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Centrifugal Clutch and Torque Converters

In this video we discuss the merits of centrifugal clutches vs torque converters.

How to Decide On Your Go Kart Clutch System

Deciding on the clutch system for your go kart is one of the more important choices in your power train setup. Your choice is essentially between a centrifugal clutch or a torque converter. In this episode of two minute tech, Robert gives us his thoughts on the pros and cons for your go kart clutch setup.

All of our go kart plans use either a centrifugal clutch or torque converter. We also have other videos here on how to set up a centrifugal clutch and how to set up a torque converter on your go kart.

Differences between clutch and torque converter

The main differences between the two basically boil down to price and power transfer capabilities. Centrifugal clutches are typically much less pricey, but also have less capabilities. Our smaller go karts with smaller engines (5 horse or so) will be fine with a centrifugal clutch. Our bigger go karts like the arachnid or grandaddy go karts definitely demand a torque converter on the engine to provide you maximum power.

The essential design difference on the power transfer capabilities are that the torque converter is essentially a “double” version of a centrifugal clutch. A centrifugal clutch is a one “pulley” system, while the torque converter has two opposing pulleys. Thus the torque converter has a bigger power range, and can deliver power in a bigger range of circumstances.

Bottomline, if you are building a smaller cart and on a tight budget, pick the centrifugal clutch and don’t look back. For a larger go kart and / or bigger budget, you can’t go wrong with a torque converter for the most range and capabilities for your go kart.