A one-of-a-kind diesel-pow­ered club car

Ultimate Diesel Builder's Guide - - Con­tents -

It is not un­com­mon to see UTVS, golf carts and even small cars or SUVS used as pit ve­hi­cles at pull tracks, but they can be quite ex­pen­sive. To max­i­mize the funds go­ing to­ward his pull truck, the “IN­BRED IN­LINE” Cum­mins-pow­ered 2000 Chevy 3500, and min­i­mize the funds go­ing to­ward his pit ve­hi­cle, An­thony Finkbeiner pur­chased a 1992 Club Car golf cart for just $500. The only catch was that it was miss­ing the en­gine—mak­ing it the per­fect can­di­date for a small-scale diesel swap.

As some­one who has per­formed many diesel swaps into full size rigs over the years, in­clud­ing three of his own Cum­mins swaps, the thought of swap­ping a diesel en­gine into the golf cart looked very promis­ing. Finkbeiner found a 1989 Kub­ota lawn trac­tor that was in pretty rough shape, but its 25 cu­bic-inch 2-cylin­der diesel en­gine would work great to power the Club Car. He and his fa­ther in­stalled the diesel en­gine into the Club Car chas­sis and adapted the fac­tory belt-drive clutch to work be­tween the en­gine and the fac­tory rear transaxle. To get the larger diesel en­gine to fit well he in­stalled a 2-inch lift for the rear of the cart, which also gives it a nice rake.

To im­prove the per­for­mance of the lit­tle diesel en­gine, Finkbeiner up­graded to a small Sch­witzer tur­bocharger he har­vested from a small in­dus­trial loader. The turbo gulps bite-size chunks of air through a K&N air fil­ter he adapted from a mo­tor­cy­cle while spent gasses are han­dled by a 2-3/4-inch axle dump ex­haust that he fab­ri­cated for the golf cart. Then, to wrap up the en­gine up­grades, he turned up the fuel in­jec­tion pump some to eke a lit­tle more power out of the small diesel en­gine. He es­ti­mates that it is now de­liv­er­ing around 10 hp.

Af­ter the chas­sis, driv­e­line and en­gine is­sues were sorted out and the nec­es­sary mod­i­fi­ca­tions were com­pleted, Finkbeiner went to work on the body. He

painted the body Ford/new Hol­land Blue to match his pull truck and then re­in­stalled it on the chas­sis. To com­plete the trans­for­ma­tion, Finkbeiner in­stalled a set of 8-inch pol­ished Dou­glas Rac­ing wheels that are wrapped in Kenda 18x9.50-8 Pathfinder tires on all four cor­ners. The fa­ther and son team fin­ished the cart up­grades and diesel swap in about three months work­ing on it in their spare time. The small Kub­ota diesel-pow­ered Club Car is now used at diesel events on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, much to the de­light of on­look­ers as they hear the diminu­tive diesel rum­ble com­ing from the blue Club Car. UDBG

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