Tony Kart Maintenance (LO206)

Hi all,

I plan on buying a used tony kart real soon. It’s a 2018 chassis with about a season of use and a rebuilt engine (206). It already has some nice features like ceramic bearings, skid plate, data tool, and so on.

So, as I am jumping into this, I am struggling to find info on maintenance stuff. For example:

  • What are things to watch out for?
  • How do you know if it’s time to replace something?
  • What parts need to be replaced most often?
  • When do I need to rebuild the (top) of the motor?
  • What type of lubrication do I need?
  • etc.

I really new to all this and I am also hoping to get more info on the tony kart chassis, such as torque specs for bolts.

The other piece is I am a bit overwhelmed by all the helmets and suits available. I don’t want to necessarily get the cheapest thing out there, but definitely a decent suit and a good helmet that can also be used for car racing.

Again, I am pretty new and I have been scanning these forums for info. I’ve learned a lot so far and I appreciate any help. Thanks!

Where are you located?

-Oregon

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

-Senior

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

-11

Talk a little about your racing experience so far.

-Lots of sim type, not much real track time

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

-More knowledge of karts, parts, setups, and gear.

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Welcome L.
I’m a few races into my second season and I feel much more confident and clued in after having spent some time in the sport. From my fairly limited perspective here you go:

things to watch for: pretty broad and I’ll think about it but the glib answer would be “those around you”. Learning to drive well and safely in traffic is going to make a difference on how well you race and wether people enjoy racing against you. Just a thought. Had an inexperienced guy in a race yesterday who, in practice sessions was blocking faster drivers aggressively, causing accidents, and then got into a fight.
This is a sport that, as far as I can tell, no one makes a living at. So be courteous and use common sense and folks will prolly go out of their way to help you get up to speed. It’s mostly enthusiasts with a sprinkling of truly serious folks that are so much faster. So even if you are the second coming of Senna, consider that these guys and gals you race with will get to know you and your driving pretty well.

There’s a reason James (the guy who runs KP) asks us to use our real names. It’s a small community even on a global scale. I’ve made friends from around the country and I’m pretty sure I’m going to be bumping into you someday. This keeps the advice and forums clean.

Engines have rebuild schedules. Top
end is more frequent. So basically for club, mid season top end refresh and end of season full rebuild. For national level guys, more frequent rebuilds. However, this isn’t a thing in lo206. No rebuilds from what I understand, just oil changes and the like. The engines are inexpensive, basically disposable relative to the two stroke stuff and miles cheaper to buy and run.

Stuff just breaks.You’ll be aware it’s time for a new sprocket when you start throwing your chain, and notice the teeth are worn badly, or you might say “steering feels odd” and on stand discover you have a bent Steering column. Karting is pretty vigorous and stuff gets worn and bent fast. But anticipate a DNF or two as you learn what you can’t ignore.

I’ll think further on this but that’s a start. I’ve got a race in a couple hours and I can’t sleep. Expect that too.

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I think of it in a modular way. That way I complete work a module checklist for a zone of the kart. I have a coming off track ritual and going back on track ritual.

Some examples:
I address chain as the first normal item (after special issues) after coming in. I have found the chain/clutch to be the biggest source of problems on karts.

  • Do I need a gearing change?
  • Do I need to Check Tension ?
  • Clean & lube now - that was the lube has a chance to spread, get into gaps and dry. If you do it right before going out it flings off more.

I have found doing things automatically helps when you are hot, tired, disenchanted and all that does not help your thinking.

(Lunch Break - will add more later)

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Thanks for the reply. I’m probably going to be doing a lot of practicing before I jump into any events, but I will be sure to consider the other drivers when I do.

I’m sure I will gain a lot of experience regarding maintenance just going out and getting some experience. It sounds like the most important things to do are lubrication, check for wear or cracks, and change the oil frequently.

Are there any key parts that need to be set up a certain way to avoid a serious problem? I imagine toe/camber, chain tension, and stuff like that?

