In this video Robert Dicken shows how to set up the front end of your go kart.
Go Kart Front End Assembly
Learn all about go kart front end assembly with this episode of 2-minute tech with our host Robert. The front end is where all the components come together for steering and conrolling your go kart.
This video is based off our Recluse go kart plan, one of our original karts. It’s pretty simple to set up a go kart front end, but worth it to get an overview so you can adjust the steering quickly.
Parts in the Front End
There are only a few parts to the assembly. The first is what is called the “spindle” and “spindle bracket.” The spindle is the part which holds the small axle on which you mount the wheel. This in turn attaches to the spindle bracket which is welded on the frame. It is held on by a large pin, and has a lever arm which extends forward where you attach the tie rods.
A “tie rod” is the stick like rod that attaches the steering shaft to the lever arm of the spindle bracket. It transfers the circular motion of the steering wheel into lateral motion which turns the wheels of your go cart. On the ends of the tie rod are “rod ends” which have a rotating bearing to allow motion. They are threaded to allow lengthening or shortening of the tie rods.
Finally, the “pittman arms” are the small lever arms on the bottom of the steering shaft. These attach to the tie rod and the steering shaft, which is attached to the steering wheel.
Assembling and Aligning the Front End
This is a pretty straighforward setup. Simply drop the pin into the spindle bracket to mount the spindles. Then mount each end of the tie rod to the spindle arm and the pittman arms. (Sometimes there will be a single pittman arm, where the rod ends go on either side, and sometimes there will be double pittman arms and the rod ends will go between.)
You can adjust the length of the rod ends by screwing or unscrewing them on the tie rod to shorten or lengthen them, respectively. Your goal here is to get your go kart wheels parallel, so continue making adjustments until you get that right.