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Unread 10-08-2012, 09:54 PM   #1
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Default 99 EZGO TXT Hunting Buggy Build

Okay I have been meaning to get this thread posted on my first Buggy build. I wanted a silent cart for whitetail hunting in Alabama. I've been using a atv for year and I have been reading a lot on converted golf carts and became excited about the idea. Plus we have a couple at our lake house and they just get used so much more than our atv's.

I have started to admire the "leisure" feeling of a golf cart. They are just easier to get in and out of, have more room to haul equipment and people, and I have yet to see 4 cup holders on an atv. Now don't get me wrong, I still enjoy aggressive riding on my 4-wheeler, but the convienience and storage space of a golf cart is nice.

Of course I could get the best of both worlds and get a UTV like a RZR or Rhino, but I do not want to drop 15k for as much as I use it.

Lets get to the build. After looking for carts on craigslist for about a month with no luck, I decided to post an ad "wanting to buy" a golf cart and explained that I was looking for a cart to build or enhance so I wanted one that needed work.
Then I got a call from a guy that had a 99 EZGO that the batteries died a year earlier so he parked it. He had another just like it so he just used it for a spare "parts" cart. He said nothing was wrong with it other than batteries when he parked it and that he later stole the pedal microswitch out of it to fix his good cart. He was asking $300 for it with a good charger.
So I went to look at it. It turned out to be a 99 TXT DCS cart, white in color, with a steel bed on the back. No noticible problems, wiring still looked good, just needed cleaning up. The tires still held air. So I decided to get it.
I had planned on building the cart anyway, so I was wanting to save some money and buy one needed work.
So we loaded it up and he gave me the charger. Then before I went to leave he explained he wanted to buy another 4-wheeler. He had one already and his second oldest grandson was getting old enough to ride alone, so he needed two. He then explained that he was interested in selling his good golf cart if I knew anyone and wanted $700 for it. It indeed was exactly like the one I just purchase, a 99 TXT DCS, white in color with a steel bed. It ran fine and was pretty fast. Batteries were a few years old but still held a good charge.
So on the way home, I got to thinking that I wish I had known about him wanting to sell the good one before I bought the bad one. I called the gentleman back and asked him if he would take $600 for it since I had already bought the other. He explained he needed $700 and would give me another charger and extra set of wheels and tires. I would be spending most of my first stage budget if I bought it, so I told him to let me think about it. Two minutes after I hung up the phone he called and told be to come get it before he changed his mind. So I dropped off the first one and headed back for the second one.

This is the first cart, the "bad" one
IMG_1731.jpg
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Unread 10-08-2012, 09:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: 99 EZGO TXT Hunting Buggy Build

So now I am heading back to get the other cart and wondering how I am gonna explain to my wife why I brought home 2 golf carts. But I figured worst case, I could just resell the bad one and have the good one to start building. And my wife could drive my son around the neighborhood as early as this afternoon and I figured that would have her happy enough to not question having two carts taking up have the garage.

So I pick up the good one and he gives me another charger and a set of 4 standard white wheels and links tires.

Here is the "good" one
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Unread 10-08-2012, 10:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: 99 EZGO TXT Hunting Buggy Build

After riding the good one around the neighborhood I was pretty excited about building it for a hunting cart. This was about a month ago, so my goal was to have it at least drivable at the club by first of october.

So I started looking over the cart to see what all it had, well to my surprise it had an Alltrax DCX300 controller in it. I know that a lot of the DCS carts were burning up factory controllers, so I am assuming a previous owner of this one had already fixed that problem. Then after checking out the "bad" cart, it also had a Alltrax DCX300 controller in it. So I decided to just part out the "bad" cart and sell what I could and scrap the rest. With all the parts being in good condition plus the upgraded controller, I figured it would be no problem making my money back and any extra could just go the the build.
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Unread 10-08-2012, 10:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: 99 EZGO TXT Hunting Buggy Build

So not that I realized I had the upgraded controller to get me by until I could go up to a 400 or 500 amp controller, I decided to start with the suspension. The DCX300 would get it most places, but would need the extra clearance to get there, so I opted on the 6" drop axle kit. I debated for a while on drop axle vs drop spindle and just felt the drop axle seemed a little more rugged. I wanted the Long Arm kit, but figured for my first build I'd spend money on more options than more money on one option. The brakes were also sounding bad and didn't have much stopping power so I went ahead and ordered new brake drums and pads. Figured while I was tearing down the suspension, it would be a good time to replace the dried out bushings in the leaf springs and replace tie rod ends.

This is the old brakes


While tearing them down I noticed the pads had completely broke off of their metal base and the ceramic portion was just rolling around in the drum. Glad I bought the whole kit.

