7 Best Torque Converters For Go-Karts: Reviewed

The biggest decision any go-kart builder has to make is whether to install a clutch system or a torque converter over their go-kart engine. The decision is important because sometimes it could be the only difference between a perfectly working engine and a frustrating one. 

While clutch systems are fairly common in racing karts, most homemade go-karts perform better when equipped with a torque converter. A good torque converter can maximize your engine’s potential allowing you to enjoy better acceleration and higher output. 

Is the thought of purchasing a great go-kart torque converter stressing you out? We got you covered as this post explores the 7 best torque converters for go-kart while explaining everything else you need to know about them. Have a look!

Our Top Picks for the Best Torque Converters for Go-Karts

Product Features 
Moosun Torque Converter
(Best Overall) 
– Affordable
– Works with #35, 40, 41, and 42 chains 
– Comes with all the required tools and hardware 
– Suitable for go-kart engines with ¾ inch straight crankshaft 
– Includes both 10-tooth and 12-tooth sprocket 
– Durable iron and aluminum construction 
Iparts Expert New 30 Series
(Best Budget) 
– Lightweight and portable 
– Durable iron construction 
– Comes as a direct replacement for most 30 series torque converters
– Fast heat dissipation 
– Excellent workmanship 

The 7 Best Torque Converter for Go-Kart 

Here are our recommendations for the best torque converters for any go-kart:

1. Moosun Torque Converter

The Moosun Torque Converter made it to the top of our list because it offers a perfect balance of affordability and performance. This torque converter is compatible with ¾ inches diameter straight crankshaft engines outputting about 2 to 8 hp of power. It comes as a complete kit including two different-sized sprockets, two pulleys, a mounting plate, a plastic cover, and all the required tools and hardware that ease assembly and installation. 

The device is great for reducing engine load and delivers the smooth acceleration that you desire from your go-kart. It works well with 30 series belts boasting an asymmetrical transmission system. The Moosun Torque Converter is a high-quality product that is marketed as a direct replacement part for the Comet TAV2 torque converter. 

Pros

  • Inexpensive 
  • Comes as complete kit 
  • Durable and sturdy construction 

Cons 

  • Installation isn’t a breeze

2. Iparts Expert New 30 Series Go Kart/Mini Bike Torque Converter

This is a versatile yet inexpensive torque converter model from Iparts Expert. It features a minimalistic design with high-quality iron construction allowing it to handle harsh engine environments easily. You can put this torque converter to several applications like putting it on your lawnmower, kiddy bike, and of course a go-kart. 

It works well with engines producing 2 to 8 hp of power. Plus, it also needs a ¾ inches wide asymmetrical belt to function smoothly. Since it comes as a replacement part, you will have to source the compatible parts and hardware separately. Also, its installation is not easy hence the manufacturer highly recommends hiring professional help. 

Pros 

  • Budget-friendly 
  • High-quality materials 
  • Wear and tear resistant 

Cons 

  • Comes as a standalone unit 

3. Mophorn 212CC Torque Converter CVT Kit

The Mophorn 212CC Torque Converter kit is another high-rated model on our list. It features rugged construction with great ductility. The package includes everything you will need to securely install it over your crankshaft. 

This torque converter model is extremely suitable for off-road go-karting with an 18° asymmetrical concept and an updated durable transmission belt. It helps your vehicle achieve smoother acceleration and higher speed. The system is highly compatible with 4 to 8 hp vehicles and comes with a 10 tooth sprocket to fit #40 or 41 chains. However, it only works with engines with a horizontal axis, so if you have a vertical system, it won’t work for you. 

Pros 

  • Heavy-duty aluminum and iron construction 
  • Mounting hardware kit included 
  • Lightweight and portable 

Cons

  • Comes with a 10 tooth sprocket only 

4.  Iparts Expert 212CC Torque Converter

Whether you are building a go-kart yourself, or are looking to replace the clutch system on your existing one, this 212cc torque converter kit from Iparts Expert is a considerable product to check out. The device is made using a sturdy combination of iron and aluminum. It is not only sturdy but also very efficient at dissipating heat. 

Aside from the high-quality construction, the unit is also an excellent choice because it is a versatile product that comes with a 10 tooth and 12 tooth sprocket. This feature alone greatly enhances its versatility allowing it to function with a #35 chain as well as with #40, 41, or 42 chains. It is highly recommended for 2 to 7 hp engines with a ¾ inches crankshaft. 

