The 5 Best Live Axle Kits for Go-Karts (Reviews and Buying Guide)

In this review, we’ll be looking at the best live axle kits for your go-kart. I will be evaluating each live axle kit based on affordability, build quality, kit components, specifications and compatibility. After you’ve read through the review, there is a buying guide and a frequently asked question section further below. Understanding all the important aspects of a live axle kit will help you with your purchase decision. 

An axle is a rear shaft on the rear of your go-kart, which connects both wheels. A live axle is an axle that enables equal power distribution to both rear wheels, as the entire rear axle rotates at the same speed. Live axles are great for go-kart acceleration and speed.

A live axle kit will contain all the required components for you to install and operate the axle on a go-kart. This is extremely useful if you’re building your own kart or replacing your current rear axle. Let’s take a look at the best live axle kits for go-karts.

1. ZXTDR Live Axle Kit

Features

  • Contains 5 components
  • 29-1/8″ in length
  • 0.866″ in width

The ZXTDR Live Axle Kit is the best live axle kit in our list as it has the perfect ratio of affordability and build quality. It also contains all the parts that are required to install a live axle on your go-kart.

It contains a live axle, a T8F sprocket, a brake disc and two pillow block bearings. The overall length of the axle is 740mm (29-1/8″), whereby the thickest part of the shaft is 22mm (0.866”). The ZXTDR Live Axle Kit is most suitable for 6-inch wheels with a 3 lug bolt pattern. Overall, it’s a great option if you’re building your own go-kart.

Contents of Kit:

1 x Live Axle
1 x Sprocket (T8F)
1 x Brake Disk
2 x Pillow Block Bearings

Specifications:

Axle Length: 740mm (29-1/8″)
Axle Width: 22mm (0.866″)
Kit: 5 Components

2. MotorFansClub Live Axle Kit

Features

  • Contains 7 components
  • 31.49″ in length
  • Chain included

The MotorFansClub Live Axle Kit is another great option if you’re building your own go-kart or if you are looking to replace an existing axle. This kit contains an extensive amount of components for your go-kart.

There’s a live rear axle, a brake disk, brake components, a sprocket and two pillow blocks. All parts are compatible with each other and are made of high-grade steel. The overall length of the live axle is 80cm (31.49”). It also contains a T8F sprocket that fits perfectly on the live axle, with a corresponding chain.

Contents of Kit:

1 x Live Axle
1 x Sprocket
1 x Chain
1 x Brake Disk
1 x Brake Assembly
2 x Pillow Block Bearings

Specifications:

Axle Length: 80cm (31.49”)
Axle Width: –
Kit: 7 Components

3. TDPRO Live Axle Kit

Features

  • Contains 6 components
  • 740mm (29-1/8″) in length
  • 22mm (0.866″) in width

The Live Axle Kit TDPRO is also a great option if you’re building a homemade go-kart or replacing the existing live axle on your go-kart. It also contains all the essential components to install and operate the axle.

The live axle kit includes the axle itself, a brake kit, a 58-tooth sprocket, a disk brake and two pillow blocks. The axle has a total length of 740mm (29 1/8″) and a width of 22mm (0.866”). It’s suitable for any type of go-kart with a recommended wheel size of around 6 inches. Please note that the roller chain is not included.

Contents of Kit:

1 x Live Axle
1 x Sprocket (T8F)
1 x Brake Disk
1 x Brake Assembly 
2 x Pillow Block Bearings

Specifications:

Axle Length: 740mm (29-1/8″)
Axle Width: 22mm (0.866″)
Kit: 6 Components

4. BMI Karts Live Axle Kit

Features

  • Contains 8 components
  • 40″ in length
  • Includes a clutch

BMI is known as one of the largest wholesalers and retailers of go-kart parts in the United States. The BMI Live Axle Kit is made using high-grade materials and the kit itself also contains more than only the essential parts.

In this live axle kit you’ll be able to find a live axle, three aluminium race hubs, a sprocket, a #40 chain, assembly hardware, two pillow blocks and even a go-kart clutch. As you can see, this is one of the most fully-fledged axle kits on the market and is especially great for homemade or custom go-karts. Please bear in mind that there is no brake kit included.

Contents of Kit:

1 x Live Axle
1 x Sprocket (T8F)
3 x Race Hubs 
1 x Clutch
2 x Pillow Block Bearings

Specifications:

Axle Length: 40″
Axle Width: 1″
Kit: 8 Components

5. WPHMOTO Live Axle Kit

Features

  • Contains 5 components
  • 740mm (29-1/8″) in length
  • 22mm (0.866″) in width

Last but not least, we have the WPHMOTO Live Axle Kit as the last entry into our list of the best live axle kits for go-karts. This kit is most suitable for people who are looking to build their own go-kart. It contains all the essential items for you to install a live axle on your kart.

The kit contains a live axle, assembly hardware, a sprocket, a brake disk and two pillow blocks. The overall length of the axle is 740mm (29 1/8″) and the width is 22mm (0.866”). Overall, the WPHMOTO Live Axle Kit is an optimal kit for homemade go-karts.

Contents of Kit:

1 x Live Axle
1 x Sprocket (T8F)
1 x Brake Disk
2 x Pillow Block Bearings

Specifications:

Axle Length: 740mm (29-1/8″)
Axle Width: 22mm (0.866″)
Kit: 5 Components

Buying Guide

In this buying guide, we’ll be taking a look at some of the things that you should look out for when buying a live axle kit for your go-kart. The best live axle kits usually contain all the required items for you to install it. There are also several other aspects to look out for.

You should take into account its application, material and build quality, kit contents, compatibility with other components and the price. Understanding these aspects will make your purchase decision easier and also help you to understand live axle kits in more detail.

