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Unread 02-08-2020, 02:03 PM   #1
Not Yet Wild
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Default 1985 Gas Club Car DS engine assistance

I guess this is an introduction thread, but since I have technical questions too, and there is a big admonishment not to post technical questions in the introduction forum....

I have a 1985 Gas Club Car DS that has been abused by several previous owners, and doesn't really run right. I have had it in to both of my local golf cart shops, and both seem to agree that they would MUCH rather try to sell me a new cart instead of try to work on mine, so here I am. One place did a compression check and since it was low, even refused to change the oil or do a tune up.

Reading on here I have learned so far that being so old, parts are harder to come by due to a seemingly drastic change in design for the newer carts. My current issues are the pedal and the motor itself. One previous owner did some type of mod to the pedal and linkage to get maximum speed out of it. Luckily, one of the shops had some NOS pedal linkage bars that they let me buy, and I am hoping that I can reverse the speed mod without too much trouble.

My bigger problem is that my cart lacks oomph, and I am told that is because it only has 100psi compression. It is ok on level ground, but it does not do well on hills at all. It is also, not surprisingly VERY cold blooded. The stupid thing won't start on its own at less than 70 degrees. Cold blooded I can fix or at least mitigate with Ether, and maybe a block heater but going up hills seems like it is going to require a bit more effort to cure.

Images of my cart here (Since imgur refuses to play nice):
https://imgur.com/a/YzkRXCa

So, I am open to the range of fixes, from adjustments I can make right now, to motor repair/rebuild to full on replacement. By basic inclination I would rather repair or modify than replace, especially if it is at all cost effective. OTOH, if I can put in a new, better motor for close to the same price....
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Unread 02-08-2020, 03:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: 1985 Gas Club Car DS engine assistance

Welcome :)

100psi is great for a KF82.

I'd start by giving the carb a good cleaning. New spark plug and air filter. Should help with the cold start.

As for the hills, I'd first check the belt and clutches for operation. Bad clutch or worn belt can cause it to crap out up hills.
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Unread 02-08-2020, 04:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1985 Gas Club Car DS engine assistance

Like CP said, 100psi sounds great for a KF motor! I don’t think they were much higher than that when brand new.
Tune-up would be my first priority. Air and fuel Filters, new fuel hoses, carb cleaning, new spark plug, fresh oil.
For hill power look at the belt and clutches. Worn or sticking clutches and an old worn out drive belt will make it a dog on a hill.
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Unread 02-09-2020, 04:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1985 Gas Club Car DS engine assistance

Yep I'll make it three for saying you have plenty of compression.

That pedal linkage bar that runs under the floorboard IS adjustable. In order to get more speed, the rod is made longer. There's also a long rod that runs from the transaxle in the rear up to the carburetor that is supposed to slow it down (this is the governor rod). Is yours still there?

When it does poorly on hills, is it bad ALL the time or just when you're loaded down with passengers and equipment?

I have two lifted KF82 carts with oversize tires and they do well on any terrain with two adults and a small child, but add another adult and my carts will slow down going uphill.
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Unread 02-11-2020, 12:30 AM   #5
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Default Re: 1985 Gas Club Car DS engine assistance

Ok, I will try to better explain the issue. When I touch the gas pedal, the generator/starter starts running, and at about 1/4 throttle it totally bogs down and refuses to actually start it just spins. The cart is seriously cold blooded, requiring ether below 65 degrees or so. When I let off the gas pedal, I have to reach under it and pull it up to stop the motor.
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Unread 02-11-2020, 01:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: 1985 Gas Club Car DS engine assistance

So. Are you having a starting issue, a performance issue, or a stopping issue?

You also say it will either start at certain temps that don't agree.
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Unread 02-11-2020, 06:02 AM   #7
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Default Re: 1985 Gas Club Car DS engine assistance

Before diving too deep and going crazy, I would start with a new NGK spark plug, air filter, and take the carb apart and clean it out real well.

