How to Adjust the Drive Belt on a Club Car Golf Cart

Adjusting drive belt on Club Car Golf Cart

How to Troubleshoot Drive Belt Problems in a Club Car Precedent

The drive belt on a Club Car Precedent golf cart is an important component and using the right-sized drive belt is essential for a smooth ride. To primary function of a golf cart drive belt is to connect the primary clutch and the secondary clutch.

The primary clutch drives the cart and the belt helps it to rotate the secondary clutch (they are referred to as the drive clutch and the driven clutch respectively).

The drive belt, unlike some of the other automotive belts, are very thick. 

Now, four of the most common problems you might encounter with drive belts under different conditions are as follows:

  1. The drive belt is too tight.
  2. It is too loose.
  3. The drive belt is worn-out.
  4. The drive belt keeps slipping from its position (can be due to a using the wrong size belt).


How do you resolve these issues?

To check if the drive belt is too tight, follow these steps:

  1. Switch OFF the golf cart’s engine.
  2. Reach to where the drive belt is located and use your fingers to press the drive belt between the two clutches.
  3. The belt must deflect at least one and a half inches under the pressure of your fingers.
  4. If it doesn’t yield, the drive belt is too tight.

If the deflection is more than 1½ inches, then the belt is too loose and it is recommended that you replace the drive belt.


How to Troubleshoot Drive Belt for Club Car DS

The general advice given by experts whenever the issue of drive belts crops up is to replace the belt. If you are driving the Club Car DS, any issue with the drive belt can be easily noticed.

You may find the cart slowing down and climbing slopes could be very difficult with the cart not responding appropriately to the throttle.

If you find these symptoms, you must do a proper inspection of the drive belt. Make sure that the golf cart’s engine is turned OFF. An inspection can reveal if the drive belt is damaged. Check if it is too tight or loose.

In case of a damaged, tight, or loose belt order a new one. Replacing the drive belt is not a very difficult task. The more important thing here is to buy the correct Drive belt. 

If you have the user manual of the Club Car DS that you drive, the belt details will be available in it. The serial number of your vehicle is the key information you need.

If you provide the model details and the serial number of your Club Car to the parts supplier, they will send you the correct belt.

Once you have the new belt, you can remove the old one and install the new drive belt. For removing the old one, follow these steps:

  • Switch OFF the golf cart’s engine.
  • Take a screwdriver and gently insert it between the belt’s bottom and the clutch’s groove.
  • Slowly rotate the clutch and the belt will come off easily.
  • If the belt is already loose, taking it out is very easy.
  • Wear a pair of gloves when you do this kind of task.

Fixing the new belt is done by starting with the primary clutch. Fix over it and stretch the belt to put it over the secondary clutch and rotate it. The belt should be seated properly now. You can do the finger test to confirm that the play is less than 1.5 inches.

Choose the Severe Duty drive belt as it is one of the best, under difficult working conditions.


How Tight Should the Drive Belt be in a Club Car Golf Cart?

The rule of thumb is that the drive belt must neither be too tight nor too loose. If the drive belt in a Club Car golf cart is loose then you won’t get the required speed while driving. If the belt is too tight then your starter will be under strain and this should be avoided.

The best test to see if a golf cart drive belt has the correct tension is to use the Finger Test. Press the drive belt with one finger at its center between the two clutches. It should sag by just an inch and a half.

Another method suggested by an expert is to go for a drive belt that is 1-inch shorter than the stock belt in your cart. Some golf cart models come with a tensioner that helps you to adjust the drive belt’s tension to the right level.


How to Change the Drive Belt on a Club Car Golf Cart

  1. Switch the engine OFF after parking the golf cart.
  2. Allow the engine to cool, if it has been running for some time.
  3. Remove the engine cover.
  4. You will be able to see the drive belt now.
  5. Use an open-end wrench to loosen the drive belt tension bolt.
  6. This bolt is on the front clutch pulley.
  7. Remove the drive belt by sliding it off the front pulley.
  8. Slide if off the rear clutch pulley next, to disengage it completely.
  9. Now, with the new drive belt follow these steps in the reverse; wrap it over the rear pulley first.
  10. Stretch the belt over the front pulley.
  11. You will have to pull the front clutch pulley a little forward to create tension on the belt.
  12. Tighten the tension bolt using a wrench.

