Is this kart too cheap to be true?

First-time poster!

Where are you located?

Chicagoland area

What age bracket are you in? Junior (<16), Senior (16+) or Masters (30+)

Junior (Senior class next year)

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your mechanical ability, or willingness to wrench on things?

Probably 6, as I have had a recreational go-kart and worked on it, along with various lawnmowers. Capable of wrenching, fluid changes, and replacing many mechanical parts, but not good with fiddly things like cables.

Talk a little about your racing experience so far.

A handful of first-place finishes at K1 Speed, and the aforementioned recreational kart (not raced on a track). This is my first racing kart.

What’s the main thing you need help with to get you started?

I found this LO206 go-kart on Craigslist, and the price is suspiciously low.


Most of the other ones I’ve seen are around $2000. I contacted the seller, and they said that the kart runs and drives well, and has no mechanical issues. It also comes with a lot of free equipment, which is attractive to a first-time racer like me.
Is there something I should ask about specifically? Is there anything you would be looking out for if you were to buy this kart?

Thanks in advance!
~Ali

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How old is the chassis. It looks good but suspiciously cheap.

Ask what seal is on it. If it’s the solid silver seal then the motors not legal after next month and would explain the cheap price.

If that’s the case, it wouldn’t be that expensive to drop in a slightly used (but legal) LO206, would it?
The real kicker for me is the MyChron, as that’s a couple hundred new.

Short blocks are 300ish if you can swap everything over, complete motors trade for 500-750.

Could you just replace the seal, or have it serviced? Not entirely familiar with this seal thing that’s going on.

No, the blocks are sealed at the factory. There are a couple different versions of the seal, All silver, silver and black, and the newest is orange. The all silver is not legal as of 1/1/20. Only way is to replace the shortblock to one with the newer seal.

It’s definitely on the cheaper side, but it’s not unfathomable that it’s legit.

As mentioned, ask them to send you a picture of the seal on the engine. Assuming the kart is in good order, it’s still a solid price with an old seal.

There’s some discussion about clubs allowing the older seal for completion. Check to be 100% sure.

Of course the old seal is 100% fine for testing and lapping.

Also ask for a picture of the underside of the frame, some grinding under there in normal, but if the wear patterns are over 4-5mm wide in many places I’d look at its life being a little limited.

Then again, it’s a $1400 kart.

Thanks for clearing that up!
A full engine costs around $650 where I am, so that’s some money saved.

I messaged the seller, and they said something about the seal wire being silver determining whether or not the engine is legal. Is this true?
They also sent me a picture of the side of the block.

If the wire is entirely silver then it’s the oldest type of seal that’s being subsetted.

If it has a black wire interwoven in it then it is ok.

And just to be clear, you can run this engine during practice sessions, just not the race, right?

Correct, it just wouldn’t pass a post race tech inspection.

Some clubs however will still allow it to run in races but you would need to check with the club.

As for the chassis itself, how would I be able to test if it is physically sound when I am at the seller’s house? Should I bring some scales to test weight distribution?

Check the welds for cracks and check the bottom rails for flat spots of wear. Scaling it would be great, but not sure if the seller would be willing to take the time with you to set the scales up correctly, level them, and then throw the kart on.

Assuming I have a set of 4 bathroom scales, what weight distribution should I look for with me in the seat?

Most Euro karts have a range of between 40-44% front weight that works, however on a 206 it might be a little different. 50/50 side-to-side. But, it might not scale out in that range for you because the seat might be in the wrong spot for your height/weight. Plus, the previous owner might have never set the seat up in the right spot either, so even with him in the seat, it might not be where it’s supposed to be.

Scaling is good if you have all the parameters right, but I guess in this instance, it might hurt your perception of the kart more than help it.

Also his ad says the engine is not on the kart, so you would have to put the engine on to get any useable scaling data.

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I guess that makes sense, thanks.
From your experience, is there anything I need to have in terms of spare parts or tools? Anything you had or wish you had when you started racing?


Here’s a few good topics on tools and things for newbs.

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So it’s a good deal, I think I know which chassis that is, actually. DR comes red, it has to be powder coated black aftermarket and I can only think of one in the Midwest that someone ordered that way. It is a solid chassis, I don’t believe it was run that much if I remember correctly but it looks like it got sold since I last saw it. As long as you can get parts for it around here you should be pretty well set. Let me know if you have any questions, I live near IUPUI and can help out when you get it.

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