How to Uninstall an Electric Golf Cart Motor
When all repair options have been exhausted, you need to know how to uninstall an electric golf cart motor. Electric golf cart motors have three main parts: an outer cylindrical metal housing, a field coil and poles, and an armature that drives the wheels by spinning inside the field coil while supported on ball bearings. If you suspect damage to the bearings, brushes, or field coil, you can remove the motor and disassemble it to replace these. On the other hand, if the motor housing or armature becomes damaged, you may need to replace the entire motor. If you are removing the motor to install a replacement, make sure the new motor you have selected is compatible with your cart’s electrical system. Carts can be designed to operate on either 36 volts or 48 volts, using either “Series” or “Regen” motors.
Step 1 – Obtain Manufacturer’s Service Guide
Service manuals should be available from your cart’s manufacturer, dealer, or distributor. The guides contain schematics, diagrams, and step-by-step instructions for performing complex work on your cart. Using this reference will facilitate your project.
Step 2 – Disconnect the Battery and Speed Controllers
The first step is to use the insulated wrench to disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery terminal. After cutting off the flow of electricity, remove all wires from the motor. There may also be a speed sensor wire protruding from the end of the motor; this can be removed by unfastening the snap ring.
Step 3 –Remove Motor From Axle
Remove the three to six bolts that secure the motor to the axle housing and set them aside. You may wish to mark the axle or motor housing with chalk to assist in reassembly. Once the motor is unfastened, it should simply slide off of the axle splines. If the motor sticks, tap it with the rubber mallet to loosen it. However, take care not to damage the splines. The motor can weigh more than 50 lbs., so be careful not to drop it.
Step 4 – Disassemble Cart if Necessary
If you cannot easily remove the motor from the cart, some disassembly may be necessary to reach it. Begin by removing the roof and roof supports. Then, continue with the seats, chrome floor guards, and floor mats. You might also need to remove the rear body panel. Jack up the rear wheels (secure with jack stands for safety) to provide access to the motor. Remove the tires if you still cannot reach the motor.
Step 5 – Disassemble and Inspect Motor
If you choose to disassemble the motor, remove the bearing cap or magnet and two to four bolts from the commutator cover, located at the end of the housing. Now remove the cover and slide out the armature. While the motor is disassembled, take the time to remove dust and debris. Measure the length of the armature brushes and check against the manufacturer’s specifications; they should be replaced if worn down below the minimum recommended length.