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Gerald Mueller
03-29-2004, 08:53 AM
Garry,
Found the model and serial number for the used kart that I bought my son. It is a RC30C X, 130180. Hope that helps you in providing maintenance info for me. Gerry Mueller, Portland Oregon.

Bruce Baier
03-30-2004, 04:06 PM
Hi Gerry

Thought I should jump in here and try to help out on the maintenance program for your Birel.

There are a number of areas that you should be watching on your kart, these of course in addition to keeping your engine in top working order.
Brake system
Axle Bearings
Wheel Bearings
Steering linkage
Other general things

First, the brake system. Please look over the brake system on the kart paying particular attention to all line joins in the system, the front area of the Master cylinder and also the caliper. You are watching for any sign of leakage. If the Master cylinder is / has / will have a problem with leakage, it will come from the front of the cylinder by the red plastic cover. In simple terms, the cylinder MUST NOT LEAK. There is not a large volume of fluid in the system, so it is critical that you repair any part / component of the system that leaks fluid. Over tightening of the line connections may cause faliure of the fittings. The lines have a ball type fitting on the end that seals into a socket type joint on the fitting. There are three types of fittings in the system, Straight, 90 degree elbow and "T" type fittings. If you should happen to overtighten the line connection, the ball on the end of the line will split the socket of the fitting. Be careful not to overtighten, but also do not leave loose. Also check the caliper housing for leakage. This part of the system (if leaking) will leak next to the brake pad (from the caliper piston area). This is less likely to happen, especially if the system is serviced / bled regularly. Keep all areas around the brake system clean and dry so that you can spot a potential problem (leak) right away. Also take note of the air gap (distance between pad friction material and the brake rotor) on your system. As the pad(s) wear down, this gap gets larger requiring further travel of the brake pedal to make the pads contact the rotor. The system is NOT self adjusting. As the pads wear, it is possible to shim the pad to bring it closer to the rotor. Brake pad spacers are available from you dealer in .05mm and 1.0mm thickness. You may use up to 1.5mm of spacer on each pad. More than that will compromise the integrity of the pad screw to hold the pad in the caliper.

So, a soft low brake pedal will be the result of either a leak in the system, or worn brake pads. Make sure you correct either condition before your trip to the track. Check the system for leaks before, during and after each trip to the race track. Repair / replace components as needed.

Axle bearings. These items take care of two functions. First, they allow the axle to rotate freely (if clean and free of sand / grit or other foreign things) if kept lubricated. Second, they secure the axle in the kart. So, to make sure they can do their job properly, keep the bearings clean and well lubricated. Also, check the set-screw in each bearing collar to be certain they are tight against the axle. It is not uncommon to have NO SET SCREWS in the third bearing (the one inboard on the engine side of the kart). More on that at another time.

Wheel bearings. Same thing for the bearings in the front wheels. Keep these free of water, sand or other road debris that may cause them to not rotate freely. In addition, keep them (wheel bearings) lubricated. Make sure that the front spindle Nylock nut is in good condition and holds its position on the spindle securely. Replace if it turns without offering resistance (means the nylock is worn). By the way, the spindle nut is meant to be snug but NOT to preload the bearings. There should be no free play (wheel to spindle) while being certain to not overtighten the nut.

The steering linkage consists of the steering column, wheel support hub, lower shaft bearing, tie rods and rod ends, and spindle bearings. Make sure that there is no play in ANY of these components. The column should not have any play in the nylon support (near the top of the shaft) or in the lower bearing that is held in the frame at the bottom of the shaft. Keep the lower bearing clean and free of road debris. The tie rods should be straight, and the rod ends should not have any end/side play. Check these regularly. There are also two bearings in the spindles that the king pin goes through. Make sure that there is no side play in these. Replace these bearings at least once a season, or whenever any side play is evident. Also make sure that the upper steering wheel support is connected securely to the steering column. There is only one 6mm bolt securing this connection. Make sure it is tight, and don't be afraid to replace the bolt and nut once in a while.

Finally. Keep your kart clean. It will not go any faster, but you will be much better able to see any problems that arise and if lucky, in advance of complete component failure. Keep it clean, and check all fasteners before and after every trip to the track.

One last area to check that is often overlooked. There is a short piece of fuel line INSIDE the fuel tank. It is connected to a brass fitting in the tank(one at the top and one at the bottom - pickup). This piece of line will get extremely hard with age. If you are not sure its condition, CHANGE IT. If you are running a 2 cycle kart engine, this small piece of fuel line can cause you a great deal of grief. It is imperative that the line forms a positive seal to the fitting at the top of the tank, otherwise, air can be sucked into the fuel delivery system causing a lean mixture condition. This can cause severe damage to a two-cycle engine. Change this piece of fuel line ( and all fuel line ) any time you suspect that it has hardened from age. New fuel line is soft and supple and forms a tight seal when pushed over the fuel tank fittings (and other connections in the fuel delivery system). Keep spare fuel line handy.

Well, that is it for now on this topic. Sorry that it is so long, but you need to have this information. It is no fun going to the track with a piece of equipment that fails. We can never predict mechanical failure, only hope to keep things going the best we can. Preventative maintenance is important. Follow the above and you will have much more fun at the track with fewer mechanical failures.

Thanks for asking the question. It is a very good one and I hope that everyone that reads this will find it informative and helpful.

Regards
Bruce Baier
MRP Motorsport

Gerald Mueller
03-31-2004, 10:45 AM
Thanks, Bruce. That info help a lot. One more question, what kind of lubricant do you suggest for the Axle bearings and steering components? In there a Birel dealership around Portland, OR where I can go get brake pads or can I order them from you/MRP.

Bruce Baier
03-31-2004, 11:56 AM
Gerry

I hope you continue to find the information helpful. There are many products available that I like for axle bearing lubrication. One that is readily available is called "Tri-Flow" and is a synthetic lube that works well. I also like a product that is getting harder to find, called Dura-lube that is excellent. Tri-Flow is available in an aerosol can or a squeeze bottle, while Dura-lube is available only in a pump can.

Please contact the shop at MRP by email at mrp@qtm.net or by phone at 269-756-9133 to obtain the dealer information that is close to you. That way I am not promoting one over another publicly on the forum................

Thanks again for your interest in Birel / MRP products and services. Let us know if we can be of any further help.

Regards
Bruce Baier
MRP Motorsport.

Steve Martinek
04-03-2004, 03:22 AM
DuraLube FYI .
If you are talking about Duralube Engine treatment, then ....
This product may be hard to find as it, and Slick 50, both had the FTC issue judgements against them. This was based on their claims about reducing engine wear. That was back in 1999 or 2000.
The product is still be available, at least over the web. About $16 for 32 oz.

Steve Martinek