HOW TO KEEP
YOUR GOLF CART RUNNING GREAT May 2022 Issue 24
COMPANY PROFILE: NIVEL PARTS & MANUFACTURING
CONTENTS ISSUE 24 MAY 2022
22 COVER STORY: A '34 LEGENDS CART 24 COMPANY PROFILE: NIVEL PARTS & MANUFACTURING 32 BUYING A CART: NEW OR USED? 34 HOW TO KEEP YOUR GOLF CART RUNNING GREAT 46 DEALER PROFILE: DR. GOLF CARTS DEPARTMENTS
10 EDITORS NOTE: 1964 CUSHMAN SHARKNOSE GOLFSTER 16 INDUSTRY NEWS 36 LET'S GET SOCIAL 44 GOLF CARTING NATION 48 ASK THE MECHANIC 50 READER'S RIDES 8 www.GolfCarting.com
1964 Cushman Sharknose Golfster An Interview with Builder Joseph Aleksiejczyk
GCMAG: Joseph, thank you for submitting your Cushman build. This is an amazing cart that I wanted to share to our readers. I’d like to ask you some questions… What can you tell us about the build? JOSEPH: Richard, myself, and Mike Aleksiejczyk all worked together to build this 1963 Cushman. We purchased the cart non-running and non-functional, missing the entire back half, floor pan, and seat pan. The previous owner advised that it had not been running in over 15 years. All that we had when we purchased it was the fiberglass front clip, driveline and frame. The motor is an opposed twin OMC motor with a centrifugal clutch, required for switching from drive to reverse. We removed the front clip, removed the motor and rebuilt the entire wiring harness, replaced all of the engine seals and gaskets, fuel line plumbing and all other accessories. 10 www.GolfCarting.com
The factory fuel pump was not working, so we purchased an electric gravity fed Edelbrock fuel pump and utilized that for fuel supply. After we verified that the engine and driveline was functional and in good shape, we fabricated the entire rear
end of the body from sheet metal, using various fixtures in our shop to craft the correct body lines and bends. The trunk panel hinges upward and houses the battery box, utilizing a standard 12V car battery for electrical power. The floor pans were also formed from sheet steel, using adapters and backing plates to bolt the fabricated rear section of the body to the fiberglass front clip. The seat pan was also made from scratch, featuring a center console and cup holders. The transmission tunnel was created to allow the Hurst shifter to fit in place of the factory shifter. The steering wheel required a custom adapter to utilize the Grant racing steering wheel, and the dash panel was also modified to allow for use of a choke cable and fuel pump shutoff switch. The front clip also features a 60’s Mustang hood scoop. GCMAG: It’s impressive how much custom fabrication you incorporated into this build and it turned out very authentic. What other aftermarket parts did you use? JOSEPH: We used a Hurst floor shifter and shift boot
(modified) Edelbrock fuel pump, Grant GT steering wheel (modified), Chevrolet C10 carpet sills (modified) Cragar SS Mag hubcaps (modified to fit the singular front wheel). Everything else is bespoke. GCMAG: How did you get involved in building carts? JOSEPH: We have been building carts, cars, motorcycles and various projects for years. Needing something to keep us busy, our first Cart build was a 1969 AMF Golfcart, which lead down the rabbit hole of working on vintage and modern golf carts. We have always been interested in building customs, whether that be cars, golf carts, motorcycles, etc. We’ve done several custom carts over what may be about 7-8 years, but this is our favorite. GCMAG: I can certainly understand why this is your favorite. Congratulations on building a beautiful Cushman cart and we appreciate you sharing it with our readers.
GOLF CARTING // Issue 24 // MAY 2022 Publisher: Senior Editor: Creative Director: Graphic Designer: Production Director: Staff Writer: Staff Writer: Staff Writer / Social Media:
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email@example.com WARNING: Certain action photographs depicted in this magazine are potentially dangerous. The drivers and vehicle occupants seen in our photos are experienced professionals. Do not attempt to duplicate any stunts. Wear a helmet and safety restraints while operating a Golf Cart, and never drive beyond your capabilities. Do not drink and drive while operating a Golf Cart. We also encourage you to “Tread Lightly” while respecting the outdoors and other outdoor enthusiasts. Use your head and enjoy the ride! ©2022 GC Media Group, LLC
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2022 RACE OF THE PINES The Race of the Pines is an annual fundraising event that benefits veterans and will feature: Golf Cart Races, Golf Cart Pageant, SBN BBQ Competition, Beer Festival, Parachuters, Great Live Music, Food Trucks, and Celebrity Judges Phil Ford & Richard Petty.
