Are you tired of your electric golf cart running out of juice on the back nine? Or maybe you just want to upgrade your cart’s performance? Whatever your reason may be, putting a gas engine on your golf cart can be a great solution. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of putting a gas engine on a golf cart step-by-step.
Golf carts are an excellent way to get around the golf course or a large property. While electric golf carts are popular due to their low noise and zero-emission operation, gas engines offer several advantages such as more power, greater range, and higher speeds. Converting an electric golf cart to a gas-powered one can be a challenging task, but with the right tools and a bit of technical know-how, it can be done relatively easily.
In this guide, we will walk you through the entire process of putting a gas engine on a golf cart. We’ll start by explaining how to prepare for the project and select the right golf cart model. Then, we’ll guide you through the process of removing the electric motor and installing the gas engine. Finally, we’ll explain how to wire the gas engine, test it, and maintain it for years of trouble-free operation. So, let’s get started!
2. Preparing for the Project
Before you start putting a gas engine on your golf cart, you need to make sure you have the right tools and equipment. You’ll also need to choose the right golf cart model for the conversion. Here’s what you’ll need:
Tools and Equipment
- Socket set
- Wrenches (standard and metric)
- Pry bar
- Engine hoist
- Torque wrench
- Welding equipment (optional)
- Fuel tank and lines
- Exhaust system
- Battery and starter solenoid
- Ignition system
Choosing the Right Golf Cart Model
Not all golf carts are suitable for a gas engine conversion. You’ll need to choose a golf cart with a strong frame and suspension to handle the added weight and power of a gas engine. Additionally, make sure the golf cart has a working brake system and steering. It’s also essential to check the legality of converting your golf cart to gas in your state, as some states have restrictions on modified vehicles.
3. Removing the Electric Motor
Once you have gathered the necessary tools and equipment and selected the right golf cart model, it’s time to start the conversion process. The first step is to remove the electric motor from the golf cart. Here’s how to do it:
Disassembling the Golf Cart’s Electrical System
Before removing the electric motor, you’ll need to disconnect the golf cart’s electrical system. This involves disconnecting the battery, speed controller, and wiring harness.
Removing the Electric Motor
Once the electrical system is disconnected, you can remove the electric motor. Depending on your golf cart model, this may involve removing the rear axle, brake drums, and other components to access the motor. Once you’ve removed the motor, clean the area to prepare for the gas engine installation.
4. Installing the Gas Engine
With the electric motor removed, you can now install the gas engine onto the golf cart. Here’s how to do it:
Mounting the Gas Engine onto the Golf Cart
Mount the gas engine onto the golf cart’s frame using engine mounts. Make sure to align the engine with the transmission and clutch.
Attaching the Gas Engine to the Clutch and Transmission
Attach the gas engine to the clutch and transmission using a drive belt or chain. Make sure the belt or chain is properly tensioned and aligned.
Connecting Fuel and Exhaust Systems
Connect the fuel tank and lines to the gas engine. Install an exhaust system to direct exhaust gases away from the engine and passenger compartment. Make sure the exhaust system is properly secured and sealed to prevent leaks.
After the gas engine is installed, it’s time to wire the engine and test it.
5. Wiring the Gas Engine
With the gas engine installed, it’s time to wire it to the golf cart’s electrical system. Here’s how to do it:
Installing a Starter Solenoid and Battery
Install a starter solenoid and battery to power the gas engine. Make sure the battery is securely mounted and wired to the solenoid.
Wiring the Gas Engine’s Ignition System
Wire the gas engine’s ignition system, including the spark plugs, distributor, and coil. Make sure the wiring is properly routed and secured to prevent damage or shorts.
Connecting Headlights and Other Electrical Accessories
Connect headlights and other electrical accessories to the golf cart’s electrical system. Make sure the wiring is properly routed and secured.
6. Testing the Gas Engine
With the gas engine installed and wired, it’s time to test it to ensure everything is working correctly. Here’s how to do it:
Checking the Oil and Fuel Levels
Before starting the gas engine, check the oil and fuel levels. Make sure the oil level is adequate, and the fuel tank is filled with fresh gasoline.
Starting the Gas Engine for the First Time
Start the gas engine and let it idle for a few minutes to check for any leaks or unusual noises. If everything sounds good, rev the engine and check for proper throttle response.
Troubleshooting Potential Issues
If you encounter any issues during testing, troubleshoot the problem and fix it before using the golf cart. Some common issues include fuel leaks, ignition problems, and overheating. Consult your gas engine manual for troubleshooting tips and solutions.
Once you have tested the gas engine and ensured it’s working correctly, you can start enjoying the benefits of a gas-powered golf cart. However, it’s important to maintain and upkeep the gas engine to ensure long-term reliability and performance. In the next section, we’ll explain how to do it.
7. Maintenance and Upkeep
Maintaining and upkeeping the gas engine is crucial to ensure long-term reliability and performance. Here are some tips for keeping your gas-powered golf cart in top condition:
Regular Maintenance Schedule for the Gas Engine
Create a regular maintenance schedule for the gas engine, including oil changes, filter replacements, and spark plug replacements. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance intervals.
Tips for Extending the Life of the Gas Engine
To extend the life of your gas engine, make sure to use high-quality oil and fuel, keep the engine clean, and avoid overloading or overheating the engine. Additionally, store the golf cart in a dry, cool place to prevent corrosion.
Preparing for Winter Storage
If you live in an area with harsh winters, it’s essential to prepare your gas-powered golf cart for storage. This involves draining the fuel system, removing the battery, and storing the golf cart in a dry, cool place.
By following these maintenance and upkeep tips, you can keep your gas-powered golf cart running smoothly for years to come.
Putting a gas engine on a golf cart can be a challenging but rewarding project. By following this step-by-step guide, you can convert your electric golf cart to a gas-powered one and enjoy the benefits of increased power, speed, and range. Remember to choose the right golf cart model, gather the necessary tools and equipment, and follow safety precautions throughout the process. With proper installation, wiring, testing, and maintenance, your gas-powered golf cart can provide years of reliable and enjoyable service.