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Circus clown car convert to electric

I want to convert my gas gokart to electric.  Fully loaded with me and the dogs, it weighs less than 500 lbs and does not need to go faster than 15 mph.  We drive on level ground and only need to go around 3 miles per day at mostly walking speeds.

The rear axel has a 9" sprocket with what appears to be #40 chain and I would like to keep that sprocket and chain if possible.  I see that the motors like the the MY1020 have 8mm sprockets.  Is it possible to change the motor's sprocket to fit #40 chain, or should I replace the axel sprocket to accept the 8mm chain?

How many volts and how many watts do I need?   Is that 48 volt 1000 watt motor a logical choice?




Yes I definitely recommend using the 8mm sprocket that is included with the motor instead of welding a #41 sprocket onto it. Since you can get the 96 tooth sprocket for 8mm chain custom made this is the easiest and most reliable way to go.

I will start working on the kit and have it listed here probably within the next hour.


I was just working on the kit and realized that I forgot to ask if you want the car to have reverse. I can make a kit where the motor goes forward only, or I can make a kit with forward and reverse that is controlled by a toggle switch. For the kit to have reverse the price will be around $40 more than a forward only kit. Would you like the kit to have forward only, or forward and reverse?

Reverse would be great.

I just finished the kit and included reverse with it. It is our item # KIT-139. Here is the link to it:

Please have a good look over the kit to make sure that everything looks good to you. I can modify the kit and add or change anything about it.

The one thing that I did not include with the kit is the 8mm chain because I do not know how long it needs to be. I am not sure how far apart the motor and axle sprocket will be. Determining the exact number of chain links before the motor is installed can be very difficult so what I recommend is to get more chain than could possibly be needed and breaking it down to the right size after the motor and axle sprocket are installed and the chain is wrapped around them and marked with a permanent marker where it needs to be broken.

We have a chain length tool which is very accurate that can help you decide how much chain to purchase. Here is the link to it:

If the motor's sprocket will be very close to the axle sprocket then 2 or 3 feet of chain should be enough however if the motor and axle sprocket are spaced further apart from each other then 4 feet of chain would be a more suitable amount to purchase. We sell a chain breaker tool for $20 that will break the chain however the chain can also be broken (taken apart by removing the pins) with an 1/8" pin punch and hammer if you already have these tools.

We sell chain by the link so it does not need to be purchased in even foot lengths. It can be ordered by the foot and inch such as 3 feet 6 inches. The chain and master link could also be ordered separately from the kit, however then the 10% kit discount price would not be applied to the chain.

I can add any length of 8mm chain and an 8mm chain master link to the kit if you would like, and I can also add a chain breaker tool if you want. If you want chain added to the kit I would just need to know how many feet you would like?

I ordered the kit, but will wait on the chain until I see how things go together.

I certainly appreciate all of your help with this and my many hours of research on this project clearly show that your competitors have their heads up their butts, but you take care of business.  THANKS!


Thanks for your order Rick - we appreciate your business, and your kind words towards us.

Now that the order has been placed I need to ask a few questions so we can make the right lengths of wire for the kit.

I imagine that the battery pack, controller, and motor will all be in fairly close proximity to each other so the wire lengths between these parts can be 18 inches?

Is 18 inches of wire okay between the battery charger port and controller?

How many inches (or feet) of wire do you need between the power and reverse toggle switches and the controller? Maybe 4 feet of wire? (please specify more length than is actually needed so the wires are not too short)

I'll measure tomorrow and post it here.

My engine compartment measures 18" and I hope to fit everything in there.  

distance from the accelerator pedal to mid compartment is 36 ".



If you bolt a piece of plywood on top of the steel gas motor mounting plate and the plywood is cut to fill in most of the open area on the right side of the axle sprocket then there will be more than enough room to fit the electric motor, batteries, controller, and reverse relay inside of there. Steel would of course work for this also however since most of us already have tools to cut wood and not steel I usually recommend using plywood.


