From Grass to Gas: How This Guy Converted a Lawn Mower to a Turbo Go-Kart!

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Whoever said lawnmowers are just for cutting grass has yet to meet Dave and Jake from Michigan. This pair of mechanically-minded friends has turned their passion for go-karts and all things fast into a one-of-a-kind creation: a John Deere lawnmower transformed into a speed demon that reaches a whopping 41mph. 

This unlikely go-kart is making waves in backyard mechanics, so buckle to dive into their thrilling journey.

Meet Dave and Jake: The Mechanics of Michigan

Dave and Jake’s friendship isn’t your garden-variety bond; it’s forged from grease, gas, and a love for turning ordinary machines into extraordinary rides. 

John Deree lawn mower

Both Michigan natives met through a local mechanics forum and immediately knew they were the perfect fit for some outrageously creative projects. 

But while they’ve toyed with various engines and frames, they never thought they’d become viral sensations for a lawnmower transformation.

Turning a John Deere into a Dream Machine

The process began when Jake gifted Dave an old but iconic John Deere lawnmower. While most people would see it as just another grass-cutting appliance, Dave envisioned something entirely different. 

Swapping out the mower’s native engine for a 15-hp Briggs and Stratton powerplant was the first step. Then came the structural modifications: lowering the hood for aerodynamics and flipping the wheels for optimal racing proportions. 

customizing lawn mower

Though Dave is the first to admit that his welding job might not win any beauty contests, the end product speaks for itself. “Not the best welding, but it works,” he says, chuckling.

Attention to Detail: Where Aesthetics Meet Function

Creating a high-speed go-kart from a lawnmower is impressive, but what sets Dave’s creation apart is his meticulous attention to aesthetics. 

He repainted the machine in the signature John Deere green we all know and love. He also refurbished the classic yellow seat, giving it a new lease on life. 

But perhaps the most charming detail is the pool ball that he installed as the head of the clutch—a touch of whimsy that underscores the fun nature of this project.

The Challenges: Speed Meets Weight

Of course, every custom project has its challenges. Despite the go-kart’s impressive performance, Dave isn’t entirely satisfied. “The biggest complaint I have is how heavy the frame is. This thing is an absolute tank,” he reveals. 


His plans for future upgrades include a more powerful engine and a complete frame overhaul to reduce weight. But for now, the lawnmower-cum-go-kart is holding its own, requiring minimal maintenance and a few replacement belts here and there.

Pro Tips for Aspiring Go-Kart Builders

When asked for advice for anyone interested in such a project, Dave stressed two crucial points. 

“First, make sure you have the means for maintenance and to work on your project,” he said. “Second, you need a place to ride it.” 

With a lush backyard and the streets of their suburban neighborhood serving as their testing grounds, Dave and Jake certainly have that aspect covered.

More Than Just John Deere

Far from being one-hit wonders, Dave and Jake have outdone themselves again by converting an old Simplicity lawnmower into a real-life Mario Kart. The pair’s mechanical prowess goes beyond their viral John Deere [1] go-kart. 

test driving lawn mower go kart

They now drift and race their imaginative rides through their neighborhood, drawing attention and generating excitement among locals. Their continued innovation proves that their creativity knows no bounds.

No, They Don’t Cut Grass Anymore!

For those wondering if Dave and Jake use their lawnmower go-karts for their original grass-cutting purpose, the answer is a resounding ‘no.’ 

These machines are built for speed, not for lawn care. They’ve moved beyond their grass-cutting origins and ventured into a new realm of backyard fun.

Final Thoughts

Dave and Jake’s story is a fascinating example of what can happen when ingenuity, mechanical skills, and a dash of audacity come together. 

Their John Deere go-kart is not just a viral sensation; it’s a testament to the endless possibilities that await those who dare to think outside the conventional box. 

From turning lawnmowers into racing machines to creating real-life Mario Karts, this dynamic Michigan duo shows that you can turn any’ mow-hum’ object into a showstopper with the right tools, a creative mind, and a passion for mechanics.

Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You've probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.
Robert Johnson

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