The significance of golf carts goes way beyond driving around the golf courses and hauling the gear. When choosing a golf cart, buyers tend to have certain criteria in mind; the passenger and load carrying capacity, accessories and utility, and the driving capability of the cart.
In recent years, 4×4 golf carts have gained traction among golf cart enthusiasts. Technology and advancement in mechanics have paved the way for tougher golf carts. In these carts, all 4 wheels are powered by the engine which offers better traction, and capability in tough terrains.
Let’s look into more detail about 4 x 4 golf carts and whether they are good for your own needs.
- Do They Make a 4 Wheel Drive Golf Cart?
- How Do I Convert My Golf Cart to 4×4?
- Step-By-Step Guide Instructions for 4×4 Golf Cart Conversion
- How Much Does a 4×4 Conversion Cost?
- Does EZ-GO Make 4×4 Golf Carts?
- EZ-Go St 4×4 Golf Carts
- EZ-GO Express
- Does Yamaha Make a 4 Wheel Drive Golf Cart?
- Yamaha Viking EPS
- Yamaha Wolverine RMAX 2
- What are the Advantages of a 4×4 Golf Cart?
- Are 4WD and 4×4 the Same?
Do They Make a 4 Wheel Drive Golf Cart?
Yes, 4-wheel drive golf carts have been in production for the last decade, and various well-known manufacturers offer these rugged golf carts including EZ-Go, Yamaha, and Club Car. 4-wheel drive golf carts are available in both gas and electric-powered options.
Owing to a growing demand for tougher and more durable ATVs, 4×4 golf carts began to emerge in the mid-2010s.
Initially, the 4-wheel drive golf carts were offered only with gas-powered engines, and the electric 4×4 golf carts started to roll out once EV vehicles became more trustworthy in terms of reliability and range.
Golf cart manufacturers realized that people wanted to use their buggies for off-road driving or light commercial haulage across difficult terrain.
How Do I Convert My Golf Cart to 4×4?
You’ll need a professionally designed conversion kit to transform your golf cart into a 4×4 drive. The 4×4 conversion of a golf cart is a complex job and it is recommended that you hire an expert technician for this process. The conversion kit includes 7 major components.
You should look for the following parts when thinking about converting your cart to 4×4:
- Steering rack with an extension
- CV axles and A-arms with bushings
- 4×4 output gearbox and 2 speed rear axle
- Drive Shaft
- 9” shifter cable
- Front differential
- Strut bearings and support brackets
Step-By-Step Guide Instructions for 4×4 Golf Cart Conversion
We have compiled a simple overview of the steps to follow in order to turn your two-wheel drive golf cart into a 4×4:
- Strip your golf cart down to its frame and clean it properly, removing excess dirt, paint, and dust.
- Drill the holes in the frame according to the guide for the sub-frame.
- Mark the space for steering extension and notch out the frame housing area with a drill.
- Then install the strut bearings and strut mount brackets to secure the steering assembly.
- Install the CV axle into the front differential.
- After securing these parts, the next step is to install the A-arms to the sub-frame.
- Now, fit the heavy-duty leaf springs with the help of U-bolts.
- Then install the rear axle and shifter cable.
- The last step is to fit the 4×4 gearbox and driveshaft and make the necessary connections accordingly.
Check all the links, screws, and bolts before putting the cart back together.
This is a simplified technique of converting a golf cart to a 4×4 drivetrain. It is a technically complex job and only trained golf cart mechanics should be hired for this job.
Watch this video on how this mechanic installed a SilverWolf 4WD Motor Kit on a Club Car cart:
How Much Does a 4×4 Conversion Cost?
Converting a golf cart to a 4×4 drivetrain can cost up to $5,000. You have to buy a quality conversion kit and pay the services plus labor charges to the technicians. If you’re skilled enough to do it yourself, you can save around $1000 against costly hourly labor rates.
Converting the drivetrain on a golf cart is a very tedious and costly endeavor. It is a complex mechanical process that requires special expertise, a dedicated technician, a certified conversion kit, and a lot of time.
Taking into account the cost of the conversion kit, labor charges, and taxes, a 4×4 conversion of a golf cart can cost $5,000. Quality kits are available for around $3,500 and a technician can charge up to $1,200 for the complete job.
Does EZ-GO Make 4×4 Golf Carts?
EZ-GO is a household name in the golf carting world and produces a wide range of utility vehicles. EZ-GO makes 4×4 golf carts in both electric and gasoline powertrains. The most well-known EZ-GO 4×4 golf carts include the Express and ST models.
