TS (MayJun08) - Pistons & Rings

By: Matt Vallez

This article original appeared in the July / August issue of Golf Car News Magazine and has been reprinted for this issue.


Today we are going to talk about pistons and rings, more precisely about the way piston rings fit into piston grooves. There are a lot of different ways that piston rings fit into the piston groove. For instance most 2-cycle (E-Z-GO & Yamaha) pistons have a tapered or beveled inside edge also called an upper side keystone ring. This type of piston ring must be put in with it’s tapered side facing up. The rings will not seat into the groove if put in with the taper side down. Also putting the backside or rear edge of a piston ring into the groove is not an accurate way to check if a tapered ring is the correct size for that piston ring groove.


This time of year I receive numerous calls claming that piston rings do not fit the piston ring groves and are the incorrect size. Usually I can explain about the tapered side facing up and fix the misunderstanding, in extreme cases I will put the rings on the piston and send it to the customer. To make things a little more confusing aftermarket rings and not always marked the same way as the O.E.M. rings. Below is a diagram that should help to clear up some of the confusion with the 2-cycle or any tapered piston rings.

TS JulAug Piston1



If you were confused with the two cycle rings the 4-cycle piston rings are even more difficult. All 4-cycle pistons are not the same. What is common about the 4-cycle piston & rings are that they all have three ring grooves. The top groove is for the compression ring, middle is for the wiper ring and the bottom groove is for the oil ring. There are different types of oil rings, some are 3 piece and others are one. Also different types of compression rings, some are tapered some are not. The compression rings for Yamaha G2 & G9 piston are tapered. The most important thing to remember about 4-cycle pistons and rings are that they are all different. Each ring fits in one groove and one groove only.







TS JulAug09 Piston2It is important to get the correct rings in the proper ring groove. Failure to do so will make it impossible to assemble the engine or even worse, cause damage to the cylinder if you are able to get the incorrectly assembled piston and ring into the cylinder. Aftermarket pistons and rings are not necessarily marked like the O.E.M. piston & rings. The diagram below should be helpful for getting the 4-cycle rings correct.


Aftermarket pistons and rings are made of the highest quality materials and produced to exact tolerances. It is worth checking to be sure that the rings are going into proper groove in the correct direction before assuming that the piston & rings are faulty. Having the knowledge to perform a task properly the first time is invaluable; it will not only save time and energy but also money. I hope that this will be helpful to all who take time to read it.

Industry News - May/June 2008


Kent Manufacturing celebrates their 35th year in business. The company has gone from designing accessories for the Yamaha G1 and 3-wheel E-Z-GO to the current Yamaha Drive, E-Z-GO RXV, and Club Car Precedent. Kent Manufacturing is still able to sell any part it has ever designed, so anyone with a Hyundai or Melex is still able to convert it into a utility vehicle or 4-passenger. The current product line includes sun tops up to 20 feet long, seat kits, trailers, utility vehicles, ambulance bodies, twelve passenger trams with an 11 foot turning radius, stretch kits, electric dump beds, brush guards, nerf bars, side rail covers, hitches, custom boxes, and other products featuring aluminum and plastic fabrication.

Kent Manufacturing offers products for material and personnel transport used in golf and sports venues, agriculture, landscaping and turf care, housekeeping and maintenance, food service, security, and warehouses/storage facilities. Kent Manufacturing’s products are currently used in resorts, malls, hospitals, factories, airports, amusement parks, movie studios, churches, car dealerships, and as city tourist shuttles. Kent Manufacturing has debuted a new website to show all their latest creations with more waiting to be added.

The growth and success of the company is attributed to partnering with dealers to provide innovative solutions to their golf car and utility vehicle needs. A primary goal of Kent Manufacturing is to create an enduring and mutually beneficial relationship with each dealer. This fact is proven by their inquiry referral process. Each dealer with an open account with Kent receives referral from all direct RFQs that originate from their designated service area, either from phone, fax, email, or website. Kent Manufacturing wants their dealers to provide sales and service to the end user so they can concentrate on producing quality products made in the U.S. at a great value. Kent Manufacturing stocks a large selection of parts to allow shipping within 24 hours in most cases. All products are aluminum with clear anodized finish, diamond tread bright, polished, brushed or black in gloss and wrinkle. Kent Manufacturing does their own powder coating so custom colors can be quickly processed as well. In celebration of our start in 1973, black powder coating on all inventory items is free for the entire year of 2008.