Wires that are too long are never a problem however wires that are not long enough are a big problem. Here is a photo of one of our customer's homemade electric go kart projects and how he dealt with wires that were a little too long.


Back to your project though. The 18 inch wires between the battery pack, controller, reverse relay, and motor should be plenty long enough with room to spare.

I imagine that instead of drilling a hole in the side of the car's body to mount the charger port you will mount the charger port inside of the engine compartment and lift the truck bed to recharge the batteries, in which case 18" should be long enough for the charger port wires. If you want longer charger wires then please let me know though.

The throttle has a 35" long cable on it and it attaches to the controllers 3" long wires, however since the accelerator pedal to mid engine compartment is 36" that is not leaving any extra wire length. I think we should make the throttle to controller wires 5 feet long so there is plenty of extra wire to mount the throttle in any position and to route the throttle wires around obstacles. How does that sound?

Regarding the power switch and reverse switch, I notice that the switch board is around 1 foot further away than the accelerator and brake pedals are from the engine compartment. I am thinking that we should make the switch wires 6 feet long. How does that sound?

Here is a preliminary run down of the wire lengths:
  • Battery pack to controller: 18 inches
  • Controller to reverse relay: 18 inches
  • Reverse relay to motor: 18 inches
  • Charger port to controller: 18 inches
  • Throttle to controller: 5 feet
  • Power switch to controller: 6 feet
  • Reverse switch to reverse relay: 6 feet

If these wire length are okay with you then please let me know.

If you would like any of the wire lengths changed then please let me know what lengths to change them to, and I will go ahead and do so.

I plan to build my compartment from plywood covered with fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin and all of your wire lengths sound good to me.


Great plan, that extra step of fiberglassing the plywood will make for a top quality and long lasting modification.

I entered the wire lengths listed above onto your order so we are good to go on this kit. The technician who builds the kit will make the wire lengths to the specifications listed above. It usually takes us around 2-3 business days to build and ship out kits so I expect the kit to be shipped out around the middle of next week.

Great!  Thanks.

My kart has 12 volt lights, horn and siren.  Will there be a connection for 12 volt utilities?

The kit has and runs off of a 36 Volt battery pack so there is no provision for running 12 Volt accessories directly from the it. Although the battery pack consists of three 12 Volt batteries, those three batteries need to be discharged and recharged in perfect unison so their individual Voltages do not become unbalanced. Due to this one of the 12 Volt batteries could not be used to power 12 Volt accessories without risking damaging or lowering the lifespan of the battery pack.

There are solutions for running 12 Volt utilities from a higher Voltage battery pack though. One solution is that a DC-DC converter could be installed which would take power from the 36 Volt battery pack and convert it down to 12 Volts. We sell a DC-DC converter with an output of 12 Volts and a maximum output current of 10 Amps. I am not sure how many Watts or Amps your 12 Volt headlights, horn, and siren use so you would want to look into that and make sure that it is all under 10 Amps (120 Watts), otherwise two of our DC-DC converters might be needed.


Item # CVT-7212 DC to DC Voltage Converter

Another solution would be to use a separate 12 Volt battery for the lights, horn, and siren. If a separate battery was used it would need to be recharged after every use, however since the 36 Volt battery pack also needs to be recharged after every use it would be practically no extra work to connect a battery charger to one more battery.

If a DC to DC converter is used it would need to be connected to a switch to disconnect the power from the 36 Volt battery pack to it, otherwise it would continuously draw a small amount of power from and slowly discharge the battery pack when the car was not being used.

We could add a DC-DC converter (or two if needed) to the kit and wire it and the controller to a dual pole single throw (DPST) toggle switch so that when the main power switch is turned on or off, it would turn on or off both the controller and the DC-DC converter. We would need to order a DPST toggle switch online and wait for it to be delivered though which could delay shipping of the kit by a few days.

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