Home Forums General Karting Discussion Building from the frame up? I must be an IDIOT!

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    • #40106
      Kevin Reguera

      I’m probably going in way over my head but I need to at least consider the idea of building a kart.  I was wondering what it would take to build a kart starting from a bare frame.  I’ve been looking for a kart for my backyard to bash around on and haven’t found anything too exciting.  Karts were either overpriced, had small frame sizes, small axles, they were junk, located too far away, ect.

      What I’d like to build is….a tough as nails kart that can take a little punishment on dirt.

      Kart in question is a bare frame Haase Blizzard. There is nothing on it…not even a steering wheel.

      I realize that it’ll be quite a bit more expensive than just buying a used kart to thrash on but that’s not what will stop me at this point…I think.  I also don’t want to go buy some junker that doesn’t last more than a few rides.

      I’ve been able to find some Haase parts but not every nut and bolt it’d take to complete a bare frame project.

      What I’m wondering is….will other manufactures parts work on the Haase? Or do I need to somehow find all Haase parts to complete the build?  National Kart Supply has only few parts for Haase as far as I can tell.

      Any input, positive or negative is greatly appreciated!


    • #40109
      Jim Derrig

      Most Euro kart frames will accept a lot of part from Rigetti Ridolfi (sp), SKM and Wildcart.  Basically, there are a lot more trade names out there than actual kart manufacturers, and many of the parts are defacto standardized, or have common bolt spacing that allow one “brand” to be substituted for another.  So, items like master cylinders, brake rotors, hubs, steering columns and so on are pretty easy to find even if the frame manufacturer (like Hasse) isn’t selling them under its nameplate.

      HOWEVER, there are enough differences that if you don’t know what was on the kart originally, you will have a very difficult time figuring out which particular aftermarket part actually fits your exact kart.  You’ll continually be presented with 2-4 options and no good idea as to which is correct until you actually grab the parts and see what fits.  I don’t envy you and I think you’re looking at a lot of frustration.

      Finally, these are full competition karts that are not remotely suitable for “bashing around in your back yard,” unless you are particularly fond of broken ribs, injured spines and that sort of thing.  At least, I hope you are not planning on putting anything over about 6hp on this thing if you ever get it running.


    • #40110
      Kevin Reguera

      Thanks Jim…appreciate the input.

      I may have loosely used the term “bash around in my backyard”.  I don’t actually plan on jumping this thing or bashing into trees…and I realize they have no suspension.

      I’ve got a nice smooth (for the most part) track that that I can grade out if the ruts get too nasty.

      I absolutely plan on putting something larger than a 6hp on it!

      Maybe I’m seeing this all wrong but whats the difference between building a kart from this style of frame as opposed to an Outlaw dirt oval kart that runs on a CR500?  I don’t plan on putting on a CR500, I’m just saying they run those karts on dirt and they are rigid as well.  With taller seats and a roll cage.  They also run dirt karts just like these sprint karts in Australia with larger motors.

      I think if parts are going to be a major hassle  though…it’s not going to be any fun and I’ll scrap the idea.

      Thanks again!

    • #40113
      Eric Alexander

      Maybe too late since you have the Haas frame, but I were building a backyard dirt oval I’d look into 1/4 midgets.

    • #40117
      Kevin Reguera

      I do not have the frame yet.  It’s a frame I saw on Ebay and I thought it’d be a fun project.

      I’ll check out the 1/4 midgets again.


    • #40120
      Ted Hamilton

      I’ve rebuilt frames from scratch, but it does help to know what you are dealing with originally… If you’re able, and willing, to fabricate some, it shouldn’t be too hard, but it WILL be time and money consuming.  The question really is — “do I want the satisfaction of building?” or “Do I just want to drive the dang thing?”  Once you answer that, a good parts source can be found in most parts of the country, and the internet makes things just a click away…

      Winged outlaw karts are just overgrown Emmick’s, so I wouldn’t worry about the abuse aspect, although I’d check high stress areas for cracks regularly…  And I’d think a GX390 would be plenty of power….or the new 440 big bores.

      Good luck, have fun!

      2014 Praga Dragon / IAME KA-100

    • #40121
      Kevin Reguera

      I don’t think the 1/4 midgets are going to work for me.  Too small, I want something the big boys can play with.  We all ride 450’s and 250 race bikes in my back yard so that’d be a let down.

      I’ve been looking at some outlaw types that run 250’s that I think would be fun.  But, they are all offset and I plan to make my track with both right, and left turns.  Maybe the offset won’t be too bad for the right hand turns…it’s not like were out to win the Nationals in my back yard.



    • #40122
      Kevin Reguera

      Thanks Ted….I’m really liking the idea of building a kart.  But, I’ll have to keep checking things out before I decide to do it or not.  Right now, I’m leaning towards building the darn thing!

      Thanks for heads up!

    • #40126

      Why not just buy this one, and save all the time. frustration and money?

      Redding Ca is not that far, shipping through Fastenal is very affordable right now. Or meet the guy 1/2 way.

      You may end up spending a lot more money than you care before the project is even done ( just a thought )


    • #40133
      Ed hodgson

      ^^^ this.

      You can fit a pretty tall driver on a standard kart chassis; a lot of it is seat positioning.

