Vintage Sears Kart Rebuild

deuce-coupe

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This is my first build post for a joint grand-nephew / grand-uncle restoration project.

I'm not certain of the age of the kart, but it has a Model 391 tag on it.

As you can see, it has the paddle brakes, a relatively new Predator engine, and one axle drive.

First step is to install a live axle, center the engine and put on a disc brake. I will have to widen and weld on a new frame structure, so I used a 2" x 3" steel car dolly and turned it into a frame fixture (jig) to hold the kart tight and help me make sure all the cuts and welds are square.

After that some paint, upholstery and possibly an adjustable seat. Plus whatever my very creative grand nephew comes up with!!
 

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deuce-coupe

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Update June 12

Reworking steering support and corrected steering shaft alignment.
 

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deuce-coupe

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Hi budget gokart --

Is this a Manco? I looked at lots of pics but couldn't find a Manco that looked quite like it with the one-armed steering support.

Thanks for the tip!!
 

Budget GoKart

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Hi budget gokart --

Is this a Manco? I looked at lots of pics but couldn't find a Manco that looked quite like it with the one-armed steering support.

Thanks for the tip!!

I cant find that model either that means it could be a very uncommon manco kart which is super cool! Also i had one just like it and i sold it because i thought it was ugly and it was clapped out badly
 

deuce-coupe

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Project Update - New Steering Upright and Adjustable Seat

all --

Latest update. I added a new upright for the steering column. we also decided to make the seat adjustable, so I purchased a Manco adjustable seat slider system. I had to cut off the old seat and fabricate a new seat bottom from 3/4" thin wall tubing. I should get 4" of movement fore and aft.
 

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deuce-coupe

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Project Update - Live Axle Mockup

Here's the latest pics.

I stripped the old paint off the rear of the frame, straightened it, cleaned up old welds and mocked up the mounting plates for the live axle.

I used the old engine mount plate and cut if length-wise. It gets the mounting points for the pillow blocks about an inch outboard of the frame.

Next steps - figure out how to mount the disc brake!!

Thanks for the positive comments!
 

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deuce-coupe

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Latest Update 7/19

I stalled out for a bit waiting on some parts and tools. My sister completed the upholstery and here's a pic. My grand nephew wants a new gold color frame to go with the blue upholstery.
 

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itsid

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yeah that sears kart was made by manco (it's based on a Manco 400)
the one arm steering column made it quite unique and gave it the only bit of character that
otherwise dull and simple setup had..
too bad you replaced that :(

Anyways, one wheel drives are not exactly collectors items, so not much lost;
the seat is indeed excellent!

I don't like the pillow block approach tbh..
I'd rather seen you add bearing hangers instead (to bolt on true karting bearings and retainers)

That seat is in fact nice enough to justify redoing the axle mount ;)

we get a tiny bit nervous around white steel wheels around here..
since the HF dolly crap is out there.. cheap and as reliable as next months weather forecast.
So if those are HF wheels, I hope they're just placeholders ;)

'sid
 

deuce-coupe

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Update Sept 13th

My nephew and I stalled a bit, but we do have progress. We put everything together and my nephew did a test drive. We broke the brake cable several times, but I think we found a solution that works better. We then tore it all apart.

All the welding and metal finishing is done. And we mocked up a fairing and added longer side rails since he wanted those. So we have old paint to strip off and then the sanding and paint prep begins.

Last fabrication item - a dash panel for the kill switch along with some nice engine turning!!

Thanks for all the comments!!
 

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deuce-coupe

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Update Oct 22nd.

The kart was blown apart for final metal prep, sand blasting and paint. Parts have been sandblasted or stripped. I used bondo on the fairing since it had tool marks from the fabrications step. My nephew and I built a 8' by 8' paint booth out of 2"x2" lumber and 3 mil plastic sheets. I've built several temporary booths like this, and this time I used a zipper door. Color will be Mars Gold with white wheels and of course the blue seat material. I've let my nephew pretty much dictate the color scheme. Pics of the painted result soon.
 

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deuce-coupe

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UPDATE NOVEMBER 1ST

A few more pics of the kart with primer and paint. Now on to painting wheels and small parts. Getting closer!! Thanks for all the feedback!
 

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deuce-coupe

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UPDATE NOV 20TH, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen --

It's done! Assembled! Test driven (with one or two minor issues to sort out)!!

A quick recap. Bought an old Sears kart (later identified as a Manco). Installed a live axle and centered the engine on the frame with new tubing and engine mounting plate. Upgraded to a disk brake. Moved the pedals forward and made the seat adjustable so it would be better suited for my nephew as he gets taller (and parents and friends of course). Fab'd up a fairing and cover plate for the kill switch. Diamond plate aluminum on the back of seat (to hide the upholstery). New seat cushions done by my sister. Gold metallic paint.

Pure vintage fun!!

Thanks for all for encouragement and feedback along the way!!
 

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JTSpeedDemon

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:thumbsup: NICE! That looks nice!
One question - Are those hardware store or Harbor Freight wheels on the front??? If so, those are an accident waiting to happen!
 

deuce-coupe

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JTSpeedDemon --

Yes, those are HF wheels on the front. You are the second person who flagged those as an issue, so I was planning to replace them.

But I'm curious - is it the tires that fail, the wheels that fail or the both?

Thanks for the comments!!
 
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