How To Build A Racing Lawn Mower

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Up and down the country, you can find lawnmower races. These fast lawnmowers are great fun and they go at a super fast speed.

However, this means that you cannot use your traditional mower to win. A racing lawnmower is heavily modified and many have their own way to adjust the mower for racing.

In this guide, we’ll show you some of the basic steps on how to build a racing lawn mower.

How To Build A Racing Lawn Mower

Before you start your racing lawnmower build, it’s important to remember some essential safety aspects.

A racing lawn mower can go up to 50MPH and more. This means that you need to keep safety in mind at all times during your build. 

Plus, make sure to wear safety gear, such as boots, gloves, long pants and a motorbike helmet.

The below tutorial uses ARMA (American Racing Mower Association) rules and regulations which ensure that you build a safe racing lawnmower.

Step 1: Choose A Basic Lawnmower And Strip It

First, you will need to choose a lawnmower that you can take apart. It’s a good idea to work with a light mower that you can strip and then add weight to.

Once you have your mower, you need to strip it down to the frame. Remove everything that’s not under the hood, including the steering wheel, transmission and stock wheels.

Step 2: Configure Your Racing Lawnmower Build

Now that you stripped your lawnmower, you need to find out what parts you need and buy them. 

This is easier said than done. Building a racing lawnmower is a bit like building a small car and there are plenty of different parts involved, including the engine, sprockets, centrifugal clutch, transmission, brake system, steering wheel, wheels, hubs and tires.

You might find the majority of these parts online and with go-cart suppliers. Also have a look for merchants who sell motorbike and golf cart components.

Step 3: Reinforce The Frame

The classic lawnmower frame isn’t strong enough to withstand the forces of a race, so you will need to reinforce it with square tubing.

Keep in mind that the lower your frame, the better you will be able to handle your racing lawnmower.

Step 4: Install The Steering System

The steering system is the most important part of your lawnmower build. 

While you can keep the standard gear-driven steering setup of your original lawnmower, it’s not suited for the fast speed when racing.

In order to get a good speed and don’t put too much pressure on the mower frame, you will need to install a direct steering system. 

This creates a direct connection between the front wheels and the steering wheel.

Step 5: Install The Transmission

Next, you will need to install the RAGB transmission, including the RAGB shaft, bracket and other transmission components.

Step 6: Install The Brake System

The brakes are another essential component of your racing lawn mower that needs to work perfectly to stay safe on your new ride.

You can choose between a hydraulic brake system or a mechanical brake system. This is where go-cart brake kits come in handy.

You can simply use the go cart brake kit, including brake line, caliper, rotor hub, rotor and master cylinder.

Step 7: Installing The Electrical System And Floor Plates

Now you will need to install the mower deck. This gives you a good footrest with a solid grip.

Then, you will need to install the battery that goes underneath the seat. Next, you can install the floor plates. We recommend using thick diamond plates.

Then, you are ready to install the electrical panel, including a starter button, tether switch and starter solenoid, so you can control all the electrical components of your new racing lawnmower.

Step 8: Install Seat, Puke Tank And Engine Mount 

Also known as the puke tank in the racing world, you will need to install this oil-overspill tank to ensure you catch any oils coming from the crank case.

You can make a puke tank from plastic pipe and PVC which is sturdy enough to withstand the race forces.

Then, simply install a mounting bracket for your engine and a padded seat.

Step 9: Modify And Install The Engine

This is where some good knowledge of cars or motorbikes comes in handy. You will need to do some engine modifications, so your engine fits into the frame and it goes at a proper speed.

Step 10: Paint Your Lawn Mower

Now that your build is done, you can concentrate on some of the fun parts of making your own racing lawn mower, such as painting.

However, before you start painting your racing lawnmower, you will need to clean the surface of the frame carefully. Remove any debris, oil splatter and rust before painting.

It’s a good idea to sand down the surface with sandpaper, so the paint sticks better. Then, apply a layer of oxide primer. Allow it to dry and then start painting.

While you can paint your racing lawnmower any color, keep in mind that all the mud and dirt will show on light-colored surfaces.

Step 11: Finish Your Racing Lawnmower

Once the paint has dried, you can install the battery, bleed the brakes and fill the engine with oil. Then your new racing lawnmower is ready for a test run.

Top Tips When Building A Racing Lawnmower

One of the most important things to keep in mind when building a lawn mower for racing is that you need some solid car or motorbike mechanical experience and skills.

This doesn’t just ensure that your lawnmower runs smoothly but it’s also essential for your own safety.

Check and double-check all the nuts and bolts to make sure that they are fully secured, as they can come loose easily with the vibration on the track.

Final Thoughts

Once you have all the parts for your new mower, a racing lawn mower build is surprisingly quick. 

However, you will need solid experience with building cars, motorbikes or other vehicles to create a safe racing lawn mower.

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