Ask The Guru – Sept/Oct 2017

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Craig asks: My 1999 E-Z-GO had a lot of hours on it and was starting poorly and using oil. I sent it into Buggies Unlimited for engine rebuilding. Shipping and turnaround time was excellent. I still have a hard start problem (seems worse – hot engine) exactly like before engine rebuild. Runs strong once running, everything is new, carburetor, fuel pump, muffler, filters, etc. I am at a loss, seems like the fuel problem. Any suggestions?

Guru: Hi Craig, You are experiencing a lean issue at startup. First, check the throttle. Make sure the carburetor is fully closed when the accelerator pedal is up. Press the accelerator pedal making sure the engine starts to turn over before the carburetor opens. Second, you want to check the valve clearance. Both intake and exhaust should be set to .004. Take this measurement between the rocker arm and the cam lobe with the high point of the lobe pointing down. These are the two biggest causes of a “hard to start” issue. Hope this helps.

Mike asks: Ok, so I have a problem. Our golf cart had only 2 speeds: stop and warp speed. We have replaced the carburetor with a brand new one. We have adjusted the governor every which way we can. We have also replaced the throttle cable and electrical box cam. It still goes 0 to death in 1.3 seconds – what could be the problem? Thank you for your help.

Guru: Mike, the issue you are having is no air intake restriction. Here are a few things to check for the cause. First, remove the inspection plate at the carburetor linkage. With the key switch off, press the accelerator pedal to the floor and back up again. Watch for the linkage to fully open at the floor and make sure the return spring is able to close it as you release the pedal. If the linkage stays fully open when the pedal is released, check the governor cable. This is the cable from the governor to the carburetor. Make sure it has full movement in its housing. Second, double-check all the gaskets and intake insulator. Make sure you have a good seal between the carburetor and the cylinder head.

Lou asks: I have an E-Z-GO Marathon 36-volt electric golf cart. Batteries are fully charged and in good condition. Step on the pedal and it takes off quickly; goes just like new for about 100 yds., then loses power and limps back. I believe I can replicate the issue in order to drain the batteries, then charge it and start again. Any help would be much appreciated.

Guru: Lou, the issue you are having can be caused by a battery not holding its charge or a compromised battery cable connection. First, check the battery cables and their connection at the batteries. If all seem to be good, move on to testing the batteries. Second, run the car until it starts the issue. Jack up the rear of the car. Use a voltmeter, set on DCV or load tester to check each battery. If you are using a voltmeter you may have to press the accelerator pedal and engage the solenoid to see the volt drop under load. You are looking for the one that drops to a lower voltage than the other batteries. The one that drops lower than the others would be the cause.


Lou: Ray, Thank you for the information you sent. I took your advice and started with the batteries and found two out of the six would only charge up to 5.5 volts, whereas the other four charged up to 6.5 volts.

I replaced these two batteries along with a new diode and resistor on the solenoid and the cart came back to life. Thanks again for the excellent diagnostics.


Hi Ray, I have this guy looking for some gears, but there are no labels on the axle housing. How can I tell if he has the Kawasaki or Graziano?

Guru: Andrew, the way to tell the Graziano from the Kawasaki electric rear differentials is the bolts that hold the case together. The Graziano uses a bolt with a 12mm head. The Kawasaki uses a bolt with a 10mm head.

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