What do I Need to Build a Go-Kart?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

If you have decided to build a go-kart, there are essentially two plans of action you can take. One approach is to purchase go kart kits that will include everything you need to build a go-kart. Your other option is to assemble materials from a variety of different sources and come up with your own plans and designs for the gokart. Here are some reasons why either option may be more to your liking.

Some go-kart parts can be found at the local junkyard.
Some go-kart parts can be found at the local junkyard.

One of the advantages of a kit is that you save a lot of time and effort in locating all the little components that you need to build a go-kart. The kit will include just about everything you need, with the exception of a few basic tools that will be required for the assembly process. Even though you may choose to use a prepackaged kit, you can still customize your go-kart by coming up with your own decals, choice of paint jobs, and other little touches. This will help you to still have the feel of creating something from scratch and making it uniquely your own.

The second option is to build a go-kart the old fashioned way. This will mean making a list of all the items you need and then locating each item. To get the process started, look up information on the Internet about how build a go-kart from scratch. There are several DIY sites that will provide you with a basic list of what you need, as well as some suggestions of where to find the essential components.

If you choose to build a go-kart from scratch, there are a number of places to obtain the parts you need. For example, you will find that old push mower wheels will work well, along with the small engines. Steering columns and simple axles can also be made from other parts you can harvest from any junkyard. As for the body, it is possible to construct that from a combination of wood and metal components that you can also harvest from several sources.

For pointers, network with other people who build go-karts in your area, or find a message board online. You will find that many people enjoy using both the kits and building a go-kart from scratch, and they are often very happy to make suggestions to help someone new to the pastime. With a little effort, you will soon have your list of essential items and be ready to build your own personalized go-kart.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


If I have to choose, I will opt for building a go kart from scratch since I really like doing things with my own hands. Moreover, I would get my 10 year old son involved so we could have this experience together. So, this is a great suggestion for me and now I’m thinking seriously about getting started building a go kart.


@Lindsay21 - Wow, I never thought to use Craigslist! I just called junkyards near my hometown. They never had everything I was looking for, so I spent a lot of time waiting for new parts to come in. If I decide to make a go-kart from scratch again, I'll definitely give Craigslist a shot. Thanks!


@ RunBoston - Did you try using Craigslist to find parts in your area? I posted an ad asking for any parts and I got a lot of responses. It made finding parts easy and took so much less time than visiting random junkyards.


I've built go-karts in the past with my dad, and it is a lot of fun! The first few times we decided to buy a kit and it was really convenient. It was easy to build and we didn't have to worry about design.

We tried to build a go-kart from scratch not too long ago. It took a lot of time to find all of the go-kart parts, but it was a lot cheaper.

I think I prefer the kits still. It just takes too much time to figure out how to build a proper frame and get all of the parts from different junkyards.

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