Left Rear Spacing-The Great Debate



  By “The Snowman” Wes Snow

This will be the first of what I hope are many technical articles from author Wes Snow, affectionately known as the “Snowman”.  Wes races in the Unlimited All Star series and has kindly offered to share his wealth of knowledge with racers of all experiences.  He does not claim to be a “Know it all”, nor does he expect everyone to agree, but the NW RaceReport where much of his information will be shared on believes that his knowledge will help to make you more competitive.  Everyone has their opinion and not only do we respect that, we promote and encourage racers to think and design a racing routine that works for them, a solid understanding and consistent routine are key to being consistently competitive.  Thanks to the “Snowman” for being one of the NW RaceReport’s technical authors and hope ALL racers will stop here often to pick up tips and tricks that are here to make them more competitive.  Please comment at the end of the article, and like it for us, it’s what keeps us going, Enjoy!  Terry Bridges-NWRR

Left Rear Spacing…. Why do you get 10 different answers if you ask what moving the LR tire out does?  There has been a lot of talk on the internet lately asking this question, with everyone seeming to disagree.  My goal is to shed a little light on what’s occurring when the LR tire is moved out.  Let’s break this down.  Here are 3 simple things that are occurring when moving the LR out:

 1. Moving the left rear (LR) out changes cross weight.  It adds then reduces cross depending on where you start from, and there is a point of no return.  Always scale your kart to see what changed, after making a adjustment.  Don’t go off of what “so and so” told you it would do to your cross, YOU need to check it.  Adding cross generally tightens the kart and reducing cross generally loosens the kart, so changing LR spacing can and will have an effect on your cross adjustments.


2. Moving the LR out changes how quick weight transfer unloads and loads.  Think of the axle as a stick that the wheel is connected to.  The further out you move the LR the quicker the stick will raise it off the ground upon corner entry, also the quicker it will set it down on corner exit.  If your kart is tight in and loose off, try sliding your LR out.  It will unload the LR quicker on entry allowing the kart to turn in better, and load it back quicker on exit,  tightening the kart.

3. Moving the LR out is like reducing rear stagger.  Think of a solo cup.  Put it on its side and roll it.  It turns an arc.  Now think of the cup as being taller or longer.  It now rolls an arc, but not as sharp or tight due to spreading the big end out from the small end.

 A great starting place is spacing the wheel 1″ inch from the frame.  Most karts are set up from the factory to accept this spacing as a good starting point.  Personally start at 1″ most of the time.  Is there a magic place?  No!  Your track conditions, set up, and driving style will decide your best place, being different from mine on any given day.  The 1″ is just a good place to start.  Moving the LR is a great tuning tool if you know what is occurring, just make sure if you’re just starting out, to accurately mark or measure what your changes are and document them, along with the effect it had on your kart and situation. 

Next week we will talk about RR, RF, and LF wheel spacing. In in the future we will come back and get a little more in-depth with LR spacing, & things like how VCG (vertical center of gravity) and RFC (right front camber) can affect it.
Please tune in weekly for more tuning tips.  I hope this was helpful, or at least prompts some thinking.  Please drop me a line and let me know what you think about this article.  If there is anything you would like help with, send the question to the “Snowman” and I will do my best to answer it for you. Until next time, I’m the “Snowman” Wes Snow see you next week.


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