You can convert a Power Wheels into a Go-Kart to make it more exciting. You have to start by removing the body. The rear axle should be modified first, then the front axle, and all the other modifications.
Once the movement modification is finished, start upgrading the speed by installing a new motor, batteries, and electronic speed controller.
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Point To Consider Before Power Wheels Go Kart Conversion
Converting a Power Wheels into a Go-kart means you have to do a lot of modification work, but the fun is always worth the effort. There are some points you should consider before starting the Power Wheels Go Kart conversion (want to find the best gas-powered go karts, read here).
- This conversion is not for the toddlers because the speed will be greatly increased.
- The safety of your child should be the first concern and do the conversion according to it.
- The battery, motor, and controller should be compatible with each other.
- Make sure to choose the right model. Different models may require different parts, and please select the parts according to it.
- This conversion requires using a welding machine and disc grinder; if you are not aware of using these tools, first practice or get help from a professional.
Parts Required for the Power Wheels Go Kart Conversion
Parts required are based on the type of modification you want to do. We are opting for the electric go-kart conversion because it is for kids. We have chosen a 24V Grave Digger Power Wheels ride; you can also choose the 12V ride and modify it in the same way.
The parts are mentioned below, and you can buy these parts from Amazon and other online stores. Brands are not necessary to be similar for the parts, and you can buy the same parts from any brand. Parts size for other Power Wheels models can be different; please buy according to your model.
- Monster Motion 36 Volt 1000 Watt
- 12-80V 30A DC Motor Speed Controller
- Compatible Razor 36 Volt (3) 12V12AH High-Performance Rechargeable Batteries
- Tektro Mountain Bike MD-M280 Rear Disc Brake Caliper with 160mm Rotor
- Lightened Aluminum Wheel Rear Hub (1″ Bore)
- Hotop 2 Set Mountain Bike Brake Cable Gear Cable Wire and Cable End Crimps Kit
- Set of Two 4×4 Galvanized Wheel Hubs 1″ Bore with Lug Nuts for Go Karts Trailers Lawn Equipment
- Set of Two 4 x 4 Heavy Duty Wheel Hub (Front with 5/8″ Bearing)
- Four 8″ x 5-3/8″ Steel Rim – Silver (4 on 4)
- Four Straight Rib 16×6.5×8
- 1″ x 36″ Steel Live Rear Axle with Lock Nuts for Go Kart
- 1″ Bearing Kit (2 holes)
- Four 1/4″ Keyway for Go-Karts by BMI Karts
- Unihub Sprocket Hub Adapter Conversion Plate for Go Kart
- #35 Split Sprocket
- Jeremywell 35 Roller Chain 10 Feet with 2 Connecting Links
- 14 Inch Rack & Pinion
- N179-333 4000BC Steel Threaded Rod
- 3/8-24 Threaded coupling
- 24″ Long 0.750″ Double D Steel Steering Shaft
- Powder-coated Steering U Joint size 3/4″ – 36 Spline to 3/4″ DD
- Rotary 5890 10-Inch Steering Wheel for Go-karts
- Bryke Racing Steering Wheel Quick Release Disconnect Hub 3/4″
- Metal Stock
- Other Parts
- Scrap Steel
All the required parts mentioned should be arranged; you can also add more parts like LEDs. In tools, you will need a welding machine, disc grinder, all-size wrenches, screwdrivers, hammers, etc.
How to Convert a Power Wheels Into a Go-Kart?
Power Wheels go-kart conversion is done step by step. The suspension, brakes, wheels, and speed modifications are done side by side. Let’s start with removing the body from the chassis.
Step 1: Remove The Body Then Modify The Chassis For Axle Installation
First, you have to level the vehicle to mock up the axle location; you can use a car jack and jack stands to level the vehicle. Start with the rear axle.
The Power Wheels Grave Digger has a strong body and metal chassis; some of the Power wheels models may not have enough chassis space to install all these things, so you may have to make new frames for the chassis.
The grave digger’s body has nine screws that have connected to the chassis. Remove all nine screws, then remove the steering column then you can easily pull out the body.
There will be three stock cross members in the chassis in the back, and you have to cut them all and set them aside to use as spacers on the front wheel spindles.
Step 2: Install The Axle Brackets By Using Welding Machine
After removing the cross-members, start welding the bearing hanger brackets in the right place at the frame; make sure to keep the center of the new axle high enough, same as the old axle; this will keep the height in level.
You have to place the new axle 2.5 inches back than the old stock axle to stretch the wheelbase. Once the hanger brackets are welded to the frame, start assembling other components to the axle, including the bearing, sprocket hub, rotor hub, lock collars, and other components.
Step 3: Install New Motor Mount Cross-Members
The motor will be installed in the new place at the passenger side, balancing the kid’s weight. You can use angle iron as the new cross members to hold the new motor, cut and notch two pieces of angle iron, use the disc grinder to cut out a radius to fit on the frame’s tube.
Cut some slots into the angle iron to an adjustable position so the motor can be mounted; once it is good enough to be fitted in the place, then weld it to the frame.
Step 4: Create New Brake Caliper Bracket And Weld Them
After creating and installing the motor sprocket, now start creating the brake caliper. We use a mountain bike brake rotor and enlarge the rotor holes to fit onto a one-inch axle hub.
