STAGGER

jaymancds

Premium User
Before this gets really confusing, let me make it as simple as I can. In oval racing, obviously we all only turn left all of the time. This means we don't really need to worry about how well the kart handles turning right. So stagger helps us turn left by having one tire larger than the other. In our case, the right tires are larger than the left tires. Stagger is the difference in circumference/roll-out between your left and right tires.

How it works as simply as I can explain it.

Calculation: Right Tire -- Left Tire = Stagger

First off, front stagger does not have much of an effect unless you miss it by a country mile. You will most likely feel very little difference in 1" of front stagger vs 1.25" of front stagger. Because the front wheels turn independently, stagger is basically a moot point other than making sure the body isn't dragging.

Rear stagger is where the rubber really meets the road for stagger in karting. Because we run solid axles, the axle always turns both tires at the same rpm. When we introduce stagger to it, the right side tire is larger than the left. The larger right tire forces the rear axle to roll similar to that of a Dixie cup. If you don't know what I mean by that, take just about any foam or plastic cup, tip it on its side and roll it forward. It will roll in a circle. Stagger does the same thing.

In practice, stagger can help you turn. Generally speaking the smaller the track the higher the stagger. Stagger will help you turn, but if you have too much, it can slow you down on the straights because of the kart being bound up with itself. All chassis manufacturers publish their baseline stagger numbers for your setup. Find what your chassis manuf. says and start there. If you have multiple sets of tires, make one smaller, one on the numbers, and one larger just to try it and to feel the difference.

I hope this is clear enough. I know for a fact this thread will become very confusing as the day goes on.
 

alvin l nunley

Premium User
In an
Live axle: 2 wheels keyed to the same axle. Whether in a straight line or around the corner, they both turn the same RPM.

Stagger: the inside wheel circumference is smaller than the outside wheel circumference.

In a turn, the path followed by the inside wheel is shorter than the path followed by the outside wheel. You calculate the stagger to ensure that both tires, in the turn, roll the proper distance to match the path they are following. This can be calculated.
 

alvin l nunley

Premium User

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paulkish

old fart
A calculation of stagger can only be exactly correct all places on the track if your racing on a perfectly round track.

Otherwise, you will need to cause one or the other or both rear tires to slip or grip at different rates, every place around the track where the calculation is not correct.

The amount of stagger you use is always a guess based on experience.

Setup for using your rear tires to help you turn at various places around the track will change how your stagger works all around the track because your speed and on track forces change, all around the track.

Depending on your ability to change how your rear tires slip and grip, along with how they fight with the fronts for control of direction, will totally control how much hp you are able to use to go faster.

Stagger is faster for those who can put the most hp to the ground and reduce how their rear tires fight with each other and the fronts for control of direction.

More stagger generally will get you more turning ability from the rears.
The important word in the above sentence is "generally", pay attention to it.

Think about how lifting an end of a Styrofoam Coffee Cup while it's rolling in a circle will affect how it rolls.
Think about how weighting an end of a Styrofoam Coffee Cup while it's rolling in a circle will affect how it rolls.
Then add in you need to remove and add weight and grip continually all around the track because where your racing is not a perfect circle.

Calculating stagger for a part of or average of an end of the track might give you a number for the exact stagger needed.
But it might not and that is why I say the stagger you need is almost always based on experience.
The experience will either be your personal experience or what you can learn from others.
 
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Pete_Muller

Moderator
Jaymancds,

Your entire post above should be pinned to the top of the Beginner's Forum.

Crystal-clear, logical, all-you-need-to-know-for-now... post. Excellent!


Before this gets really confusing, let me make it as simple as I can. In oval racing, obviously we all only turn left all of the time. This means we don't really need to worry about how well the kart handles turning right. So stagger helps us turn left by having one tire larger than the other. In our case, the right tires are larger than the left tires. Stagger is the difference in circumference/roll-out between your left and right tires.

<snip snip>
 

jaymancds

Premium User
Jaymancds,

Your entire post above should be pinned to the top of the Beginner's Forum.

Crystal-clear, logical, all-you-need-to-know-for-now... post. Excellent!
I appreciate the kind words Pete.
 

paulkish

old fart
I agree they should have
They have a name and it's Bob Evans.
Ask Bob about it and there is no reason you cannot start a Thread with the info.

Bob's actually one of them folks who will listen to you and tell you like it is with courtesy.
And he's also a kind dude.

I've even talked to him once. ... :)

If he'll put up with me he'll put up with you. ... :)
 

rocketman

Member
Nah Im a new guy , dont wanna make waves, but Thanks Bob Evans does have the best Biscuits and Gravy, though around here they all closed up/
 

rocketman

Member
OK I got 1 more question, how do you achieve getting the left side smaller diameter than the right.? cut them? or put more air pressure in the right and put in the sun to expand them?
Thanks
 

Menace61

Member
Add air to the right sides until they are 1/4 to 1/2 inch bigger than needed. let them sit a day or so then set air pressure to race specs and check size. Repeat as necessary. I always let the air out of my left sides after racing and air the rights up to 12-15 lbs to maintain the correct size.
 
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