Posted by: nwracing | June 10, 2015

Andromeda Tow Kart part 5

Feeling a little more confident after finalising the rear suspension I moved on to the front suspension. Originally I had wanted to build a full a –arm suspension system much like those you see on quad bikes, however, reviewing what I needed to design from a chassis perspective and  based on the fact that the purpose of the tow kart was exactly that, I decided on a more simple swing arm front suspension.

Firstly I needed to fit the front mountings for the suspension arms and to be honest I used 6mm thick steel which is somewhat over the top but this is what I had. I used a steel bobbin which I turned down on the lathe so I could space the brackets and weld them in one go. Because they were so thick I was not too worried about distortion.

Kart front suspension brackets

Brackets all welded

The advantage of making a swing axle is that I could use a single piece of tube on each side. I turned a steel bush and threaded it to fit inside the tube it was then welded it in position. This was one end of the arm finished!

The other end was little more involved. Using some more 6 mm steel I created a ‘U’ shape using three pieces of steel and then welded this lot together which was quite a bit of work but cost pennies. I was quite pleased with the end result which fitted the go kart stub axles perfectly.

Stub axle

Axle bracket components.


All ready to weld

All ready to weld








All this lot was all well and good but one factor I had not considered was how much the shocks would compress, which in turn affected how much the tyres cambered in. As the shocks had come off my old Harley it was almost impossible to know how much they would compress so all I could do was tack weld the bracket, try it out and then move it until it was right. Then I had a brainwave…

… the heaviest member of the team would sit on it first and we would see how far the axles deflected then the lightest and measure again. I’m not saying who was heaviest!!! I pitched the brackets in between these two points and welded these on. Not particularly scientific but hey this is a tow kart!

shock mounts

Two positions for shock brackets before my brainwave!


Front axle

Mocked up axle









Tow Kart front suspension

Front suspension all fitted!

One of the great things about building something like this is that you can modify it as you go along and I have to say  it is great fun, but remember this was the whole purpose of the build, to gain as much experience as I could on something  that my life didn’t depend on.

Next time I fit the engine and contemplate steering angles!


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