[Kartbuilding] Differential

Stephen Burke sburke at burkesys.com
Tue Aug 26 00:29:28 IST 2008

Hi James,

It is very difficult to steer a live-axle kart on tarmac. The steering has 
to be setup correctly so that when a kart goes into a corner, that through 
correct camber and castor angles that the chassis flexes and produces lift 
on the inside rear wheel allowing it to slip to achieve smooth cornering.

I would highly recommend using a differential. I did manage to 
successfully use a differential from a self-propelled lawnmower. Pictures 
can be seen at:
This was quite a small diff, and the rear axle had to be split to get it 
into the middle. While it did work quite effectively, it was not strong 
enough and I broke the first one after a few weeks. I suggest you try and 
get a larger differential from a ride-on/tractor lawnmower. Note: 
differentials can get large and heavy very quickly, so you need to try and 
get a suitable sized one.

More information on the steering angles of karts for a solid live rear 
axle can be found at: 

Best of Luck,

On Mon, 11 Aug 2008, James Alford wrote:
> Dear Sir,
> I have been reading your website as I am thinking of building an off-raod buggy that could be SVA'd to go on the road. I intend it to be quite low powered, no more than 15hp or so. Ideally, it will use some sort of differential. I notice that you refer to the use of lawnmower diferentials in karts.. Do you whether anyone has successfully used one for an off-road machine? Alternatively, how hard is it to steer a live-axle machine on tarmac?
> Any advice that you can offer will be apreciated.
> Regards,
> James.

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