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Go Kart Electric Conversion

I need some advice on conversion of my go kart to electric.  I believe I need a kit similar to this:


but I'm not sure if I need a new rear sprocket and chain.


KIT-158 would work great on that go-kart. One thing to consider about KIT-158 is that its rotary reverse switch will have four thick 10 gauge wires which need to run from the motor and controller in the back of the go-kart, to wherever you want to mount the reverse switch in the front of the go-kart. The rotary switch in KIT-158 also requires a couple inches of space behind it to be able to mount it. 

The rotary switch works great though and the only reason that I mention this is because we now have a reverse contactor which mounts in the back of the go-kart between the motor and controller which only requires two thin wires to run between the reverse contactor and a small and easy to mount toggle switch which is used for switching between forward and reverse.

Due to the cost of the heavy-duty reverse contactor along with a few extras such as a motor sprocket for #35 chain (which you will need) and a Voltmeter, the kit with the reverse contactor costs a little more than the kit with the rotary reverse switch. Here is a link to it so you can compare it to the KIT-158: 


And here is a link to all of our 36 Volt 1000 Watt electric go-kart kits:

We could remove the Voltmeter from KIT-361000-01 on request which would lower the price of the kit by around $14.00.

Looking at your photo the chain and sprocket look pretty old and worn out so it would probably be a good idea to replace them since the motor sprocket will be brand new. This way both of the sprockets and the chain would be brand new for a good clean start. Old go-kart chains and sprockets tend to cause a condition where the chain falls of the wheel sprocket during riding so whenever they look as old as they do in that photo then we like to go ahead and replace them. The existing chain looks like it is #35 chain from the photo. The wheel sprocket should be available at most online go-kart parts stores and we carry #35 chain which we could add to the kit if you would like. 

We could run a gear ratio calculation and let you know what the go-karts top speed will be with KIT-158 or KIT-36100-01 if you could measure the diameter of the tire and count the number of teeth that the wheel sprocket has and let us know. 

Please let us know if you have any questions and we can take it from there. 

Thanks for the quick response.  I think I like your suggestion better.  I don't care how I get there, I just want to include reverse.

I'm assuming the votmeter is to tell if the batteries are close to dying.  Let's leave it.

I'd would like to ensure it doesn't get ridden without adult supervision, so please include a key instead of the on/off switch.  Also, can we incorporate a throttle speed limiter to adjust when my son rides it?

I was thinking of buying either this:

or this: 

Can you please calculate both scenarios with the chain?

Also, do you mind explaining how the braking system works with a electric motor.  I'm assuming I still need the drum brake but how does the brake lever switch and the brake lights functions of the controller work?

Thanks for your help!

We can make a new version of the kit with a key switch and throttle speed limiter.

Here are the calculations for the 145x70-6 wheel:

And here are the calculations for the 12x4.00-5 wheel:

The 36 Volt 1000 Watt motor and controller do not provide electronic braking, however, we could make a kit with our 48 Volt 1600 Watt brushless motor and include a controller with the kit that does provide electric braking. The electric braking that it provides is mild though so a mechanical brake such as a drum brake would also need to be installed. The 48 Volt 1600 Watt motor runs at 4800 RPM so if the kit included it instead of the 36 Volt 1000 Watt 3000 RPM motor then the top speeds in the calculations above would be around 50% faster. 

The controller turns off the motor when the brake switch is applied (or can turn on electric braking with some brushless motor controllers) and the brake light, if one is installed, will illuminate when the brake switch is on. 

Please let us know your thoughts on all of this and we can take it from there. 

Thank you for the info. I ordered the 145x70-6 with the 54 tooth sprocket. I don't think the electronic braking is necessary. I'm ready to order as soon as you provide the revised kit. Thanks for your help.
Also, just to be clear I purchased a new chain from someone else and do not need it to br part of the revised kit from you. Let me know if you have any questions as I'm ready to order asap.

