There are numerous reasons that a person may choose to disassemble a go-kart, either some certain parts or the entire thing. Regardless of the reason that you decide to take your kart apart, there are a few things that you’ll want to keep in mind.
Take pictures of your go-kart as you begin to take it apart, so you never forget how pieces fit together. Watch videos of people assembling a go-kart and work backward from the end. Remember to take your time, and if you get stuck, seek help from a professional.
As we continue throughout this guide, we’ll go more in-depth about removing specific parts. Continue reading, learn how to disassemble a ko-kart.
Reasons for Taking Apart Your Go-Kart
Typically guides like these would be instructing you on how to put your go-kart together, not tear it apart. So, you may be thinking to yourself, why would I need to take my kart apart?
The reasons for disassembling a piece of your kart or the entire kart can vary. Some of the most common reasons are:
- Painting the chassis
- Putting it away for winter
- Maintenance/ Cleaning
- Upgrading/ Replacing parts
When you put your go-kart away for the winter, we recommend that you go through a series of precautions that can include tearing some pieces off of your kart.
We also recommend that you keep your kart as clean as possible to keep it running smoothly. To thoroughly clean some parts of the kart, you’ll need to remove them from your machine. Once you remove them, you can ensure their cleanliness and reinstall them.
Racers always want as much of an advantage in a race as possible. This advantage frequently culminates in the upgrading and or replacing of defective parts. Of course, to replace the existing component, it will need to be entirely removed.
Replacing one part may mean that you’ll have to remove another or multiple pieces before you have access to the component in question.
Types of Go-Karts
This guide to disassembling a go-kart won’t necessarily dive into how to take apart each type of go-kart since they all have the same necessary components.
There are three types of go-karts that you’ll find on the market:
- Endurance (Enduro) Karts:
- Oval Karts:
- Sprint Karts:
These karts again have the same main components but are each set up slightly differently.
Oval go-karts are most similar to their NASCAR counterparts. NASCAR drivers often begin their driving career using these oval karts, which allow them to hone their skills in a much more inexpensive package.
These karts are expressly set up to turn in only one direction. Yes, they turn in both directions, but they are beefed up on the left side to deal with the constant left turns.
Sprint karts are the most popular type of go-kart that you’ll find. They are designed to take advantage of both speed and handling.
Endurance karts, as the name may suggest, are designed for longer races. These races can last up to an hour, so the speed isn’t necessarily a top priority. Reliability is king in enduro racing.
Components of a Go-Kart
Regardless of the type of go-kart you have, there are about eleven main components that go-kart is made from. Those components are:
- Floor Tray
- Fuel System
Things to Remember Before Disassembling Your Go-Kart
There are a few things that everyone should keep in mind when disassembling your go-karts.
Drain All Fluids from Your Go-Kart
Before you start disassembling your go-kart, you’ll want to make sure that you drain all of the fluids. These fluids include:
- Brake Fluid
You’ll also want to drain some of these fluids if you’re putting your kart away for the winter or if you don’t plan on running it for more than a month.
Draining the Gasoline from Your Kart
For the gasoline tank, you’ll have to drain it in two places.
The first place you’ll have to drain it from is the tank itself, which is pretty straightforward. Simply find a container that can hold gasoline and drain it there.
The second area that you’ll have to drain is the carburetor. The process is also straightforward:
- Find a pan that’s safe to drain gasoline into
- Locate the nut on the bottom of the carburetor
- Find the appropriate size wrench to loosen the nut.
- Once you loosen the nut, gasoline will begin to drain.
- Continue draining gas until empty.
- Tighten the nut on carburetor when finished
Remembering to tighten the nut on your carburetor’s bottom is essential, especially if you plan on reusing the carburetor. If you don’t tighten it before your next use, gasoline will freely flow from this area.
Exceptions to the Rule
Depending on why you’re disassembling your kart, you may not have to drain your brake fluid.
For those who are tearing your kart apart to prepare it for winter, you shouldn’t drain your brake fluid. Draining your brake fluid and adding more before you put it into storage is a fruitless pursuit.