To provide perspective to the longevity of Kent, in 1973 Xerox introduced the color copier, gas was .40 cents a gallon, the FDA began requiring label information on all foods sold nationally, the American League introduced the designated hitter, and The Sting was best motion picture. Even Skylab was not able to survive 35 years as Kent Manufacturing has. Vice President Chad Drobisch who is marking his 20th year with the company would like to thank all the dealers who have grown over the years with Kent Manufacturing and promises to provide the quality service that these special people deserve for hopefully the next 35 years.

Kent Manufacturing can be reached at 800-330-KENT (5368), 888-223-KENT, email info@kentmfg.com or website www.kentmfg.com.


Fore Concepts, Inc. maker of the DoorWorksTM enclosure, introduces the DryClubTM canopy for all models of Club Car, E-Z-GO and Yamaha.The product is offered in SunbrellaTM acrylic, solution dyed polyester, and vinyl. The DryClubTM canopy works as a stand alone club cover but it also works well with the DoorWorksTM enclosure.

The company has also been busy working on new designs of is innovative DoorWorksTM enclosures. Coming this fall, Fore Concepts will have a full complement of four passenger and utility vehicle enclosures available.

For more information on the new DryClubTM golf club canopy or DoorWorksTM enclosures, call Fore Concepts, Inc. or visit their website at www.foreconcepts.com.



Cruise Car, Inc., Sarasota, FL, the only manufacturer and distributor of solar electric hybrid cars in the U.S., and Florida Power & Light, a leader in clean energy, teamed up to provide green power for the entire 2008 Honda Classic Golf Tournament in Palm Beach Gardens, FL February 25 through March 2. By going green, the Honda Classic offset the emission of 115 tons of carbon into the atmosphere, which is the equivalent of planting 14,000 trees.

“Cruise Car was honored to be involved with FPL’s commitment to using cleaner energy sources by having our solar cars at the Classic,” states Ken Chester, Cruise Car president. “It is companies like FPL that can make a difference in how America can become personally involved in utilizing green power. This event allowed us to show the public that solar electric hybrid cars are real and viable for alterative energy transportation.”

Thanks to environmentally-conscious enrollees of FPL’s Sunshine Energy Program, FPL was able to purchase enough credits to power the entire four-day golf tournament using solar energy and wind. Comprised of more than 37,000 volunteer residential and business customers who want to support cleaner, renewable electric generation, the program uses energy credits to introduce alternative energy onto the electrical grid, reducing CO2 emissions and the need to use more traditional fuel sources.

Since Cruise Car solar cars are classified as low speed vehicles (LSV’s) which can be licensed for posted speeds of up to 35 mph, they can meet the need for alternative transportation well beyond the golf course. “We are working with planned communities, cities and municipalities, colleges and universities and countless others who are looking for a clean, inexpensive way to transport people” says Chester, “and what is cheaper than the green resources of the sun?”

From 2-passenger models to 14 passenger buses, Cruise Car has an alterative energy transportation solution for just about everyone.

Depending on utilization, Cruise Car has a unique solar panel system on its solar cars that can provide up to 100% of the power needed to transport people or materials using a freely abundant, all-natural resource…the sun. Cruise Cars replace the need for individuals to be near an electrical outlet at any time.

Cruise Car is the only manufacturer and distributor of solar electric hybrid cars in the U.S. For more information about the complete line, distributorship or for a dealer near you, contact Cruise Car via e-mail at info@cruisecarinc.com, www.cruisecarinc.com.



AUGUSTA, GA – Badges to the Masters Tournament and hotel rooms aren’t the only things in high demand during Masters week in Augusta. Just try getting a golf car to park in front of your business establishment. Each year Club Car, a golf car manufacturer based here, is flooded with requests from restaurants, hotels and car dealerships that want to place one of the company’s vehicles on display for the week.

