Solved! Go Kart Chain Keeps Coming Off

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Believe it or not, a Go Kart’s chain that keeps coming off is a relatively common issue for many racers and recreational drivers. Nothing will frustrate you more than wasting your time off-track trying to fix your Kart’s chain issues while your friends and family are having a ball on the track. Chains coming of Go-Karts could happen for several reasons. Even a slightly bent frame could be the cause.

If your Go-Kart’s chain keeps on coming off, it could be because the chain and/or sprocket is worn out, the sprockets may be misaligned, the drive chain may be the wrong size, because of a deformed axle, or it could be that your Go-Kart’s frame is bent.

When your Go-Kart’s chain comes off reasonably often, it might just be a case of the chain being too loose. You might think that removing a few links from the chain will solve the problem. Replacing a worn-out chain would be the correct option. Wear and tear have probably shaved of metal from the pins, which caused it to become loose in the first place, and removing links could be a very temporary solution at best.


What To Do When Your Go-Kart’s Chain Keep Coming Off?

A Go-Kart’s chain should last for a couple of months and even years. The chain’s longevity will depend on how much the Go-Kart is used, the quality of the chain, and the maintenance you perform on it. So, what do you do when the chain keeps on coming off? You go on a mission to find the reason!


Typical Reasons Why A Go-Kart’s Chain Comes Off

The following typical reasons are the usual suspects at play when Go-Kart chains keep coming off. By working through these possible reasons carefully, you will hopefully find the problem and be able to rectify it, getting you on the race track where you belong.

Chain Is Worn Out

Time and constant use will wear out your Go-Kart’s chain eventually. It is a standard scenario where the chain becomes stretched out, no longer fitting normally on the Kart as it did when it was new. When this happens, it will come loose or fall from the sprockets continuously. The first indicator will be that the slack amount of the chain has increased.

How To Fix This?

  • It would be best if you never fixed worn chains as they can snap at any time due to the chains having lost their original durability.
  • Do not try to fix it. Instead, replace the chain with a new one. It’s part and parcel of the maintenance that needs to be performed when you own a Go-Kart.

Sprockets Are Worn Out

The teeth of your Go-Kart’s sprockets will also wear down over time and in constant use. The sprocket’s teeth get worn down by holding the chain in place and due to the continuous friction when driving. When the teeth are worn out to the degree that it does not fit into the chain, the chain will start to unlink from the sprockets.

How To Fix This?

  • Worn-down sprockets can’t be refurbished and need to be replaced with a new one.
  • To ensure that you keep the same gear ratio as before, ensure that the new sprocket has the same number of teeth as the old one.
  • Start by removing the chain from the sprockets (if it has not fallen off yet), and remove the key that is keeping the sprockets in place.
  • Remove the sprocket screws and slide the sprocket out of the shaft.
  • Slide the new sprocket onto the shaft, replace the key, and fasten the new socket’s screws.

Sprockets Are Misaligned

Misaligned sprockets can cause the chain to not set correctly in the sprocket’s teeth, causing the chain to fall off. The chain will not stay on until you rectify this misalignment. The sprockets that need to be aligned are the sprocket on your clutch or crankshaft and the rear axle sprocket. It will ensure normal wear on your chain and keep the chain from falling off.

How To Fix This?

  • Use a long straight pole, remove the sprocket keys, and press the rod against the outer edges of the sprockets. Check if the sprockets are aligning perfectly.
  • Using simple forward and back movements, turn the axle or the wheel and let the chain pull the sprockets into alignment.
  • For some serious accuracy and perfect alignment, use a laser alignment tool.
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Drive Chain May Be The Wrong Size

Having a drive chain that is too big for your sprockets is a recipe for chains to keep on falling off! Whether you are putting on a new chain or adjusting an old one, making sure it fits perfectly will require some adjustment from your side. Changing the links is an easy job if you have a chain-link removal tool.

How To Fix This?

  • Locate the master link on the chain and disconnect it, and proceed to measure how many links you need to remove.
  • Measure this by pulling up slack on the chain until ¼ inch or 3/8 inch of slack remains.
  • Remove the chain from the sprockets, and start removing the extra links with the chain-link removal tool.
  • When you have removed all the unnecessary links, reattach the chain and put it on the sprockets.

Deformed Axle

It does happen to all Go-Kart racers at some point. Either you will crash into another driver, or you will be the victim of an over-eager racer and be on the receiving end. Your car could seem to have survived these altercations. However, if your chain starts falling off soon after a crash, it may indicate that your axle has taken some damage.

A bent axle could inadvertently change the angle of the rear sprocket and cause misalignment, which will lead to the chain coming off.

How To Fix This?

  • When you replace the problematic rear axle, ensure that you take off the wheel hubs, bearings, brake disk, and sprocket.
  • Slide the old axle out and replace it with the new one.
  • Be sure that the new axle has the exact specifications as the old one.
  • Finish the installment by reattaching the brake disk, sprocket, bearings, and wheel hubs.

Bent Go-Kart Frame

A bent frame is a little bit less obvious to pick up. Bent frames are a reality that you need to look at if all of the above is in place and functioning. It can happen when you were involved in a collision or hit a barrier. The sprocket that drives the Go-Kart wheels is situated on the axle. The axle is mounted to the frame.

When the frame is bent, it can lead to the axle and sprocket being out of alignment, causing the chain to jump.

How To Fix This?

  • Repairing a bent frame could potentially be a difficult task to perform, and you have to make sure that whatever section of the frame you are repairing or replacing does not interfere with the frame’s flex properties.
  • Getting help from a Go-Kart specialist is an excellent idea when it comes to the framework.

Conclusion

A chain that does not want to stay on its sprockets is very frustrating indeed. Investigating the most common reasons listed above will hopefully help you identify your specific chain problem. You would have noticed some are easier than others to rectify, and some will need new parts to take care of the problem.

As we all know, no chain, no racing, and racing around the track is what we all want to do.


References

How to Fix A Go-Kart Chain That Keeps Falling Off | GoKartGuide

How to Determine the Chain Size for a Go-Kart | GoKartGuide

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