By the time you take it out of storage for the next racing season, the fluid will have to be changed again. Because of this, it’s smarter just to wait.
Regardless of your reasoning for disassembling your go-kart, it’s always a smart idea to take pictures. You should be taking photos before you disassemble and as you progress.
Taking pictures will help you remember where and how parts fit together when you decide it’s time to reassemble your kart. No matter how good we think our memories are, we have to remember that the human mind is notoriously unreliable.
Especially for those who aren’t necessarily confident in tearing apart their go-karts, taking pictures provides you with the extra peace of mind that there isn’t anything you can’t undo.
How to Disassemble a Go-Kart
Before you begin to look at any other aspects of taking apart your go-kart, there are two focus areas.
Before you start any kind of disassembly, it’s always a smart idea to disconnect the battery.
Removing the floor tray isn’t necessary before you start to take apart your go-kart, but it will make the subsequent steps easier.
The floor trays are removed easily with a few screws. After you remove the screws, simply slide it out of place, and you’ll have clear access to the majority of the main components.
If you have a lift or jack, it will make removing the floor tray even simpler.
Removing the Seat
Removing the seat from your go-kart is just as simple as removing the floor tray. It’s even easier in some instances, especially if you didn’t have a lift or a jack to raise the kart.
Your go-kart’s seat is attached directly to the frame of your kart. Typically, you’ll find two arms that extend up the seat’s sides where the seat attaches. The seat’s bottom will also have arms that attach. In some cases, these arms are detachable, so you will also take off these arms when you remove your seat.
All bolts should be easily accessible since the floor has been removed. Depending on your go-kart, you may have a varying number of screws that attach the seat to the frame. At a minimum, you’ll have four; two at the sides of the seat and two at the bottom.
Once you find the appropriate size wrench, you can easily remove the nuts from the bolts and lift out your seat.
Removing the Fuel System
Removing the gas tank and the fuel lines might seem like a daunting task, especially to someone inexperienced in this step, but it’s relatively straightforward in reality.
The tank itself should be attached to the frame by a few bolts, which should detach quickly. The bolts’ placement will vary by kart, but since you’ve removed the bottom tray, they should be easily accessible.
Now for the intimidating part, the fuel lines.
There will likely be two lines that you’ll have to disconnect—the line to the fuel pump and the line from the pump to the carburetor.
The fuel pump is attached to the engine. The hoses slip over the top of the spouts coming from the fuel pump.
Detaching them doesn’t require you to use any tools. You can pull them out by hand with a little force.
Remember, drain all the fuel before beginning this step to avoid a mess.
Disassembling the Engine
Admittedly, the engine is one of, if not the most complicated area of your go-kart to disassemble. Primarily, this is the case because of the various components that attach to the engine, such as:
- Water pump
Don’t let the thought of uninstalling these pieces overwhelm you. Take it step-by-step, take pictures, and you will be just fine.
This step isn’t nearly as complicated as it might seem. On the engine, there is an exhaust socket which connects one end of the exhaust pipe. These two pieces connect in one of two ways:
- Hose clamps
- Spring hooks
More commonly, you’ll find these connected by a hose clamp, which you can be take off with either a flat head screwdriver or a socket wrench. If a spring hook connects the exhaust, just undo the hook, and these parts will detach.
The other end of the exhaust system connects to the muffler, which is likely to be attached by a hose clamp. Remove this part the same way, and the exhaust system will be completely disconnected.
There will likely be a few exhaust system areas attached to the frame by either zip ties or more clamps. Cut the links, and the exhaust system disassembly is complete.
Radiator and Water Pump Removal
Both the radiator and the water pump are typically attached to the go-kart frame by bolts, as we’ve seen with other parts of a standard go-kart. You’ll want to take a couple of steps before undoing the bolts holding these parts in place.
Disconnecting Radiator Hoses and Water Pump Belts
First, you’ll find a belt or two on the axle of your kart that connects to the water pump, usually attached by a hook. The connection will look similar to this. If a hook attaches them, undo the hook to remove the water pump’s belts. If there is no hook, you should be able to pull them off by hand.
