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Ninco Go-Kart Fix

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  • Ninco Go-Kart Fix

    Yesterday was yet another day of IHSR competition and camaraderie. It included the normal four classes of racing -- Vintage, Carrera, Sportscar and Modern LeMans -- plus a Revoslot race and a special Ninco Go-Kart IROC.

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    The IROC was the second such bonus race at an IHSR event. But this time there were issues. Serious issues. Two of the karts performed well, but the other two -- well, one was noticeably off the pace, but the other was simply "undriveable". It came off far, far too easily in the corners. Just ugly.

    Okay, it was an IROC event, so everyone had to cope with that malign machine, but it wasn't the race we had hoped for.

    Turns out the host of the event had heard of a tweak that was supposed to improve the karts' handling. It was suggested that the screw fastening the driver to his seat should be loosened a bit, much like the standard practice of loosening body mounting screws on cars.

    So we tried that, and oh my gawd! What a difference! Backing out that screw a couple of threads turned that dog of a kart into a real performer! So all four of our karts got that treatment, and the change was remarkable!

    No more formal racing was done that day, but we had four racers still on site, and we spent -- gosh -- maybe a half-hour or more just driving the wheels off those go-karts. Terrific fun! The karts were very evenly matched. They could be driven hard with few offs. But watch out making passes. Those small rear wheels could swing awfully wide.

    I should mention that we raced the karts at an increased voltage -- 15 volts instead of 11. The higher voltage gave the cars the speed they needed to make them exciting. They were turning in lap times competitive with our Carrera cars. To address any concerns about controllers being damaged by the higher voltage, I provided four identical Professor Motor Club Racer Pro controllers for the race. These controllers are designed to handle HO cars at their native 18 volts.

    It is a shame Ninco has stopped producing these karts. They provide a whole different challenge and level of fun. They can still be found on eBay, but not cheap.

    I should also mention that our host tried removing the driver's mounting screw entirely, in the twisted hope that the driver would be ejected in a crash. Didn't happen. Someone's inner 10-year-old was disappointed.

    Ed Bianchi

    Ed Bianchi
    York Pennsylvania USA

  • #2
    So why would loosening the driver screw make such a big difference? Coupla theories...

    It was observed that the kart chassis is very flexible, with a spaghetti-like frame. (I borrowed this image from eBay. Our karts had better braids.)

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    At best having the driver fastened down hard would stiffen the frame. At worst, distort it. Either effect would impact handling.

    The other possibility is the driver could act like a rattle pan -- absorbing bounce energy like a shock absorber.

    Whatever. I have NEVER seen such a dramatic change in the handling of a car, or kart! Simply remarkable. Lessons to be learned here.

    Ed Bianchi
    York Pennsylvania USA


    • #3
      Well I’ll have to dust those off play a little when I can get 10 minutes to myself
      Peterborough Ont


      • #4
        Originally posted by HO RacePro View Post
        I should also mention that our host tried removing the driver's mounting screw entirely, in the twisted hope that the driver would be ejected in a crash. Didn't happen. Someone's inner 10-year-old was disappointed.

        That's something I would have done. Sounds like you guys had loads of fun with those karts.




        • #5
          Y’all must be better drivers than I am. I’m sure my driver would have been ejected several times.

          thanks. I must try this trick later today.


          • #6
            While the Ninco karts are out of production, I've discovered that Scalextric has a super-kart racing set for sale. Best I can tell, however, the karts themselves are not available as separate items. At least not yet.

            From what I can see the Scalextric karts are similar in construction to the Ninco karts, and use the same style of Mabuchi open-frame motor. But the motor is installed inline instead of anglewinder, as in the Ninco.

            I think the anglewinder setup is superior, but heck, its just good to know that someone is making slot karts. I hope to buy several if I can find them as individual items for sale.

            Ed Bianchi
            Last edited by HO RacePro; November 28, 2021, 09:48 PM.
            Ed Bianchi
            York Pennsylvania USA


            • 4424ever
              4424ever commented
              Editing a comment
              You will find the scaly carts walk all over the nincos
              They are fun

            • Mitch58
              Mitch58 commented
              Editing a comment
              I have both and the scaley cars are faster and smoother than my Ninco cart. I think the Ninco was designed for 14.8 volts whereas the Scaley's were built for 10-12 volts. I run 10

          • #7
            If you are looking for a great running, tuneable, durable Go Kart,........look at the ones from Nonnoslot,..nothing comes close.

            Electric Dreams (and I am sure others) have them in stock

            Chris Walker

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            • Mitch58
              Mitch58 commented
              Editing a comment
              Well of course not, that looks like a great chassis.

          • #8
            The Scalextric cars absolutely are available separately, depending on stock, of course. I have 5 in total so car, two from the set, and three were individual.


            • #9
              From an old post of mine:

              “August 24, 2021, 01:43 PM
              You can’t beat the scale detail of the Ninco karts.
              Urethane tires and loosen the screw that goes into the driver’s butt.
              I’m searching for the red 4:1 gear sets.”

              Karts and Super Karts (ones with the wing) use different gearing.
              And I know where there are seven Super Karts for sale at a reasonable price….


              • HO RacePro
                HO RacePro commented
                Editing a comment
                Can you point me towards where I can buy the Ninco karts?
                Ed Bianchi

              • Bal r 14
                Bal r 14 commented
                Editing a comment
                Here you go: I have purchased several vehicles from him and the prices are really low. I was going to buy 3 karts but decided not to.
                Last edited by Bal r 14; November 29, 2021, 12:54 AM.

              • WB2
                WB2 commented
                Editing a comment
                Yep, that’s it.

            • #10
              Plus, I know a guy (hint, it's me) who CAD-copied the removable parts for both the regular and super karts, in case you want printed parts to make a set that at least looks the same, even if the gearing isn't the same. ;-)

              They are free to download and print your own, if you have access to a printer:
              Great for when you have a mixed up set of regular and Super Karts from NINCO, and want to make them all the same. Print whichever parts you need to make your karts all the same kind. The wing for the Super-Kart is a multi-part STL and is designed to be printed in parts and assembled. Use "Split to Objects" in Prusa Slicer, and then lay each piece on its flat face. The 3MF files have the parts all laid out with supports configured and everything, so you can just open that up. Note that I did not model pins in the nose section for the regular kart. It's designed to simply be glued to the kart frame. Most of the parts will need some kind of glue, either for assembly (the wing) or to the kart to keep it on during racing.
              Last edited by MrFlippant; November 29, 2021, 11:20 AM.


              • #11
                Click image for larger version

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                • noddaz
                  noddaz commented
                  Editing a comment
                  That is really slick!