Sunday, November 15, 2009

Project Update - Operation G[hetto]o Kart: Phase II

Although slightly behind schedule, Project G[hetto]o Kart is well on it's way to becoming a functioning low-budget ice racer.

A powerplant has been acquired with the help of our friend in fabrication, Andrew. A 440cc inline twin snowmobile engine will provide the thrust paired with a CVT packaged at the rear of the vehicle. Some basic mocking up shows that it may actually fit! With the added moral boost of working steering, this project may actually be ready for the winter.

Another gigantic stride was made towards drivability when the broken steering linkage was diagnosed and rewelded. Of course, the entire steering system was shrouded in goober welded sheet metal which had to be cut away. Upon removal, it was obvious that the point where the Chevrolet steering wheel adapter joins the riding lawnmower steering column was once held together with one tiny tack weld which had snapped with the ginormous steering effort required to point the vehicle. The 1/8th turn lock to lock steering will be a future point of improvement as well. On top of all this, the steering hub was also stripped but certainly nothing 2 feet of welding wire couldn't fix. Hopefully I won't see a future need to ever get the steering wheel off.

Just like the steering, the brakes were rusted and stuck as well. Paddle brakes will not be useful on studded tires aside from the occasional spark show so the shaft was removed with the angle grinder. The rear braking force will come from the drum brake on the CVT.

Test fitting the engine showed that a large amount of cutting and welding will be needed to mount the engine and CVT as well as hook power up to the rear axle. Currently, the kart is set up for one-whee-drive, however, this will be changed with a new solid axle fitted with the snowmobile drive gear. Some bracketry will have to be built to hold the CVT in place, however, the stock engine cradle will slotted to allow for movement of the engine and then welded to the chassis. Stay tuned for more updates as winter approaches!

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