Radio Controlled "Go Kart"

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MadManAndrew

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Greetings go karters,

I'm new here, but not necessarily new to the world of go karts or custom fabrication, or radio control, for that matter. I've been an avid home fabricator for all of my adult life, and I'm here to share with and enlist all of you avid go karts help in my next project: a radio controlled "go kart". I put go kart in quotation marks because my goal was never to build an actual go kart, but just to build a really big RC car. I've taken to calling it a go kart because to build it in the scale I want to build it, go karts parts are the perfect size and are readily available, hence this project becoming the "RC Go Kart".

I've already got quite a few parts:



  • 1" Live Axle - 36" Long
  • Set of 3-Hole Live Axle Mounts
  • Set of 4 on 4 Live Axle Hubs
  • 3/4 x 4-1/2" Heavy-Duty Front Spindles
  • Set of 4 on 4 Ball-Bearing Front Hubs OTW right now
  • 3/4 x 2-1/2" Compression Springs (for front spindles)
  • Enough 3/4" SCH40 pipe to supply water to the city

I found this really cool 1953 Ford F-100 scale fiberglass body so I'm aiming for my frame to fit under that. It supposedly measures 67L x 28 ½W x 17 T.


Elsewise, my future plans include:
  • Golf Cart Wheels + Tires (Kind of goes toward a Monster Truck theme but mainly I can get a good used set for <$50.
  • Either a Power Horse 6.5HP or a Lifan 6.5HP (Want electric start; Power Horse is considerably cheaper and of equal reputation)
  • CVT "Torque Converter"
  • I'll spare you guys the radio controls aspects unless you're interested

I'm unsure yet of a couple minor details but I think that kind of sets the path. I'm unsure yet of what type of brake system will work best for my application (integration into a radio control system). I'm also unsure of what final drive ratio to aim for since my kart is unmanned but it will also have atypically large tires. I would like to have acceleration and top speed but if I had to sacrifice one it would be speed. The vehicle will be ran in relatively small spaces so acceleration is most important.

I had made a very detailed CAD design of the kart from top to bottom but that was when I was planning to do a buggy style vehicle with rear swing arm. Upon decision to ditch the tube body buggy aesthetics for the fiberglass body and ditch the swing arm in favor of a little more simplicity (I really don't think it will need it), that design is pretty much useless. I don't plan to do a new CAD rendering of the new design since it's really too simple to need it, but I did throw together a rough sketch just to help guide my through getting all my dimensions right. Here's that:



I've been on this forum pretty much everyday for the past couple of weeks researching ideas and concepts as they pertain to my project and I forsee that continuing so I will be sure to keep this thread updated with my progress! Right now I'm waiting for the front hubs I ordered to come in early next week so I can see how far they offset the wheel mounting surface before I start welding up the front end. I would hate to use my best judgment and then end up with the front end noticeably narrower (or worse, wider!) than the rear.

Please let me know what you guy think!
 

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fanderson

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that is the coolest thing ive ever seen. :cornut:
I'll spare you guys the radio controls aspects unless you're interested
i cant speak for everyone else on the forum, but i think it would be really interesting to learn a bit about the radio controlled aspects of the build. i dont really even know what kind of questions to ask, but it would be cool just to get an overview of how that stuff works
 

firemanjim

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Cool plan! Where did you get the body and how much? That's a nice piece!
O yeah! :welcome2: please fill in your location.....
 

Poboy kartman

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Welcome to the forum.....what Jim meant was it was a nice POS.....not really....juzt kidding.....

The more details the better......:popcorn:....and plz fill out your profile....at least location.....
 

accuratemike

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That's great!! I did do something along those lines once. Small for a gokart big for an R/C car. I'm like 90% of the way there. Maybe someday I'll finish it. I like the size of your build, I'll be following this thread. Enjoy, Mike
 

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MadManAndrew

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Thank you for all the support guys! Obviously y'all are interested in the abnormal aspects of this build so I'll be sure to include that in my next update! I updated my location; I'm from the DFW area, and as a little background I work full time and am also currently going to school full time to get my BS in mechanical engineering. Sometimes this leaves me with very little time to work on my projects but I do my best to find time! As for the body, I haven't bought it yet! Lol It's a piece from a company called sick n twisted designs and it's $350 so I'm saving it for very last! I'm not necessarily worried about it fitting perfect since it will be kind of like a monster truck anyway.

