A GO TO thread for the new or newer dirt oval racers offering Info & Support

This thread is to point out somethings to new or newer racers, or guy's that may be on there 3 rd year or so but not making any or very little progress. Maybe we can get the basic's on one thread instead of searching over 6 different forums, and also where guy's that are reluctant to ask questions now may do so here, The intent of this thread is simple to make it easier for the newer guy's make some progress and hopefully save some frustrations and getting quicker result's on the track. I will post some things I see guy's doing wrong or starting out with the wrong approach, and some basic info while WELCOME all the experienced guy's to chime in as well, things you may have learned over the years. I will be keeping this thread up-dated daily and have help info to add as not to give to much at one time all with the intent of keeping it direct and simple.

Somethings I see guy's starting out doing that get's them off on the wrong foot & put's a bad taste in there mouth to start.

Buying on Impulse not going to a track first & not doing there homework more, usually leads to over paying used or new.

Not being aware of how much time and effort It takes to get up to speed, Thinking they can buy speed and this applies more to Dad's starting there kid's, ALL kids will excel at different rates does not matter how well they do with a yard kart, 4 wheeler, or mini bike.

Start Racing on totally JUNK tires and Kart not being scaled.

Start racing with out a tach, even if it's just a cheap one only giving RPM that's fine but use one.

Unwilling to ask for any help, now with that being said it's tough to sort out the guy's that know what there talking about and ones that are as clueless as you are, one way is ask the FAST guy's first they didn't just fall into being fast they have some knowledge. A sign of someone not knowing what there talking about, If you ask more questions than a quick in general and they do not ask any details before answering.

And when they do ask questions not giving enough details & asking for enough details in return.

Understanding there are VERY few in generals in karting that always stay the same. Just because it works at one track does not mean it works across the board.

This is just a few to get the thread started, Experienced guy's please feel free to chime in, however If you post something that sounds little confusing please do not take offense to clarification, That goes both ways IF I post something that sounds off and needs clarification by all MEANS ask for it.
 
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Somethings guy's that do start off on a better foot with somewhat close tires and kart is scaled out should NOT do, I will add you will be off the pace for awhile that's just the way it is.

Once you have a base line set up in it, your on somewhat decent tires and using some prep, but your still half second or more off the pace.

DO NOT over think it you don't have to understand the dynamics to quickly, just understand the basics and key is don't make the same mistake twice.

DO NOT look to a cross adjustment thinking you'll find speed lacking, you have other issues most likely Tires, Prep, Gearing.

DO NOT change Front track width, or Rear track width.

DO NOT change Castor thinking you will gain that speed needed.

DO NOT make a chassis set-up adjustment for a handling issue, UNLESS you know your tires are close, NO kart will make any speed or handle if tires are to far off.

DO NOT make yourself believe you need 10 set's of tires to keep pace, in fact to many options while your learning tires will only screw you up more.

DO NOT find yourself when it comes to tires chasing only DUROMETER Readings.

Again Experienced guy's you see where I'm going here chime in.
 
A post for things there doing wrong that's holding them back & keeping them chasing there tails.

Have only 1 or 2 sets of tires over prepping them to be good in practice, If you don't have a set just for practice Don't prep yourself out of the game later, realize you can't have it both ways accept being off some in practice, Learn what will change and come to you.

Chasing GEARING way to early in first practice don't come in and add 4 teeth, ANY track that get's watered will get better gaining grip to a certain point and as it does you will gain RPM with same gear, I've seen as much as 600 RPM gain pay attention and learn normally what it gains, and from practice to qualifying, and qualifying to race IF your earlier in line up some tracks will still be gaining grip into the features.

Running to much air early then coming in and making chassis adjustments, You should ALWAYS start with lower air and add as track grips up, and start practice with a straight up or closer air split 1/4 lb or even 1/2 lb to help tighten the kart early.

NOT asking enough DETAILS while getting good info, Remember to ask details.

