Along with a couple of other 65+ buddies, I’ve been running a TAG kart a couple of times a month for a bit over 2 years. We run at Sonoma Raceway, practice only, great fun!
Till recently, my kart has been a well-used Rocket with a pre-09 Leopard. Two weeks ago I acquired an older (serial no. 0311) Italkart Elite that sat idle for several years but is in MUCH better shape than my Rocket, so I’m using it now. I’ve only had the Italkart out once, but I love it. Easier to drive and a bit faster. I have a few questions about the Italkart that I hope this forum can help with:
The Italkart brakes (EVO1) didn’t work when I got the kart — the dual master cylinder (which has no reservoir) didn’t pump any fluid so I don’t know if the caliper works. Probably the seals are shot in both units. I swapped over the master cylinder and caliper from the Rocket (an Italkart EVO4 setup) but kept the EVO1 disk because my Italkart has a 40mm axle while the Rocket has a 50mm axle. This is a bit of a mismatch since the EVO1 has a fixed rotor and the EVO4 had (has?) a floating rotor. So I’m now using an EVO4 master cylinder and caliper on a fixed (EVO1) rotor. On the track the braking is smooth, with no vibration or lockup. Am I looking for trouble by sticking with the fixed (EVO1) rotor? I could swap the whole 50mm axle from the Rocket to the Italkart. (I recently put new bearings in the 50mm cassettes.) Your thoughts?
The Italkart uses hubs for the front wheels (as well as the rears). The Rocket used front wheels with integrated bearings. I now have two sets of wheels for each configuration. What are the plusses and minuses of front hubs? It would be easy for me to swap over to the wheels with bearings. Should I?
Not an ItalKart expert, but some general thoughts:
I wouldn’t worry about the fixed vs floating rotor, fixed works just fine as long as you keep it aligned and check that your caliper is working correctly, same motion on both sides. Personally , I think the floating rotor is just a band-aid for people that can’t make good calipers…
The front hubs will be a bit stiffer & may feel better on turn-in than the direct mount wheels, given same spindle diameter. If it’s handling well as is, why change it? Experiment, of course, is the ultimate answer generator. I would stay with the 40mm rear axle, as there don’t seem to be sealed bearings for the 50mm size, and sealed lasts a lot longer than those shielded dirt-eaters ever will. Even if you were racing I’d still recommend sealed bearings all around, front & back.