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89 Yamaha Warrior 350 into offroad gokart


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A couple years ago I was given an old warrior. My kids had a hard time riding it, so we decided to make it into a 2 seat off road gokart. I am currently one off the Venturing Boy Scout advisors, so I enlisted the help of the boys to work on the project.

We started the project in October but I forgot to take pictures till last week. We dont make fast progress since we get together at most once a week and not every week.

We have the quad mostly stripped, I have gotten most of the plans worked up for the frame, and we have most of the main frame pieces cut and bent, some welded.

I will post some pictures tonight is I get a chance.

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Ok got some pictures. Let me know if you cannot see them and I will try to post them a different way.

Here is the 89 Yamaha Warrior after some young guys were done with it.


Here is the engine. I will probably need some work like a carb rebuild.


Frame laid out on table.


Grinding pipes for fitment


Of course we have it perfectly square :no:


More grinding and then some more.


Rear roll bar in position


Rear roll links in place.


Trial fit of the front roll bars - they don't fit as good as it looks like they do.


One front bar tacked in place. A good stopping point for the evening.

Better take it for a test spin.


I was the guy in red in the 4th picture, but here is another for good measure that I did actually do some work. (Looks like facebook forces landscape)


Well that is all for tonight.

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I was thinking the same thing, those motors make less than 20hp, and that looks like it will be a pretty big machine. Not only would it be a bit underpowered, but I would suspect that the clutch may not hold up. If it were me, I would throw that motor up on ebay along with all the other parts you aren't going to use and look for an old snomobile motor, something that was meant for running under a heavier load. Just my 2 cents. The build looks good though, it isn't easy bending cages. I don't know what you use to saddle the ends of your pipe, but I find that a hole saw works perfectly.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been thinking that the engine might be too small for it. But I think I will give it a try and see how it works. Then I will have an idea of what I need. One thing I need is reverse. Do snowmobiles have reverse? Even if it were slow that would be fine, as long as you could back up when you get in a jam. There is no way I want to get out and pull on it.

It seems like inorder to get the frame stiff I need to add a lot more bars.

Here is a shot of the CAD design so far.


The actual project is varying a little from the design, but some of the stuff I changed the design to match. Other things I changed on the design to look better should I rebuild something later.

Here is the nose cone in an early state. I accidentally made it 4.5 inches wider than it was supposed to be, so I had to rebuild it.


Here is a shot of the final length of the kart. It is sitting on a 4x8 table.


Thanks for the comments. I am using a hole saw and a notcher to saddle the pipes, but it is impossible to get the exact angle. It is also really hard to get the pipes bent to the correct angle and maintain a flat plain.

Edited by Bugzuki
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I know exactly what you mean, bending pipe while keeping everything in line is a real pain. I do know that some snomobiles have reverse, I don't know how common it is on older machines though. That snomobile in the link would be a perfect powertrain donor IMO. I also noticed that it is in Bonney Lake, WA, coincidentally, that is where I live. Are you here in Western Wa?

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Yep, I am in Monroe Wa. Just off Hwy 2 East of Everett. The owner of the snowmobile said that it does not have reverse, but there is some kit for it.

The exhaust would be much harder to modify then the Warrior 350 exhaust. Looks like the snowmobile has 3 individual pipe off the engine. What a pain.

Edited by Bugzuki
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I am familiar with Monroe, I have been lucky enough to have a job that required me to visit your fine penitentiary a few times.

When you have 3 cylinders instead of one, the exhuast definately gets more tricky. The Warrior exhuast should be much easier to modify. Changing the lenth a little on a four stroke motor isn't going to have much of an effect. If you change the dynamics of a two stroke expansion chamber even slightly, it can have dramatic effects on enginge performance. For simplicity, it you were to ever try a snomobile engine, I would try to find an air cooled twin cylinder. The exhuast would be easier to deal with, and no need for a radiator. For the Warrior motor, one thing I would definately do is find a heavy duty aftermarket clutch and the stiffest springs you can find for it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We got a couple more bars in place. Up to this point I have mostly been tacking the bars in place. I now have everying on the frame fully welded.

There are some slight issues with the frame. I think it has to do with trying to teach teenagers how to do metal fabrication. Measuring and keeping attention to detail instead of goofing around are a big issue.

But I think everything so far is workable.

Here is how it sits now.


Side view.


On the engine. I sold an Explorer engine so I have a couple bucks. I found a 93 Arctic Cat Panther for sale in Lake Stevens. I was told that it ran upto a couple years ago when they broke the pull rope. It has been parked since. It has some other issues but mostly dealing with the chassis and stuff. I think it has the 440cc air cooled 2 cylinder engine. It also has reverse. I will go look at it this weekend maybe. He was asking $399 for it, I offered $300.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Now I just need to figure out how to sell my 350 yamaha engine.

