Ultimate Guide On Harley Davidson Golf Cart Engine Swap

Do you have a Harley Davidson golf cart lying around in your garage? If you want to make good use of the golf cart, then an engine swap might be the perfect plan. But how do you do a Harley Davidson golf cart engine swap?

Well, it’s quite simple. First, remove the old engine from your Harley Davidson golf cart. Then, look for a suitable engine that goes well with your golf cart. Next up, you install the new engine and do the wiring. That’s it.

While you get the idea of the process, it’s still unclear. That’s why we have this step-by-step guide on golf cart engine swap.

Ultimate Guide On Harley Davidson Golf Cart Engine Swap

How to do a Harley Davidson golf cart engine swap?

With a golf cart engine swap, you can get great value out of your unused golf cart. Typically, the stock engines of older golf carts lack power and speed.

Because of that, you don’t enjoy using the carts that much. You can use your cart for various purposes when you swap that with a much more powerful engine.

But, of course, the whole value factor depends on the engine you choose to swap it with. So, let’s start the discussion with choosing an engine for your Harley Davidson golf cart.

Choosing an engine

You will need to find an engine based on your budget and power requirement. These engines come as a kit, so you need a conversion kit that suits your needs the best.

A popular brand for that purpose is Predator. They provide excellent conversion kits for golf cart engine swaps.

One of the best choices you can get from them is the Predator 420cc kit. It’s a powerful engine that has 13HP with a top speed of 45mph. That’s a lot of value for a golf cart engine. 

You can also install a motorbike engine on your Harley Davidson golf cart. How about a Harley Davidson motorbike engine on a Harley Davidson golf cart engine? Yes, you can choose an engine like that too.

Now, let’s check how you can install both types of engines on your Harley Davidson golf cart.


Installing a Predator conversion kit

First, let’s get through the easier option for an engine swap in your Harley Davidson golf cart. Using a predator conversion kit, you can easily swap the engine and reap all the benefits of it. 

Here, we will discuss the installation of a very popular predator conversion kit, the Predator 420. There are two parts to this installation, removing the old engine and installing a new one. Let’s get started, then.

Removing your old engine

The steps you must follow to remove the old engine are the same for any golf cart out there. Here’s what you have to do –

  1. Start with the engine wires. Disconnect all the different wires that connect your engine to the golf cart. Make sure you are removing all kinds of connections from your golf cart’s battery as well.  
  2. Next, remove the brackets that usually hold your engine and keep it in place. To do that, you have to loosen the bolts on the brackets. But don’t loosen them all the way, because that can make everything fall apart.
  3. After that, you must remove the mounting screws that attach the brackets to the golf cart frame. You may need to repeat this whole thing, as there can be multiple mounting brackets.
  4. Once the brackets come loose, you can remove any wiring connected to your battery and golf cart.
  5. Once all the wiring, harness, and brackets come off, you can remove the old engine from the golf cart. And that’s it for the removal.

This process can vary for different golf cart models, but for the most part, these are the basic steps you need to follow. The placement, number of wiring, or brackets will only be different.

Installing the new engine

To install your new engine, you have to follow the steps below. It can feel a bit tough, but a helping hand makes it easy. Let’s check out the steps quickly –

  • The first step is to mount the brackets on your golf cart. While mounting the brackets, you must do one at the front side, right close to the steering column. And the other should be reasonably close to the rear axle shafts.
  • You must remove all the wiring between your new brackets so the golf cart’s charging system can power it properly.
  • Send the wires to the new engine to make it work when you put the key in.
  • It would help if you replaced the starter solenoid and backplate holding the transmission case.
  • The next step is to attach the battery. And if you want to use gas, you can attach the gas tank. Finally, to keep the battery in place, you can install a battery box alongside that as well.
  • Try using washers on the backplates to ensure they don’t move around too much while shifting gears.
  • Repeat the same steps for installing the other bracket. Then, use a ratchet or wrench and tighten all the bracket nuts to secure them.
  • Afterward, it would be best if you took all the wires from the Predator engine. Next, you have to remove the two screws that hold the connectors of the spark plug wires.
  • When you are done with all the wiring, you should have a properly installed engine on your golf cart.

There are several things that you have to think about here. For example, a big question is whether your golf cart can fit in the engine. If it’s not the perfect fit, you have to make some adjustments and do some welding.

For example, if you want to do a clone swap on a Harley Davidson 1970, you will need to buy a mount for your G2-G9 setup. Or you can make some mounts yourself if you have the welding skills.

Installing a motorcycle engine in a golf cart

Adding a motorbike engine can do that if you want to spice things up and make your golf cart more interesting. Of course, it will be trickier and much more difficult than the conversion kit. But the project and the results will be much more fun for you.

The process and steps are quite similar. The engine removal process is the same thing we discussed above. So, there is nothing to add there.

For the installation of the engine, the main thing is to replace your rear axle. You have to change the rear axle with something that has to be a chain or a belt drive sprocket.

So, when you are removing your old engine, make sure to remove the rear axle alongside.

Then, when installing the new motorbike engine, you can add a new rear axle that goes with the new motorbike engine.

The project is a bit tricky, and you will need the expertise to do it. But at the same time, it’s quite fun to do, so we would say if you have the skills, then go for it.

Frequently ASked Questions (FAQs)

Still have some questions about swapping the engine in your Harley Davidson golf cart? Then, check out these frequently asked questions on this matter. We tried to answer them for a clear understanding of the discussion.

How much HP does a golf cart need?

Typically, a golf cart doesn’t need that much horsepower to run. For example, you may need 10 to 12 HP if you run a gas golf cart. However, you will get a much lower HP for an electric golf cart, such as 3 or 5.

What engine can you put in a golf cart?

There are various engines available to put in a golf cart. Those include Predator 212 or 420, Honda GX630, and Duromax engine. You can even put a motorcycle engine in a golf cart if you have the skills to install it.

Who makes Harley golf carts?

Before 1982, Harley Davidson used to make their golf carts themselves. But in 1982, Columbia ParCar, who specializes in making golf carts, bought the rights of the Harley Davidson golf cart division. So, now they make Harley golf carts under their name. 

Is AC or DC motor better for a golf cart?

When purchasing a golf cart, it’s always better to go for an AC motor rather than a DC one. AC motors give you a longer lifetime. Also, they don’t require too much maintenance or repairs. You also face fewer problems with AC motors.


There you go; now you can swap the engine on your new Harley Davidson golf cart and get some value out of it. We just showed you a general pathway to pursue the engine swap project. What you do from hereon is up to you.

Before parting ways, here’s a quick suggestion for you. When replacing or swapping the engine, you can try selling the older parts to eBay or any other place. It will reduce the cost of the project significantly.

Golf cart engine swap can be a very fun project that’s also easy to do. Also, you end up getting more value out of your golf cart.

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