Into another year we go and for the first time in 20 years or so we have a brand new official engine fiche for the TKM BT82 engine. Scary? No not at all – in fact it should be welcomed by everyone.
What is a fiche I hear you say? The fiche is a set of technical details, illustrations etc which sets out the parameters under which the engine may be raced within the class to ensure that it is legal. It is a document approved by the MSA as the basis of all Formula TKM racing.
To be honest the fiche has become something of a nightmare in recent years because so many seemingly minor things have been changed in the natural progression of the class. And every tiny change has to be detailed, even if just a new washer.
So a complete update of all the information is a great bonus to everyone because it makes it all so much easier to check without the need to flick from one page to another. And the best news is that it is now in computer friendly format instead of pictures and drawings stuck in a document!
It should be stressed that the updated fiche has not been used to change regulations. It simply gives the correct details for today rather than referring back to many years.
The only rule that has been tweaked is to make illegal the lighter and therefore weaker con-rods used when the class was first started. It is incredibly unlikely that anyone still uses one of the old rods since they were updated by the heavier and stronger ones many years back.
But what has been done is to use this opportunity to make the fiche not just a list of technical details, but to expand it into something that is much more helpful as a guideline to drivers of every experience level.
The fiche is available for free download from the www.tal-ko.com website and is something that every driver should get hold of to ensure that their engine is legal.
More than that Tal-Ko have also now produced their Regulations and Technical Guide for 2011 in book form, which gives the complete solution for everyone in TKM classes.
The guide includes the aforementioned fiche as well as the full regulations for all the TKM 2 and 4 stroke classes. On top of that it gives many pages of information to help each and every one of you get the best from your engine. Installation of engines, TAG options, etc are all covered as are available special tools and even torque settings.
At £4.50 plus postage for the complete guide you’d be daft not to buy one because it could save you that money many times over with its helpful and bullet-proof advice as detailed by Tal-Ko’s Alan Turney, who designed the engine and who sees the insides of more of them in a week than most people do in a year!
They are available from Tal-Ko or from Karting Magazine. Or of course you get a free one with every new TKM engine!
And talking of new engines…there’s a special offer from Tal-Ko to help ease the effect of general price rises and the VAT increase. All registered competitors in this year’s S1 TKM National Championship are able to take advantage of a 15 per cent discount – BUT it is only valid up and till the end of January so don’t delay.
Still on the subject of regulation changes it is interesting how people complain when regs are tightened up to prevent any trickery. Take the piston ring being ‘stuck in’ scenario.
Some years ago certain people were gaining an advantage by using dubious methods to make the top ring stick in the piston. It gave a small advantage and was outlawed by a rule simply stating that the rings must be at least 50 per cent free.
Now that same rule has been tidied up to include the Extreme engines running with only one piston ring. Again it was becoming clear that some people were gaining a fractional advantage by ‘making the ring stick in’. And guess what some people are claiming their rings always stick in after running for an hour or so.
Funny then that Club 100, the largest users of TKM BT82 engines for their arrive n’drive rental fleet, bring back engines used for 50+hours with rings still not stuck in. Now I couldn’t possibly suggest that some people are doing something somewhat dubious to gain an advantage. But it does make you wonder…
Next to the weather. It is ffrreeezing and that makes it very important to look after your karting equipment. If you have a 4-stroke engine then make sure the cooling system is either totally drained or fully treated with anti-freeze.
It is also most important to look after your tyres. Ideally they should be kept at a normal room temperature. But if your wife doesn’t like them making an attractive lounge seating area or having them stuffed under the bed, then you’ll just have to make the best you can in your garage or whatever.
Let the air out of them and make sure they are not sitting directly on a concrete floor. On an old carpet or blanket is fine and preferably inside a tyre bag. Look after them like that and they should weather the winter in good condition. Get them too cold on concrete and they could well be ruined.
Remember too that if you have put your equipment away wet you run the risk of seeing it next time looking like a rust bucket. Dry it all off, especially any exposed nuts and bolts and then spray the whole kart with WD40. It will stop any rust forming.
It is vital too that the engine is not wet inside from water vapour. Simple cure here is to mix up a small amount of petrol oil mix at about 10 parts petrol to oil and swill that through the engine to give everything inside a nice oily protection.
Last comes the fuel tank. Drain all the fuel off into a suitable container and then just make sure the cap is back on. When you want to race again, blow the tank through with an airline and change all the pipework inside and outside the tank. So cheap but so good at preventing fuel pick-up problems.
ple cure here is to mix up a small amount of petrol oil mix at about 10 parts petrol to oil and swill that through the engine to give everything inside a nice oily protection.
Last comes the fuel tank. Drain all the fue