How long should a go-kart chain be?

Bridget Heidenreich asked a question: How long should a go-kart chain be?
Asked By: Bridget Heidenreich
Date created: Wed, Mar 31, 2021 2:35 PM
Date updated: Thu, Jun 30, 2022 6:18 AM


Top best answers to the question «How long should a go-kart chain be»

In the worst case scenario, the go-kart chain can fling out and cause damage to others. So, how tight should a go-kart chain be? A go-kart chain should have about 1/4″ or 3/8″ of flex. This means that once you've installed the chain on the sprockets, it should feel relatively tight with a little bit of slack.


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With the chain still on the sprocket and disconnected, tighten the chain by pulling both ends together. A go-kart chain should be tight so that there is about 1/4″ or 3/8″ of flex. If there is too much flex in the chain, there is a high chance that the chain may dislodge when the engine is running.

A go-kart chain should have about 1/4″ or 3/8″ of flex. This means that once you’ve installed the chain on the sprockets, it should feel relatively tight with a little bit of slack. To measure the flex, you can simply pinch the chain at the sprocket and pull.

Check the chain adjustment and readjust it if it has more than 1/2 inch flex between the sprockets. Loosen the engine mounting bolts (under the motor mounting plate) and slide the engine to adjust the chain tension. Allow between 1/4 inch and 3/8 inch flex for proper adjustment.

Go kart chain pitches are either 3/8-inch or 1/2-inch. Hold the chain in your hand with the rollers facing up. Turn the chain to find the master link pins. The master link pins are smaller around than the rollers and there are two side by side in the chain. Measure the diameter from left to right of a master link pin.

The correct amount of tension is about 1/2" of movement in the chain when tested between the clutch and sprocket. A good amount of play in the chain is essential. If you over-tighten, chain life and horsepower will suffer. Severe over tightening will cause clutch engagement at idle.

Chains cannot be joined at 52.25 inches, so this length is rounded to 52 inches. For this system, round up from 0.5. For example, a chain length figured to be 55.5 would be rounded to 56 inches. To measure the new chain, lay it on a flat surface with the rollers and plates aligned vertically. Pull on each end to straighten out the chain.

A good rule of thumb is the kart and driver (and passenger when it is a two seat kart) should not exceed 400 pounds. The kart weighs around 150 pounds add to this the driver (and passenger weight, if it is a two seater kart). If you know ahead of time that you will exceed the 400 pounds then buy a torque converter go-kart and avoid the problems of burning up the clutch asking it to do more than it was designed for.

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The size of the go-kart should depend on the age and size of the driver. Make sure you plan the go-kart accurately and using specific measurements, in order to fit the correct materials into the kart. There are three sizes of karts, measured from the center of the King Pin to the middle of the rear axle:

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