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Old chassis can it be made more competitive???

 
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Lawrence Doty



Joined: 08 Jul 2010
Posts: 152
Location: United States, California,

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:55 am    Post subject: Old chassis can it be made more competitive??? Reply with quote

Emmick KIC90...20+ years old.
1.25" Axle
No camber/caster adjustments
No ackerman...tie rods are mounted using the same (only) bolt location on the steering column.
Driver (me) is 20+ lbs over the minimum weight for the class. I just lost almost 30 lbs so losing another 20 won't happen...(Not enough masters so we run the senior weight...)
Stock Animal with spec tires. Motor, gearing and tires are non-issues.

I purchased the chassis as a cheap way to chase the grandson around the track while he was learning how to drive. He has since decided that he doesn't want to kart anymore...so I said, what the heck, I'm going to race then!

My question is...is there anything I can do to the chassis to improve the handling? Yea I know...buy a new chassis...but where's the fun in that??? Would a 40mm axle improve the handling?
What about adding ackerman?
I'm sure camber and caster adjustments would help,,,but if I can't find pills that work adding these adjustments would be very difficult...

FYI...Kart turns in good, but is loose off the corner. It doesn't mater what the rear track width is...narrow to wide no change.

Thoughts?

What would be the best bang-for-the-buck???
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Paul Makarucha



Joined: 11 Jun 2002
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Location: United States, New Jersey,

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For what class?
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Lawrence Doty



Joined: 08 Jul 2010
Posts: 152
Location: United States, California,

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Senior Animal.
But since I'm at a masters weight and the other competitors have a lot more experience than me, I have to be realistic in my goals. For now I'm just racing myself and trying improve my lap times. I've hit a wall and I'm just asking if newer chassis components on an old chassis will help?
And yes, my lack of experience is a factor also...but I also race in a tag class with a newer chassis and motor so I get lots of seat time Very Happy
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Paul Makarucha



Joined: 11 Jun 2002
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Location: United States, New Jersey,

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm inclined to say no. If it was TaG or something with more power it would be putting a lot more load through the chassis for a longer duration.
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Steve O'Hara



Joined: 01 Jan 2002
Posts: 1064
Location: United States, California,

PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lawrence,

There is more than one way to generate ackerman effect in the steering on a kart. If you have both tie rods connecting at the same location on the steering shaft the kart will still have ackerman if the arms on the spindles are angled toward the center of the kart. Standing behind the kart line yourself up with the kingpin on one side or the other and visualize a line parallel to the center line of the kart that passes through the kingpin... then compare the position of the outboard end of the tie rod where it attaches to the spindle arm with that imaginary line. If the attachement point falls on that line then there is no ackerman but I expect you'll find that the attachment point lies off the line toward the CL of the chassis... probably around 3/4" to 1" inboard.
If you turn the front wheels one way or the other you should see the inside wheel will turn at a sharper angle than the outside wheel.
Regarding the question of what to do to the chassis, it all depends on the tires you choose... if you try to run real good tires like MG Yellows on that chassis you may find it is prone to hop and other evil behavior. OTOH, if you run it on harder tires that don't have so much grip the chassis will have a better balance and will not get loaded up beyond the forces it was designed to control.
Steve O'Hara
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Lawrence Doty



Joined: 08 Jul 2010
Posts: 152
Location: United States, California,

PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yea..after I posted that, I did a little (re)reading and realized I do have some Ackerman. The arms on the spindles are angled in. But the ackerman in this old chassis is no were even close to newer one I have.
Currently we are using Bridgestone YLCs...but the club might be changing to a differant (cheaper/harder) spec tire in the next couple of months.
I wish i could get it to hop. Rears tires are in almost as far as they will go, Front tires are as wide as they will go (found another 1/4" per side last night) and I removed the seat struts. The race this weekend is going backwards (clockwise...) so it will be tough for me to tell if these changes make a differance or not...unless the chassis finally starts to hop.

Thanks!
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Freddy Sandoval



Joined: 23 Jul 2006
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Location: United States, California, Bakersfield

PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 10:21 am    Post subject: Old chassis can it be made more competitive??? Reply with quote

Softer axle? Longger rear hubs? Different tire pressures? Ride hight?

