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Thread: Pipe dream gokart

  1. #1 Pipe dream gokart 
    Forum Sophomore biohazard87's Avatar
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    I am building a gokart out of 1-1/2" PVC piping. At least I am going to try, but most of the people I have been talking to think it will not work. They all think that the pipes will bend too much and snap. I had already planned for this so I was going to build the bottom of the frame so that instead of making a big rectangle it would make four or five small rectangles. So it would be 5'X2-1/2' and it would be shrunk into either 5, 1'X2-1/2' rectangles or 4 1.25'X2-1/2' rectangles, with one only with the engin and one only for the driver's seat, and the rest for the drivers legs. Then I planed on reinforcing the bottom of it with steel studs and steel corner peices. Then Insulating all the piping along with the metal. Does anyone think this is possible, and can anyone tell me how much wieght PVC can hold alone.


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    Forum Sophomore biohazard87's Avatar
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    I also planed on using 2 engines. One on the left side, and one on the right side. The left would only run the left and the right would only run the right. Then I would have no steering wheel, the controls would be in the hand throtals. The engins would have to be the same and they would have to be able to go into reverse quickly from forward and viseversa as that would be how it turns. Slow down on one side and then move into reverse. That would also serve as the breaks. What do you think about this? Is it even possible, to use something like a boat throtal for something like this? And if so, how hard would it be?


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    Forum Freshman spirytus's Avatar
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    Building a go cart out of PVC is plausible. It'll definitely be light which is good One foreseeable problem I see with this however is the joints. You will subject the frame to strong lateral forces during turns/curves, engine vibration and, depending type of suspension system you design (if any), surface vibration.

    They won't bend/snap if you stagger the joints close together. 2 ft apart? use 45deg angles.

    Make sure you use a good glue/primer. Also, one way you can reinforce the frame without sacrificing weight is by running stranded steel cable inside the hollow tubes.

    Definitely doable if you design it right.

    Now, with regards to using 2 engines... Interesting idea, in theory... You would be able to turn on a dime. However, You'll run into several problems;

    I presume you'll mount the engines in the back? If so, you'll probably be 'ass heavy', meaning you'll have poor friction on your front tires - think drag-racer - poor control, especially during acceleration.

    You may want to mount the engines up front. But than again you may have problems during breaking in this case. You may need to use some sort of a sissy-wheel to keep you cart planted on the ground.

    Using throttle variation as a form of steering may work but it isn't the best approach IMO. Also, the stress during a sudden reverse in forward rotation without some sort of a clutch, would be pretty severe, if not fatal - on your drive shaft

    You could try using breaks to steer, coupled with a rudder system perhaps ( one wheel in the back controlled by a stick). But really, why bother?

    I think your standard steering-wheel is still the best bet for a cart. You don't want to be doing sudden 90deg+ turns while going 50km/h. In a maneuver like this you'd most likely roll over.

    Just my two cents.
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    Forum Sophomore biohazard87's Avatar
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    Thanks for the information.

    Although I hadn't planned on trying to make that shar pof a tun that fast, I just wanted to beable to make some killer doughnuts in the parking lot at work. But as you were saying that could also do some serious damage to the frame. So I was thinking of trying to rework the frame to accomidate for that.

    But as I said I do intened on reinforcing it with metal plates and studs as the studs are cheap, and the plates are strong and allow for me to attach other things to them.

    But I am a little confused about what you mean by using steel cables? They would obviously have to be taught, but to what would I attach them?
    And wouldn't I have to tighten them every so often due to all the vibrations causing them to losen?

    Don't I lose structural strength by drilling holes in the piping, if I were to run the cables through to the end and then outside of the piping so I could easily retighten them and have a way to "tie" them off with them inside the pipe?

    Or would I have to attach them to the outside of the pipe with like glue or something of the like, and then tie them onto the other pipes?


    Can you please explain?
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    Forum Sophomore biohazard87's Avatar
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    http://www.americanspeedster.com/baja.htm

    http://www.pvcplans.com/pvc_plans_sale.htm


    I found these while looking around for other plans. The first one is an actual gokart made of PVC but they just increased the hieght and wieght compacities, and now it fits one in shorter than what I need and about 10lbs less than I need.

    The second one is where I found the first, but it is a bunch of other stuff and there are even plans for a loft bed for a child and a regular adultsize bed. Which definately lets me know that it is possible for the pipes to hold me up, if piping can hold up someone and a mattress. I just need to be causious about the fact that my project will be moving. Right?
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    Forum Sophomore biohazard87's Avatar
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    Any other hints or suggestions from anyone?
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    The second one is where I found the first, but it is a bunch of other stuff and there are even plans for a loft bed for a child and a regular adultsize bed. Which definately lets me know that it is possible for the pipes to hold me up, if piping can hold up someone and a mattress.
    You are right. PVC can hold a person, in fact PVC can hold pretty much anything. Unfortunately that's a completely irrelevant and useless statement, because it doesn't address how much PVC you need.

    The question is not "whether", but "how" you can make it work, i.e. how much PVC you need, what diameter of pipes you should use, how you should limit the ratio of diameter to pipe length, and how you design the structure. It's not obvious at all that a PVC construction will be advantageous compared to an aluminum construction. Yes, a single PVC pipe is lighter than a single aluminum pipe, but you will have to use more PVC to get the desired strength. Fortunately, material is only one of many aspects you can play with. Equally important is the design of your construction and the shape of the PVC elements you use. For example, a pipe with a square or triangular cross-section may be preferable to a circular pipe.

