Is there such thing as a worn out chassis? From the standpoint of material fatigue. I mean this within reason, not some 20 year old sled…
I understand that the material a chassis is made of is a high quality chrome moly tubing. This material is relatively stiff and good flexation/spring qualities but all materials have a fatigue point in regards to spring.
So… providing there has been no crash where the chassis has been flexed beyond its spring return capacity , and stays bent… can it just generally “wear out” like an overused spring from the continual flex of track use?
Is this why there is so many used rolling chassis’ for sale that are “just one season old” or “team karts” , because the best performance of a chassis has passed. Or, is a chassis that is one or two years old but raced very hard is just fine?
Or does everyone just want the new bling?
Personally I don’t believe it. I believe chassis will sag in the middle. But the initial flex would not disappear. Been driving since 2005 and tested most of the stuff out there and never noticed differences.
There is a long thread about it here somewhere, and some guys from Sweden tested this theory but without any difference in flex
Last year I drove a 2016 otk with plenty of wear, handled same as new. It was when the chassis began to crack everywhere that the performance dropped significantly. And now I drive a 2020 Energy Eclipse Kz also really flat in the bottom but it handles perfectly It put me in 4th place last time I raced
In my opinion and experience,yes. In a normal occasion you wont feel big difference, but if you put new tires on a relatively high grip conditions you feel it. The kart is less slidy and perforance is more stable, you have less snap oversteer. the jacking of the kart is more stable and controllable.
Basically, yes the chassis can fatigue but most karters will be able to get several seasons out of a frame before noticing, and even then that doesn’t mean it slows down necessarily. It may just lose some adjustability and feel.
I’ve back-to-backed chassis with multiple seasons of hard racing on them against brand new and noticed very little to no difference.
In all seriousness, I am the “largest” kart racer I know at 225 lbs. I race on one of the roughest tracks I have ever been on at Whiteland Raceway Park (re-paved this winter, so should be easier on my old body). I have had luck on a ton of “older” chassis. From 15 years old to 5 years old to brand new OTK stuff. I have yet to see one “fatigue out”. Not saying it doesnt happen, but I think people use it as an excuse for poor performance OR an excuse to buy a new kart.
I agree with Derek, plenty of fast guys where I race on older chassis’. But I am glad this topic got posted because it validated what “I thought” I knew. Gives me hope cause its been rattling in the back of my mind cause everyone around me (lately) has been trading up for a new MGM chassis as of late. (Which are get 4 stroke chassis within their own right)