Hang out with your friends and enjoy a day of music & golf cart races at the Harness Track in Pinehurst, North Carolina on May 14th from noon - 6pm! For more event detail log on to: www.raceofthepines.com
XTREME MATS EXPANDS THEIR PRODUCT LINE CUSTOMER DEMAND LEADS TO THE EXPANSION OF GOLF MATS LINE AND A NEW COLOR OPTION. After listening to the wishes of golf cart dealers, owners, and enthusiasts across the globe, Xtreme Mats is back to announce the newest additions to their line of full-coverage, overlay style, golf cart floor mats. Xtreme Mats now offers their signature double-diamond all black mats in a beige trim for Select Club Car, EZGO, Yamaha, ICON & Advanced EV golf carts. Xtreme Golf Cart Mats are available with red trim, grey trim, blue trim, green trim, beige trim, and an all black option. In the Summer of 2022, Xtreme Mats plans to add 6 seater mat options for ICON, EZGO, and Club Car models. By the end of 2022, Xtreme Mats will begin expanding their mats for more makes and models like EVolution and Star. Xtreme Mats is further expanding their accessory line by offering dash mats, bag well mats, rear floor mats - and soon cargo mats. “The increased demand for floor mats for newly created and more obscure golf cart makes is exciting to see. It’s clear to us that the golf cart community is ever growing and looking to expand their horizons in terms of price, features, and let’s not forget an important aspect - how it looks! We know aesthetics are big in the golf cart community so we’re always looking to update our color trim options to suit the customer’s golf cart theme.” -Operations Manager, Natalie Harvey These FULL COVERAGE golf cart floor liner mats are laser measured to fit as if they came directly from the manufacturer. The heavy-duty, 8-mm rubber mats coupled with the patented Xtreme Clips will not slide around or become dislodged over rough terrain. The floor mats also don’t produce any VOCs so you won’t have to worry about it stinking up your garage either. Their patented diamond design picks up where the other guys left off. This isn’t a factory flooring replacement; it’s better. By installing on top of the OEM flooring with Xtreme Clips, the original flooring is protected from damage and the mats can be easily removed for cleaning or color changes. Unlike other golf cart mats that offer only partial coverage, Xtreme Mats won’t limit where riders can place their feet and you won’t end up with a pile of dirt behind your floor mat. Xtreme Mats Original Golf Cart Floor Mats cover your entire OEM flooring from the bottom of the dash down to the 18 www.GolfCarting.com
base of the seat. You’ll no longer have to worry about mud, water, snow, or dirt damaging your cart’s flooring! By protecting the factory flooring, Xtreme Mats are helping increase the life of your cart, and in doing so, its value too. Xtreme Mats believes you shouldn’t have to compromise function for fashion; our golf cart mats offer both. Xtreme Golf Cart mats are currently available for Select Club Car, EZGO, ICON, Yamaha, and AdvancedEV models with more makes being added in 2022. For more information www.xtrememats.com or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 407-392-0950. Xtreme Mats is a Five Star rated company that has been protecting investments since 2013 by developing products for consumers that help safeguard against damage. Dealer Inquiries: www.xtrememats.com/golfdealer
NIVEL PARTS & MANUFACTURING ACQUIRES EPI PERFORMANCE Nivel Parts & Manufacturing Co., LLC announced late Thursday afternoon that it has successfully acquired EPI Performance, a leading UTV clutch kit, drive belt, and driveline component supplier. The purchase combines Nivel’s manufacturing, sourcing, and distribution capabilities with the reputable EPI brand. EPI Performance products are distributed worldwide by major powersports distributors and dealers. Nivel aims to continue growing the business with a seamless transition of EPI’s talent, vendor relationships, and distribution partnerships. Jeff Supinski, EPI’s Operations Manager, said, “We are very excited to join the Nivel team; the opportunity is a great fit for EPI. Nivel’s resources will position EPI to further accelerate our 30+ years of product innovation and brand strategy and will strengthen distribution relationships.”
Nivel recognizes the growth in the UTV market and understands the importance of offering products and brands that are appealing to all UTV segments. Through the acquisition of EPI Performance, Nivel expands into the UTV clutch, drive belt, and driveline markets with a well-recognized brand built on providing an unparalleled customer experience and unique, high-quality products. Nivel CEO, Brett Hankey, commented, “We are so excited to bring EPI Performance into Nivel’s family of brands. EPI’s innovation coupled with its promise to deliver well-tested, high-quality products has positioned them as a leading brand in the UTV aftermarket parts industry. We look forward to continuing to build on this success and delivering quality products to our UTV enthusiast customers.”
