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Old 06-11-2021, 10:15 AM   #1
Hyper137
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Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Cincinnati, OH
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Default 1961 Cushman Golfster - Runs, Issues Accelerating

Have a 1961 Golfster - model 735-878915.
Aside from paint mostly the unit is mostly restored/operating.

I have it running, smooth idle without issue. When I accelerate the unit sometimes accelerates and sometimes it doesnít. When the engine is turned off the throttle body moves freely.

Not sure where to go from here. Any thoughts helpful as I am looking for a local person to assist - Located in Cincinnati, OH
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Old 06-11-2021, 10:21 PM   #2
CharleyL
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Location: Central North Carolina
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Default Re: 1961 Cushman Golfster - Runs, Issues Accelerating

That looks like an OMC engine, likely the 18 hp with two opposed cylinders. If the cylinders have the spark plugs located below center of each cylinder, it is the 18 hp version. If the spark plugs are located above center of the cylinders, it is the newer 22 hp version. The only significant difference between the two models is the cylinders, with the 22 hp version being a little higher compression.

My best guess is that your carburetor is in need of a thorough cleaning and rebuild. When you do this, make certain to replace the float as well as the needle valve that it controls. The float is not part of any carb kit. You have to order it separately. You also need to clean the accelerator pump passages, which don't clean easily with just a soaking of the carb body. I have used a single strand of some 20 gauge stranded hook-up wire to push the gunk out of mine. A new gasket and accelerator pump diaphram comes in the kit.

The mechanical fuel pumps on these engines are pretty much unobtainium (no longer available) and if you do find one it's been sitting on a shelf for years and the rubber parts are dried and cracked. I bought an automotive electric fuel pump and installed it in my Truckster. It needs to be low at about the same height as the tank outlet. It needs a fuel filter between it's inlet and the outlet of the fuel tank. You can then connect it's outlet directly to the inlet of the carburetor. These pumps self regulate the fuel pressure, so there is no need for the 3 port bypass filter any longer that bypassed the excess fuel pressure of the old fuel pump back to the fuel tank. Get rid of it. Before connecting the hose to the inlet of the carburetor, check to see if there is a tiny strainer/filter in the carburetor inlet. If there is, use a pair of needle nose pliers to pull it out and discard it. There is no replacement available, and by now the original is trash so just discard it. You won't need it anyway. You can just leave the old fuel pump on the engine, but not hooked up, or make a plate and gasket to fit the hole and bolt it in place. Leaving the hole open will allow dirt to get into the crankcase, so you either need to leave the old pump there or replace it with a DIY cover and gasket. Check the motor timing too, with a 12 volt light bulb. See the manual for how to do this.

The photo of the carburetor looks like a Keihin. You should find the name on the body of the carburetor somewhere. It's a Japanese carburetor and they are quite good when working properly. They also used a similar design Rochester carburetor for some of these engines. Cleaning and rebuilding the carburetor and replacing the fuel pump on my Truckster made a huge difference in how well my Truckster motor runs. When starting, I just switch the ignition on and wait a few seconds for the fuel pump to build pressure, and then turn the key further to engage the starter. Manual choking is required when the engine is started the first time each day, but the rest of the day it will start without choking in about 1 revolution. Doing these two things made a new Truckster for me in the way of easy starting and performance.
Keep the fins on the cylinders and crank case clean and the damper doors that are controlled by the bellows temperature sensors working or the engine will overheat. You really only need these doors and bellows assemblies if trying to get cab heat from the exhaust, so I don't know if your golf cart even has these. The motors will work better without these, if you have any problems with overheating. I can tell you how to leave them in place but block them from use easily if you have problems. Mine was done 5 years ago.

A manual is available in Acrobat pdf format on the www.sillylittlecars website. From the main screen click on "Manuals" and then "shop manuals" in the text on the next screen.
These manuals don't cover most of your cart, but there is a section in the "supplement" manual that covers these engines very well. OMC (the outboard motor company) once owned Cushman and designed these engines to use in the Cushman vehicles. There were 3 different versions, with almost all of the parts the same for each one. I told you about the 18 and 22 hp versions, but there was also an 11 hp single cylinder version, also with almost all of the same parts. They just blocked the hole where one cylinder would be in the larger engines. These single cylinder OMC engines were used in a model of motor scooter that Cushman had made.

The rubber T connection behind the carburetor needs to be examined for leaks too. Be careful not to damage it because it is likely very brittle from age. These were available last time that I checked, but not cheap. www.directparts.com will likely be your best source for motor parts or most drive train and steering parts. Sheet metal body and chassis parts will likely only be found from a wrecked unit of the same model, or made yourself.

I check in here most every morning. If you have any other questions, just reply to this post and I'll try to help.

Charley
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Old 06-28-2021, 08:07 PM   #3
Hyper137
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Default Re: 1961 Cushman Golfster - Runs, Issues Accelerating

Thank you for the reply - I got back to the garage today and removed the carb and have the parts soaking. The carb is also a Carter N model with various markings throughout.

