How to Install a Go Kart Engine

By Thomas West
Install a new engine in your go kart to make it race-ready.
Install a new engine in your go kart to make it race-ready.

A go kart is a small, low-slung four-wheeled vehicle that is powered by a small rear-mounted gasoline-powered engine. Due to its small size and light weight go karts can be quite fast but handle well because it has a low center of gravity. This makes it ideal for racing. Whether you are assembling a new go kart or rebuilding a used one, installation of the engine is necessary.

Locate the engine mounting plate on the framework of the go kart behind the driver’s seat.

Get help if necessary lifting the engine straight up. Lower the engine onto the go kart’s mounting plate.

Line up the mounting holes on the engine to the slotted holes on the mounting plate by sliding the engine around as needed.

Insert the bolts through the mounting holes in the engine. Install lock washers and nuts on the threaded ends of the bolts that protrude through the underside of the engine mounting plate. Finger-tighten only. Slide the engine assembly toward the rear of the machine as far as the slotted holes in the mounting plate will allow.

Slip the drive chain over the sprockets on the clutch and the engine. Slide the engine assembly toward the front of the machine until the slack has been removed from the chain. Ensure the engine and clutch chain sprockets are in straight alignment with each other by sliding the engine on the mounting plate as necessary.

Tighten the engine mounting bolts and nuts with a socket and ratchet in a clockwise direction.

Things You Will Need

  • 4 engine mounting bolts
  • 4 lock washers
  • 4 nuts
  • Socket set
  • Ratchet wrench

Tip

Make sure the clutch and engine chain sprockets are in alignment with each other by sighting down the length of the top of the chain. The slotted holes in the engine mounting plate should allow the engine to be moved into the proper alignment.

Warning

Make sure the chain is snug, but not tight before the engine mounting bolts are tightened. A tight chain may damage the clutch or engine by placing too much strain on these parts.