CLUB CAR TO ACQUIRE DANISH GOLF CAR MANUFACTURER GARIA A/S Club Car plans to acquire a Danish company that will help expand the golf cart manufacturer’s reach in the growing global market. Club Car has signed “a definitive agreement” to obtain Garia A/S, which has produced luxury golf and leisure vehicles since 2005, the companies announced Saturday. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The deal is expected to be finalized by the end of June. In 2015, Garia launched its Garia Utility line of vehicles designed for work environments such as facility management and last-mile delivery. Last November, Garia acquired Polish lightweight utility vehicle manufacturer Melex. Both companies’ utility products are mostly models that Club Car doesn’t currently manufacture, according to a media release. “Our product lines complement each other nicely with very little overlap,” Club Car President Mark Wagner said in the release, calling the Garia deal “great news for our dealers and customers in Europe and the United States who will have access to a wider range of zeroemission, on and off-road vehicles at a greater variety of price points.” 20 www.GolfCarting.com
Garia is a subsidiary of the Lars Larsen Group, which owns companies in the golf car, furniture, hotel, and restaurant sectors. Club Car is a subsidiary of private-equity firm Platinum Equity LLC, which acquired Club Car in 2021 from IngersollRand Inc. The global golf car industry is projected to grow from $1.69 billion in 2021 to $2.55 billion in 2028, according to market data research firm Fortune Business Insights.
BY KELLY MADDEN
hat began as a golf cart dealer in Augusta, Georgia, three years ago has turned into one of the most prolific custom cart building shops in the Southeast. Barry Hall opened the doors to Kart King, LLC, and began selling used cart brands from manufacturers like EZ Go, Club Car and Yamaha. As he built his team of dedicated employees and partners in his business, they all soon came to the realization that designing, fabricating, and building custom carts was their passion, and began to pursue it at full speed. As Hall put it, “We’re all just hot rod junkies.”
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One of their more exceptional efforts just came out of Kart King, and it is an awesome example of the style and quality workmanship for which this team has become known throughout the country. Dubbed by the team with the name “Deadline”, the build was created, planned, and built in an amazing 2-week period. There had been a friendly challenge in the Georgia cart community to come up with a unique custom build in a short period of time, and the guys at Kart King stepped up in a big way. “I still am amazed at how my guys conceived this, made the parts that needed to be made, fabricated, painted and built the finished product in just two weeks,” says Hall. “I couldn’t be prouder of my guys, the way they all were one hundred percent on top of it and the way Deadline turned out.” Deadline came together with the exacting specs that Barry and the team felt would be the most functional and fit the overall street rod style they were looking for. Many of the staff at Kart King are avid hot rod and custom car enthusiasts and wanted to put some of that inspiration into building Deadline. 24 www.GolfCarting.com
Hall says, “We wanted to keep the cart as stock-looking as possible in terms of limiting the amount of aftermarket parts we bolted onto it but still give it a kick-ass look and stance. Our main goal was a clean, smooth fit and finish.” The cart is a 2007 Club Car DS model, and Kart King began by stripping everything off down to the bare chassis and prepping and painting everything from the ground up. The undercarriage of Deadline is as clean and perfect as what you see on the body. They then created the wide-body look they were after by cutting the rear body in half and adding two inches to the width. The fenders were re-fabricated to add more tire clearance and width, and the stock bumper and mounting brackets were completely removed. The rear of the cart was designed with a smooth, unadorned sleekness reminiscent of an old street rod from the 50s. In the front, the cowl was cut and re-fabricated to allow for wider tire clearance and improved turning radius. The paint work, all done in-house at Kart King, is a masterwork in Ford’s Kona Blue Metallic with a lot of added
pearl finish that creates a different shade when viewed from different angles. The fully-customized interior was created by the talented Shane Lile of Sewn Tight Custom Interiors and the red, diamond-stitched results are an eye-popping tribute to the original custom street rod. “Shane had done some awesome interior work for me on one of my cars, so I knew he was a world-class talent when it comes to custom hot rod interiors, and we were very fortunate to have him work on Deadline,” Hall said. Other custom interior upgrades include the 2 Kicker
Marine 6.5-inch audio speakers and a 10-inch touch screen head unit, featuring Apple Car Play, full GPS navigation and more. Deadline’s power comes from lithium batteries and the stock motor and controller, running constant power to allow the tank for the custom air ride system to also be located under the seats. The cart rides on 14-inch Empire Rodder RD3 wheels supported by Monroe air suspension on all four corners, monitored by a ViAir gauges and switches mounted on the dash. The Forever Sharp steering wheel is custom-wrapped to
match the red seats. Hall is quick to point out that the Deadline build was a real test of his team’s skills, passion and hard work. Brandon Newman was a key leader in the entire process, along with Jesse Savage and Ron Newman handling the stunning paint work and Kenneth McKenzie doing his amazing body work. “The most rewarding thing is taking Deadline out to local community events like golf tournaments, car shows and others and the reactions it gets,” Hall says. “My whole team took on this challenge and went over and above to make it happen in
just two weeks, and it really showed how dedicated they are to creating one-off custom golf carts. We love to participate in community events and show off our efforts.” The future looks very bright for Kart King, which recently moved into about a 30,000-square foot space in the historic old textile mill once known as King Mill in Augusta. The move means more space for adding a new area dedicated to just cart fabrication with powder coating, CNC and plasma steel-cutting equipment, and the company is adding their own complete, in-house paint booth.
