Go-karting is a lot of fun and it’s a hobby that offers great socialization opportunities. Last thing you want when go-karting is to lose time fixing your kart.
Why does the go-kart’s chain keep coming off? The go-kart’s chain keeps coming off due to the following reasons. Worn out chain or sprockets, crooked axle or frame that cause misalignment to the kart’s chain.
Besides the frustration, you feel when this happens, there are also dangers involved. Dangers for you and the other racers too. But, don’t worry about it, we have you covered with this article on how to deal with it.
Here’s Why Your Go-Kart’s Chain Keeps Coming Off
1. Bent Go-Kart Chassis (Frame)
There are no obvious differences in the tubular geometry of your new chassis. There are only microscopic welding differences that you can’t see.
A go-kart frame can be bent over time from impacts, accidents, curbs, and broken parts.
It’s not possible to fix severely bent frames other than replacing them. Small distortions, yet, can have a serious impact on the performance of your kart.
What To Do
If your go-kart’s frame is bent then your chain may keep coming off. An expert could repair slight frame distortions. Yet we would tell you to replace the frame to solve all related issues.
2. Worn-Out Go-Kart Chain
Almost all the parts of a go-kart have a lifecycle. This means that your chain wears out over time. Investigate your chain and check for increased amounts of slack.
The direct impact of a wearing-out chain is that it can’t fit on the sprockets of your kart. It will keep coming off and won’t let you enjoy your rides on the track.
What To Do
If you want to get the most out of your go-kart, you should always check the chain before using it.
Go-Karts come with a chain that you need to replace every now and then. It’s normal for them to get worn down over time.
The best way to fix this problem is to replace the chain. Buy a new chain and don’t try to repair it. Remember a kart has running costs and you shouldn’t try to save from the essentials.
3. Worn-Out Sprocket Teeth
Sprockets’ teeth also wear out when you use your kart over time. This happens because the chain creates friction on the sprocket teeth.
The cause is quite obvious. That’s another reason why you need to inspect your chain before hitting the track. If the sprocket teeth aren’t good enough then your chain can keep popping off.
What To Do
The solution is easy in this case and you may do it yourself in your garage. You need to replace the sprocket since there isn’t any way to repair the worn-out teeth.
It’s another running cost that comes with go-karting. It won’t happen very often and it’s not an expensive part.
Remove the screws and the sprocket key. Get a new sprocket to replace the worn one. Before placing in the sprocket key you need to align the sprockets. Then you may proceed and tighten the sprocket screws.
4. Incorrect Sizing Of The Drive Chain
There are a few times whereas the size of the chain isn’t the proper one. Check once again if this applies to your kart. A bigger chain won’t stick on your kart and will keep coming off.
This is simple to check and fix if you have the proper tools. You have to add or remove chain links with the respective tool.
What To Do
The first thing to do is to decide how many links need removing from the chain. After counting you need to know that all chains come with a master link. Find where your master link is and de-attach it.
To measure how much slack is left in your chain, pull up slack on the chain. If there is ¼ inch or 3⁄8 inch of slack remaining, then you know that your chain needs replacing.
Put your chain away from the sprockets and take out the necessary chain links. To proceed with this you must have the appropriate removal tool.
After taking out the links, put the chain on the sprockets and connect back the master link. You’re ready to go now!
5. Misaligned Sprockets
You should make sure that both of your sprockets are properly aligned to ensure that your chain works properly. It may not be familiar to you, but we’ll walk you through how to align your sprockets.
Let me first explain what a sprocket is. Your crankshaft contains several sprockets. As your engine turns, these sprockets are connected together and turn. There are teeth along the circumference of each sprocket that engages with another sprocket when they rotate.
Friction is created as they turn. It causes the sprockets to expand slightly. As you line up the two sprockets, you can use a long, straight pole. As you turn the axle or the wheel, let the chain pull the sprockets into alignment. A simple back and forth motion should work.
What To Do
With a flat head screwdriver, remove the sprocket key from the sprocket. Then turn the wheel until the sprocket is aligned with the centerline of the wheel. Before tightening wheel bolts, use a laser alignment tool to ensure proper alignment.
6. Axle Deformation
You can fix this with a repair or a replacement. Make sure to remove all parts connected to it. A damaged axel in a race can cause misalignment, like a bent frame. A broken go-kart axle will alter the angle of your back sprocket, and misalign it.
What To Do
To fix it, you’ll have to remove the axle completely. After that, you’ll install the new part. You will then install the wheel on the car after you have done both of these things.
You must remove the wheels before replacing the axle. Pull out the axle after removing the hub nuts. Install a new axle that matches the original specs. Reattach the wheel hubs, bearings, brake disk, and sprockets.
How Tight Should A Go Kart Chain Be?
No reason to analyze how important the chain is for your go-kart. Without it, you don’t go anywhere. It’s one of the elements that should work fine for you to enjoy your go-karting day.
Too loose or too tight means that your go-kart won’t function or it will underperform. So, it’s very important for you to learn how tight it should be.
The chain should be tight enough so it doesn’t come off when your engine is running. Yet, it should be loose about an inch to maximize your kart’s performance.
Proper chain tension results in better performance for your kart. Also, you will prevent any kind of related damages. Competitive go-karting is about preparation, skills, and practice.
Be prepared, know your game, and don’t leave technical aspects to their luck.
You need to have no problems unsolved when you go-karting. If your chain keeps popping off your kart, then you can’t enjoy racing.
With this article, we tried to help you discover the reasons why this happens. We also came up with some solutions. Some of them are easy to put in place.
The thing is either you will need spare parts, or only some labor time, you have to fix your chain. You need to protect your kart from damages and ensure safety for all.
Your chain is an important element for your successful day on track. Without proper chain tension, it’s better for you not to show up at a first place on the track.