Psychic stuff and the woodgrain dash
When you buy a stock golf cart, face it, the dash isn't all that impressive. It works great if you're on the golf course - it has little holes to put the golf tees in; open compartments for gloves, golf balls, score cards and such; and cup holders for your beverage of choice. Mine even had a sign with a set of rules for operating the cart on the course. But on the streets, it's just not an attractive feature. Thankfully there are a number of after-market plastic dash covers that fit over the stock ones to dress it up. Some are metallic, others are in various colors, and there are even woodgrain models. We thought that the woodgrain would look good on our blue cart with its white seats. We got the "Regal Burl Dash Cover Assembly EZ-GO TXT Golf Cart 1994-2013 w/ Locking Glove" for a little over a hundred bucks. Obviously, when buying one for your own cart, you need to be careful to match the make, model, and year... the different ones definitely aren't interchangeable.
Now let me say something right off the bat, and this doesn't just apply to the dash covers... almost nothing fits like its supposed to. Especially with used carts - they've been driven, jostled, broken, repaired, and experienced so much wear that they're no longer in the same shape that they were when they rolled off the assembly line. Be prepared to make adjustments for anything that you do to (or add to, or put on) your cart.
The woodgrain dash cover arrived in a cardboard box with no instructions. It was just a big, thin, plastic dash that presumably would simply snap over the old one. And it sort of did... sort of, but not really. To get it to fit, I had to bend back both sides. Some screws came with it, which I assumed would be used to secure it to the old dash. In doing so, however, the cover would be in a bind, but I assumed that would be okay. The real problem was the cup holder - the new cover simply wouldn't fit over the cup holder like it was supposed to. I tried one thing and then another, and it became more frustrating by the day. I finally removed the drink cup assembly from the original dash and the new one slipped right on. Of course, we couldn't use the drink cups.
There was another problem, though. If you look at the photo of the new dash above, you'll see the white rectangle cut-out. On the original dash there is a metal plate that holds the ignition switch and the battery indicator (at least on my cart). I guess that the idea is to unscrew it from the old dash, feed the wires and plate through the hole in the new dash, and re-fasten it. The plate has two flat tabs on the top which hook under two recessed spots on the old dash, but the new dash doesn't have them, so there was no way to make it fit. Just like the other problem, I messed around with it for days, and rode around in the cart with the beautiful, new dash, with the little panel hanging out by its wires. And then something interesting happened...
I woke up one morning a few days later, and I'd been having a very clear dream. I was working on the golf cart, and specifically the little plate with the ignition switch. In the dream, I had a pair of pliers, and I simply bent the two top tabs back, hooked them under the lip of the new dash, and then screwed it in. It fit, and looked great. When I woke up, I thought, "Can it really be that easy?" I went outside with some pliers, did exactly what I'd done in my dream, and put it all together seamlessly. It was easy.
I laughed about it with some friends, kidding them about how I'd gotten a "psychic" message on how to fix the problem. I still didn't have a solution to the cup holder problem, though. Whenever I was driving the cart I still couldn't use the cup holders. I just decided that it was a flaw in the design of the new dash, and I was going to have to live with it.
Until about a week later, when I was asleep and had another dream. In this one I had removed the old cup holder assembly from the old dash, and I was shaving it down by about an eighth of an inch. I put it back in, and then snapped on the new dash - and it fit perfectly. When I woke up I remembered everything that I'd done in the dream, so I went outside, removed the cup holder assembly, and using my RotoZip, took about an eighth of an inch off. I snapped it back into place on the old dash, and then put the new dash into place. It fit perfectly, so I drilled holes and secured it with screws. I put a screw on each side of the bottom arms, put screws inside the lip of the glove boxes, and then two or three underneath. The red arrows below show where I secured it with screws.
Of course, I was having a great time with this, telling my friends about it, and that's where the "Psychic Golf Cart Repair" thing was born. This wasn't psychic, of course. I know that dreams are simply your subconscious working through things that are bothering your conscious mind, and that's what was going on. Without all of the frustration of my waking golf cart issues, my subconscious mind was able to cut to the chase and solve the problem. That's not near as fun as calling it a psychic experience, though, is it? So that's where the name of this site came from, and how you install a dash cover on your old golf cart dash.
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