'Freeing up" a Margay Ignite kart

This is the first year racing karts for my son and I. I’ve raced sports cars in the past and he has raced quarter midgets. We race Margay Ignite K3s at Fremont Raceway Park in Ohio. We’ve both improved our driving to the point where it seems the karts are ‘tight’ or ‘bound up’ as opposed to understeering through turns, costing us speed and time. We’ll be running a street race (Clyde GP) this weekend; I’m looking for adjustments we can make to free up the kart without making it too loose (First time racing on streets where the penalty for screwing up isn’t a trip through the grass). We will be working with someone at the track to free up the karts this evening, but I’d like to have some suggestions going in so we can make the most of the limited daylight. Thanks!

From what I heard at OVRP, The margays are not working great when freed up

Don’t remind me. :sob::sob::sob:

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The terms tight and bound up are contradicting.

Tight means lack of lift. Bound up means the kart flexes too much and loads the outside tire too much and starts hopping.

If you turn the wheel and the kart doesn’t turn you need to soften the rear to generate lift.

Shorter hubs
Add seat strut
Wider front end
Add Front torsion bar
Positive camber

If you are gripped up too much and the kart hops, do the opposite
Negative caster

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Thanks Myles. Still learning the terminology and making the transition from cars to karts. The karts are set up at Margay’s suggested baseline and we have the Margay setup guide. Thanks for attaching it though. We’d noticed that as our driving improved, the ‘tightness’ of the karts was costing us speed. The goal is to free up the karts and get some of the speed we’re losing back and to keep up with the rest of the field.


I disagree. Tight and bound up can be the same thing. You are thinking of “push” which means lack of lift causing the front end to not respond the way you want.


Yeah there’s some ambiguity on those terms. In motorsport in general (in US) tight = push\understeer. In a kart one could interpret it as the same, or as the kart being bound up (Other terms include bogging, stuck, sitting flat) at the rear.

But if you’re bound up at the rear, likely (but not 100% guaranteed) experience a push. I think it’s good to separate the two terms though because you’ll be working on the balance. If you’ve got enough grip up front, you could be bound on the rear and still have no push at all. You just have a kart that’s slow as hell coming out of the turn while making the front tires work pretty hard too.

Like a lot of things in karting, it’s clear as mud.


“…kart slow as hell coming out of a corner… Yep! You nailed it!

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what seems to work for me, since it had a similar issue:
Set the rear axle downwards, create Rake.
move the seat forward, seat angle at 33 degree.
add a 5 pound weight to the front. goal 44/56%
Rear width >1,350mm
front width medium to wide. Alignment +2 camber, 1mm out toe.
new tires!!!
I would not say its not perfect, but a good “base setup” on my Birel 206

Widen the front, narrow the rear. Always works for me.

Went to the track last evening to work with one of the experienced drivers to free up the kart. Wound up widening the rear track 2" (1" each side), took off the front bar (tubular, not flat) and widened the front track a little. It made quite a difference! This is an Ignite, so there were no front end adjustments available other than toe and ride height. Now to slow down my hands and be smoother…

That may be true with your centered pills, but you absolutely can adjust camber and caster. I would suggest buying a set of pills for top and bottom if you want to get serious about tuning. We never ran our ignite without the red pills.

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Learning moment here… are the pills legal to run in the Ignite series? If so, this goes on the winter update list. It’s been good to tighten the loose nut behind the wheel first.

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Yes, sir. The eccentric pills are definitely legal.


Margay sells pills to adjust caster and camber

The PKT soft axle helped quite a bit for me.

Only the 1040 length is legal. I used the D20.

Thanks everyone! My son and I ran the Clyde Grand Prix Sunday. The work done last Thursday made a big difference. I was able to keep up much better than before (finished on the lead lap!) and a lot of the lap time deficit was up to me. My son ran in 206 light and finished fourth. The installing the eccentric pills and learning to set the kart up properly as well as tightening the loose nut behind the wheel down are priorities going into next year.

Awesome! Practice is definitely the best tuning tool there is. Will always be worth more than any pill/axle/magic part, especially early on.

If you figure out how to tune out that loose nut behind the wheel, let me know. I need 3 tenths ASAP!

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That’s awesome! There’s nothing like the feeling of having a breakthrough like that.

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Thanks! He was beyond geeked when he heard his finishing position over the PA.