Differential repair or replacement?

Just rescued a neglected 2002 4-seater GEM car, and brought it back from the dead with new batteries and a Ride-4-Fun charger. Now I have a lot of noise from the differential during deceleration, and initial inspection reveals side-to-side slop at the point that the half shafts attach to the differential. Grabbing either shaft at the differential and pulling front to back (side-to-side if looking from the side of the car) reveals about 1/8" of slop in the bearings. Is there a source of parts for these, or is it best to just buy a new/rebuilt diff? Is repair of a differential something that can be done with normal mechanical skills, or are these things too much of a pain to work on?

Rodney rebuilds them and will tell you what’s involved.
I’ll invite him to comment.

Rebuilding transmissions is not a easy task. You do need some specialized tools and if your not ready to torque everything to spec and spacing or have the know how to do it then it’s best left to people that know how to do it. It’s a job or project you don’t wanna have to re-do.

Ok. Thanks to both of you for the responses. Looks like I’ll leave it to the pros.

These gear boxes are easy to work on and there is a step by step procedure and parts list in this forum. If you have that much slop in the output shaft bearings you would no longer have any oil left in the gear box. I have never seen one with the condition you describe. Check the oil level first Then do the procedure below first.

If the noise on deceleration is a rumm rummm rumm and not a grinding noise I suggest you pull the motor and replace the rubber bumper in the end of the motor shaft. I add a dime behind the bumper on older carts to give a tad more tension than stock. Your only out 10 bucks and a half hours work to do this.

I have service manuals for most years. Email me at rodneyadiehl@aol.com

We just bought a 1999 Gem and have a grinding sound on deceleration. I have checked around and there’s no service center near me in mission Texas or Port Aransas Tx which are the two places we have the Gem. Is this something a regular car mechanic can take care of? I love the little gem but am afraid it is unsafe with this grinding sound?

Thanks for the advice OH. Email sent requesting the service manual. Any pointers on where to purchase the motor shaft bumper you are referring to? Or a source for differential parts? Google is not helping me much…

Rebuilding the differential is an easy task for anyone with basic mechanical skills. The bearings are all available from several online sources, as are the gears and seals from EZGO. I changed the gear ratio in mine, so I had to use a machine shop to press the old gear off and the new one on. But a simple rebuild doesn’t include this step.
Rodney can supply the parts list and a copy of the shop manual. It’s probably posted somewhere on this new website, but I certainly can’t find it (or anything else for that matter).

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Go here for rebuild procedure:


Polaris Cub Car or Ez Go Dealer Ask for GE motor rubber bumper

In a message dated 3/28/2017 8:35:26 A.M. US Eastern Daylight Time,
electricforum@discoursemail.com writes:

     _bdeangelo_ (https://community.electricforum.com/users/bdeangelo)  

March 28
Thanks for the advice OH. Email sent requesting the service manual. Any
pointers on where to purchase the motor shaft bumper you are referring to?
Or a source for differential parts? Google is not helping me much…

Mine had a grinding sound, it ended up being my bearings. If it was the gear box I would expect jumping and problems accelerating. I love in Corpus Christi and have done all the work on mine.

Would you be interested in working on our when we come back in December? Sounds like you know the car well😬

I would, I know how it feels when no one in your area can help. Mine are 2005 and 2009, a little newer than yours. If you can buy the maintenance manual online that would be helpful. Here is my email anthony@hopcorpus.com

I buy all bearings and seals on Ebay


I use locateballbearings.com for bearings. You can choose the quality/price of the bearings you need. Prices are very competitive and shipping is fast enough.

Great! Thank you😊. We won’t be back until December but I will contact you then. I appreciate your help.

Can any of you knowledgeable ones recommend anyone in Utah (northern) that can help fixing a gearbox?

Hi old houseboater, where might get rubber numbers?