Practice 14: grub screws :(

Our 2014 debut started in the same way as many of the 2013 days you have read about: woke up at 4am, couldn’t get back to sleep, left later than planned and the kart got soaked in the first 15 minutes of the journey from Bristol. You’d never have known it was so shiny only 24 hours earlier. I really need to sort some kind of cover out 🙁

Anyway, Clay was sunny 😮 but my wallet was lighter for paying for the engine rebuild, track loyalty card and practice day fee! We had to run the engine in – probably just as well given I had rebuilt the kart from the chassis last weekend but what should have been a straight-forward enough process proved not so. First I forgot to tighten the hose clip around the airbox. Then Junior complained the brakes weren’t working properly. It appeared there was air in the system – thanks, Sam! (you need to put some content on your homepage by the way 😉 ). Then Junior complained his brakes weren’t working (sensing a theme?) – the axle had shifted although the tape around them had saved the grub screws. I’d been wondering for a while now whether taping the grub screws was a good thing – you cannot see if and when they are loose. So I tightened them and left the tape off. Then Junior complained the brakes weren’t working – this time he was properly p*ssed because his good friend (also a novice but less experienced) had overtaken him!!! Would you believe it if I told you we had NO GRUB SCREWS!?! It seems my new grub screws had been scattered around Clay – I am fully expecting to harvest a nice crop there later in the summer 😉

So, with shop-fresh grubs screws, loctite and plastic ties, Junior managed to get his head down and drive a kart with fully functional brakes 🙂 He had also complained the kart wasn’t picking up out of the corners – replacing the carb (the one we’d run the back end of the season with and the only one not to have been rebuilt) with a fresh one cured that ail. It is good to see that Junior is starting to feel the kart and know when things are wrong – he is almost always right. We’d written off the morning but at least the ‘running in’ was done and we could see where we were. It turned out pretty well – Junior was consistent (in his missing of the apexes by about a foot in addition to his times!) but we seemed less than a second off of the pace and his lines were decent when he nailed them. Junior’s shoulder injury was ok but that also meant I didn’t get to go out on track :/

And the kart stayed dry the whole way home!

Cost of day: £16 petrol, £7 fuel for the kart, £30 practice fee, £40 loyalty card, £4 three grubs screws(!)

Total spent this year: £742

Year 1 spend: £4,594

Tomorrow, we kart – WAHOO!!!

It’s been an up-and-down couple of days; the plan was to make our reappearance today with a quick return to the track tomorrow. I’d busted my balls getting everything ready these past few weeks and the kart looks better than it has ever done in our ownership (if I say so myself!). As I was playing 5-a-side yesterday evening, I needed the trailer packed in the morning so dragged Junior outside first thing to help lift the kart off of it’s home on top of the trailer onto the trolley so that I could get everything packed. We were ready a record 18 hours in advance of out departure (as opposed to a more typical 18 minutes after we were due to leave!). Unfortunately Junior hurt shoulder doing the lifting and declared himself unfit to kart in the evening. I was gutted! Obviously there is no point dragging him down to the track only to be heading home by 10:30am so it was just one of those things. His shoulder is improved today and so tomorrow we get to go karting for the first time in 2014 🙂 🙂 🙂

This will be the first time I have stripped and rebuilt the kart so it’s a good thing we’ll start the day running in the old engine. Fingers crossed everything stays bolted on and Junior is fit enough to get a decent number of laps in. Just as a precaution, I’ll be packing the large seat and my racewear… 😉

Time to rebuild the kart

Today was the last weekend day before our belated reappearance and, with the kart stripped down to just a chassis with a brake system, I had no idea how long it would take to get sorted. I needed to touch up the paintwork having had the chassis welded and then it was just a case of putting everything else back together.

There were a few hiccups along the way – the steering rod seemed to have a little resistance when turning and so I spent some time replacing it all whilst trying to find out where the resistance was coming from (steering column bush was over-tightened although one of the saftey collars was also a little tight to the bush) and then I put the first track rod below the stub axle(!). I took the opportunity to refresh most of the bolts and T-Cut the undesirable bits and the kart looked much happier for a quick polish with Carlack 68 🙂 It was nice to have the newly rebuilt engine fitted, which had been waiting for me to collect since the beginning of the year. The biggest issue I had was right at the end of the day – the throttle was not closing fully despite the pedal hitting the stop bolt with nothing else having been moved. I spent some time trying to identify what had changed but ended up just adjusting the stop bolt. Eight hours later and, with darkness falling, it was finally done. The wife wasn’t impressed with my being late in for tea but I think we are there – I always find myself wondering if I have tightened everything/put it all back together properly so I’ll give it all another check in the week. Fingers crossed the weather isn’t too bad for the coming weekend.

Items purchased since last post: replacement bolts – £18, 2x carb rebuilds and full engine rebuild – £253

Total spent this year: £645

Year 1 spend: £4,594

I must not buy anything else for the kart!

I had an offer of a bent 2010 EVR chassis this week and, since I was in the midlands, made a detour to pick it up. Of course, whilst I was there I *just had to* get the final few things that I had wanted to get for the new season: a set of new wet rims for my inters, some side pod bars ahead of getting new pods and decals for Junior’s birthday, a Viper exhaust bracket to strengthen our flimsy exhaust and another engine mount so that I didn’t have to switch my mount between the engines. I’m quite please with my purchases; the rims and bracket are new and I saved a fair bit on the side pod bars 🙂 I really do need to stop spending now though – at least the good news is that, other than the few things that Junior wants for his birthday, I cannot think of a single thing I need now. Running costs only from here on…honest!

Whilst the bend wasn’t too bad, the chassis does need a weld as it has a small crack on the brake-side bearing hanger and, although not flattened, it is a bit tatty underneath. I’ll definitely keep it in case something happens to our EVXX chassis but I don’t think I’ll be spending any money on getting it jigged just yet. This also now means that I am very close to owning two complete karts – that does start making you wonder 😉

I’ve decided to change my accounting style a little – not much benefit in a running total of costs since the year dot so I’ll detail this year’s spend and the previous year’s total.

Total spent this year: £374 – OTK engine mount £30,  wet rims £50, OTK exhaust bracket £20, side pod bars £30

Year 1 spend: £4,594