Posted by: Mark Polk | 2013

Harley Davidson Golf Cart – Start your Engine

HD gas cart engine

HD gas cart engine

My first priority was to get the Harley Davidson gas cart running and make sure I wasn’t up against any expensive repairs that could ruin any potential profit. At some point in time someone replaced the key switch with a household light switch and I was betting this was the reason the previous owner had to jump across the solenoid with a screwdriver to start the engine.

 I found a Harley Davidson golf cart repair manual online and read over the section on the gas engine. These carts used a micro switch located by the gas pedal to start and stop the engine. You turn the key on and when you press on the gas pedal the switch closes and the engine starts. If you let completely off the gas pedal the switch opens and the engine shuts off. Sort of like start/stop technology that auto manufacturers are experiementing with to see if it improves fuel economy.
 
I decided it would be a good idea to jack the rear wheels off the ground and use some jack stands so when I depress the gas pedal the cart doesn’t go through the side of the building. I disconnected the wires from the light switch so I could bypass it, and when I held the wires together and pressed the accelerator pedal the engine started right up. The forward and reverse control would need to be cleaned up, but I was happy to hear a good running 2 stroke engine. My first purchase was $14 for a key switch.
 
With the engine running I decided to go through the entire electrical system and ignition system to make sure the wiring was good and all connections and contacts were clean. The next step was to clean sand and paint the engine. It wasn’t going to be show quality, but when the new owner lifts the body up it will look presentable.
 
gas engine clean & painted

gas engine clean & painted

 
After the engine was painted it was time to check the transmission and operation of the clutch. It’s pretty basic. As you accelerate the floating flange on the primary drive moves closer to the opposite flange on the engine, which in turn engages the drive belt. The more gas you give it the higher up on the flanges the belt rides providiing more torque to the rear wheels. Harley Davidson realized that the golf cart would need enough power to carry two fairly large adults with golf clubs and equipment up and down some fairly steep terrain. This clutch and drive mechnism did a good job creating enough power to get the job done.
 
The only problem is the belt is not engaging when I give it gas!  Join me in the next post when we tackle some clutch related problems.    HD Golf Cart Clutch Problems
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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