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The guy with the snowmobile has not gotten back to me and my money for it is disappearing. I will have to sell some stuff. Hopefully I will be able to get it sometime.

I am planning on using the Warrior front suspension for starters and building suspension for the back. We will see how it handles and go from there. Maybe I will put it together with the warrior engine first and then put in a Snowmobile engine if I ever get one.

Well, we going to work on it some more tomorrow evening.


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Well, we made some more progress on the cart. We got some more pipes bent and welded/tacked on. I will take some more pictures.

The guy with the snowmobile got back to me last night. We went and looked at it. It was pretty rough, but the engine turned by hand, so I am hoping for the best. He took 250 for it. I go to pick it up on Saturday. It has the Suzuki 440 2cylinder 2 stroke air cooled engine in it. I did not look real close but it looks like the secondary drive pully is really big.

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Here are the updated pictures I promised.

Current state of the nose cone.


Side view with the side rails started:


Mock up of Yamaha 350cc engine. This is what it would look like if I keep it:


Here is a look at the passenger space. Looks like there will be plenty of room.


I go to pick up the snowmobile on Saturday. I will post some pictures of it after I get it. It should be a nice addition.

I also remembered that I had a 1 liter 3 cylinder turbo charger tucked away in the shop. Do 2 stroke engines do very well turboed? I think it should be small enough to do nicely on the 440cc snowmobile engine. :biggrin:

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You can put a turbo on a two stroke, and it can be very difficult to properly tune them though. You need to have a real good idea of where to start on jetting, you will probably need to run larger carbs to allow for the extra air that the turbo will be pushing. Then you have to figure out how to tie in in to the exhuast. If you want to do it, I would do your homework, you want to make sure you get it right. If you don't have enough fuel to go with all the extra air, that motor will burn up in no time flat.

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I guess I will hold off on the Turbo for now, maybe for ever.

Here is what I got done Yesterday. The boys were all busy, but we needed to get things done to hopefully have the Hot Rod done by summer.

Here is the rear triangulation brace in place. It is nice that it ended up not crossing right through the center at the back, this will give me more engine/exhaust choices.


The front suspension tubes are in place. Turns out the rear support bar is a little low on the passenger side, so the bar is a little low. I probably should not point out all the mistakes and just let you think it is coming together perfect.


Side view: shows the center floor cross beam.


Straight on front shot.


Here is a shot to show the welding for all those that are wondering. I use a Miller Dynasty 200DX TIG welder. In this picture I welded the right side with my right hand and the left side with my left hand.


Of course not all the welds look like that, but I am not going to show the bad ones.

Some front suspension pictures coming.

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Here is the front tacked together:


I still have to add some to stiffen the bracketry.

Closeup of Driverside


Passengerside closeup


Here is a mockup with the rear wheels and seats


One more shot for good measure.


The front seems to be able to hold 2 kids in the seats and me bouncing on the front ok. If the wheels do drop all the way the front tires hit the upper side bar when turned. I will have to figure out if that will be a problem.

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Looks good, I think the brakes and a-arms will work well, you may find the shocks to be a little soft when everything is done, and with 2 people in the kart. The shocks are made for a much smaller machine and one rider at approx. 160lb or so. On the other hand, it seems like the weight will be biased toward the rear, so that may lighten the load up on the front end enough. If it does feel soft when you drive it, you can move the lower shock mount toward the wheel, it will stiffen up the ride a bit. You lose suspension travel, but it will be cheaper than replacing the shocks so... If there are clearance issues, a smaller tire may solve the problem there. The cage looks to be coming along quite nicely, how do you like that Miller Dynasty welder? My friend has a Syncrowave 200, its not a bad machine, but it lacks proper adjustment. It does well on steel or stainless, but alluminum is a real pain, no frequency adjustment.

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I was thinking about the front springs being a little light, but figured I would give them a try and see what actually happens. Trial and error, not just upgrade incase.

Moving the shocks out is a good idea to try.

Thanks for the comments, it has been fun and I think it is looking pretty good to.

I like the Dynasty. It is much smaller than the Syncrowave. It does nicely on steel, and I can weld aluminum, but have never tried adjusting the frequency. I just switch it to A/C. Maybe I will look into adjusting it, maybe that would get my Aluminum welds a little better. One of the reasons I got the DX model over the standard is that it had more adjustability options. I guess I am still an intermediate welder.

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