Does My 2 Year Old Need Car Seat On Plane High Speed Golf Carts: Choosing Your Options

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High Speed Golf Carts: Choosing Your Options

Electric Low Speed ​​Vehicles (LSV) are becoming extremely popular today for a number of reasons. They’re quiet, fun and relatively comfortable to drive, but more importantly, they don’t use fossil fuel. New LSVs like the GEM and others can be very expensive though and not a practical purchase for those who would only use them occasionally or on weekends. Welcome the “lease turn”, out of warranty, golf course Fleet Vehicles (golf carts) to the rescue. Three-year-old Club Car, EZ-Go and others appear in their thousands at auctions across the United States each year. Some end up in neighborhood classifieds or used cars after a quick cosmetic makeover. Many of them make their way to “hack shops” where they are stripped of their original golf paraphernalia, lifted up, fitted with flashy wheels, carbon fiber dashboards, plush upholstery and satellite radios. They have painting themes ranging from your favorite adult beverage to your alma mater’s team and such. A $1400 golf cart is magically transformed into a $6,000 “pride ride” for some lucky consumer.

The only thing beneath the fabulous makeover these vehicles usually have in common is the old batteries and components. The other thing is; they are typically set to operate at really slow speeds (12 mph or so). You guys who have rented golf carts at your local course know why they do it. To operate on public roads and be classified as an LSV, many municipalities require the vehicle to go 20 mph, and must be equipped with lights, seat belts and a horn. The lights and belts are easy enough to deal with but making your cart go 20 mph is another story. Even if you’re not trying to make it legal, most users want the extra speed capability just to add more utility and enjoyment. 12 mph is just too painfully slow for most users. If you think 12 mph is fast enough, give it a few weeks.

Okay, so you’re ready to do whatever it takes to fly that baby. Well, maybe 20 mph isn’t exactly flying, but it sure feels like getting thrown off at that speed. Seat belts are a good idea at any speed. The first thing to determine is how fast do you really want to go and how will you use the vehicle? Is the terrain flat or hilly? Will you be transporting cargo of any great weight (No, I don’t mean your mother-in-law)? For hills and/or heavy loads, you will also need to increase the torque of the cart. This means a more powerful motor and probably an updated motor controller to handle the extra current demands of the motor. There are several vendors that can provide such updates, but they can be expensive. Be sure to do your homework and shop around. If you only have a standard cart and are using it on essentially flat ground, you have a few more options:

Taller Tires – Increasing the diameter of the driving tires increases the distance they will roll for each revolution of the axle, thus increasing the speed of your cart. You first need to know how fast you can go with the standard 18.5 inch tall tires. Most portable GPS units can be used as a speedometer to find this. If you don’t want to do the math, there are several free online calculators to help you determine how much speed you’ll gain with the new taller tires. A very good one is the Digital Overdrive Systems website. Although increasing the tire size will increase your speed, the torque will suffer a bit. That means you might have to leave your mother-in-law at home! Tire size is also limited by the wheel opening. Most large tires require the cart to be “raised” which may not always be desirable and can be expensive. The speed gain is relatively small (couple of mph increase)

High Speed ​​Gear Set – In the differential housing or rear axle, there is a gear reduction system. The engine has a small gear that moves the greater gear of the axis. Typically the motor rotates about 12 times for every one revolution of the axis. This is how the relatively low power motor gains a mechanical advantage to propel the cart. Like the gears on a bike, it’s easier to pedal when the drive cog is on the small diameter one. To go faster, you need to move forward to the larger drive sprocket. The bike goes faster, but it’s harder to pedal. In golf cart speed gear, the ratio is similarly changed by increasing the drive diameter, and the cart runs faster. Like the bicycle though, the engine must provide more force- “torque” to the axle. This type of modification is great for speed but will sacrifice low speed torque (your mother in law again) and is not recommended for hilly areas. Installation can be messy due to the gear lube and requires some skill and knowledge.

Increase Engine RPM – Increasing the Revolutions per Minute or RPM of the engine is one of the most popular techniques to increase the speed of a golf cart. This type of modification does not sacrifice low-end torque like the two previously mentioned. Golf cart electric motors are designed to run at a certain maximum RPM (typically around 3600 RPM) at either 36 volts or 48 volts and provide a good balance between speed and torque of the end product. Aftermarket motors have their fields and armature windings redesigned so that they reach a greater RPM than the stock ones. If the motor is spinning at twice the original RPM, a 12 mph cart could reach as much as 24 mph. The motors are safe and reliable but may require the addition of a high current Controller to operate at full potential. Aftermarket “speed motors” are available from some vendors but can be quite expensive due to all the copper wire in the windings. There is one vendor that provides a really simple and easy upgrade for Club Car IQ carts called SpeedyLink that increases the RPM of the stock engine by about 50% without any additional modifications.

Whichever method you use to increase the speed of your golf cart, be sure to use good judgment and use proper safety equipment. Karting can be fun and functional for everyone and has many applications. Be safe while enjoying your fast golf cart. Check out more articles on golf cart upgrades and maintenance.

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