Llandow Kart Shop is a small kart shop based at the Llandow circuit in South Wales. They deal mainly in CRG chassis and parts and offer a range of services including chassis setup and repairs. They also stock all the usual paraphernalia you would expect to find at any other kart shop.
First impressions are very good. The shop is clean and well laid out with karts and components on display and the owners are very friendly and keen to help out in any way they can.
One of the services available is their JAG approved engine preparation and supply service offering everything from a simple carb clean and service, to a full blown engine rebuild and race setup, which we are covering on this review.
I went to the shop to discuss my options for having my Rotax Max senior engine rebuilt and set up on their dyno. The owner of the shop and engine builder Nigel invited me into the workshop and was keen to show me around and talk me through the work he carries out on the engines he services and discuss my requirements. I was impressed by the wealth of knowledge and experience they offer and felt confident they would provide me with an excellent service.
Shortly after having my engine dropped off I received a phone call from Nigel to let me know he had started to carry out work on my engine. By request he had run my engine on his dyno prior to carrying out the engine work following some worries I had about the engines bottom end performance, which the dyno run confirmed.
Later on that day he rang to give me an update on how things were going. He was honest and to the point. He told me there was a lot of play in the crank and he feared that the main bearings had failed, therefore a possibility that they may have caused damage to the crankcase. Nigel informed me he would give me a call once he had split the crankcase and found out what the damage was.
Once he had opened the crankcase it was discovered that in actual fact the case and bearings were fine and the problem was actually a worn crank. He discussed the option of me having a used crank to save money and also whether I wanted a new connecting rod fitting as the one currently in the engine was not too bad. I chose to go down the slightly more expensive route and had a whole new crank assembly (including rod) installed. I decided this was the best option for piece of mind and the fact that the parts are now covered by warranty.
The following day he called to let me know the results of the post build dyno run in and to tell me that my engine would be delivered back to me by courier later that week. He also told me to keep him informed about how I get on and to call if I need any advice or assistance.
When I received my engine back it looked brand new and now with the addition of the shops LKS stickers on the radiator. The stickers look nice but I don't think they are as nice as some from other engine builders (Costing at least a 1/10th of a second on the track!).
The engine came back to me with the dyno report in the box showing the before and after rebuild runs. It is plain to see the difference in bottom end power and torque and also right up at the top end. The graph does show the power tail off slightly earlier than previously in the revs before picking up again but this can be expected of a newly built engine with less than an hours running on it.
I was surprised to see the price on the invoice for the rebuild to only came to £735 as the new crank assembly was an added cost I had not planned on having to pay for. The bill for the labour and dyno work was a lot cheaper than I had expected and the carb clean and rebuild only cost me £20.
I ran the engine on a winter test session at Grampian Kart Club and the engine felt far better. Much more power out of the slow corners and also felt and sounded cleaner (probably due to the crank not rattling about in the bearings). The engine revved well all the way up the straights even on slightly wrong gearing for the circuit. Unfortunately we weren't able to get an accurate idea in lap time of how much better the motor was due to the conditions being 2 degrees Celsius and slightly damp, however I am very happy with the results of the rebuild and can't wait to run it in anger!
Overall I have been very happy with the service from LKS and would recommend them. They are not as big and well know as the likes of Ogden Motorsport but they certainly know their stuff and offer their services at a very competitive price.
Although they do look good, the sicker pack on the radiator isn't as nice as some others I have seen and I don't think it gives the kart the same presence as some other bigger, better known but more expensive builders I can think of. However I rest assured that the quality of service they provide and their friendly and honest approach to what they do is just as good even if the sticker kit is not as "fashionable" in the paddock.
Being in South Wales LKS is a little far for some people if they wish to visit the workshop in person but ideal if you race at Llandow.
- Friendly, honest and to the point.
Cons (not really cons but niggles)
- Stickers not as nice as some others.