Accuratemike, would you mind sharing some info about your build? How did you setup your steering system?
 

accuratemike

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Andrew, there is a "1/4 Scale" servo at each wheel. There is also a tie rod connecting left to right. Both servos help turn both wheels. It's never run but, it would turn the wheels sitting still on pavement. Looking at the size of your parts, you may need bigger servos than 1/4 scale stuff. Mike
 

accuratemike

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That's an old, unfinished project. It has a 26cc Echo trimmer engine, centrifugal clutch. I started with a FNR electric gear box and a solenoid brake. A friend finished one with the same gearbox and it blew up. I'm back to no reverse. The solenoid had no balls, it has a scooter band brake on it now. I lost a bunch of battery weight getting away from using electric trans and brakes. That's an X-10 wireless cam on top. If you look close, you can see a family radio mounted on it too. The camera hears, I could talk with the radio. It's mostly 1/2" square and round tube. I made a CNC torch machine once (finished that), there are some 1/8" plate parts too. I can stand on it. There is an expansion chamber for it here somewhere. I have big amp-hour gel cells for the servos and the cam and R/C stuff run on rechargable packs. I have parts to convert the patch antenna on the cam to uni directional. The idea was a drone that would be able to run around my woods and field. I might have to finish it now. Mike
 

MadManAndrew

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Thank you for sharing, Mike, that sounds like a very cool project! I wish I could see it in action, but I can understand why it's in the state it's in. That is one complex rig. I myself only made a habit out of finishing projects here recently.

As for my project, I only have a few inconsequential updates for today, but I wanted to write them down if for no other reason than for my own reference later. I do have a few questions though if any of y'all are feeling helpful today.

1. I have decided to go with the Lifan engine. Although it's $30 more, it opens the door to a whole plethora of future performance possibilities that the Power Horse, not being a clone, slams it on. Although budget is a large part of this build, $30 is not worth saving now if it means I have to buy a whole new motor when I'm ready for better performance later.

2. The main reason I decided to go with the Lifan is because I started looking at hop-up kits. I'm thinking a Stage-One kit with header, air cleaner, carb jet, and 18lb. valve springs. I was originally just gonna throw a header and air cleaner on it but for almost the same price I can get this whole kit. I have a few questions regarding this:

a. The kit lets me choose what size jet I want, 78-98. It says they recommend a 90. I have no idea what these numbers mean. Can somebody clue me in?
b. Will my otherwise stock motor be fine with these upgrades?
c. What does replacing the carb jet and valve springs entail? Retuning the carb? Resetting valve lash?

3. I think I found a different body that I like better. I'm not gonna clue you guys in on that until I have whichever body I decide to buy sitting in my shop, though. I don't want to seem like a flip flopper.

4. I found a set of nice almost new wheels and tires on CL for $90. I think I will be picking them up this weekend. I think you guys will like them, they are not your typical dish golf cart wheels; they're just a tad nicer.

5. I'm having trouble getting my keystock to fit my axle. The key in the axle is just a hair too small. I know it's the axle because the stock fits the hubs just fine. Is this a normal ordeal with cheap parts? I got the axle from Northern Tool. Should I just sand down the stock a little bit to fit?

Thanks for reading, and have a great day.
 

MadManAndrew

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Paint? Mine is nickel plated. I'm not sure how to go about removing the nickel-plating, nor am I sure that I want to. I'm starting to think I may have chosen too long of an axle. If I go with the truck body I'll probably stick with it but if I get the other body I'm looking at I would like to tuck the wheels under, and that will require a considerable shorter axle.
 

MadManAndrew

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My front hubs came in today so I went home, got the measurements I needed from them, and started building.

Hubs mocked up on the spindle to take measurements


Setting up a jig to weld the crossbars


Welding washers onto the spindle brackets to align the kingpin


Aaaaand, for the grand finale, mocked up, minus a few washers
 

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MadManAndrew

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No no no. The spindle shaft itself is a grade 8 3/4" bolt welded into a piece of 1" DOM tubing, then welded perpendicular to another piece of 1" DOM tubing. They are VERY heavy duty.
 

DaiSan76

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That looks pretty neat. You sure that little spring is going to be strong enough for the weight of the chassis and engine?
 

firemanjim

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:iagree: I'm not so sure those springs look to have the tension you want/need..... http://www.lawsonproducts.com/lawson/Compression-Spring/89598.lp
That's the place to order springs.... All kinds of sizes and spring rates..... I'm sure they will have what you need. You can figure out your spring rate needed, after you finish the build. Then you weigh it, preferably with a scale under the front and another under the back. What ever you get for the front, in lbs, tells you what rate the pair of spring need to be.....
Question,..... Did you add any Ackerman to your spindles?:popcorn:
 
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