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Kart King also now offers the popular new Navitas cart chassis and power control modules, which Hall says make up the largest portion of their custom cart orders. “We’re excited about our increased space – now we’ll have almost every part of custom cart building capabilities in our own shop and this will allow us to deliver our customer’s carts more quickly and efficiently,” says Hall. “We keep around 12 to 14 custom carts on our showroom sales floor in case a customer can’t wait for us to design and build one for them. But the bulk of our orders are from people nationwide who want very specific custom cart features to exactly match their needs as opposed to getting one already completed.” The Kart King team includes 5 full-time cart builders and 5 full-time salespeople. They operate 4 company-owned trucks with trailers that handle client deliveries and pick-ups, and will arrange for their custom carts to be delivered anywhere in the country. They also have a full cart servicing department for all maintenance needs. With their successful history as one of Georgia’s premier cart customizers and brand-name cart sales facilities, Kart King is always looking forward to their next build, and determined to create something never done before and truly unique in the business. You can learn more about Kart King on Facebook at https:// www.facebook.com/kartkingllc/ and follow them on Instagram to see more of their custom work at @kartkingllc.
Nivel Parts & Manufacturing N
ivel PTV began as a Cushman dealership in Miami, FL in 1968 and since then, have grown to become the largest global supplier of aftermarket golf car and personal transportation vehicle parts and accessories.
COMPANY NAME: Nivel Parts & Manufacturing WEBSITE: https://www.nivelparts.com/ HEADQUARTERS: Jacksonville, FL PHONE NUMBER: (800) 959-0852 FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/officialnivelparts Through Nivel’s aftermarket specialty vehicle division, Nivel transforms personal transportation vehicles for golf, suburban families, rural work, and outdoor lifestyles. Nivel owns the most valuable portfolio of accessories brands in the category —MadJax, Red Dot, GTW, and Jake’s. Nivel offers outstanding value to their customers because they control the tooling and manufacturing operations for most their inventory, which ensures consistent quality at a reasonable price. Nivel prides themselves on superior service that really sets them apart from the competition. They stock almost everything they sell and offer same-day30 www.GolfCarting.com
shipping on 95% of all orders and deliver in 2 days in most cases. Nivel is there to help both before and after their customer’s place an order, with the largest technical and customer support staff in the industry. Nivel's broad product catalog offering over 10,000 items is unequaled in the industry. They carry products for all golf car models from the three major OEMs (Club Car, E-Z-GO and Yamaha) as well as for Columbia/Harley Davidson, Cushman, Hyundai, Jacobson, Legend, Melex, Noland, Nordskog, Pargo, Taylor Dunn, and vintage, discontinued golf cars. Nivel also specializes in providing exclusive, hard-to-find and discontinued parts. Nivel is proud to offer products with quality and functionality that equal or exceed that of OEM replacement parts and accessories, at a competitive price. They have expanded their product line by building a global sourcing network comprised of over 400 high-quality, loyal suppliers; many of whom have been Nivel partners for over 20 years, and by acquiring best-of-breed strategic manufacturers of lift kits, tires & wheels, windshields and enclosures. Nivel’s advanced engineering and manufacturing capabilities enable them to design and tool products to meet market needs, and deliver them at low cost. Nivel brings 50 years of industry experience to the marketplace For more information on Nivel Parts & Manufacturing, visit their website at https://www.nivelparts.com/ or call them toll free at (800) 959-0852.
