Setting up a Go Kart for your first race can be intimidating. Many beginners who buy go karts for racing are overwhelmed when it comes down to the last week before the start of the racing season and the kart hasn’t been set up yet…What do you do?
Today we have you covered with everything you need to get started and the logical steps to setup your go kart for a successful race. If you are new to the sport and this is your first setup, you may also want to checkout our must have tools, parts, and equipment page.
Getting Started with the Setup
Before you start there are a few things you must make sure you have on hand. Below we will cover the basic tools and the parts and equipment needed.
- Ratchet Set
- Metric Hex Wrench Set
- Needle Nose Pliers
- Assorted Wrenches
- Lots of Nuts, Bolts and Washers in various sizes
Parts and Equipment
- Fuel Line
- Safety Wire
- Cable Ties
- Throttle Cable
- Go Kart Grade Chain
- Chain Guard
- Go Kart Seat
- Motor Mounts
- Fuel Tank
- Rear Sprockets
- Go Kart Body Kit
How to Set up Go Kart for Racing
How to Mount the Seat
You should first start with mounting your seat. This is because without the engine or other components installed, it will be much easier to get the seat in just the right spot. As a karter myself I find that mounting the seat is the most difficult part of the whole installation!
The best way to mount the seat is to set the kart up on the ground without rims on so that just the chassis rests on the ground. Second, take a long flat piece of metal and rest it against the bottom of the chassis (roughly where the bottom of the seat will rest) and clamp it down. Third place the seat on the piece of metal and adjust it to the angle best suited to you and your racing style.
Take a marker and mark through the seat mounting tabs where you will drill the holes. If the seat mounting bars on the chassis are not close enough to the seat (if your tiny like me), you may have to bend the bars inwards so that you may attach it. Once you have completed this step, simply drill the holes where you have marked them. Fourth, bolt your seat on using large washers to reinforce the seat.
Following the steps above will help especially if you plan on having a heavily leaded seat!
How to Mount the Engine
After the seat is installed its time to mount the engine.
First you must ensure you have your clutch and sprocket installed on your engine. Once you have, you can put the engine on and get it ready to race! Simply line your engines motor mounts up with the bottom pieces and LIGHTLY tighten.
How to Install the Throttle Cable
The most important piece is probably the throttle cable! In order to to do this you must first attach one end of the the throttle cable to the throttle on the engine. Once that’s attached, you must run the throttle cable down the chassis towards the throttle pedal. Afterwards cut the throttle cable leaving atleast 6-8 inches of slack. Then attach the loose end to the throttle peddle.
Pro Tip: In order to attach the cable to the throttle, get someone to pull the throttle on the engine as far forward as it can go. As they do this, you should attach the loose end of the throttle cable to the peddle when it’s fully extended. When you’ve got that completed and find that when you push down the peddle there is still some slack in the throttle cable, don’t sweat! That’s a normal occurrence. All you have to do is adjust the nuts on the engine where the throttle cable goes through until it tightens to where it should be (maximum throttle!!).
Mounting the Fuel Tank, Fuel Line, and Tachometer
Your fuel tank will fit snuggly and securely underneath your steering wheel between your legs once it’s installed. Usually the chassis comes equipped with the a gas tank and a knob which bolts it into place so that it doesn’t shift during a race. Next you simply take a fuel line hose and attach one end to the fuel tank and the other to the fuel intake on your engine. Be sure to fasten these securely with either safety wire or cable ties.
The last step is to attach your tachometer. Most of them include instruction manuals which should be followed. Usually you attach the magnetic strip to the bottom plate with some nuts and bolts and then attach the cord to the spark plug with some electrical tape.
Go Kart Brake Setup
If you plan on having any control or stopping power then you will need to ensure the brakes are setup correctly. The video below discussing in depth how to install the brake pedal, drum, and band.
Fine Tuning Your Setup for Fast Laps
Once your Kart is put together there is still work to be done like alignments and adjustments. The following serious of videos walks you through the exact steps you need to take to customize your setup for your racing style. These tips will help result in faster lap times and efficient cornering.
Wrapping up the Kart Setup
Hopefully this has been of some assistance to those who had no idea where to start when it came to your Go Kart Set Up! Mounting the parts in the order I have listed above will save you time, effort, and frustration. Now go tune your go kart and go out and win some races!