in the engine that splashes oil around just like a rod dipper on a horizontal shaft engine. full pressure lube has a pump that runs off the cam shaft and has a pick up in the bottom of the engine, then it goes through a filter mounted on the outside of the engine. and it gets fed through cast holes in the block to different parts of the engine.

to use a engine equipped with a oil slinger you would need to first remove the slinger and then fabricate a rod dipper. one for each rod in the block then on what ever side of the block it will be laying on you will need to machine a new oil pan so the engine has a good supply of oil. this will need to be done for both full pressure lube and one with a slinger.


to use a full pressure lube system you will need to get a new oil pan for what ever part of the block that will be the new bottom of the block. then after that you need to find the original oil pick up for the pump. after you found it you will need to come up with a way to run a tube to the bottom of the block into the new oil pan. and you have to make sure it will get a constant supply of oil. and also you will have to make sure that tube doesn't get in the way of any moving parts.

At this point you may think you are done well wrong again. you need to come up with a way of mounting the engine in a way that it wont put stress on the rest of the engine. if you were just to use the original mounting holes the weight of the block on the other end and the vibrations may make it come loose/ crack the block etc etc.... it will most likely need to be mounted from the bottom. so you will have to think of a way to mount it.


now you are complete but you want to test it at idle for about 10 minuets at a time then check everything to make sure its oiled properly and nothing is going wrong.



you may be wondering what type of engine you should use. well anything on a push mower normally has to small of a flywheel to use without the blade on. so that would be out of the question unless you get a new flywheel. I also don't think this much work would be worth it on any small push mower engine just due to the fact that they normally don't have a lot of HP. a engine from a riding mower would work great. they have there ups and downs. first they are big and heavy, but they do produce lots of power.


All of the above are the concerns of a 4 stroke engine. if you have a 2 stroke lawn mower engine it probably came off of a lawn boy. these are relatively simple to run sideways. all you need to do is turn the carb if it has a bowl and float type carb if its a diaphragm you don't need to. because 2 strokes get oiled through the fuel via pre mix you don't have all the issues of a 4 stroke and oiling. but if you do run it sideways you will want to run more oil in the gas.


I hope this little guide gives you some help on seeing if converting a vertical shaft engine to run horizontal! remember it can be done given enough time,money,skill, and patience. good luck!


there is another section that i do not have. this is open for you guys to take a look at and see if we should change anything

we also are going to have a few pictures mabey again guys just look over this and see if there is something we need to change.
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Old 08-14-2009, 04:04 PM
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Heres the other part (transaxle and transmission section i wrote)
I have the whole thing put together, with bolt lettering and links where needed, its just too big to put in one post.

Method #2: Riding lawn mower transmission or transaxle

The common answer to the question "cant i just use the lawnmower transmission?" is "no, it won't hold up", that is true of many transaxles and transmissions from lawnmowers, but there are some that will work alright for a go kart.

This first transmission to keep an eye out for is a Peerless 700 series, they are normally found on rear engine riding mowers, and large commercial walk behind mowers. All peerless 700 series will look like this, there may be slight variations, but they all have input on the bottom, shifter shaft out the top, and sprocket on the side. The peerless 700 series is very simple to set up, and can even be kept in gear and use like a RAGB (see above). All the 700 series transmissions i have seen have a 5/8" input shaft, and a splined output shaft, to set up a 700, you basically bolt it to a frame and run your centrifugal clutch, torque converter, or belt tensioner style clutch from your engine to transmission, just like you would set up a RAGB. If you would like to shift the transmission, you would need to make some linkages, the type of linkage you need depends on where the transmission is, and what type of kart you have.

The second transmission you should keep an eye out for is the peerless 350/400 series transmission. The 350 and 400 series look the same from the outside, and will both hold up fine, but the 400 series has bearings instead of bushings. All 350 and 400 series will look like this, and again there may be slight variations in them. They are all "H" pattern shift, 3 speed w/reverse and have a sprocket just like the 700 series. Creating shifting linkage for this transmission would be hard, so keep that in mind. You would basically set this up the same way as the 700 transmission (see above).

