|The front wheels and steering on this Go-Kart
are straight off a little red wagon. However the yoke of the wagon was pointed
toward the back of the kart instead of toward the front.
wheel was cut out of plywood and the steering column is a broom stick. Wooden slats
are tied around the broom stick's circumference so that fewer turns of the wheel
are required to turn the kart.
||This "steering wheel" was found in a dumpster.
It used to be the stand of an office chair.
Note that the steering wheel is slipped over a piece of PVC tubing so
that it spins easily. Square extruded rod is inside the PVC to give it
rigidity. The angle brackets on the sides support the steering post.
||A side view of the steering wheel above
showing how ropes wrapped around the steering column steer the wheels when
the steering wheel is turned.
Make certain that the ropes are wrapped in
the correct direction. I had a spectacular wreck once when they were
backward. See kill switches
Note that in earlier versions of the go-kart's evolution we steered by
simply putting our feet on the front axle. There was no steering
|Here we used a simple yoke "stick", similar to
an airplane's, instead of a steering wheel. A hinge is at the bottom
of the stick so it can move left and right. Moving it pulls the
cables, which turn the wheels.
||On this metal Go-Kart there are tie rods
connecting the steering column to the front wheels. This is the design
commonly found on professional Go-Karts.
Note that the wheels are parallel when pointed straight, but the inner
wheel turns more than the outer wheel when turning. This is because
path of the outer wheel is a bigger circle. It is accomplished by
separating the points where the tie rods connect to the steering column by a
couple of inches. Between 1/4 and 1/2 turn of the steering wheel there
is very little turning effect on the outer wheel but substantial effect on
the inner wheel. The detail of the steering column connection to the
tie rods is shown below.
|No photo available (Send us one!)
||One of the simplest steering systems is simply
two ropes (or chains) suspending the frame from the front axle. Each rope
roughly 3 inches long, from knot to knot. So the kart is actually hanging below the axle
whereas the kart is normally above the axle. One steers with ones
feet, pushing the axle one way or the other to steer. A benefit of
this arrangement, in addition to its simplicity, is that the axle tends to
revert back to straight just as it does in a real car.