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How to Convert a Golf Cart to Gas

by Jacob Burney

Converting your electric golf cart to a gas powered motor is a substantial undertaking and requires significant mechanical expertise. You must alter the transmission and engine of your golf cart by replacing the essential electric components of your cart with a gas powered engine. According to "Golf Car Help," most golf cart manufacturers produce electric golf carts because they are the preferred choice by golf courses. However, traditional golf cart lovers are customizing their golf carts with high powered gas motors from snowmobiles, ATVs, motorcycles, cars, and even SUVs. People are "tricking out" these golf carts for hot rod shows and even sanctioned races. While an electric golf cart is sufficient for simple golf course travel, you may want to convert yours to gas for more elaborate uses.

Purchase a gas engine, transmission and tank. If you deem these new parts too expensive, then you can strip a used gas powered golf cart of these parts.

Place the cart up on the car jacks, so you can work comfortably. If you have access to a car mechanic's garage, you should use a professional car lift instead.

Remove your golf cart battery and starter. these components are incompatible with a gas powered machine. Refer to your owner's and engine install manuals to determine if you need to remove any other parts.

Remove your engine and transmission. Use your hand tools to detach the engine block from the body of your golf cart. The engine is usually secured by a series of nuts, bolts and screws. Refer to your manuals for assistance in engine removal. Extract the engine along with the transmission. Have someone help you remove the engine from the cart, as these tend to be heavy.

Install your gas powered engine and transmission in the area formerly occupied by the electric components. Refer to your manuals and/or enlist the help of a professional mechanic for assistance. Secure and align these parts properly to avoid significantly damaging your engine, cart or yourself.

Install the electric components compatible with a gas powered cart, such as your battery, key ignition and headlights. Consult the manuals so you properly wire these components to your cart.

Mount the gas tank outside of your golf cart. There is no space inside the golf cart body to accommodate a gas tank, so it is important to arrange the tank away from any areas that can become overheated. The rear of the golf cart could be an ideal location for the tank depending on your golf cart model.

Put oil in your engine and fill your gas tank. Lightly press your accelerator to get gas in your engine. Listen to your engine and check for any rattling sounds. If it sounds okay, then go for a test drive. If there is any problem with the ride of your cart, consult a professional mechanic.

Tips

  • Download or purchase a gasoline engine installation manual. They are available online and in retail bookstores.Use a motor from a smaller gas vehicle, like a riding lawnmower or ATV, to convert your first golf cart. After you gain experience with this, you can attempt to install a larger and more powerful gas powered system.
  • You may want to purchase an engine installation kit if you are missing parts from a used gas engine.

Warning

  • Unless you are a certified car mechanic, you need professional assistance in converting your golf cart. Even the installation manual may not give you enough guidance when undertaking such a mechanical overhaul. The issues and "what if" scenarios that could come up, are great in number, and can only be predicted and resolved by someone with extensive applicable experience.

Items you will need

About the Author

Based in Washington, D.C., Jacob Burney has been writing professionally since 2005. He has written articles for "Broncos GameDay" magazine and the 2007 "South Pacific Games." He has also written several approved grant proposals. He is a former Peace Corps volunteer and holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Bucknell University with minors in philosophy and religion.

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