The axle hub is also modified to get the rotor perfectly centered on the hub adapter. It should not be too off-center. Otherwise, it will hit the brake caliper as it rotates.
You can use a flat steel bar to make the caliper bracket, bolt it to the little caliper that comes with the rotor. Now the caliper is in the right, so it can slow down the vehicle by grabbing the spinning rotor.
Later you will connect the caliper to the lever with a brake cable. The next step is cutting and mounting the chain. After that, you can finish the rear modification.
Step 5: Modify Front Crossmember to Fit Battery Box, Fit Rack, and Pinion Steering
Now start the front-end modifications. You will install new steering, so you need to locate the steering column; this may require cutting the body to fit the steering. Put the body back and mark on the frame where the steering column will be centered, then take off the body again.
You can cut a section of the front cross-member and insert a piece of one-inch c-channel to it. After cutting, when you bolt the rack and pinion to the steering knuckles, it will not hit the front cross-member. Now weld the bolts to the c-channel to fasten the steering box to it.
You have to make a steel box frame to hold the three 12v 12ah batteries, and this box will be attached to the same front cross member. It is done because we have to relocate the batteries as low as possible to keep the center of gravity low.
You may have to make some extra space to fit the batteries. For other models, the batteries can be placed in another place. Once these parts are attached, put the body back in the steering column through it.
The steering wheel is attached with a quick-release adapter, so you can take it out when you are not around your kid.
You may have to modify the wiring to reach the new battery location. Make sure you modify it according to a 36V system.
Step 6: Create And Install the Handbrake
The small hand brakes for Go-Kart are expensive, and cost a couple of hundred bucks. To create a handbrake lever is easy and way cheaper; you require scrap steel, nuts, and a spring.
Use all this material to create a handbrake lever, then install it on the body’s floor.
Now use a piece of the brake cable that runs under the vehicle, crimp a ring terminal at the end of the brake cable to clip it into the lever, and then use the lever to check the brakes.
If it works, then you can take off the body; every time you take off the body, you have to remove the brake cable, which will be of no use, then you have to install a new one, the brake cables are cheaper and come in a pack of multiple cables.
You can paint the lever to match it to the Power Wheels color.
Step 7: Wheels Installation and Optional Managing Gear Ratios
After all the axle modification, it is easy to mount the wheels. First, mount the tires and rims, fill the air and then install them into the axle using wrenches.
We use a 72t sprocket on the axle, which will manage a gear ratio of 7.2:1, giving a top speed of 16mph. It will work well on dryland and flat surfaces if you want to increase the torque and decrease the speed using an 84t sprocket instead of 72t, which will give a top speed of 12mph.
The 84t sprocket will give a gear ratio of 8.4:1, which is safer for younger kids.
Step 8: Electronic Upgrade
All the seven steps above complete the movement modification of Power Wheels conversion to the Go-Cart. Now start modifying the Power Wheel’s speed. You have already made places for motors and batteries.
Now install them with the electronic speed controller and connect them with correct wiring. To know how to do this up-gradation, look at (How to make Power Wheels Faster).
Every Power Wheel has a different design, so you may have to make some places for batteries, motors, and ESC in the Power Wheels. The Grave Digger has a little larger body, and all the parts can easily be mounted. You can also modify the LEDs to make them look cooler.
For safety options, you can install Remote kill Switch(Link), from which you can control the Power Wheels anytime with the help of a Remote.
Step 9: Test the Power Wheels Go Kart and Let Your Kid Have Fun
After all the modifications, make sure everything is fitted perfectly; once you are assured everything is working fine, give the Power Wheels-cum-Go-Kart to your kid and let enjoy the speed and drift.
Cost of Power Wheels Go-Kart Conversion
The Power Wheels Go-Kart Conversion Requires many parts for modification, which is why its cost is high. The modifications described above can cost up to $800.
The motor costs $150, batteries $125, the ESC $30-$40, Wheel parts and tires $110, the steering parts $200, and the brake parts $50. Other than these costs, you may require more small parts like scrap steel, springs, and nut/bolts, so add more $30.
It may seem a high cost, but the Go-Karts are very expensive, and this modification is worth the cost.
Is There Any Other Way for Power Wheels Go-Kart Conversion?
This Power Wheels Go Kart Conversion is for kids, and it seems the most reliable. People are converting the Power Wheels into Go-Kart, up to 90mph, which you can never imagine for a kid.
These high-speed conversions use the Power Wheels body and create their chassis and axles; they install a bike engine or similar into the power wheels, which requires high power and many other parts installation.
We recommend the method described above if you are converting the Power Wheels into Go-kart for your kid.
Power Wheels to Go-Kart Conversion will be a fun ride for your kid once you finish it. It requires time, money, and effort, but they are worth it.
You need to start by removing the body and modifying the rear axle, and a few parts need to be installed in the rear axle, which also requires welding; after that, you make a place for the motor, then start working on the front axle.
The Front Axle requires more parts because you also have to install the steering in the front axle. Once the axles are installed, then start mounting the wheel.
The next step is the speed up-gradation. After that, pack everything and test the Power Wheels Go Kart. Let your kid enjoy by keeping safety in mind because the speed will go up to 15+ mph.