How often do you replace a chain and lube it?

So my chain is just right tension on the top and a bit sloppy on the bottom, and it bounces when it runs, yet the chain tension is fine.

I was curious if im doing this wrong but here's my chain routine:

After the race I clean the chain and scrub it with a toothbrush in acetone or brake cleaner, then i hang it to dry, after that I lube with TriFlow superior lubricant then i let it dry and hang to get all the acess off, then after that i put it on my kart and then i lube at the track after each heat and feature.

How often are chains needing replacement?

Is gear oil, spray lube, or synthetic grease the best?


I know everyone has a different way of doing stuff. when we pull axle on monday we put chain in parts washer and let it soak 2 or 3 days. After that we lube it with triflow and reinstall. And change chain mid season


We found aerosol lubes for motorcycle chains that went in very thin and penetrated great, then hardened to a wax like consistency; they wormed great after cleaning it and letting it dry about the same way you specified. We found thse lubes to work best for us.

When you get a new chain (set up with the number of links you need in your installation, then run for one or two race days to allow for initial stretch), lay it out straight and stretch it out to its full length, measure that with a tape measure, and record it in your log book. We replaced ours when that measurement increased to the equivalent of one link. We're sure there are other approaches, but that's what we did with installations that went 112-118 links.


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Common correct answer: Replace when necessary.

If you throw a chain, it's likely twisted/air-planed or stretched and needs replaced.

Chains do stretch and wear. Just because it isn't broken doesn't mean that it is still operating at it's peak.

No surprise, cheaper quality chains tend to need replaced more often. A good quality chain should last a season 20-25 race days if it is maintained correctly. Replace as necessary and keep the old chain as a spare (or replacement links.)

🏁Thanks and God bless,
Brian Carlson
Carlson Racing Engines
Vector Cutz
Carlson Motorsports on Facebook
34 years of service to the karting industry ~ 1Cor 9:24
Linden, IN


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We put chains and bearings in the sonic cleaner after every race, lube and reassemble. Needing to replace any of them doesn't happen very often.
#35 chain has a standard pitch of 0.375” with a 1.5% wear limit 0.0562” (0.4312” pitch).
I think your decimal is in the wrong place when you calculated the wear limit .0056 or max pitch of .3806.
How often are chains needing replacement?
On a clone I replace the chain every 6-8 nights. This is generally running 70-75 laps / night. I usually run a fresh chain at the bigger events. I'd change more often on higher HP applications and less often for lower HP applications.

Be sure to watch your lubrication method on dusty tracks. You could be doing more harm than good if you're attracting dirt between the pin and bushing. You also need to be aware of excessive chain lube coming off and going into the clutch.