This is with the new drums
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Unread 10-08-2012, 10:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: 99 EZGO TXT Hunting Buggy Build

Now the cart stops great, which is equally important to driving great. Now time to add the suspension. It took a little longer than I though to install the suspension mostly because bolts had not been turned since it was made in 1999 and had become rusted and backed with dirt and debris. But good ole PB Blaster penetrating oil sure helped a lot. I got the lift installed with new bushings and tie rod ends. Aligned the front end...Best that I could. I like the way it turned out. It looks good. Both of the two carts had 20" all terrain tires on the rear and link tires on the front. So I just added the other all terrain tires to the front of the "good" cart and decided to roll with them until I got a chance to upgrade wheels and tires. Since the 20" tires where pretty knobby, I decided to wait until after upgrading the controller to add tires.

This is with the new lift.
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Unread 10-08-2012, 10:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: 99 EZGO TXT Hunting Buggy Build

I am not real keen on the white body. It had several stickers on it and a few scuffs, so I decided to wrap it in camo. If it were already black or green, it would have been fine, but if I am going to make a hunting buggy, it needs to look the part. So I ordered one of the 3M wrap kits in Mossy Oak pattern.
I used a razor and scraped off all of the stickers. Removed the bed and the top. Then cleaned the cart with an adhesive remover, then cleaned it with dawn to remove grease, then lightly sanded it to scuff it up, then cleaned it again with rubbing alcohol. As per 3M directions.



I am a firefighter/paramedic if you are wondering what is in the background. I work at a reletively slow station, so I had some downtime to do the wrap at the station, plus had the extra hands of a few good men.

We got it cleaned up and started wrapping it. With two people stretching the wrap and another guy hitting it with the heat gun, it went on pretty smooth. Then did all the prep work to the top and painted it and the steel bed with spray bed liner. I used an adhesive promoter to help the bed liner to stick to the top. I doubt it will hold up great, but couldn't keep the roof white and didn't have enough wrap for the top.



I think it came out great.
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Unread 10-08-2012, 10:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: 99 EZGO TXT Hunting Buggy Build

Even got a little fancy with tape and paint. Taped off the front EZGO plate and painted it flat black and OD Green. Then taped off the EZGO that is on the rear of the roof and painted it OD Green as well.

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Unread 10-08-2012, 10:42 PM   #8
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Default Re: 99 EZGO TXT Hunting Buggy Build

I think I am gonna just paint the wheels black and use the 20" all terrains for this season.
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Unread 10-08-2012, 10:59 PM   #9
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Default Re: 99 EZGO TXT Hunting Buggy Build

I took the cart to the Hunting Club to do some work prepping the land. It did great, seemed to get me everywhere I needed to go, plus hauled a cooler and equipment and an additional rider. It did slow down on a few hills but made it up them...

Now that I am getting around the club fine, I wish I would have spent the extra money on a Long Travel suspension lift. I can only imagine that the independant front suspension with the extra travel would have made for a lot smoother ride. Now I am still happy with the lift and the added ground clearance, but on my next build or on this one in the future, a long travel will be included.

So now time to upgrade the controller. I called ScottyB and told him what I had and my plans. He insisted in getting the Alltrax DCX400 and upgraded soleniod. I am currently 36v, but am going to upgrade to 48v sometime after this hunting season. ScottyB explained that a 400amp would do everything I needed and 500amp would mostly be an overkill for my intended use and future plans. I have no plans to upgrade the motor, the stock motor is plenty fast and strong for what I need.

So I got the new controller and solenoid installed, added 4awg cables all around. I also added new ends to all the factory wires that attached to the battery and solenoid. Many of them seemed brittle and showing fraid wires. So I went ahead and just cut and replaced the ends.

I went back to the hunting club a few days after the latest upgrade. I can really tell a difference. I couldn't tell a difference when riding around the neighborhood, but in the wood and on some of the hills I can really see the added power. The cart doesn't lag at all. Again no real increase in speed, but noticable in maintaining power on hills or rough terrain. Don't get me wrong, it has plenty of speed, but I just don't really use full throttle much. Even around the flat streets of my neighborhood, I hardly get into full throttle. Just a guestimation, I'd say it tops out between 18-22mph. I have not compared to a gps or anything, just guessing.
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Unread 10-08-2012, 11:09 PM   #10
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Default Re: 99 EZGO TXT Hunting Buggy Build

So this is where I am now. I have a few more needed upgrades before opening of deer season, Oct 15th. I got to add some lights. I bought the EZGO Premium light kit with the recessed headlights with blinkers and recessed taillights with the brake light switch that connects into the brake pedal. But after opening the box and noticing the way I was gonna have to cut the plastic body to install the lights, I opted not to go that route. So that kit is for sale if anyone wants them, PM me. I'd like to add front bumper/brush guard and add offroad lights to it. I also want to add a gun/bow rack. I don't nessicarily like the floor mounted rack. I think I am gonna fab something. I was thinking about either square or round tubing, connecting it to the front roof supports near the bottom where it bolts to the frame. Then having that tubing run up beside the body and across the top of the dash, maybe 4-5 inches above the dash then run down and connect to the other side. Then simply install ATV style rack mounted gun mounts. Sort of like the mount on the "Beast" carts, but I don't like the way it attaches to the front support. Id rather it run down the side and connect to the support where the support attaches to the frame. Seems it would be stronger that way.
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