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 Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?

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wildcat445

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Join date : 2014-08-16

PostSubject: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-06-04, 7:56 pm

I bought an old abused, abandoned Club Car golf cart at an auction in 2009.  Quite possibly the ugliest 1986 golf cart in existence.  It had been rolled down an embankment that nearly destroyed it.  There was a guy bidding on it for whom I had a particular dislike.  I was running the guy up and he bailed, leaving me stuck with a junk $300 golf cart.  This may have been the second best $300 I ever spent.

I hauled this old thing home with my wife reminding me constantly what a rube I was to get stuck running up a bid.  She was right, of course, but, knowing me, I felt I could "fix" it.  I knew zipkus about a golf cart.  After I got it home, I figured how to get it to go and it went.  It actually moved under its own power.  I hooked up the charger and in the morning, I found it actually ran quite well.  It looked bad, and the intervening years did not improve matters  The only thing I have done to it is to replace one wheel bearing and put in a new set of batteries. 

I am doing a ground up, frame off restoration on a $300 golf cart.  I will have almost $3000 into it when I get done.  I am converting it for street legal use.  I totally rewired it.  I tuned up the motor, even though it probably needs rebuilt.  This is a 36-volt electric model.  I like it because it runs quiet and the wife can sneak up on the deer.  I am making my own bumpers and trim.  I won't reveal the color scheme until I get that done.  Those plans may change depending upon cost.  I had to rebuild the battery boxes due to unseen corrosion.  Every part that can be taken off has been cleaned, painted, detailed, fixed or replaced.  The only things that did not need anything done to them were the brakes.  For some odd reason, they were still good.  A friend of mine repaired all the broken fiberglass.  This is one of those "fast" projects that takes all summer!

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Cliff Jones
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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-06-05, 8:23 am

I worked in Huntington Beach, with a close friend at a gas station downtown, called Les's Service Station, He had golf carts for sale and repairs, in that town. In Long Beach, golf carts were used downtown for elderly and disable persons to do shopping. Long Beach even designed the street corners to have ramps instead of curbs because, back in the day it was considered a retirement community.

My friend would setup new and old carts for sale. The new ones could actually spin the tires. I did replace Mercury filled diodes on the Chargers, yup 36 volts. The rectifiers were called tungar bulbs. Some even had two bulbs. The batteries were huge.

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wildcat445

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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-06-06, 4:10 pm

I'm not sure I want to go into the golf cart repairing business just yet.  I have learned a lot and it has been a rewarding project up to this point.

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19&41

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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-06-09, 8:29 pm

I've never owned one.  There used to be parts all over the countryside for them near the Indiana Michigan border when I lived there 25 years ago.  Burden sales also had all kinds of parts for them.  they all have pretty well dried up that I know of.  I wonder if some of the charging equipment for forklifts could work with them?

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wildcat445

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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-06-10, 6:11 pm

Industrial charging equipment for 36 volts should work okay if the connections are the same.

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wildcat445

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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-06-27, 7:02 am

The paint and materials to paint our golf cart was nearly $500!  For a stinkin' little junky golf cart.  What if I was painting a Buick?  Or a Packard?  Or our old truck?  I was flabbergasted, I had no idea painting supplies had gone up that much.  Now, granted, we are dealing with "candy" and "flake" and clear and such exotics, but, man, I near fell out when they handed me the bill.

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19&41

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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-06-27, 7:09 am

That's a chunk o' change for a off road vehicle.  It wouldn't be the same if it didn't look nice, though.

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wildcat445

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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-06-27, 8:18 pm

I'm rethinking this painting project.  That is too much money to put into the paint on a golf cart.  I haven't actually spent that yet.  So tomorrow I go to Plan B.  Now I realize why people let their golf carts go to staves.  I was originally going to use spray bombs on this thing for a quickie job.

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wildcat445

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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-06-28, 3:13 pm

Plan B is to pay up and shut up.  There is no cheap way to paint a golf cart.  Even spray cans will cost a fortune, make a mess, take lots of time, and won't be worth the time and trouble.  The $500 estimate was a bit of an over-dramatization by the paint store.  They included several items I did not need or want.  $200 will be a more reasonable estimate by the time it is all said and done.  I will have $600 total in the paint job, including what I have to do personally to the top and wheels.  This still seems like a lot of money, but that is what it will cost around here.