Dad's starting kids NOT realizing there progression level, you can only make them go as fast as there ready to go and that's ALL on there terms and is why I say you cannot just buy speed.
 
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Great info above.
Don't run and buy every prep someone is wiping just because they're winning that day. Learn the basic 3 outsides you need for your track and stick with what works until you get more experience.
 
Motor Guy's and guy's with track proven results please post AVG RPM target for each motor Including different plate motors, once we cover them all I will format it in it's own post.

Clutch Guy's same deal please post clutch engagements for every class.

Thanks
 

T-roy

Member
Do you want us rookies to ask questions on this thread or leave it for what to do and don't do??
 

T-roy

Member
Is there a way you can tell how much to prep your tires? Just a general way to use your senses to tell. What ways do you guys use to know? Not trying to get a scientific answer. Just a plain, short, to the point answer. Or just an opinion.
 
Is there a way you can tell how much to prep your tires? Just a general way to use your senses to tell. What ways do you guys use to know? Not trying to get a scientific answer. Just a plain, short, to the point answer. Or just an opinion.
No in general way different preps and method of application gives different feel, first most important must use the right prep or at least right based prep, meaning a Harsh, Medium, or Hard based prep, Trial & Error is how most good tire guy's know, once they know what it takes then they can get & Idea based on look and feel but Nothing that they could say wipe them 3 more times just based on look & feel, that would come from knowing details on what someone did.
 

fastbraden11

FAST N LOUD
Is there a way you can tell how much to prep your tires? Just a general way to use your senses to tell. What ways do you guys use to know? Not trying to get a scientific answer. Just a plain, short, to the point answer. Or just an opinion.
Tire wear is a good indicator,when possible invest in a tire duro,and tire tape
 
Some things I've learned from readings by someone a whole lot smarter than me, Basic's for tuning a kart at the track.

If you have an EXIT problem good chance it's caused by a ENTRY problem.

Adjusting the front of the kart will effect corner entry.

Adjusting the rear of the kart will effect corner exit.

Loose on entry is usually always caused by to much load on the RF or is caused by not enough load on the RR.

Loose on exit is usually always caused by not enough load on RR, experienced guy's YES there are times when it can be caused by to much load on the RR as well, however in this case kart will start off OK then get loose as the race goes on.
 
Always always always, write down EVERYTHING you do to the kart AND everything you see about the conditions (temp, track condition, etc...) Write down every change and how it reacted. Keep this info and add to it creating a book of knowledge. If by weird chance you hit it perfect, you could possibly duplicate it again sometime. Some have every tool and part in their rig but in my opinion the number one tool is the one that EVERY racer uses EVERY time they go to the track. Buy the absolute best one you can afford and get to know it. That one tool is a quality tire gauge. I have many tools and parts. Some I have never needed or used but I ALWAYS use my tire gauge.
 

T-roy

Member
Always always always, write down EVERYTHING you do to the kart AND everything you see about the conditions (temp, track condition, etc...) Write down every change and how it reacted. Keep this info and add to it creating a book of knowledge. If by weird chance you hit it perfect, you could possibly duplicate it again sometime. Some have every tool and part in their rig but in my opinion the number one tool is the one that EVERY racer uses EVERY time they go to the track. Buy the absolute best one you can afford and get to know it. That one tool is a quality tire gauge. I have many tools and parts. Some I have never needed or used but I ALWAYS use my tire gauge.
Tire pressure??
 
Some Basic Stagger Info: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BUY A HOT BOX TO SET STAGGER, It's Simply the Right side tires being bigger than the Left side tires, You can Shrink a tire by heating it even if just setting it in the sun, pull the valve gut and cool it quickly, If I need more than 1/8" I put the tire in the freezer for 30 min, sometimes you may have to repeat steps a few times. Growing a Tire Heat it up in some manner I use a torch put tape measure around it add Air until it's at least 1" bigger than needed or little more, let it set for 30 min leave air out set pressure and check, Again may need to repeat steps, If your not sure what stagger does get a Foam or Solo cup taller one with bigger top smaller bottom, lay it on a table put big end to the right and roll it straight forward, You will then learn the affect of stagger. To hold proper stagger once you get tires right BEFORE you leave the track purge LR of all air, purge LF at least 2 lb less than normal race pressure, Pump air in Right sides around 12 lb and store them on the rack till next race, your stagger will then hold REAL CLOSE.