Has this cart sat much? The gas may be old and crappy too. May not hurt to drain the tank, clean it out, and fill it with fresh gas. If the fuel lines and filter are old, now would be a good tim to replace them. They can deteriorate internally over time and feed crap into the carb.

All in here, you're looking 10 bucks for an air filter, 3 for aspark plug, and 10 bucks for fuel lines and filter. Even if it doesnt completely solve your problem, its 20 bucks well spent that certainly won't hurt anything.
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Unread 02-11-2020, 04:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1985 Gas Club Car DS engine assistance

These engines lose valve clearance and start hard also check air box it has to be tight for the choke to work when u push the choke you shold see the flex tube suck in if not you have a leak.to set valve clearance you remove caps out of the lifters and grind .003 off and put it backin. Also carb has to be clean or it will idle but wont rev up.cart sould start with trottle closed to idle and be running when pedal opens the carb to go
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Unread 02-12-2020, 02:23 PM   #9
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Wink Re: 1985 Gas Club Car DS engine assistance

Ok, I got my cart back from the place that just wanted to sell a new one. They wanted to charge me a $70 diagnostic fee, but I prevailed.

First question, is this the right tune up kit?

I got an oil filter from LAPS thanks to the cross reference thread, and I have gobs of oil.

I am going to try to get my garage cleaned out so I can work on it this weekend (just in time for single digit weather, but I have a month before I need to use it.) I also need to figure out how to get the black spray paint off the low oil light without messing up the plastic any worse than it is now...
I swear that looks like my shop-vac filter...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooncarter View Post
So. Are you having a starting issue, a performance issue, or a stopping issue?
You also say it will either start at certain temps that don't agree.
Yes, Yes, Yes, and Yes.
Starting issue:
When it is cold, below 60 degrees or so, it simply does not fire. I can spin the starter for 10 minutes, and nothing. I have to start with a shot of ether. I *just* learned about the service switch, so I have been flipping that, putting it in neutral, ether shot and tap the gas pedal. It starts right up and I let it run a couple minutes to warm up. Then I kill it by lifting up on the gas pedal, flip the service switch back, put it in gear, and away I go.

Performance issue:
I have a trailer with a drop ramp that I drive the cart up into to transport it. Most of the time the cart really struggles to ascend the ramp. Motor running, but little or no motion. I have also had much trouble with hills, so much that I had to get a real run at them or be towed by an atv.

Stopping issue:
The way the throttle is adjusted, any touch of the pedal gets at least the starter going. To stop I physically have to stick my toe under the gas pedal and lift up. Just letting off the gas and applying the brake is insufficient.

Temperature issue:
Once the motor is warmed up or if it is hot outside, if I feather the gas pedal through about the first third of its travel I can usually get it to go, but pedal any closer to the floor bogs it down. When the weather or cart is cold, see above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cartpartsplusman View Post
These engines lose valve clearance and start hard also check air box it has to be tight for the choke to work when u push the choke you shold see the flex tube suck in if not you have a leak.to set valve clearance you remove caps out of the lifters and grind .003 off and put it backin. Also carb has to be clean or it will idle but wont rev up.cart sould start with trottle closed to idle and be running when pedal opens the carb to go
I found the youtube video about how to adjust the valves, and will try to work through that this weekend. My choke is NOS, but my flex tube is nowhere near that tight...mostly because of this cart's ether habit. I did find a brand new complete carb on ebay, for fairly cheap, so that should help.


So, I could still use a link to download the actual service manual if anyone has one, and is there a preferred vendor here for old parts like I may need?
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Unread 02-13-2020, 08:23 AM   #10
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Default Re: 1985 Gas Club Car DS engine assistance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrysuperhawk View Post
I got an oil filter from LAPS thanks to the cross reference thread, and I have gobs of oil.
Wait. A 1985 Club Car will not have an oil filter. The KF82 motor that would have come stock in your cart is a simple crankcase splash system that uses no pump or filter (?). Does your motor have an oil filter? If it does, it's not stock and you should share a picture of it with us so we can see what you're dealing with.
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