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Unread 10-16-2019, 12:25 PM   #1
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Default Can't decide what to build

I have some ideas of what I want the final cart to look like but have no experience building carts. So I thought I would start a thread to get input from the experts here.

I love forums because it brings so many interesting people together that focus on a specific subject, golf carts as an example. I belong to another forum CTSVOwners.com. There I was able to put together a well thought out build on my car that turned out very well with no trial and error. I hope to get advice here to build a cool cart.

I plan to use the cart at a house we just bought in a country club. Main duties will be driving around the neighborhood on the roads, driving on cart paths and using it when golfing. I don't need to haul mulch or go hunting.

I like the look and function of an air suspension that would go from regular comfortable ride height to slammed on the ground when parked outside of the club house. I'm not looking for a lifted cart with knobby tires.

Wheels and tires will be a pretty important item. Large rims with thinner tires that will fit inside the wheel wells is what I'm thinking.

Stock speed has to be bumped up. Not looking for smokey burnouts and instant acceleration, just looking for a great top speed at a reasonable price. At this point I really don't have a preference on gas or electric. The little digging around that I've done seems like hopping up electric can get pricey once you go beyond minor mods.

If gas makes more sense then a quiet engine is desired. Ease of modifying and cost to do so is important.

Budget wise I'm okay with buying a newer cart and then modding from there but if I could accomplish what I'm after for less, that would be awesome. The way I view the cart is it's an asset. The newer and nicer it is the more it would be worth and I'm okay to spend more because it will be valued more when I go to sell. That said I have no intention of buying a brand new one to tear apart foolishly wasting money.

So I'm super excited to hear what you guys suggest for which cart to buy, what suspension to purchase, how to make it faster and where to get a cool set of wheels and tires. Anything else I'm missing?

Thanks,
Warren
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Unread 10-16-2019, 04:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: Can't decide what to build

Are you planning a build with a custom body?

"GOLF CART TIRE SUPPLY" one of our sponsors, (and some of our other sponsors) have about any wheel/tire combo you would need.
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Unread 10-16-2019, 10:39 PM   #3
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Default Re: Can't decide what to build

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooncarter View Post
Are you planning a build with a custom body?
I hadn't planned to change the body.

I looked at the wheel tire packages but didn't see anything that yelled "buy me now". Plus I need to know what size wheel and tire will fit in the cart that I buy. I don't know which cart to buy yet. No need to put the wheel before the cart. :)
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Unread 10-16-2019, 11:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: Can't decide what to build

OK Warren. Let's start with the cart. IMHO and experience, I would start with a Club Car DS model. They have gone out of production in recent years, but there are (perhaps but I'm not sure, hundreds of thousands of them in the U.S.) lots around and parts are readily available.

I suggest this platform because of the ride, steering, comfort, durability and longevity. All Club Cars use a solid aluminum frame. The one you see in my avatar as a 1957 Chevy is built on a 1995 frame. However, all years of this cart are pretty much the same thing.
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Unread 10-17-2019, 09:09 AM   #5
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Default Re: Can't decide what to build

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooncarter View Post
OK Warren. Let's start with the cart. IMHO and experience, I would start with a Club Car DS model. They have gone out of production in recent years, but there are (perhaps but I'm not sure, hundreds of thousands of them in the U.S.) lots around and parts are readily available.

I suggest this platform because of the ride, steering, comfort, durability and longevity. All Club Cars use a solid aluminum frame. The one you see in my avatar as a 1957 Chevy is built on a 1995 frame. However, all years of this cart are pretty much the same thing.


I second the Club Car DS. Aluminum frame and an infinite supply of hop up and replacement parts.

One thing to look out for is the suspension bushings. They are rubber and are always dry rotted or. In existent in carts that are left outside.

Also, for cruising around the neighborhood, electric is the way to go. You can go as fast as you want and 25 mile range is more than enough. Plus lithium is now an inexpensive and viable option if you are willing to learn and do some fabrication.

Look for a cart with the extended roof- when you have passengers on the back it keeps them out of the sun and rain. Also start with a 48v cart. Controller, motor, and solenoid will not need to be upgraded until you get the inevitable thirst for speed.

Find a used DS that needs batteries. You will find these on Craigslist for $300-$500. Great start for a build.


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Unread 10-17-2019, 10:33 AM   #6
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Default Re: Can't decide what to build

I also prefer the DS. With nearly a 30 year run on the model, there's more parts than you could ever shake a stick at. And you could buy cheap, strip to nothing and build a SERIOUS cart, exactly the way you want it. And you could get a 1993 DS and once finished and built, nobody would know any different between a 1985 or a 2014 model year. And if you replace/rebuild all the suspension, motor/electronics/engine/whatever powerplant/drivetrain, you'll end up with basically a brand new golf cart, on a 1993 frame for a few thousand bucks that will easily outperform and look better than anything rolling out of a dealership brand new that cost 3x the price you have into it. Plus, if something goes wrong with it, since you built it, you'll be familiar with every nuance of the cart so troubleshooting becomes less of a "science project" and more of a "quick repair" type of thing.

Plus, they're just comfortable rides for daily use or just cruising. I'd say the DS has the "cadillac ride" of the golf cart world. Suspension bushings are worth checking out, but they're cheap and easy to replace so definitely not a show stopper if they're gone. they usually are...

Gas vs. electric you're going to have a ton of opinions. That's all they are. Both gas and electric have their advantages and disadvantages. I've had both, I've built both. My personal preference is gas because it's what fits my situation; electric is really inconvenient for me personally. But... My first advice would be to check with your country club since you said you live at one. Many country clubs and camp grounds don't allow gas carts, which would instantly make that gas vs. electric decision for you.

I've had both gas and electric carts that cruise comfortably at ~25mph. Again, my personal opinion, but anything much more than that and it starts to get scary and dangerous. Steering, suspension, alignment, BRAKES, etc. all have to be PERFECT for any more speed than that or you could very quickly and easily lose control and have a bad ending.
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Unread 10-17-2019, 10:55 AM   #7
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Default Re: Can't decide what to build

Very good advice from CP241.

Another thing to check your golf club for is color. Some only allow a specific color (white/beige).
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Unread 10-17-2019, 12:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: Can't decide what to build

If you go gas I'd get a Yamaha and put the plowmans kit on it. I don't know your budget but that kit helps speed and power while keeping it stock like and quiet, people looking for that have been very happy with it. I've seen some really cool looking ezgo road carts with low profile tires and wicked wheels. Check out the on road cart section there is a lot of stuff in there about that.
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Unread 10-17-2019, 11:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: Can't decide what to build

What year(s) Club Car DS electric would be the best? It won't stay stock for long so it sounds like 48 volt is better than 36. Isn't there a newer 72 volt out? Are they easy to lower with air shocks? Any differences in body styles that I should consider?

I believe I saw gas Club Cars changed to a Subaru engine in 2015. From what I read the engine upgrade was a big positive with simple throttle cable adjustments net a 25 mph top speed. Do I have that right?
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Unread 10-18-2019, 12:36 AM   #10
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Default Re: Can't decide what to build

OK. Let's talk terminology here. Most of us in here call a "build" starting from pretty much the frame up. Not necessarily that involved but pretty much so.

48 volt is what you need for your "build." 72 volt is another thing entirely.

Once you decide on the "platform" (cart you want to build) and gas or electric, we can help with what you want to do.

Please keep asking questions to help you decide the first part, but that's the way you can come to a decision.
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