Front stagger : If you cannot clarify where to set it just use between 1 1/4" to 1 1/2" keep it the same and LET it alone.
NOTE : adding front stagger will add cross ( REMEMBER CROSS is a FINE tuning adjustment )

Rear stagger : 12th mile track use 1 3/4" at least 1 1/2", 10th mile track use 1 5/8" at least 1 1/2", 1/8th mile track use 1 1/2" at least 1 1/4",
1/7th mile track use 1 1/4" at least 1 1/8", 1/6th mile track use 1 1/8" at least 1", 1/5th mile track use 1" to 7/8", 1/4 mile track use 3/4" Bigger than 1/4 mile you can go as low as 1/2". NOTE : Don't trust advertised track size they usually over estimate them, a tenth mile is 528 lf you can get close by walking the groove a good full stride is roughly three feet. Also with rear stagger IF LOW grip track you can use little less.

AGAIN experienced guy's especially tire guy's feel free to chime in.
 

Grilleguy

Premium User
Every week I take the same screwdriver and stick it in the track in the same spot in the racing groove. You will get a feel for how hard/soft the track is. Then, if possible, check it at intermission as well. Once you have a few weeks under your belt, you'll have a better idea on what you'll need for prep and or tire pressure.

Once you start to get a handle on track conditions, use a stop watch to time other classes to see if the track has picked up any speed. This works better if your class runs later in the line up, so you have time to make any gear changes that might be necessary.
 

paulkish

old fart
There are only two ways to get fast.

1. After you've done everything right.
2. After you've done everything wrong.
 

Desert68

Member
Some Basic Stagger Info: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BUY A HOT BOX TO SET STAGGER, It's Simply the Right side tires being bigger than the Left side tires, You can Shrink a tire by heating it even if just setting it in the sun, pull the valve gut and cool it quickly, If I need more than 1/8" I put the tire in the freezer for 30 min, sometimes you may have to repeat steps a few times. Growing a Tire Heat it up in some manner I use a torch put tape measure around it add Air until it's at least 1" bigger than needed or little more, let it set for 30 min leave air out set pressure and check, Again may need to repeat steps, If your not sure what stagger does get a Foam or Solo cup taller one with bigger top smaller bottom, lay it on a table put big end to the right and roll it straight forward, You will then learn the affect of stagger. To hold proper stagger once you get tires right BEFORE you leave the track purge LR of all air, purge LF at least 2 lb less than normal race pressure, Pump air in Right sides around 12 lb and store them on the rack till next race, your stagger will then hold REAL CLOSE.

Front stagger : If you cannot clarify where to set it just use between 1 1/4" to 1 1/2" keep it the same and LET it alone.
NOTE : adding front stagger will add cross ( REMEMBER CROSS is a FINE tuning adjustment )

Rear stagger : 12th mile track use 1 3/4" at least 1 1/2", 10th mile track use 1 5/8" at least 1 1/2", 1/8th mile track use 1 1/2" at least 1 1/4",
1/7th mile track use 1 1/4" at least 1 1/8", 1/6th mile track use 1 1/8" at least 1", 1/5th mile track use 1" to 7/8", 1/4 mile track use 3/4" Bigger than 1/4 mile you can go as low as 1/2". NOTE : Don't trust advertised track size they usually over estimate them, a tenth mile is 528 lf you can get close by walking the groove a good full stride is roughly three feet. Also with rear stagger IF LOW grip track you can use little less.

AGAIN experienced guy's especially tire guy's feel free to chime in.
Newbie here. This is right where I am with my learning curve. Thank you very much for this info and, everybody, thank you for this thread!
 
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