How to Paint, Remove & Restore a Golf Cart Body (STEPS)


Tools needed to paint a golf cart

 

What is a Golf Cart Body made of?

The body of a golf cart is primarily made of sheet steel, fiberglass or sheet aluminum. The frame is generally made of steel while tires, foam seat cushions and steering mechanisms are made of rubber, vinyl and metal. Parts like suspensions, drive trains, motors and brakes use metal.

The 1993 model Club Car used an indestructible thermoplastic resin known as ArmorFlex for its body material.  

 

How to Paint the Body of a Golf Cart

You can opt for a three-stage process of either classic painting style or custom paint to make the golf cart body look unique. To do so, you need the following materials.

  • Dish soap
  • Masking tape
  • Water
  • Acrylic spray paint
  • Towel
  • Paint primer
  • Newspapers/drop cloths
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Goggles
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Dust mask
  • Sealant
  • Disposable gloves

 

Priming

  1. Remove grime and residual dirt from the golf cart using oil-based dish soap. Wash the soap off using cold water from a hose. Wipe the cart using a towel and let it dry completely.
  2. Dismantle removable parts like bumpers, roof, trim and parts of the frame that don’t require painting. Take photographs before removal for easy reassembly.
  3. Apply soft-edged foam masking tape on non-removable parts like logos and the license plates that you aren’t going to paint. Line the outer edges of windows to avoid spray painting them.
  4. Rub the cart body cart in a circular pattern using a 120- to 140-grit sandpaper to make the paint application easy and retain the paint on non-porous surfaces. Brush off the sanding dust with a microfiber cloth.
  5. Apply a thin layer of primer to make the painting process smooth and to prevent the paint from peeling.

 

Painting

  1. Use an acrylic spray paint or plastic spray fusion paint to paint the cart.
  2. Apply a base paint coat so that it gels with the primer. Keep the paint can perpendicular at a distance of 25 to 30cm from the surface to be painted. Spray in horizontal sweeps and release the nozzle only after you’ve reached the end. Opt for short spurts instead of continuous streams for focused coats and apply one coat at a time.
  3. Allow the paint to dry completely. Check the instructions on the paint to find out the ideal drying time. Drying of paint usually takes up to half an hour.
  4. Apply more coats until you get the color you want for the cart. Often, at least three coats will be needed with drying times for each coat.

 

Finishing up

  1. Remove the masking tape about 10 minutes after spraying the last coat. Ensure that you don’t touch the paint to avoid smudges.
  2. Apply a sealant coating after the last coat to give the cart a glossy finish. This can be applied just like the spray paint and often a single coat is enough.
  3. Clean up the area while the sealant is drying. Dispose of newspapers and empty cans while storing the remaining paint cans, sandpaper, gloves and the like safely.
  4. Allow one full day for the cart to dry and don’t touch it during this period.
  5. Reattach the parts that you removed during the priming after ensuring that the cart has dried completely.

 

Tips for Painting a Golf Cart

  • Paint the cart in a well-ventilated and protected area so that you aren’t affected by the paint fumes and the wind doesn’t cause debris to stick on to the wet paint.
  • Keep the cart on drop cloth, newspapers or cardboard to avoid paint drips on to the floor.
  • Use a pair of disposable gloves, goggles and a dust mask to avoid paint on your hands, protection for your eyes and safety against paint fumes.
  • Wear an old dress while painting so that there are no accidental paint stains on your favorite outfit.
  • Adhere to the drying time specified on the paint can, between two coats.

 

What Kind of Paint Do You Use on a Golf Cart?

Acrylic spray paint is better than most types of plastic spray paints such as chalkboard, vinyl, enamel and lacquer. This is because acrylic paint has better adherence property. Plastic fusion spray paint is a good choice for smooth surfaces.

Consider using urethane paints that are more durable and long-lasting than acrylic paints with faster drying times. However, it’s worth noting that they are more toxic.

 

How to Paint a Plastic Golf Cart Body

You can give the plastic golf cart body a classic green or white paint. Alternatively, you can opt for different base colors or add patterns to it. Paint the cart from a well-ventilated area to avoid fumes inhalation.

