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How to Adjust the Mechanical Governor on a Go-Kart

by William Machin

Mechanical governors on most go-karts consist of a lever that attaches to the governor shaft, a throttle plate and a throttle return-spring. With the exception of governors that have a speed-control, you adjust the governor manually to run the go-kart at faster speeds or limit the top speed. Adjusting a mechanical governor is relatively easy for the average do-it-yourself mechanic. Once you become familiar with the procedure, you can change the throttle setting in a matter of minutes.


Loosen a clamp bolt or nut that secures the governor lever to the governor crank with a metric wrench.


Rotate the throttle plate clockwise by hand until it stops. Hold the plate in this position with one hand.


Attach a metric nut driver onto the governor shaft where the clamp bolt or nut was loosened. Turn the nut driver counterclockwise to rotate the governor shaft to the full-throttle position. Tighten the clamp bolt or nut with the wrench.


Reduce the throttle setting by first loosening the clamp bolt or nut and rotating the throttle plate clockwise until it stops. Attach the nut driver on the governor shaft and turn it clockwise as you allow the throttle plate to rotate away from the full-throttle position. Tighten the clamp bolt.

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About the Author

William Machin began work in construction at the age of 15, while still in high school. In 35 years, he's gained expertise in all phases of residential construction, retrofit and remodeling. His hobbies include horses, motorcycles, road racing and sport fishing. He studied architecture at Taft Junior College.

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