Highway Kart

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    You dont need a trailer or a station wagon to haul this

    kart to a track you can drive it there on public roads!

    RIVING a kart is a real thrill.Seated on a low-slung frame only

    inches from the ground, you feel as if

    youre doing 80 mph when youre doing20. Yet its surprisingly safe. The lowcenter of gravity and a width two-thirdsthe length make it almost impossible toflip a kart in a tight turn. Just abouteveryone who tries a kart gets the urgeto own oneand if youve got that urge,you get a bonus in building the MIHighway Kart.

    Since karts are generally driven onspecial tracks, it is not necessary to reg-ister them. However, transporting a


    By R. J. Capotosto


    CLAMPS and a piece of angle-iron hold

    kingpin brackets in position for welding.

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    SHEET STEEL to cut and bent to shape,then spot-welded beneath the sissy rails..

    ENGINE MOUNTING plate is tack-weldedal first since it may require shifting later.

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    BREAKS are the internal expanding type.Two are needed for kart used on highway.

    BOTTOM view with the belly pan weldedin place. Note bends in the control rods.

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    THROTTLE control linkage is simple butfoolproof. Retun spring is on the right.

    DONT overtighten the nut on the king-pin. Use a slotted nut and a cotter pin.

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    CUSHIONS are foam rubber. A Boltaflexcover is stapled to the plywood backing

    RETURN spring connected to brake link-age is strong enough to pull pedal back.

    READY for the road. Latex paint was used to give tires white sidewalls.Headlights 24 inches above around comply with the law tor night driving.

    BRACKETS are adjutable so that head-lights may be lowered when not required.

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    kart is often a problem. Itcan be hauled in a sta-tion wagonif you own awagonor it can be towedon a trailer. Either way,the lugging can be quite anuisance. With this in

    mind, our model was de-signed so that registrationcould be obtained, makingit possible to drive the kartto its destination on publicroads.

    Our plates were ob-tained in New York. How-ever, regulations vary andthe requirements wouldhave to be checked inother states. First we hadto supply three things:

    proof of ownership (a billof sale for the engine); anaffidavit stating that thekart was built by our-selves; and a list of the parts used. To make thekart legally roadworthy ithad to have front and rear bumpers, a brake on eachrear wheel, headlights,taillights, turn signals, arear license plate and ahorn. In use, the head-

    WITH TWO BRAKES, the linkage must beset so that both will be applied at once.

    HAND CRANK for engines impact starterfolds up out of the way when not in use.

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    lights are required to be 24 inches abovethe ground. A permanent arrangementof this sort would not be desirable, sowe mounted the lights on adjustable brackets which allow them to be low-ered.

    Electrifying the kart was simplified by using a Clinton E-65-1100 series en-gine with a built-in, 12-volt flywheelgenerator. This eliminates the need for

    a heavy battery, relay and externalgenerator. The engine delivers 5.2 hpand it has a 5.76 cubic inch displace-ment, putting it in the Class A category.It is fitted with an impact starter andfour turns of the crank followed by a press to release the spring are sufficientto start the engine. A Mercury centri-fugal clutch permits no-load startingand load-free idling and it automaticallyapplies the load to the engine at its mostefficient speed. Brakes are the six-inchinternal expanding type. If you do not

    plan to register the kart, one brake willbe sufficient as a Class A rig.For simple and sturdy construction,

    angle-iron is used throughout. Thiseliminates welding of fish-mouth jointson tubing, something which is ratherdifficult unless youre an experiencedwelder. Welding angle-iron is very easy by comparison. Its also easy to shapethe angle-iron by cutting slits or notchesin one side and bending it in a vise.

    Start construction by cutting all theangle-iron to size and forming it as

    shown in the drawings. Cut the notcheswith a hack saw and save the triangularwaste pieces. These can be used to fill inthe spaces formed where the slits openup on reverse bends. When cuttingnotches, drill a 3/16-inch hole at the baseof the V to allow proper bending clear-ance. File all cuts clean to remove burrs prior to welding. The 3/8-inch holes forthe brake and throttle studs should also bedrilled at this time.

    MICBO MUFFLER to shown being boltedpver exhaust port of Clinton E-65 engine.

    LIGHT switches and a switche far short-ing out engine are on panel below wheel.

    CRANK is pressed after four turns, re-leasing a spring which starts the engine.

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    To simplify the welding, clamp the pieces together and tack-weld them first.Then check the positioning to see if its allright to complete the welds. We used aLincwelder 100 and obtained excellent re-sults.

