Josh’s Kart Cleaning Clinic
Author: Josh Brooker



OK, so your thinking about getting into karting and you’ve been in to see us here at MKC a few times. You’ve decided on a class and a budget and you think you’ve found the kart for you! When chatting away to Steve he mentions that, “all of our second hand karts get a full clean and rebuild”. What exactly does that mean?


Well this is Josh here, the guy who actually spins the spanners. Steve asked me to give you the rundown on what this involves, so that firstly you can get a feel as to how seriously we approach the process of preparing a kart for customers. Reading this story should also help you to get an understanding of the sorts of kart maintenance tasks you might want to become more familiar with. It is often a good idea to give your kart a ‘rebuild’. It helps you to spot parts that need to be replaced and can lead to a faster go kart with fewer reliability issues!


So without further ado here is my guide to chassis rebuilds.


Dirty huh?


Cleaning ClinicCleaning Clinic


This is often what we see when taking in second hand karts. They are most often in very good condition, but have just been neglected as far as cleaning goes. Chain lube and other gunk can build up over time and make one heck of a mess! That is where we (or more often I) come in.


Cleaning Clinic


The first thing we do is strip the kart down to a plain frame, removing the plastics, complete axle assembly, and, depending on the circumstances, the front end setup and the seat. At this stage we give the frame a thorough check over to ensure there are no cracks, twists or any other unwanted nasties.



Once the frame is given the ‘A-OK’ the cleaning begins with WD-40. Then tape is run along the frame where the throttle cable and any cable ties run to prevent any further wear in the paint. Next we use our MKC ‘secret’ cleaner, Valvoline Tyre Shine, to give the kart an       unbeatable sparkle.



Any component taken off the Kart is then checked and the defective parts are thrown in the bin. Quality replacement parts are then sourced.






Cleaning Clinic


Things like the sprocket and brake carriers, bearings, engine mount and chain guard are all cleaned in the parts wash before being given a thorough wipe with WD-40.


Cleaning Clinic




On the axle we use some WD-40 and a scotch bright cloth to smooth it out and freshen it up. To clean the fuel tank we use a mix of brake and carby clean, being careful around any fuel tank stickers. The brake clean works VERY well when removing stains, but be cautious around stickers.

All the plastics and the number plate are wiped with methylated spirits now to remove mess and some tyre marks.


Once everything has been checked, cleaned and is set to go, the rebuilding starts.







Cleaning Clinic




First things to go back on are the floor tray and the front end. This includes stub axles, tie rods and steering shaft. The Nassau panel and the steering wheel go on too. We then carry out a wheel alignment, using settings we have found work best for the kart and class in question.


Next moving onto the back end it gets a little more complicated. The axle bearings have to be lined up to make the most of your kart. We start by bolting the two outer bearings/carriers to the kart and doing them up tight. After that we slide the axle through one bearing until it is just about to touch the other bearing. We twist the axle up, down, left and right until it is lined up with the other bearing. This can be fiddly.






Cleaning Clinic






Then we slide the axle out and into the other side, repeating the process. The axle should now slide freely between the bearings. This process is done to make everything fit nicely. We then remove the axle and loosely insert the third bearing before sliding the axle back, making sure to insert the key way for the brake disc and sliding any O-rings (if needed) over the axle. Be sure to use 'Loctite' with the grub screws and only put grub screws in the outer bearings.


We then fit the hubs to create the correct rear track width and fit up the correct class tyre to the rims.










Cleaning Clinic





The next item on the list is the brakes, these are obviously a very important part of the go-kart and therefore given a lot of attention. All seals are inspected to ensure there is no leakage and if there are any bad signs the calliper and/or master cylinder is given a full overhaul.


Once back on the kart the brakes are given a big bleed to ensure there are no air bubbles and all the fluid is fresh poviding a solid brake pedal.



This is the stage when the seat would be re fitted if it was removed, this is explained in our seat fitting article.


Now we refit the sidepods and nose cone, place the numbers and MKC stickers where required and give any plastic surface a dose of Mr. Sheen, rubbing thoroughly with a clean rag to give the kart a nice shine. Avoid using Mr. Sheen prior to applying your numbers and stickers. Although it does dry, it can sometimes  prevent stickers from sticking. If this happens, a light wipe with metho will fix your problem.










Cleaning Clinic


At this stage the kart is left as either a rolling chassis waiting for someone to buy (letting us know what engine, gearing and seat size to use), or if its being built up as a complete second hand package, we continue on to fit an engine and drive train.


Cleaning Clinic


This is a quick insight as to what goes on here at MKC when preparing our second hand karts, but it could also be used as a guide to cleaning your own kart at home. A clean kart is a reliable kart, and a reliable karts is a fast kart!


Happy racing!


Josh Brooker


Cleaning Clinic