This is great. I definitely prefer a checklist style (I’m very detail oriented). How often do you need a new clutch? That seems like one of the more spendy items. (I was already given the tip not to gas and brake at the same time :slight_smile:)

Lorenzo,
Being you have a Tony Kart and LO206 you have a nice map to follow in terms of setup and maintenance. So baselines are available.
I tend to treat chassis and engine separate as engine packages change.

After Last session of a dry day with an LO206:
Clean the chain & let it start to dry
Drain oil - while it is warm ( At least check the oil if you don’t think it needs changing)
On the LO206 you have to flush the carb of fuel to keep it from corroding during storage. This is best done before putting it back on the trailer after the last session of the day. Must of us just drain the fuel, use some carb cleaner and then use WD40. Drain the line back into the tank and reattach back to carb don’t leave it to leak. I also don’t trust Non-Ethanol fuel. So it is just an easy habit to form.
After that I check the clutch end play and pull it. I may just spray it with WD-40 (depending on clutch) to let dirt loosen. Later @ garage I clean it and get it ready to go back on. - What clutch do you have?
Apply Lube to rear axle to help keep from rusting.
Refill oil.
That way the engine has every critical thing done that is time sensitive.
Air filter can wait. If you do take it off have a method of blocking the opening. Cleaning, can wait or you can work it in but I’d let the engine cool some and not attack it while it is too hot.

On the LO206 you will want to check your exhaust mounting, head gasket, valves on some interval.
As far a tuning you have gearing & carb.

For chassis:
I like to go over it in sections.
Wheel and tires
Front end
Rear end
Seat mounting
Body work
Engine Mounting
Fuel System
Brakes

I like to check things in order of safety and recurring problems.
2 thing I vowed never to have happen was losing a wheel and brake failure.
Next I added steering catastrophe. Those 3 thing are not just DNF’s but could really get dangerous. I don’t need to add weight, but on a kart with weight added check the weight for security. Losing a weight could be a DQ or really hurt someone. So those are the biggies along with fuel. I wear fire rated gloves and shoes even though fire on a kart is not a giant concern. So give fuel lines a once over every so often for security and condition.

Recurring problems are anything like a seat stay that keeps loosening. - Probably a bad fastener.

I like to check the front end (or other system) either from center out or left right/pairs. Once you get to where you can check a given section in a consistent manner it becomes an easy habit. Even if the steering feels fine it is very easy to give it a look and at least verify the safety clips are there and nothing is obviously bent. Look for a loose tie rod end, binding, bent parts, etc. Get a feel for how tight to have the axle nut. Are spacers even?

I like to pay attention to feel and sound. That way if a new feel or sound pops up you can maybe take it as a warning.
I would limit my session length at first both for your physical and mental stamina and to be able to check the kart at shorter intervals.

Clean your kart as you look it over is a good practice if you have time at the track. After it comes off the trailer and into the garage cleaning begins. I am the odd ball in that I will use soap and water on a kart. Some don’t at all. I like to get it clean quickly. You can try to keep the water off of the bearings and other parts that you don’t want to get wet. We tend to get rain enough here that it is going to get wet a few times a year anyway. I don’t go off track as much and in the past but that can be a factor.

Some of what I like to do in the garage:
Make sure lap sensor is pointing the right way for next track day.
Check frame for damage
Check seat mounting
Check Floor Pan
Check all nuts and bolts
Clean & lube rear axle bearings
Check Steering Upper Half
Are fuel lines hardening
Throttle Cable for chafing
Is carb aligned & fully opening
Brake rotor and gear for warping
These are not in order. Think about what the biggest issues are and address them first. So a cracked frame is a big problem you want to deal with ASAP as opposed to a loose bolt on a floor pan.
Checking things in the garage that are bigger and longer term issues are good while you have the luxury of time.