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BUYING A C
hether you’ve just moved into a golf club community and decided you need a cart for golf and neighborhood transportation, or your old cart just got you around the course for the last time, there are several factors to consider regarding the purchase of a new or used golf cart. Just like buying a car, there are plusses and minuses when determining if you buy a brand-new cart or a preowned one. The main reason will likely have to do with your budget. If money is not a concern, you may opt to buy a new custom
cart with every option to fit your specific needs from a local reputable dealer. But if you’re concerned about the cost, there are many sources of good, reliable used carts out there that may be perfect for your needs and that still have plenty of life in them. To some, the thrill of the negotiation process is an enjoyable challenge. Many people like the transaction if they think their negotiation skills will allow them to walk away from the deal feeling they’ve gotten the best bang for their buck. If you’re the type who enjoys the give-and-take of making a
NEWORUSED BY KELLY MADDEN
significant purchase, you should do a lot of research no matter if you’re dealing with a cart salesperson or a private party. It can also be a good idea to have someone with you who has purchased a cart before to help you ask the right questions and decide if the deal is right for you. Many dealers offer both brand new and refurbished carts so you can compare both options at one location. If you have concerns about the reliability of the cart in the long run, the warranty that comes with a new cart may give you peace of mind for the future. On the other hand, if you can be assured to
your satisfaction that a used cart has been properly maintained or updated so that it will still provide many years of use, you can save significant money going that route. It also doesn’t hurt if you have some measure of mechanical know-how. GATHER ALL THE FACTS ON BUYING NEW OR USED If you’ve made the decision to go with a brand-new cart, you look at a variety of models and manufacturers, just like when buying a car. Every major cart manufacturer has page after page of information, like technical specifications and GOLF CARTING MAGAZINE 33
capabilities, available options and more, on their website. This is an excellent way to begin the process, and you should write down any questions or concerns you may have before you head to the sales office. You should also read any reviews on any cart you’re considering, looking for any potential problems. If a significant number of people give a cart a negative review – particularly if they relate to the same issues or problems – you may want to consider another brand or model. If you live in a cart-friendly community like a golf country club, you can also do a lot of valuable research on the course or in the clubhouse talking to people who own a cart like the type you’re considering. People take a lot of pride in their ride and are usually happy to talk about what they like and don’t like about them. Make some notes before you write that check, whether for a new or used cart, and you’ll make the transaction process easier and more beneficial for you. If your neighbor bought from a specific cart salesperson at a certain dealer, that could also give you a good starting point. Just like when reading reviews of the cart itself, reading reviews of cart dealers can tell you a lot about the overall buying experience you may expect. You may find the cart of your dreams, but the dealer or salesperson does not provide adequate answers to your questions or seems disinterested 34 www.GolfCarting.com
in dealing with you, which can lead to a less than positive experience. You may be prepared to spend upwards of $20,000 or more for a fully customized cart, and the last thing you want is poor service or finding out something is not what you had originally thought after the deal is done. As we mentioned, the buying process is a thrill to some and a hassle to others, so you need to work with a dealer and salesperson who can demonstrate their trustworthiness and who follows through on their promises. This is why asking others who have bought from that dealer for their input can be invaluable. Even seemingly small things can make a difference in your decision to go new or used. If you buy from a local cart dealer, they’ll deliver your cart right to your door. If you find a good used cart and the owner lives outside your community, you’ll need to consider how you get it home. The same applies to future service and maintenance work on your cart. A new cart dealer will usually offer pick up and delivery service when your cart needs servicing. If you buy a used cart from a private seller, you should first determine if there is a local service shop that can work on it, and how you’ll get it there. Buying a golf cart is like buying a car or a home – many people just don’t want something that has been used by someone else or inherit someone else’s problems. If that sounds like you, you’ll be happier and more content with
buying a brand-new cart. BUYER BEWARE Buying anything second-hand always involves risk, and a golf cart is no different. It can be easy to believe everything the seller is telling you, and trust they’re being honest. But it takes some work to make sure of what you’re buying. Even if everything appears to be as presented, you’d be smart to have the cart checked out by a reputable cart service facility, even if they charge a fee for doing it. This could save you significant money down the road. Batteries are the biggest concern, whether they’re lithium or lead acid batteries. Traditional lead batteries need to be maintained properly to ensure peak performance and longevity, and if the owner failed to care for them, you may be in for a disappointment later. The age of the batteries is a critical question in determining how much life they may have left and how they take and hold a charge. If you’re buying a used cart, you should expect to be told how long the batteries have been in the cart, how long it takes to charge them, how many hours do they last and if you’re lucky, get an actual record of past battery maintenance and service work. You also need to learn about the cart’s suspension system, brakes, steering mechanism, electrical system, and more. If the deal includes a battery charging system, the same applies – buyer beware. Golf carts don’t have an odometer like a car, so you should ask the seller to verify the number of hours or “cycles” on the cart, not unlike buying a boat. If you’re considering a cart made after 2005, there should be a way to check the controller to see how many hours the cart has on it. If you can’t determine