Keep in mind that karts with 4 cycle engines will react different from 2 cycle

What track are you running at?

How much money are you planning to spend on this old chassis?

Would it be best to consider a newer/ cheap chassis that is more modern and more tuneable? I do understand that you want the fun of tuning it, but you didn't say if money was a factor or not.


You can tune that old chassis to go faster for sure

Or you can sell it and get a newer one and be closer to your desire set ups

But this is something you would have to make a call, as this is your money

Helping us a little more with specifics on the chassis will help us narrow it down to be able to help you better.

Can you post some pictures of the chassis? Any shots from front and rear end?

FAsFreddy Wink
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Charles Kaneb



Joined: 29 Jan 2008
Posts: 647
Location: United States, Texas, College Station

PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Buy a new set of tires.

Drive the kart - or throw the local hotshoe in it for a practice session.

What handling problems do you have?

I don't think older karts have too much difficulty keeping up with the new stuff - it's just that they have more opportunities to get badly messed up.

The lifespan of a kart chassis is one big ol' crash or one race where the driver decided that the hot line included dragging the frame down the road.


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Lawrence Doty



Joined: 08 Jul 2010
Posts: 152
Location: United States, California,

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kart felt better with this set-up. I kept lower the pressure in the rears throughout the day and my lap times got better. But it could have been because I was more comfortable with the track layout by the end of the day...that was the first time I had run backwards and I kept loosing track of where I was on the track...that was weird Confused
Also realized my seat was too low...ripped the bottom out...
So now the seat (Patched) is higher...but this next race will be the last one on these tires. After this we go to the cheap hard ones...time to start all over...got a taste of that last weekend with the TAG...it's been a while since I had to drive on ice... Shocked
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al nunley



Joined: 13 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 4:52 am    Post subject: Re: Old chassis can it be made more competitive??? Reply with quote

Lawrence Doty wrote:
Emmick KIC90...20+ years old.
1.25" Axle
No camber/caster adjustments
No ackerman...tie rods are mounted using the same (only) bolt location on the steering column.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ackermann_steering_geometry
You might go here and see what “real Ackerman” is.
I think a bigger axle would give you the most improvement. Right along with moving the seat forward, or backward. There is no theoretical “best” weight balance. i.e. A certain percentage, front to rear. You set the balance where the kart handles best.
Front end adjustment is nice, but we drove karts for many years without it. Thing is, until you get real consistent, and fast, with your driving, it’s going to be hard to know what is good and what is not.
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Lawrence Doty



Joined: 08 Jul 2010
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Location: United States, California,

PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea, after I posted that comment about "no Ackermann" the light bulb Idea came on and I realized that I do have some.
I'm working on my consistency and trying to learn how to drive better by watching both faster and slower drivers. We mixed classes so when I get passed in the straight by a faster kart but can hold my own in the corner I know I'm doing something right...until one of the fast guys in my class passes me and I can only watch him for a couple of corners before he leaves me in his dust...In my own defense...the guy I'm trying to keep up with isn't 30lbs over weight, is an IKF Expert, has been racing for about 40 years and is (one of) the most helpful guys at the track!
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Walt Gifford



Joined: 19 Jul 2002
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it's loose coming off a turn and you're over weight you need a wider front track width or a stiffer waist. See if you can get a set of rain spindles to work on it and/or weld a front cross bar between the spindles. I did it on an old Topkart and couple years later the new model Topkart had the same thing.

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Rob Kozakowski



Joined: 05 Apr 2010
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Location: Canada, Alberta, Edmonton

PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lawrence Doty wrote:
So now the seat (Patched) is higher...


Raising the seat should give more grip in the rear.

Just as an FYI - the approach to setup of many of the older American kart chassis (like an early 90's Emmick) might not necessarily be the same as the newer Euro (or American) chassis.

Most of the American chassis from that generation were made to run at no more than 50" width (reflecting the rules in place here when they were made), while modern chassis typically don't want to be run at anything much less than the maximum 55".
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Lawrence Doty



Joined: 08 Jul 2010
Posts: 152
Location: United States, California,

PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wanted to say thanks!
I'm constantly coming back to this tread and trying out the things you all have posted.
So far If been able better my lap times every time I've been to the track!
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charles hunter



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the club level, yes.
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