The thought behind this series has been from the start to give you as a reader a chance to see what our basic cleaning process is here at DMA Motorsports.
You may already do all of the things listed in both Part 1, and Part 2. We have no intention to tell you how to maintain your program, if anything hopefully you got a good read, or laugh from our process.
Now on to the the reason for the post, drive train. This area is often the best and the worst taken care of. A lot of times we will find a gear combination that works and rather than take it apart and clean it, we tend to leave it alone, maybe take a rag to it wipe it down, but for the most part it gets left un-touched as to not remove the lucky mojo.
On our house kart we normally pull the axle and tear it all the way down. Newer karts have a clam shell style bearing cassette that allows you to back out 4 bolts and pull the chain loose from the motor and the whole thing will roll out.
On older karts where the axle is not so easily removed, there are few steps to do but you can still achieve a decent clean for your bearings and chain. Here is the steps we take on our older karts:
- Pull your motor back and hang the chain on the axle
- Most axle bearings have a removable outer shield that will come free with a pick. With that out of the way you can flush through the bearing with a cleaner of choice, we use brake clean and dry completely with compressed air.
Pull the rear gear halves, clean with your choice of detergent, we use a de-greaser/ detergent mix in hot water. For built up grime a soaking period may be needed.
4. Be sure to inspect for any excessive or uneven wear. This could be a sign that your chain is misaligned or skipping.
The chain is usually the last item on our cleaning list. Week to week when time is tight we will fill an empty tin can or Gatorade bottle half full with solvent and rotate the chain through while it is hanging on the axle. To help with protecting the axle duct tape a couple clean rags on the axle. We will spin it through a couple dozen times then blow dry, we will also spray with brake clean and dry again as needed.
A good wipe down and one more pass with the air gun and we are ready to lubricate bearings, a lighter grease is what we use, and be sure to re-install the outer shields to the bearings to help keep the big chunks out. From here reinstall gears set chain and be sure coat lightly with a NON-teflon lubricant.
Final details: All this may seem pretty simple but it is simple maintenance like this that can be the difference in finishing first, or watching from the in field do to an on track preventable failure. We purposely chose to leave the clutch out of this post because we feel that it deserves its own time under the microscope. So watch for “Clutch Maintenance Tips” to be posted soon!