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Alternative fuel/power for GoCart

Post in 'The Green Room' started by runtherace, Jan 30, 2009.

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  1. runtherace

    runtherace New Member

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    Mid-Western NC
    Looking for ideas, articles, etc., concerning alternative power ("green" applications) for recreational GoCarts...

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  2. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    Battery/electric motors.

    Tiny deisles running biofuel

    Are you using your own gocart or opening a track in your area? Good idea to look into this either way.
  3. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    I know everyone on here will crap their pants, but give E85 a shot. It's good enough for indy cars, and holds the production car world land speed record in an 1100 hp Dodge Viper. At 105 octane, plus additional cylinder cooling from the latent heat of vaporization characteristics of ethanol, you can really put the squeeze (compression ratio and/or forced induction) to it and develop a lot of HP from a small sized engine. I've been running straight E85 in my car for 2+ years with 11:1 compression ratio and 15psi boost. So far the only downside seems to be a rapid acceleration in tire wear - oh, and the stock clutch died an early death!

    http://www.motorauthority.com/e85-viper-breaks-standing-mile-record-with-220mph-pass.html
  4. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos Minister of Fire

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    Some of you guys are pretty smart.
  5. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Propane? I know that inexpensive kits are available that that allow you to modify the carb on engines like Briggs and Stratton's to run on it. I've considered doing this to my riding mower.
  6. Ugly

    Ugly New Member

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    The Kholer line of go kart engines is readily adapted to ethanol, either an E85 blend or higher. This has been done by quite a few of the die hard rebuilders, there's data around for the build and more than one is running his own home brewed and dried E100. Methanol also works but the mods are more difficult in smaller engines like this since you only have 60% of the HP per litre available with it (vs 80 per cent for ethanol) compared to gas. Commercial E 85 still gives a decent cold start sequence as well vs pure ethanol.
  7. oilstinks

    oilstinks Feeling the Heat

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    U can run a higher compression with alcohol fuel. Modern day cars dont make as much power on e85 because of their low compression. If it is a briggs motor a pop up piston should be readily avalible.
  8. Ugly

    Ugly New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
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    You can increases the compression in almost any motor with a rebuild. Briggs/Kohler/Rotax etc have a loyal following (meaning choices of aftermarket parts) on the circuit. For auto applications many cars have high performance, high compression rebuilds available to them. eg. my wife's PT cruiser.

    But you don't need to. If it's just puttering around a simple re-jetting of the carbs and a float adjustment or reprogramming of the ECM for fuel injected models gets them running smooth, just not at their peak horsepower. If the point is to build a green gocart as a demo or school project, there's no need to get into a rebuild of a an engine. Besides, rebuilding an engine is hardly green, it costs a lot of energy to cast a piston ;)

    You can even take it further and build a reflux still for producing your own fuel. On a scale of easy-moderate-hard, I'd say it's a moderate difficulty. It would be a green project if you used junk food products (reject fruits, stale breads etc...) as opposed to buying sugar or starchy/sugary grains (like corn). I've ordered up parts for my second gen reflux still and will be adding a vacuum pump to get to 100% ethanol without having to dry it later. My first generation still I used a molecular sieve called zeolite A3 after distillation to remove the water from the ethanol before filling the fuel tank on the Jeep, now I can just dump it in and skip this step. I don't do ethanol from cellulose, I hate handling heavy/expensive acids...

    Being green doesn't have to involve too much work and is likley a lot of fun depending on your mindset.
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