Lifted Golf Carts or Not, That is the Question
For decades upon decades, the elusive habitat for a golf cart was really any climate from the Arctic Circle to the equator, just as long as the ground was, for the most part grassy, sprawling/rolling hills with a few low-impact paths that connected on relatively flat surface to another, in couplings of eighteen or nine. The flat spaces had extremely short grass and a numbered flag featured. You probably know where we are going with this…. Yes, you guessed right! These things were called “Greens” and they were a part of a system of tee boxes, ponds, sand traps and fairways. Essentially, your basic, run of the mill golf course.
However, golf carts, much like most other species that are invasive, had no predator to be concerned about and there, was born an expansion into back-country areas, beaches, farms, residential communities, colleges and universities, retirement communities, hospitals and any other place you can think of!
Perfectly adapted for the game of golf, the golf cart “species” needed to be outfitted to adapt to other climates, locations, terrain and many other golf cart owner expectations. A few sure fire ways to help the golf cart adapt in fitting in with other terrain types were
- All-Terrain Golf Cart Tires
- Golf Cart Safety Grab Bars
- Golf Cart Seat Belts
- Golf Cart Heavy Duty Leaf Springs
But, with bigger tires and heavier duty leaf springs, came a need for a little “boost” of sorts. A golf cart part that would be essential to installing bigger, meatier golf cart tires. A golf cart accessory that would make it a breeze to bump on over rougher more rugged terrain without fear of “bottoming out” while carrying back seat passengers (which, of course makes the golf cart heavier than if you had a few golf bags or a cooler in the back). So, what is the answer?
Well, Golf Cart Lift Kits, of course!
Why Golf Cart Lift Kits?
Many golf cart owners and golf cart enthusiasts are turning to lift kits, not just because they are necessary if you plan on adding larger tires or carrying an extra amount of weight, but also because they make the golf cart look totally rugged and awesome. Some folks do it for actual workability on rugged terrain and some folks just do it for show. Whatever the case may be, a golf cart lift kit is simply awesome and makes any golf cart look totally great.
What Kind Of Lift Kit Should I Buy?
Well, there are several options for lift kits and it really all depends on personal preference. How tall you want your golf cart, how rough the terrain is that you will plan on using the golf cart on, how big the tires are/will be, etc. A few common golf cart lift kits that are super popular are:
Why Not Just Bigger Golf Cart Tires?
Golf Cart Tires alone give extra height to your golf cart, BUT, the super fancy all-terrain tires pose a different problem: They minimize the amount of clearance between the wheel well and the tire, causing them to rub themselves raw up against the golf carts underside and causes the golf cart to again “bottom out” with a heavier load (whether it be people, tools, etc). This means that you must overhaul the underbelly of your golf cart to give way for extra width and height of your new tires. As you can imagine, this can become a pretty involved task/project and generally requires the assistance of a golf cart tech or service depot, especially if you do not have the tools necessary or the knowledge to get the job done. But not with an easy to install lift kit that is no problem for really anybody to put on a golf cart.
No Need To Be Nit-Picky
Another difficulty that some golf cart owners run into is just a little less obvious to the naked eye, but still very prevalent:
As soon as you have the axle assemblies torn apart and the leaf springs disassembled, golf cart owners generally figure “Well, I might as well go ahead and just replace each and every component on the carts carriage!” I mean, you are getting a very in-depth look of your golf carts suspension system so, why stop at just one or two parts?! This IS a good practice….
And while we do recommend replacing old and outdated parts, being “nit-picky” with every single part you see on your golf carts underside can get stressful and costly. We recommend completing one job at a time and doing it right. You want a solid job and solid good quality golf cart parts that will last you a long, long time! Sometimes if you fall down the rabbit hole of replacing every single nut and bolt, you may feel the urge to skimp and go cheap on the meat and potatoes of the actual project. Don’t! You will be super sorry you did. Just Namaste, deep breath and one task at a time.
Speaking Of Other Parts: What Other Parts Should I Get In Conjunction With The Golf Cart Lift Kit?
There are several parts that we recommend replacing and/or adding while you are down there adding your golf cart lift kit and one that we ALWAYS recommend is:
- Heavy Duty Leaf Springs: This may be a no-brainer, but Heavy Duty Golf Cart Leaf Springs are essential. If you are planning on adding bigger tires and a lift kit, to prepare for driving on more rough and rugged terrain, all while carrying more weight, then you will definitely want to get a set of heavy duty leaf springs to throw on your cart. They are super easy for regular folks to install and can be replaced within a short amount of time.
What Tools Will I Need To Install A Golf Cart Lift Kit?
While this project is not super intimidating and horribly extensive (like working on an engine!), there are a few tools that will be necessary for easy installation:
- Jacks/Jack Stands
- A Ball Joint Splitter
- Sockets/Socket Wrench
- Standard Tool-Box Items (such as a tape measure, pliers, screwdrivers, etc)
- Gloves (to keep your hands safe and grease-free)
And last but not least:
- Patience! We never recommend rushing this installation as again, you want to make sure that everything is done 100% correct so that you can enjoy your lift kit and golf cart upgrades for years to come! Give yourself enough allotted time to complete the project at a slow pace.
So, What Does It Take To Assemble & Install A Lift Kit?
You may be thinking that assembling and installing a golf cart lift kit is like that of the board game Operation… Think again!
There are just a few key things that are involved in assembling and installing a lift kit and with a little patience and know-how (AKA following the instructions), you will be cruising in your newly lifted golf cart in no time!
- Removing the front axle
- Removing the rack and pinion assemblies
- Replacing the spring plate with an extended version (which is essentially like putting a spring plate with brackets in place)
- Then, once you are ready to put things back together, you will use spacers in different various spot to make up for the new reach. The core feature here is that new shock mount plate that lifts up the golf cart to make room for more space in the wheel wells.
Easy as that!
All in all, golf cart lift kits are awesome and open you up for more opportunities with your golf cart, other than just using them to play golf. Many folks use their lifted golf carts for:
- Faster Street Driving
And so much more! The possibilities are truly endless with a golf cart!