Joining the GEM world and asking for feedback from the experts

Hello Gem forum, hope you are all holding up well in these interesting times. I have been fascinated with all the upgrades you guys have done on these Gem cars for a while now. I have always been a “gas guy” when it came to golf carts or cars. Now that you guys have done the research and engineering work, I want to jump in with both feet and build a Gem for good power and reasonable range. I would love to hear opinions on years and options that you guys would be willing to share. I am actively looking for a Gem right now (probably an E4 or an EL) that I can actually title as an LSV. I have found some local cars (around the Washington DC area) but none of them had a clear title to take to the DMV and tag it.

All that being said, I would very much appreciate any feedback you guys might have. The lithium conversion is a no-brainer but now I’m seeing AC conversion as well and that sounds intriguing but I can’t find a clear listing of what the level of effort and cost/benefit would be of switching to an AC motor.

To net all this out, I am happy to buy a Gem that is already built if one of you guys have one for sale or one that I could buy some pieces from you guys and install them myself. My budget is around $8-$10k but I have some flexibility there. My last side by side (Wildcat X) I had over $20k in it so to have something I can legally drive on the road for around half that price makes the wife happy.

I do plan to lift it and put larger tires and wheels (I’m thinking 22" or 23" tires on 14" wheels) and I would like to be able to run as high as 45mph but mostly cruise at 35 or less. I think 25-30 miles of range would be more than enough as well.

What do you think guys, is it possible?
Thanks in advance for your feedback and I appreciate everything you guys do to advance the LSV world!

The ac motor is working great. It’s basically plug and play if the motor fits. Depends on model.
<$2k total.

can easily do it . you will need a big battery pack to pull it off . I would shoot for 24" + tires .

I have a 2018 E2 90% complete.
8kw ac motor.
80v Chevy Bolt module.
Runs 35mph with 17:1 gears. But 9k rpm.
Needs gears and an isolation kit (deadens sound at high rpms) to complete the performance/range upgrade.
Unfortunately its on the West coast right now.

Thanks for the input so far guys, I am taking copious notes.

@LithiumGods - When you say big battery pack, are you saying one of your 22s or 24s or larger? How much more would that run over your 20s price?

@Inwo - I really had not considered anything that new just based on cost of the unit for starters. I always expected to spend more money in upgrades. I’m assuming at 17:1 it is actually pretty quick. How hard are the newer units to lift for larger tires and what kind of money are you looking at for the E2? What is the range with the Bolt module and the gears that are in it? I understand that is directly proportional to how I drive it. Last but not least, any pics?

Yes you would want a 22s or 24s battery pack . I split the larger packs so that 4s and 5s modules are available . So basically 4s, 5s, 8s and 10s modules are available to configure into any size needed . I personally run 3 8s modules that all fit between the back seat frame rails . I little harder install but its worth it .

Too bad your in the DC area. I have 2 E2s to part with. One 2005 is custom painted and interior. But I may use the one for experiments like AC conversion. It’s taking my wife’s BMW place in the garage so I will have to move it soon.

@Monkeyron, I would consider and E2 but I didn’t think they had as much room for the driver as the E4. I’m a big guy and need room between the seat and steering wheel! Where are you located? I am not opposed to shipping a GEM.

I’m in Riverside ca,SoCal.
I have a 2 E4s, 2 E2s and a E6.
What I’m not sure of is, the E4 has adjustable seats. The E2 not.
I need to revisit one of the E2s to see.
I’m 6’ 230
Will check Friday


If you are still looking to purchase an e4, I have an 1999 that has pretty much been rebuilt. New paint, new Ride 4 Fun charger, new DC converter, new master cylinder, new back wheel assemblies, new brake lines to back, GEL batteries 2 years old, new radio with 4 speakers, new light bar on front, new shocks. I am probably forgetting something but I have been working on upgrading this cart over the past 2 years. I have the trunk and a golf bag attachment as well.
Due to the money that I’ve put into it recently, I’d be looking to be at the top of your budget. Please let me know if you have interest. Thanks!


12.3 Gearbox $600 exchange $750 outright plus shipping. Isolation kit $180 exchange. your 18 probably already has isolation kit. 33/35 mph with stock tires

Brendon, thanks for the offer. I am actually looking for something a little newer. I plan on doing lithium as well so the new batteries are actually not a good thing for me. I am hoping for at least a 2008 or newer. I might even have some leads on some that are the new body design. Again, I appreciate the offer. GLWS

Thanks to everyone for the responses and DM’s. I am definitely still in the market but to be honest, I have never even seen a GEM (old or new) in person much less sat in one and driven it. I live about 70 miles west of Washington DC so I figured there must be a dealer somewhere with a few new ones and maybe an older trade in sitting around I could look at and sit in. After calling every GEM dealer listed on the GEM website within 2 hours of me, I found exactly one 2016 e4 with around 5000 miles on it that I can actually see in person. Every other dealer said they don’t stock any, just “made to order”. Even the dealer that has the 2016 was over 2 hours away and closed for the day anyway but did at least answer the phone and talked to me about the 2016.

Do any of you GEM forum members live near DC so I could at least get a feel for one of these (old or new)? I am definitely in the market but I don’t want to drop $10k on something and have it shipped to me that I have never even sat in before.

Thanks again for all the help and responses. I am looking forward to participating in, and being part of the community here.