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Go-Kart School Challenge

Go-Kart School Challenge

Go-Kart School Challenge

<PROJECT PURPOSE>

Before I start, I thought that I would give a little bit of background info on why we have purchased a go-kart kit from Cut Price Racing. I work in the Technology Department at Marist College Ashgrove. Our department is well set up and offers both OP and VET based subjects to our students. We are also a boarding school with 200 odd students who like to be involved in extra/co-curricular activities. Our school was approached by a company “the Smith Family” who specialise in partnership brokering and they initiated a proposal where interested schools could get “at-risk” students interested and enthusiastic about learning. Specifically a go-kart project where we could assemble and race them against each other and other schools. Our VET students are hardly “at risk” but have certainly been enthused about the prospect of building the karts and have a bit of fun racing them. This idea has grown and we now have possibly 5 schools interested in competing in this project and depending on how successful it is, may grow even larger next year.

The project has grown to be more than just an assembly project. While we have purchased a full kit from Cut Price Racing, the schools involved have decided to incorporate a degree of design and fabrication into the project. To compete in the challenge, the karts must have a frame that has been constructed by the school. This may be a replica copied from the original frame that was supplied, an improved design or even a completely different design. This is to both reduce the overall cost of the project and also allow the students to benefit from experiencing this activity with a sense of ownership. As we run an Engineering Certificate, we will be incorporating this group work project in to the Training and Assessment Strategy.

<PROJECT DESCRIPTION>
We initially did the build from the kit that Cut Price Racing supplied us and overall we found it very easy and enjoyable to complete. Once we had completed the build, we worked out what space and tolerances that we had to work with and went about re-engineering the frame to satisfy the project specifications.

<PROJECT COMPONENTS>
The build
As mentioned previously, the build was relatively simple and went together within about 5-10 hours. It is difficult to put an exact time on the build as we were constructing the jig for the reproduction of the main frame at the same time. The very few issues which I am about to discuss stem from problems or improvements which we found during the build and I hope you benefit from this post in some way.
The throttle cable adjustment insert that was missing from the kit and we had to manufacture another to put in its place. Not as much adjustment with this one so we will probably ask for the missing part.
 

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We thought that this was the best way to position our throttle cable clamp at the pedal.
 
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We used more M8 washers throughout the project
We had to make a bush spacer for the engine side seat strut coming from the unused middle bearing bracket.
 
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The steering stops don’t align too well. These needed to be bend to be more effective
 
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The pedal stops don’t align perfectly either, these could be bent to be more effective but could be repositioned.
More spacers/washers were needed in the front stub axle uprights on the king pin to lessen movement within the C-section.
We found that the disc brake bracket was not perfectly aligned and would bind on the brake disc. This required more washers at the top to alleviate this problem.
 
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Chain guard aluminium piece is way too flimsy
 
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The seat was a little fiddly and required some thought. As it is offset from centre due to the engine, this left us with the decision to either ensure the seat was parallel with the frame and faced perfectly forward or, whether we slightly turned it in towards the centre of the steering so there was more space for the right leg to go through. We went with the latter option and were very happy with the decision. It was more important to have a more comfortable ride allowing ample space for the right leg to move and the slight angle cannot even be noticed when driving the kart.
 
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The skid pan had a couple of extra holes drilled in the wrong place and needed to re-drill to line them up with the tabs on the frame – not a big deal.
Most importantly, we found a safety issue with the small sprocket being exposed at the engine which is close to a small opening near the right hand side of the seat. We think this needs to be covered so that clothing cannot accidently be caught in it with unlikely but potential harm at risk.
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Many thanks to Paul Jones for his support and expertise at Cut Price Racing. He was always available for a chat to discuss and issue which made the whole project very easy and very enjoyable. I would recommend this project to anyone.



<PROJECT CUSTOMISATION>

Explain in detail how you customised parts to suit your project

Below is the beginning of our jig which we are using for the frame
 
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