Below are two Bill of Material Layouts. The first is for the Gravity Go Kart, the second for the gas powered wood go kart.
As you can see there are some things that are assumed to be laying around or at your disposal. For example the wood go kart assumes that you have 2×4’s and a piece of plywood sitting around. Additionally, that you have access to an old riding lawnmower that is rusting away, but the steering wheel, and the wheels are useable.
The gas powered go kart too assumes that you have access to a very, very cheap engine (a free one in otherwords) because it came off of an old lawn mower, a snowblower, roto tiller, something. We found ours sitting at the dump with no carburetor. Fortunately, because I collect junk, I had an old carburetor on hand, along with a gas tank.
The truth is that these go karts were made without purchasing 2×4’s, plywood, wheels, steering wheel and even a motor. It is not that I have an advantage but I do practice what I preach and that is I dumpster dive. I look for people throwing out tractors, engines and all sorts of other goodies, because they are gems.
So yes you can make a gokart out of junk, for less than 50 bucks. The following Bill of Materials show you where you will be spending money and where you should NOT be spending money.
If you have to go to the hardware store it should be to buy fasteners and other odds and ends, but no money should be spent on wheels and engines…you will end up cranking up the bill if you do.