2016 Gem e4 needs lots of work; is it worth it?

I picked up a 2016 Gem e4 5kw from a towing company lien sale for $500. It was in a rear end accident and has body damage. The frame pillar next to the rear drivers side is bent and the weld broke. Other welds in the rear box frame are broken as well.

Batteries are extremely low. I was able to get the dash to come on by having a 12v charger hooked up to the last 12v battery. I’m working on getting a 48v battery pack cobbled together so that I can test the motor, controller and charger.

I’m not sure this is worth repairing given the massive amount of body panels required and the bent frame. Should I part it out instead?

I’m located in San Diego.

Poor thing. It has had a rough life.
Sure, Step one is to see if batteries will take a charge and see if this car has anything left to give. Note: There may also be a small 12v battery under the dash.

is it worth it?

It depends on many factors.

  • What is your vision? What will you be using it for?
  • Did you get any papers with it? (do you need it for the street?)
  • How big is your budget?
  • How much time do you have?
  • Is this within your skill set?

OTOH - There is some value to parting it out. Or save this as a parts car for your next project car.

My original plan (before finding the frame damage) was to get it 100% fixed up, registered and plated. I still would like to do that. I have to look into the cost for the welding repairs. I can do the prep work, but not the welding. I have a background in electronics, so I should have no problems with the electrical side of things. As far as budget goes, I can probably sink 5k into this project. Time wise this would be weekends and after work.

The batteries won’t hold a charge. I charged each one separately. 3 of 4 charged to 12v and the fourth charged to 3.5v. There is no aux battery under the hood. The vehicle sat on the tow company lot for 4 years. The batteries are toast. I have couple of BMW hybrid lithium battery modules that I should be able to use as replacements. I have to make up the cables and wire up the BMS.

I did get the lien sale paperwork and the DMV paperwork to transfer the title into my name. I need to make an appointment at the DMV to get it transferred. Hopefully there won’t be any snags with the paperwork.

Are the body panels readily available?

Well… shoot !! You only need one battery (of any flavor) to see if it will light up and check for errors. Maybe even roll a little.

I have not tried to source body panels. (Others may jump in with their comments). I’m thinking they are fairly rare/difficult to find. Best source would be someone else parting one out. Meanwhile, You can practice the hot staple from the backside method and filler/sand what you have for now and swap out later if you fing a deal.

The 12 volt battery is actually behind the dashboard. There was also a recall and at least one TSB on the 2016s. There were a handful of issues as that was the first year of the complete revamp. Dealer was good about coming to my house and doing a bunch of stuff for free 2 or three times. Not sure if yours would still be covered seeing Polaris rid themselves of GEM :man_shrugging:

Burn it.

Give it the viking funeral it deserves.

I saw that on offer up and thought about buying it too. I’m in SD. Lots of good parts like the motor, controller, gear box, VCM, BMC, charger etc.

Scrap it for parts… No way you’ll get it back to glory for $5k. You’ll easily make your $$ plus some.

The market is softening on toys. I saw some 2016+ gems going for 8-9k locally.

I would have pulled the trigger but getting rid of the frame and the rest of the car would probably cost more than what you paid… Or you’d have to take a sawsall to it and slowly throw it away.

Completely money pit to get it going again

If the car hasn’t been flooded I can prob take most of the parts

Controller, dash, harness, pedals, steering wheel, steering column, gearbox,

Put a price and scrap the rest :slight_smile:

The car was not flooded. I’m going to see if I can get it running before making a rebuild/part out determination.

Getting it running should be the easy part… I think repairing and sourcing parts for the body panels, welding the frame and making it to straight, dealing with a potentially salvage title will be the hard part.

Just got your hands on 4 12 volt batteries and you’ll know really quick if it’s going to go!

Last I looked into the panels, they were mostly out of stock and expensive. A lot of them are glued into place and a pain to remove and install.

I’d love to follow along. Please post some pictures and progress. I have a bunch of spare parts from my 2016 if you need to swap things. I’m out on San Carlos/del cerro

We’re looking for a front frame section if you do ever decide to part it out. Replaced a rear body panel section and it was a pain in the ass to remove and basically impossible to get aligned like original. Not to mention expensive.

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I’m going to play the “Devil’s Advocate” and say restore it. I have done several restorations including one listed now on Ebay.

You have the interest. You have the electrical knowledge. The Forum may have their own motivation to want you to scrape it for parts. It’s a learning experience. Seat upholstery can be done locally and customized. The body parts are all available. The source I use is “Alicia” at “Gem of Miami”. They have all the parts on line.

She’s super sweet to talk to and many of the parts are drop shipped from Waev headquarters in Anaheim Ca. Pulling off broken plastic parts require heat and time but new parts glue back perfectly. (As long as the frame is straightened correctly) And I think market price after restoration is at least $10k. If you need a 2016-2022 Service Manuel I could probably dig it up for you.
Trust me, you will swell with pride when turning the key, hearing the click of the contactor and seeing the swing of the speedometer needle!!