Frequently Asked Engine Questions
Instructions on this page refer to Tecumseh and/or
Briggs & Stratton go-kart engines only
Interval - The oil level should be
checked before you start the engine -- every time. Too much oil is
as dangerous as not enough, and will burn-up your engine, which is not
covered by warranty..
manufacturers recommend the oil be changed after the first 2 hours of run
time; this is essential to get the small particles out of the
engine. (Failure to perform the initial
break-in oil change will result in severely shortened engine life, which
is not covered by warranty.) Recommendations for oil changes after the first time may
vary, but 20 hours is the most we'd recommend. Changing your oil
frequently is one of the best things you can do to extend the life of your engine.
- Tecumseh recommends SAE 30 above 32 degrees; Briggs and
Stratton recommends SAE 30 above 40 degrees, but allows 10w30 if you use
Mobil 1 synthetic oil. Don't use 10w30 or 10w40 where 30w is
recommended. Most Hondas use 10w30. Check your owner's manual
for Twister karts.
- Most oil
should be rated SH or better; check your engine manual for
your specific application. This API designation (e.g., "SH") will appear on the oil bottle.
How it works: What if your engine manual says "SH" and the oil is "SJ" or "SL?"
That's fine -- "S" oils are rated alphabetically; i.e., "J" is
later in the alphabet than "H," so it's fine. Same thing with "L."
Could you use an "SG" in this situation? No, "G" comes before "H."
What if your oil is rated "Cx"?
"C" oils are for diesel engines, and are usually, but not always, rated
for gasoline ("S") engines as well. So, look for the "Sx"
designation -- that's the one that will apply to your gas engine.
Interval - Most manufacturers
recommend the filter be checked every time you drive the kart. Check
it (or them) at least every 30 days.
Paper filters may be "tapped out"
gently and cleaned. NEVER hit them with compressed air or wash them
-- either will damage the filter. After one or two cleanings, or if
the filter shows any damage or oil penetration, change it.
Foam filters may be washed in
dishwashing liquid (not gasoline), dried, re-oiled (if applicable -- check
the manual), and re-used. Again, after one or two cleanings, replace
foam filter is a pre-filter, and many
manufacturers, including Tecumseh on the OHH50, OHH60, and OHH65 engines,
recommends oiling it. To oil the foam filter, place clean 30w oil on
it, then blot it out as much as possible with paper towels. Too much
oil residue will damage the paper filter, and will cause the engine to run
CAUTION: On the OHH50, OHH60, and OHH65
Tecumseh engines, the air filter cover "catches" at the bottom.
the bottom first, then close the top and secure it with the wing nut.
If you place the filter "straight on" without hooking it in the 3 tabs on
the bottom first, you will allow raw air (and dirt) to get into your
engine. That will destroy your engine.
Type - Most go-kart engines (all
Briggs and Stratton and Tecumseh, as well as others) use regular unleaded only. Avoid
"premium" gas, as well as any gas with alcohol in it (gasohol).
(Some states allow the addition of alcohol
without having to post it on the pump. E. G., Texas allows up to 10%
alcohol content without notification.)
Using premium fuel in engines designed for regular will
not make your engine run better / faster, and may cause
- Gas is organic in nature, and breaks down in as little as 30 days
into a varnish-like substance. This can cause damage to your tank,
carburetor, and engine, and is not covered by warranty. If you are
going not use your gas within 30 days of purchase (from buying at the
station to burning it in your go-kart), the use of fuel stabilizer is
highly recommended. Put the stabilizer into the gas when it's fresh,
then drive the go-kart for a few minutes (just idling won't work) to distribute
the stabilized fuel in idle and high-speed circuits. Now your kart
can remain idle for months (see stabilizer container for specifics), and should start
- If your engine has a fuel shut-off valve, close it when
transporting your go-kart (trailer, back of truck, etc.). Failure to
do so may cause gasoline to overflow into your sump (oil reservoir),
contaminating your oil. Many Honda engines require this.
Those Aggravating Throttle Springs!
(click to enlarge)
Replace Springs - To replace the
throttle and governed idle springs on a Tecumseh with the dual spring
set-up, follow the following instructions (directions, such as left and
right, are assuming you're looking at the engine from the back, just as in
the picture above):
1 - Identify parts. The throttle spring (#37111) is the one that
actually has a coiled spring in it. It has a "pigtail" on one end,
and a "shepherd's hook" on the other. The governed idle spring
(#36711) has a "paperclip" on one end, and a closed hook on the other.
2 - Install the hook end of the throttle spring into the tang.
You will have to hold the spring with the pigtail end to the right and
circle the spring into the tang to accomplish this. The open end of
the shepherd's hook goes toward the engine (away from you.)
3 - Using the flexibility of the spring, take the pigtail end of the
throttle spring and place it in the #2 hole in the rack. Work it
around, being careful not to bend the spring, The end of the
pigtail will point toward you, as in the picture.
4 - Hold the governed idle spring in the same position as shown in the
photograph (the "open" side of the closed hook should be facing the
engine). Slide the "paperclip" end up through the center of the hole
in the throttle spring, then gently pull back down. Slide the closed
hook over the indentation on the idle tang.
5 - Your engine should now be "close" to correct, but for proper
operation, the "governed idle" and "top no-load" speeds should be set by a
certified Tecumseh technician. (If the engine idles too slowly when
cold, you may bend the idle tang slightly to the right. Be careful
not to increase idle speed above 1750 rpm, or the go-kart's drive system
could engage automatically.)
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