Now your Club Car golf cart has a new drive belt and you will be able to feel the difference when you drive the cart around.


How to Remove the Drive Belt on a Club Car Golf Cart

The removal of the drive belt on a Club Car golf cart involves a series of steps as given below:

  1. Turn the Forward/Reverse handle to Neutral.
  2. Chock the wheels of the cart.
  3. Disconnect the battery by removing the negative cable first, followed by the positive.
  4. Disconnect the spark plug wire from the plug.
  5. It would be better to wear gloves when you do this.
  6. Removing the drive belt involves holding the belt with both hands in the center between the driven and drive clutches and lifting the belt. You must now rotate the driven clutch counter-clockwise and slip the belt off the sheave.
  7. You can then slide the drive belt off the drive clutch.

If you have the manual issued by the manufacturer of the Club Car golf cart, you can turn to page 215 (Troubleshooting- 17). It has a pictorial description leaving you in no doubt as to how to approach the belt removal process. You must do this patiently with abundant caution.


How to Adjust the Drive Belt on a Club Car Golf Cart

There is no provision for adjusting the drive belt on a Club Car golf cart. If you find the belt loose or too tight, you have to go for a replacement belt. Choosing the right belt and ordering can pose a challenge. You will need to order a drive belt that is 1-inch shorter than your stock belt.

This will ensure that the drive belt remains tight and enables the cart to move at the desired speed. Many users are thrown into a fix as they are stuck with drive belts of the wrong size.


How Do You Tighten a Club Car Drive Belt?

There is no scope for tightening or adjusting the drive belt in the Club Car golf carts. The only option you have is to replace the drive belt.

You may come across suggestions like loosening the bolt and adjusting the belt and re-tightening the bolt. This is a misleading suggestion as no such bolt is provided in the cart.


How to Stop the Drive Belt Slipping in your Club Car

The reason for the drive belt slipping could be that it is of a larger/longer size and therefore loose. You may start feeling the slippage after driving for a while. This is because the belt gets heated up after the golf cart runs for some time and loosens further.

There is no direct way to stop the slipping of the drive belt. You need to go in for a replacement drive belt. This time make sure you order the right size belt. If you cannot come up with any other way to establish the right size, you can use a string to measure the length around the two clutches.


1985 Club Car Drive Belt Slipping

A slipping drive belt is a common problem regularly reported on forums. The 1985 Club Car golf cart is no exception to this. The way the clutches are designed for these golf carts is that there is the drive belt connecting the two, the driven and the drive clutches. It has to be of the appropriate size and tension for it to provide a smooth ride.

In most cases, the cart moves nicely on a level surface but when you try to climb a hill, the drive belt may slip. There is no alternative but to replace the drive belt in such cases.


1997 Club Car Drive Belt Slipping

When a 1997 Club Car drive belt is slipping, first make sure that it is the drive belt that is at fault. You may have to remove the cover and watch the clutches in action while the cart is in motion to make sure that it is indeed the drive belt that is slipping.

You will have to change the drive belt as there is no other alternative to it. You can’t make any adjustments or tighten the belt.


Club Car Drive Belt Size Chart

Drive belt sizes for a Club Car DS vary with the models. The following size chart may help you understand the sizes better:

Club Car Golf Cart Model

Drive Belt Size

1984- 1987

15/16-inch x 37¼- inch


1-inch x 37½ -inch

1992 and beyond

1-inch x 37 3/8 -inch

Standard distance between the drive and driven clutches

9 5/8-inches

(center to center)


Why is my Club Car drive belt too tight?

The reason for a Club Car drive belt being too tight can be because the drive belt is too small for the golf cart. The way to check if the belt is fitted correctly is to push the belt down with one finger at the center between the clutches. It should not deflect more than 1.5inches. It should not be less as well.


Why is My Club Car Drive Belt Too Loose?

The drive belt on your Club Car golf cart may be loose if the belt you have fitted is too large for the golf cart. Some belts can overheat with overuse, or even stretch after a few months and become too loose.

You need to make sure to order the right size and insist on using heavy duty drive belts because they will last longer.


Ernie loves documenting interesting facts about golf.

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