Note when buying a GEM car

What a Difference the Year Makes

Because the exterior look of the cars has remained largely unchanged, it is easy to mistakenly assume that all model years are basically the same. Knowing what has changed over the years will help you make an informed decision–and determine a reasonable price.

When searching for a pre-owned GEM, the most common year you’ll find is 2002. The 2002 vehicle had some substantial upgrades over the 2001 model year, including an upgraded 5 HP motor and a new charger. In years following 2002, GEM made more gradual, but still significant, changes.

Here are some highlights of the hundreds of changes made over the years: In 2003, the vehicles were given a number of braking and charging upgrades. An automotive-style acceleration pedal, improved ride and handling, a new digital display, and easier steering were several of the changes made in 2004. After a major design review by Chrysler’s automotive engineers in 2005, the new Delta-Q charger was added, steering and suspension were both improved, and a number of other enhancements were made. In 2006 GEM introduced many new and enhanced options, including improved doors and bumpers, a stake-back bed, and more. 2006 also marked the introduction of the e6 six-passenger vehicle. Fast charging was added as an option in 2007, and steering effort was again reduced.*

Many people shy away from the earliest vehicles because of the major improvements made in 2002. But some sellers may lead you to believe that their 2001 is really a 2002. Typically, a 2002 vehicle sells for about $1,000 more than a 2001, so make sure you know what you’re buying. Later models sell for somewhat more, depending on the year.

Before you buy a vehicle, verify the date of manufacture on the VIN sticker. This sticker is often located on the inside roof, just above the rear window.

Note the VIN fifth# the model J=shortbed… K= longbed… G=passenger (2 or 4)… 7th# voltage… 3=36volt… 4=48volt…7=72volt…10th# year W-Y are ’98-2000… 1=’01… 2=’02 and forward

I also found calling GEM customer service on the GEM car I wanted … giving them the VIN that they were able to tell me if the recalls had been done and how many owners there had been on the car… that was when GEM was Chrysler am sure Polaris will do the same


[QUOTE=eS GEM Colo;13364]<snip>Because the exterior look of the cars has remained largely unchanged, it is easy to mistakenly assume that all model years are basically the same. Knowing what has changed over the years will help you make an informed decision–and determine a reasonable price. </snip>


[B]Here is the entire article for those of you who
would like to see the whole thing… LincolNEV: Buying A Pre-Owned GEM[/B]

thanks LUV… I wasn’t trying to take the credit for the post… I carry that piece to give a person looking at my car a little more information as the continue their look for a GEM car… I’ll add the link to my paper as well… think it’s good information


No worries Bob, I just thought it made for good reading. Good info for someone looking to purchase a GEM. :slight_smile:

Hi, looking at some e6s. The guy I am looking at buying one from has '06, '09, '15s. The delta in price is ~$2K. any advice on the years? Is a '15 better than an '06?

But ask the guys that know.
@grantwest @LithiumGods

A 15 is gonna be the BEST classic body gem you can buy. I dont care what the price diff is It’s worth it.

Thanks @grantwest Mind if I ask what makes the '15 better? Besides its newer curious as to the differences other than the seats. The units I’m looking at have been used in giving tours and things so have ~5K -10K miles on them. I have a golf cart but my family has outgrown a 4 seater so looking at these e6s as a way to have something to scoot around the neighborhood and run local errands in.

Well the best “classic” Gem Cars Ya know (The Original. Body cars) are 2013-2015 I’m 2016 they switched.

The 2013-2015 have a entirely New/front end, Brakes, A-Arms, Frame and lay out up front. The rear is different as well, but most of the improvements are In the front. They stop, and ride and turn better.

A 2004-2012 are all the same suspension wise .

Thanks @grantwest. How hard is it to find parts for these (regardless of years)?

Well the 2013 besides the suspension used all the same running parts (the stuff that breaks) As the 2008 and Up. So parts area are easy

2014-2015 used a T-5 controller and a Advanced (black Motor) all other years used a GE motor . I have been told a T-4 car will run on a T-5 controller and Vjce -Versa

Is one of those motors better than another?

@grantwest which one will work best for an a.c. motor?

I am not @grantwest but…
2004 - 1012 all have RamHorns
2013 - 2015 no RamHorns
So for ease of fix it would be 13’ - 15’ as you don’t have to worry about any fitment issues.
04’ - 13’ - some fit with no problem others you need to cut the RamHorn

@grantwest ?

I agree if you have a 2006- 2012 you better own a Hack saw if you want a AC conversion

2013-2015 no hack saw needed

I have been about 50/50 with luck on the motor fitting without cutting the RamHorn (‘08 - 13’) . I have personally done six of them, Three I had to cut, three fit right in.

Why do the ram horns need to be cut some but not others? Is it because your using different motors or because the GEMs are all built a little different leaving some with space and others without?

I think the GEM’s are hand assembled and each one is just a little different. Same motor on all the installs the the GEM frames have different clearances. Just barely.

No experience here, BUT can’t you loosen trans bolts until motor is in? Then see if the holes are close.
A couple washers at the mount should move the end of motor 1/2".
Wishful thinking?