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Live Axle and Dead Axle on Go Karts

A go-kart is a type of sports car, close-wheeled car, open-wheel car, or quadricycle. They come in all shapes and forms, from non-motorized models to high–performance racing karts. 

Let us talk about the parts of a go-kart, and it has seven main components, namely: chassis, engine and transmission, seat, steering, brakes, wheels, bumpers, and kill switches. Go karts also have an axle: live axle and dead axle.

What is a Go Kart Live Axle?

Since there is no suspension on the kart, the axles play a significant role in the design. The axle distributes torque uniformly to both of the go-back kart’s wheels. It’s the axle that launches the go-kart around the bend. A “live” axle allows torque transmission to both trailing wheels in a go-kart.

A go-live kart’s axle is a solid steel shaft with a sprocket and brake disk attached at either end; it turns both wheels simultaneously.

In the context of go-karts, a “live axle” refers to a rear axle that powers both of the vehicle’s rear wheels in tandem. To do this, a sprocket is linked through a go art chain to the engine’s crankshaft, and the live axle is one long shaft to which both wheels are joined at both ends.

What is a Dead Axle?

Contrarily, a dead axle cannot transmit torque to the wheels it is connected to. In that regard, it just serves as a hub for the wheels. A dead axle is one in which no power nor torque can be transmitted to the wheels. Though you may expect the front wheels of a go-kart to be mounted on dead axles, you’d be wrong. 

Spindles connect the front wheels to the go-chassis kart so that they may rotate in response to the driver’s input at the steering wheel. It means that there are no dead axles in go-karts. Go-karts don’t need dead axles since they are usually solely utilized to sustain the additional weight of a vehicle.

What Are the Best Live Axles on Go Karts? 

Go karts live axle comes in various sizes and dimensions. The best axle for your go kart depends on your type of kart and its specifications. Several components and parts are required to install and operate a live axle on your go-kart, so they often come in a kit.

How To Setup The 3 Types of Go Kart Axles?

Let us talk about setting up an axle. It can be unclear for drivers of all levels when it comes time to determine which type and length of go-kart axle set-up are best for their kart.

It is essential to remember that this information on axle setup is all based on driving style. There are also three types of go-kart axles, and these types perform a certain way which leads to different results while racing.

Neutral Axles

In the first place, there is the middle (or neutral) axle, which is the one you use most of the time (around 75% of the time). It’s the best performing axle in most cases since it aids the go kart in getting out of the bend faster. It’s also flexible and easy to work with. There is a lot of variation in the track conditions, but it adapts and adjusts effectively to each. If you’re at a loss as to which axle to use and have already experimented with others, you’re probably best off just sticking with the neutral one.

Soft Axle

Soft axles are the second kind. They are lower-quality alternatives to medium axles. The kart has a new, distinctive feel thanks to a modified soft axle. Thanks to the adjustable axle, it has significantly more braking stability as it approaches the bend. The chassis seems to dig in and stoop in the area where most people apply brakes. It may inspire more faith in the braking system and a more aggressive approach to the bend.

Since the axle doesn’t have to lift as much going into the corner, you’ll have a lot more grip on the way to the middle of the turn. Much more speed may be carried into the turn’s sweet spot. You can’t achieve the same springing-off-the-corner performance with a soft axle as you can with a medium one when you reach the middle of the turn. A great deal of stress is placed on the go-kart as you enter the middle of the corner. Once the driver releases the load, the go-kart should jump back to the middle of the track and accelerate out of turn.

The softer axle helps it absorb the weight, yet it doesn’t displace its center of gravity while exiting the turn. There’s always some give and take where you benefit from getting in. There isn’t the same amount of “spring-off” at the corner as there is with the other axle. It often causes bogging and related problems. If the chassis is causing the go-kart to bog off the turn, you should probably alter the axle since the kart is too soft for the track conditions.

Hard Axle

The third category represents rigid axles. A stiff axle is a next level up from a medium axle. Braking stability is sacrificed as you enter the turn, making this a little unusual. A go-efficiency kart increases when its axle flexes. The axle’s strength affects the tire’s workload. Because the wheels don’t dig as deeply into the ground while in hard axle mode, braking stability is sacrificed when entering corners. You must skate a little bit into the turn because the axle is so rigid.

It leans over on the sidewalk of the tire a lot better as you move from the entrance into the middle of the corner, and you get more hike out of the axle on the inner rear tire. That aids in turning and also assists in aligning the kart. While this makes the kart more maneuverable at the corner entrance and centers off, it also reduces the stability afforded by the softer axles. The advantage of the hard axle is that you retain the spring-off corner that was sacrificed by the softer axles.

Many kart racers end up on the neutral axle since each has advantages and disadvantages. A go-stock kart’s axle is usually its best option since it can handle 75% of racing scenarios. A solid spring off the corners is maintained, and you don’t lose the grip you get on the inside of the turn.