The third transmission (this one is a transaxle, which means the axle is built into the transmission) to look for is the peerless 600 series. This transmission is durable, has an "H" pattern 3spd with reverse (just like the 350/400). The downside to this transaxle is the axles are only 3/4", which may be a problem if your making a heavy kart. All 600 series will look like this(side view), and again may have slight variations in the castings, etc. There are a few ways to set up a transaxle like this, the first option would be to mount it into your frame, and mount your tires in the axles, then just run your choice of engine and clutch to it. The second option would be to bolt it into your frame a little further forward, then run a chain from the transaxle axles to a live axle. NOTE - if you do run chain from your transaxle to rear axle, you will have to run one on either side, unless you lock your differential, which i will explain later on.

The fourth transaxle to keep an eye out for is the peerless 820 series, which is a very heavy duty transaxle, comes in a few different speeds (5-7 i believe), and of course reverse. The 820 transaxles are very beefy, with bearings supporting everything, and 1" axles. If your going to use a transaxle this is the one for you. They are often found in large riding lawn mowers, and the 1" axle is a dead giveaway. All 820's will look something like this, and may have slight variations. The 820s can be set up just like the 600 series.


With all lawnmower transmissions, you will most likely have to do a little math to figure out the right gear ratio, depending on your transmission you may have to overdrive your transmission just to get good go kart speeds (bigger sprocket or pulley on engine than on transmission).f
Now, you cant just bolt a lawnmower transaxle up and expect it to last, now matter how durable it is, you first have to prep the transmission.

First, clean outside of the transmission, it doesn't have to be perfect just get the main hunks of dirt and stuff off.

Second, Remove the input pulley, and any shifter linkage that is attached (for 820, and 700 series).

Third, remove all the bolts holding the cases together, and slowly split the cases, take a good look at how everything goes, maybe even take a few pictures.

Fourth, Clean out all the grease in the transaxle, you can generally scoop most of it out, but if its really stuck in there, gas dissolves it really well.

Fifth, Check all parts for wear and tear, if anything is worn out you can find replacements online. Fill the case about 1/3 of the way up with gear oil, i use 85w. Reassemble carefully, use permatex on the edge of the cases to prevent leaks, pack all bearings with grease, and make sure that the bushings or bearings are seated properly, they will have a little tab or flat edge that locks into the case.

Sixth, Now you need to tap a breather into the case, depending on which transmission you have, you may already have a hole for one, just get a fitting and a piece of rubber tubing and extend it out so you don't splash oil everywhere. You just need something to vent it so it doesn't build up too much pressure and create leaks.

The one other thing you may want to do is lock the differential if your using a transaxle. Locking the differential will give you traction, but may make it harder to turn and will rip up the lawn. To lock the differential, you simply weld the spider gears together, just make sure they are lined up properly, its best to tack them together while they are still in the cases than take them out and finish welding.

Now your all set to go!
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Old 08-14-2009, 06:17 PM
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Now how come it was so hard to write an essay in school?
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Old 08-14-2009, 06:39 PM
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because we dont give a **** about the western fronteir. and we acctualy are interested in this and are willing to help!
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Old 08-14-2009, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
anything on a push mower normally has to small of a flywheel to use without the blade on. so that would be out of the question unless you get a new flywheel.
By "too small" I assume you meant too light(?).
I go out of my way to get the lighter flywheels (2 or 4 cycle). Acceleration (not velocity) is vastly improved.
Quote:
all you need to do is turn the carb if it has a bowl and float type carb if its a diaphragm you don't need to.
All Lawn-boy mowers utilize float carburetors.
Quote:
but if you do run it sideways you will want to run more oil in the gas.
Not at all. Makes no difference in a 2 cycle.
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Old 08-14-2009, 07:19 PM
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Its still a good idea to run a little more.

A push mower engine around 4 horse has a really light flywheel and it uses the blade as a second flywheel so it runs right.

