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Old 05-05-2021, 09:43 PM   #11
Mooncarter
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Default Re: Buying a 23 y/o cart. A bad idea?

Really nice 30-40 year old carts without upgrades and new batteries are selling for over $3000 around here.

IF you can find one.
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Old 05-06-2021, 06:40 AM   #12
DaveTM
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Default Re: Buying a 23 y/o cart. A bad idea?

Keep in mind that if your going to pull a brake drum to examine the brake pads, you may end up with more on your hands than you bargained for. Older brake drums that have not been removed in some time can create quite a challenge to the novice.

When I was a kid.....like 45 years ago.....I did brake jobs on most of the vehicles I owned. Like a '66 Ford Econoline, '67 Chevy Malibu, '67 Ford Fairlaine, '68 Chevy BelAir, etc. I have some experience with pulling old brake drums. Lots of sweat can occur!! Just know what your getting into with brake drums!!
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Old 05-06-2021, 08:06 AM   #13
JB in PA
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Default Re: Buying a 23 y/o cart. A bad idea?

As many have mentioned I'd suggest looking hard for rust. As a guy who's 75% done rebuilding an 84' marathon I can tell you the rust may be worse then it appears at first. I planned on rebuilding all the electronics and drivetrain and can do all the metal work myself but the rust was worse than I thought. It was just a matter of taking longer than I expected as I was doing all the work so not a huge deal but if your not doing the rust repairs yourself I suggest really checking out the frame and battery trays etc like many have mentioned, it really snowballs once you start cutting something out, if your paying to have it done it will really add up
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Old 05-06-2021, 08:44 AM   #14
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Default Re: Buying a 23 y/o cart. A bad idea?

Keep in mind that the battery tray absolutely WILL be rusty unless he replaced it very recently. But it should be solid. The biggest rust concern though is the frame. People with lead acid carts will have to replace the battery tray eventually if you own the cart long enough.

As for upgrades, if it has the stock controller then I'd look at upgrading the controller instead of the motor. Since you think the batteries are so-so then you may end up replacing those sooner than later. Mix Matched batteries are a bad sign so I'd assume that was in your future.

Now if you want more speed then going to 42v or 48v is the way to go, increases both speed and torque. When your batteries really do die the cost for six 8V batteries is the same as six 6v batteries. You'll also need a new charger, solenoid, controller and battery cables. The stock motor will be fine on 42v or 48v but you'll want to turn the amps on the upgraded controller down to 400 if it's a DCS/PDS cart. One thing you have to watch for is too much speed. I don't know what your rear diff gears are, but most 2 and 4 seat carts are 12:1 (just enter 12 in the calc, it assumes the 'to 1' part). 6,000rpm is the generally considered safe max motor rpm so on 18" tires so that's 26.8mph. If you find a hill and end up rolling down it at 35mph you may seize your motor. The speed calculator is here if you have different differential gears, tires, etc.
https://www.buggiesgonewild.com/speed-calculator.php

You said you're looking at up to 45 minutes of run time, is that one way or round trip? If the batteries are on the way out then you'll be riding with much slower speed later in the run as the V decreases. Or worst case, it may not go the full 45 mins.

But having said all that, if you can get it for $2,000 that's a deal. Heck, with Covid $2250 is a deal. Just know your limits. If you are mildly mechanically/electrically able then you can do the upgrades if you take your time and take lots of pictures so you can see what it was before. Use common sense and you've got this. I have absolutely zero skill for body work so when I buy a cart that's part of my concern.

Welcome to the addiction!
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Old 05-06-2021, 12:29 PM   #15
bzlytbeer
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Default Re: Buying a 23 y/o cart. A bad idea?

I don't think so. I bought a 21 year old cart 4 years ago and just put a lithium battery in it. Everything is still good on this cart, plus my upgrades!

As long as the frame is good, and the other expensive items are too, or planned to be replaced, you are good to go.

Similar to an old car, things will break over time, but the older carts tend to have less parts to worry about - finding replacements or upgrades designed for it may become a challenge.

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Old 05-06-2021, 08:49 PM   #16
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Default Re: Buying a 23 y/o cart. A bad idea?

Assume batteries will need to be replaced.
Jack up front end and check for worn steering parts.
Rear brake cables being rusted or frozen anther common problem along with mentioned battery tray and frame rust.

Replacing batteries will be biggest expense. Brakes,steering, worn out leaf springs may be labor intensive but not cost of battery replacement as they are the “engine” in electric carts. Other items can be picked away at as funds become available. With today’s price’s I have seen junk sell for 2,500 hundred to 3 grand for carts that normally would have been half that price.
Been there done that on a 2012 txt.😊

Anything recreational, camping, boating,ect. Price’s have gone Thur the roof.
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Old 05-08-2021, 10:08 AM   #17
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Default Re: Buying a 23 y/o cart. A bad idea?

Ok everyone, I finally got in, out, and under the cart this morning to start taking a look. I have a neighbor coming over this afternoon to help take it apart more, but thought I'd send some pics your way in case any of this leads to something I'll need to take a look at.

In short, it drives well. Batteries don't hold on too long, but as we've said, plan on replacing those anyways. No squeaks, creaks, or noticeable issues. The only thing that kinda bothers me is that the wheels / tires are a smidge too large on the front, so if you turn to the maximum left/right, they'll snag the wheel well.

Wheels measure 11.5 inches and tires are looking like 22 inches.

More posts to follow with pics of the insides.
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Old 05-08-2021, 10:14 AM   #18
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Default Re: Buying a 23 y/o cart. A bad idea?

Alright, so the batteries & insides:

As we know, they'll likely be replaced. I was unable to find a manufacturers date on them anywhere, so if anyone has any insight, I did not. There is noticeable rust in the battery tray, but when poking with a screwdriver, it still feels solid. A user in a previous post said these may need to be replaced eventually anyways, but there are a couple pics on this post of all things battery.

Two questions on these pics...what are the 2 black housings at the top of the 2nd pic? I assume one of those is the controller? Do I need to take those apart to inspect anything while I have it?

Also, I have heard the term "DCS" and "Tow switch" on the message boards. Can someone help me out with what those means and if this cart has one / if that's a big deal?

Thanks! One more post incoming...
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Old 05-08-2021, 10:19 AM   #19
kgsc
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Default Re: Buying a 23 y/o cart. A bad idea?

Series cart. Not a DCS. Smaller of the two boxes is the FnR rotary switch. Larger is the solenoid and controller. Battery tray you really won’t know until you pull the batteries and clean it up. Rest of the cart looks okay.
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Old 05-08-2021, 10:22 AM   #20
BurlyWizard
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Default Re: Buying a 23 y/o cart. A bad idea?

Finally, other things that looked concerning...


Pic 1: I assume this is the motor where it connects to the differential? Originally I thought this was all rusted out, but I took a screwdriver to it and it was all mud/grease. Came right off and all metal is solid and intact under it.

Pic 2: Bottom of shocks. Looks like the rubber may be splitting / dried out? Still drives fine but don't know how concerning it is.

Pics 3 & 4: Steering components. Now the steering wheel "drives straight" when it is turned about 30 degrees to the right. There is a little slack in the steering column, but not much. While in motion, it steers just fine.

Pic 5: Brake cables. The rest of the cables looked fine & insulated. This was the only portion where I saw them exposed and I didn't see anything concerning other than maybe where they attach to the frame on the left, it's a little rusty but solid.
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