Aluminum Foundry: Casting Parts for Go Karts: Model-T Go-Kart to the Rescue

As you probably well know the Go Kart Guru.com has just finished its 10th anniversary having started in 2008 as a page devoted to providing go kart plans for the home building go kart enthusiast. GoKartGuru.com has since branched out to supply books and videos on how to build you own go kart and in the process learn the critical elements of gokart design and performance.

Part of our Go Kart web page has been the Vintage Style go karts, among them the Model-T style go karts. Over the years people have been begging for parts on these go karts, and I have essentially in the past basically said “There is nothing I can do for you…” That has all changed as we now provide a plethora of parts for Model-T Go Karts, the parts you will be hard pressed to fined unless you buy an old Model T go kart and strip it for parts.

Invariably it was the old wheels , steering wheels, trims and hub caps that people wanted. So we have been endeavoring to provide hubs, wheels and hub caps at the first.
The big issue has been that the Model-T Go karts quite frankly are a tough ride. The transmission is a belt tensioning system that works alright if you know what you are doing, but braking the go kart…wow that is just something you have to plan for! In other-words the brakes don’t really work. The brake as designed initially is a rubbing style brake, and as a gentlemen said “are virtually non-existent!”

Enter, the aluminum foundry forge project. This spring we have been developing an aluminum casting side to the GoKartGuru.com. Here we have been going gangbusters developing new parts to enhance the Model-T gokart experience. We have developed an original steering wheel pattern for the first Model T go-karts released by Donohough back in the 50’s and 60’s. We are perfecting the casting process as this is being written.

Additionally, a brake system that is easily adapted to the old style systems is being developed and should be available in late July.

And to top it all off we are working on aluminum wheels that should be available in late July as well.

The process of developing a part first comes from a 3-d model that we developed using a CAD software called Alibre. They are relatively low cost solid modeling software that we have been using for about 5 years now.

Once the model has been developed with the proper aluminum shrink allotted for, the part is 3-d printed using PLA. (I don’t use ABS because it shrinks. PLA retains its shape and is fairly durable and takes paint well.)

The part is then either made into a pattern to be used for forming up sand, or the part can be cast around with silicone rubber to make a Lost Foam master, or a Lost Wax master. We are experimenting with three methods right now and we will keep you posted on the recommended process.

We also purchased a forge kit from PMS Supply out of Pennsylvania. They have been really helpful in steering me in the direction of what to purchase. An all-around good experience, and helpful polite people.

This weekend promises to be pretty packed full of casting projects, so I am pretty excited.

Our next blog post will entail the progress on all these projects.

I think I also will write a manual on Model-T Go Karts what to look out for and what to expect! Having over a years worth of experiences with our Model –T Go Kart, the novelty of it all wears off pretty quick if you do not know what you are getting yourself into! That for a later date!

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