Flooded on Sanibel

I have (had?) a 2002 E825 on Sanibel. It was our going to the beach car and we loved it. It was submerged in 6 ft of water during Ian. I had considered making this a project car and upgrading the motor/batteries/brakes/wheels/tires. I not sure I want to put any money into the cart after that kind of water. I have two questions for the forum. Would it be a bad idea putting money into a cart that was submerged in 6 ft of sea water? If I need to get rid of the cart is there a golf cart/LSV salvage in SW FL that will come get it?

This is a tough one.
I hate to see a car get scrapped, but to get it back running will take quite a bit of work and cash.

It might depend on what was done to it after it was submerged. If you got to it right away and gave it a complete freshwater wash/flush and maybe a good spray of diesel or a complete dip in WD-40 there might be a chance to salvage some of the components but if it was a while before you got out there and with limited resources directed elsewhere I doubt the car was such a high priority.

I started to list the things that would need swapping and the list was growing huge.

Instead, it would be shorter to list the items that might be salvaged.
Gearbox? - If flushed out with new oil and checked.
Motor - If flushed out right away. will need a rebuild.
Drive axles - How are the boots?
Windshield -
DC Converter - If updated Surepower unit.
Was Charger updated to DQ? Pull the lid off and check for water. If Zivan- It will be toast.

IF you get this running, it may not be very reliable as EVERY connection will be in question. From the charger plug to the Brake light holder, The Accel pedal to the Blinker switch.

Far better to cut your losses now and go look for a deal on a Gen 2 car from out of state.

It’s a 2002. Ask @JarJarJava :wink:


Im working in a flooded Moke From Ian.

I took it as a project from a client to learn,
so far I’ve replaced

Main harness hv with fuse box
12v harness with fusebox that goes all the way to the tail lights
Dc dc converter
Speed controller
Motor had to be opened and I’ve saved it
Phase wires
Gearbox rebuild
FR stick shift
Brake pedal switch
Key switch

Still missing

Tail lights led
Power steering

if your gem was newer it could make sense to fix but being a 2002 you should let it go and start fresh with a newer model. 2006 and up you’ll have better brakes better suspension and overall
A better ride, easy to work car.

Now @JarJarJava can give you his opinion :slightly_smiling_face:


hmm, do you have any dry dynamite? :wink:

But hey, glass, body panels, trunkback, skylight and tires/wheels could be useful to others.
Rodney might need a motor to rebuild and have in stock depending on which one is in there.
Aluminum frame is worth something at recycle center.

Sorry for your loss. You might contact Nick at goelectricavenue. He’s always picking up parts cars.


So in order to answer your questions, we need some background information first.

Is this cart sentimental to you?
Was it salvaged with a tractor or bulldozer?
Do you have access to a large supply of cardboard or newspaper to dry it out?
Do you have access to hydrogen peroxide and silver?
Do you own any guns?
Is this a 2000 to 2004 gem?

If you answered yes, to any of the above you should shoot it, light it on fire, crush it with a bulldozer and shoot the pieces into a decaying orbit around the sun.


But where does the sentimental part factor in?
Does he get to save the wiper arm for the garage wall?

The steering wheel.

I appreciate the feedback (and the humor). I’m going to have it towed off.

You made a difficult choice, probably the right one. My E2 wasn’t sunk, but I’ve spent a lot of time repairing electrics on a big boat that sunk only for a short time in fresh-water. It is a huge time and money sink, and not as gratifying as you might hope for those investments. Kudos, now you can move on and have fun on your next beach transport.

I’m redoing 3 now that flooded in Naples. 2014-2018 so there values are high when finished. Complete PITA. Don’t know if I will have the energy to finish the 3rd.

I can’t even wrap my head around this task.
Depending on how far under it went, How far do you go?
Electrical is obvious. Some things might be saved if serviced.
Did the PSDM get wet?
Seat belt winders?
Brakes/wheel bearings?
Shoot! even the lug nuts should probably come off and get a squirt of spray lube or you might not get them off next year.


I wonder how many Florida Flooded Gems will make their way back on to the Used market, with out the people knowing they were flooded cars.

Here in California we only have 2 possible titles
Clean & Salvage that’s it. You can’t clean a title like you can in other states.

Most of the Ian flooded Gems At the auction come with Certificate of destruction afaik there is no legal way to put them back on the road only for parts

Yes most are cod. There is a local guy here that repaired one and is trying to sell it. Has a bunch of money in it and it can’t ever be titled. I bought back mine from the insurance company and it will have a salvage title. My 2018 water came up half way on the engine. contactor and bcm have been replaced, sevcon and dc converter tested good so far. I’m sure there will be more things that will need replacing. I wouldn’t attempt one that had water over psdm, Had an option for a few of them and passed

For me

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Too bad there is a way to get a “clean” title for a Salvage or “Cert of Destruction” title. Be very careful of buying a used GEM for the next while. A “Salted” car, boat, plane will always be a big problem. I know from bad experience. The salt gets into the wire/insulation space and every high humidity day a little more water gets sucked into the wire and the corrosion keeps on eating the wire. Underwater marine wire even goes bad. It is not for underwater use. So know who you are buying from and where your used GEM came from. Can you title search the car? I don’t know. I have been watching the auctions for the Many GEMs being insurance auctioned off in South/east Florida. Looks like three buyers end up with these units. They hopefully sell the plastic parts and frame parts that are ok for reuse.

A salvage title can be inspected and put back on the road. COD or Certificate of Destruction cannot. COD means the vehicle is for parts only. With that said, I have seen several GEMs in the Post-Ian hurricane auctions go for incredible amounts of money. MOKEs going for $8500 and GEMS for $6500, both with COD. Gorgeous coaches, but you can’t tag them or insure them. l suspect either people are uninformed or they live off grid and don’t need plates or insurance.
Looks like Tampa area is tough on crime including driving golf cart without tags. Holy cow even when it comes to the Police chief No one is above the law!

I picked up 2 GEMs with salvage titles. I could post the restoration stages if anyone is interested. This E6 with skyroof is the first one I have started to work on. This 2022 E6 came from Spyglass lane in Naples. a $10 million house! It had no power. So far I am pleasantly surprized at how watertight polaris connection are. There was absolutely no water that had penetrated any electric connections.
But you wil see that trombetta 48V connection had electrolysis occur. Copper electons were taken away in the salt solution. The salt water dissolved the cable end and the terminal post.

I have decided to use a Star brite “Salt Off” concentrate with a sprayer to neutralize the salt water effect on the aluminum surfaces. I don’t know what others are using. So far the Trombetta and the Master shut off harness in the front of the coach (which was cut I assume to disable and make it safe) had to be replaced. Trombetta was $175, wiring harness 2413204 was $26.00. Odometer now reads 500 miles.


The “sealed” frame rails on the 16+ gems apparently aren’t always.

@grantwest found issues with his new style GEMs with water getting inside one or both of voids inside the frame rails (a cross section of the rail looks like an 8 on an old LED segmented display). This happened after some heavy rains in NorCal. Can only imagine what submersion would do.

Theres a whole thread on it here somewhere. Most of it is us razzing him, that alone should make it worth the read… :rofl:

You can also find his videos on it on youtube. He uploads under the same nane.