MKC Kart School : Starting
Author: Steve Polak


Note: This article should not be used as a complete kart safety guide and all maintenence procedures are suggestions only.  Consult a karting professional before attempting to use your kart.


Kart School

Steve Racing in Clubman Superheavy.


It is something we often come accross at MKC. People are exciited about getting behind the wheel for the first time and so they can't wait to get their kart down the track. However there are plenty of things to think about and a few basic processes you have to complete before you are really ready to turn a wheel and start having fun.


Today a look at some of the more basic tips.


Fueling Up!


Make sure you have the right fuel for your kart and that it is mixed. Amazingly people still sometimes try and run a kart with straight unmixed fuel. This is how you can suffer a costly engine failure. To avoid this (and not look like a plank!) make sure you have checked the right fuel to oil ratio for your kart's engine and that the fuel is mixed in your fuel can and that you have given it a good shake.


You will also need to make sure that your kart's fuel tank is not only full to a reasonable level (so that there isn't any fuel surge), but that the fuel is also 'brought up' to the carby.


This makes starting your kart much easier as a carby with fuel in it will fire immediately once the starter motor is engaged or a person pushing has begun to push the kart. If you don't bring the fuel up your starter motor will have to work much harder as it drags the fuel through the system before ignition. Even worse if you have a pusher they will have to make the wheels spin so that the fuel is brought up while you are sitting in the kart.So they have to push you for further than normal! This can be tiring and might make your pusher less enthusiastic about pushing next time you need a start!


The best way to bring the fuel up is to do it with the spark plug removed from the head of the motor. You can bring the fuel up with a Leopard or Rotax motor without removing the spark plug, but you stress your starter motor unecessarily by doing so.


With the plug removed you can then spin the wheels (or crank the starter) to drag the fuel up to the carby using the engine's copression to create suction. You will also need to cover the airbox inlet holes with your hand to increase the suction and make it easier to bring the fuel up.


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Sometimes it is also wise to actually take the airbox off and cover the carby front so that it is blocked and makes more suction to bring he fuel up more easily. If using this method you can also feel the fuel hit your hand as it sucks through to the carby.

Otherwise if the airbox is still on the kart look at the fuel as it (progresses through the fuel line) and watch it enter the carby and then turn the motor over a little more to ensure that the carby has some fuel in it.




Don't get carried away when bringing the fuel up though as too much can flood the carby and make the engine hard to start. This can lead to fouled spark plugs and lots of frustation.


It is also critical to ensure that when you do remove the spark plug while bringing the fuel up that the plug has a means of 'earthing'. If you don't give your plug an earth then you can very easily damage your motor's ignition.


Thus it is VERY important to place the spark plug, while it still is connected to the ignition lead, on top of your engine so that while turning it over you are discharging the saprk. Failure to do this could lead to a short in your ignition or worse it could harm your ignition module.


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A couple of classic no nos.


Over the years we have come accross some classic mistakes, and we thought we'd share them with you so that you can avoid making the same errors.


Don't - fill the overflow bottle with oil, thinking it will trickle down into your fuel tank and 'mix' the fuel as you drive.


Don't - use fuel that is much more than a few weeks old as it can deteriorate and often doesn't work as well when you next try and use the kart.


Don't - let your fuel sit in a plastic tank/drum for too long as sometimes the interior of the drum will degrade and a gooey mix of plastic (which is of course a petroleum product) and fuel can then run through your engine causing a nasty failure.


Don't - use fuel other than the 'high end' Optimax equivalents. Lower octane fuels won't work as well and can cuase problems.


Don't - try using nitro or any substance other than the recommended oil with your fuel. You are asking for trouble.


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Not an oil bottle.


Have a lot of fun and in the next installment we'll look at the process of actually starting your kart!


Kart School