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Archive for Prep Tips

Unfortunately for many of us in the US, the option to race your ICC powered kart is vastly disappearing.  While you would think switching between two shifter motors would be a simple matter of bolting the new motor on and you’re off, there’s a lot more to it than that, especially if you are buying a used Honda.  The big difference is that while the ICC is self contained except for the water pump, everything but the water pump is an external component on a Honda.  Consequently, you need to find a place to securely mount many of the fuel and ignition system components somewhere on the engine or your kart.  I think I fell into every pitfall you can imagine while making the transition to Stock Honda.  Luckily for you, I will recount it all so you don’t have to…

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Although it is possible to accurately align your kart with the items above, I highly recommend buying or borrowing an alignment tool for optimum results.

I have a confession to make.  For the longest time, I thought aligning your go kart was just a matter of “set the toe and go.”  While toe plays a big factor in a kart’s handling equation (see Myth Busters article for more on this subject), “squaring” the front wheels with the rest of the kart by properly centering the steering shaft plays a much bigger role in a karts handling.  If you miss this part of the alignment equation, you will be compromising performance at the very least and battling a difference in handling from left to right hand turns at the worst.

Regardless of what alignment tool or method you use, there are some basic procedures and steps that you should be following in order to make sure your kart is aligned properly.  If you don’t have an alignment tool, don’t worry, it is possible to align your kart accurately using a few the items pictured above.  Interestingly enough, the steps you use to align the kart without an alignment tool are the exact same steps you should be following with any alignment tool.  I will stress however, that to obtain optimum results I highly suggest you purchase an alignment tool or borrow one from a friend.  For those of you interested in purchasing one, I will provide an overview and buyer’s guide at the end of the article to help you…

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The Bux Circlip Tool – just this side of magic!

There are a few specialty tools in karting that are a must-have.  They make your karting life so much easier you wonder why it took you so long to buy it in the first place.  This month’s Kart Tool of the Month – the Bux Circlip Tool – ranks highly if not first on this list.  The Bux Circlip Tool takes a job that may be one of the most difficult in karting – installing circlips – and makes it so easy, safe and quick to perform it’s not even funny.  As you will see in the article on rebuilding your own top end earlier this month, installing circlips is not only tricky to perform, but very difficult to describe.  There is a definite technique and art to installing a circlip and it is very difficult to do so without scratching the outside surface of the piston (or the inside for that matter).  Add the constant threat of the circlip springing out of the piston and flying into oblivion never to be seen again and you can see my point.

The Bux Circlip tool eliminates all of the above.  After reading the directions to quickly set the tool up for your piston type*, using the tool is literally this easy:  1.  Place the circlip on the end of the installer (pictured on the left above) making sure the circlip opening is in line with the groove on the installer handle, 2. Place the adapter/sleeve assembly (shown on the right in the picture above) of the installer snugly into the wrist pin bore.  3.  Insert the installer into the sleeve with the groove facing up (12 o’clock position) and slide the installer through the sleeve until the installer bottoms out and snaps the clip into place as shown in this link: http://www.fastech-racing.com/bux-circlip-tool.html.  That is it!  It will literally take you 15 seconds a side to install your circlips with no risk of losing the clip or scratching the piston. The Bux Circlip tool has single-handedly taken one of karting’s most difficult jobs and made it one of the easiest.  At $39.95, you will seriously wonder why you didn’t buy one yesterday!  You can find the Bux Circlip tool at Fastech-Racing. So, go online (http://www.fastech-racing.com/piston-tools/) or call Fastech (888-333-4181) today and save yourself time and aggravation for years to come.


* Tip:  Carefully remove some of your old circlips and use an old piston to set the depth of the adapter/sleeve assembly to your piston type.  Then practice installing an old circlip into the old piston to make sure you have everything set properly.  I found this very helpful.

Is that a picture of a new chassis in the ekartingnews classifieds? No! That’s my year old kart after being Spotlisized.

I have often been asked at the track how I keep my kart so clean.  I was considering doing an article on this subject anyway and then a subscriber asked to see an article on “chassis preservation” in the FKI survey, so here we are.  Now, before you possibly blow this article off thinking it will not make you any faster, I beg to differ.  Why?  Well, in my opinion, there are a number of reasons.

First and foremost, if you clean your kart often, you will find things and many times these things will adversely affect the performance of your kart and would otherwise go unnoticed.  The perfect example – a cracked or broken seat strut or seat tab.  I can’t tell you how many times I have chased an unexplainable oversteer condition only to find a broken strut while I was cleaning the kart.  The same could be said for the seat posts, especially the one on the engine side.  If this post is covered in a thick coat of baked-on chain lube and dirt, you are never going to be able to tell if it is cracked or broken until it gets very severe!

Here’s the other more theoretical side of my clean kart is a fast kart philosophy…

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Categories : Editorials, Prep Tips
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Raceday.  The reason you test, the reason you train, the outright best part of karting.  But all the testing and training in the world isn’t going to help you win if you go kart is ill-prepared.  I can think of at least two race wins that I threw away because of a mechanical oversight.  I am pretty sure you can do the same.  To make sure this never happens again, I now have a pre-race checklist and routine to insure that my kart is race ready.  Regardless of whether your race is 300+ miles away or right around the corner, a mechanical is the last thing you need to experience on a race weekend…

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Categories : Prep Tips
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Prospeed Components’ Perimeter Throttle Kit should be standard equipment on all karts. It’s that good.  (Click on picture to enlarge)

Ever look at your kart and wonder why the throttle cable adjustment is so far away from the throttle pedal?  Ever think to yourself that as beautifully engineered as your kart is why does the throttle cable look like an after-thought that has never been addressed since the first kart was invented in 1959.  Well, luckily for us Roger Hargens of Prospeed Components did and has come up with the best throttle cable routing system I have ever seen.  Not only is it beautifully engineered, it is 100% functional in its purpose, completely eliminating the trailing throttle understeer caused by most kart’s current throttle cable set-up.  The system is so cool, almost everyone that has seen it on my kart has vowed to get one.  Once installed, it looks like a factory part worthy of its place with the rest of your kart’s components…

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Raceday. The reason you test, the reason you train, the outright best part of karting. But all the testing and training in the world isn’t going to help you win if you go kart is ill-prepared. I can think of at least two race wins that I threw away because of a mechanical oversight. I am pretty sure you can do the same. To make sure this never happens again, I now have a pre-race checklist and routine to insure that my kart is race ready. Regardless of whether your race is 300+ miles away or right around the corner, a mechanical is the last thing you need to experience on a race weekend…

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Apr
19

April Prep Tip – EZ Clip

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SwedeTech's E-Z Clip makes changing drive gears a breeze.

I’ll be honest with you, I was not happy about having to switch from the ICC powered G1 class to the Stock Honda Powered S4 class.  The ICC engine is the pinnacle of Shifter Karting with its fantastically vicious power delivery and beautiful high revving engine note.  In addition, it was very accessible and easy to work on, particularly when you are going to change the drive gear.  Remove the chain, undo a circlip, pull the gear off and your are half way there in about a minute.

The Honda, on the other hand, is a little more cumbersome.  You have to have someone hold the rear wheels while you struggle to put a 12mm socket in the small space between the gear and your seat.  Once the bolt is loosened (usually with a great deal of physical effort), now you can take off the chain, cram your hand in between the seat and engine, unscrew the bolt and finally pull the gear off…..until now…

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