Doing a Vegas Carts 625cc Conversion on my 2001 EZGO TXT

rjwenter

New Member
Hello folks,

Just thought I'd start a thread to chronicle my Vegas Carts 625 engine conversion project on my 2001 EZGO TXT. I have all the mounts out and the rear body off. It was raining over the weekend so I will clean up the frame next weekend. There was a TON of dirt under there!

When removing some of the rivets I found it easier to cut the rivets using a multi tool with a metal blade instead of drilling them out. Hadn't seen that before so thought I'd mention it.

I decided to change the shocks while I'm doing this since my old ones were shot. I will take the front cowl off next weekend since I want to replace the shocks and stereo anyway. This is turning into a restoration project :)

Taking the body off I did strip one of the screws that hold the side sill plate in place. Does anyone happen to know where I can purchase replacement screws or a part number? I have only been able to find the sill plates for sale.

Attached are a few pictures. I will continue to update this thread as I hopefully progress...

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HotRodCarts

Cartaholic
Hi. rjwenter, thanks for starting a thread on your Vegas Carts engine swap. Looking forward to seeing the progress. As far as the bolts for the sill plates if they're the ones I'm thinking of their 1/4 - 20 x 1" stainless steel bolts and you should be able to get them at any hardware store. Or the EZGO part number is 16705-G1
 

rjwenter

New Member
Thank you HotRodCarts I really appreciate the help.

Nubs, I think you are right. If nothing else it made the shocks a breeze to change :)

We'll see how everything goes. I'm actually supposed to get my first package from Vegas today. Since the weight is 45 lbs I'm guessing it's everything but the engine. Still have some things to do so probably won't get started until next weekend. Although this darn Dorian may have other plans for me :(
 

rjwenter

New Member
Ok, so I'm just updating this so you guys don't think I fell off the map :) Still making steady progress. We decided to take the front cowl off too since I was also going to replace the front shocks and our stereo that stopped playing CDs a few years ago...who the heck has CDs anymore anyway haha.
So, stereo and front speakers replaced, all old wire harnesses out, all four shocks replaced, ISO mounts and bushings replaced (the bushings were shot) and we are ready to get started on mounting the cradle.

The threat of Hurricane Dorian really slowed our progress. If not for the storm (which thankfully spared us) we likely would have the cradle in. No big deal though. I don't expect the motor until next week sometime. I was supposed to get it this week, but Vegas Carts was closed for a few days also because of the storm.

Anyway, that's the latest for now. Hopefully I will have pics of an installed cradle next time I update this thread.

Oh BTW - does anyone happen to know a good place to get the spacer for the top body mounting bolt of the front roof support mount (the top one of the two)? I lost it and I can only find complete roof support hardware kits and they're over $50. That's a lot for one spacer :)
 

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HotRodCarts

Cartaholic
Glad to hear the storm spared you. Someone here my have a front roof support spacer laying around. You could always by a spacer from a auto parts or hardware store and cut it to length if you have to. Thanks for the updated on your Vegas Carts engine conversion.
 

rjwenter

New Member
Glad to hear the storm spared you. Someone here my have a front roof support spacer laying around. You could always by a spacer from a auto parts or hardware store and cut it to length if you have to. Thanks for the updated on your Vegas Carts engine conversion.
Thanks I tried to get one at Home Depot with no luck, but I'll have to go back. Their bolts / washer / spacer area was pretty bare after everyone raiding the place for makeshift hurricane shutter hardware. I grabbed a nut which is pretty much the same size that I can use, but it may look a little funky.

Looks like the Cops have a eye on ya also:rotflmao::unsure:
Nah he was watching my daughter. She looked pretty suspicious just sitting on that bench :)
 

rjwenter

New Member
So this weekend was a series of highs and lows. Saturday was definitely a low day, but Sunday was a good bit brighter. On Saturday I installed the new forward reverse cables, did a little more cleanup stuff and attempted to install the cradle. No dice. I could not get it to line up at all so I took a bunch of pictures and called it a day.

