Completely new to shifter karts, and just got a stock Honda kart that I’m trying to get race ready. It’s 90% there – starts and runs fine, but I can’t get the clutch to disengage. When it got here, the clutch lever was removed – so I’ve got no reference on adjusting it.
So far I’ve verified the cable slides very smoothly if I disconnect it from the engine and just slide the cable in the jacket – basically zero friction.
I’ve also verified that I can push up on the little arm on the engine all the way, and still can’t spin the rear axle while it’s in gear (without turning the engine over).
Given this, it sounds like there’s something wrong internally. I was advised to just try changing the gearbox oil, but it seems like there must be more to it than this. If I pull the clutch cover to look at what’s going on, will I need any gaskets before putting it back together?
Also as far as adjusting it:
1) How far is the arm on the engine supposed to move for a full dis-engagement?
2) How much tension should there be on the lever to operate the clutch (i.e., how hard should the lever be to pull)?
3) How much slack should there be in the clutch lever before engaging the cable?
4) How much travel should there be in the clutch lever when fully engaged?
More than likely it’s just the clutch plates stuck together from not being used. Just get it running, put it in neutral, sit in it and pull the clutch in and put it in gear with the tires on the ground there is enough load to break the friction discs free from the steels.
The other way is pull the clutch cover and hold the clutch lever and pry the plates apart with a screwdriver.
As far as the travel I don’t know how much exactly but enough to disengage it but not too much or the plates will slip out of the basket.
As a follow-up for whoever reads this in the future with the same issue: I pulled the clutch cover and found that the outermost plate of the clutch was dislodged and stuck between the pressure plate and the clutch basket. I just pulled the clutch lever and gave it a little tap with a screwdriver, and it popped right back in. Works fine now – still a little drag while it’s in gear w/ lever pulled, but I think it’s “within spec” – just not used to how bike clutches work.