One of the most common questions I get either trackside or at the shop, is "what tools do I need?" Or "do you have a starter kit?" While I wish we had a starter kit for new mechanics, I decided to at least do something and provide a quick list of tools that are going to be helpful to every first time mechanic (some our links to our store and others are links to Amazon).
Most if not all of the tools needed to work on kart are going to be metric vs SAE (American). There are some tools that will be SAE but just know that 90% of all your tools are now going to be metric. So many of the tools you may have at home may not be the right size for the work needed on your kart. While we all have our favorite brands, I am not brand specific here. I am picking good kits and tools that either I have used or currently use. Some may be good kits that I think will be a good fit.
You do not need a wide variety of sockets for your kart but you definitely need a good one! So for the actual socket wrench, you typically only need a 3/8 driver socket wrench with 10mm - 15mm but often kits come with more. In fact this Craftsman Socket Set comes with 10mm - 19mm sockets and an extension as well. And for $23, this is a good deal
There are some other sockets you will need to finish out the setup.
The first one is one of two different deep sockets. For the VLR 100cc spark plug is a 21mm deep socket (Tekton 21mm deep socket) or for the Briggs LO206 spark plug you need a 5/8 inch socket/17mm deep socket (Craftsman 5/8 deep socket)
Front Hub Nut
Extension for socket
You will need a good socket extension to reach the nuts on the wheels as well as a deep 10mm socket.
A good set of T-handles is absolutely critical. A lot of the bolts on a kart use hex-head bolts. This particular set has 8 T-Handles from 2mm through 10mm. Typically you are going to be using the 3mm - 5 mm a bunch but motor mounts often use the 6 or 8mm <need to verify>
You will use wrenches quite often especially when changing gears or just general work around the kart. What I have found is that a good set of ratchetting wrenches makes all the difference in the world. The down-side to a good set is that they are much pricier than the non-ratchetting set. This set from Craftsman will set you back about $68
Screwdrivers are used mainly for work on the LO206 side of things. In fact on the kart itself, I cannot think of any part that needs a screwdriver (phillips or flat head). But the LO206 engine needs screwdrivers. The air filter needs a phillips and the carb needs a small flat-head. So this set of magnetic screwdrivers will do the trick:
So there is the first set of tools and the next article will show even more of the common tools that really needed to assist with your karting work!