After looking at my own pics I figured out that I needed to significantly rotate my rear axle to level the cradle. I was not anticipating that step. So Sunday morning I set out to test that theory and it was indeed the case. I rotated the rear axle and finally got things to line up as they should. I should note I had to reroute my driver side brake cable because it was just too short after rotating the axle so I needed some slack.

Once the cradle was installed I put the mounting plate on. No big deal, but I had to reroute my passenger side brake cable a few times. I finally put it between the mounting plate and the cradle between the spacers - I did not route it down and through the cradle - it just wouldn't fit that way. Honestly, they give you the extended forward / reverse cables. They should really include an extended brake cable for the passenger side at least - it's really a stretch if you have a lifted cart.

After the cradle was in we set out to drop in the motor. This was not too tough with the help of my son. Two people really makes this job a lot more bearable. We really had to move it very close to the gas tank to line up the clutches and quite far forward, but it fits. The "dogbones" were pretty easy to link up with two people, but it could be tough for a solo installer. My son was under the cart and I was moving the engine from above. If you don't have a second person there will be a lot of up and down I think.

So we got the motor in position, tightened everything up and called it a day. The motor had a little damage in shipping - mainly a detached wire which I believe goes to the electronic governor. There is also a pretty good gouge on the bowl of the carb and the drain bolt looks a bit worn. Not sure what's up with that. Sent a note to Vegas, but now have to take more pictures to send to Vegas' shipping department.

That's it for now. Hope to hook up the exhaust, wiring and fuel next weekend and get this cart on the road. Stay tuned :)
 

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HotRodCarts

Cartaholic
It looks good in there. It sounds like Vegas Carts need to be a little more specific on any instructions they include with the engine conversion kit. Thanks for the update. :thumbsup:
 

rjwenter

New Member
So after dinner last night I decided to put the exhaust on. I had held it in place and it looked like it would fit, but it's so tight I just had to check it out. Not a ton of clearance, but it fits. Hopefully I won't have any issues with it being so close to the clutch belt.

Vegas Carts is also sending me a new electronic governor. Turns out there is a yellow wire they cut off before sending out (since it's not necessary) and it looks like they accidentally cut the black wire too. Hopefully I get the package before the weekend.
 

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rjwenter

New Member
So everything went pretty well this weekend. Got the throttle hooked up, wired it up and hooked up the fuel lines. If you are at all uncertain of your electrical skills I would highly recommend purchasing the wiring harness. With the harness wiring hooking everything up was a breeze. Vegas Carts sent me a new governor (the other came with a wire cut) so that was an extra step, but not a big deal. I think it took me 15 minutes to get it all wired up and I work pretty slow.

When hooking up the fuel lines I decided to put in two filters. I left my existing filter and installed the filter VegasCarts supplied between the carburetor and the fuel filter. I may remove the filter from the suction side or at least change the fuel lines in that area. I think I'm getting a little air in the line there.

Did an oil change after letting the engine run for about 20 minutes, then did another oil change after running the cart for another hour. Next oil change will be at the 10 hour mark. I hate that the engine is set back a bit on the mounting plate. When you drain the oil it basically runs down the plate and the cradle leaving you a big mess to wipe up. It also has me a little concerned because I saw a couple of drops of oil under the cart this morning, but it's coming from the very front of the cradle under the heim joint. I am hoping this is just residual oil I missed when cleaning up - the mounting plate does not seem to have any residual oil on it so I don't think I have an actual leak? Any opinions or words of encouragement regarding this would be appreciated :)

A couple of things.

1) The cart, to me, is very loud. Granted the rear is still a bit open, but ****. Outside of putting a Geo Metro muffler on, anyone know of something I can add to the existing muffler to quiet it down?

2) The cart is much faster than I expected. I have 22" tires so that adds to the speed, but my stock motor topped out at 19 MPH. I hit 35 MPH yesterday and I did not have the pedal to the floor so I think I left some speed on the table, but I did not feel comfortable going any faster.

