The Golf Cart Wheel and Tire Alignment Reference
Keeping your golf cart wheels and tires aligned is important for ride performance, ride quality, tire wear and ease of use. Your alignment gets thrown off through the course of regular use (hitting rough terrain, curbs and pot holes), through the extended amount of miles driven and through the installation of custom wheel and tire sizes.
Lining up your golf cart’s alignment is not rocket science though. Our three step quick-guide below will teach you what you need to know to get your wheels and tires lined up, to adjust your toe to 1/8 inch, and your cart on the straight and narrow!
Step 1: Check your Camber!
First, place a straight flat-edge on the ground and find out if a gap exists between the edge of your drivers side front tire and the straight-edge. If there is a gap, we will need to adjust the heim joints on the cart. The heim joints are the two joints in which the wheel assembly bolts to the steering assembly.
Engage your parking brake, jack the front of your cart up. Once the cart is jacked up, loosen the nut on the inside of your lower control arm (bottom heim joint) and adjust your tire to even-out the camber based on the gap your tire had when held next to the straight-edge. If your caber is out (top of the tire is closer to the frame than the bottom) then nudge the bottom of the tire in towards the center of the cart’s frame. If your camber is in (bottom of the tire is in closer to the frame than the top of the tire) then nudge the top of the tire in towards the center of the cart’s frame.
Once you have adjusted the heim joint to a more even (flush / straight) tire position, lower your cart and re-check your camber. If your camber is still off, we will adjust the second heim join at the top of the spindle on the same side of the cart (just above the heim joint on the lower control arm). If your camber is still out / this does not fix your camber, repeat the process on both joints and continue to adjust as necessary.
You will get better at eyeballing this quickly after doing it on your own a couple of times. Once the driver’s side front tire is done, repeat the entire process for the front tire on your passenger side.
Step 2: Align the Cart, Adjust the Toe In / Out
Face your cart at the front (as if it was about to roll you over). Pull a tape measure across the front of your tires and measure the distance from inside tire on the left side of your cart to inside tire on the right side of your cart. Move to the side of your cart and lay down on your stomach. Repeat the process for the back side of the tires (from inside edge to inside edge). Our ideal is to have a difference of 1/8″ – 1/4″ difference in space from the front set of tires edge-to-edge to the rear set of tires edge-to-edge. This will help with the stability of the cart.
Once you have finished measuring, we will need to adjust to get to our ideal range. Set your parking brake and jack the front of your cart up. We will be adjusting your toe in. Loosen the tie rod on the driver’s side wheel and adjust the toe in by twisting the rod left or right depending on the direction you need to adjust the tire.
If you need to adjust the tire inwards (towards the front of the cart) then turn the rod towards the rear of the cart, which will turn the tire in. If you need to adjust the tire outwards (or out, towards the rear of the cart), then turn the tie rod towards the front of the cart which will turn the tire out.
Once the rods on both sides are adjusted to our deal toe in of 1/8″ – 1/4″ difference between the front and rear side of the front tire set, we will drop the cart down, roll it forwards 20 feet, and re-check the alignment. The reason for this is to spot any variance in our toe in following the adjustment. Once the cart has been rolled forward, check the toe in again and adjust as necessary if the alignment is off.
BOOM! You’re all set. Enjoy the new-found smoothness of your ride, better fuel economy, tighter performance and less tire wear.