also i wasnt sure if ALL lawnboys use float carbys. and im sure there are other 2 stroke mowers.
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Old 08-14-2009, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Its still a good idea to run a little more.
Again...not at all. Experience tells me otherwise. I've been building them for too many years to just roll over on this.
Quote:
A push mower engine around 4 horse has a really light flywheel and it uses the blade as a second flywheel so it runs right.
Has no effect on it's "running right". Just responds differently.
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Old 08-14-2009, 07:44 PM
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i was just going by what people have been saying, and on davids farm everytime he makes a vid on getting a push mower running he explanes exactly why you need to make sure it has a blade on before trying to start it.
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Old 08-14-2009, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
i was just going by what people have been saying
I question everything I hear.
Groucho Marx once said:
"Who do you believe? Me, or your own eyes?"
Anyway...fuel enters crankcase as a nebulous mix (or cloud) of gas and oil. It does not know the difference between up/down or side to side. This is why proper sealing is so important in 2 cycle engines.
Quote:
explanes exactly why you need to make sure it has a blade on before trying to start it.
True enough, but we're talking about conversions to kart engines.
An engine with a lighter flywheel may be slightly more difficult to start because of it's lack of momentum/inertia and exhibits all the symptoms of a sheared key. The payoff surpasses any difficulty in starting and should be pursued by anyone who is serious about boosting performance on the bottom end.
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Old 08-14-2009, 09:20 PM
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alright i wasnt thinking ill edit it soon.
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:58 PM
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thanks Russ for the info.

Yeah guys I think that looks like good info. Needs to be run through the grammar / spelling wringer another time. I didn't do any edits since I don't know if either of you already have. Let me know if you've changed anything otherwise I'd like to make some changes.
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:20 PM
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Go ahead feel free to make some changes thats why its here for open revisions. and i don't think we made any changes.
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:31 PM
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Yup, change anything you need to, i havent really edited it besides using the spell check on my computer. I know my spelling and grammar isnt the best, so feel free to re-phrase anything.
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:41 AM
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ok i'll get around to this hopefully Friday. Been working on the boat / cleaning the garage..
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Old 08-23-2009, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertdjung View Post
ok i'll get around to this hopefully Friday. Been working on the boat / cleaning the garage..
Thats all ive been doing for the past few days

Got the boat runnin today; somehow a screw fell out of the carb and was holding a reed open. 2 strokes
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Old 08-23-2009, 07:09 PM
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One has to be careful with their words ;-)

A flywheel is a simple rotating wheel used to store energy or stabilize something. The energy it stores is equal to its moment of inertia - a physics term that basically means the mass of the object times the square of its distance from the axis of rotation - times the square of its angular velocity divided by 2.

Flywheels help stabilize drive shafts subject to alternating or infrequent pressures, such as piston engines or piston pumps.

The stabilizing effect comes from the flywheel resisting changes in its rotational speed, carrying the rotating assembly of the engine around through strokes that are not a power stroke.

There are three flywheel parameters that are important for this discussion.

1. Overall weight.
2. Overall diameter.
3. Weight distribution across that diameter.

If the diameters are the same, an overall heavier flywheel will store more energy than a lighter flywheel.

If the weight is the same, a larger diameter flywheel will store more energy than a smaller diameter flywheel.

#3 above is the most important. Putting most of the flywheel's weight around the perimeter allows one to design a smaller diameter, overall lighter flywheel than a simple thick disk of iron or steel. This allows creative packaging and allows engine designers to make physically smaller engines.

Physically smaller, less heavy engines are more efficient in operation (a big deal these days) and also they're less costly to make (less materials) and cheaper to ship (weight and size directly impact shipping costs of course).

It depends what the flywheel is for. On a gasoline engine generally the mass is equally distributed across the entire diameter because the surface of the flywheel is used as a contact patch for the clutch assembly. If this contact patch is not necessary to transmit power from the engine to the device the engine is powering, one can change the flywheel design to distribute most of the mass along the outside edge.
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russ2251 View Post
True enough, but we're talking about conversions to kart engines.
An engine with a lighter flywheel may be slightly more difficult to start because of it's lack of momentum/inertia and exhibits all the symptoms of a sheared key. The payoff surpasses any difficulty in starting and should be pursued by anyone who is serious about boosting performance on the bottom end.
So I understand that the flywheel is to....

Quote:
Originally Posted by frederic View Post
Flywheels help stabilize drive shafts subject to alternating or infrequent pressures, such as piston engines or piston pumps.

The stabilizing effect comes from the flywheel resisting changes in its rotational speed, carrying the rotating assembly of the engine around through strokes that are not a power stroke.
So the question is: is a lawn mower engine have a heavy enough fly wheel without a blade to maintain through the power stroke/ stabilize drive shafts? Where is the payoff of a lighter flywheel more torque off the line?
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:10 PM
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It will rev faster.
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:22 PM
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The payoff is above the 4k-5k mark and above.
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Old 08-25-2009, 12:02 AM
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But if you think about it for those who have not removed the gov and the pay off is at 4k plus they wont notice anything other then harder to start.
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