Application

If you’re building your own go-kart, you would want to be using a live axle, as go-karts don’t use a differential. The great thing about the live axle kits in the review section above is that they are suitable for any type of go-karts.

Live Axles for Off-Road Go-Karts

If you’re building an off-road go-kart or replacing the live axle of an off-road go-kart, you’d want to ensure that the live axle can support the weight of the go-kart. As off-road go-karts tend to weigh significantly more than racing go-karts, the live axle needs to be large enough to support the additional weight and strain.

You should opt for a live axle that is at least 1” in width and has an overall length of more than 35”. Make sure that the length of the axle is compatible with your go-kart, as you’ll need enough clearance for the wheels and tires.

Live Axles for Racing Go-Karts

If you’ve decided to build a homemade racing go-kart or are simply replacing an existing live axle kit on your kart, you’re looking for weight and space efficiency. As opposed to off-road go-karts, racing go-karts maximize their performance through power and lightweightness.

Therefore you should opt for a smaller live axle that is less than 35” in length and has width of equal to or less than 1”. Please also ensure that the axle is long enough so that there is enough room for your wheels. You also don’t want to have a live axle that is too long.

Material

Live axles for go-karts are made of heavy-duty steel, as they are required to bear the weight of the go-kart through the pillow blocks. That’s the main reason why a go-kart axle is usually made of steel and not any other type of metal.

In a live axle kit you’ll also find other components made of steel, such as the pillow blocks, bearings and also the axle hardware. Occasionally, you’ll find other components such as race hubs, which are typically made of high-grade aluminium.

Contents

As the name implies, live axle kits for go-karts contain more than just the live axle. They contain all the components that are required for you to install and operate a live axle. This means that you commonly find pillow blocks and other axle accessories. As sprockets and brake disks are required to have a matching center hole diameter that is compatible with the live axle, they are sometimes included in the kit.

There are many different types of live axle kits, which include various types of components. Here are some of the most common components that you’ll be able to find in a go-kart live axle kit.

  • 1 x Live axle
  • 1 x Assembly hardware
  • 2 x Pillow blocks (with bearings)

Occasionally live axle kits can also contain more components. This can be advantageous for you, as you won’t be required to source these parts yourself. Some of the additional components that are included can be found below:

  • Chain
  • Brake disk
  • Brake disk assembly
  • Sprocket
  • Clutch

Compatibility

When purchasing a live axle kit for go-kart, you should ensure that all the components are compatible. As the components inside the kit are compatible with each other, you’ll need to ensure that they are compatible with your current go-kart setup.

This is especially important, you’re replacing an existing live axle on your go-kart. If you’re looking to only replace a live axle on your current go-kart, I suggest looking for a kit that contains only the axle with pillow blocks. You should ensure that the axle dimensions (length and width) are identical to your existing excel, or else you would be required to also change the sprocket and brake disk.

If you’re building your own go-kart, you can be a little more flexible. In that case, I would suggest getting a live axle kit that contains as many components as possible, so that you can opt to only source for the other parts yourself. If you already have a sprocket and a brake setup, then simply opt for a standard live axle kit.

Here are some of things to take note of when it comes to compatibility of a live axle with other components:

  • Sprocket center hole diameter
  • Brake disk center hole diameter
  • Live axle length
  • Live axle width
  • Hub center hole diameter

Price

The price of a live axle kit depends on the quality of the materials, the brand and the number of components that are included. You’ll find that most of the live axle kits cost around $120 to $200. The more affordable live axle kits usually contain only the standard components, whereas the slightly pricier ones often contain more parts.

Frequently Asked Questions

As I have been receiving questions on live axle kits for go-karts, I’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions below. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me and I will add your question to the list.

Are All Live Axle Kits the Same?

Not necessarily! There are certain standard measurements for live axles and you’ll commonly see that some manufacturers use metric or imperial units of measurements. For that reason, some axles may have a width or diameter or 22mm (0.866”) or 1” (25.4mm).

Axles also vary in overall length and the kit itself can contain different components. Some live axle kits only contain standard parts, whereas others may include a braking system, a sprocket and a chain.

How Do I Know Which Live Axle Kit to Buy?

This depends on your go-kart. If you’re replacing an existing live axle with a new one, ensure that the specifications are exactly the same. If not, you’ll end up having to account for several modifications or part swaps in order to install the new axle.

If you’re building a go-kart, I suggest that you choose a live axle kit according to its application. For off-road go-karts I suggest a more sturdy and larger live axle kit and for racing go-karts you may pick something smaller and lighter.

Can I Buy a Live Axle Without the Kit?

While you can certainly do so, there is a drawback. If you only purchase a live axle without the kit, you’ll need to purchase parts such as pillow blocks, bearings, sprocket, disk brake, keys and the axle assembly hardware yourself.

That’s definitely possible, but it’s just a lot of hassle for something that can be easily solved with a kit. There are people who prefer building a go-kart party by part, without any kits. If you’re looking for more convenience and better compatibility, it’s advisable to get a live axle kit.

2 thoughts on “The 5 Best Live Axle Kits for Go-Karts (Reviews and Buying Guide)”

  1. I am trying to match a go Kart live axle kit to an existing 10 sprocket 5/8 ID centrifugal clutch but there are no specs on the sprockets or chains in the kits listed for example what are the specs on the following kit MotorFansClub Live Axle Kit with 7 components?

    Reply
    • Hi John,

      On the product pages, there is usually some information further down the page. For example for the MotorFansClub:

      Measurement: Length: 31.49 inches (80cm)
      Chain Sprocket: T8F 118T

      Unfortunately, sometimes they don’t mention all of the specs.

      Reply

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