3) The vibration is not terrible. At idle it's not bad at all, but the faster you go the more it vibrates. It is moderately annoying after cruising around for a while, but my opinion may change once I fully put the body back in place and install the new rear seats. I'm hoping the added weight and securing the rear cowl will lessen it a bit. We'll see.

4) The driver side of the cart gets very hot. Since I'm in Florida I'll be driving the cart in hot weather 9 months out of the year. The added heat is not a bonus.

Lastly I will say that it doesn't really feel like a golf cart to me anymore. It feels more like an ATV or UTV. I'm going to have to see how I like that. I'm not sure yet, but it will take some getting used to for sure.

If the cart seems to be running well this week I will secure the rear cowl, put in the new stereo speakers and install the new rear seat kit. That and a good wash will complete this project.

Guess that's it for now. If you have any questions just let me know. Below are links to videos and a couple of pictures...and yes, I know my garage is a mess :) . The cart is slowly but surely coming back to life.

First startup video:


Ride Video:

 

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HotRodCarts

Cartaholic
Nice work on the Vegas Cart engine conversion it looks and sound good. Nice looking EZGO also. :thumbsup:

There's a thread on the forum somewhere about changing the muffler to something quieter. I'm on my phone right now and did a quick search but didn't find it. Search the forum and you should be able to find the information on changing the muffler. I'll look for the thread later when I'm on me desktop computer.
 

rjwenter

New Member
Thanks for your comment and the kind words. Yes, I've seen some of those threads, but they all seem to require fabricating something. I don't have the tools - or the skills really - to fabricate anything. I'm hoping for something I can attach to the Vegas muffler.
 

HotRodCarts

Cartaholic
I'm not sure you'll find a bolt on replacement muffler for the Vegas Cart exhaust setup. Did you put a tail pipe on it? I noticed in your pitures it doesn't have one and that might help a little. Or you could take it to a muffler shop and see if they can make something for you. Someone else may post with some other ideas.
 

rjwenter

New Member
No I don't have a tailpipe - that's how it came from Vegas. I'm looking into super traps as a possible solution. Not sure if it will work though. Appreciate your input a muffler shop may not be a bad idea either.
 

rjwenter

New Member
So I guess this will be my final update on this restoration / motor swap project. Spent the weekend tidying everything up and putting the new rear seat kit on. I bought the GTW Mach 1 seat kit online and I was very happy with it. There is one error in the instructions regarding hardware to use, but I am happy with the overall quality of the kit and it went on easily enough. I will say the kit doesn't include the hardware to put your existing front seatback on the new bracket so save your existing hardware if you put one of these kits in. I didn't, but a trip to Home Depot squared me away.

The cart is running well and feels more like a golf cart with everything back on. Also the added weight of the rear seat kit, etc. keeps the cart from lurching forward as soon as you put it into gear so that's a plus. The vibration at cruising speed isn't too bad. The noise is the real killer - it's just too darn loud. I'm also having a problem with the muffler shaking loose. I've put it back on three times already. I have a note into Vegas so I will see what they have to say, but the exhaust with this kit needs work. They mention the noise in the troubleshooting guide and they say they use the muffler they provide because of the limited space, but then go on to say you can fit a Geo Metro muffler in there...so clearly there's room for something better. Vegas says they are going to develop something to attach to their muffler to quiet it down, but I have no idea if they're actually working on anything. For me, the exhaust noise is bothersome - you can't even have a conversation in the cart.

Hopefully the motor will continue to run well. Just cruising around at about 22 MPH on flat, paved roads will help this engine live a long life. I don't feel like putting another one in anytime soon :)

Guess that's it. As a total novice I didn't find this project terribly difficult, but I took my sweet time doing it. I also found it to be a very nice father / son project that I'm sure my boy will remember for years to come. This part of the project is done. Now to test the reliability of this setup :)
 

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