2005 gem e85 wont go

Used to have an error code 21, I switched out the wire harness and then got an error code 4, i spliced into the wire at pin 13 and hooked it to battery negative now there are no error codes but the brake light indicator on the dash stays lit when the parking brake is down and the car wont go forward or reverse. I have all new batteries, the clunk noise does engage when i press on the pedal. Is there a way to by pass the parking brake to see if my cart will go or have any other ideas how i can fix this? Thanks

I disconnected one of the wires from the micro switch located next to the parking brake and the brake light on the dash board still stays lit.
Yes the beeper is connected since the alarm sound comes on if the key is in the off position and the parking brake is lowered. Any other ideas I can try? I have read in other places when someone had an error 4 code they were asked to put a jumper in the slot of pin 13 and hook the other end to battery negative but my wire harness already has a wire in pin 13 so I just spliced into that wire to get rid of the error 4 code, should I pull the existing wire that is in pin13 and just have the jumper wire there instead of splicing into the existing wire that’s there? I’m just wondering if me splicing into that wire in pin 13 is messing something up with the power/signal distribution module.

Sorry for the delay. I spent some time going through your other thread where you had ALOT going on to try to fix this. I’m still absorbing it all.
(for others trying to follow along)


Today - Since you have a beeper that seems to be responding to your E-Brake lever(up/down) I’d say that is not the issue.

I have a few more questions-

  1. The other post ended with you thinking about sending the controller back to FSIP back on Jul 10. What was the outcome of that?

  2. What is the history of this car? Did you get it this way(not running)? or was there an identifying event that caused it to throw the original 21 code?(component swap, washed the cart, ran it into the lake?)

  3. Have you done anything else not listed here or in the other thread? (taken anything apart?)


  1. I sent the controller back to FSIP, they did another bench test and everything tested out perfect from what they told me. When I got it back it and installed it the error code 21 still showed up on the display, I was informed from a golf cart shop I took my GEM to that they could not find any issues and had no idea on what was causing the error 21 code and mentioned that maybe I should try finding a new wire harness. I finally found a local golf cart shop that repaired and sold used golf carts and had a GEM wire harness on hand so I replaced the wire harness which then created the error code 4. I then spliced into the wire that is in PIN 13 and connected it to battery negative so now there are no error codes but the brake indicator on the display stays lit even when the parking brake is down and the cart won’t go. I was wondering if I should just pull the existing wire that is in PIN 13 and hook up just the jumper wire there?

  2. I bought the car from a local guy that he bought from a school he was working for, he said at the time he bought it from the school the cart was working but the batteries died and he never replaced them. I bought the cart from him with no batteries in the cart. I bought 6 new batteries and installed them, after installing them the car would move but only at crawling speed, then all of a sudden the cart wouldn’t move at all then the error code 21 displayed. At that time I was informed that maybe the throttle peddle was broke so I purchased a brand new peddle from a Chrysler dealer replaced it and still had the 21 error code. I swapped the controller and the throttle pedal after the error 21 code had shown up on the display. The car has never been washed totally down with a water hose. I did wipe it clean with a wet rag when I first got it.

  3. Nothing else has been taken apart or replaced that is not in this thread or my older thread.


I pulled the existing wire out of PIN 13 and replaced it with the jumper wire, no error codes but the brake indicator is still staying lit on the display. No movement in forward or reverse. The clunk noise is there when I press on the throttle pedal and hear it again after a few seconds when the throttle pedal is not pressed in.

OK… the clunk is good, after a few seconds it goes unclunk. That is normal. Then- if you press slightly on the pedal does it go clunk again?

Here are some safety checks that I observe on mine.
Key on - then pull up on the e-brake you should get a long steady BEEP, and you won’t get the clunk when pressing the throttle. (This triple checks the E-Brake safety cut out).
Since I am always pushing the limits of things I pressed on the throttle a bit then released the handbrake and it threw up a wrench and a code 11. Release the throttle, all resets and get the clunk again on slight tap of the throttle.
Does yours do this? If yes- proceed…

Just for kicks, (and to make sure we are not chasing the wrong clues), Do you have a sensor in the side of your brake reservoir? (I’m not talking about the pressure switch that may be screwed into the casting). If yes- unplug the upper sensor in the plastic reservoir. (Be gentle- I’d hate for you to break the reservoir). Does the brake light go out?

[Yeah- I know… Low brake fluid wouldn’t stop the car from rolling, just running down a possibility. Humor me.]