that number, you may be at risk for spending more money on new batteries or a controller after your purchase. That’s why, no matter how much you may trust the seller, a professional inspection can save you a lot of headaches later. The average cost of a used cart is around $8,500, but of course it depends on a lot of different variables. The year, make and model, options and upgrades, condition, and general wear and tear all effect the price. You may be happy with a $3,000 cart to get you around 9 holes once a week, or invest $10,000 for a newer, fancier model with more of the things you want on it – it all depends on your specific needs. Buying a used or refurbished cart from a dealer may help protect you from getting a bad deal. Some may even offer a limited warranty on used carts, while buying from a private party means you’re on your own the minute you drive it home. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR Its hard to beat the feeling of taking delivery of a new, custom golf cart equipped with everything you’ve ever wanted. The peace of mind of knowing you haven’t bought anyone else’s problems or headaches, backed by the warranty that comes from the manufacturer, can mean years of worry-free cart use. But if budget is a concern, there can also be a great sense of achievement in finding a good deal on a used cart that checks out mechanically and is in great shape, and that saves you money in the process. No matter which option you choose, the keys are to do a lot of research, ask the right questions and assure yourself that your choice meets all your needs. -GCMAG
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HOW TO KEEP YOUR GOLF CART RUNNING GREAT I
f you own a custom golf cart like myself, you’re going to want that vehicle to last as long as possible. Maintaining your golf cart throughout the years is going to prolong the life tenfold. In this article we do our best to explain to you the most important tasks you can perform in order to keep your golf cart running great for years to come. Let’s get to it.
KEEP YOUR BATTERIES CHARGED The first tip up on the list is a pretty obvious one. Keeping your batteries charged at all times is going to have a huge effect on the life of your batteries and golf cart. We recommend that you invest in a quality battery charger in order to keep your batteries running optimally. The best kind of battery chargers are ones with auto shutoffs, that way you don’t have to worry about plugging and unplugging your golf cart. These chargers will automatically shut off when the battery is fully charged. This will also prolong the life of the battery only because over-charging your batteries can damage them over time. Batteries are the life of the golf cart, without them the golf cart won’t move, so taking care of the heart of the golf cart is going to make sure it’s running smoothly for its lifetime. 40 www.GolfCarting.com
MAINTAIN BATTERY WATER LEVELS Staying on the subject of batteries, the next thing you’ll want to keep an eye on is your battery water levels. Each battery has lead plates inside, and in order for them to work correctly, they’ll need a specific level of water. Each cell should have a cap that you can pop off in order to check the water levels. If your battery plate is bone dry, then you’ll need to add some water. The recommended level of water is usually about a ½ inch over the lead plate. It is also very important that you used distilled water, and not tap water. Depending on how often you are using your golf cart, you’ll probably want to check these battery water levels each month. If you forget to check your water levels, then you could find yourself purchasing brand new batteries for your golf cart. Running your golf cart on bone dry batteries can do some serious damage over time.
It is very important to keep dirt and corrosion away from your batteries and their connectors. If you do happen to have a bunch of gunk build up, or corrosion overtaking your connections, you should make a simple concoction of baking soda and water, and scrub those areas clean. Another helpful tool to use would be a wire brush, this will make getting the corrosion off those connectors a lot easier. MAINTAIN HEALTHY TIRE PRESSURE Batteries are definitely one of the most important parts to maintain on your golf cart, but it’s not the only thing you should take care of. Inspecting your tires before and after each ride should become second nature. If your tires are low on air, we recommend that you fill your tires up to the optimal pressure. This is important because if you let your tires run flat, or even a little low, you’ll find that the tires wear a lot quicker. Not only will this prolong the life of your tires, but it can also make for a smoother ride. So, before you take a trip in the golf cart down the road, make sure all the tires are properly filled.
With the cap off, if you can see the plates with no water over the top you will need to add water.
The recommended level of water is usually about a ½ inch over the lead plate. It is also very important that you used distilled water, and not tap water. Overfilling the cells may cause battery acid to leak out during the charging process leaving you with an ugly mess to clean up. CLEANING CONNECTIONS TO THE BATTERY While you're filling your batteries with water you should also take a closer look at the connections to your battery. Keeping your battery connections tight, and clean is going to make the golf cart run better and extend the life of your batteries.
