Home Forums Shifter Karts How to Check Alignment

This topic contains 18 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Chris Reinhardt 1 year, 3 months ago.

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  • #5301

    Todd Kageals
    Participant

    Guys,

    I have two karts.  One is a GP10 and the other is a Hasse Blizzard.  My father and I drive the two karts.  The Hasse wore out a front tire on the inside edge at the last race.  There were relatively few laps on the tires.  The GP10 probably has 3x the number of laps on the same tires and they still look great.  I’d like to check the alignment on the Haase.  There are no kart shops anywhere close to me and I don’t own a sniper.  Is there anyway to do it without spending a bunch of money.

    #5303

    I’m sure this is google-able but:

    Tools:
    Tape measure.
    Chalk.
    Right angle.
    Flat surface.

    Front Toe:
    With kart on the stand – Make a chalk mark line on each tire, doesn’t matter where. Rotate tire till chalk mark is at the front of the kart, measure from mark on Left tire to mark on Right tire.
    Now rotate chalk mark to the face rear (as far as you can go with snaking a tape measure between the steering and brake components). Measure from mark on Left tire to mark on Right tire.
    If measurement across the front was larger then measurement across the rear you have toe out.
    If measurement across the rear was larger then measurement across the front you have toe in.

    Camber:
    Place kart on flat surface. Place right angle perpendicular to tire touching the furthest sticking out point. Assuming there is negative camber, measure the gap from tire to right angle at the top. If you have positive camber on the tire there will be a gap on the bottom of the tire (not common in sprint karting).

    Back to work for me, hope this helps.

    #5332

    Carl Beavers
    Participant

    +1 and you may want to see what the difference is with and without the driver in place. Frames flex and the setting are often not the same.

    #5333

    Tyson Henry
    Participant

    I have tried many times to set toe by carefully measuring. I was even using toe plates. It just isn’t as reliable as Snipers. Invest in a set and save yourself a lot of time and hassle and know it is getting done accurately.

    Also, you need to make sure the steering wheel is centered somehow, and you need to make sure you actually have the same amount of toe on each side. Pretty difficult to do with tape measure.

    #5409

    Todd Kageals
    Participant

    Well Paul that does help quite a bit.  Seems so simple the way you explained it.  I’m sure it ‘s not as accurate as the sniper but it should give me a start at identifying the issues.  Now……to find a truly flat spot in my garage!

    #5512

    Todd Kageals
    Participant

    Well….I bought an Odenthal Exac Toe 2 to help with setting the alignment.  Should be here in couple of days.  My question is, how to I set the steering wheel perfectly straight ahead and keep it there during the alignment process?  There is no pinch bolt that I can see to hold it in position.

    Thanks,

     

    Todd

    #5523

    Alan Sheidler
    Participant

    Most karts have a plastic piece that holds the top of the steering column at the steering uprights.  I feel that it is not ideal, but I have seen a couple of people take a large vice grip and squeeze the plastic to hold the steering shaft in place during alignment.

    There are devices sold which lock the steering via insertion of a pin.  Most of the ones for sale are for “American” karts, but some advertise as being for the 20mm steering shaft common to Euro karts.  There is one listed on eBay that attaches to the pan, and locks the shaft by holding the tie-rod flange.

    Note that the position of the steering wheel itself is not a good indicator of Centered Steering, which is essential to a proper alignment.  The inner tie-rod attachment heim joint locating bolts should be equally spaced from the center line of the steering shaft when viewed from a front/overhead position.  Many (most) karts have a steering shaft position which has an axis that is not parallel to the center line of the chassis, going from center at the bottom to left at the top for obvious reasons of driver placement.  Centering the inner rod ends to the shaft instead of to the chassis is important, IMO.

    Critical from a functional standpoint is understanding that the inner rod ends are moved in an arc, and one with a much shorter radius than the spindle arms are similarly moved.  If those short arcs are not equal side-to-side, then the kart will behave differently in right and left steering events.

    A note about your tire wear:  Depending on the number and severity of turns in each direction per lap, one front tire can see more friction load than the other.  The single most damaging (tire wear inducing) adjustment is toe.  Combine that with a slight mis-adjustment of camber, and a front tire can wear really unevenly.

    One thing to check: Pull the kingpin bolt on the “bad” side to see whether it is still straight.  Even a slight bend or wave will cause the problem you describe.  Of course, observe the kingpin bearings too.