EZ-GO has been in business for decades and produces durable and high-quality golf carts that are used on golf courses, off-road, and on the streets through their street-legal range.
The popular EZ-GO 4×4 golf carts are the ST and Express series.
EZ-Go St 4×4 Golf Carts
The EZ-GO ST is powered by a 615cc, V-Twin, air-cooled engine supplied by Honda. T produces a range-topping 18 horsepower and hits a top speed of 25 mph seamlessly.
The powerful engine is mated to a CVT gearbox and limited differentials allow superb traction and stability, which is important for a raised height. The 4-wheel drive layout makes it one of the most capable 4×4 golf carts out there.
The EZ-GO Express is a smart 4×4 golf cart powered by a 72v AC electric drivetrain. The fully-synchronized 4-wheel drive system makes it a rugged machine that has instant torque waiting to be unleashed.
The differentials allow better control over the ride and the Express 4×4 golf cart is a comfortable machine to have, despite its capabilities.
Does Yamaha Make a 4 Wheel Drive Golf Cart?
Yamaha is also a very popular golf cart manufacturer. Yamaha has a few models that come with a 4×4 drivetrain that offers superb utility and durability. These include the Wolverine, the Viking, and Umax series.
The 4×4 golf carts produced by Yamaha are powered by durable engines that offer long-term usability and dependability. This is a well-reviewed brand that operates with a high level of customer support and reputation in the US.
Yamaha Viking EPS
Powered by a 668cc liquid-cooled SOHC engine with an ultramatic V-belt transmission. It has a specially designed injection system and a 4-wheel drive with limited differentials for rugged conditions. It is one of the most desirable and reliable golf carts on the market.
Yamaha Wolverine RMAX 2
This 4×4 golf cart is powered by a 990cc water-cooled DOHC engine which produces 40+hp. It has a similar Yamaha Fuel Injection with modified throttle bodies. The Ultramatic V-belt transmission and 4-wheel drive setup provide ultimate control over the terrain.
What are the Advantages of a 4×4 Golf Cart?
4×4 golf carts offer various advantages over conventional golf carts. For instance, they have better traction and stability, have more torque and better power delivery, are ideal for tough terrains and have a better load carrying capability as well.
4×4 golf carts have a different drivetrain as compared to the normal golf carts, and have the power delivered to all 4 wheels instead of 2. This makes them better suited for various purposes and an ideal choice for adventurers.
The 3 main advantages of 4×4 golf carts include:
- Power delivery to all 4 wheels improves the traction and stability, offering ideal maneuverability on off-road trails and tough terrains.
- All wheels getting the power from the engine makes it suitable for multi-purpose jobs. Never get stuck or have to look for a tow vehicle.
- 4×4 golf carts also have better-towing and enhanced load-carrying capability, thanks to the equal power distribution.
Are 4WD and 4×4 the Same?
Yes, technically, the 4WD and 4×4 work in the same manner. Both these terms are often used interchangeably and basically have the same meaning as well, power from the engine going to all 4 wheels.
4WD stands for 4-wheel drive, which means that all 4 wheels in a vehicle would receive power from the engine. This term is a little vague as there are some vehicles with 6 wheels as well, and 4WD doesn’t exactly apply there.
But in general, it implies that all 4 wheels are connected to the engine via a driveshaft, and get power.
A 4×4 system on the other hand is very clear, it implies that a car has 4 wheels, and all those 4 wheels get power from the engine. 4×4 was first used by Jeep for their SUVs, and most of these vehicles have a setting where the driver can select between all 4 wheels moving or just the 2 of them.
A very important thing to know here is that in both the 4WD and 4×4 systems, all 4 wheels get equal power from the engine and there is no intelligent system distributing the power based on the traction, or tire contact.
There’s an AWD system (all-wheel-drive), which senses the traction at all 4 tires and distributes the power accordingly.
Golf carts are one of the most common vehicles owned by golfers and are used for different purposes, other than on the golf course of course. In recent years, 4×4 golf carts have gotten the attention of enthusiasts, thanks to the advancements in the automotive industry.
Many golf cart manufacturers produce 4×4 golf carts, such as EZ-GO, and Yamaha.
If you have a golf cart already and want to convert it into a 4×4, you can do it by getting a conversion kit and making major changes to your golf cart’s frame and drivetrain to install it.
There are many benefits of 4×4 golf carts, such as they provide better traction, and have an enhanced power distribution and load-carrying capability.
The 4×4 golf carts are ideal for rugged and tough terrains, but remember that converting a golf cart to a 4×4 layout can cost you up to $5,000, whereas the brand new from the factory are priced at around $15,000.