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Unread 08-09-2016, 07:35 PM   #1
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Unhappy Club car DS differential issue

Hey,

Last week a customer brought in a club car DS regen car with noisy rear end. (Sorry did not make a point to remember year of the car). I first ruled out both axle bearings and determined they were ok. I removed the electric motor and inspected the bearing on the armature, it had a single rough or flat spot so I figured that could be it. The motor also had no guide ring or rubber bumper that I could see. So then I got busy. I drained the diff and cracked it open. Found no signs of metal shavings and I inspected the gear bearings. Every bearing was fine with no rough spots detected however I could not really "test" the innermost bearing on the input shaft because it was tucked away. I was able to slide the input shaft out slightly enough to get my fingers on the bearing and it did not appear to be bad. So I put new diff fluid in with some Lucas stabilizer and sealed it back up, also remembering to lightly hammer the input shaft back into position as I pulled it out of place to check the bearing.

So, the only bearing I found to be bad was in the motor. I changed the motor with a known good one and the rear end still made lots of noise. So I removed the new motor and added a rubber bumper having high hopes.....but still horrible noise. The noise it makes now sounds very gear like as I can hear the teeth of the gears whirring when I accelerate it. Almost as if it has no gear oil at all. So I am really confused....could this horrible noise be due to the input shaft bearing I "half checked" ? Also I have never removed the gears from a club car before. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated

Please and thanks!!
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Unread 08-09-2016, 07:45 PM   #2
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Default Re: Club car DS differential issue

Differential are pretty much bullet proof in a golf cart. Very few issues. The one thing I have found over the years when it comes to differentials is if all the fluid somehow has come out, the owner then goes and fills it with fluid. Problem is the damage to the gears is already done. Course, the owner lies to you and says they never added fluid. Sounds like that's what you have. Its had no fluid, then they added fluid, but the damage is already done.
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Unread 08-09-2016, 08:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: Club car DS differential issue

Hey,

Sorry if I did not mention it earlier but it had fluid when it came in and it was full. I had to drain it to inspect the gears and bearings then I refilled it. Remember I mentioned I found no damage to the teeth or metal shavings. So if they did tamper with it and full around with the fluid at some point, I did not see any damage.

- Steve
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Unread 08-09-2016, 08:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: Club car DS differential issue

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Originally Posted by yamahaguy97 View Post
Hey,

Sorry if I did not mention it earlier but it had fluid when it came in and it was full. I had to drain it to inspect the gears and bearings then I refilled it. Remember I mentioned I found no damage to the teeth or metal shavings. So if they did tamper with it and full around with the fluid at some point, I did not see any damage.

- Steve
Don't know if it is the same or not. A few years ago our golf course had some ezgo carts. We had a guy that claimed to know how to work on them. Seems every time he would work on one the rear ends would be whining and grinding. I have no ideal what he was doing, or trying to fix. Sounded like loose gear lash to me. Don't know what yours is or if there are shims to adjust the gear lash. Just something to thank about.
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Unread 08-10-2016, 08:33 AM   #5
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Default Re: Club car DS differential issue

In my experience, especially with the Graziano rear diffs since the drain plug is so big and easy to snag on a stump.... Golfers would snag the plug on a stump enough to loosen it up. The vibration would eventually work the drain plug out enough to where all the fluid would leak out. Shortly after, the gears and bearings would start making all kinds of noise. Filling with fluid doesn't work after the bearings have all been run dry. So I replaced all of the bearings only to find that the noise still exists. The end result is that gears that have been run dry are never going to run quietly again. I've got a few extra Graziano electric rear ends complete with brakes. If you're interested give me a call. Phone number is on the web page. Link below.
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Unread 08-10-2016, 01:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: Club car DS differential issue

I'll clarify
You will not be able to see the damage to the gears. You would have to mic the gear teeth to be able to see the damage. They get run out of oil, then refilled, but the damage is done
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Unread 08-10-2016, 01:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: Club car DS differential issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Golf cart guy View Post
I'll clarify
You will not be able to see the damage to the gears. You would have to mic the gear teeth to be able to see the damage. They get run out of oil, then refilled, but the damage is done
Exactly.
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Unread 08-10-2016, 07:26 PM   #8
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Default Re: Club car DS differential issue

Thank you all for your replies.

Wow, I would have never guessed that may be the issue. You would think if most customers drove a golf cart dry and soon heard the horrible noise it produced they would panic and stop immediately. Luckily with most carts I encounter it is rarely a differential issue, except the occasional axle bearing going bad. Thank you for the offer Tahoedawg, but I just replaced the diff today and things are normal now.

Also, just for future knowledge in case I actually have to remove the gears to replace any bearings, how would I do that? I notice with the first largest gear there are several bolt heads I can see that go around it tucked away behind it. Do I remove all of those and just work my way back in succession?


Thank you all again

-Steve
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Unread 08-10-2016, 07:44 PM   #9
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Default Re: Club car DS differential issue

You've got a bad bearing in the diff. There kind of pain to disassemble but I just did one not to long ago, found 2 bad bearings, bought 2 new ones for $30 and new synthetic gear oil. Even tho the bearings looked ok the 2 culprits had a tiny amount of friction which lead to alot of noise
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