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Unread 08-11-2019, 02:06 PM   #1
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Question Replacing a 295 Robin Engine

Hello folks. Well it seems that it's time for a new motor. I have a 2001.5 TXT with a 295 Robin Engine (pre MCI). I believe I've thrown a rod - the engine was very low on oil. I know that can be repaired, but the engine leaks oil and is old so I'm wondering if replacing the engine or having mine rebuilt is a better idea than a repair.

I'm just wondering if this is something I should attempt to do myself. I've searched the site and it doesn't seem that removing the engine is extremely difficult. However, I've never attempted anything like this before. I don't expect to do it in 20 minutes like some guys say that's for sure lol.

I don't want to rebuild the engine myself - I think that is beyond my skill set. However I see many places with rebuilt engines available, or places that will rebuild your engine.

So what do you all think? Is this a project something of a novice should tackle? Just wondering if I'm crazy to even consider doing this myself. If I should give it a try do you all have anyone you'd recommend to rebuild the motor or I should buy a rebuilt from?

Thanks in advance for any advice / tips you guys may have for me.

P.S. I really love this cart - I don't want to just junk it. It's like an old friend at this point :)
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Unread 08-11-2019, 02:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: Replacing a 295 Robin Engine

Removing the engine is not an overly difficult task at all. Theres several sellers on ebay that rebuild them for around $600-700. Some of the guys here I've seen on here have had good luck with them.

Bad side of that, is if theres damage beyond a basic simple rebuild (damage to crankshaft, camshaft, head, etc) they charge extra, sometimes a LOT extra. Parts for these motors are getting hard to find...

You may want to look into a vegas carts swap, or a vanguard swap from CPP. Either option would be money well spent and an easy built-in installation and give way more power than your 295. I personally prefer OEM motors but with the Robin's motors long discontinued and less than great availability of OEM parts, it's worth considering a brand new engine from VC or CPP than relying on Ebay to rebuild yours.
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Unread 08-12-2019, 08:04 AM   #3
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Default Re: Replacing a 295 Robin Engine

Thanks a lot for the reply. Yeah I am worried about the longevity of a rebuild since you seemingly can't get OEM parts anymore and I don't know what I'm getting on eBay. Also everything else in the cart would be 18+ years old - clutch, etc.

However are the Vegas and Vanguard motors of good quality? I see a lot of folks showing their carts after the swap, but not much info on long term durability.

Almost seems like a swap would be easier since everything is new. Would you agree with that?

Of course any and all responses are welcome :)
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Unread 08-12-2019, 09:02 AM   #4
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Default Re: Replacing a 295 Robin Engine

Raydhd is much more familiar with the vegas cart motors than most here, he would be better equipped to answer per long term than I.

And the Vanguard motors are quite a bit more money, but the vanguard motors have a well earned reputation for lasting pretty much forever, as long as they're taken care of, they're commercial grade engines. And they make a ton of power, more than double what your 295 made. Downside.to the vanguard is it would become key start like a car, as where the vegas carts motor would allow you to retain your oem starter/generator and the pedal start function like a stock golf cart, but with a lot more power.

Check the big block / clone section here, theres enough information to numb your brain!
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Unread 08-12-2019, 09:30 AM   #5
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Default Re: Replacing a 295 Robin Engine

I have been using a vegascarts VC 460 since 2014. I run about 80 hours each season at speeds of 20-25 mph. So at the moment I have amassed 330 hours on the engine. Properly maintained the 460 can easily go for 1000 hours, BUT the VC 460 now only comes in a DIY assemble yourself form.They now sell the VC 625 as a bolt in unit that is more durable but less racing like than the VC460 but I don't have one to relay info on its particulars. There are some others here that have that unit so read up and get their take on things. P.S. Another option is to use the vegascarts install kit with a honda 390 or predator 420 engine. That would be the cheapest way to go with an engine swap IF you are going to run a governed engine.P.P.S. You can buy a honda GX 390 for $600 whose durability is legendary.Yet people on youtube have compared every measurement possible with it and the predator and found very little differences.
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Unread 08-12-2019, 11:17 AM   #6
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Default Re: Replacing a 295 Robin Engine

Thanks again for your input. Wow yeah I guess I need to read up in the modded carts section. I had never even considered putting a totally new engine in the cart. I love the idea of a Honda motor, but I really don't know if I possess the skills to install it. I have never ventured into this and was initially wondering how tough it was to get the old motor out. After a good bit of reading I at least think I can get it out of there :)

I guess my main question is what is the best and easiest way for a guy who has never done anything like this before? I'm thinking a Vegas kit with a motor and all the parts with it may be the best bet for me, but maybe I'm wrong? I realize this is very subjective.

Sorry if this is the wrong section for these questions I guess I'm kinda hijacking my own thread lol.
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Unread 08-12-2019, 01:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: Replacing a 295 Robin Engine

The vegas carts kits are designed to be easy diy installation. That's mostly what you're paying for, is the engineering and development of all the brackets and hardware. Sure if you owned a fab shop you could make their same $700 kit for about $50 in materials but I dont know about you, I dont own a fab shop

VC sells a kit for mounting any honda GX390 or 390 clone (ligan 420, predator, etc) so basically you pull the old engine, mount the new brackets, and drop in the engine of your choice.

Do some reading in the big block section and see what works best for your needs :) pretty much any of then will outperform what your cart has ever done before!
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Unread 08-12-2019, 01:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: Replacing a 295 Robin Engine

The vegascarts kits make it a bolt in. The easiest of course would be using their 625 engine and installation kit. Maybe the way to go for a total rookie. You can do it in an afternoon. Their site shows step by step instructions with pics. Another thing to note is that undamaged parts from your old engine and primary clutch can help finance the new engine. The parts of my 82 HD cart yielded $500 and the items off my 95 G 14 came to $950. Some of the obsolete engine parts have a real market on E bay. Funny note. Both here and on E bay there were no buyers at $200 for the complete engines. BUT parted out and listed properly sold on E bay for the mentioned totals.I listed the parts for 50% of the best price of a new part I could find anywhere and they sold very quickly with people asking if I had any more of certain items. I would guess that might apply to your pre MCI Robin.
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Unread 08-12-2019, 03:30 PM   #9
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Default Re: Replacing a 295 Robin Engine

Thank you all again for your replies. I will be sure to read up in the other sections. I did read over the instructions and it seems that using the Vegas 625 with their kit is probably the way for me to go. Looking over the instructions for the Honda GX390 or clone kit seems like it may be a little advanced for me.

In any event...finish it in an afternoon? ....I'm not so sure :)

I am going to try to pull the motor this weekend. If I can get my son to help me I will make a video. If nothing else it will be good for a laugh...

Raydhd - thank you for the information about my current motor. I was thinking someone might want the whole thing, but perhaps the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. Anything to offset the cost is a good thing.
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Unread 08-12-2019, 05:58 PM   #10
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Default Re: Replacing a 295 Robin Engine

If you do this just make SURE your fuel pump is up to the job. I and some others can tell tales of woe when not insuring this was done.
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