Lets take the time to check if the motor was wired correctly. Verify that the A1 & A2 cables off the controller go down to the terminal bolts closest to the end cap on the motor. It might have labels, and they might be long gone.

Trace the smaller wires coming from the controller tabs marked F1 & F2. They should go down to lugs positioned more in the middle of the motor.

Now, here’s where you might need some jackstands or something to get the drive wheels off the ground. Now that the main relay is going clunk I want to see if power is going down to the motor. Chances are that it just stops at the controller, but checking may show us something. You might need an assistant to press the pedal down a bit while you poke at the terminals under the hood.

First- check for 72v at the input side of the motor controller(marked POS and NEG). I think the main contactor needs to be pulled in (the clunk) so someone needs to be pressing the throttle pedal a bit. If a handy assistant is not available, you can substitute a brick or a stick cut to size. (HOPEFULLY YOU PUT IT UP ON JACKSTANDS BY NOW!!!) I’d hate for the thing to take off across the yard or crash into the back of the garage. Also be aware of the wheels can spin up at any time so don’t set your beer there!

If you have >72V on the input lugs (polarity correct?) check the A1 and A2 terminals for power. If you do it will change depending on where the pedal is. If Yes, check the terminals on the motor. Is the power there too?

If Yes, is there also power at the F1 & F2 terminals?

Report back your findings.

I believe that grounding the wire going to p13 is bad. Don’t remember why. It blows a fuse or damages psdm, maybe.
Direction commands are routed through psdm. Make sure they are getting through to controller.
Getting the clunk with no errors means car is in neutral or possibly zero throttle.

Hi Inwo,

Thanks for helping me out again. I checked all the fuses and they are all good, no blown ones. Not sure how I check that the commands are getting through to the controller and how to fix the issue if the car is staying in neutral or a zero throttle.

Hello, Thanks for sticking with me on this issue, below are my findings.

  • Key on and pull the e-brake up there is no long steady Beep or any kind of beep, if I press on the throttle with the key on and the e-brake up there is a clunk sound and clunks again in a few seconds after the throttle is not pressed any longer.
    Key off and the e-brake is left down, a long steady Beep keeps going until I pull the e-brake up
  • Yes there is a sensor on the side of the brake reservoir - I disconnected the plug from the plastic reservoir and yes the brake light goes out. Plug the sensor back in and the brake light indicator goes back on.
  • Yes all wires for A1& A2 are connected correct
  • Yes all wires for F1 & F2 are plugged in correct
  • Voltage at POS and NEG terminals has a voltage of 75 V when the throttle is not pressed in, and goes down to 70.5 V when the throttle is pressed in
  • Voltage at A1 and A2 has a voltage of 43 when the throttle is not pressed in and goes up to 70.5 when the throttle is pressed in
  • Voltage at F1 & F2 has a voltage of 43 when the throttle is not pressed in and goes up to 70.5 when the throttle is pressed in

From A1 to A2 and F1 to F2? Then ohm out motor. Unlikely readings but possible. Motor will be running if volts at A and F, unless motor is open. ie. brushes.

Here are the voltages that command run and direction.

Awesome! Believe it or not this is progress!!

Brake light - Top off your brake reservoir and that pesky light should go out. If not- run with the sensor unplugged for now.

E-Brake handle - This sounds like it is working as designed. There are quite a few threads about the 2005 having the ability to drive away with it engaged. It apparently doesn’t have the hardware or wiring to sound the beeper like the later models. There may be a fix if you want to tinker with it. Otherwise, set it aside for now.

Volt checks - Right out of the gate there seems to be something off here. The no load voltage seems low for new batteries and the drop to 70V with pedal down is REALLY odd.

  • When was the last time you charged the car?
  • What batteries did you put in?
    -How long ago?
  • What charger do you have?
    -Do you know what charger profile it is set to?

As it sits now do a list 1-6 and write down the battery voltages. Plug in your charger, verify the lights on the side, You should also have the charge icon on the speedo/pod display. If you Key-on, brake off, you shouldn’t be able to drive away(again- checking PSID systems). Let it charge for a while and check voltages again to verify they are all coming up. Keep track of these numbers for later.

The results of the voltage check at A1 and A2 also bothers me. At rest (after a pedal down and back up) it should go back to 0 (zero). It sounds like your motor brushes may be stuck. What setting on your meter are you using?

As well as the readings at F1 and F2. Those don’t make sense either. Let me see if I can duplicate those numbers.

Can you send me pics of your wiring up front? I will pm you my email address.

