Speed Adjustments for the EZ Go Golf Cart
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EZ Go golf carts are designed for comfort and safety. Newer carts are powered by quiet electric motors and have a controller/sensor that regulates the speed of the cart. Many older carts have gasoline engines with a carburetor and throttle linkage. Aside from using the accelerator pedal to go faster or slower, you have a variety of options for adjusting the speed of EZ Go golf carts.
One way to increase the speed of a gasoline-powered EZ Go golf cart is to add an octane booster when you fill the gas tank. The cart will have more pickup and possibly gain as much as 5 mph. Another approach is to remove the throttle linkage governor on the side of the carburetor, allowing the accelerator pedal to depress farther. But this type of adjustment is limited because golf cart engines have an electronic cutoff that shuts the engine down at a certain rpm. Considering the short turning radius of golf carts, bypassing the cutoff feature on a gasoline-powered cart might compromise personal safety in some instances.
Looking at the specifications for EZ Go electric golf carts, you notice a cart with a 36-volt motor is capable of 12 to 14 mph top speed. In addition, you notice a cart that’s powered by a 48-volt motor can reach speeds just below 20 mph. With the possible exception of a private cart race, most people prefer leisurely cart rides when playing a round of golf. At the risk of voiding the manufacturer’s warranty on a new cart, retrofitting a larger electric motor will add more top speed. But you can save time and the cost of this type of modification by changing the speed controller on an electric EZ Go cart.
Speed controllers regulate the output of the electric motor on a cart. The controller works similar to a voltage regulator by maintaining a specific supply of electrical current at all times. When you stop, a sensor in the controller automatically minimizes the flow of current to the motor. When you apply full throttle, the sensor allows the motor to receive the amperage that’s necessary for top speed. You can obtain a speed controller with a higher output through a golf cart accessory outlet. The overall gain in speed will vary according to the efficiency and performance level of the motor.
Gearing and Chips
If you drive the golf cart on sidewalks or streets, you might want a cart that’s capable of speeds not otherwise attainable by modifying the motor or speed controller. Changing the gear ratio by installing a higher gear and including a special electronic chip might produce speeds that have your passenger holding on. Again, the short turning radius typical of golf carts presents safety risks in some instances. Make sure the brakes have been serviced and the golf bag platform is not overloaded to one side when you drive an EZ Go golf cart that’s capable of fast speeds.
William Machin began work in construction at the age of 15, while still in high school. In 35 years, he's gained expertise in all phases of residential construction, retrofit and remodeling. His hobbies include horses, motorcycles, road racing and sport fishing. He studied architecture at Taft Junior College.