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Go Kart Disc Brakes Overview

Here we show how to set up disc brakes on a go kart.

Disc Brakes On A Go Kart

Disc brakes are one of the most popular brakes for a go kart. In this episode, Robert gives us the what for on how these brakes actually work and why they are good for karts. All of our go kart plans can use disc brakes, but they are probably especially critical on our full suspension go karts like the Arachnid and GrandDaddy. Given the variety of brake setups you can purchase, this is probably one of the most custom areas of your project when you build a go kart.

Disc Brake Components

Each disc brake is made of several components:

  • Brake caliper: this is the part of the brake that mechanically moves back and forth to compress the brake around the brake rotor
  • Brake pads (sometimes called brake pucks): these are the parts of the brake that actually do the rubbing against the brake rotor. They are a wear part and will eventually need to be replaced.
  • Brake rotor: this is attached to the axle and is what the brake squeezes against.
  • Brake rod and pedal assembly (if mechanical) or the hydraulic lines if they are hydraulic. (See our video on setting up hydraulic brakes on a go kart.) The rod or hydraulic lines are what connects the brake pedal to the brake calipers and transfers the energy of your foot compressing onto the brake.

Assembling the brake

Putting this together is pretty obvious when you look at the components. The brake rotor is held onto the axle by a hub and a keyway with a set screw. You will have to create a weld mount bracket for your brake calipers to mount to where it can align with the brake rotor. Then once you have that set, you can run the brake rod or hydraulic lines up to the pedal.