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Unread 11-20-2010, 04:15 AM   #1
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Default 1991 Club Car locking up

I have a 4 seater 36v club car. On heavy loads (when 4 ride) the rear axle locks up completely. The cart then has to be rocked back and forth while someone pushes the accelerator. After a while it surges then runs fine again. I have no idea of what is going on.
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Unread 11-20-2010, 05:31 AM   #2
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Default Re: 1991 Club Car locking up

First things first - WELCOME to Buggies Gone Wild! Glad you're here! Now, about your cart...

Do the rear tires turn at all - even the slightest - when the cart is rocked back and forth? Are there any unusual sounds or smells when it stops? How much time 'till it will move again? Any modifications to the cart?

Sorry 'bout the questionnaire! Just tryin' to narrow things down.

My first thoughts are:

Check the rear end lubricant.(Extra weight causing overheating/expanding gears or bearings)

Check for binding brakes/cables.

Check for an overheating motor. (seized bearings)

Other ideas? Anyone?

We'll get you fixed up, not to worry!
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Unread 11-20-2010, 08:20 AM   #3
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Default Re: 1991 Club Car locking up

Thanks for responding. When the the cart locks up, the rear tires do not move a bit. No unusual sounds or smells. After rocking it could take as little as 20 seconds to 10 minutes to get going again. The cart is all stock.
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Unread 11-20-2010, 09:11 AM   #4
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Default Re: 1991 Club Car locking up

Interesting! The first thing I would do is to check the rear end lube. There should be a fill plug on the side of the transmission housing. Remove it, and fill until oil runs out. Forgive me for not being sure what type oil it uses, but I know people who just use 30W.

Take a jack with you on your next "weighted" ride. When it locks up, jack up the rear until the tires just clear the ground. With the brakes off, the rear tires should turn, but in opposite directions. Be sure to block the front wheels! If they turn, the brakes and wheel bearings are OK. The differential gears make them turn oppositely.

If they still won't turn, remove the rear wheels - please use jack stands!!! - and check the brakes for any oil, or missing/broken/improperly installed parts. Check the cables for binding, corrosion, and proper routing. They should have a little slack when the brakes are released.

If the wheels do turn, but not on the ground, you've probably got a bearing issue, either in the transaxle or the motor. Not fun, and dissassembly is required.

The fact that it moves fine without the extra weight, and even for a while with it, makes me think that something is getting hot, expanding, and binding up. Hopefully, the problem is the trans lube or the brakes, both are fairly easy fixes.

I'm also hoping that you get more - and better - ideas from others who know better than I do!

Does all of this makes sense??? I'm not much of a technical writer...
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Unread 11-20-2010, 09:16 AM   #5
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Default Re: 1991 Club Car locking up

Is it quiet when it does run?
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Unread 11-20-2010, 09:48 AM   #6
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Default Re: 1991 Club Car locking up

when it runs, everything is normal and quiet.
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Unread 11-20-2010, 09:50 AM   #7
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Default Re: 1991 Club Car locking up

Rather than "adding" 30 weight motor I would "drain differential" and look for metal flacks, ball bearings, or gear teeth and if so its going to need rebuilding. Sounds like you have a LARGE something floating around that is locking differential when it gets between gears?
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Unread 11-20-2010, 09:57 AM   #8
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Default Re: 1991 Club Car locking up

It has been running fine for the past few months. Two adults and two small kids and it is fine. Four adults or pulling a utility trailer, the problem starts again. I guess I will start in the differential.
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Unread 11-20-2010, 10:03 AM   #9
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Default Re: 1991 Club Car locking up

Had an eazy go that had a rear end gear go would run fin but when it was parked would lock up. Sounds like you may have trouble in the rear end. Why only when 4 people on cart would be extra load make the sediment in the rear end move around.
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Unread 11-21-2010, 07:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1991 Club Car locking up

I just had the exact same thing happen to my 94 - 48V tonight. Only difference was I did smell something hot and while investigating there was a small amount of smoke coming from the motor? Lost power right before locking up. Bad motor? Cart was under heavy load and going at slow speed.
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