This weekend we realized that our 36 Volt 1000 Watt motors with mounting bases are out of stock and will not be back in stock for a couple of months so we made went ahead and made new go-kart kits with our 48 Volt 1000 Watt motors. We did not include chain with these 48 Volt kits. 36 Volt and 48 Volt 1000 Watt motors both have the exact same amount of power and run at the same speed so there is no performance difference between the 36 Volt and 48 Volt kits. One improvement that the 48 Volt kits have over the 36 Volt kits is that they have an extra battery so they will provide 25% more ride time for the same size batteries in the pack. 

Looking at the photo of your go-kart we noticed that the left wheel receives power from the motor which means the motor runs counterclockwise. The motors in our 36 Volt and 48 Volt 1000 Watt go-kart kits need to run in the clockwise direction when the go-kart is moving forward. So to use our 1000 Watt kits the drive wheel will need to be mounted on the right side of the go-kart instead of on the left side. The go-kart's gas motor mounting plate is too low and too far away from the wheel sprocket to be reused for the electric motor so installing a mounting plate for the electric motor on the right side of the go-kart should not be much more work than it would be for the left side. 

We have 48 Volt 1600 Watt brushless motor go-kart kits whose motor can run in the clockwise or counterclockwise direction when the go-kart is moving forward which could be used if the motor must be located on the left side of the go-kart. These 48 Volt 1600 Watt motors run at a 50% higher RPM than the 1000 Watt motors do though so the top speed would be higher if one was used and the gear ratio may need to be reconsidered. 

Our 48 Volt 1000 Watt go-kart kits have; a key switch or toggle switch option, a with or without Voltmeter option, a #35 or #40/#41/#420 motor sprocket option, along with wire length options for the wires between all of the parts. 

Here is the page that all of our 48 Volt 1000 Watt go-kart kits are listed on:

The KIT-481000-08 kit has a 15Ah battery pack and the KIT-481000-10 kit has a 22Ah battery pack. The kit with 15Ah battery pack will provide around a 1 hour ride time on flat ground with some hills, and the kit with 22Ah battery pack will provide around a 1-1/2 hour ride time on flat ground with some hills. If there are no hills or grades where the go-kart is driven (such as a flat parking lot) then the ride times will be longer. 

Please let us know if you have any questions. If there are any changes that you would like made to the 1000 Watt kits, or if you would like to switch over to a 1600 Watt kit, then please let us know. 

Thanks for all the info and the update kits. I ordered the 481000-08 last night and added the throttle speed limiter ala carte.  It's description says its plug and play so I'm assuming that won't be an issue.

I do have a couple a questions about the mounting of the motor.  Although you are correct, I did anticipate not being able to use the mounting plate from the previous motor and plan to have to reconfigure how the electric motor is mounted anyway.  I have some concerns about the brakes if I move the motor to the other side.  If I keep the brake on the right side to avoid redesigning how the brake pedal and bound are mounted, do you foresee any issue with the brake being on opposite side as the motor?  Or do I need to completely redesign how the brakes are activated?

Can you elaborate as to why the motor has to go clockwise to go forward?  What would the repercussions be if I keep it on the left side and flip forward and reverse through the Motor reversing contractor and the switch?

Thank you very much for your order. I added a note to your order instructing our technician to incorporate the throttle speed limiter into the kit so it will be plug-and-play and tested to work with the kit. 

It will be perfectly fine to have the brake on the opposite wheel that the motor is on. In fact, designing it this way will make inspecting and servicing the brake easier than if it was on the same side as the motor because there will not be a chain in the way. When the driver lets off the throttle and applies the brake the motor will stop running so the brake does not need to overcome the power of the motor which allows the brake and motor to be on opposite wheels. 

The type of motor which the kit has is a brushed permanent magnet DC motor and this type of motor has an engineering requirement that if it will be used at high speeds then its brushes need to have advanced timing in order for the motor to have maximum power and to prevent excessive brush sparking during high-speed use. Electric motors with advanced brush timing run fantastically in the direction that they are designed to run in, however, they do not run so well at high speeds in the opposite direction, and if they are run in the opposite direction at high speeds then excessive brush sparking will occur which will lower the lifespan of the motor. Momentarily running a brushed motor in reverse at limited speeds is perfectly fine though so it is okay to use this type of motor for reversing a vehicle whenever it is needed for that purpose. 

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Thanks for all your help and the explanation. I'll wait for the kit and let you know if I need anything further. Thanks!.

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