Items needed

  • Sandpaper
  • Masking tape
  • Hose
  • Plastic bags
  • Sealant
  • Acrylic/plastic-fusion paint
  • Plastic primer spray paint


Steps

  1. Scrub the parts of the golf cart body that you plan to paint with fine-grit sandpaper using firm pressure and a circular motion.
  2. Remove the sandpaper dust by washing it down with water from a hose.
  3. Allow the cart to air dry or dry in the sun completely. This may take some time and you’ve to be prepared for the wait.
  4. Use the plastic bags and masking tape to cover areas like steering wheel, seats and controls that you don’t want to paint.
  5. Apply a thin coat of plastic primer spray paint on the surface to be painted. You might need an extra coat if you’re planning to give your dark colored cart a light color. In this case, give a drying time of about half an hour before you apply the second coat.
  6. Paint the cart using acrylic or plastic-fusion paint. Multiple coats may be needed to get the desired shade. Like the primer, follow the drying time specified between two coats. Drying can take a long time in humid areas.
  7. Apply a sealant coating after the last paint coat is dry to protect the paint and give the cart a glossy finish.

 

How to Paint a Fiberglass Body

Fiberglass golf carts often have a white or beige body. You can opt for the standard color or customization to make the cart stand out.

Items needed

  • Sandpaper
  • Masking tape and plastic bags
  • Hose
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Sealant
  • Acrylic-based paint
  • Primer

 

  1. Use a 1000-grit sandpaper and do the same scrubbing action that you would do for a golf cart with a plastic body.
  2. Wash off the sanding dust using cold water from a garden hose when the sanding is completed.
  3. Wipe the cart dry thoroughly using a soft microfiber cloth so that no lint is left behind.
  4. Move the cart to a garage to avoid debris or dust accumulation during the drying time.
  5. Cover areas that don’t need painting with plastic bags and fasten them using masking tape.
  6. Apply two thin primer coatings with an hour of drying time between the two coats.
  7. Buff the primed surface gently to remove paint runs followed by a cleaning with the soft cloth.
  8. Spray the acrylic base coat on the fiberglass body. Apply three to four coats taking care to allow each coat to dry for about 20 minutes.
  9. Apply a couple of coats of a sealant or clear topcoat sealer with half an hour drying time between each coat.
  10. Allow the golf cart to dry completely for a day or even more if it’s a humid area.
  11. Remove the masking tape and plastic bags from the covered areas.

 

How to Repair Cracks in a Plastic Golf Cart Body

You can try the following options to repair cracks on a plastic golf cart body.

  1. Drill through the crack in a V shape and put a plastic weld on the rear. Fix some plastic tape on the front side so that the weld doesn’t push through.
  2. Drill the crack at the end so that it doesn’t become bigger. Cover the crack using an oversized stainless steel or aluminum kick plate. Alternatively, cut some thin ABS plastic to shape using a razor blade and fit it over the crack.
  3. Use a plastic welding kit to melt the plastic. Add more plastic to bond both the points. Sand it in smoothly and repaint if needed. Consider using two-part epoxies for plastics as another option.

 

How to Restore a Golf Cart Body

Method 1

Items needed

  • Trim coat
  • Paint bucket
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Water

Steps

  1. Apply some dish soap all over the golf cart and wash it using a hose fitted with a fine spray nozzle.
  2. Use a microfiber cloth to spread the dish-wash soap uniformly, both inside and outside the cart.
  3. Take some water in a bottle with a spraying mechanism and spray on the surface that has to be restored.
  4. Move a compressed air pump over this area and scrub it downwards. The pump helps in evening out scratches. You can squirt some water on the circular surface of the air pump.
  5. Wash the cart once more and dry it completely as soon as possible. Consider using an air compressor on tight areas if needed.
  6. Apply the trim coat on the desired areas. There is no need to rub the wipe more than once in the same area.
  7. Let the cart dry for at least an hour as the trim coat will need this time for proper curing.

 

Method 2

Items needed

  • Strong detergent
  • Window cleaner
  • Heat gun
  • Sealant
  • Protectant
  • General cleaner
  • Sponge
  • Hose

Steps

  1. Clean the surface to be restored using a strong detergent followed by a final wipe with a window cleaner.
  2. Run a heat gun over the plastic surfaces such as trims. Ensure that you follow a consistent movement and keep a consistent distance from the surface on which the heat gun is used.
  3. Take some sealant in a cloth and rub it gently over the surfaces where the heat gun has been used.
  4. Wash the area with water from a hose to get a spraying action.
  5. Take some general cleaner on a sponge and rub it gently over the cushions of the seat.
  6. Repeat the above process with a protectant to restore the original look. This product can be used on golf cart fenders, tires, floor mats and tops.

