By taking advantage of the vast experience of Rickard Kaell, a former driver, mechanic and now Sporting Director of Birel ART’s Factory Teams, we can see the exact effects of height adjustments on a kart’s set-up.
Kart height can be adjusted both at the front and rear ends. The effects of a modification act laterally on the kart’s handling on bends, as well as longitudinally under braking and traction.
By taking advantage of the vast experience of Rickard Kaell, we can see the exact effects of height adjustments on a kart’s set-up.
1. How does height affect grip?
Perhaps the most interesting aspect and one of the key factors is that, in principle, the front and rear heights affect grip in opposing ways.
Increasing front end height, which means raising the chassis (placing C section washers under the stub axle), increases front end grip, because the momentum acting on the kart, i.e. load transfer to the supporting outer wheel, will be greater.
On the contrary, raising the chassis at the rear end, i.e. lowering the axle, produces decreased rear end grip because it means the inside rear wheel experiences greater lift on bends.
Indeed, we need to remember that rear end grip, like traction itself, is marginal when the inner rear wheel lifts up, because only a single tyre is left to provide any grip.
Conversely, a lower set-up at the rear end results in greater traction.
2. What is the effect during throttle-off braking?
A higher set-up at the rear end, with respect to the height at the front end, tends to place a greater load on the front wheels during braking, due to weight transfer.
Therefore, a lighter rear end means…(keep reading on “THE EXPERT ADVICE” TKART Magazine channel)
3. In terms of driveability, what are the effects of a high or low chassis at the rear end?
4. What are the effects on driveability of a high or low chassis at the front end?
5. How do you modify the height for wet conditions?