Original Year
# of pieces
Cars and Trucks: Go Carts
Steering, 1 Cylinder Engine
More Information

854/948 Go Cart

iso revolve
Click the image to download the LDraw file of this model.
Model by Rene Kok

Set 854 was released under the "Technical Set" series in 1978 in Europe.  It finally made it to the US in 1979 with the number 948 as an "Expert Builder"set.  This go cart features  steering using a rack and pinion system, a single cylinder reciprocating engine driven from one rear wheel, and dual rear wheels on each side.  Traditional studded construction is used almost exclusively, with the steering wheel supported by axles and connectors.

This was the first of many go carts from LEGO.  Previously, the piston element had only been used in the biggest set, the 853 Auto Chassis, but now was available on a small, inexpensive set.  This was the first set to feature hoses which, while not functional at this time, made the engine look more realistic.  Later go carts would not really get much more complicated, but would use more specialized parts to achieve their functionality, and would put more emphasis on styling.


The front wheels can be steered using a wheel at the driver's position.  The wheel drives an axle connected to an 8 tooth pinion gear via a universal joint.  The pinion drives a rack.  The steering mechanism itself uses 6 traditional 2x2 swivels with 2 pair allowing rotation of the wheels about the vertical axis and another pair acting as control arms attached to the rack gears.  Simple axles allow the wheels to rotate freely.

steering    Steering
Click for an animation of the steering in motion.
The single cylinder engine uses the offset axle holes of the 24 tooth gears to make a crankshaft.  Connectors placed end to end and clocked 90 degrees form rods which connect to a specialized 2x2 square piston.  The "cylinder" is actually square.

The engine also has a number of aesthetic features such as cooling fins (suggesting this engine is air cooled) and new hose elements which could potentially represent water cooling lines, vacuum lines, or even spark plug wires.

The engine is driven off of a set of 24 and 8 tooth gears attached to the left rear wheel, giving the engine a ratio 3:1 with respect to the wheels.
engine    engine
Click for an animation of the engine in motion.
Wheels and Tires
This set uses six rubber 17x43 tires and standard old gray wheels.

Other Views

Side View
side view
Top View
top view
Back View
back view
Computer Render

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