Most tires have stamped on the sidewall of the tire the proper tire pressure as denoted as PSI. If you purchased you cart new, chances are you received an owners manual that will also include the correct tire pressure PSI. Granted, that the tires that came on your cart are from the manufacturer and not aftermarket tires and wheels. BRAKE INSPECTIONS If you plan on stopping your golf cart, then your brakes are going to need to be in tip top shape. Most golf carts GOLF CARTING MAGAZINE 41
golfcarttech aren’t moving at 60 mph so wearing out the brakes takes a little longer than a normal vehicle, but it’s still something you should be mindful of. Checking your brakes each year is a good way to keep your golf cart running smoothly. The brake drums, pads, and cables should all be inspected at least once a year. If you aren’t too sure how to do this yourself, you should take it to a local golf cart shop to have them checked. Maybe you need a brake pad replaced, or the brake cable is a little loose, in any case, a golf cart shop will be able to help you. The last thing you want is for your brakes to go out when you need them most. CHECKING FOR OIL LEAKS Oil leaks tend to be a problem with some older golf carts. If you notice that your golf cart is leaking oil, the first place you should inspect is the rear differential. The rear differential is one of the most popular places for a golf cart to lose oil. Get yourself down on the ground and look underneath the cart at your rear differential. If you see a good buildup of oil around the rear differential, then you could have problems in the near future. Oil leaks should be taken care of immediately in order to keep the golf cart running optimally. Any leaks that are left unattended to, can cause even more problems for your golf cart down the road. LIGHTEN THE LOAD In many instances there are companies using golf carts to transport equipment, or tools around large properties, whether that be a vacation resort, or even a manufacturing company. A big part of maintaining your golf cart is making sure that you don’t overload your golf cart. Before you pack your golf cart full of heavy equipment, you should be aware of the load capacity that your golf cart is rated for. Overloading your golf cart can put strain on the frame, shocks, and tires if you aren’t careful. If your golf cart is rated for carrying a good amount of weight, then just make sure you secure, and balance each load properly in order to keep yourself safe, and the golf cart healthy.
SERVICE YOUR GOLF CART EVERY YEAR Even if you are good about keeping your golf cart in great shape throughout the year, we still recommend that you have a professional inspect it every year. Sometimes we forget things, and that’s why it’s always smart to have someone double check everything. Golf carts can have components go bad without you ever knowing, and even if you do catch the problem, you may not know how to fix it, or have the time to do so. Taking your golf cart to a service shop each year will keep your golf cart running great for years to come. BEWARE OF ISSUES AND DON’T MAKE THEM WORSE If you’re driving your golf cart around and suspect an issue, you should immediately park the golf cart until you assess the situation. If you continue to ride the golf cart around with impending problems, then you could just make it worse. We always recommend troubleshooting the problem before running your golf cart into the ground. This will keep you, your family members, or even your employees out of danger until the problem is fixed. A lot of big problems that occur on golf carts are because of years of neglect and riding through problems that should have been fixed a long time ago. If you suspect an issue, park the cart and get it fixed immediately. FINAL THOUGHTS Why is it important to keep your golf cart maintained throughout the years? Your golf cart is an investment, and most custom golf carts can cost a pretty penny so keeping your golf in tip top shape will protect your investment for years to come. In this article we did our best to explain to you the most important things you can do daily in order for you to maintain your custom golf cart, such as checking your batteries for corrosion and dirt build-up, making sure your batteries are properly filled with water, and even keeping your tires at a healthy pressure. Doing these simple things can help you to keep your custom cart running for many many years. If you have any questions about golf cart maintenance, or any information to add, please let us know! Thanks for reading.
OWNER: Lance Greathouse from Glendale, AZ YEAR/MAKE/MODEL: 2021 E-Z-GO LANCE, COULD YOU TELL US ABOUT THIS CUSTOM BUILD? I built this cart for a female friend with all kinds of fun things she wanted. It is an electric cart with a built in PA stereo AMP system, a built in mist system, two video cameras, a soap bubble machine, it has flame effects, a refrigerator and lighting effects. CAN YOU GIVE US SOME BACKGROUND ABOUT YOUR COMPANY AND HOW LONG YOU HAVE BUILDING CARTS? I hav no background in building carts, but I build electric wheelchairs and scooters. I also build robots, I've been in Robot Wars, BattleBots, Burning Man ect., a lot of electric vehicles with fire machines and fun stuff. IS THERE ANY CUSTOM FABRICATION, OR CUSTOM-MADE PARTS? Yes, I built all the tread plate parts you see on the cart in my workshop. I also built the refrigerator brackets and a few other holders and miscellaneous items. 44 www.GolfCarting.com
WHAT AFTERMARKET PARTS DID YOU USE? Lots of lights and horns, a refrigerator, wheels & tires, fans and marine cup holders. DO YOU HAVE ANY FUTURE PLANS FOR YOU OR YOUR COMPANY? I’m retiring from my service job in August and I will be building custom machines for people full time. They will be mostly carts, wheelchairs and mobility devices, I have so may ideas for new things!