    #6557

    Todd Kageals
    Participant

    Alright…..I hooked up the Odenthal Exactoe 2 and checked the toe.  If I am reading it correctly, there was 8mm of toe in on each side.  I’m assuming that’s too much as most of what I read before suggested that about 1 mm of toe OUT is a good starting point (at least I think I read that here somewhere).  I also used it to check the camber.  I don’t know how to read it but the gauge indicates 6mm on each side (tires leaning in at the top).  I have no idea what that measurement is supposed to be.  This is an older Hasse Blizzard and I have not been able to find ANY setup information on it.  Any advice on good starting points on the toe and camber?

     

    Thanks,

     

    TOdd

    #6606

    Alan Sheidler
    Participant

    Yes both numbers seem high to me.  We generally shoot for a close to zero toe as possible, and that is with someone sitting in the seat, tires properly inflated, etc.  If you are measuring total toe, depending on where the steering center is, most of that might be on the side which is wearing poorly.

    Same for camber, and that typically increases with load.  Add a driver, and the number probably will go up.  Karts don’t need front tires tipped in at the top like are seen on the current Indy cars.

    A good place to start, if you can get even half a day to test, is to go to zero for toe and camber, and the middle setting for caster.  From there you can check results of track width changes (easy to do, relatively) and caster adjustments.  Understeer/slow response = add caster, Oversteer/twitchy = reduce caster.

    As it is, the numbers you list for camber and toe probably are to blame for the wear you see on the inner section of the tire tread.

    Here is a thought:  Instead of pulling the kingpin bolts, just loosen and spin them with a wrench or socket.  If a spindle waves around as the bolt is turned, that bolt is bent.  Replace it before making adjustments!

    #6626

    Todd Kageals
    Participant

    Here’s what I did……I centered the steering by measuring from the rear axle to the center of the spindle on each side.  I found the point where these distances were equal and marked the steering shaft (I assume this was the best way to find the steering center).  Next I checked the toe on each side using the exactoe2.  I adjusted to 1 mm of toe out on each side.  Next I rotated the spindle extenders so that the toe blocks were in the vertical position to check the camber.  Here’s the thing……as far as I can tell, there is no way to adjust the camber.  I thought maybe the bolt was an eccentric so I loosened the nut and rotated it but nothing changed.  There is currently about 1.5 degrees of camber (not sure if it’s positive or negative but the tires lean in at the top) on each side.

    #6632

    Alan Sheidler
    Participant

    Trying to get a mental picture of your method to find steering center.  That does not seem to take into account the adjustability of the tie rods.  Might you have a photo or two?  In my mind, centered steering begins at the steering shaft and inner tie-rod ends, and goes out to the spindles via the connection, not the other way around.

    The kingpin bolt is just that, and should be straight.  All of the European (metric) karts used to employ 8mm.  Now most have gone to 10mm.  Your kart should have what are called “camber pills” attached above and below to the “C” shaped part of the frame where the spindle attaches via the kingpin bolt.  Those items are what have the offset holes, and they can be rotated to adjust camber and caster.  Note that adjusting the pills will also change the toe setting, so toe comes last.

    Here was the first diagram of some camber pills I found:

    http://italianmotorsusa.myshopify.com/products/pair-of-8mm-adjustable-castor-camber-pills

    There are many styles, and each manufacturer has their own way of approaching the engineering task.  Recent TonyKarts have what looks like a flying saucer, with 20 perimeter holes to set the adjustments.

    I am aware that some karts were delivered with non-adjustable kingpin placement.  The kingpin merely rides in holes in the spindle-mount “C”.  If I had one of those, I’d go straight out and modify the frame to accept camber pills.  The only alternative is bending the frame where the spindle attaches to cure a camber issue.

    BTW, all of what is being discussed is dependent on the frame itself being straight and square.  It does not have to be perfect, that is what adjustments are for!  I just got back a frame from being straightened at PKT in Wixom, MI.  Looks great, Kim did an awesome job.  Can’t wait to get it together and drive it!

    Oh, and…  In at the top is Negative camber.