Pros

  • Heavy-duty construction 
  • #1 Amazon Best Seller 
  • Extremely versatile 

Cons 

  • Mounting hardware does not work with all engines

5. Sunroad 30 Series Go Kart Torque Converter

Here is another considerable torque converter model for you to check out. This one from Sunroad is a high-quality device featuring a sturdy iron construction. The iron not only makes it light and very portable, but ensures durability and improved heat tolerance. It is not just wear-resistant but also prevents heat from building up in the transmission. 

This torque converter is designed to fit smaller 212cc engines producing about 6.5 hp of output. It functions well with a 30 series belt and a 3/4 inch straight crankshaft to produce better and smoother acceleration. It reduces the load on the engine to produce run torque at higher speeds. But the catch is, this device comes as a standalone unit. You have to purchase the other components separately. 

Pros 

  • Lightweight and portable 
  • Sturdy and long-lasting
  • Suitable for 212cc engines 

Cons

  • Additional components and mounting hardware not included

6. Sibosen Torque Converter

The Sibosen Torque Converter is another great option for your go-kart mainly because of its reasonable price and high-quality construction. The unit features a sturdy combination of iron and aluminum in its construction. This makes it extremely durable and wear-resistant. It is very effective at heat dissipation and can withstand harsh working environments without any difficulty. 

This torque converter is also one of the most versatile options out there. It comes as a full kit including two pulleys, a mounting plate, a cover, complete mounting hardware, the drive belt, and two different-sized sprockets that enable it to function with a wide variety of chain sizes. The 12 tooth sprocket is ideal for #35 chain, while the 10 tooth sprocket functions well with #40, 41, and 42 chains. 

This unit supports a 30 series asymmetrical design that easily fits a ¾ inches diameter crankshaft. Plus, it works well with engines outputting 2 to 8 hp of power.

Pros 

  • Affordable 
  • Versatile 
  • Comes as a kit complete with tools and hardware 

Cons

  • Assembly instructions not included

7. Bullet Lines Go-Kart Torque Converter

The Bullet Lines Go-Kart Torque Converter made it to our list for its higher compatibility with go-kart engines as well as for its straightforward installation. It is compatible with most go-kart engines and installs over them without requiring any modification. Plus, you can choose between a 10 tooth sprocket and 12 sprocket size for a better fit.

Like most torque converter options on this list, the one from Bullet Lines also includes the complete mounting kit inside the package. However, what makes it truly stand out is the inclusion of a unique bolt kit with anti-vibration pilot washers. It helps keep vibration under control, thereby, increasing the lifespan of the device. 

The device may boast a rated RPM of 2,350, but you can easily adjust it to work between 1,200 RPM to 3,100 RPM with a few additional springs. This torque converter helps in reducing the load over your go-kart engine allowing you to enjoy higher speeds and smoother acceleration. 

Pros 

  • High rated engagement rate of 2,350 RPM 
  • Durable and long-lasting 
  • Simple and easy to install 

Cons 

  • Some bolts are wrong length 

Buying Guide: Torque Converter for Go-Kart 

If your search for a good go-kart torque converter isn’t getting you anywhere, here is a comprehensive buying guide to clear your doubts:

How to Choose a Torque Converter for Your Go-Kart 

Being a mechanical part of your go-kart, a torque converter can easily become the toughest parts you have to purchase. We have compiled the following guide to help you choose the right one. 

Type of Go-Kart 

The first and foremost thing that you should consider when buying a new torque converter is its application. Or simply said, the type of go-kart you are going to install it on. Most DIY go-karts do well with smaller to mid-sized torque converters. You can look into getting any model with a 30 series belt because they are compatible with most go-kart engines. 

Torque converters are more common in off-road go-karts because they are more capable of handling heavy loads and low speeds better. Most smaller off-road go-karts do well with torque converters that support 20 or 30 series belts. But if your off-road go-kart is large, you should consider getting a bigger torque converter preferably with a 40 series belt. 

Lastly, if your go-kart is meant for racing, a clutch would be a more suitable option. However, that does not mean that you can’t install a torque converter over it. If you are going to use it at slow speed with lots of stopping and going or if the kart is for kids, you should definitely look into getting a torque converter. 

Material

A torque converter is meant to take heavy loads so it should be made with durable and high-quality parts. Especially the belt and pulley system that generates a lot of heat as the crankshaft spins. 

