Steering question

mpaxton

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Newbie question on a steering issue we're having.

We recently bought a go kart that requires some work, and I will include pictures to hopefully make as much sense as I can. The issue we are having is the front right wheel is lifting off the ground when turning to the left. I initially thought there was an issue with the tie rods, however once I removed them and turn the wheels independently, the front left wheel is definitely lifting up as you turn it left.

The first pic, is the current setup, no tie rods attached and the wheels are fairly straight.
The yoke that holds the king pin is welded onto the frame at what appears to be the same angle as the offset of the kingpin and hub assembly. Somewhere in this configuration though there must be an issue. The 3rd pic shows the kingpin yoke from the top looking down, and it is welded onto the frame on a lean, top to bottom.

I have seen many configurations like this, but am wondering if this could be causing the issue?
The steering is very difficult at best which is the first problem we are tackling, but the major issue here is that when turning (Left only???) the right wheel comes off the ground. I do believe there is a slight lift on the opposite side when turning right, but it almost not noticeable.

The frame is square, the kingpin yokes are mounted evenly. Really just looking for advice. Thanks in advance.
 

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still kikn

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That's a puzzler. Does it do it with a driver onboard or only when empty? The only thing I can think of off hand is if the camber was off enough on the left wheel it might cause the issue you're having. That's pure speculation on my part but you might want to check that out if you haven't already.
 

mpaxton

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It does do it with a driver on board. The only thing I'm thinking is that the camber may be off. That is my next check. Thanks.
 

ol'joe

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In your first paragraph, you first mention the RIGHT wheel lifting off as you make a left turn, but later say it is the LEFT doing the lift-off. Not a big deal, but people seem to use the two words both randomly and interchangeably these days and it gets confusing.

On to the problem; Folks do not think much about these little buggers that have ZERO suspension being pretty dang ridged, also. If the frame will not flex, you are going to be plugging along with only 3 wheels on the ground/track about 90 percent of the time, with the only limiting factor being the softness of the tires. The reason is, of course, the surface you are on is not perfectly flat. If you can find a ridged 4 legged chair in your house, most places on your floor it will wobble just a little as you shake it because either the legs are not perfectly the same length or the floor is not perfectly flat. The only chairs that never wobble only have three legs. Same with kart frames.

Errors do not show up on vehicles with suspension, because the springs will hold each tire on the ground independently, but with a ridged frame, nothing there to equalize things.

I will give you an example of what could cause a left-wheel lift-off, but it is only an example to demonstrate it may not be worth driving yourself nuts over the event. If you have a fair amount of caster and some positive camber in your axle or spindles and the tire on your right front has a nice square outer corner between the tread and the side wall, turning to the right will roll the tire a bit sideways, transferring the weight onto that corner which will lift the whole front of the kart, but if the tire on the left lacks that raised sharp corner it will come off the ground. Is it a problem? Not as far as I am concerned, because, again, most of the time you will be traveling on 3 wheels whether you know it or not if your frame is ridged and you have no suspension.

If you are trying to set a land speed record or are racing for big bucks or it is a shifter kart going REALLY fast, there could be a safety issue if handling is not perfect, and if so no doubt you can locate and correct the problem by going to a great deal of trouble and no small amount of expense, but if all you are trying to do is make it steer easier, you can doctor the steering so you have to turn the steering wheel further to get the same amount of turn, and that will automatically make it steer with SEEMINGLY less effort.....Joe
 
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