“It’s not exactly in the same league with the green jacket, but it’s certainly become a tradition around here,” says Mike Read, Club Car’s director of marketing.

No one seems to know exactly when the tradition began (most seem to think it dates back to 1986-87) or why it’s become so popular, especially with businesses located along Washington Road leading to the Augusta National Golf Club. What is certain is that requests for the cars seem to start earlier each year, and no one wants to get left off the list of establishments that will receive a golf car.

“We forgot Hooters one year, and they weren’t too happy,” Bentley recalls. “They even put a message on their sign out front saying they didn’t need us any more and they’d get a Harley instead.”

Evidently Hooters has forgiven the oversight because an orange golf car has been requested once again. “We won’t forget this time, either,” says Bentley.

One of the most challenging parts of Bentley’s job comes after the tournament ends and it’s time to load up the cars – a combination of golf cars and utility vehicles – and return them to the Club Car plant. “We always seem to find two or three cars not where we left them,” he says. “One year there was a big party at one of the hotels and one of our cars went swimming.”

For more information on Club Car, go to www.clubcar.com.


Beard Equipment Named Top Distributor of the Year

CARY, N.C. – At the 2008 Golf Industry Show, John Deere Golf announced its top distributor of the year – Beard Equipment from Mobile, Ala.

During an exclusive event at the House of Blues in Orlando, Fla., the Beard Equipment team was presented with the Mark Rostvold Award, named for a former senior vice president of the Worldwide Commercial & Consumer Equipment Division. Each year this award is given to the distributor that exemplifies superior salesmanship and industry dedication.

“The staff at Beard Equipment is setting a great example of support for our customers,” said Gregg Breningmeyer, director of sales & marketing, John Deere Golf. “Because of their hard work and dedication, John Deere is and will continue to be one of the leaders in the golf industry.” 



AUGUSTA, GA – Four years after introducing the most advanced golf car in its history, Club Car is doing it again. This time, on the heels of the 2004 launch of Precedent, Precedent i2 represents the next generation in golf car innovation and performance.

“Precedent i2 builds on what made Precedent a revolutionary golf car and makes it an even more reliable, better performing car for the course owner/operator and golfer,” said Phil Tralies, Club Car chairman and CEO.

Precedent i2 and the Precedent i2L model, which includes a number of upgrades aimed at upscale facilities, began shipping in March.

The Precedent changes start with the new Excel™ drive system, which continues the evolution of Club Car’s highly regarded electric platform with enhanced efficiency, reliability and control capabilities.

One of the key benefits of the more sophisticated system is that it increases the benefits of the Precedent’s motor braking and regenerative braking features to provide greater control of the vehicle and a smoother ride. By lowering the car’s motor-braking capability to speeds near zero, the driver gains more control and assurance when descending hills. Increased motor braking also improves Precedent i2’s regenerative braking ability by capturing and returning more kinetic energy to the batteries. (In earlier Precedent models, regenerative braking occurred down to approximately 10 mph.) Improved regenerative braking could reduce energy costs by 20 percent over previous models.

With more energy being returned to the batteries, cars will require less charging and stay on the course longer. Because the driver will apply less pressure to the mechanical brake, there will be less wear on brake parts, which will extend the life of the brake system and reduce costs. Golfers also will have a more secure feeling when they are on a severe down hill slope because the mechanical brake is being supported to a greater extent by regenerative braking.

In addition to the Excel system, Club Car also is introducing a new charging system and dash design and enhancing Precedent’s 360-degree bumper design. The new high-capacity charging system reduces charging time and water consumption, and helps extend battery life by utilizing optimized charging algorithms. The vehicle’s dash area has been redesigned to make it easier to clean and to make golfers’ personal items more visible.

Precedent’s 360-degree wraparound bumper now has greater energy-absorbing ability to reduce impact damage to the car’s body and frame. The bumper also has been given a new texture that facilitates cleaning. 

For more information on Club Car, go to www.clubcar.com.



Mark J. Woodward, golf operations manager for the city of San Diego has been selected chief executive officer for the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).

