Home Forums Road Racing Axle clutches, laydown kart, and TAG engines

Viewing 5 reply threads
  • Author
    • #50820
      Frank Cire

      I am interested in building a laydown kart with a TAG engine and metric components.  Gear ratios aside, is it really necessary to run an axle clutch in a laydown?  Are axle clutches still a thing?  As best I can tell, SMC axle clutches are still being made and are available in 40mm, but the cost is amazingly high, and when you factor in the cost and time for maintenance, it doesn’t make a lot of sense if a TAG clutch can handle the power if you can get the gear ratios you need.

    • #50845
      Christopher Ragan

      Way faster with tuned axle clutch.

    • #50870
      Kelly Read


      As far as reliability, cost & maintenance between the engine and axle clutch, you would be way ahead with the axle clutch!!! I bet you could find a good used Horstman axle clutch if you ask around. $300-$400 is a good price. And with John Richie making parts for them, there are no issues there that I know of ( I have 7). SMC is a good clutch also but I haven’t ran one in several years.

    • #50879
      Frank Cire

      Ok, I’ll add it to the learning curve requirements and to the parts bin next time I see one available.

      Is it possible to change axle sizes on an axle clutch, say go from 1 1/4″ to 40mm?  I note on eBay there is a 1 1/4″ Horstman for sale including a 30mm hub.  I know that 1 1/4″ to 30mm is a very small change so that it makes sense that you could do that, but can you go even further?

    • #50895
      Bruce Peck

      Frank:  what is your intent for this kart?  Serious racing or just playing around?  That may determine how much money and effort you want to put into the axle clutch, etc.  What chassis are you building out?  Where do you intend to race it?

      May I ask why you want to use metric components?  Unless you have these parts lying around then it would be less expensive and easier to use US parts like axle, bearings, etc.

      Do you have your radiator/water cooling situation planned out?

    • #50905
      Frank Cire

      Bruce: somewhere between serious racing and playing around.  I’m not competitive by nature, but I am a G junkie and I love a good dice.  I also like building stuff.  I can’t deal with sprint racing because of all of the contact.  It’s annoying, it hurts a lot, and it destroys equipment for no reason.  If I wanted to do demolition derby, I would.

      I have a vintage dual enduro with Hartman engine clutches and KT100s that I am trying to get together to do some vintage road racing.  After I get my feet wet I would like to build something modern.  I’d like to use metric components because I have a lot of them already, as well as two Rotax engines.  However, b<span style=”line-height: 1.5;”>ringing a new enduro chassis into the world seems like going to a breeder for a new dog when there are thousands of deserving dogs languishing at the pound, that is, it sort of feels irresponsible given the decline in the sport.  Right now, I am just trying to figure out my options.  Front brakes also appear to be completely different in philosophy so I am weighing my options there as well.</span>

      I am just now understanding the price difference between US/SAE components and the European metric components as I have been bitten by the vintage restoration bug, so I guess I’m not really sold on metric components, but after running a 50mm axle, everything smaller just feels…small.

      Funny you should ask about cooling, I was thinking about fabricating a finned heat exchanger to run along the top of the kart rather than tucking a radiator inside the body, where I’d have to eat the heat, or hanging the radiator out in the breeze, thus negating my hard earned aerodynamic sleekness.


Viewing 5 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.