A custom golf cart with a motorcycle engine can be an exciting and unique project for those who are mechanically inclined and love a challenge. It can provide a significant increase in power, speed, and overall performance compared to a typical golf cart. This guide will provide you with a step-by-step process for putting a motorcycle engine in a golf cart. Keep in mind that this modification is not for the faint of heart and requires a strong understanding of mechanics and engineering principles.
Materials and Tools:
- Golf cart
- Motorcycle engine (preferably 4-stroke for smoother operation)
- Custom engine mounts or fabricated brackets
- Drive chain and sprockets
- Modified exhaust system
- Custom wiring harness and electrical components
- Throttle cable and linkage
- Custom gas tank and fuel lines
- Cooling system (if required)
- Basic hand tools (wrenches, sockets, pliers, etc.)
- Welder and metal cutting tools
- Jack and jack stands
Assess your golf cart and motorcycle engine:
- Make sure that the golf cart frame and suspension can handle the increased weight and power of the motorcycle engine.
- Choose a motorcycle engine that will fit in the available space and will not overpower the golf cart’s frame and drivetrain.
Remove the existing golf cart engine:
- Disconnect the battery and remove any electrical connections.
- Drain the fuel and disconnect the fuel lines.
- Remove the drive belt or chain.
- Unbolt and remove the existing engine.
Modify the golf cart frame:
- Assess the mounting points for the new motorcycle engine.
- Create custom engine mounts or brackets to secure the motorcycle engine to the golf cart frame.
- Weld or bolt the mounts to the frame, ensuring they are strong enough to handle the increased torque and vibrations.
Install the motorcycle engine:
- Position the engine on the custom mounts and secure it with bolts.
- Align the engine output sprocket with the golf cart’s drive axle sprocket.
- Install the drive chain, ensuring proper tension and alignment.
Modify and install the exhaust system:
- Create or modify an exhaust system that will fit the golf cart and meet local noise and emissions regulations.
- Install the exhaust system, ensuring proper clearance and secure mounting.
Install the throttle cable and linkage:
- Connect the throttle cable to the motorcycle engine’s throttle body or carburetor.
- Route the cable to the golf cart’s accelerator pedal and secure it with proper linkage.
Create and install a custom wiring harness:
- Design a custom wiring harness that will integrate the motorcycle engine’s electrical components with the golf cart’s existing electrical system.
- Connect the wiring harness to the motorcycle engine and golf cart, ensuring all connections are secure and properly routed.
Install a custom gas tank and fuel lines:
- Design and install a custom gas tank that will fit in the golf cart and provide adequate fuel capacity.
- Route and connect the fuel lines from the gas tank to the motorcycle engine.
Install a cooling system (if required):
- If the motorcycle engine is liquid-cooled, design and install a custom cooling system, including a radiator, hoses, and coolant reservoir.
- Ensure the cooling system is properly filled and functioning.
Test and troubleshoot:
- Reconnect the battery and perform a thorough inspection of the modified golf cart.
- Start the engine and test the throttle, brakes, and steering system to ensure proper operation.
- Listen for any unusual noises, vibrations, or signs of mechanical issues.
- Perform a test drive to evaluate the performance, handling, and stability of the golf cart. Make any necessary adjustments to improve performance or safety.
Finalize the project:
- Once you are satisfied with the performance and functionality of the motorcycle engine in your golf cart, perform a final inspection and ensure all components are secure and properly installed.
- Apply any finishing touches, such as painting or adding custom decals.
- Ensure compliance with any local laws or regulations related to modified golf carts, including registration, insurance, and safety equipment.
Necessary Tools and Equipment
|Item No.||Tool / Equipment||Description||Purpose||Estimated Cost|
|1||Engine hoist||A lifting device for heavy objects||To safely lift and position the motorcycle engine||$150-500|
|2||Socket set||A collection of sockets and wrenches||To remove and fasten bolts and nuts||$50-200|
|3||Torque wrench||A wrench used to apply specific torque to fasteners||To properly tighten fasteners||$40-200|
|4||Drill and drill bits||A power tool and various sized bits||To drill holes for mounting the engine||$50-200|
|5||Metal saw||A saw designed for cutting through metal||To cut and modify the golf cart frame||$20-100|
Motorcycle Engine and Golf Cart Compatibility
|Row||Golf Cart Make||Golf Cart Model||Motorcycle Engine Make||Motorcycle Engine Model||Compatibility|
|3||Club Car||DS||Kawasaki||Ninja ZX-6R||Yes|
Adapters and Mounts
|Row||Adapter / Mount Type||Motorcycle Engine Make||Motorcycle Engine Model||Golf Cart Make||Golf Cart Model||Estimated Cost|
|1||Engine mount||Honda||CBR600RR||Club Car||Precedent||$150-300|
|3||Engine mount||Kawasaki||Ninja ZX-6R||Club Car||DS||$150-300|
|5||Adapter plate||Honda||CBR1000RR||Club Car||Onward||$100-200|
Transmission, Drivetrain, and Braking Components
|Row||Component||Description||Compatibility with Golf Cart||Estimated Cost|
|1||Chain drive||A system that uses a chain to transmit power||Universal||$100-300|
|2||Sprockets||Gears used in chain drive systems||Universal||$30-100|
|3||CVT transmission||A continuously variable transmission||Universal||$200-500|
|4||Brake calipers||Devices that apply braking force to the rotors||Universal||$50-200|
Installing a motorcycle engine in a golf cart can be a challenging and rewarding project for those with mechanical skills and a passion for custom vehicles. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create a unique and powerful golf cart that will surely turn heads on the course or the streets. Always remember to prioritize safety and adhere to local regulations when modifying any vehicle. Happy wrenching!