Proper Go Kart maintenance is crucial to getting the most out of your go-kart. You should always consult your owner’s manual, as the following tips may vary from one to another. If the information presented here contradicts your owner manual, then you should trust the manufacturer and abide by their recommendations. Furthermore we remind Go Kart enthusiasts to follow safe riding practices and ALWAYS wear protective gear.
What to do first?
It may be necessary to prime the carburetor before attempting to start it when the go kart is brand new, has been inactive for a long period of time, cold engine or runs out of gas. This is accomplished with the primer pump bowl located at the bottom of the carburetor. Simply press and release this pump several times until gas can be seen flowing through the clear gas return line to the fuel tank. This will help start the go kart under the aforementioned conditions. However, if this is done once the go kart has warmed up it may induce flooding.
How to adjust Carburetor?
The carburetor has many adjustments on it and it is recommended that these adjustments be made by experienced professionals only, however, we will point out the major points. The carburetor is responsible for pumping the fuel and mixing it with air at a precise measurement. The carburetor does this with very small diaphragms, orifices and ports, which are easily clogged by contaminants. This is why is extremely important that you use only clean new fuel in your go kart.
The small gold spring screw on the side of the carburetor is the idle speed screw. This screw controls the idle speed. The tip should extend about a 1/8 of an inch (4 mm). Adjust it so the engine will idle at a fast enough speed to stay running.
The brass color screw located below on the side of the carburetor, next to the choke lever is for the fuel and air mixture. Start by turning this screw (clockwise) until it stops. Don't turn it in tight, just until it stops. Next, turn the screw out two full turns (counter-clockwise). This is the factory setting. You should be able to start and operate the go kart with this setting. Once you have it running, you can adjust it. Never turn the screw more than 1/8 of a turn at a time. Turning it in too much will cause the motor to run lean at full speed and may burn a piston. Also, running too lean will cause a loss of low end power. Once you get the mixture set you can adjust the idle, it should be low enough that the engine doesn't vibrate. Finally make sure you have the choke lever down completely after the go kart is started and warmed up.
There is also a main jet adjustment screw dead center on the top of the carburetor. This is frequently set at 1 full turn out. If this is not adjusted correctly, your go kart may not run, or run very poorly. Once again, turn screw all the way in (clockwise) and then out (counter-clockwise) 360 degrees (1 full turn).
How to adjust your idle speed?
If the go kart will not idle or idles too fast, an adjustment screw is located on the carburetor next to the choke. Turning this screw clockwise will increase the idle speed. Turning the screw counterclockwise will decrease the idle speed. Remember that an idle speed that is too fast can be dangerous.
How to adjust the spark plug?
The spark plug is a crucial and vulnerable part on your engine. Your spark plug can be located on the top of the engine under the protective rubber boot. Your go kart comes with a tool kit containing a spark plug wrench for easy removal. The spark plug must be cleaned, and must be replaced promptly when signs of wear begin to show. The condition of the spark plug can tell you a lot about the performance of your engine. If the electrode is white, that can be a sign that your go kart is running too hot. This can be a result of either running too lean, or that the fuel and air mixture is too lean. If you are running your go kart to rich then your spark plug may be black, covered with gas, oil, or carbon. Another common problem is that the spark plug gets clogged up with carbon and/or oil and "fouls". This should be checked by assuring the electrode has a clean gap of .023 in.
How to adjust the air filter?
The air filter is used to clean the air going into the engine. Periodic cleaning of this filter is recommended to protect your go kart engine against the damaging effects of dirt and abrasive particulates. Your air filter can be located on the front of the engine and the protective cover can be removed with one screw. When the protective cover is removed the air filter is revealed. You can also see the small workings of the choke and butterfly valve. The filter should be free from dirt and grease and appear clean like the one shown on the right. If there are contaminants on the filter it can be cleaned in a container of gasoline. Allow the filter to dry before re-installing it into your go kart.
How to adjust the chain?
The chain on your go kart should be lubricated before every ride. The chain should also be checked for tightness on a regular basis. If the chain is too loose a popping sound can be heard and the go kart will jerk under acceleration, or the chain will just jump off altogether. If the chain is too tight it will be noisy and bind, this can be felt by pushing the go kart with the motor off.
How to adjust your throttle?
There are two main types of go kart throttles. One is a twist type, and the other is a hand throttle. Although the throttles are different in operation, they are essentially mechanically the same. When the rider applies the throttle, a cable carries this motion down to the engine. For continued smooth operation it is important to keep this cable clean and free of obstructions. Should the throttle begin to feel loose and sloppy, the slack can be adjusted on the cable at the handlebars. Simply loosen the lock nut and adjust the cable tension. Once the desired tension is achieved re-tighten the lock nut.
How to adjust the brakes?
The easiest way to adjust your brakes is on the handbrake itself. This adjustment has two simple steps. To change the tension on the cable, simply loosen the locking nut to release tension. Once the desired tension is achieved re-tighten the locking nut.