Chris Cuthbert – dad of Buildbase-sponsored go-karting star Ty – shares what’s inside his karting toolkit.
To keep everything running smoothly and in tip top condition for go-karting race day you’ll need to have the right tools to hand. With these six tools you’ll have everything you need for the most essential jobs in kart maintenance.
Screwdrivers are essential for your race weekend toolbox. There are lots of jobs on a kart that they come in handy for such as changing the starter battery, removing the air intake box and removing and setting up the carburettor. I find the sets with socket attachments work best as there are lots of small bolts on a kart that need constant adjustment.
This Suregraft 8 Piece Screwdriver Set or Suregraft High Torque Ratchet Screwdriver 13 Piece Set should do the trick.
#2 Pliers and snips
Sometimes pliers are required to help bend a part back in to place or to help pull out the safety clips that keep the brake pads in place. There is also a need to change the throttle cable as they wear over time and need replacing. These cables are metal and always oversized so will need the snips to cut them down. Snips are also excellent to cut down new lengths of fuel pipe.
Also, during race weekends drivers are required to fix a transponder to the kart to collect live race times. These are normally fixed to the kart seat via tie wraps, so snips are the best way to remove them at the end of a race weekend.
Lots of different lubricants and cleaners are used during a race weekend as there are so many mechanical parts on a kart. It can be relatively easy to damage a nut or screw and the best way to remove them is to let the WD40 do its magic. There are a number of moving parts that benefit from this penetrating lubricant like the steering wrack, but it’s also perfect to use with a Brillo pad to clean the exhaust.
#4 Heavy duty cleaning wipes
It’s essential to keep your kart clean so you can spot any damage or loose bolts. It’s also good housekeeping to preserve the look of your kart and there’s no better way to do this than heavy duty wipes.
During every race – no matter dry or wet – the kart will get dirty and the most difficult part is removing rubber marks from either contact or bits of rubber from the track. I find that cleaning the kart after every race is the best way to deal with this.
#5 Safety Gloves
Being a kart mechanic is a messy job as you are working with lots of lubricants and cleaners. Keeping your hands clean from different chemicals is made easy by using safety gloves.
As you can imagine, you can get lots of cuts and burns working on a race kart and these help protect you from infections and dermatoid reactions. Without this protection, hands can sometimes take days to finally get all the oil and grime off.
#6 Fuel cans
It’s essential for the proper running of the engine to use a petrol and 2-stroke oil mix, which is around 150ml of oil to 5lt of petrol. Without this the kart would not start so this is a must for race weekends. In my junior Rotax kart I can easily go through 15 litres! If you were to run these engines without it, it would get too hot and seize – a very expensive mistake!
This means that fuel cans are essential. It’s handy to have a few and always a good idea to wrap a piece of tape around the handle once mixed or it could easily get mixed up with the can of plain petrol. Try this Faithfull Metal Jerry Can