Want to know how to lift a golf cart? Lifting your E-Z-GO, Club Car, or Yamaha golf cart can give it a unique look, a different ride, and allow you to traverse tougher terrain with ease.
No matter why you’re lifting your golf cart, you should be aware of the different types of lifts and their pros and cons. Another important note is that when you lift your golf cart, you are raising your center of gravity, making rollovers a more likely scenario if you don’t also widen your wheelbase.
Lifting Your Golf Cart With a Kit
Before you start looking at kits to lift your E-Z-GO, Club Car, or Yamaha golf cart, it’s good to know the different types of kits there are so you can be sure to get the one that best suits your needs. Some kits give better clearance than others, while some are easier and less complicated to install.
Spindle Lift Kit
A spindle lift kit replaces your spindle length and size. They install directly onto your factory suspension with relative ease and no hassle.
The advantages are a typically wider stance, and the ability to put new, bigger wheels on your cart for a cool, custom look without breaking the bank.
Added to this, by being installed directly onto your factory suspension, you can be assured that everything will work as planned with little to no further modification.
A-Arm Lift Kit
Designed to replace your front suspension system, A-arm kits typically have circular tubing for the front control arms and give you independent front suspension for a more comfortable ride and higher clearance.
Of course, you’ll have to get a different kit for the back, too, but the A-arm style is a great value and typically very easy to install. An added bonus is that they look super cool compared to most other kits.
Drop Axle Lift Kits
This type of kit uses a longer axle which provides a greater radius to your stock spindle.
In other words, a longer axle provides a higher ride without having to replace much else. These kits are among the most economic, but they provide a good amount of height and travel in your front suspension.
They aren’t as super quick to install as a spindle kit, but they’re not any more difficult, and they’re certainly less expensive.
Block Lift Kits
Block style kits are essentially a spacer between your suspension and frame. They give you a good boost in height and appearance, but are not as flexible or functional as any of the other types of lifts.
That isn’t to say they’re a bad choice, you won’t find an easier, less expensive, or simpler way to lift your cart than with a block kit. If all you want is a cool, lifted look and not break your back or wallet achieving it, then this is definitely the kit for you.
Independent Rear Suspension Kits
Similar to an a-arm, this kit puts your rear suspension on a-shaped control arms instead of the typical leaf springs.
This allows your rear wheels vertical travel without affecting each other. In other words, they can move up and down independently. Kits like this are sometimes sold with the front a-arm kit or as an add on.
Getting both kits gives you four corner, independent suspension. It may be a little more expensive than blocks, but if you’re planning on some rough terrain, there really is no substitute.
Other Types of Kits
Some aftermarket manufacturers will offer specialty kits that mix aspects of each of these, or take the basic idea of the kit to a new level with more parts.
These are often best for the enthusiast that wants something very specific, but doesn’t want to go through the hassle of designing their own kit.
They’re almost always the most expensive, but there usually isn’t a better, more convenient way to get the lift, travel, and look you want without a lot of trial and error.
Which kit should you buy?
Well that’s a good question, and the answer is yours and yours alone. It all depends on your needs. If you want sweet custom wheels, get a spindle kit, if you just want to be taller than everyone around you, get a block lift.
If you’re wanting functionality, and the ability to tackle new terrains, consider an A-arm, plus some other modifications that will provide you with height, clearance, and longer suspension travel.
No matter what kit you get, make sure you install it properly and safely. Some kits recommend you have a Yamaha, Club Car, or E-Z-GO golf cart professional install them.
This is usually because the kit involves changing some steering angles, or very specific torques to allow for movement in the suspension without losing structural integrity.
If these are things that you’re comfortable doing at home, then go for it. But if you aren’t sure about the difference between camber and caster, along with how that affects steering and tire wear, maybe let a professional take care of it.
It should be noted that some of these mods are easier depending on if you have a E-Z-GO, Yamaha, or Club Car golf cart, so be sure to look around at what’s available and goes best on your cart.
How to Lift a Golf Cart Without a Kit
If you’re looking to skip the kit and lift your golf cart yourself, then there are a lot more options available to you. It will just be a whole lot harder than with a kit.
The first and easiest option would be to build your own kit using aftermarket parts, while the second option would include either modification of your existing parts or fabricating whole new parts for your golf cart.
Build your own kit!
If you like this option, then you’ll have lots of fun picking out just the right parts from different aftermarket brands. You’ll probably save a little money, too, if you work towards that end.
The greatest strength of this method is that you can get the parts that each aftermarket manufacturer makes best, instead of being stuck with whatever is in the kit. This allows you to customize your lift to look and feel exactly how you want it to.
You can get a-arms for the front with longer shocks, springs, and axles, allowing you a super boost in height and travel with a gorgeous custom look, and then add custom independent rear suspension for an even smoother ride over the craziest terrain around.
If you decide to build your own kit, make sure that the front and rear either elevate the same amount, or that the wheels you get make it mostly level. A front lean would look really cool, but it can get pretty uncomfortable on a golf cart.
Fabrication or modification
As far as fabrication and modification, you’ll save a lot of money, but make sure you have the right tools and the know how. A simple mistake could cost you almost as much as a lift kit in the first place, so be careful.
That being said, it could easily be argued that this is the most rewarding method of elevating your golf cart.
A great custom job I saw recently involved removing the front axle and flipping the spindle pivots. This put the front axle above the wheels, allowing for not only a roughly 5 inch lift, but elevating the axle for better ground clearance.
Similar to this:
Nov 12, 2012 - 2008 EZGO TXT/PDS With: Jakes 6" Spindle Lift, 23" All Terrain Tires, 12" SS112 Wheels, Flip Flop Rear Seat, Custom Seats, Carbon Fiber Dash, Carbon Fiber Arm Rests, Carbon Fiber and Chrome Steering Wheel.
The modification required a welder, cutoff wheel, torch, and drill. One note that this person had was to make sure to get the angles right in camber and caster to maintain self centering steering. Otherwise, your steering wheel will get a little squirrely.