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Unread 12-28-2011, 06:52 PM   #1
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Default Locked up motor after long downhill run?

Newbie here... Did a search but could not find much specific help in older threads.

Just picked up my Dad's '02 Club Car series DS, 36V, S/N AA0208-122354, to diagnose and repair. Long story short, he has used the cart to go up and down his steep (10 degree grade) and long (about 1/5 mile) driveway on a twice daily basis for the last two years.

Last week, he said that he heard/felt a couple of "WHUMPS" towards the bottom of the hill. Tried to turn around, no go, tried to back up, moved a foot then another WHUMP and the cart stopped with the rear end locked up tight. He and my mom dragged it back up the hill with a tow strap at low speed, but dragging the locked rear wheels.

I suspect that the long downhill trips, even if at a low speed (brakes on, no regen on this model), eventually melted the brushes and/or windings and locked the motor up tight. The rear end did 'unlock' after I dragged it off the trailer, but it turns over very roughly (with the rear wheels jacked up).

I'll be doing some troubleshooting/motor test as soon as he ships me the battery charger (we forgot to pick it up, I'm 150 miles away, and he left it in reverse for the week before I picked it up so the batteries are flat).

Any advice on what likely broke, what to check, or other potential areas of damage, would be greatly appreciated. FWIW, while I'm not a mechanic, I have built two aircraft and many race cars/hot rods over the last 35+ years, so I'm pretty comfortable with tools. Just not golf carts!

He's anxious to get it back so I am hoping to get started this weekend. Thanks in advance, and cheers!
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Unread 12-28-2011, 07:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: Locked up motor after long downhill run?

I think that I would pull the motor and then see if the rear end is free. Is the oil level in the rear end OK?
Those are 6V batteries, right? You could charge each one up with an automotive charger.
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Unread 12-28-2011, 07:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: Locked up motor after long downhill run?

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Originally Posted by Down South View Post
I think that would pull the motor and then see if the rear end is free. Is the oil level in the rear end OK?
Those are 6V batteries, right? You could charge each one up with an automotive charger.
Oil level appears to be fine - I have not topped it up but there is oil in the diff (dipped a wire in fill port and it came out wet).

I'm using a 6V charger to charge the batts (6x6V) individually now, thanks for the idea. But my manual 6V charger is dinky (10A max) so this will take forever. I should have the CC auto charger here by Saturday.

Battery question - on the tow home, the two center batteries must have bounced up on a bump and ended up at a 45 degree tilt, leaking some acid out (didn't catch it until the next day). Rather than top up the low cells, should I try to buy fresh electrolyte and top up?

Anything else I can/should check in the meantime? I know it will be easier to diagnose once the batts are up, I'm hesitant to pull the motor until I can test it in place.
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Unread 12-28-2011, 07:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Locked up motor after long downhill run?

i would disconnect the main pos and neg while your charging the batteries and waiting for the charger and pull the motor to take a look.....1/2 work but since your not real fimilar with carts label every wire and cable where it came from and take your time does the cart have a run/tow switch? if so where was it set..................................
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Unread 12-28-2011, 07:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: Locked up motor after long downhill run?

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Originally Posted by shadowman View Post
i would disconnect the main pos and neg while your charging the batteries and waiting for the charger and pull the motor to take a look.....1/2 work but since your not real fimilar with carts label every wire and cable where it came from and take your time does the cart have a run/tow switch? if so where was it set..................................
Thanks, I isolated the batts from each other by disconnecting the positive cables from each (so I could use my 6V charger on each battery)...no run/tow switch, it is a Series model (F/R switch behind the knees).

I may pull the motor tomorrow evening, was wondering if there is anything else to check that I can do w/motor in place?
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Unread 12-28-2011, 08:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: Locked up motor after long downhill run?

You can charge pairs faster with a 12v charger. I wouldn't bother testing the motor just pull it off and you will see if the differential spins free... Sniff the motor for that distinctive electrical melted smell ...
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Unread 12-28-2011, 09:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Locked up motor after long downhill run?

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Originally Posted by scottyb View Post
You can charge pairs faster with a 12v charger. I wouldn't bother testing the motor just pull it off and you will see if the differential spins free... Sniff the motor for that distinctive electrical melted smell ...


..................yes that smell can,t you smell that smell......................
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Unread 12-29-2011, 04:08 AM   #8
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Default Re: Locked up motor after long downhill run?

Edit to my first post - it's actually a 48V cart. Not that makes any difference, except that my plan of using the 6V or 12V charger in the interim is out the door.

Pulled the the seat/frame above the access panel, will pull the motor tomorrow and report what I find. Dumb question, but why don't they use captive nuts on the two access panel bolts?? No biggie I guess, but I'll be installing some sert-nuts to make this easier in the future.
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Unread 12-29-2011, 06:44 AM   #9
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Default Re: Locked up motor after long downhill run?

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Originally Posted by dbarrym View Post
Dumb question, but why don't they use captive nuts on the two access panel bolts?? No biggie I guess, but I'll be installing some sert-nuts to make this easier in the future.
The two phillips head screws that hold the motor access cover in place should be threaded into a molley-type 1/4"-20 blind nut fastener that is secured into the body panel . . .
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Unread 12-29-2011, 10:11 AM   #10
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Default Re: Locked up motor after long downhill run?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbarrym View Post
Edit to my first post - it's actually a 48V cart. Not that makes any difference, except that my plan of using the 6V or 12V charger in the interim is out the door.

Pulled the the seat/frame above the access panel, will pull the motor tomorrow and report what I find. Dumb question, but why don't they use captive nuts on the two access panel bolts?? No biggie I guess, but I'll be installing some sert-nuts to make this easier in the future.

you can still use a 12 volt charger however you do 1 battery at a time and only for 1/2 hour or so and YOU NEVER leave it out of your sight......................
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