The article "The transmission of a kart" in the "Technique" section answered many of your questions about chains, gear wheels and sprockets, but do you still have some doubts about certain issues relating to chains? Do your paddock neighbours agree with technical opinions regarding the “chain” issue that do not convince you?
Here is the article that is right for you! 6 answers, by Michele Ratti (head of the Technical Department of Regina Catene Calibrate S.p.A.), to 6 questions/doubts that every practicing kart driver asks himself/herself sooner or later. This is only the first part, because a second episode of true or false relating to this fundamental component of the kart transmission will follow shortly (Rotax DD2 excluded, of course!).
Here are the statements (denied or confirmed by the expert) in the article:
1. THE CHAIN WEARS, BUT DOES NOT LENGTHEN WITH USE
2. IF THE CHAIN PLAY HAS INCREASED AT THE END OF THE DAY, THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE CHAIN HAS BEEN LENGTHENED
3. THE CHAIN MUST BE CLEANED AFTER EVERY USE
4. THE MAINTENANCE OF A STANDARD CHAIN AND A CHAIN WITH O-RINGS IS THE SAME
5. CHAINS WILL BE LIGHTER IN THE FUTURE
6. THE APPEARANCE OF ABNORMAL COLOURING ACTUALLY MEANS THAT THE CHAIN HAS HARDENED CORRECTLY
THE CHAIN WEARS, BUT DOES NOT LENGTHEN WITH USE
Head of the Technical Department at Regina Catene Calibrate S.p.A.
The elongation of a chain during use relates to the wear of the contact surfaces between the pin and the bush. This is why it is of vital importance to always keep the chain well lubricated, since lubrication is the only way to reduce friction and therefore the wear of the components. The initial elongation after the installation of a new chain is physiological and is due to the settling of the chain-gear wheel-sprocket system. In some cases the chain may stretch unevenly, that is, it stretches only in a section. This situation can be seen by observing the lower part of the chain (section that is not stretched) while the rear wheels are turned: if the lower section oscillates periodically at each turn of the chain, this means that there is an elongated section (obviously after excluding wear of the gear wheel teeth and sprocket). In this case, the cause of the non-homogeneous elongation is an incorrect tightening of the chain which has led to an overstress that plastically deforms the components in the section between the gear wheel and sprocket. N.B. For correct maintenance of the chain and entire transmission, see our article "How to do it - Correct maintenance of the chain, gear wheel and sprocket".
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