Electric to Gas Golf Cart Conversion: Pros & Cons

We get a lot of inquiries about how to proceed with an electric to gas golf cart conversion, Electric to Gas Golf Cart Conversionas well as vice versa.  Typically, we advise people not to reinvent the wheel and if you want an electric, buy one.  Likewise, if you want a gas cart, buy one.  It is not usually cost-effective to perform these types of conversions, but we will discuss the pros and cons nonetheless.

Let’s start with the Pro’s of an electric to gas golf cart conversion.

  • Gas golf carts have greater range.  They will go further on a tank of gas than any electric golf cart can travel on a single charge.
  • Gas golf carts are self-contained meaning you do not have to lug a heavy, clunky battery charger around with the cart if you travel with it.
  • Gas golf cart can be much less complex than modern electric & electronic versions. Likely more technicians can be found for repairs since much of the technology is similar to automobiles.

Of course, as mentioned above, we feel the Con’s greatly outweigh the Pro’s for an electric to gas golf cart conversion.

  • Reinventing the wheel is always time-consuming and expensive.
  • The battery racks must be removed and replaced with a suitable engine and custom fabricated engine mounts.  Fabrication equals time and money.
  • The differential must be changed.  The differential in an electric cart is very different than that in a gas cart.  The input shaft from the old electric motor usually will not support the installation of a driven clutch.  Further, gas differentials have a thicker diameter axle for higher torque.  For this reason, we would recommend changing the entire differential assembly to the appropriate version.  Keep in mind there are different versions of gas differentials depending on whether the engine will be 2 cycle or 4 cycle.  They are NOT interchangeable due to the fact that 2 cycle golf cart engines physically run both directions.  Whereas, a 4 cycle engine always turns the same direction and the direction of the vehicle is changed through the differential.
  • Gas tank will need to be located and installed with possible more bracket fabrication.
  • A small platform to hold the 12V starter battery will need to be fabricated and installed.
  • It is very likely that the linkages from the accelerator pedal will have to be replaced.  Typically, the linkages on an electric cart to the throttle sensor or wiper board are quite different that cable style systems used on gas vehicles.

Before attempting an electric to gas golf cart conversion, or vice versa, we suggest doing all of your research in advance to get a true idea of just how much time, labor, and money the project will cost.  Once these factors are laid out for review, it is often very easy to see that just buying what you want up front is much easier than these types of conversions.

By Michael Williams

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