The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Golf cart update 2011

Lucy sitting on the golf cart looking pretty

Replacing the brake pads didn't make that rubbing sound go away.

It might be a bearing or the motor. We've stopped using it for now.

At least it provides a nice dry spot for Lucy to take a nap on.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Use a jack to get a wheel off the ground. Then grab the top and bottom of the wheel and try to move the wheel around a horizontal axis. If there is significant play, the bearing is probably broken. (With e.g. double wishbone suspension this could also indicate the suspension linkages are worn.)

Generally, ball or roller bearings should turn smoothly in the way they are supposed to go, and shouldn't have noticable play in other directions. If a bearing makes clunky noises or isn't smooth when it rotates, it should be replaced. I'd expect bearings like these to be sealed. If the seals fail, water and dirt can get in and destroy the bearing races and balls. Replace the bearing when that has happened.

Comment by Roland_Smith Sat Dec 10 16:40:50 2011
Huh --- I would have thought the guy who fixed the brakes would have known to try this, but that does sound much cheaper than what he said it probably was (a bearing in the motor or in the axle.) Thanks --- we'll give that a try!
Comment by anna Sun Dec 11 10:44:53 2011

If the wheel bearings are OK, it might be time to check the rest of the drivetrain. But first you need to ascertain that the problem is in the drivetrain.

So I would suggest jacking the vehicle up so the drive wheels are off the ground, and then engaging the engine to turn the wheels. If the sound is still there it probably is in the drivetrain, and you might be able to crawl under the cart to narrow down where the sound is coming from. Be safe when you do this.

Also check the wheel arches to verify that it's not one of the wheels rubbing somewhere.

Checking the drivetrain further will require some disassembly, and is probably best done in a workshop. Personally I wouldn't fancy lying on my back on the cold ground in winter working on heavy drivetrain components overhead. :-)

Comment by Roland_Smith Sun Dec 11 16:29:44 2011

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