Next, you’ll want to remove the two hoses from the radiator the connect to the engine. One hose will be located on the engine’s side, and the other will be connected to the combustion chamber.
A hose clamp should attach these hoses, so removal can be done quickly, using the same methods mentioned earlier.
Disconnecting the Radiator and the Water Pump
As we mentioned earlier, the radiator and the water pump likely connect to the kart’s frame. Now that you’ve disconnected the belts and hoses from the radiator and water pump, respectively, you can remove the actual parts.
Find all of the connecting bolts for both the radiator and water pump, loosen them, and lift the items out of place.
There are two main transmission types that you’ll find in go-karts:
- Centrifugal clutches (automatic)
- Gear-linkage (manual)
In a manual go-kart, the next step would be to remove the gear-linkage.
Centrifugal Clutch Removal
When removing a centrifugal clutch, you’ll first have to remove the chain that is attached to the teeth of the clutch housing. Pull the pins out of the chain and remove the link, so it no longer connects the axle and the clutch housing.
Now that you have access to the clutch undo the screws from the center, top, and bottom and pull it away from the engine.
Changing a Centrifugal Clutch
A common occurrence for go-kart owners, especially for those who race, is the need to check or change your clutch. Usually, this gives people trouble because the spring in these clutches is under a lot of pressure, and when you open them up, the interior pieces fly everywhere.
A useful tip for those who struggle with this problem is to open your clutch inside its housing. By opening it in the housing, you contain the spring and the rest of the pieces, keeping them from falling apart. Here you can quickly check the condition to assess the clutch without the mess and stress.
Gear Linkage Removal
To remove the gear-linkage, you’ll follow a similar process as the rest of the removals throughout this guide. The linkage connects to the engine on one end and the frame on the other.
For the side attached to the frame, you’ll simply undo a bolt that fixes these parts together, which will free this end of the gear shifter. The other end of the linkage connects to a lever on the engine’s side, allowing you to change the gears manually. Again, these should only be secured by a single nut and bolt.
Removing the Carburetor
The carburetor is attached to the engine block with a hose clamp. Before you remove the hose clamp, disconnecting the carburetor from the engine, you must remove the pedal’s throttle linkage. The throttle linkage attaches to the top of the carburetor.
This throttle linkage connects to the carburetor’s pedal, so you must remove it to detach the carburetor completely. This linkage is usually wrapped around the pedal and secured with a clamp. Loosed the clamp with an allen wrench.
Once you’ve loosened the clamp, remove the pedal’s linkage, and release the carburetor from the engine block.
Removing the Engine Block
Now that you detached everything from the engine block, you can remove the engine itself and the axle sprocket.
The engine is connected to the frame using engine mounts. These engine mounts allow for the easy positioning of the engine when initially putting it into place. The engine mounts are located below the frame and screwed into the bottom of the motor. Use a wrench to loosen the motor from the mounts and pull the engine from the chassis.
You will also have to remove the axle sprocket from the axle. This sprocket was initially installed for the chain to attach to turn the wheels.
To remove the sprocket, find the bolts and unscrew. These bolts typically take an allen wrench to remove but can vary by a kart.
Body Kit (Plastics) Removal
Your go-kart may or may not have a body kit attached, but at the very least, you should have a front and rear bumper. If you have a body kit, the pieces remove very similarly to most of the other components of these karts.
Locate the nuts and bolts that secure the kit to the kart and loosen them with a wrench.
The bumpers are slightly different than the rest of the body kit since they need to hold some structural integrity with the rest of the kart. Typically, the bumpers will have extensions that slide into your kart’s chassis. Once the bumpers’ arms are slotted into the kart frame, at least one bolt holds them in place.
Removing the Wheels
For anyone who has ever changed a tire, the next steps should be familiar:
- Loosen the lug nuts on the wheel: The lug nuts attach the wheel to the rest of the kart’s chassis and brake assembly. It’s essential to loosen the lug nuts while your cart is on the ground, or the wheels will just spin because of the lack of traction.
