The adventure of turning an old golf cart into a useful farm tool!
Bringing tools back to life is something we love to do on the farm. Many older tools are much better than what you can get in the store today! We are always on the look out for tools to rebuild to make things easier on the farm!
Early last year we were offered a golf cart to rebuild. We were super excited about this project, but this golf cart needed some serious love. Unfortunately, the Northeast Ohio winter got the best of the golf cart, and there was a leak in on the golf cart batteries. It goes without saying, we had our work cut out for us!
The Clean Up
Our first step before we could do anything with the golf cart rebuild was to completely clean down the golf cart, and see it was even fixable. We had to be very careful because of the battery acid that had leaked out in the battery compartment of the golf cart. Everything was completely dry at this point, but you still need to be super careful with battery acid, scary stuff!
We coated all the old batteries in baking soda. Baking soda neutralizes the battery acid, and made it safer for us to get the batteries out of the golf cart. We didn’t have to worry about removing the wires on the golf cart, because they had worn through, and fell out for us!
We disposed of the old batteries properly, and learned quickly how heavy golf cart batteries are! Golf cart battery straps are a must! At this point, we were a little worried about this rebuild, there was a lot of damage on the side, but we powered on.
After the old batteries were gone, we did a full inspection on the golf cart. Surprisingly, everything on the golf cart was in pretty good condition besides a little damage in the battery compartment, which was totally fixable.
The tires though flat, were still very usable, and all the rest of the wiring was in very good condition. After the inspection was complete, we took our trusty power washer, and gave the golf cart a good scrubbing, it was really starting to come together!
The Great Battery Search
The biggest challenge we had with the golf cart rebuild was finding batteries that wouldn’t break the budget. There are some very good golf cart batteries out there, but they were way outside of our farm budget! We even considered at one point converting the golf cart to solar powered!
We looked at getting some used batteries that had been refurbished but still the cost was pretty high. During a by chance visit to our local Sam’s Club, we were able to find our golf cart batteries at a really good cost! We needed 6 batteries total, and did I mention they are heavy?
The golf cart was coming along, got the batteries, all the batteries wires, golf cart was super clean now. It was time for putting this “new ride” together!
It took us about a day to get everything together on the golf cart. We had to carefully place the batteries in the cart, make sure the initial damage wasn’t going to be an issue. Luckily we were good to go!
We then had to very, very carefully connect the wires inside the golf cart. There was very specific steps to connecting the batteries. I can’t tell you how many articles we read about batteries exploding, that made for a nervous morning!
Once everything was together, we put the key in the ignition, and we heard a noise but nothing happened. We doubled checked everything, and the golf cart wasn’t moving, just beeping! To say we were bummed was an understatement.
Grizz to the Rescue!
We quickly did a ton of research to see if anyone had any advice. Being a daughter of a car mechanic who used to work on golf carts, we got some advice from my dad. Went online and dug all over the place to see if there was a fix. We had a little thought of what it may be, but we just weren’t sure!
What saved the project was our dear friend Grizz. After digging around in the heat, and running a few tests, he could see it was the solenoid, which thank goodness was an easy part to get, and a quick fix! Oh and by the way, we guessed it was the solenoid too, yay!
After the solenoid was put in, we put the seat down, and carefully put the key back in. The golf cart zoomed out of the barn, and drove perfectly! We were so incredibly excited! Our “chicken mobile” was alive! We made sure now that the golf cart was running to grease all the bearings, and we put the golf cart to work! We even added a seat cover to the golf cart!
It’s amazing how much quicker are barn chores are now that we have the cart to drive across the property between the barn and chicken coop. The flock has even grown to know that when the golf cart shows up, its food time!
Grizz even helped us make the golf cart even better by attaching on a tow hitch and added a dump cart! We are beyond thankful and blessed with this amazing farm tool!
It has now been a year since we rebuilt the golf cart, and we couldn’t be happier with its performance. The golf cart holds charge great, puts up with some bumpy terrain, and is a tremendous help on the farm! Sometimes I work from the golf cart by the pond, it is so lovely!
Hopefully we have given some inspiration to rebuild a tool, maybe you have thinking about. It is so rewarding when you see that “new” tool in action!