Can You Put A Turbo On A Go Kart?


Chances are, if you’re lucky enough to have boys you’ve been to a go-kart track. They can race for hours on end and go as fast as they can. A turbo is an all-purpose turbo that increases the power and speed of any machine. A huge petrolhead, I love go-karting and started to wonder if turbos could be put on go-karts.

A turbo can be fitted to a go-kart. The size of the turbo that you can fit on your go-kart depends on its engine capacity. It is possible to do it yourself following the instructions provided with the turbocharger. You might also need to make some adjustments to the engine.

It is generally agreed that a go-kart should come with a turbo already installed. As long as you follow these instructions and are prepared to make necessary changes to your engine, it is possible to put a turbo in a go-kart. Let’s explore further.

Putting A Turbo On A Go Kart. What Happens Next?

It is not new to turbocharging a go kart. Growing up, there was a go-kart club in my neighborhood. Children with mechanical engineers as their fathers always won. To compete with small 2-stroke engines, most of us had to use the pedal type with a bicycle mechanism. Some kids just went faster

Turbos are used to boost power and speed. The turbo also adds weight to the go-kart, so you should aim for a light-weight go-kart. The frame will move faster if it is lighter. Safety should never be compromised.

These are the most important things that will occur when you add a turbo to your go-kart.

  • Increased weight. You will experience a significant weight increase once you bolt on your turbo.
  • Oil pressure. Because the turbo uses oil pressure for its bearings to lubricate, you will need an oil pressure system.
  • BHP Increased. From 5 to 8 BHP, your engine’s horsepower will increase.
  • Increased engine heat. You will see an increase in heat due to the turbo turning the turbine with your go-karts exhaust, which turns the compressor.

These are a few things you might need to consider before installing a turbocharger to your go-kart, as it will affect the engine’s overall performance. The turbo’s size should be determined by looking at the frame.

Can I Fit the Turbo by myself?

A turbocharger is usually shipped with a user manual, product information sheet, or installation guide. The manual will give you an overview of the turbo and the basics of how to install it.

You will need to assess if you have to make adjustments to your engine or frame because some go-karts were built by you. For help if you feel overwhelmed or unsure, a mechanic who specializes in turbocharger installation can be contacted.

In the manufacturer’s manual, you should also be supplied with a list of tools you might need to install the turbo. This will allow you to make sure that everything is in your possession.

Best Turbos For Go Karts

Speed is all about more. A turbo engine’s BHP will give you more power, torque, and speed. For turbos, less is more in go-karts. The most important factor is whether you’re using a four-stroke or two-stroke engine.

A smaller turbocharger will work well on a typical go-kart. For your go-kart, the turbochargers used on four-stroke bikes will work best. You should aim to produce between 5 and 20HP unless you are racing competitively.


What are the Essential Things to Know Before You Install a Turbo?

Once you install a turbo, there are a few things that need to be done to your go-kart engine and frame. Firstly, the engine’s output will change; you will increase power, speed, and pressure. Let’s look at some things to consider;

  • Fuel system. To add a turbo, the fuel system must be changed to either an injection system (or a carburetor)
  • New exhaust manifold. It is possible to modify your exhaust system to fit the turbo.
  • Mounting brackets customized. You might need custom brackets for your turbo. A steel cutting company can make these to your specifications.
  • Oil pressure system. Your turbo will need an oil pressure system; an electric pump is easy to install.
  • Intercooler. Your turbo will increase your engine heat so you should consider an intercooler and/or water cooling system to reduce heat. The heat can cause performance to drop.

A systematic approach to installing the turbocharger on your go-kart is important because every element that needs to change in the engine will affect your go kart’s overall performance.

Can A Turbo Hurt My Go Kart Engine?

The engine should not be damaged by a properly installed turbocharger. It will actually increase your go-kart’s power and performance. Go-karts can be driven at maximum speed and performance when the engine is running. The turbo will therefore perform at its best all the way. A turbo-equipped car is more susceptible to turbo damage when it is idling in traffic.

How do I know if my turbo is damaged?

The following can be used to identify damaged turbos:

  • Significative power loss
  • Noisy, slow acceleration
  • You cannot maintain the top speed.
  • The exhaust will smell.
  • Turbocharger making a loud whining noise

What causes turbo damage?

These are the most common problems that can affect your turbocharger.

  • There is not enough oil in the system.
  • You are using the wrong type of oil
  • Oil can leak from the exhaust system due to damaged seals
  • A very old engine with a lot of mileage.

The more you use the go-kart’s turbo damaged turbo, the greater the damage. Before you touch the turbo or engine, immediately cut off power. If necessary, repair or replace any damaged turbos.

Supercharger vs. Turbo Charger. What is the Difference?

A supercharger can be described as an air compressor that boosts the pressure and density when air enters an engine. It provides the engine with more oxygen for fuel burning. It is usually powered by a crankshaft via a belt, chain, and/or gear.

A turbocharger is basically a supercharger powered by a turbine through the exhaust system. Turbochargers can harness the energy lost through the exhaust to boost the engine. Turbochargers increase the exhaust pressure, which increases the engine’s load.


There’s no doubt that you can fit a turbocharger to your go-kart. What you have to do is decide how much you are prepared to spend to modify the engine and frame. Are you prepared to modify the mountings, or even install a completely new exhaust system?

A go-kart can be purchased pre-fitted to have a turbocharger, or more commonly, a Supercharger. You can be sure that the engine and turbo are in good condition. You will have a guaranteed power output and will not need to endure any sleepless nights worried about an intercooler system that just doesn’t fit.