- Jack up your kart: Either jack your kart or put it on a stand, so you have the access necessary to remove the wheels.
- Slide the wheel off: Pull the wheel away from the frame and brake assembly.
- Repeat for the rest of the wheels.
From this step forward, your kart will have to remain jacked or on the stand.
If you try to put the go-kart on the ground without wheels, you risk bending or breaking your kart’s components. Once parts warp, they may no longer be useful or be immensely more challenging to remove from your kart without cutting them off.
Removing the Braking System
The braking system is another somewhat complicated component of the disassembly of your go-kart.
The components of your brakes that you will remove are:
- Brake lines
- Brake rod
- Master cylinder
- Piston actuation
Removing Your Brake Lines
The first step in removing your braking system is to remove the brake lines from your kart’s brake calipers and the master cylinder. These connections are threaded together, so removing them can be done quickly.
Use a wrench to loosen the brake lines’ connection to the front calipers (you’ll likely have two) and the rear caliper.
These connections will likely be very tight, so you’ll have to use a fair amount of pressure.
Brake Rod, Piston Actuator, and Master Cylinder Removal
Once the brake lines are detached, the kart will no longer be able to brake, so you have the formalities of removing the rod from the pedal and the master cylinder.
The brake rod connects to the master cylinder by the piston actuator. Unscrew the brake rod from the piston actuator using a wrench, and the piston actuator will slide off.
The brake rod then needs to be disconnected from the pedal. A screw again makes this connection.
Finally, the master cylinder is connected directly to the chassis of your go-kart and can be removed by undoing a few screws.
The final step in completing the removal of the braking system is to remove the brake calipers. The rear caliper is attached over the rear brake disc and pinned through the axle barring.
Undo the pins connecting the caliper to the axle barring, and it will lift right off.
Remove the front calipers by loosening a bolt that connects the front assembly to the kart’s frame. Pull the pin through, and the front calipers come right off. This process will need to be done on both sides of the kart.
It’s important to note that the front calipers are attached to your go-kart’s steering, so before you can take your front calipers off, you’ll have to undo the steering connection to this area, which will be explained in the next steps.
Steering System Removal
The first step in removing the steering system is to remove the rods that connect the driveshaft to the front calipers. These rods control the steering and need to be removed from the calipers before you take them off.
The rods connect to the driveshaft and the calipers with one bolt on each end. Loosen the bolt with a wrench and slide the connecting bolt out of place. Disconnecting these areas will allow you to remove the front calipers, as discussed in the previous step.
Drive Shaft Removal
The driveshaft, which the steering wheel is attached to, is connected directly to your kart’s chassis. The lower end of the drive shaft is typically attached to the frame with a single bolt.
The upper end of the drive shaft slides through a steering shaft mounter connected to the frame. Loosen both points that connect the steering shaft to the chassis and slide the rod out of position.
The last step in disassembling the steering system is to remove the pedals from the frame of your go-kart. Your pedals are directly connected to the chassis and just need a bolt or two unscrewed to remove them.
Rear Axle Removal
Once the brake system is out of your kart, you’ll have to remove the rear axle. Loosen the axle bearing’s, which hold the axle in place and connects to the chassis. Once loosened, the rear axle will slide out of place in either direction.
Next, you have to remove the axle bearing’s from the kart’s chassis. These should connect with a series of bolts. Since this connection is vital to the kart’s structural integrity, they may be difficult to remove.
After the rear axle and its connections are removed, you’re left with only the frame of your go-kart.
Admittedly, there isn’t a ton of information focused on disassembling your go-kart. It gets even more sparse when looking at dismantling a specific type of go-kart.
Hopefully, this guide provided useful information to help you with your disassembling journey.
Since assembly videos are much more common, you can always use those and work backward. I want to thank the Power Republic for all the videos they provided on YouTube. Use these videos and work backward to disassemble a go-kart.
Just remember to take your time and document your progress through pictures, so you never forget how pieces fit together.