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The Rolling Start.  In karting, the rolling start is more about survival than opportunity.  Your primary goal is to hold station, make it through the first turn unscathed, and then go racing!  If you manage to gain a spot or two, consider it a huge bonus.  If you lost a few spots, patience is now the key as you are not going to get them back in the first turn.  That’s a low percentage play at best and a great way to end your day and possibly someone else’s.  Now, before you all think that I am up on my soapbox preaching, everything I said above comes from years of making too many of the exact mistakes I just mentioned.  So what can you do to insure you survive the start?  Well, there are a couple of things…

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In our last SwedeTech’s Corner, we started the troubleshooting guide for clutch kart engines, addressing no sign of spark and engines that may be starving for fuel.  In this edition we will continue the guide.  Next month’s SwedeTech Corner will go into troubleshooting Shifter Engines.  So enough rambling, let’s continue.

Before trying to restart the engine, always inspect the inside of the engine utilizing an inspection light.  This can be done by removing the spark plug and looking inside the cylinder with the inspection light.  Look for any damage on the piston or cylinder walls.  If you see damage, do not run and consult your engine builder.  You will see this statement many times in this troubleshooting guide.  This should always be the first step in any engine troubleshooting.  I’ve seen countless engines that had a huge parts failure or a seized top end, and the mechanic just kept cranking the engine over without looking inside to see if the engine was even functional…

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Categories : Engine Tuning
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Notice how loaded the outside rear tire is in this picture. Is it fast? Read on...

Notice how loaded the outside rear tire is in this picture. Is it fast? Read on...

At the end of the What Does A Good Handling Kart Feel Like article (FKI – March 2012), I cautioned against tuning your kart to handle too well.  What do I mean by that?  Can a kart really be handling too well?  The answer is definitely yes.  In the pursuit of the perfect handling kart it is possible to over-stick the kart to the track.  You hear about this all the time in oval racing when drivers talk about finding speed by removing downforce to “trim” the car at Indy.  The same principle applies, albeit mechanically, to karts.  So what exactly are you looking for to get an indication that you may have over-stuck your kart?  Well, there are a couple of things and maybe the best way to explain them is to site a personal example from a race last year that was actually the impetus for this article…

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Categories : Chassis Tuning
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Waiting for the Green!!!

The Launch.  Probably one of the most exciting aspects of racing a shifter kart and one of the most exciting aspects in motor racing period.  Nothing gets my blood pumping more than the starter indicating to put your visor down, mashing the gas, and waiting for the lights to go green.  That being said, as exciting as a standing start is, the launch is a critical component of your racing success.  Master it and you will be presented with great passing opportunities before you even enter a turn.  Get it wrong and you can put yourself in a hole, believe me I know.  So what are the secrets to a good launch…

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Working at SwedeTech and answering the customer technical questions, I’ve been able to compile quite a list of troubleshooting tips.  Most of the knowledge comes from direct hands on experience from the three of us in the shop.  Feedback from customers also allows me to stay current with the engines that are used in karting throughout the world.

The information in this article will hopefully help you when the time arises.  For all of us that have spent any amount of time at the track, some of these problems will sound familiar.  This guide is created with a clutch or direct drive engine utilizing a pumper style carburetor in mind.  So, I will quit blabbering with ‘fill content’ and get started…

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Categories : Engine Tuning
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Continuing on last month’s FKI theme of subtle yet often overlooked tuning tools, I wanted to turn our focus to your kart’s bumpers.  While we have dedicated an entire article to tuning with the new CIK style rear bumpers, I realize there are still a lot of you with older style rear bumpers and their days may be numbered as more clubs mandate CIK bumpers in their rules.  Subsequently, I better get this article out before the old style rear bumper becomes obsolete.  This would also be a good time to incorporate tuning with the front bumper so let’s start there…

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Categories : Chassis Tuning
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As I mentioned in last month’s FKI, a reader requested I do an article on what a good handling kart feels like.  When I read the request I immediately thought, what a great concept!  Everyone talks about the changes you can make to make your kart handle better but WHAT are we trying to achieve.  As far as I know, no one has ever tried to define it.  While the topic is of course a little subjective, there are some things you are looking for.  So, I will do my best to put into words what you are trying to feel on the track.  Hopefully, by the end of the article, you will have a better idea or at least a wider perspective of what you are looking for from your kart…

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Seat Mounting Tool

You may read the title of this article and realize that there has already been an FKI article on installing your kart’s seat.  True, but that article was written so you could install a seat without the aid and use of a Seat Mounting Tool.  As you may have deduced from the first article, mounting a seat properly is a cumbersome and time consuming affair.  Enter the Seat Mounting Tool (February’s Kart Tool of The Month).  Not only does the Seat Mounting Tool (SMT) make the process a definite one-man job, it cuts the time in half.  Having just used the SMT to move my seat position, this tool is worth its weight in gold.  So let me walk you through the seat mounting process using the SMT and pass on a few pointers along the way…

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Categories : How To's
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If you are reading this article, you might be having problems with your pump around system.  Please go through each step.  If you think you did it properly, still double check.  SwedeTech has put this guide together to help you troubleshoot your pump around system…

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Categories : Engine Tuning
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Is there time here?

I could have just as easily entitled this article Subtle Seat Tuning.  Why?  Because this is not another article on changing your kart’s seat position, we already covered that (See Seat Position and You, FKI November 2010).  In this article we will leave the seat in its exact same position while we explore the subtle but often overlooked changes you can make using the seat bolts and struts.  For those skeptics who think these changes are too small to make a difference, read on and then try it, you may be pleasantly surprised by the outcome…

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Categories : Chassis Tuning
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