    The l-1/4 x 1/2-inch kingpin brackets should be clamped in perfect alignment beforethey are welded in place. These brackets

    are made by heating the metal to a cherryred and then bending them in a vise. Ifyour welder is equipped with a carbon-arc torch, you will find it excellent forheating the metal. The rear axle and brakeHange are also attached at this time. Notethat the rear axle is offset to allow for thesprocket on the left side.

    The engine mounting plate is madefrom quarter-inch steel plate. It has elon-gated slots to allow for proper alignmentof the engine. A simple way to make theslots is to drill the two end holes and cut

    out the material between. Use a keyholesaw or, better still, a jig saw with a fine-toothed blade and a slow spml Wax theblade and feed the work slowly. Since this plate may have to be moved slightly onfinal assembly, tack-weld it into place.

    The throttle and brake linkages are as-sembled as shown in the drawings. Maketlie control rods from quarter-inch coldrolled steel, threaded at each end. Tem- porarily attach the rod assemblies to theframe, clamping them at the stop guidebrackets. The rods should not bind when

    the ped.ils an operated. The returnsprings should also be in place at this timeso that proper tensioning and positioningis obtained. When all checks out, the unitscan be assembled to the frame.

    The firewall, belly pan, dash and side pieces under the sissy rails are cut from20-gauge sheet steel with heavy-dutyshears. Bending is required to fit the sidepieces into place. Attach all these platesby spot-welding every inch.

    The steering knuckles are made bywelding ^.ix-t-inch cap screws to steel

    tubing of half-inch inside diameter. Drilland tap the tubing to accept a grease fit-ting, taking care to remove any burrs thatmay form on the inside. The cotter pinhole in the axle also may be made at thistime. Determinr the location of the holeby placing the wheel with bearings on theaxle. Then remove the wheel and threada nut onto the axle, noting the exact loca-tion of the hole. Lock the nut in place witha second nut and then drill through the flatside of the nut. The wheels, incidentally,are available from the Indus Corp.. 1815

    Madison Ave., Indianapolis 25. IndThe steering tie rods are threaded ateach end for a distance of one inch so thathere will be sufficient adjustment fortoe-in. The steering rod and wheel are

    made of3/8-inch cold-rolled steel. The largebend in the wheel may be made cold butthe sharp bends will have to be heated.The 3/8-inch bronze bushings are pressedinto the top and bottom of the steering rodtube. A plastic mallet is good for drivingthem in. As an added safety feature, thewheel and arm are welded to the steeringrod after assembly. Make sure that the

    arm is in alignment with the steeringwheel before welding.

    The carburetor throttle lever is con-nected directly to the throttle linkagethrough a length of throttle cable. Attachthe cable to the body of the engine with a bracket made from a scrap of 20-gaugesteel. The separate gas tank is mounteddirectly behind the drivers seat, againusing 20-gauge steel for straps.

    The electrical system is next added byfollowing the wiring diagram. UseStranded wire and tape all the leads in a

    neat bunch so that none will dangle. Thetaillights and turn lights are screwed di-rectly to the frame by drilling small holesat the rear of the fixtures The stop lightswitch must be positioned so that it closesthe circuit when the brake pedal is de- pressed one half of its travel. Naturally,the engine must be running to provide cur-rent for this test.

    The upholstery consists of a quarter-inch plywood backing, a two-inch foamrubber filler and a covering of Boltaflexa product of Bolta Products, Division of

    The General Tire and Rubber Co., Law-rence, Mass. Pull the material tight overthe foam and staple it to the rear of theplywood.

    The Indus wheels do not come withwhite walls as shown. We used a latexpaint for this. Be sure to clean the rubberthoroughly before painting. All metalparts of the kart should be given a coal ofmetal primer before painting them withenamel. The lamp brackets, control rods,etc., are sprayed with aluminum paint. Toadd to the looks of the kart, a ribbed rub-

    ber floor mat is used.Due to the space limitations where theengine is positioned, it is not possible tomake full turns of the impact startercrank. However, the crank is connectedthrough a ratchet and full turns are notnecessary.

    Our kart, including everything but theengine, was built for $116 The 5.2-hp engine with built-in l2-volt generator was.$85.74, bringing tlie total cost to $20l.74Naturally, you can build the kart for con-siderably less if you dont want to include

    the features necessary for highway use.MI has made arrangements with the Fine-crafts Products Co.. Box 7031, Jersey City7. N. J., to supply readers with the partsfor this kart. Write to them for a price list.