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How Do I Equip My Golf Cars For Street Use?


Federal Motor Vehicle Standard (FMVSS) for "low-speed vehicles" (Note: golf carts used in golf courses have top speed of 15-mph.  Low-speed vehicles can not exceed 25 mph).

  • Headlamps

  • Front-and-rear turn signal lamps

  • Tail lamps

  • One red reflex reflector on each side as far as to the rear

  • Exterior mounted mirror on driver's side

  • Exterior mounted mirror on passenger's side or an interior mirror

  • Parking brake

  • Windshield marked "AS1" (Lexan is appropriate)

  • Seat belts

  • Label permanently affixed, visible to the operator when seated, which reads" WARNING" This vehicle must not be operated on the public roads at a speed more than 25-mph.

To view the Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ruling (53 pages long if printed) please go to

Thatís Great, Now How Can I Make My Golf Car Go Faster?

If you have a Gas Golf Car:

  1. Install larger tires - the easiest and cheapest way.

  2. Remove the governor - may reduce the life expectancy of the engine.

  3. Reset the governor settings to increase torque - a mechanic can do it or provide the technical assistance for do-it-yourselfer.

  4. Change to high-speed gears - maybe the best alternative but use the services of a skilled mechanic to make sure there is no added rear-end noise.

If you have an Electric Golf Car:

  1. Install larger tires.

  2. Change to high-speed gears.

  3. Field coil upgrade - most cost effective with adequate results without requiring advanced mechanical skill. Change the field coil in a 2-hp motor (a standard in golf cars) and it can become a 3.5 hp motor. Does not need to upgrade the controller. You can only upgrade if you have a GE motor, the casing can be removed, and the existing field coil is not glued with epoxy, but wired.

  4. Change to a high-speed motor - next easiest but may require changing the controller depending upon the demands made on the motor. See notes on the controllers below.

  5. High-speed gears with high-speed motors is not recommended.  Better option, depending on terrain, is installing a high-speed motor with a high-performance motor controller and using larger tires.

Special Notes On Electric Golf Cars:

  • If you set up your electric golf car to go to 55 mph it may result in SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH.

  • Please note that the Federal Motor Vehicle standard speed for low-speed neighborhood vehicles can not exceed 25 mph.  Thus, do not operate your high-speed golf car on public roads at speeds of more than 25-mph.

  • To calculate the top speed of an electric golf car, use the equation below:
    RPMís of motor X Tire Radius (in inches) / Gear Ratio X 168 = Miles per Hour
    Example: A golf car with 3000 RPM motor with an 8" tire and a 12.44:1 gear ratio (a standard in golf cars):
    3000 X 8 / 12.44 X 168 = 11.48 mph (standard speed for golf cars)

    • with 10" tires, top speed is 14.35 mph

    • with 12" tires, top speed is 17.23 mph

  • Available gear ratios: 8:1 and 6:1

    • 8" tires, 3000 RPM, 8:1 gear ratio, top speed is 17.85 mph

    • 8" tires, 3000 RPM, 6:1 gear ratio, top speed is 23.81 mph.

    • 12" tires, 4400 RPM, tops speed is 52.38 mph.

  • Standard golf car controllers deliver a maximum of 225-275 amps sufficient for golf car applications and flat ground use. If you wish to install a larger 3.5 or 5 hp motor, itís small size may cause overheating. You can upgrade the 225-275 controller without them overheating.  However, with a 3.5 or 5 hp motor, a 275 amps controller is sufficient.

  • If you use the car for off-road use, hunting or hill climbing, increase the motor size to 3 Ĺ hp, 5 hp or 7 hp to give the golf car the needed torque to get uphill faster and for quick acceleration. Again, you should consider upgrading your controller. Orange County Monster Carts offers upgrades to 400 amps, 500 amps and 650 amps to prevent overheating. In addition, these upgraded controllers increase the voltage in 36-volt cars to 48-volts.

  • If you intend to use your golf car for street-use, we recommend upgrading the controller to handle continuous driving.

  • If you have a 3 Ĺ hp motor, we recommend upgrading the controller to 400 amps.
    If you have a 5 or 7 hp motor, we recommend upgrading the controller to 500 amps.

  • F-N-R (forward-neutral-reverse) switches may not perform efficiently when using high current motors. Orange County Monster Carts can offer you controllers that will eliminate the F-N-R switch (used with series wound motors) since they are handled by the controller.

  • We have available the upgraded high-powered motor 400, 500, or 650 amps controllers for EZGO, Club Car and Yamaha. These are simple and inexpensive alternatives to those offered by the manufacturers.


© 2007 - 2015 Orange County Monster Carts     

3303 Harbor Blvd. Suite K-1
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Hours of Operation:
Monday thru Friday 9-5
Saturday 10-3
Sunday by appointment- please call