DR. GOLF CARTS
r. Golf Carts in Madison, MS is exclusively a designer of custom-built golf carts. They are an industry leader and pride themselves on their ability to “change the aesthetics of golf cart design.” They build one-of-a-kind golf carts. DEALER PROFILE: DEALER NAME: Dr. Golf Carts DEALER LOCATION: Madison, MS PHONE NUMBER: (601) 594-0754 EMAIL: email@example.com WEBSITE: http://www.drgolfcarts.com/ FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/Dr.GolfCarts/
According to Dr. Golf Carts, “Anyone can modify a golf cart, but 46 www.GolfCarting.com
what are the results going to be? We as professionals here at Dr. Golf Carts, take care of all the minuscule details to ensure the final product is both breathtaking and perfect in every aspect! No more compromises! Whatever your dream vehicle looks like, we possess the skills and knowledge to bring it to life!” Dr. Golf Carts will build a wide variety of electric vehicles ranging from LSVs, NEVs, golf course carts, beach carts, offroad carts, tailgating, security carts, commercial carts and transportation carts ranging from 2 passenger to 8 passenger. They even build ADA controlled carts for wheel chair accessibility and the disabled. Purchasing a cart from Dr. Golf Carts is truly a custom-build experience. The customer is in control of everything. They listen to the customer’s needs and want to know all of the
details on their build. Often times, the customer may not know exactly what they want and Dr. Golf Carts makes it simple to determine the direction of the build. Dr. Golf Carts is extremely detail-oriented to ensure 100% accuracy of the builds and their body of work speaks for itself. The customer first chooses the preferred year and determines if they want a new or used cart. They decide on the base model, lifted, non-lifted, stretched, luxury seats, contour, body type, wheels, tires, tops, colors, themed custom golf carts, standard or deluxe rear seat kits, LED side mirrors, marine stereo system, air conditioner, paint color or vinyl wrapped, powder-coated golf cart accessories, chassis, suspension type, gas or electric, and more. Customers can get as specific as they want or keep it more general. Dr. Golf Carts pride themselves on their building process. They don’t just slap on a few parts and accessories like a lift
kit, rears seats and chassis, and call it a day. Instead, they are extensive and thorough on every detail to deliver superior quality. Examples of this includes using only quality golf cart parts. They pay specific attention to the alignment of toe and camber to ensure permanent zero at all times. They check and double check for vibrations, noises and rattling. They perfect the torque and make any necessary brake adjustments. They use only marine grade connections that are double protected with wiring loom, bushings, spindle hubs and more. The end result? Delighted customers! Dr. Golf Carts offers a ton of payment options, including credit cards, certified checks, and even crypto currency and they ship nationwide. For more information on Dr. Golf Carts in Madison, MS visit their website at http://www.drgolfcarts.com/or call (601) 5940754.
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ASK THE MECHANIC Q: I have an older E-Z-GO TXT gas-powered-cart that is slow to accelerate and even bogs down and will not make it uphill. I have already replaced the carb, plugs and coil but it’s still running sluggish. Any ideas? A: Many performance issues can range from improper belt tension to running older or lower gas. More involved internal issues may also play a part including improper valve adjustment or low compression. While using a compression tester, most healthy gasoline engines run best at a minimum 150 psi; whereas a used engine could run well at around 120+. You may want to plan a rebuild if your engine has compression lower than 120. Q: How do you fix an engine with low compression? A: There are several things you can explore before a total rebuild is necessary. Factors contributing to low compression are having a bent valve, a burnt piston, a blown head gasket, 48 www.GolfCarting.com
stuck rings, clogged exhaust and even a loose spark plug. Troubleshoot these possible issues and try to isolate the particular cause. Q: Why is my Club Car turning over but not starting? A: Start with checking your fuel and spark. Change your fuel filter and lines for kinks and clogs and make sure your fuel pump is operational. Often overlooked is the battery which may not be charging properly and can produce a weak or nonexistent spark. Try using a jumper box on the battery and see if it starts. Check with a multimeter when the engine is running (and lifted on jack stands) to see if the generator is producing a charge to the battery. If a charge cannot be seen, check your wiring and possibly replace the generator and battery. If you are smelling gas while attempting to start and not seeing any spark, replace the coil and spark plug too.
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