      I agree that building a kart is a lot of fun. Depending on your ambition and skill, you can do quite a bit with just about any race-spec chassis.

      To give you an idea, I built a CR-80 powered shifter out of a Coyote Widetrack chassis, complete with updated bodywork and parts straight from factory-spec shifter karts (Coyote doesn’t offer anything for shifter karts). And the entire kart can be returned to a clone-powered setup in one afternoon; there’s not one weld or permanent mod done to the chassis, everything bolts on.

      The point I’m trying to make is that it’s important to have a good foundation, regardless of what you’re trying to do. It’s challenging, but extremely rewarding to build something one-off.

      Good luck, building (to me) is almost as fun as riding.

    • #40135
      Kevin Reguera

      Thanks Freddy and Ed!  It’s great to hear what others think because you guys have been there….done that.  I have not.

      To answer your question Freddy, and I haven’t questioned the guy with the clone kart but occasionally, one’s like that go up on craigslist around here.  And I’m just guessing here because he doesn’t say much about the specs. But it may need things replaced where as if I just built one…it’d be only buying one.  I just don’t want to buy a kart for 1250, pay to have it shipped, then have to throw another lump of money at it for upgrades….and when it’s done, I’ve got a used kart.

      However, if the right kart came my way…I’d definitely be interested.

      Some thoughts I have that are making a used kart purchase hard are:  I’d like a nice 32mm frame, 50mm axle, large rims, large dirt tires, large seat, a nice KT100 motor.  I know the rim/tire thing is not realistic on a used kart but just pointing out that I’d have to buy them.

      I’d like it to be a kart that when you walk up to it…you say out loud, I WANT TO DRIVE THAT THING!

      Thanks again for your thoughts!

    • #40136

      Kevin, check your PM. I sent you some info.

    • #40180
      Walt Gifford

      I use to race karts cross country through woods and fields. Basically a racing type kart is going to be 1″ off the ground. To run in the yard or a coarsely groomed track you need 4″ of ground clearance and knobby tires. You’re going to be bottoming out and getting stuck every 10 feet.


      FAA certified jet engine and aircraft technician,
      Nicholson Speedway class champion 2001,
      Yamaha KT100 Service Center,
      41 years karting experience

    • #40190
      Shawn Welte

      We have built and rebuilt lots of karts.  You can do it if you have a pipe bender and are a decent welder and it takes a bit of knowledge of karting.  Mild steel, chrome moly whatever.  If you know someone that has a decent kart ask to get a pattern.  Our jigs usually start out on a sheet a plywood, the pattern gets put down, and the pattern gets modified from there depending on what you want to do with the kart.  There are also plenty of places to source parts from and such.  If you are real good they will perform just as well as some of the stuff you can buy.  I’ve won a track championship on our 2nd generation garage made oval kart, and our rebuilt and scratch built vintage kart frames are as good as anything out there.

      We now have a fleet of oval karts and other karts.  And yea we have a backyard track that we run on also for fun, in addition to actual tracks.  Clay even a silty clay makes for a decent pack whether oval or otherwise:

      My rebuilt 1968 Bug Sprint, it was pretty much a wreck:

      And our scratch built from a pattern 1962 Alley Kat 2 replica of kart that is virtually non-existent:  http://youtu.be/PUBoGSspkYw

      Bug - Alley Kat II - McCulloch - Coyote - B&S LO206

    • #40207
      Kevin Reguera

      Thank you Sean for posting that vid of you in a race kart on dirt.  It looks like a blast!  I actually don’t plan to build the frame itself….rather just putting all the parts needed on a professionally build frame.

      What size wheels do you run?  They look slicks, are they slicks?

      My soil is clay and we’re working on adding irrigation to the track to help with dust during the summer.

      Thanks again for sharing your experience and the vid for everyone to see what I plan on building.


    • #40210
      Shawn Welte

      Our track in this configuration is going on 4 years old and gets better each year as the soil consolidates, although we do have to pick up rocks in the spring.  We have a 500 gallon tote on a little trailer with a pvc header with holes in it that we pull behind a vehicle to water the track.  Depending upon the moisture content of the soil, usually takes 1000 gallons, also depends on how long you want to run.  We also have an old chisel plow, a drag, a really old small farm tractor disc that we use on the track.  A Kubota tractor with a blade. Disc not used so often.  Get everything shaped then pack it.  We’ll sometimes pack with a truck or jeep.  Most of the time just with the karts.

      Yea, we run slicks.  On good packed clay that really is all we need with cheap clone, old Harbor Freight, engines.  Plus it does not chew up and rut the track.  Wheels are mostly 6-inch wheels, mostly with cheap used tires that we pick out at swap meets.  Not uncommon that our personal fleet will have Dunlop, a Bridgestone, a Maxxis, and a Burris on it.  Often pretty old tires.  Although we did recently put new Burris 22s on the left rears.  Rights are normally 8.10s or 7.10s, left front 4.5 to 6, left rear normally a 5.  Even on a fun practice oval track like this you want get your stagger right and to run the wide tires on the right side.

      We do run our own oval chassis design which are mostly 0.090 to .120 wall tube, pretty heavy tube, the frames we race are normally thinner tube and chrome moly.  If you have a smooth track you should not have to worry a whole lot about breaking welds.


      Bug - Alley Kat II - McCulloch - Coyote - B&S LO206

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