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19&41

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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-06-28, 3:19 pm

Would doing the prep work reduce the cost any?

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wildcat445

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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-07-23, 5:20 am

I have the body painted.  Plum crazy purple with gold metal flake and Allis-Chalmers orange pin stripes and wheels.   I purposely did not use aluminum wheels, since I wanted to be different.  And cheap.  I finally found a set of Carlisle golf cart tires like the set I just wore out.  I like how they ride and handle.  They wear well.  I am going to "The City" on Wednesday to get the aluminum I need to make trim and bumpers.  The rocker panel trim will be polished aluminum as are the bumpers.  I designed these parts myself, so the jury is still out on the final product.  I was not going to pay $600 for golf cart bumpers, the going rate for Jake's parts.  I should be in the aluminum totally about $200.

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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-07-23, 7:49 am

Looks like it is working out for you, with alternative ways of getting there.

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wildcat445

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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-07-23, 2:37 pm

Maybe.  Finally.....

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wildcat445

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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-07-24, 7:33 pm

I messed up the paint on one of the wheels (bug?) so had to sand and re-shoot it.  Might have wheels ready for tires by Thursday.  The motor runs in both directions, the electrical system works as designed and both horns honk.  I have them on a DPST switch and can switch to either the ooogah horn or the city horn, which sounds like a French taxi.  The body is on the chassis and the top and uprights are now one assembly.  I need to make a couple brackets before that can go on.  I need to wire the volt meter where it works with the switch.  All the switch does is provide ground to a micro switch, which powers up the "go" solenoid.  The volt meter is typically wired "hot."  I don't see why I could not connect the negative side of the voltmeter up to the switch to provide the connection.

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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-07-24, 8:14 pm

Don't get overheated finishing up fast.

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wildcat445

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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-07-25, 7:29 am

I'm down to the part where patience is a virtue.  I can mess up the whole thing by getting in a hurry.  Patience is a virtue, but harder as the project nears completion.  The welding shop where I buy aluminum is welding bumper brackets and bending other brackets.  All the aluminum is polishing grade, although not necessarily marketed as such.  These guys have been very accommodating, although they believe I'm a kook going thru all this trouble for a golf cart.  They were impressed with my plans, how I had them drawn.  Not quite up to engineering specs, perhaps, but I remembered my mechanical drawing class in high school which gave them enough information to work with.

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MEZLAW

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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-07-26, 4:09 am

Well hello gentlemen!   Golf carts.....what an interesting subject.    I've been thinking of getting one myself.   We have a couple of places that look like a used care lot for golf carts, but I haven't stopped in yet to get any pricing.  I'll bet new batteries are a big expense, how long will they last on a full charge?
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19&41

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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-07-26, 11:00 am

I would guess that would depend upon the motor and drivetrain.  The company I work for many times gets its lead acid batteries through Batteries Plus and seems to get a pretty good price through them.

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wildcat445

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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-07-26, 12:23 pm

Our terrain here is hilly, and my 31 year old, 36 volt Club Car will run about 20 miles on a charge.  That does not sound like much, but on flat ground it might run 50 miles or so.  Cable tightness and condition, as well as the condition of the batteries is key.  Gold carts are as expensive to work on as a real car.  Just because they are little does not make them cheap.  I'll have three grand in my three hundred dollar golf cart by the time I'm done.  It will be quite nice, but still......

If you buy a golf cart to fix up, consider what the body is made of.  My '86 Club Car has an all-fiberglass body.  The '82 thru '93 Club Car DS series all had fiberglass bodies.  They went to all-plastic in 1993.  The older fiberglass bodies are easier to fix.  They all get broken, primarily in bolt holes and where they have been impacted.  The plastic bodies suffer from material fatique and can be challenging to repair.  Club Car is the Cadillac of golf carts.  Yamaha probably second, with EZ GO primarily being an entry level "fleet special."  The suspension on a Club Car is quite robust and fully rebuildable.  I like electric because they are quiet.  Batteries are about $100 apiece, and mine has six.  Gas buggies have clutches, starters, carburetors, reversing switches that all cause trouble, expensive trouble.  If you keep the batteries full of water and keep a handle on corrosion, the last set of batteries in mine lasted seven years.  Deep-cycle batteries work best when you run them down before recharging.  I've had mine all apart, every part was off that was not welded together.

