How to Add a Radio to a Club Car Golf Cart
By Jim Hagerty
The ability to turn on a radio or spin your favorite CD in your golf cart can be an added simple pleasure to the game. If you have a Club Car , installing a radio or CD player in your cart is a relatively straightforward process. All you need is the proper speakers, wiring and mounting unit to make golf as entertaining as your long, penetrating tee shots.
Choose a radio and speaker system. Because a Club Car's interior is exposed to the elements, a marine receiver is recommended. Marine stereos and speakers are usually housed in plastic or rubber to keep them dry. Marinas, boating accessory retailers and marine radio outlets carry quality radios and speakers for boats and other outdoor vehicles (see the resources section).
Mount the receiver in your desired location. The best location for radio in a Club Car is in the glove compartment. There, it can be protected from rain. Start by sawing a rectangular hole in the door of the glove box so the radio deck slides in and fits tightly, leaving the face flush. Using the included mounting brackets, mount the deck to the the inside of the dash cover. Make sure you are able to reach the back of the deck to connect speaker wires and wire the unit to your battery. If not, mount the deck after you've wired your system.
Mount your speakers. The best location for speakers in a Club Car is underneath the canopy in the rear corners (mounted box speakers) or in the compartment below the seats on the kick panels. To mount on the canopy, drill holes all the way through the surface. Use silicone around each bolt head to prevent leakage. To mount speakers on kick panels, cut holes in the center of each surface big enough so their magnets fit inside and the speakers lie flush. Mount each according to instructions. Note: Bracket-mounted speakers may interfere with leg room. Standard six-by-nine speakers are recommended for under the seats.
Wire your stereo system. Run the radio's power cable (red) to the battery or nearest wiring harness. The black ground wire can be grounded to the frame behind the dash panel if it doesn't reach the battery. Connect each speaker wire to the appropriate location on the back of the deck and solder if needed. (see product instructions). If you are wiring top-mounted speakers, run wires along the canopy frame to each speaker (secure with plastic ties). Use wire strippers to expose enough wire to fit around speaker terminal. Solder each connection. For kick panel speakers, run wires from the back of radio, underneath the cart and up through each speaker hole.
Test your system. Turn on your radio. If it functions, secure all mounting screws and bolts and drive your Club Car around to ensure speakers, wires and the radio stay in place when driving over bumpy terrain.
- Tom Yankaitis, Owner, North Main Auto Service/Triton Trikes, Rockford, Ill.
Jim Hagerty is a writer and journalist who began writing professionally in 1996. He has had articles published in the "Rock River Times," "Builder's Journal" and various websites. He earned a Bachelor of Science in public relations and journalism from Northern Michigan University in Marquette.