2009 E4 wont go!

I got a 2009 E4 for my dad a couple years ago, he lives in Clearwater and uses the cart only sparingly. I had new FLA batteries in 2019, and it gets charged with pretty much every use. Last month he took a short ride, under 1/2 mile, and the cart wouldnt pull up a small hill to get home.
I have 72 v at the controller, and the dash has all but one battery bars lit. when the key is turned on, and the parking brake released, the contactor closes as expected. thats where the good stuff ends. No turtle, no errors, and no go.
I checked and get no voltage from the armature side of the controller, and am thinking the old GE just gave up. If i depress the go pedal and then turn on the key, the display reads a code 11, but as soon as I release and re-press the pedal the contactor closes and the cart still dont go.
I am currently charging and I feel like it gets full charge, but I am not certain if this is just a battery issue or what. I appreciate any insight, I am trying to figure out what to do, but the manual for the controller seems to be smarter than I am.

Error 11 is a stuck accelerator pedal, but I don’t think that is your issue.

Sounds to me like batteries -
Check the voltage of each battery after charging. - you will have to disconnect them, Are all the voltages the same?
Put a voltmeter on the pack and hold the brake pedal and press the gas a little, does the voltage drop off quickly. If so you probably have a bad battery or six.

I am sure the crew here will have some good ideas for testing.

Thanks, I will see what the batteries test out to, else I will take them to the store. Good news is that I can make an excuse to find a nice set of LiPO for it and make dad really happy.

Yeah, that -11 is an easy one to trigger yourself. It keeps the cars from running away if something is pressing on the pedal and the key is switched on. It also keeps someone from using Gems from using it to dispose of bodies by laying a brick on the pedal, pointing the car towards a lake and switching key on (in theory).

I find it odd that you did not find any power on A1 and A2. I assume you had the front wheels jacked up and someone pressing the pedal? (verify that I read your description correct)

Did you find any power on the F1 and F2?

We should probably check the pedal voltages. Do this with wheels up. Do you see 0~5v on P7 (ref Gnd)?

I know the batteries are not too old but wondering if you used the same style of batteries that you had before? And if not… did you reprogram the charger? A charger with bad algorithm may kill the batteries very quick.

Does the Gem climbs that hill when it’s 100% fully charged? Like right after unplugging it?

I agree with @MikeKC and @AssyRequired, easy tests to find out the root of the problem.

So I bought the cart from a real estate outfit in Tallahassee, and they had just put a new set of batteries from a local battery shop in it. One was bad then (2019ish) and it was replaced under warranty, so I am certainly in agreement they could be the issue. I put the cart on charge overnite and will check out the SOC and the pedal voltages after work.
I appreciate the assistance and expertise on this site, I couldn’t have been so successful in making this cart go for my dad without it. I actually read here for fun even when I dont have a cart in the drive to work on.

Don’t trust the SOC on the dash, use a voltmeter on the whole pack (all six batteries) and each battery individually.

1 Like

60+% humidity all year long in Clearwater and it’s right on the Gulf coast.

I’m thinking you might have more than battery problems on this GEM.

I would not be surprised if the motor has corrosion related issues. I’d check the brushes and bearings in the motor too.

If, after inspection, you find or suspect issues, get the motor serviced.
@Old_Houseboater rebuilds GEM motors for very reasonable prices and Rodney is only 2 hours away by car in Tavares so you can avoid the hassle of shipping a motor.

1 Like

This is exactly where I was going next.
I was thrown off by his comment about not finding V on A1-A2 wires and wanted to follow that rabbit first.

Of course, stuck brushes/blue fire in motor sometimes takes out the controller.

1 Like

Letting the magic blue smoke out is bad.

As the proud(!?) owner of a British car for 40 years or so, I am very familiar with the blue smoke, the angry pixies and trying to keep them in the insulation.
I put brushes in the motor myself and at that time the bearings were good, I replaced the brush springs and cleaned it up, other than 9500 miles of dust it wasnt bad, but you guys are right, and dad is maybe 300 feet from the gulf so corrosion isn’t unlikely.
I was perplexed by the no voltage to the armature, but like I said, the manual says to look for what appears to be 2.5 volts on P#, which I see going to -72v.
"Start switch is mis-adjusted or defective.
 Input voltage at P3 should be greater than
2.5 volts at key switch closure. Adjust or
replace accelerator unit to insure that the
voltage at P3 greater than 2.5 volts before
closing the start switch. "
I am not certain what that means to smart people, but I didn’t get whether that was the controller pin or the wire that goes there.
Raining here today so I don’t get to go outside and play. Momma is leaving on a trip in the morning so I get the garage tomorrow!

1 Like

LMAO. Nice.
:rofl: :rofl:

I will take the motor off and check it over, but since I am “going in” I would like to change the bearing on the trans input, and install a new snubber since the cart growls a bit on decel, any ideas on the best place to get the seal and bearing? I also recall there not a great way to check the trans oil. Any advice on changing or filling it?
I am in Tallahassee if there a part number to get the parts locally, we have a GEM dealer although I know 2009 parts may not be in stock…
I am guessing the E4 did not have multiple gear options.

How long ago was this? It seems I remember the rule being they need checking every couple years, especially if near the coast.

The original bearing was also the oil seal and it isn’t made anymore, there is a retrofit kit with a new shaft and possibly also some other options - best to talk to Rodney @Old_Houseboater - he prefers emails : rodneyadiehl@aol.com

2009 e4 should be a 12.44:1 gearset. Same input shaft as the 10.35 IIRC.

I use a home depot 5 gallon bucket head vet/dry vac for sucking the oil out.

I’m still fixated on the fact there was only 72V on what should have been a fully charged pack of 6 12V batteries so should have been 75.6V minimum. 72V is only 12V per battery and it would be highly probable they are not balance so one or more are probably at or below 11V.

With one or more ‘dead’ batteries in the series the controller might see enough voltage to light up the controller and maybe throw the contactor but any request for power would quickly drop the controller out of operating voltage, drop the 12V converter and ‘bounce’ the controller all while your foot is still on the peddle and giving you an 11 code. No?

Cut a brother some slack, he’s used to British cars…

So he’s used to pushing them… probably easier without a bunch of dead weight and dead batteries installed. :wink: MG’s were made small for a reason.

Hey, not all LBC’s are MG. I have a theory about them. Take it out of the garage, make it run and get warmed up, preferably wash it all up, the put it back to work securing the garage floor during hurricanes.

So any how, I charged the battery overnite, and have 76.2 at the batteries. all connections seem clean and solid, and there is an affirmative snap of the contactor. so the controller gets full power in.
I havent jacked it up yet, but I clip the meter to the outputs, sit in the seat and tell it to go, you can watch the meter through the glass.

Jacking up the car is just a safety measure in case it decides to take off and go. I hope you are not pointed at anything important.

I might be missing the last chapter of the book here.

but I clip the meter to the outputs, sit in the seat and tell it to go, you can watch the meter through the glass.

What did you clamp the meter to?
What were the results?

Hint- I’d like to see the results when clamped to A1 and A2 - (test)
Then - results from F1 and F2 - (test)