Replacement of the front suspension bushings on a golf cart can be done with some common automotive mechanic tools. The rear suspension is less likely to have bushings or to need them replaced. Front bushing replacement is a relatively simple procedure for people with some mechanical aptitude. It is probably in your best interest to have an experienced local mechanic do the job for you if you are not used to doing mechanical work on a vehicle.
Obtain Proper Replacement Bushings and Necessary Tools
Locate the serial number of the golf cart. Use the serial number to determine the golf cart model number. This can be done either at the cart manufacturer's website or by calling the company's customer service number.
Find a source for the proper replacement bushings. Metal ones with rubber tips are preferable to plastic ones if available. Specify the golf cart's model number and serial number when ordering replacement bearings.
Gather all the proper tools and supplies to do the job. The appropriate box end wrench or socket size may vary by make and model.
Removal and Installation of Bushings
Place wedges under the golf cart's rear wheels in order to prevent the cart from rolling. Jack the front end of the golf cart up and place on the jack stands.
Remove the front wheels and each spindle assembly using a socket or box end wrench.
Fit the hole punch into the bottom of the kingpin and try to pull it out. If the kingpin is stuck, use a hammer and hole punch and pound out the old bushings.
Clean the kingpins with the brake cleaner. Inspect them for damage. Clean the washer on the top of the spindle.
Remove any remaining pieces of the old bushings with the hammer and hole punch. Clean the end of the a-arm.
If the bushings are still intact, measure them with the inside micrometer to see if they are worn to .880 inches or greater. If not, they do not need to be replaced.
Slide the new bushings into the spindle until they are flush with the spindle housing. Use a .875-inch sizing reamer to make sure the new bushings fit properly.
Reinstall the spindle, and tighten the kingpin nut with the torque wrench to between 35 and 50 foot-pounds of torque. Reattach the front wheels and test drive the cart to make sure the steering has the right feel.
Things You'll Need
- Floor jack
- 2 jack stands
- 2 wheel chocks
- Hole punch
- Box end wrench, 15/16-inch (or appropriate other size)
- Sizing reamer, .875-inch
- Inside micrometer, 1-inch
- Socket wrench
- Socket, 15/16-inch, 1/2-inch drive
- Torque wrench, 50+ ft. pounds, 1/2-inch drive
- Brake cleaner
Will Ramsey wrote for Hoover’s Online beginning in 1997. For the Texas Legislature, he produced a summary of the State Auditor Offices’ mandate for publication in the University of Texas' “Guide to State Agencies" and composed “Action Alerts” for distribution to State Legislators. Will received a Master of Business Administration from Rice University and a Bachelor of Business Administration from University of Texas, Austin.