When we last left our off-road golf cart project, the original chassis was completely ripped apart and stripped of all the unnecessary parts (“Golf Cart Resurrection,” June/July ’13). The factory-installed frame was cleaned and inspected before being placed on some jackstands awaiting upgrades.
Dave Gilliam is the man behind the madness of at DG Custom Golf Carts. When the opportunity came up to help us out with our golf cart, he was first in line to lend a hand. The awesome overhaul includes the addition of DG Custom motor-mount brackets that will hold the 23hp Vanguard big-block motor. The brackets mount directly to the factory battery rack, so no frame modifications are required. All the suspension components come from Jakes lift kits—additional of a few DG Customs 1-inch spacers for a little extra clearance. The Jakes suspension kit includes all-new heavy-duty spindles that lift the cart a full 6 inches. The overall height of the cart is going to be 83 inches once the spacers, wheels, and tires are installed. Dave also hooked us up with some mean-looking 14-inch MJFX wheels and 27x11x14 Swamp Lite tires.
Although it is a little golf cart, it take a good amount of skill and patience to build and restore it for hardcore action. It can be a DIY project, but you’ll need a good amount of mechanical experience and our series of cart build articles. There are a lot of small moving parts that have to work perfectly together or they just won’t work at all! The crew at DG Custom Golf Carts has perfected this craft over the years and the quality of their work shows.
Step By Step
Our now clean and repainted frame received a pair of DG Custom motor mounts, which will securely hold its new 23hp Vanguard motor. This was a good time to run the basic wiring for lighting and audio and the cables for throttle and clutch along the frame, and to check for clearance.
Dave’s crew aligned the refurbished the rear axle of a gas-powered cart and started fitting it to the suspension.
The Jakes suspension kit includes rear leaf springs; lift blocks, spindles, and axle brackets.
It’s a high-quality kit and should last for years, even years of abuse in the mud.
The Vanguard motor slid in smoothly and bolted to the motor mounts without any problems.
The mounts have adjustable Heim joints that allow the engine to flex slightly if needed.
Bolting the rear end to the leaf springs was quick and easy. Adding a few DG Custom spacers above the leaf spring hangers will give more clearance so the tires and suspension won’t rub the fenders.
With a few final connections and bolts, Dave is finished with the rear and has moved on to the front. The bright green shock boots are going to look killer with the matching graphics!
The front steering kit is designed to mount in the factory location. The Jakes spindles are a perfect fit and make lifting the cart less complicated.
Upgraded brakes were mounted to the front to handle the extra power from the Vanguard motor. After the spindles and suspension were installed the shocks were bolted on. The front is almost complete.
Now the body can get some graphics and then be bolted back in place before the cart can be taken for a test run, but you’re going to have to wait for the next issue to see that. Stay tuned.