As some of example of what do before going out for a session:
Fuel level
Air pressure in tires
Always check brakes
Find an order for these - that way you can get ahead on them if you want. So you can add fuel early but you may want to adjust pressure right before going out. Doesn’t mean you can’t do it ahead of time, just mean you have to check/adjust it at the proper time again. Doing it ahead can spot a leaking tire.
I always check brakes late in the going out list as I race in rentals too or if I jump in someones kart I at least check the brake. In fact when getting into a kart putting you foot one the brake as you get in has it’s merit.

As far as front end geometry I would use the Tony kart baseline as a starting point. Then you can adjust from that. You can get the front end to where it handles weird and eats tires.

Spares is going to be something to build up.

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I’m pretty sure @DavinRS has a checklist. Also, checkout @Eric_Gunderson’s book:

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That was really well explained.

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This is great! Very thorough. I’ll be sure to develop my own check list.

I believe it is a stinger clutch. Do those have to be replaced or can they be rebuilt?

Generally all clutches can be rebuilt and have spares available in the form of shoes, springs and drums. One thing to add to what Mike said is that WD40 (or any lubricants) should not be used on or near your drum\shoes of the clutch.

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One other important part I am struggling with (and I don’t mean to beat a dead horse here) is helmet selection. I have been looking at everything from Zamp up to the Arai Gp-6S (I prefer having a SA-2015 rated helmet so I can use it for car racing as well).

Protection and comfort is a priority, but I don’t want to spend more than is absolutely necessary. I’m also not sure if I will be able to try out any helmets. Any ideas?

And thanks again everyone for the input. I feel like I’m jumping into the deep end so it’s great to have any tips from the pros :smiley:

Basically buy a good helmet that fits properly. This is tricky unless you have a bricks and mortar store. Popular karting helmet is the Arai sk-6. However, you don’t need karting specific. Also, in case you are new to helmets, the padding will conform over time to your head. It’s supposed to be tight at first.

Maybe go to a reputable motorcycle enthusiast place for a fitting.

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The challenge is too that everyone has a different shaped head, so unless you get a chance to try it on, it’s a bit of an educated guess.

I went to tuner shops and motorcycle shops to get a fit, and now I only wear Arai’s.

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Any good recommendations for shops? I’ll be heading to the Portland area this coming weekend and could make a stop along the way. Thanks in advance!

It depends on the clutch
Hilliards with all metal shoes I use WD40 - Hilliard Fury, Flame
Not on clutches with friction material - Hilliard Fire

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If WD40 works for others that’s fine, I don’t agree personally but that disagreement itself is a minor thing.

However for someone that has little knowledge/experience, I’d rather we recommend a solution* that has minimum risk of issues in cases where they may not know or understand what they have.

Pun intended :laughing:

It is what the mfgr recommends. http://www.hilliardextremeduty.com/media/8444-7f-019.pdf
Each mfgr/clutch is different.
Since the kart has not been purchased there is little risk ATM. What a red flag for Lorenzo should be is a rebuilt LO206.

Can’t stress this enough. I’ve had a race where a slow leak from the stem resulted in basically flat rear tire. Fun times trying to understand why I was so slow.

In regards to helmets , if you’re going to be racing cars you’ll need an Snell SA rated helmet as they have a fire rating. If you’re just doing DE’s then a M or K rated helmet will most likely work also. Also, most auto helmets now come with head restraint posts either installed or predrilled. So if you wanted to use a HANS in your car (highly recommended) you would be forced to drill a M or K helmet.

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I usually put the same amount of air in all 4 tires and check them a day or 2 later. That way if they all match I’m good and don’t have to remember the front/back #'s. 15 PSI all around so I only have to remember that any time I test for leaks.
I carry spare bead lock o-rings, valve stems and cores. I also chamfer the bead lock hole so they don’t tear up the o-rings.
I went on a “ten cent part” bender a while back. O-rings, clips, nuts and the like. I spent up on some bits too - rod end, LO206 parts, extra catch cans, etc.

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