The best torque converters feature an aluminum backplate because being a good conductor it is extremely efficient at dissipating heat. Any torque converter that overheats will not only lead to wear and tear of the system itself but also cause damage to the transmission. 

Accessories

A torque converter typically does not come alone. It comes as a complete kit with all the required components, hardware, and tools for assembling it over the engine of your go-kart. 

When looking at the different models make sure the one you choose has a belt, two pulleys, and the required hardware for installation. 

Benefits of Using Torque Converters

The biggest benefit of using a torque converter over a regular clutch is the convenience it brings. Driving with manual transmission means you have to do a lot of things yourself. But with a torque converter, your transmission becomes automatic, hence your go-kart does all the gear shifting and pushing on its own. 

A torque converter also provides you with a variable gear ratio. Hence they can automatically adjust the gear ratio according to the RPM your engine is producing. 

How to Install a Torque Converter

While installing a torque converter on your go-kart is an easy enough task. Since most kits come without proper installation instructions, most buyers are left confused. If you want to learn how to install one, the following step-by-step guide will teach you how to do it. 

  • The first step is to prep your go-kart. Make sure the engine is cold and disconnect a few things like throttle linkage, speedometer, battery, vacuum lines, etc. Also drain the oil in the transmission and take it off. 
  • If you are replacing an old torque converter now is the time to take it out. Check the input shaft to make sure it is in good shape to take on the new equipment. 
  • Take about 1- 1 ½ quarts full synthetic oil or good mineral oil and pour it into the new converter to work as fluid. 
  • Grease the lockup ring on the input shaft and install the new torque converter. 
  • With little pressure rotate it back and forth until you hear a click. If it still continues to rotate continue until you hear a second and third click sound. 
  • Now, take a ruler and measure its seating position. If it’s sitting an inch or 3 cm in the bell housing, you have installed it accurately. 
  • Reinstall the transmission. 

FAQs: Torque Converter for Go-Kart

The discussion above may have covered pretty much everything about torque converters, we have still compiled a list of common queries. Take a look at them below:

Is a torque converter worth it? 

Despite being an inefficient way of transferring engine power, a torque converter is actually a useful component for automatic transmissions. It can multiply torque and prevent slippage to ensure higher rpm at lower speeds. 

Why does a torque converter fail? 

There are many reasons behind a torque converter’s failure. It can be excessive friction that damages its needle bearings or it can be a faulty clutch solenoid or seal that leaks the fluid and allows the unit to become contaminated. 

How are torque converters different from fluid coupling? 

The fluid coupling is a transmission device consisting of two elements. Unlike torque converters, they lack an extra element – the stator which takes away the ability to multiply torque. Torque converters, on the other hand, rely on the stator to alter its characteristics to produce higher torque during periods of high slippage. 

Why is my torque converter causing a loss of power? 

Loss of power usually occurs when the stator inside the torque converter spins inaccurately. It greatly reduces the vehicle’s performance causing poor acceleration, reduced torque, and of course loss of power. 

Is replacing a torque converter costly? 

While the torque converter itself is quite inexpensive, most auto workshops will still charge around $600 to $1,000 to replace a torque converter. The reason for the higher cost is the long hours of labor involved. They have to remove the transmission first before replacing the torque converter hence the longer the job, the higher the charges. 

How do torque converters get fluid? 

There is a pump inside every torque converter that acts as a centrifugal pump. Just as a washing machine flings water and clothes to the outside of the washtub during its spin cycle, this pump flings fluid to the outside creating a vacuum at the center which draws more fluid. 

Conclusion

The smooth engine acceleration is considered blissful in the driving world. And a good torque converter can provide you with that. It attaches to the side of your go-kart engine delivering smooth variable transmission. 

The automobile market is brimming with numerous torque converters that work well with most go-karts. But we believe the Moosun Torque Converter to be most suitable for go-karting. It is a high-quality aftermarket product that works really well with engine sizes up to 8 hp. The kit includes two sprocket options making it easy to find your right fit. 

For anyone who is operating on a tight budget, we recommend the Iparts Expert New 30 Series Go Kart/Mini Bike Torque Converter as it is the most affordable of the lot. Boasting a durable yet lightweight iron construction, this torque converter clutch is wear-resistant and heat-dissipating. It is effective at reducing engine load allowing you to get more power out of it. 

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