The day when everything went wrong - I exaggerate slightly - but lots of things did go wrong. But it was a learning experience lets say.

The actual date has receded never to be remembered but it was before Xmas, possibly the 21st December or maybe the 13th. William and I went down to CKC for a practice session. I'm getting used to the routine of packing up and getting down there and unpacking and it all going smoothly - I'm a lot less stressed and this is helping William improve.

We had a lot of problems that day. First of all the on/off switch for the GX160 was loose and would turn it's self off when going over bumps. This happened and, having watched too many movies, William just pumped the accelerator. When I ran over to re-start the engine it made a horrible bang. I thought the engine had blown. I pulled the starter again and got another bang. Then another parent came over to help and saw the engine switch was off and William was busy pumping the gas pedal. We switched the engine back on, pulled the cord after telling William to lift and the engine came back to life. Until the next lap and the same thing happened.

For the next race we put some tape over the switch. That was fine but the back bumper decided that it was bored after a few laps and disengaged on the left hand side. It's one that uses tightened rubber to stay in - the theory being that if you tighten the inside you tighten a bolt that compresses some rubber and it stays in place. Except it doesn't work - when you try and tighten in the bolt just turns inside. I managed to compress the rubber manually and then used a hammer to force it back in. Before each session now I give the back bumper a kick to make sure it is in correctly.


During the lunch break I took off the high vis vest us novice cadet parents are allowed to wear that allows us on the track and forgot to put it back on before the session started. The exact series of events here is a little fuzzy but the way I saw it William steered and broke hard to miss a lad spinning on one of the corners. It looked like he had managed to get round him when he accelerated and then veered off in a different direction and into the barrier.


He started waving and switched the engine off. I couldn't go on the tack because I had taken my high vis vest off so a quick sprint to our pit box, grab vest and run back while putting it back on, grab the trolley and with the help of another adult get the kart on the trolley and off the track. Then I saw the damage - a track rod end had sheared into two. I was convinced that we would be going home at that point. I had no idea how to fix it but I did know that the front steering would need to be aligned once fixed and I didn't know how I would do that either. Luckily there was someone on hand who knew how to do both and had a laser alignment tool and the guy that sells the parts had another end. We had just finished doing it all when we were called for the next session.


The final session went without incident. But I did make a mental note to buy some track rod ends and two 13mm spanners which are all now purchased and stored nicely. I still need to buy some track rods and the lasers but hey - one day at a time, right?

P.S. I was out and about trying to drum up sponsorship for Camberley Town FC when I came across a company that sells kart parts in bulk. I got talking to the guy and he gave me a new on/off switch for the GX160. Not a Honda part but an "aftermarket one". It works and doesn't need tape or Blue Tack - so all well and good.


Also I have stipped out the trailer and re-done the wood in there - twice now. The first time I lowered the benches for the wheels by 10 centimeters but it was still too high so it came down another 10 centimeters and is the perfect height now. Also I can get the trolley in now without having to take the wheels off it. I still have to take the rear wheels off the kart but I can leave one side pod on - before I had to take both off. Little time savers make all the difference.


Author: Jez Caudle. Published: Monday January 26 2015

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