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Unread 10-13-2015, 05:54 PM   #1
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Default Noisy 290 Kawasaki golf cart engine

Posted this video on youtube --

My cart started making this noise a few months ago, sounded like what I first first I thought was a wheel bearing or a brake dragging when at speed, no noise when riding slow. Then it sounded like something vibrating, metal hitting metal from underneath the cart. Then, after I picked up the cart, checked the body, removed the rear wheels and cleaned up some light surface rust and adjusted both rear brakes, the noise was unchanged, and it got louder with time. The noise is also made in maintenance mode with the cart sitting still, so it's not related to the wheels or rear diff at all. I went over the whole thing with a mechanics stethoscope to try and locate the sound and it seemed loudest in the front, actually on the valve cover, so I thought good - maybe the valves need adjusting, hasn't been done in the 7-8 years that I own this cart. But the valves check out spot on - both at 0.005in. I had changed the oil and filter and rear diff fluid maybe 3 months ago, rechecked them and they are at correct levels. There was no noise before that but I can't imagine how changing the fluids would cause the noise. Added some Marvel Mystery oil to the oil and fuel, no change so far. The noise sounds like a worn out bearing rubbing and there's a ticking or knocking in addition recently. The cart starts in a fraction of a second and runs great, both at a low idle of a hundred or two rpm (sometimes it will keep going real slow when you take your foot off the pedal and will just sit there slowly idling away unless you pull the pedal up an inch or so), or fast at top speed, never misses a beat. I can't find anything loose or vibrating on the frame either, there are no exhaust leaks from a pipe or the muffler that I can see and it doesn't sound like that.
Somebody make another suggestion, this is driving me nuts, and I don't want to upset the other neighbors when I drive around and I don't want to get stuck with a catastrophic failure somewhere and have to push or tow the cart home. Thanks.
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Unread 10-18-2015, 12:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: Noisy 290 Kawasaki golf cart engine

61 views of this post and not one suggestion? Where are all you knowledgeable guys?
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Unread 10-18-2015, 01:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: Noisy 290 Kawasaki golf cart engine

I've watched it 3 times... sorry I didn't reply!

I'm curious... do you have a snubber on it?
(A grey or yellow rubber bumper that looks like this)

Snubber 3.jpg

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Unread 10-18-2015, 03:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Noisy 290 Kawasaki golf cart engine

I thought that might be an issue - there was no snubber but I wedged a piece of garden hose in there which acts as a great cushion and vibration damper and the noise is still unchanged. Using a mechanic's stethoscope and going over everything in the engine compartment, other than hearing the valves ticking away under the little valve cover, I can't locate the source of the noise. The engine is just much louder than it used to be.
What is the OEM snubber made of? Maybe I need another cushion, or a piece of heavy foam under there.
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Unread 10-18-2015, 04:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: Noisy 290 Kawasaki golf cart engine

You need a real snubber, they cost $16.
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Unread 10-18-2015, 06:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: Noisy 290 Kawasaki golf cart engine

If you've already isolated that it's not the snubber bracket vibrating on the frame, and it may be internal... I've got nothin'!

Sorry!
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Unread 10-19-2015, 09:49 AM   #7
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Default Re: Noisy 290 Kawasaki golf cart engine

I don't think it's a case of nobody wanting to help. I played the video several times as well. It's tough to diagnose much through the audio recording limitations of a phone. It sounds like a con-rod bearing with too much clearance when played through my PC speakers. Get your hands on a mechanic's stethoscope for more clues as to the origin of the sound. Harbor Freight has them for $3 US. They are very useful in scenarios like this. Please let us know what you find when you solve this.
http://www.harborfreight.com/catalog...?q=stethoscope

Last edited by compmikey; 10-19-2015 at 09:50 AM.. Reason: For got the link
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Unread 10-19-2015, 10:14 AM   #8
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Default Re: Noisy 290 Kawasaki golf cart engine

BTW, Red, where can you buy those $16 snuppers?
My original is pretty rough looking. TIA
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Unread 10-19-2015, 04:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: Noisy 290 Kawasaki golf cart engine

If that is all you need just type in rubber

snubber for club car on ebay
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Unread 10-19-2015, 06:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: Noisy 290 Kawasaki golf cart engine

BGW sponsors prices are comparable, no harm in trying trustworthy vendors!
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