Who doesn’t want to add a little speed to their golf cart? One of the most asked questions when it comes to golf carts is, how do I make it faster? What’s the best way to get more speed from my custom golf cart?
What exactly does adding speed to your golf cart entail? Is it expensive? Do I need to install new parts? These are probably the questions you’re asking yourself before you dive into this project, and we have answers.
In this article we do our best to give you the top 6 ways to make your golf cart go faster with as little effort as possible.
Adding More Torque
Torque can play a big part when it comes to adding speed to your golf cart. The more torque your golf cart has, the more speed it can produce.
So what is torque? Torque is measured by the amount of pulling power the motor produces. All of this is possible due to the current. If the current is higher, the more torque your motor is going to produce.
So how do you achieve more torque? This is simple, once you understand that Voltage is your Top Speed and Amperage is your Torque. In order to achieve more torque, you’re going to have to increase the RPM’s of your motor.
First you’ll want to switch to a motor with a higher RPM. This may involve some spending if you want to upgrade your existing motor. The upside to this, is you don’t have to mess with voltage.
If you don’t want to spend money on a new motor, your second option would be to increase the amount of voltage to your already existing motor (example: 36 volts pushed up to 48 volts). You should know, this will not increase your torque, only your top speed.
We should mention, upgrading one part of your cart at a time may cause an unbalance of power. Electricity can be fickle you…Voltage and amperage, according to the laws of electricity, are opposite. As voltage goes up your amperage goes down. This works both ways.
When you upgrade one part of your golf cart, like your motor for instance, you may lose power elsewhere, without another pertinent part. This is why we recommend upgrading everything at once in order to achieve the most power out of your golf cart. This makes a huge difference in the long run.
Upgrading The Motor
The first thing you should look for in a motor for your golf cart is the size of the field coil. Typically, Series Wound Torque Motors have larger coils inside. The larger coil allows for a larger magnetic field generation. This can hold the armature much more securely, which in turn creates more torque.
This will only upgrade your torque, so if you’re looking for more top speed then you’ll want to choose a motor with higher RPMs, which we touch on next.
DC series wound speed motors are going to be the best for those who want to go fast, and continue to go fast. Speed motors tend to have smaller magnetic field coils, which allows the motor to get going at a high rate of speed, which creates more top end speed for your golf cart.
Like we mentioned before, if you choose a speed motor, you’ll gain more top end speed, but lose torque, or acceleration. If you choose a torque motor, you’ll gain some acceleration, but lose a little top end speed.
One of our favorites is the Club Car AMD Torque & Speed motor, which gives you up to 25 mph speeds and 50% boost to your torque. This is the best of both worlds.
Upgrade The Speed Controller
Besides your motor, there are several parts to your golf cart that can increase the overall speed that you need to consider before throwing a new motor in.
Basically, if you throw a new motor in your golf cart, you may not get exactly what you want when it comes to more speed. The two components that need to be researched before purchasing a new motor would be the relay and speed controller.
These two parts sit quietly between your motor and batteries, but play a massive part in the function of your golf cart. Without upgrading these two parts you may cause more problems for yourself down the road. For example:
Say your motor can potentially draw 400 amps, but your speed controller is only rated at 300 amps. The current limitation will not allow your motor to run optimally. This is why we recommend upgrading all of your parts at the same time, and making sure that they are all rated at the same amperage level. This includes your motor, speed controller, and solenoid relay.
If we could recommend any company for speed controllers, it would be Navitas. They have been producing some of the best speed controller products for golf carts, and are worth every penny.
Upgrade Your Battery
Installing a new battery with a higher voltage is a quick and easy way to increase your overall power and speed for your golf cart. Changing the battery on your golf cart takes little to no time at all, and can be the difference in maximizing your golf carts speed.
If you aren’t entirely sure about the voltage on your existing battery, you should be able to find a label located on the battery. If your label is worn away, you can take a quick look at your motor to determine the voltage.
Why is this important? Choosing a new battery with a higher voltage output can increase the output of your motor, which will increase your golf cart speed tenfold.
It’s also important to note, you should choose a battery made specifically for golf carts. This is not absolutely pertinent, but it is definitely recommended. We suggest checking out batteries by Trojan. They make some of the best golf cart batteries in the business, all at a reasonable price.
We also recommend keeping your battery clean of buildup or corrosion. Believe it or not, clean batteries make your golf cart run better. A massive buildup of corrosion can cause your golf cart to run slow.
Also, it’s important to note that you should replace your battery cables when moving to a brand new battery.
Upgrade to Bigger Tires
Increasing your tire size is probably the easiest and most cost effective way to get more speed out of your golf cart. The nice thing about upgrading your tire size, is that it doesn’t matter whether you have a gas or an electric cart.
The larger the diameter of the tire, the faster the cart will go. This will only give you top end speed, and may slow your acceleration a little.
Most golf carts come standard with 8” tires. If you upgrade to a tire around 24”, and add no additional upgrades, you could find yourself gaining anywhere between 3 and 5 MPH.
Adding new golf cart tires is going to save you a good bit of money compared to upgrading any other speed components on your golf cart. This is also the easiest method to gaining speed, considering all you have to do is change your tires.
We should mention, if you do decide to get bigger meatier tires, some golf cart models may require a lift kit. Lift kits are typically inexpensive, and aren’t very tough to install yourself if you have any mechanical skills.
You should always make sure your tires are being maintained properly. This means checking your air pressure consistently. The PSI is stamped on the sidewall of the tire, and should be referenced before adding or releasing air. This will make a big difference in speed, so treat your tires nicely.
Keep Your Golf Cart Clean
I know it seems silly to think that keeping a golf cart clean would add some speed, but you’d be surprised. Obviously a nice and shiny outside can cut down a little bit on aerodynamics, but we’re mostly talking about the junk you rarely notice on the undercarriage.
Build-up such as dirt, mud, and rocks can sometimes get caked to the undercarriage. It’s always smart to give your golf cart a thorough wash after every ride. I know these don’t seem like things that would slow your cart down, but over time, they may start to.
Also keep in mind the amount of weight that you’re hauling. How many people are riding with you? Are you hauling a load?
These are all things to consider when trying to gain speed. We typically suggest that you keep your golf cart free of clutter, and also carry no more than the weight limit suggests. Excess weight on a golf cart can be damaging to your parts over time.
Making your golf cart faster can be done in a variety of ways, and over an extended period of time.
There is no need to rush when trying to make your golf cart faster. It’s smart to do your research on parts, and have a plan before diving head first into a massive golf cart project.
In this article we did our best to touch on 6 different ways you could potentially make your golf cart faster, including boosting your voltage, adding a new battery system, upgrading your speed controller, and even purchasing bigger tires.
I hope that this article has given you the knowledge and confidence to take the next step in making your golf cart a little bit faster. If you have any questions regarding parts, or comments about your recent upgrades, please let us know. Thanks for reading!