September 10, 2020 3 min read

DIY Electric Go Kart Built With A No Weld Frame 

DIY Electric Go-kart

Go-karts are just plain awesome, and there is only one thing that can make them cooler. Building one yourself. Alex built this fully electric go-kart that runs on drill batteries and uses metal conduit and pipe clamps for a no weld frame! 
See the full build breakdown below.



Meet the Builder

Alex and his son with the go-kart
Alex is a long time customer of Maker Pipe who works as an electrical engineer. In his free time you will find him in his garage designing and building electrical vehicles for his sons to enjoy. To see his karts and other inventions like his electric mountain board, check out his YouTube channel DIYEK.

The Frame - No Welding Required

Electric Go-kart frame

 Alex explained that his early prototype of the go-kart involved welding the frame, but he quickly learned that welding isn't a good option. Welding is strong and a great option if you have the resources and knowledge, but if you don't it is intimidating and can be expensive. Like most DIYers he thought there has to be a better way and set out to find it. 

At first he found conduit fence connectors and gave them a try, but learned that they wouldn't work either because he had to heavily modify them.That proved to be just as difficult as welding so he started searching again.

He stumbled across Maker Pipe specifically the T ConnectorHe was excited to learn that they work with 3/4" EMT conduit which meant he didn't have to weld or modify the connectors except to add an extra bolt for added strength when necessary. To finish off the frame he added black shrink wrap that not only looks great but also holds up to rocks and debris.



The Electronics  

Drill batteries used to power the go-kart


You can find drill batteries in almost every home in America, but you usually won't find them strapped to a go-kart. Alex decided against a combustible engine because he didn't want his young kids to refuel with gasoline. Drill batteries are a safe alternative because they are easy to charge and have built in safety measures that prevent over heating etc. Battery life depends on the riders weight and what size the batteries are. In this case Alex's son is able to get roughly 40 minutes of ride time. 


Brushless Motor Housing
He used brushless motors housed in a Maker Pipe frame. 
Electronic Throttle Controller
The electronic throttle controller mounted on the steering wheel allows the rider to adjust the top speed if necessary. It also has a built in electronic brake.
Electronic Speed Controller
The electronic speed controller is mounted to the top of the motor housing. 



Putting on the seatbelt

Alex built this go-kart with safety for the rider in mind. He reinforced the frame with bolts through the connectors where needed. He added a mechanical brake in case the electronic brake failed. There is also a kill switch to shut down the kart in case of an emergency, and of course a seat belt bolted to the frame.

Frame Reinforcement
Mechanical Brake
Electronic Kill Switch
Go-kart Seatbelt

*Alex did a great job with safety, but remember to build within your limits and ride safely.



This kart is packed with features. To see them all and learn how Alex designed and built this go kart watch the full interview with action footage below. Thanks for reading and happy building!