How to Build Push Karts

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Go-karts or push karts are non-motorized vehicles that must be pushed. A driver can push the kart to start it and jump in if another individual is not available. These karts are often raced on downhill courses. These types of karts have simple steering mechanisms operated by hand, steering wheels or feet. Go-karts usually do not have brakes.

Measure, mark and cut the following pieces of 1-inch by 4-inch lumber: one 20-inch cross-chassis support member; one 18-inch back-chassis member; six 24-inch common chassis members; and eight 8-inch rear axle padding pieces. Measure, mark and cut the following pieces of 4-inch by 3-inch lumber: one 21 1/2-inch rear axle support; one 21 1/2-inch front axle support; and one 50-inch main chassis member. Measure, mark and cut two pieces of 4-inch by 1/2-inch lumber measuring 21 1/2 inches long for the axle support covers.

Cut two 45-degree angles on one end of the main chassis member to make a pointed edge. The cuts should be made on the 4-inch side. Drill a hole 1/2 inches from the start of the angled section which is centered on the 4-inch side of the main chassis member.

Cut a groove in the front and rear axle supports on the 4-inch side. The groove should be 3/4 inches deep and 3/4 inches wide and be centered on the wood. Use a wood chisel as necessary. Drill a 1/2-inch diameter hole in the front axle support in the center of the groove.

Measure, mark and cut the metal bar in half with the hacksaw to create the axles. Measure, mark and drill four holes in a horizontal line on each axle. The holes should be spaced at 1/2 inch, 2 1/2 inches, 25 inches and 27 inches. Drill a hole in the center of the front axle.

Lay out the axle support covers. Place an axle on each support cover. Slide the rear axle support over the back axle and center it over the support. Insert a hex bolt through the bottom of the front axle through the center hole. Slide the front axle support over the other axle and center it over the support and bolt. Secure the axle support covers to the axle supports with a hammer and nails.

Slide split pins into the pre-drilled holes in the axles which are located at the 2 1/2-inch and 24-inch point. Slide washers against each pin. Slide the wheels onto the axles and slide washers against the wheels. Insert split pins into the holes in the axles which are located at the 1/2-inch and 27-inch point.

Place the main chassis member on top of the axle supports so that the bolt goes through the drilled hole. Secure the bolt with a nut. Lay out the cross chassis support member and stack two rear axle padding pieces on top of each other at either end. Position the main chassis member between the stacked rear axle padding approximately 24 inches from the flat end. Secure all the pieces together with nails and a hammer.

Stack two rear axle padding pieces on top of each other at either end of the back axle. Position the axle compartment so the axle is 8 inches from the flat end of the main chassis member. Secure all the pieces together with nails.

Lay four common chassis members side by side on the wide edge to form a driver's platform. Center them over the main chassis member and rear axle padding so the left and right edges are aligned with the padding. The back edges should be aligned with the end of the main chassis member. Secure all four pieces to the supports.

Arrange a back chassis member and two common chassis members to form an open rectangle. Each piece should be laid on the narrow edge. Secure the corner of the two common chassis pieces to the edges of the back chassis member with nails. Secure the form to the platform created in step 9 so that the open area faces the front axle.

Things You'll Need

  • Hammer
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Metal hacksaw
  • 3/4-inch wood chisel
  • 48 nails, 2-inch
  • 14 nails, 5-inch
  • 8 feet, 3-inch x 4-inch lumber
  • 21 feet, 1-inch x 4-inch lumber
  • 4 feet, 1/2-inch x 4 inch lumber
  • 55-inch metal bar, 3/4 inches in diameter
  • Metal file
  • 4 spoked wheels measuring 2 inches in width and 11 inches in diameter
  • 1 washer, 1/2-inch
  • 8 washers, 3/4-inch
  • 6-inch hex bolt, 1/2 inches in diameter
  • 2 hex nuts, 1/2-inch
  • 8 split pins, 1/5-inch


  • All lumber pieces should be cut out and labeled with the appropriate name to aid in identification during the construction process.


  • Hammer any exposed nail tips so they lie flat against the boards to prevent injury.