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Old 06-17-2021, 12:57 AM   #1
raiyni
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Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 13
Default '84 G1: A story from zero experience

I grew up a computer guy with no inclinations of participating in mechanics with the father but I picked up some basic engine understanding over the years from various sources. For a while, I've wanted some kind of intro mechanical project to have time to spend on and learn from--I pitched an easier car to restore but the wife shot that down pretty fast considering my dad's graveyard. Then the perfect scenario landed in my lap.

Last year, a friend bought 2 old golf carts for $800 and promptly sold one for $600. He used and abused the one he kept during the Covid season (muni course is very close). Over his short ownership: he spray painted the cart, used locktite on either the starter bolt fan side or clutch bolt because it kept coming out, and he did zero maintenance otherwise since he wasn't aware of what needed done. Eventually, the cart failed to start and would limp along. Which prompted him to sell it to me for a lowly price of $200 since he didn't have the time nor energy to allocate fixing it. Quite the steal huh?

I think I have had the cart in my possession since Dec/Jan and didn't start looking at it until mid-April because my garage is detached, small, and not temperature controlled. Initially, I didn't do much research and got my father involved (he didn't believe me at first when I said the engine ran backwards for reverse). He pulled the carb out and made sure it was clean/operable, checked the fuel pump (at some point someone installed a new one), determined one of the solenoids was bad and the other one was near death, and he might have killed the ignition coil + cracked the steering cover (in true fashion for him). Since then, I have done a lot of research and only had to involve him one other time to use his impact wrench. As much as I would like to try and complete this project as cheap as possible by borrowing tools, I also would like to own my stuff and learn how to use them--you feel?

My plan for now is get her as close to stock performance without rebuilding the entire cart. Closer towards the end of the year, I'm going to reevaluate my feelings towards the cart and decide between selling it or keeping it as a fabrication project. I'm leaning towards the latter with the following intentions: remove everything, remove as much rust as possible, learn welding by fabricating battery plate + patching spots, paint the frame, maybe fabricate/buy a frame + roof, add basket + bag holders + club/ball cleaner, sand/paint the body right, score some cheap wheels, and figure out seats. After doing all of that, I would probably break even at most if I sold it but I think it would be fun to keep as an heirloom. Whichever route I take, I'm going to be documenting the cost of tools and parts.

Origin story over, now let's get into what everyone cares about--the cart. When I first got her: she looked like a ghetto-Herbie on the outside but looked like a dirty-mangy street cat on the inside. I wish I would have taken more photos before working on her to really illustrate how disgusting it was to look under the hood. You could really tell she hasn't seen basic maintenance in years. I know for a fact she was painted once by my friend and judging by the overspray on the frame, she was painted over factory by someone else. As the title suggests, I was able to confirm it being an '84 model by the rusted serial number on the frame.

Things done (in relative order):

* New ignition coil (thanks dad?)
* New spark plug (was completely black and failed metre test)
* New throttle cable (was completely sheared off at the pedal)
* New solenoids
* Cleaned posts on starter
* Built a cheap CDI (not using it because the old one actually works)

At this point, reverse/forward worked but still no spark. The starter was flying without a belt on so that suggested bushings based on my research.

* New bushings + holder (When I took the cover off, a baseball amount of carbon dust came out and the screws were all stripped and frozen in gunk)
* New voltage regulator (I don't think the old one was bad but it looked pretty gross, so just in case)
* Charged battery (was very low)
* Patched some wiring (looks like something chewed all of the wires in random places or it's random rubbing wear)

Now, we got spark. https://i.imgur.com/AbRnyuH.mp4

Took her out on her first cruise with the wife and she started ok but was beginning to struggle the longer we went and my wife's seat was starting to get extremely hot.

* Light rinse of the inside
* Cooked the muffler (no flames like other people's :()
* Bypassed oil pump and mixed 100:1

She still struggle bussed to move. You might be able to see the tiny mistake in that video. The exhaust valve link wasn't connected, so she was choking herself out. Took her out for another cruise and had much better performance and temperatures but she struggled reaching top end on flat ground. The parents came over to see the progress and I found out her weight capacity for moving is only ~430 pounds, dad hopped off and she moved right along.

The belt is worn below spec and the clutch was seized I think? Everything on that side is coated in oil/dirt/gunk/rust. I've since got both clutches removed, the drive clutch might be able to be salvaged if I can remove the rust but the secondary clutch looks bad and the ramps are pretty gouged, so I'm weighing my cost options there right now.

I have the fan + case removed on the other side but I'm waiting on a steering wheel puller. It took me probably 10 minutes to remove the bottom left bolt on the case because I couldn't get my ratchet over the brake line (I think?) and the cable holder, most of the time was it being awkward to reach with the wrenches I have and my lack of fine motor skills.

Now for some photos.

First look from friend:
https://i.imgur.com/qJviSKf.jpg

Ghetto Herbie. Has faded a bit since this.
https://i.imgur.com/Ngoqmhi.jpg

Dirty.
https://i.imgur.com/tZejJ01.jpg

Light wash
https://i.imgur.com/Jvju02C.jpg

Functions as a workbench and rust collector
https://i.imgur.com/vPVbpuC.jpg

Dirty clutch stuff.
https://i.imgur.com/VgK1JfR.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/JPm4j7y.jpg

Walmart bag inside of block
https://i.imgur.com/du6XpJ0.jpg

Dusty fan
https://i.imgur.com/OCj5BWu.jpg


More to come.
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Old 06-17-2021, 06:15 AM   #2
slonomo
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Medina, Ohio (NEOHIO)
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Default Re: '84 G1: A story from zero experience

Looks like a nice litte pile of fun for you! I love G1's, they are the 57 Chevy of golf.carts (to me at least). Looks like your clutch ramps need replaced for sure. Most of us take out the exhaust butterfly valve, it can be removed with a couple screws. Another thing, for more speed and power bypass the governor and run the cable straight to the carb, these carts will fly. In stock form you can get 20-25 mph easily.

Check out the "sticky" "Everything G1 for newbies" lots of info there.

https://www.buggiesgonewild.com/showthread.php?t=76176
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Old 06-17-2021, 07:46 AM   #3
raiyni
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Posts: 13
Default Re: '84 G1: A story from zero experience

Thanks. I think I've went over all of the pinned threads several times now. It's been fun and frustrating at times for sure.

I've been doing things in chunks throughout the weeks because it gets so hot and my garage door faces west + not having everything on hand. Provides more time for research though.
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Old 06-19-2021, 11:46 AM   #4
raiyni
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Default Re: '84 G1: A story from zero experience

Fan side is very dirty. The seal looked eh but it's getting replaced anyway because who knows how old it is. Going to get a shop light so I can see what I'm doing better.
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