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Unread 09-18-2012, 09:11 PM   #1
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Default Need advice on a 1994 DS project cart

On an impulse, I purchased a 1994 Club Car DS that had been sitting outside of a house up the street from me. Price: $300 including a working charger. At first I thought I had found the deal of the century, but now I am having my doubts. All of the parts are there (Stock), and after picking up a $35 set of used tires and wheels, I have a complete cart. The body is dirty, but in good shape. Seats look newish. Suspension has some rust, and the batteries are shot. The guy swears it ran before the batteries died, but it clearly hasn't run in a while, I'd say at least a couple years from the shape of the tires that were on it.

The cart is a 36v resistor coil cart, with the 5 coils located near the motor. It is going to need a set of batteries and a rewire minimum to get it moving.

My question is this: Is it worth putting the money in to making it nice? My original plan was to put a lift and tires on it, a rear seat kit, and run the family around the neighborhood at 15-20 mph. Can this be done on a budget or am I better off cleaning the cart up and selling it without getting it running and then just buying another cart that doesn't need as much work? I've built a bunch of Jeeps in the past, so doing the work myself isn't the issue. I'm in Florida, so it is flat, and the flipside is lifted carts in decent shape are easily bringing $3K+. My head is spinning at this point, and my kids were way too excited by it to just up and sell it and not replace it.
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Unread 09-18-2012, 09:32 PM   #2
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Default Re: Need advice on a 1994 DS project cart

It depends on what you are looking to get out of the whole experience. Are you just looking for the end result of a lifted cart with a flip flop seat or are you looking for something to build yourself. Either way you are going to be close to the same price range. Just a general price break down. $1k used cart, $1k lift/wheels/tires, $1k batteries/performance upgrades. The prices can go up or down in any category depending on what you buy. I will say that where I'm at $3k spent on a turn key cart gets me what you are looking for, but $3k spent building my own gave me a lifted cart with a better suspension lift and a new set of batteries unlike the ones that were for sale. It just depends what you are looking for.
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Unread 09-18-2012, 09:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: Need advice on a 1994 DS project cart

Up to you and how much of a project you want and how nice you want it in the end. Personally I would have looked for a later model solid state DS or Precedent for under 2K, or even $1500 if it needed bats.
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Unread 09-18-2012, 09:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: Need advice on a 1994 DS project cart

Well said. If you have built jeeps then you probably want to build your golf cart too. Either way you can off road a resistor coil cart very well or very long. (* some will argue, let them 4 wheel with a 4 banger)
When you buy it there is no guaranty you get what you need ... when you build it you know what you got. They are fun, either way it's your call. By the way the cart you have is a fine platform to build on.
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Unread 09-19-2012, 08:30 AM   #5
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Default Re: Need advice on a 1994 DS project cart

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westbayou View Post
On an impulse, I purchased a 1994 Club Car DS that had been sitting outside of a house up the street from me. Price: $300 including a working charger. At first I thought I had found the deal of the century, but now I am having my doubts. All of the parts are there (Stock), and after picking up a $35 set of used tires and wheels, I have a complete cart. The body is dirty, but in good shape. Seats look newish. Suspension has some rust, and the batteries are shot. The guy swears it ran before the batteries died, but it clearly hasn't run in a while, I'd say at least a couple years from the shape of the tires that were on it.

The cart is a 36v resistor coil cart, with the 5 coils located near the motor. It is going to need a set of batteries and a rewire minimum to get it moving.

My question is this: Is it worth putting the money in to making it nice? My original plan was to put a lift and tires on it, a rear seat kit, and run the family around the neighborhood at 15-20 mph. Can this be done on a budget or am I better off cleaning the cart up and selling it without getting it running and then just buying another cart that doesn't need as much work? I've built a bunch of Jeeps in the past, so doing the work myself isn't the issue. I'm in Florida, so it is flat, and the flipside is lifted carts in decent shape are easily bringing $3K+. My head is spinning at this point, and my kids were way too excited by it to just up and sell it and not replace it.
if you paid 300 you can part it out for at least 500......200 charger, 200 to 300 for motor and another 150 to 250 for the rest of it...........or find 3 12volt batteries and stick them in see if cart runs if so put a set of batteries in and either drive it as is or sell it......but for 300 you didn,t go wrong...........................
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Unread 09-19-2012, 08:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: Need advice on a 1994 DS project cart

Great advice guys. Thank you.

Sounds like I didn't go wrong. I think as long as I stage the build and don't jump in too deep I probably won't get hurt too badly.

After a good solid cleaning today, I'll look into a set of batteries and 4 gauge wires. Are than any cheap mods to get some more speed out of the cart before I have to drop big money on a new controller and motor? I thought I read somewhere you could slightly shorten the high speed resistor coil to get more speed?

Since I'm sort of starting from scratch, would I be better off converting to 48v now? I can get a set of 48V Trojans for $35 more than the 36V, and I could trade my charger in on a 48V. What else would I need? I'm not concerned about the added run time of 48v, I'd only be willing to do it if it means I pick up significant speed. This car is going to be a neighborhood cruiser.
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Unread 09-19-2012, 09:06 AM   #7
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Default Re: Need advice on a 1994 DS project cart

The resistors are out of the loop for full throttle....... so shortening them won't do anything for top end speed.

For that matter converting to solid state won't increase top end either. It will make the cart more efficient and reliable, especially with big tires & off road use.

Converting to 48v will increase torque and speed by 33%
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Unread 09-19-2012, 05:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: Need advice on a 1994 DS project cart

Spent 3 hours polishing my turd today, and I'm feeling better about my purchase. Over all the cart looks to be in good shape, with a handful of rusty bolts and nuts that will need replacing. The good news is, they will ALL get replaced by the lift kit.

Now, if I am reading correctly, does it really cost $6-700 to convert to 48v, PLUS the new batteries? That may make that route a pipe dream.
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Unread 09-19-2012, 08:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: Need advice on a 1994 DS project cart

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westbayou View Post
Spent 3 hours polishing my turd today, and I'm feeling better about my purchase. Over all the cart looks to be in good shape, with a handful of rusty bolts and nuts that will need replacing. The good news is, they will ALL get replaced by the lift kit.

Now, if I am reading correctly, does it really cost $6-700 to convert to 48v, PLUS the new batteries? That may make that route a pipe dream.
yep it does...........you think doing drugs is an expensive habit.....wait you ain,t seen nothing yet.........put it this way to convert it the right way yes it does..............................
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Unread 09-21-2012, 02:44 PM   #10
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Default Re: Need advice on a 1994 DS project cart

Dropped in a new set of Trojan 105's today, and the biggest worry I had is no more. She runs like a top. Plenty of speed, and no hesitation. Replaced the wires as well.

Next up, lift and tires!
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