What you need to know before lifting your golf cart
Lifting golf carts has never been so popular, and with all the advancements made in this area, it has never been easier! You now have a wide variety of options when considering a golf cart lift kit. This article is designed to give you a basic introduction to golf cart modification and to help you decide if lifting is right for you.
The lift kits are great and a lot of fun, nothing looks quite as good as a lifted car with big tires and an amazing paint job! The elevators will also give you the clearance you need to navigate more difficult terrain. However, you must consider several performance elements before lifting a cart.
Speed, torque and gear ratio will all be affected by a lift. There are many golf cart performance parts that can dramatically improve any drawback, but understand that lifting a golf cart can be an expensive and time-consuming task. The quality of the products you choose will play a huge role in the performance you can expect after a lift. Lift kits are one area where you should never take shortcuts or buy lower-quality equipment.
These are some of the basic areas to consider before lifting your cart, if you find that the benefits of a lift outweigh the drawbacks, chances are you will love your new lift.
Along with most lifts, larger tires come. Since all cars were designed with a specific tire size to work efficiently with the gear ratio in the differential, increasing the size of the tires will affect the performance of your cars in several ways:
- When you increase the overall height of your tires, you can gain a bit of top speed when on flat ground, because the larger tires roll more with each revolution.
- More stress is put on your motor or motor to move the larger tires the same number of rotations that it moved the smaller tires.
- When climbing slopes or hauling loads, your engine or motor has to work harder even with standard size tires. The bigger the tire, the more work for the car.
- More work combined with the stress to rotate the larger tires will greatly reduce the rate of climb and load torque.
Safety is probably the most important area to consider with any stroller modification, no matter how small. A lift will not only raise your cart, but it will also raise your center of gravity. Your driving habits will need to adjust in response, the chances of rolling or flipping a cart increase with any elevation or when the center of gravity is raised. You will no longer be able to take turns as fast as you normally do and will need to be careful in hilly terrain.
One of the biggest benefits you’ll get from an elevator is that by raising your center of gravity, you increase your headroom. Now you can navigate rough terrain that you probably couldn’t before!
Golf cart lift kits come in various lift types and sizes, depending on the brand of the cart. The most common lifters are the axle and the drop axle. Recently, long travel adjustable lifts have taken golf cart lifts to a whole new level. These truly amazing elevators allow you to be in control of the height of your cars and easily change them to suit your needs.
Screw lifts are probably the easiest kits to install and also the cheapest. Spindle lifts simply replace the factory spindles that lift the carriage. Axle axle lifters replace the entire axle and can be a bit more expensive and complicated to install. However, a shaft lift is a cleaner looking and much stronger lift.
To better decide which lift is right for you, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What is the cart primarily used for?
- Are your current cart limitations bothering you?
- Do you use the cart on a golf course or on the street?
- What is your budget and can you go over it if necessary?
- Is it important to transport large loads or climb hills? If so, are you willing to further modify your cart?
- Do you have the time and money to modify other components if necessary?
If your stroller is primarily used in a field or on the street, you shouldn’t pick it up or go with an adjustable long travel kit. Golf courses do not allow aggressive or off-road tires due to the damage they cause to the turf. An adjustable kit will give you the freedom to drop your cart and change your tires when you want to play a round. Off-road tires are designed to be used both on and off-road, however it will wear them down faster on the pavement and the ride is not always pleasant. It will be up to you to decide whether the time spent adjusting your lift and changing your tires is worth it, or more trouble than it is worth. Most people who spend more time on or off the road, but occasionally do the opposite, benefit more from a long trip kit.
If you spend most of your time off the road, a more permanent lift is probably the best option for you. Then it will be more a matter of deciding between an axle or a flap axle lift.
Drop axles are usually the best lift kits you can buy and there are several great premium manufacturers like Jake’s or All Sports Mfg. Always invest as much as possible, as quality really makes a big difference in a lift kit. Save if you have to, but never sacrifice quality for cost.
If you have the time and money to invest in your cart, it can become a great hobby for you and your family. You’ll be amazed at how one mod will lead to two or three, and if done correctly, you’ll get performance mixed with style. Just always keep safety in mind and make sure any changes you make are fully investigated beforehand.