    Another important factor to keep in mind: You don't just want the gokart to statically hold your weight. As you ride the kart through curves and over bumpy roads it may have to hold a multiple of your weight, depending on the speed you envision. It certainly also has to hold the static and dynamic stresses induced by the engine (whether human or machine).
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    I'm a little skeptical just based on things I've seen made out of PVC pipe.

    I say go ahead and build it. It can't cost that much and you will learn a lot more by experience than what we could tell you. Make sure you glue the joints together real well, because that will be the weak point. And take it easy. You don't want to be going too fast when it flies apart.
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    Anyone remember doing the thing where you place 4 toilet paper cardboard centres perpendicular with a board on top and a 4 stone kid can stand on it.

    this kind of reminds me of when you screw them up, afterwards to show they were real.
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    Forum Sophomore biohazard87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostofMaxwell
    Anyone remember doing the thing where you place 4 toilet paper cardboard centres perpendicular with a board on top and a 4 stone kid can stand on it.

    this kind of reminds me of when you screw them up, afterwards to show they were real.

    I have no Idea what you are talking about. What is a "4 stone kid" ? And what do you mean by toilet paper Cardboard center? Like the actual cardboard rolls that the paper was wrapped around?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    You don't want to be going too fast WHEN it flies apart.
    You sound so certain, having no real concept on my design.


    Anyway the thing that would really be helpful to get from other people now is ways to strengthen the frame. Someone suggested steel cable, but didn't explain it, can anyone elaborate on that, or any other meathod of reinforcement?
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  12. #11  
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    Stand 4 quality ones of those up on end^^^^^^^ Put a board on top and a ten year old little dude can stand on it and it will take his weight.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spirytus
    Building a go cart out of PVC is plausible. It'll definitely be light which is good One foreseeable problem I see with this however is the joints. You will subject the frame to strong lateral forces during turns/curves, engine vibration and, depending type of suspension system you design (if any), surface vibration.

    They won't bend/snap if you stagger the joints close together. 2 ft apart? use 45deg angles.

    Make sure you use a good glue/primer. Also, one way you can reinforce the frame without sacrificing weight is by running stranded steel cable inside the hollow tubes.

    Definitely doable if you design it right.

    Now, with regards to using 2 engines... Interesting idea, in theory... You would be able to turn on a dime. However, You'll run into several problems;

    I presume you'll mount the engines in the back? If so, you'll probably be 'ass heavy', meaning you'll have poor friction on your front tires - think drag-racer - poor control, especially during acceleration.

    You may want to mount the engines up front. But than again you may have problems during breaking in this case. You may need to use some sort of a sissy-wheel to keep you cart planted on the ground.

    Using throttle variation as a form of steering may work but it isn't the best approach IMO. Also, the stress during a sudden reverse in forward rotation without some sort of a clutch, would be pretty severe, if not fatal - on your drive shaft

    You could try using breaks to steer, coupled with a rudder system perhaps ( one wheel in the back controlled by a stick). But really, why bother?

    I think your standard steering-wheel is still the best bet for a cart. You don't want to be doing sudden 90deg+ turns while going 50km/h. In a maneuver like this you'd most likely roll over.

    Just my two cents.
    Dont forget that your go-kart will weigh more when travelling at speed than at rest, also whilst under braking, the weight will be shifted to the front of the kart, and the joints will also have to withstand lateral forces whilst cornering.

    Using throttle control on each enginer to turn the kart isnt a good idea, for starters you wont have a differential on the kart, so even the slightest variation in rpm in either engine will make you turn/spin. And also, under acceleration the weight of the kart will be shifted to the back, leaving virtually no weight/downforce on your from wheels, and as you have no steering mechanism, the front of the kart will be sliding all over the place - i cant see your front tyres lasting very long. Its a nice idea, but i just dont think it is practical.
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  14. #13  
    Cooking Something Good MacGyver1968's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biohazard87
    What is a "4 stone kid" ?
    A "stone" is old term for weight. 1 stone=20 lbs. So a 4 stone kid weighs 80 lbs.
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    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver1968
    Quote Originally Posted by biohazard87
    What is a "4 stone kid" ?
    A "stone" is old term for weight. 1 stone=20 lbs. So a 4 stone kid weighs 80 lbs.
    Here in the UK, of course, 1 stone = 14 lbs, ergo a "4 stone kid" (GhostofMaxwell's reference) would weigh 56 pounds, or about 25 kilos.
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  16. #15  
    Forum Sophomore biohazard87's Avatar
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    Thank you for all the help. However I lost funding from my company when the manager resposable for allowing me to have it left as a mutual agreement between him and the owner. So now I have to fund myself and I am on an even lower budget that before now. I have also changed the orginal idea in that I now intend to build a rectangle of the demisions I want the kart to be out of metal. And then bolt the PVC pipe frame to this. With the metal fram I can attach the wheels more easily than with the PVC, and this way I can be sure that the suspension is strong enough for what I would have to put it through as a kart. I am also now cosidering an all metal frame and building it in parts. Like build some and wait until I can get enough money to build more. Or just buying a prebuilt frame and making my own modifications to it. A little at a time. If Anyone has any other Ideas I would still love to hear them but for now these are my limited options.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver1968
    Quote Originally Posted by biohazard87
    What is a "4 stone kid" ?
    A "stone" is old term for weight. 1 stone=20 lbs. So a 4 stone kid weighs 80 lbs.

    In Great Britain; one stone = 14 lbs.
    A british lad of four stones would weigh 56 lbs.
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