    #6660

    Todd Kageals
    Participant

    Without getting into a lengthy description, lets just say that I am fairly confident the steering was centered.  I now have about 1mm of toe out on both sides and about 1.5 degrees of negative camber on both wheels.  I’m pretty sure I don’t have those pills.  Thanks for the pictures, they were helpful.  I think I have a non-adjustable setup as all I see is a washer under the head of the king pin bolt.  I ran into a fellow at the last race who said the blizzard was his all time favorite chassis and that he would not add pills or anything to it.  He said just to align it and adjust the front track which was apparently way too wide.  I’m shocked by how much toe in it had when all the setup guides say 0 or 1-3mm of toe OUT.  Anyway…..it’s adjusted as indicated above and that matches the setup that was already on my GP10 (I verified the alignment on it too but it was already good as far as I could tell.  Although not alignment related, it’s interesting that the setup guide I found recommended 46 inches a good front track width with which to start.  The GP won’t go below 48 and the Haase is maxed out at 46 (at least that’s the last of the adjustment lines on the spindles).  Does that make sense?

    #6662

    Bob Baldwin
    Blocked

    Todd: Quick question : Were you in the kart when you had the alignment done ?

    reason I asked is We had a Corsa Kart Made by Hasse and there was a MAJOR difference with me in or out of the kart .

    #6670

    Alan Sheidler
    Participant

    One think that you have found out is that although at first glance many kart chassis brands look alike, in reality, once you take measurements, they are quite different.

    #6675

    Todd Kageals
    Participant

    Yeah….I was surprised at the difference in the front track width and other differences in the two karts.  The GP is also quite a bit longer than the Haase.

    Bob,

    I was not in the kart when I did the alignment but the kart was sitting on the ground.  I was able to read the gauges from the seat and did not see much, if any, difference when I was in/out of the seat (standing in the seat anyway).  I wanted to have weight in the seat but I could not find 170lbs. laying around the house and I could not make adjustments in the toe while sitting in the seat!  Anyway…..I did the best I could and I hope it’s close enough.  Do you guys think those pills are the way to go or the sniper setup like is on my GP?

    #6676

    Todd Kageals
    Participant

    Oh……I don’t suppose anyone has a source for a Hasse Blizzard setup guide?????

    #6686

    Chris Reinhardt
    Participant

    Guys, I have two karts. One is a GP10 and the other is a Hasse Blizzard. My father and I drive the two karts. The Hasse wore out a front tire on the inside edge at the last race. There were relatively few laps on the tires. The GP10 probably has 3x the number of laps on the same tires and they still look great. I’d like to check the alignment on the Haase. There are no kart shops anywhere close to me and I don’t own a sniper. Is there anyway to do it without spending a bunch of money.

    <hr />

    <div class=”bbp-reply-signature”>Hasse Blizzard
    GP10
    Stock Honda</div>

    Todd, I’m the fellow… First thing is take those long hubs off the front of that Haase!!!!  That will exaggerate the negative camber.  You don’t have the pills, just the bushings top and bottom.   I always shot for dead zero on the toe, they say +1mm without driver.  The Blizzard always wore in the inside of the tires, you should be able to get a weekend out of a set, then dismount and flip them inside out…

    Let me look, I remember having the seat location from Haase, I don’t think I had the setup guide.  You can also send an email to Jorn in Italy, his wife usually responds, tell them you know me, they are really nice people…

    I use the exact toe also, best thing since sliced  bread!!!!

    CR

    #6725

    Todd Kageals
    Participant

    Chris,

    That was you in the blue super kart (at least I think that’s what you call it)?  We already did what you said at the track.  I switched back to the short hubs.  I currently have them all the way at the last line to get close to the 46″ I found in some CRG setup guide I pulled off the web.  Even at max width, it’s significantly narrower that it was with those long hubs.  I put them on to try to get a similar width to my GP10 which has a similar king pin spacing but still has a much wider track.  I’m basically shooting in the dark here without a setup guide.  I’d love to have anything related to the Blizzard as I can’t find anything on line.  Even the Hasse website failed to list the Blizzard in the “support” section.  I guess it’ s only their current stuff that’s listed there.  Any contacts you have related to the Blizzard are much appreciated.  You going to be at Summitt Point in September?

    #6855

    Chris Reinhardt
    Participant

    Hey Todd, yes I will be at Summit.  I looked around, I don’t believe I have any info left for the chassis, and honestly, I don’t think the factory had much more than seat location.

    Scale the chassis, get your 60%/65% rear weight, 50% side to side, set the rear at 55″, and mess with the front width.  Also, there’s rear ride height on it, I used to run rear in the high position, meaning cassettes as low in the brackets, leave the front bolt loose.

    I do have a brandy new steering shaft :) and I have left and right spindles, not sure if they are straight.

    CR

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