Kart body manufacturing- does anyone here build their own bodies?

Hello,

I recently began full-time enrollment in a composites technology program at a trade school. Part of the curriculum entail us building a capstone project to demonstrate our newly acquired skills, and an internship to cap off the program. I'm in the planning stages of my project and would ultimately like to design and build a body for my champ kart. I'm wondering if anyone here who has experience with body manufacturing could share some insight on some of the processes used and techniques on how to get a functional fiberglass body with good modulus. I've got a few months to plan before starting the actual build and would like to gather as much information as I can.

Thank you.
 

Bumpy

Member
I would make a mold, hand lay the 'glass and vacuum infusion epoxy (not polyester) resin so the parts are as light and strong as possible.
The mold will be the hard part.
There are a lot of good YouTube sites that give info.
Look at some of the boat building sites.
Just FYI, mix your resin/hardener for minimum 5minutes and when you think it's mixed, mix it a little more.
Don't ask why I'm saying that.
Post pix of the results.
 
Thanks for your input. We're just in the beginning stages of hand laying and learning to see how resin and epoxy differentiate. I'll gladly document and share my journey with it when things start to ramp up.
I would make a mold, hand lay the 'glass and vacuum infusion epoxy (not polyester) resin so the parts are as light and strong as possible.
The mold will be the hard part.
There are a lot of good YouTube sites that give info.
Look at some of the boat building sites.
Just FYI, mix your resin/hardener for minimum 5minutes and when you think it's mixed, mix it a little more.
Don't ask why I'm saying that.
Post pix of the results.
 

flattop1

Dawg 89
After researching Modulus. .
weight over strength . Improved by material type and application of construction techniques . Body design would play into that as well . As stated carbon fiber or vacuum formed being the two best options .
My experience is that my technique has improved with each repair job i have done . So practice makes perfect still holds true .
 

Hooper46

Member
Call Wayne Arnold at race star go kart bodies. Super friendly guy. He hand molds all of his bodies. I've ran 1 body for about 2 years and I've been hit, bumped, rubbed and not had to redo any fiberglass on it at all.
 
Call Wayne Arnold at race star go kart bodies. Super friendly guy. He hand molds all of his bodies. I've ran 1 body for about 2 years and I've been hit, bumped, rubbed and not had to redo any fiberglass on it at all.
Thanks! I'll reach out to him
 
Call Shawn at 34 Motorsports. We're the manufacturer of AKS Race-Fab bodies. We would be happy to give you some tips that we have learned over the years.
717-979-2409
 

sundog

Member
Body work is a big project. Why don't you start with something smaller like a seat or a steering fairing.
 

sundog

Member
Just be safe and follow all the safety protocols for skin and lungs, especially the dust when trimming the final product. I've seen allot of guys who think they're tough enough to take all that crap and it ends up giving them all kinds of problems like alzheimer's, lung disease and cancer. Be very diligent with safety on composites, that stuff will hurt you quickly.

Sundog
 
Just be safe and follow all the safety protocols for skin and lungs, especially the dust when trimming the final product. I've seen allot of guys who think they're tough enough to take all that crap and it ends up giving them all kinds of problems like alzheimer's, lung disease and cancer. Be very diligent with safety on composites, that stuff will hurt you quickly.

Sundog
I've been staying on top of that. Some of my classmates, not so much.
 

Yakattack

Member
Hdpe plastic aka puck board...is fairly easy to work with and mould... and tough as nails...
Holds up well in cold, hot, indoors and outdoors..

A lot of the UAS bodies are made from it...
We made our own fenders and wheel wells from it... using rudimentary moulds from wood and a heat gun to form them...
You can buy it in various colours and thickness as needed...
 
Last edited:
Hdpe plastic aka puck board...is fairly easy to work with and mould... and tough as nails...
Holds up well in cold, hot, indoors and outdoors..

A lot of the UAS bodies are made from it...
We made our own fenders and wheel wells from it... using rudimentary moulds from wood and a heat gun to form them...
You can buy it in various colours and thickness as needed...
If you go this route look me up ill help you.
 
Update to those who expressed interest:

I did ultimately decide to build a champ body using my own designs. As of now, I'm a week deep into the project and have used a CNC mill to make a mold for the side panels out of MDF. Currently going through the cycle of epoxy coating and faring.
I used an existing nose to create a mold, which is being prepped to start plug construction tomorrow. My aim is to modify and reshape the plug to give myself a little more height at the pedals and give the overall profile a more rounded shape.
With the time I have remaining I should be able to get two complete bodies built. One will be just a standard chop layup and gel coat, and I'm trying to think of something funky to do with the second set of body panels.

I'll post pictures in the coming days of what I've got going. Pretty excited to bring my own designs to life.
 
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