I am putting a rebuild kit on order and I tend to find they are limited to the gasket, needle valve. Is the diaphram mentioned the part that the needle valve sits in? If not, I have not located a rebuild kit that includes the diaphragm. The unit I have located (very similar to other sites) is on the directparts.com site.

https://directparts.com/fuel-air/car...build-kit.html

Aside from the carb, I had to replace some fuel hoses that had decayed and became brittle with movement. I'll keep an eye on the fuel pump setup pending my outcome of the carb soak, rebuild.

I confirmed it is an OMC Model 200 engine. The two spark plugs appear to be below the cylinder heads judging from looking under the engine.

Thank you.
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Old 06-29-2021, 07:15 AM   #4
CharleyL
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Default Re: 1961 Cushman Golfster - Runs, Issues Accelerating

Make sure you replace the float and the needle inlet valve that it's hitched to, along with the usual rebuild kit. Over time, plastic floats absorb some of the thinner solvents in the fuel and no longer float at the correct level. This takes a long time, but with the age of these engines, they are likely all bad by now. This change in fuel level affects how well the carburetor performs, so even if the carburetor has been completely cleaned and rebuilt using the usual rebuild kits, the engine won't run correctly. Carter makes good carburetors and you might consider just replacing it with a new one, but I have no idea what this will cost. Cushman used Carter, Rochester, and Keihin carburetors on these engines, probably based on which they could get cheaper or in quantity.

I never cared for Rochester carbs after fighting with them on an old Ford 60 Series V-8 in a race car. After switching to the Carters it could actually win races.

Usually, when the rubber parts in the fuel pump fail, it adds gas to the engine crankcase, thinning the oil. This can happen quickly. Watch the oil level closely (check it every day before running the engine). If the oil level starts rising, it's time for a new fuel pump. Of course, it can also fail to pump the fuel too, usually because of a bad check valve in the pump.

The diaphram in the kit is likely the accelerator pump. Yes, change it too. You should be able to buy every part for the carburetor separately or the kit containing the most often needed parts. At the age of these motors and carburetors, a complete replacement of the gaskets, diaphrams, float needle valve and float in the carburetor is the only way to achieve success. Been There Done That, and learned from many hours of frustration.

Yes, you have an 18 hp OMC engine (spark plugs below center of the cylinders. You can gain 4 hp and make it a 22 hp engine by just replacing the cylinders, but at last check, they were $150 each with the valves and valve springs already installed, and you shouldn't replace just one when changing sizes. The cylinders for these OMC engines are the same part number for both sides of the engine. Both valves are identical, so it doesn't matter which is exhaust or intake. You should replace the piston rings if you replace the cylinder too, and make certain that the gap in each ring is oriented 180 deg from the adjacent ring as you insert the piston. On a used cylinder, check for scoring and glazing of the inside, and always hone the inside walls before using them again, even if it's just enough to break the glaze. Very fine honing scratches that spiral up and down should be the finish that you want before assembly.

You will need a ring compressor tool and it needs to be one that's just a collar of the correct diameter and a pair of special locking pliers that squeezes the collar together. Most ring compressors will not work because with OMC engines the cylinder head does not come off the top of the cylinder, so the ring compressor must be used when inserting the piston into the cylinder from the bottom and then be removeable once the job is complete, so the band must open to slide it off the connecting rod sideways once the rings and piston are in the cylinder. This type of ring compressor is available as a kit with many sizes of bands and the special locking pliers. You will likely never need any of the other bands except for the 3.5" band, but this type of ring compressor will work when inserting a piston from either the top or bottom of the cylinder, while those normally available can only be used from the top of a cylinder with removeable head and will not work for these OMC engines unless the piston is completely removed from the engine before it is used.

I'm in Central North Carolina, so not just around the corner from you, so my help is going to be limited to helping you this way.

Charley
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Old 09-19-2021, 07:56 PM   #5
Hyper137
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Default Re: 1961 Cushman Golfster - Runs, Issues Accelerating

Update here!

The first carb soak and rebuild with existing parts was short lived. I ran out of personal time so enlisted a small engine mechanic to help out. Turned out the float sprung a leak, some of the seals started leaking, the needle was bent in the carb (high speed). Then we had quite a bit of fuel leaking for the valve covers and we went ahead and moved to a Facet Posi-Flo 12v Fuel Pump Kit, 1/8 NPT, 1-2.5 psi.

Did the carb kit rebuild, new float, needle, connected the pump following your instructions and itís running smooth! Just need to change fluids on trans and adjust the brake. Drained oil, changed filter - quite a bit of fuel in there from the fuel pump failing it seems.

Either way, right now I am running but my voltage gauge on the dash is now pinging rapidly back and forth. This didnít happen before the fuel pump. Additionally it seems like my battery isnít charging after install.

Wanted to see if see if you had any experience with this when you put your fuel pump?! I have a tender on the Battery right now in the meantime.

Thanks again for your help - invaluable.
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Old 09-20-2021, 08:11 AM   #6
CharleyL
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Default Re: 1961 Cushman Golfster - Runs, Issues Accelerating

It sounds to me like you have bad brushes in the alternator or a loose connection to the field, or a voltage regulator problem.

Glad you've got your fuel problems fixed.

Charley
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