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Unread 08-10-2014, 12:06 PM   #1
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Default New to carts, just picked up an 83 Club Car

So a friend of mine who owns a campground has been using this cart for years to check on the campers and whatnot. Her story goes like this: "I turned the switch to forward, the cart tried to go by itself without pressing the gas, and flames started shooting out from under the seat." This is how I got my free 1983 Club Car :)

The forward reverse switch was completely melted. I think maybe some wires crossed or something as well because one of the wires that connects to the moving portion of the switch was missing a lot of insulation and looked like it was rather hot at one point. I was able to rig the wiring together without the switch, and by touching two cables together I can power the cart and get it to move. But, as she mentioned, this thing goes full throttle with no key in, not pressing the gas, nothing at all. As soon as I complete the circuit by connecting the two cables this cart is in full motion.

Now for my questions...

This cart has six batteries and from what I can tell is in a 36v configuration. But, the sticker on the side says Power Drive 48. This wouldn't be a 48v cart would it? The serial number is A8306, which i believe is the 6th week into 1983, correct? I just want to know what kind of forward/reverse switch to purchase.

Also, the one that melted was a rectangular four bolt design. All the ones I see online have three bolts. There are three holes in the body of the cart, but there is this weird plate installed to adapt the four bolt switch it looks like. Has anyone ever seen this?

For the full throttle all the time problem, I still plan on trying to look at some wiring diagrams to figure this one out. I see there is some type of control box that then controls the resistor pack. I'm assuming that control box is the cause of this issue but figured I'd mention it in case there is a more commonly known issue relating to the throttle being wide open basically.

This "project" of mine is meant to be a low cost type of thing. This cart is pretty beat up and I don't plan on sticking a bunch of money into it. I also have no plans on lifting it or anything like that, hah. Just looking for recommendations on what kind of switch to buy (HD or OEM), as well as any pointers on these types of carts and things I should watch out for. Thanks everyone!
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Unread 08-10-2014, 04:12 PM   #2
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Default Re: New to carts, just picked up an 83 Club Car

by the time your done replacing all the parts it would be cheaper to buy another cart and use this one for some parts. sorry to say
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Unread 08-10-2014, 06:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: New to carts, just picked up an 83 Club Car

The cart has a newer rear body on it. The cart is a 36v system. You can buy a three bolt switch, it SHOULD bolt up just fine. The full throttle issue is probably a V-GLIDE issue. It is a pie-shaped box between the batteries on the frame rail. I'd check that out
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Unread 08-10-2014, 09:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: New to carts, just picked up an 83 Club Car

I have an 84 and I do not think an 83 has vglide. Mine has micro switches and 5 solenoids. I do not know what switch got ruined but once you have a new one or a replacement you may find faults with the speed issue in the micro switch or the solenoids. I could be wrong but trying to help.
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Unread 08-10-2014, 09:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: New to carts, just picked up an 83 Club Car

Yes, I'm sorry. 83 DS doesn't have a V-GLIDE. Do you hear 5 clicks before and when the cart starts to move?
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Unread 08-10-2014, 11:30 PM   #6
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Default Re: New to carts, just picked up an 83 Club Car

My 85 had a speed issue and one of the 5 solenoids was stuck. try tapping on each solenoid with the plastic side of a screwdriver sometimes that can free it up. Sometimes you need to replace.
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Unread 08-11-2014, 06:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: New to carts, just picked up an 83 Club Car

Thank you all for the responses! First of all, those f/r switches seem to be under $100 for the most part, and that's not bad. I don't mind dumping a couple hundred bucks into this thing to make it usable. I need to dig into the wiring still to find out the throttle issue. Mine does have the rack of solenoids in back, so maybe something is wrong with them (or one of them).
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Unread 08-11-2014, 06:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: New to carts, just picked up an 83 Club Car

Do you hear a total of five clicks? To test the solenoids, put the rear of the cart on jack stands, and while an assistant presses the pedal, put your finger on each solenoid and "feel" if it clicks
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Unread 08-12-2014, 01:48 PM   #9
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Default Re: New to carts, just picked up an 83 Club Car

I would like to try this but could you elaborate just a bit more on this procedure? As I mentioned, this thing is hard wired in forward right now. I could open the circuit and return it to neutral, but it sounds like i'm supposed to listen for these clicks in forward mode (hence the use of jack-stands).

If this is the case I could try jacking it up, but like I said as soon as I complete the motor circuit the back wheels start to spin without even touching the gas pedal.

I think want to try and test each solenoid individually. I understand the concept on how they work but I'd need to follow a wiring diagram to devise some sort of test. If just one of the solenoids is stuck open I can't seem to see how that would make it act like it is. Or is it when they are powered closed that they divert power through the resistor coils? The resistor coils are used to for lower speeds correct? Then as you press the gas pedal it uses less and less resistors to increase current to the motor itself, right? (kind of like a blower motor resistor in a vehicle)

And as always, thanks for all the feedback, I really appreciate it.
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Unread 08-12-2014, 02:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: New to carts, just picked up an 83 Club Car

Same thing happened on my 85. As soon as I took it out of neutral and put it in forward, it would take off. Turned out to be my master solenoid was stuck open(solenoid all the way closest to the drivers side). I was redoing the cart so I replaced all 5 and it solved my problem. Maybe somebody will chime in and explain how to test each one to see which one is no good on your cart, but it seems to be a trend that the master is the one to blame.
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