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Unread 01-25-2012, 08:57 PM   #1
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Default Hard turning '06 Club Car Villager 6

Ever since I bought this cart last month, the steering has been much harder than my two 4-seaters. It almost takes both hands to turn the wheel which means I've got to put my beer down. I've checked the toe-in and greased the tie-rod ends & the spindle shafts. I've even removed the steering box boots, re-greased the rack and dissassembled & cleaned the steering shaft knuckles.

If I jack the front of the cart up, I can feel only a slight increased resistance every 1/4 to 1/2 turn, but it is much easier to turn the wheel...naturally!

Now, here is a little information on the cart...it has a cheap, I mean economical, "z-bar" lift on the front and I'm running 22x11x10 turf/street tires on painted steel wheels. The "z-bar" lift uses a steering shaft extension which makes me really HATE this kind of lift and wonder why anyone would EVER install one vs. a Jake's spindle lift.

Are Villager 6's and 8's just that much harder to turn due to their additional weight?

Are the large tires making it harder to turn...Even though they aren't THAT much larger than my 20x10x10's?

Or...Is it the POS z-bar lift with steering shaft extension that is causing this?

I'm half-tempted to have the framed welded back together and put a REAL lift kit on this cart because as it is, I'm not very happy with it and may just sell it if hard steering is normal for this cart. I've even considered installing a larger steering wheel!
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Unread 01-26-2012, 09:55 AM   #2
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Default Re: Hard turning '06 Club Car Villager 6

Got front wheel brakes? Those make it very tight to steer.

The lift kit is not affecting the firmness of the steering what so ever. The knuckle has just as many joints as a factory knuckle. You may have a seized up joint, but that's not because of the lift kit. I replace steering knuckles all day on factory carts for the same reason. Pull the knuckle off and make sure you've got full range in both directions on both u-joints.
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Unread 01-26-2012, 05:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: Hard turning '06 Club Car Villager 6

Thanks for the reply TahoeDawg. Yes it does have front brakes. One knuckle was only slightly tighter than the other, but not enough to make the steering that difficult, IMHO.
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Unread 01-26-2012, 06:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: Hard turning '06 Club Car Villager 6

It may surprise you. It doesn't take much resistance to put those things in a bind. Those limo cars are very hard to steer naturally and are designed to have skinny tires on the front of them for that very reason. Less contact area to the pavement = easier turning. I see yours is lifted with wide tires, with front wheel brakes, with a partially binding knuckle. That's your issue. I'd advise removing the front wheel brakes and air up your tires to the max pressure recommended for the tire you're using.
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Unread 01-30-2012, 01:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Hard turning '06 Club Car Villager 6

Yesterday I removed the knuckles again, just to check them. They don't seem to be binding...they're not sloppy, but they aren't binding. I replaced the two Upper Clevis on each spindle (as one was slightly worn and ordered a pair), aired the tires to 25 lbs. re-adjusted the toe-in and it seemed to be doing a little better but the ride went to $#!^. For some reason, it is harder turning it to the right than the left in this cart. I'm thinking about swapping the gear box in my 2000 or 2001 DS with this one to see if it makes any difference. If it does, then I'll buy a new box, but I think it's just a heavy cart with too large a tire. That seems like a great aftermarket product idea...
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Unread 01-30-2012, 10:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: Hard turning '06 Club Car Villager 6

Take the Ball Joint out of the spindle. The one that's attached to the end of the drag link on the rack. Jack the cart up in the air and try to steer it side to side by hand and see if there's any resistance. There should be minimal, almost none. If so, you might want to check your kingpins. Do they take grease? Enough to where it shoots out the bottom and the top on both sides? If not, they could be partially seized.
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Unread 02-01-2012, 08:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: Hard turning '06 Club Car Villager 6

Spindles look and feel good, and they take grease. The harder turning to the right than left is what now has me perplexed. Like I said before, the toe-in is good (within 3/8"), but the cart seems to pull to the left and turning to the right is noticeable harder. Is there any other alignment adjustment on these carts? Thanks for your help David!
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Unread 02-01-2012, 08:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: Hard turning '06 Club Car Villager 6

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Originally Posted by Loosewire View Post
Spindles look and feel good, and they take grease. The harder turning to the right than left is what now has me perplexed. Like I said before, the toe-in is good (within 3/8"), but the cart seems to pull to the left and turning to the right is noticeable harder. Is there any other alignment adjustment on these carts? Thanks for your help David!
No problem. 3/8" is a bit much for toe. It should be 1/8" Toe-IN. That shouldn't affect your steering much but it will cause it to pull. There is a camber adjustment on the center of the leaf spring. Loosen all 4 bolts on the spring retaining plate, loosen the 9/16" nut on the center eccentric bolt on the spring. Put a 7mm socket on it and turn it with a ratchet. It will pivot the tires and lean them one way or another, according to which way you turn the eccentric cam. Your goal here is to acquire the same camber on both tires. This can be checked with a right angle square. Lay it on the ground and slide it up against the tire. As for the steering. It's very strange it would be harder to steer one direction than the other. That sounds like a possible steering rack problem to me.
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Unread 02-04-2012, 07:03 AM   #9
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Default Re: Hard turning '06 Club Car Villager 6

The camber was off more than 1/2" from right to left ( /------/ ) and with 22" tires that makes a huge difference! I re-adjusted it and the toe-in which makes the cart much easier to turn to the right and eliminated the pulling to the left. It's still harder to turn than a 4-seater but I can live with this!
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Unread 02-05-2012, 09:22 AM   #10
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Default Re: Hard turning '06 Club Car Villager 6

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loosewire View Post
The camber was off more than 1/2" from right to left ( /------/ ) and with 22" tires that makes a huge difference! I re-adjusted it and the toe-in which makes the cart much easier to turn to the right and eliminated the pulling to the left. It's still harder to turn than a 4-seater but I can live with this!
Good at least you're making an improvement.
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