His selection by the GCSAA Board of Directors comes after conducting a national search to replace Steve Mona, who became the chief executive of the World Golf Foundation March 3. A familiar face to GCSAA, Woodward has been actively involved as a committee participant, a member of the board of directors and 68th president of the association in 2004. He is in his 30th year as a GCSAA member and first achieved the status of certified golf course superintendent in 1986. He is the first golf course superintendent to serve as GCSAA’s permanent chief executive.

“Mark presented the best fit for the association,” GCSAA President David S. Downing II, CGCS said. “He is a talented individual with a myriad of skills and abilities that will serve him, the membership, the association, the industry and the game well. He has a strong track record of service to GCSAA and success as a golf course superintendent and an administrator. His efforts have earned him rave reviews in bolstering golf operations for the city of San Diego.”

Visit GCSAA at www.gcsaa.org.


IMT BRINGS TO THE GOLFING INDUSTRY The Touchless Cover ™: Fulfilling a need for convenience  

Winter Park, FL – IMT, Inc. is proud to announce the arrival of The Touchless Cover™, its new state-of-the-art, fully automatic and enclosed protection system for electric vehicles. This exciting, new product is clearly the latest “must have” accessory for the electric vehicle industry.  With the touch of a button, The Touchless Cover™ provides a convenient and dedicated space for your electric vehicle outside of your home, while freeing up needed space in your garage, in addition to receiving the same garage-like protection.

Golf carts (i.e. electric vehicles), as you know, are no longer just limited to just golfers and golfing, but are being used by everyone for transportation within their communities and posh resorts.  Consequently, people are now investing more in their electric vehicles, by adding things like air conditioners, stereo systems, custom paint jobs, tires, and suspensions to take their electric vehicles to new levels of luxury.  Thanks to IMT, they can now protect their classy new electric vehicles from the elements, while freeing-up space in their garage, with the amazing Touchless Cover™.

The Touchless Cover™ is designed for interior or exterior use and, in fact, the engineers at IMT actually designed The Touchless Cover™ to fit conveniently in almost any place on your property, to help you free-up garage space and utilize what would otherwise be considered “wasted space” in your yard.  With seven standard colors, and many more custom colors to choose from, it’s easy to find a color to compliment your home.  IMT also welcomes custom orders, so you can combine any combination of colors available to create your own unique cover.   

The Touchless Cover™ motor is maintenance-free, operates on AC or DC power, and comes with a five-year limited warranty.  The cover is designed to withstand sun damage, heavy rain, snow (25 lbs/SF), high temperatures and winds, but for extreme weather conditions, the fabric can be removed with ease, in a matter of minutes, so it can be safely stored away until fair weather returns. 

When IMT’s President, Gary Elbers, was asked what his thoughts were on The Touchless Cover™, he stated “I won’t stop designing automatic covers until everyone has the option of covering all of their vehicles with a Touchless Cover™”, and with the success of The Touchless Boat Cover™, The Touchless Bike Cover™, The Touchless RV Cover™, and now The Touchless Golf Cart Cover™, you could say he is well on his way.

IMT is a well-established manufacturer in Winter Park, Florida, that has been in business since 1998.  IMT introduced its product, The Touchless Cover™, at the 2008 PGA merchandise show in January, which was a great success. IMT is currently expanding its dealership for The Touchless Cover™ product and is actively seeking qualified dealers to market and install this amazing new product nationwide.

CS (MayJun08) - Mike’s Golf Carts


Built by Mikes Golf Carts, Perry, Georgia, this 2003 electric Club Car rebuild took approximately a day and a half to complete using a wide range of accessories from Nivel Parts.


Features include: New black body, head and tail lights, fender flares, Jake’s long travel lift kit, Thunderbull wheels, 23×10.5-12 Duro Desert tires, 3-inch wheel spacers, diamond plate running boards, upper brush guard, stainless steel steering column, flip flop seat kit, black seat covers, Daytona steering wheel, analog state of charge meter, 650 amp controller, GE high torque 11hp motor, 4 gauge wire set, heavy duty F&R switch and 48-volt 600 amp solenoid,


For more information please contact Mike at 478-987-1292 or visit www.mikesgolfcarts.com.

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