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Hi Inwo,
On your diagram do I measure the voltages at the P7 at the 23 Pin wire harness hooked up to the controller or at the other end of the wire that corresponds with P7? Also the same question for P4,P5 and P6 checking for 72V at one of those Pins.

Test right at controller. Use a stick pin into the insulation or a sharp probe.
If you actually have voltage across A1 and A2 motor will run or brushes are stuck.
Disconnect A1 or A2, ohms across them on motor should be near zero.

Hi Inwo

I tested Voltage at P4,P5 and P6. P6 is the one that has 72V. I also did the ohm test across A1 & A2 and got an O.L reading so I don’t think there is any continuity there. I also did an ohm test across F1 & F2 and got 1 for the ohm reading. Maybe my motor is shot? If so is there a way to fix the connections between A1 & A2 or am I just looking at having to buy a new motor? Any other tests I can do on just the motor to see if it is dead?

That should be an easy one. Stuck brushes.
Open the motor and free up brushes so they slide easily.
Or send the motor to @Old_Houseboater for service.

Thanks Inwo,

If I can’t get to it tonight I will try tomorrow night or Saturday when all the Xmas stuff with the Fam is done and will let you know my status. Thanks again for all your help, I hope you and your family have a great Christmas and I will email you if I was able to free up the brushes.

Actually- this is great news. It means you are finally coming to an end of your issues instead of just guessing!

Bad news is that it might involve spending a bit more money(depending on your skill level and how much you want to get involved).

Yup - My SWAG is that your brushes are stuck (or fully worn out?) and not making contact with the armature inside the motor. It is totally fixable but probably not something that the beginner can tackle and it may involve some special tools. A guy named Andy just did this and posted pics on FBook gem forum. Here is the link to see if this is in your wheelhouse.

If you have time in the next couple of days, at least pull the motor (which you have to do anyway) and remove that band cover at the end of the motor. Get a good look inside there and maybe send me a few pics if you don’t understand what is going on in there. You could get lucky and they will only be slightly stuck. Unlucky would be really stuck. (the guy in the link above had to use a c-clamp to press out his brushes. They must have been scary tight!).

Option 2 - find someone in your area that can rebuild the motor for you. I have no idea what it will cost. I saw a comment elsewhere that sometimes it may cost as much as a new motor, but that was from a company that sells motors.

Option 3 - find a used motor. It just happens that there are currently TWO available from guys in this forum. Since they are from out of state, shipping will need to be added. Here is the link to the first post. Down at the last post you can find GrantKC has one also. Both of them sound like pulls from very low hour cars. This might be a viable option for you.

Option 4 - Ask yourself what are your plans for this car? You may want to take this time to upgrade to a higher Hp motor. But that will require reprogramming the controller(your favorite) for best performance.

When it comes to removing the motor-
*** Tip ****
Whenever you take a cable off any of the motor lugs you should use two wrenches(one below the cable end and one above). You might need to find a thin wrench to do this(which not everybody has). Don’t be tempted to just wrench that top nut off. It can spin the stud in it’s plastic insulator and crack the insulator. Same goes for tightening.

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2005 has the “long” GE motor and IIRC, if you unbolt the bottom of the shock, you can swing it out of the way and unbuckle the vent band on the back of the motor and get at the brushes with the motor in place. Pulling the hood off also helps with access. No need to take motor apart unless you have a bad bearing.

LithiumGods and GrantWest have both posted details on clearing stuck brushes and cleaning the holders. A thin pointed lady’s metal nail file, CRC lectra-clean and patience work well. Don’t scratch up the inside of the holders or you’ll keep having problems.

If you pull the motor, have a spare resilient bumper on hand, you’ll need it. You can buy a bag of them for like $12 from an online golf cart shop or pay $10 to have a single one from NEVA. Once it’s out, check the gearbox input shaft and oil seal, If they are worn or leaking @Old_Houseboater sells replacements.

Here’s an old thread of mine on pulling a clapped out “short” GE from 2000-2004, that ended up turning into input shafts, motor disassembly both short and long - lots of contributions & pics from others, and speedo magnets and how not to fvck them up by even slightly over greasing and hydraulicing the shaft into the bearing while putting stuff back together…

If you have stuck brushes you need to pull the motor to service them. Unsticking brushes requires care or you break the brush holder. I have developed techniques to service any GEM motor without causing damage and in most cases not require machining of the commutator. My motors will go 5 years without further service. (Except in coastal areas)