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Learning Ackermann

with Justin Stefani
Technical Director for Compkart
What's Needed:
  • (2x) 13mm wrench
  • Needle-nose pliers

One of the finer adjustments for the front end of your kart is Ackermann (figure 1). It’s a rather simple adjustment that changes the angle at which your steering opens and closes based on the position of the tie rods fixed to the steering shaft.

Figure 1

Increasing Ackermann refers to the tie rods being fixed furthest away from the steering shaft on the mounting plate. This adjustment will make your steering quicker and more responsive, something you may go to in wet track situations.

Decreasing Ackermann will be the reverse scenario. The tie rods will be fixed to the mounting plate closest to the steering shaft and this will result in a slower, less responsive steering input. This could be an effective adjustment if you have a smaller driver that's struggling with overly grippy conditions.

As we’ve stated above, to adjust the Ackerman is quite simple. Find where each tie rod mounts to the steering shaft. You’ll begin by removing the bolt, nut, and washers from each tie rod where it fixes to the steering shaft mounting plate. Then, by moving the tie rod up or down the mounting plate is how you will make the necessary Ackermann adjustment. Once you find the positioning you want, mount the tie rod back to the mounting plate in the reverse order your removed it. Nice and snug is the tightness you should give it; any more than that and it could result in the tie-rod binding inside the mounting plate, disrupting your steering.

Along with three points on the steering shaft mounting plate, the COMPKART comes with three pickup points on the stub axle as well, further increasing your adjustment options.