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Unread 04-18-2018, 08:50 PM   #1
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Default Newbie needs advice for first cart

Hi all. I've decided to get a cart and need advice. I'll be using it at the beach, just to ride around the neighborhood and over to the beach. I don't think I need anything special. I do have a hill in the yard I need to be able to drive over, and there is a pretty steep hill at the beach access, but it's only 20-25' long. Otherwise, pretty flat terrain. But I have no interest in speed, so I suppose torque over speed. Would I need something lifted to get up that steep hill at the beach access? And will a 'normal' cart do so with 4 people on board?

I want to spend no more than $3K. And I'm hoping for something 2010 or newer. Has to be a 4 seater. And my town requires it has a lot of the stuff needed to be street legal. Front and rear lights, turn signals front and rear, seat belts, etc. But not full street legal requirements.

Two of my buddies have the Club Cars and that's what they recc. to me. They say I need the aluminum frame for use at the beach. From what I've read, that is an advantage, but only a very slight one. And I do see a ton of EZ Go's in my area, so I think either brand would be fine.

I also just saw a Zone cart. Two of them actually. One is a 2010 and one is a 2015. Both look very nice. Until today, I had not heard of that brand. 2010 ask is $3k and the 2015 ask is $3.5K. Both look really nice for that price. What is their reputation these days? There is not a lot of info out there on them.

Thanks for any advice/help.
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Unread 04-18-2018, 10:28 PM   #2
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Default Re: Newbie needs advice for first cart



Who makes "Zone" carts? Star, Fairplay?
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Unread 04-19-2018, 06:26 AM   #3
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Default Re: Newbie needs advice for first cart

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooncarter View Post


Who makes "Zone" carts? Star, Fairplay?
China
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Unread 04-19-2018, 08:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: Newbie needs advice for first cart

Drive Electric sells them. I've read good and bad about their customer service. But mostly good. Made in China by Suzhou Eagle Mfg Co. But from what you can tell from pictures on the internet, they seem to be well made. They use Curtis controllers (good). They had problems with the chargers at some point a few years back. But I would guess that was with the cheaper chargers you could get with them. I would think the Delta Q chargers (another option) would be OK. There were reports of fires with them. But my guess is that someone replaced the battereies incorrectly... only use the exact setup they came with... 8 x 6volt and not 6 x 8volt, for example. But that is just my guess.

The biggest problem with buying a Zone seems to be getting parts for them. So I tried to find out where I could get them. From what I've read, a lot of EZ Go parts will fit them. And almost all of the Star and Fairplay parts fit them. 'Road Rat Motors' on here said he could get parts fro them. They are said to be almost identical to Star carts. Are Star parts readily available?? Differences in Zone and Star are the battery size, the roof (Star is fiberglas and Zone is plastic), and the rear seat.

That's pretty much my research on Zone carts. So should I buy one???
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Unread 04-19-2018, 09:20 AM   #5
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Default Re: Newbie needs advice for first cart

I would stay with American made.
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Unread 04-19-2018, 09:22 AM   #6
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Default Re: Newbie needs advice for first cart

Which probably has over 50% of the parts made somewhere else.
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Unread 04-19-2018, 09:58 AM   #7
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Default Re: Newbie needs advice for first cart

I'm with Mooncarter. Club Car, EZGO and Yamaha are all assembled in the USA (Georgia). Even if some of the parts came from other countries, they are built to OEM specs and readily available to dealers, independent shops and individual consumers.
The problem with the clones is parts availability especially to individual consumers. Lots of shops refuse to work on them.
Star can be ok if you have access to a dealer because he can get parts. The problem will be if the dealer closes eventually. It's a risk IMO.

Performance enhancements and customization readily available for the USA brands. Not so much(hardly at all) for the clones.

FWIW, The Yamaha plant is just down the road from me. ALL Yamaha golf carts are built there for world wide distribution. This is the only Yamaha golf cart factory in the world.
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Unread 04-19-2018, 10:03 AM   #8
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Unread 04-19-2018, 11:36 AM   #9
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Default Re: Newbie needs advice for first cart

If I were going to customize it, or do any performance enhancements, I'd be agreeing 100%. But I don't expect I would do any of that. So long as I could get a repair part if needed, I would be happy.
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Unread 04-19-2018, 12:29 PM   #10
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Default Re: Newbie needs advice for first cart

Well, I just learned more. Drive Electric is no longer the distributor for Zone in the USA. And it sounds like there isn't a distributor. So you have no one at all to call for any help. Unless your local shop supports them. All Drive Electric is doing as of now is selling off their parts inventory. Wow. Glad I did more research before buying one of the Zone golf carts.
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