If you already own a golf cart or if you are planning to buy one, then chances are you have come across the idea of lifting them.
Lifted golf carts can take you places that are inaccessible to carts with lower ground clearance.
Also, if you add all-terrain tires to the mix, then the cart is almost an ATV that can traverse over a variety of difficult terrains with relative ease. And let’s admit it, lifted carts look cool.
So when it comes to lifting your cart, what are your options? How much does it cost? Should you lift your cart?
If so, how much should you lift? This article will help you to find answers to all such questions that you may have regarding lift kits for golf carts.
- What is a Golf Cart Lift Kit?
- Block Golf Cart Lift Kits
- Spindle Golf Cart Lift Kits
- Drop Axle Lift Kits
- A-Arm Golf Cart Lift Kits
- Long Travel Golf Cart Lift Kits
- How Much Does It Cost To Put a Lift Kit on a Golf Cart?
- Should I Put a Lift Kit on My Golf Cart?
- What Size Lift Should I Put On My Golf Cart?
- Does Lifting a Golf Cart Make It Faster?
- How Long Does It Take To Install A Lift Kit on a Golf Cart?
- Can You Put Bigger Tires on a Golf Cart Without a Lift Kit?
- Are Lift Kits Bad for Golf Carts?
What is a Golf Cart Lift Kit?
A golf cart lift kit will include several parts that go into your cart to give it a higher stance. Depending on the kit, it can increase your ground clearance by as little as 2-inch to as high as 8-inch.
There are different kinds of lift kits available in the market, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. You will have to choose the right one based on your needs and preferences.
The different kinds of lift kits should be compatible with all types of golf carts including electric, gas and be able to fit the top brands like EZ-Go, Club Car, Yamaha, ICON and President.
The different kinds of lift kits are:
Block Golf Cart Lift Kits
Block lift kit includes a block that goes in between the suspension and the frame, essentially acting as a spacer. It will give your cart the lifted look, and you will be able to fit larger tires as well. It is the cheapest option and also the easiest to install.
The spacer has some limitations for how tall it can be. The block alone will not increase your ground clearance as the axle is still at the same height.
It can also put unnecessary stress on your suspension components, which can quickly wear them out.
Spindle Golf Cart Lift Kits
Spindle lift kits are one of the most popular methods of lifting golf carts due to their simplicity and low costs. This kit includes a drop spindle which replaces the stock spindle and attaches directly to the stock suspension. It also increases the width of the track and raises the front axle.
It does not offer the adjustability of toe and camber like A-Arm kits, and the ride is not that smooth either. But it is a lot cheaper in comparison.
Drop Axle Lift Kits
Drop axle lift kits include a “drop-axle” which will replace your stock front axle. A drop-axle has a larger radius compared to the stock ones, and it tapers down towards the spindles. It lifts the axle while still making use of the stock spindle.
It is one of the more economical solutions for lifting your cart.
They are slightly hard to install as it requires removing the stock axle. Carts with drop axle lift kits will not be as smooth as carts with spindle or A-Arm lift kits.
A-Arm Golf Cart Lift Kits
A-Arm lift kit replaces your entire stock front suspension. The heavy-duty A-Arm kits feature circular tubing construction, which increases the rigidity and durability of the setup. These kits improve the ride quality and offer a lot of adjustabilities.
The downside is that they are more expensive and more difficult to install.
The A-Arms also stick out of the bottom, which can interfere with obstacles off-road.
Long Travel Golf Cart Lift Kits
Long travel kits are the most capable setup of all the different types. These kits replace both the front and rear suspension with independent coil-overs at every corner. It allows the cart to drive over extreme terrains with ease. These are expensive and very hard to install for a beginner.
How Much Does It Cost To Put a Lift Kit on a Golf Cart?
The drop spindle golf cart lift kit, the most popular type, costs about $250 new. The prices go up from there, the long-travel suspension kit being the most expensive one, retailing at a few thousand dollars. Also, getting a mechanic to install the kit for you, will cost around $75 an hour.
Since the job can take a few hours, it will be much cheaper if you can do it yourself and check out aftermarket or second-hand lift kits from your local ad sites such as Facebook Marketplace or eBay for cheaper options.
At the end of the day, the cost will entirely depend on the type of lift kit that you decide to go for and how long it will take to install on your golf cart.
Should I Put a Lift Kit on My Golf Cart?
If you want extra ground clearance on your golf cart and would like it to stand out from other standard-made carts then yes, you should consider putting a lift kit on your golf cart.
Do you often find yourself restrained from taking your cart to places due to low ground clearance? Can you take advantage of the extra ground clearance if you install a kit?
These are some of the questions to ask yourself before investing a lot of money in a quality lift kit.
Most golf courses do not allow carts with all-terrain tires, and the lift kit might restrict the maximum load that you can carry in the cart.
These are some of the potential downsides to consider before making a decision on whether to have a golf cart fitted such as cost, aesthetics, and practicality.
It is also important to consider whether you drive mostly on paved roads or off-road and what terrain you may encounter and the type of cart that would suit your lifestyle best.
If you spend most of your time on golf courses and pathways, then a drop spindle lift kit might be the right choice for you.
What Size Lift Should I Put On My Golf Cart?
You should decide the height based on how you intend to use your cart and how much you can spend on the kit. If you already have a preferred tire size, make sure that the cart has enough lift to fit it.
If you want to fit a tire between 18 and 20.5-inches, you only need a 2-3-inch lift. The 22-inch tires will require 3-4-inches, 23-inch tires require 5-6-inches, and 25-inch tires require 7-8-inches.
Does Lifting a Golf Cart Make It Faster?
Lifting a car alone will not make it faster, rather the extra weight that is added when installing the kit might make the cart a bit slower. But if you also add bigger wheels, it should marginally increase the speed.
Lifting the cart will also raise the center of gravity of the cart, which can reduce stability. Widening the track will help to minimize the effect, but there is a risk of tipping over at high speeds.
How Long Does It Take To Install A Lift Kit on a Golf Cart?
Depending on the type of kit you choose, it will take a few hours to install a golf cart kit. The block and spindle drop lift kits are relatively easy to install, so they will take the least amount of time.
The A-Arm and long travel lift kits require disassembling the suspension, so they will take a lot longer to install.
Can You Put Bigger Tires on a Golf Cart Without a Lift Kit?
You can fit bigger tires on carts without installing lift kits. But this will decrease the clearance between the tires and the body of the cart. When the cart drives over bumps, the tire will rub on the underside of the body.
In the long run, it can cause a lot of damage to the tire, as well as other components such as the suspension. The tire will lose its tread much earlier than it is supposed to, and the tread wear will be uneven.
Are Lift Kits Bad for Golf Carts?
In general, lift kits are not bad for golf carts as they increase the ground clearance of the cart and therefore protect the underbody of the frame. Most carts have steel or aluminum frames that can handle reasonable trauma but if the ground is too uneven then damage can occur.
Practically speaking, lift kits for golf carts are only worth the investment if you are planning to take them off-road for any recreational activities such as hunting or camping.
If the motivation behind opting for a lift kit is purely aesthetic, then you might find that there are more disadvantages than advantages.
But if you can take full advantage of the lift kit, it will be the best investment you will ever make.
Always make sure to buy quality products from recognized brands as cheap, low-quality products can do more harm than good.