Rear Ride Height
Technical Director for Compkart
If I'm a taller driver and I'm over-stuck in the corners, can rear ride height help me fix that?
Although rear ride height can be simple to adjust, it's the effects that you receive that can vary based on the driver size, engine package, and track condition. You may make a change in one condition and try the same exact change in another condition and find out that it’s not effecting your kart in the same way.
However, there are some basic principles you can count on. The name of the game is to lower the center of gravity. If track conditions are sticky and you have a taller driver, raising the axle and lowering the ride height should relieve you of an over-gripped chassis and provide you with a smoother center-corner speed and less work on the tire sidewall.
All setups are not created equal, however. Using that same setup on a shorter driver could very well create a slide. In the case of a shorter driver, you may want to raise the axle to create more force on the sidewall of the tire.
Engine configuration also plays a factor in how the ride height affects your chassis. The amount of horsepower and the weight of the category will factor into your decision. You will typically see a lower ride height (raised axle) on a shifter kart setup, due to the added horsepower, weight, and braking power. The lowered ride height helps settle the kart under braking when the kart is under a heavy amount of stress and a settled kart allows for a driver to get on the gas quicker without wearing your tires out.
How to change your rear ride height
Adjusting your rear ride height is quite simple and only requires a few tools. Typically rear axles require a 13mm wrench or socket to loosen and tighten the bolts from the welded flange and cassette. If you have additional seat struts attached to your cassettes, you will need to remove those as well. At the very least, just remove the bolts that attach it to the seat.
Most -- if not all -- chassis have two or three sets of multiple holes in the welded flange to position your rear axle cassette. Moving the axle up within those holes drops the chassis to a low ride height. Moving the axle in the other direction (down) will of course move your chassis into a higher ride height.
After you’ve tightened your axle into place, any additional seat struts will need to be reattached to your seat -- which will require new holes to be drilled.