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A golf cart’s suspension system is critical for the golf cart durability, the driving experience, and the passengers safety. In essence, its job is to provide stability by preventing the rattling of the golf cart with tough terrains or hazards on the road. However, despite and perhaps because of the suspension system’s fundamental role, its parts tend to wear out and degrade over time. This necessitates constant awareness of its status and components’ functionality.
In that case, suspension upgrades come in handy. In this article, we explore five key areas to upgrade your golf cart suspension, each promising to elevate performance and transform your ride.
5 Suspension Upgrades for Your Golf Cart
A golf cart lift kit, as the name suggests, simply lifts the golf cart several inches off the ground, allowing for more smooth ground clearance. The higher golf cart also facilitates the installation of larger tires. This combination provides a protective cushion against impacts with hard obstacles, reducing the risk of potential damage to the cart.
Furthermore, the safety benefits of a suspension lift kit extend to improved road visibility, a crucial advantage for maneuverability and preemptive measures against obstacles. Specifically, the increased ride height provides expanded sight lines to see hazards sooner. Whether navigating a bumpy fairway or traversing muddy terrain, identifying dips, holes, rocks, and other pitfalls earlier gives more reaction time to maneuver the cart safely. The visibility buffer has the added bonus of allowing slightly faster overall speeds while still maintaining control and awareness.
Leaf springs have been around since the horse and carriage days, though modern varieties are vastly more advanced. Nevertheless, they remain a central pillar of the golf cart suspension system. Their main job is to support and distribute the cart’s weight evenly, ensuring stability and a smooth ride. They are usually made from steel or other metal composites and attached to the golf cart frame.
Leaf springs not only stand out as one of the most affordable suspension upgrades but also emerge as a preferable choice due to their flexibility in installation. Specifically, golf cart owners can choose to install leaf springs either in the front or rear side of the cart, on or under the axle, and even select between dual-action and heavy-duty leaf springs based on their specific needs. Whatever you end up choosing, do know that replacing leaf springs is a relatively easy task.
Wheels and Tires
As previously stated, a suspension lift kit allows for the installation of larger wheels and tires, significantly impacting performance. The logic is simple – taller tires have more surface area, resulting in smoother bump absorption and improved ride comfort.
Tire pressure is another aspect to consider when upgrading the golf cart suspension. Consider adjusting tire pressure slightly below the maximum PSI to prevent overinflation, which can make tires rounder and stiffer, hindering flexibility and impacting absorption in the process.
Learn more about tires in our comprehensive guide: All About Golf Cart Tires- Essential Questions to Ask
Small but impactful, suspension bushings act as absorbers. Typically made of rubber, these little units are placed between the suspension system components, preventing harsh metal-on-metal friction. The softer the bushing, the better it isolates vibrations and noise, offering enhanced protection to the golf cart.
As bushings are in constant contact with other components, they endure the majority of impacts, leading to inevitable wear over time. Indicators that it’s time to replace golf cart bushings include decreased steering responsiveness, unstable braking, diminished overall performance and comfort, and uneven tire wear.
Shock absorbers, or simply shocks, are a central piece of the golf cart suspension system. They dampen the motion of the springs and wheels by turning kinetic energy into heat. Upgraded heavy-duty shocks increase damping capabilities for a smoother ride over uneven terrain. They reduce bouncing and oscillating motions that can occur after bumps, keeping tires planted and maintaining control.
A key advantage of upgrading shock absorbers is their vast versatility in shapes, mounting configurations, materials, and price ranges to match virtually any golf cart and budget.
Take Care of Your Golf Cart Suspension System
Getting the most out of your golf cart means moving smoothly and confidently around the course, and not fighting a suspension overwhelmed on rugged paths. As such, it’s recommended to combine some or all of the suspension upgrades mentioned above, along with regular golf cart maintenance. After all, safety is everything.
The professional service and maintenance teams at Garrett’s Golf Cars can inspect your golf cars and perform any repairs or part replacements. For more information or to schedule an inspection, visit one of our stores or contact us online.