Rear alignment, kart always pulls to right

i have an older arrow x2, that, even though i’ve had the frame checked and front aligned, always seems to pull to the right. when i watched the tech straighten the frame, he clamped the rear axle in a jig, then made adjustments on the front end only. i don’t recall any measures taken to ensure the rear wheels line up correctly behind the front wheels.

if the rear is slightly doglegged, does anyone know how that would impact the handling?

What do you mean by “doglegged”? What you described above is the normal procedure you’d normally go through when you straighten a chassis. On the rear, as long as the axle is not bent and moves freely (no binding) and the grubscrews are in securely, you are good. Center the axle by measuring equal stickout from the cassettes, then center the wheels so that they have equal sitckout from the axle or cassettes. That will “center” the rear.

I have never seen a kart pulling to the side because the rear was off center though…it may cause an uneven behavior on left vs right turns, but not “pulling”. That is a front alignment issue only

I think maybe Bubba is referring to the cassette centerlines potentially being different distances from kingpin or spindle on each side? One rear tire slightly “ahead” of the other?

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Make sure ride height is equal in both sides in the rear. I had a kart assembled once with it high on one side and low on the other and it was the strangest feeling.

If you think the chassis is doglegged, you could measure kingpin to cassette on each side.


Do you have access to scales? Even with the chassis perfectly straight, a heavy corner can cause it to not track straight. Like TJ said, check axle heights first, then scale it.

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thanks for the input. i haven’t double checked the kingpin to cassette measurement, and i’ll confirm that my cassettes are still set at the same height.

and i don’t think doglegged is the correct technical term, maybe checking to see if the frame is “squared up” is better? lol, i don’t know.

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We’ve always called that dog tracking. You don’t see it much anymore. I suppose if you’re in the northeast and have all that fresh seafood…:crab::lobster::shrimp::grin:

I have alignment tools that will check all 4 corners… (kart has to have axle and spindles/steering) but we could use that to find any issue.

The cassette being closer or further away from the kingpin (this called setback) wont result in a pull. It would cause the wheel to be off center (until adjusted to compensate). As shown it would cause the kart to drive slightly sideways.

What is the camber and castor readings on each side? A difference side to side with these reading will cause a pull. Can we assume you have ruled out tires?

Good point. Rear Stagger will cause a pull. Assuming you have Hoosiers on for OVKA, then I wouldnt expect that, but with the old Bridgestones, we used to see up to an inch tire to tire.

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You can quickly rule tires out by changing side to side. If it pulls the other way you have a tire problem.

It’s not the tires, it pulls to the right no matter what. This has been pretty much all the time, last two seasons. I’m going to do some measurements tomorrow night.

A steady, invariant pulling to one side is typically caster stagger. Measure your camber gain on both sides. You may have to buy a different caster pill on one side to sort it out.


Can you explain this to me? How does caster matter going straight? I very often intentionally run caster and/or camber split in my kart and never notice a difference on straights.

I would start with a sanity check of the front end. Start with some simple things like making sure the sweep is right. Could be as simple as the steering isn’t as straight as you think it is.

Double check your axle is centered. Measure from the bearing face of the cassette to the end of the axle

Also to eye ball if the kart has some twist. Rest a long level on the kingpins or C sections. Then go to the back of the kart and see if the axle and level are parallel.

Measure from the king pins to the front face of the axle. Kart could be bent laterally making it crab walk.

It depends how big the difference is, but if you have a large caster difference. Especially if you have neg on one side and pos on the other… the kart will tend to drift towards the side that’s set at neg.

Discovered this as a teen working on rental karts that would frequently have the caster knocked out of them due to the nature of the adjustment system :laughing:

I guess I could see the physics there on negative vs positive and how the weight on the tire would drive the kart to pull. I just have never felt that in my kart. Maybe because in reality the difference between full-in and full-out of caster on most race karts is still within a pretty small range (and most definitely on the same side of zero)?

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I’ve ran HUGE caster splits and never had a pull.

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Aye, but did you have negative caster on one side. ie caster lead like an oval?
It’s more of a drift than a pull I guess.