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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-07-26, 12:44 pm

I'm sure the work will pay off as time goes by.

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Cliff Jones
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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-07-26, 1:00 pm

Handicap scooters are kinda the same concept. My wife had two different brands, and two different custom electric wheelchairs. Electronic controller's are nice as they monitor battery condition also. However, my point being that we had them serviced including batteries. It was recommended from the getgo that they be charged EVERY NIGHT, we also noticed a 7 year lifespan, before replacement was required.

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wildcat445

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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-07-26, 5:17 pm

I don't always follow the same charging schedule.  Sometimes I go too long and pray I'll make it home.  Other times, I recharge when it "feels" slower.  The book says to run the batteries down before you charge them.  We have electric "shoppers" at the store that recommend the batteries be charged "at every convenience" whatever that means.  Our electric forklifts and pallet jacks are on the charger whenever they are not being used.  I'm sure they never get to set long enough to get fully charged.  Batteries and applications are different.  Keeping the terminals clean and keeping water in the batteries is as important as anything.  Golf cart batteries suffer from a lot of corrosion.  Bouncing and sloshing around all the time, I guess.

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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-07-26, 6:00 pm

Every convenience probably means topping them off when possible.  Does NoCo washers help any with the corrosion?

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wildcat445

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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-07-27, 5:05 am

I used those treated felt washers, WD-40, battery spray.  Nothing seems to work dependably.  The best remedy for corrosion I have found is vigilance.  I check every time I hop on for a ride.  I'm not familiar with NoCo washers.

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wildcat445

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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-07-27, 7:44 am

I have my order in at the welding shop to get the brackets and material cut and formed that I need to finish.  This project will be a tad spendy, but necessary to complete the look I want.  I was told anywhere from two days to three weeks, depending on work load.  When queried why I never see anybody working, I got this reply.  "When you go to Walmart, you have to stand in line, whether you have one item or a cart full.  Why would I mess with that little job and piss off our regular customers by putting your project ahead of theirs?"  I was not asking for special favors, just an idea when I needed to arrange my schedule to accommodate their getting my job done.  Jeez.  This outfit has been really good to me in the past, but I got a different guy this time.  Perhaps his customer service skills are not as good as his fabrication skills, one can only hope.

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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-07-27, 10:09 am

The guy could have put it more tactfully than that.  Now it's down to which one won't come back again.

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wildcat445

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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-07-27, 7:26 pm

Giving him the benefit of the doubt, my wife got a similar response at the upholstery shop.  They do boat upholstery, and felt underwhelmed at the prospect of doing a golf cart seat.  They could have said no easily enough.  They want the money, but they feel obliged to make you feel like they are doing you a favor.  Just the way it is around here.  I have had my body back from the painter for over a week.  Every day, he stops by to tell me how hard he worked on it and how lucky I am that he did it.  I guess I need to show more gratitude along with the check I wrote......

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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-07-27, 8:05 pm

Very Happy

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Cliff Jones
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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-07-29, 5:11 pm

Fortunately, at our Wallmart we have two good size self-checkout areas, one has about 8 scanners, and the other 4. 

Most auto parts store carry thick felt washers that fit around battery terminals, they have some chemical that helps prevent corrosion.

Me on the other-hand, use vaseline jelly, clean up the corrosion, on the terminals and clamps, then a little baking soda and water. then grease the snot out of them with vaseline.  Been doing that for over 55 years, and not a lick of corrosion.

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MEZLAW

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PostSubject: Re: Does anybody have a golf cart besides me?   2017-07-30, 5:09 am

The best remedy for corrosion I have found is vigilance.

I couldn't agree more!  Smile

Now I'm getting interested in getting a golf cart!  cheers
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