 

How to Install Golf Cart Body Wraps

Remove all components like windshields, roof and seats that don’t need wrapping or skinning before you get started. Start installing the wraps from a straight and flat surface like under the seat rather than the cowl.

Items needed

  • Razor blade
  • Plastic putty knife
  • Heat gun
  • Warm soapy water

Steps

  1. Mark the area where the wrap gets covered over by the charging socket.
  2. Peel the backing paper and place the film in the desired position. The adhesion on the back helps in getting the wrap stuck properly on the surface of the cart.
  3. Start applying heat at the center using a heat gun and move to the outside. Remember to stretch and smooth the film as you do this.
  4. Repeat the above step on the other side.
  5. Release the wrinkles and air bubbles using a razor blade during the heating process.
  6. Cut the corners on the top with the razor blade if the film stretches around the body panel at the front.
  7. Fold the material and heat it again to ensure bonding.

 

How to Remove the Body on a EZGO Golf Cart

It’s easy to remove an EZGO golf cart body with some basic tools.

Items needed

  • Drill and bit
  • 3/8, 9/16 and 10mm sockets
  • 7/16 wrench
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Cordless impact drill
  • 9/16 swivel socket

Steps

  1. Remove the 9/16 bolts using the appropriate socket on the roof and take the top off.
  2. Remove the bolts on the front bracing on either side of the cart and lift them off.
  3. Loosen the bolts of the rear seat and take them off. This will help to get a gap between the front and rear seats that will make it easy to remove the rear seat as a single unit.
  4. Remove the seatbacks off from the rear seat.
  5. Remove the two bolts on the rear seat area of the cart.
  6. Remove the 9/16 bolts located in the back of the cart and take off the flip-flop rear seat.
  7. Take the front seat off followed by the charging receptacle.
  8. Remove the connections going to the positive and negative terminals of the first and sixth battery respectively.
  9. Remove the seat hinges using the drill to get the body off the golf cart.
  10. Drill the pop rivet near the forward-reverse handle.
  11. Remove the side rivets and side steel plate at the bottom.
  12. Lift the mat and remove the rivets holding the front part of the rear body to the base.
  13. Remove the 7/16 bolts at the back of the cart.
  14. Lift the rear body off the golf cart.
  15. Drill the pop rivets across the top behind the steering wheel.
  16. Remove the front body part by lifting it from both sides.

 

How to Remove the Body on a Club Car Precedent Golf Cart

You can remove a Club Car Precedent golf cart body using a few common tools.

Items needed

  • Ratchet
  • 10mm wrench
  • T-25 and T-30 bits


Steps

  1. Remove the bolts of the front bumper using the T-25 bit and take the bumper off.
  2. Lift the front body upwards and take it off.
  3. Remove the forward-reverse switch on the rear body using the same bit.
  4. Lift the seat and remove it from the cart.
  5. Loosen the four bolts in the front and back using a T-30 bit.
  6. Lift the body from the hinges and take it off the cart from the front.

 

How to Remove the body on a Yamaha G16 Golf Cart

You can follow the steps below to remove a Yamaha G16 golf cart body.

  1. Remove the seat by lifting it upwards.
  2. Remove the screws above the shift and under the seat.
  3. Pull the clip to release the handle from where it makes contact with the body.
  4. Loosen the knurl nut and remove the knob to take out the choke cable from the engine compartment.
  5. Remove the floor push-in buttons near the shift side and the body buttons on the center plastic guard.
  6. Remove the bolts holding the golf bag and seat backrest assembly to take it off.
  7. Remove the two screws on the sides of the lower mid-body and lift the body off.
  8. Remove the screws and front washers and lift the front trim off.
  9. Remove the Yamaha emblem by unfastening the screws under it.
  10. Remove the angle bracket to lift the hood off.

 

How to Repair a Golf Cart Body

You can repair a golf cart body by following the steps below.

Repairing Plastic Body Golf Cart

  1. Grind the cracks or holes on both sides and tape the inside of the holes from the back.
  2. Fill it from the front and coat the inside.
  3. Peel off the inside tape.
  4. Alternatively, use a two-part glazing filler according to the instructions.

 

Repairing Fiberglass Body Golf Cart

  1. Clean the crack on the golf cart body with mineral spirits
  2. Dry, prime and lightly sand the surface
  3. Glaze the surface using a product such as Bondo
  4. Alternatively, if the crack is not on the gel coat but the cart body, you will have to paint it with a resin/hardener mix.

Ernie

Ernie loves documenting interesting facts about golf.

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