Posted by: nwracing | July 1, 2015

Andromeda Tow Kart Part 7

The last real big hurdle before the fiddly bits like throttle and rear brake is the steering. Having worked on cars before I was well aware of the dreaded bump steer which can cause all manner of issues. Bump steer occurs when the suspension compresses and the steering arms are at such a strange angle that they cause the steering to move on its own. Now you would think that with a top speed of 12 mph this would not be a huge issue. However, the return roads at the tracks we go to can be bumpy so this was something I wanted to get right.

A rudimentary steering column was made fitted and the steering arms connected. It was clear that we were going to suffer big issues. This is not a problem on a normal go kart as there is no suspension. So I ended up machining a couple of standoffs to raise the height of the steering arms to keep them level.

Avoiding bump steer

Avoiding bump steer required these spacers

This is one area where I need to think differently in the future. I had focused too much attention on the chassis and created a number of issues that would have been avoided. Again, huge learning for me; and if I build a mark 2 will be incorporated from the outset.

As the tow kart has to fit in to the trailer when we go to the track the length and width was dictated by the available space. However, ergonomics also meant that things like the seat and handlebar height also had to be considered.

We found this out the first time we tried to load the tow kart in to the trailer only to find that it wouldn’t fit as the handlebars interfered nicely with the roof of the trailer. We managed to pull down on the suspension and clear the roof, but only just!

So I decide that we needed a steering column that could be split in half as I did not want to stress the suspension and it had to be movable with just one person. So as you can see in the picture I manufactured and welded two plates which enable me to shorten the steering easily.

kart steering

Complete steering column

004 (2) 005 (2)

This pretty much finalises the build-up. I could go on for hours about some of the little details that now appear obvious but at the time were very frustrating.

In the next and last blog on the tow kart, I will detail the learning I have taken from the build and if I can dig it out from the back of the garage will take some video so you can see the finished tow kart in all its glory actually moving!

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