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New York Nick
New York Nick GRM+ Memberand Reader
3/31/21 6:50 a.m.

This is going to be one of those build threads that is about something that is already done… Except nothing is ever really done. I am writing this for a few reasons: 1-proud of it so I want to show people what I did 2- maybe someone can learn from my mistakes and cut right to version 2.0 and 3- I am always adding or changing things so if I give you the background on how I am where I am maybe the hive can help in future changes.

So here is the almost the end picture was taken in 2019, I have added some things since then and I will get to that.


It started in September of 2016. My son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, that was a lot to swallow and I was looking for something to keep my mind occupied that was low $ and fit in my single car garage. I had a gate from a trailer that I built that was too heavy for the trailer, I found a beat lawnmower on Craigslist for $50, the project was born…  People ask me all the time “how did you think of it?” I don’t really know, I have seen the peddle bars before so that had to play a role somewhere but there was no aha moment that I can pin point. The name Magic Carpet was because my original idea was the table was just a piece of jewelry on top of the machine, it isn’t structural, you can just take it off. Since then I have added wiring to it and the fuel tank so that wouldn’t be as easy to remove now. Originally I thought of it as a utility vehicle, going to a yard? Just take this and you could put a whole engine and trans on it, or bales of hay or whatever. Kind of like one of these cargo bikes.


New York Nick
New York Nick GRM+ Memberand Reader
3/31/21 10:56 a.m.

My original plan was to use an industrial picnic table that I had picked out of the junk pile and put the engine and transaxle from the mower on the back of it to drive it. I bought the mower, cut it to pieces, laid it all out, realized the transaxle would not hold the weight so I built extensions and pillow block bearings to carry the weight, great theory, poor execution and goes to show that because you can make it work in SolidWorks it doesn’t mean you can make it work. There was nothing to flex here so it was impossible to align with the garage floor build tolerances.

Then I went to put the wheels on and they didn’t fit!


So weld, and cut and fit and then there was clearance. After the back was able to hold it’s own weight I went on to the front steering…

New York Nick
New York Nick GRM+ Memberand Reader
3/31/21 1:25 p.m.

sorry for the multiple posts, I am trying to put in a section when I have the time.

With the design having a rear end with no suspension I went out to make the front end. I put a pivot in the middle so it didn’t lift one wheel and stop moving. I was also trying to do this with scraps and leftovers and things I had in my garage so I took trailer axle stubs and welded bar stock on both sides then drilled a hole, installed bushing and that was the steering. I figured it would be ok due to the low speeds.

This was changed later due to a total redesign of the back but at this time this is where I was.


New York Nick
New York Nick GRM+ Memberand Reader
3/31/21 1:29 p.m.

It was about this time that I rolled it outside looked at it, thought it was hideous and then I realized I was going to get someone killed. This thing was several hundred lbs with no one on it. I was planning on enough room for 6 people so let’s say max weight was 2,000 lbs. The brake on a lawnmower is maybe 2” in diameter and there is one. If I ever tried to go down a hill there was way too good of a chance of loosing it and I couldn’t live with that.

New York Nick
New York Nick GRM+ Memberand Reader
3/31/21 1:35 p.m.

So I went back to the drawing board and I was lucky enough to come up with this gem. I am not sure what happened to this golf cart but it was hit hard, the front suspension was gone, the block was cracked from the impact, it was rough. It was priced as such though (free) and I thought this will solve the brake problem, it gives me a quiet motor and a CVT and rear suspension. So I went to cutting it up and making it fit and fixing the block and replacing the broken pieces (like the carb).

New York Nick
New York Nick GRM+ Memberand Reader
3/31/21 1:42 p.m.

Then I cut off all the old rear drive and grafted the golf cart onto the back of the magic carpet. I clamped it in place and then made plates for the frame rails, welded those to the old trailer gate and drilled through to mount the golf cart frame to the trailer gate. This worked great, I had suspension and real brakes and things were looking up.

Remember the pivoting front axle? Well that became a mess because the thing rolled back and forth like a little boat in high waves. I welded blocks in to make it stop listing, Maybe I should have done a sway bar or shocks or something but I didn’t But now it was a roller again and I could almost drive it.

1SlowVW HalfDork
3/31/21 6:16 p.m.

Really cool project. 

Also as a 25 year type 1 vet, with 20 years on a pump and 3 years on sensors if you want to ask anything just pm me. 

jimbob_racing SuperDork
3/31/21 6:39 p.m.

Great project.

New York Nick
New York Nick GRM+ Memberand Reader
3/31/21 6:49 p.m.

In reply to 1SlowVW :

Thank you. I really appreciate that. The initial shock was tough but we have dealt with it and my son does great, Mrs NYN and I are very proud of him. It's always nice to have someone to talk to that's in it as well. 

1SlowVW HalfDork
3/31/21 7:18 p.m.

In reply to New York Nick :

Now that I am a parent I can't imagine how I would react if my own child was diagnosed . 
That being said treatment options now have come so far. It's the best time ever to have diabetes and it will only get easier to manage from here on out.


New York Nick
New York Nick GRM+ Memberand Reader
4/1/21 7:55 a.m.

Now that I had it rolling I had to deal with the wiring. At this point it was how to put the minimum in to make it run so I replaced the key with a toggle switch and sorted out the rats nest. I also had to find a place for the battery, and the fuel tank.

I built this little shelf to go over the engine, I figured that it would hold up the required bits and then I would build a cover for them later. It also gave a structure to enclose the engine.

New York Nick
New York Nick GRM+ Memberand Reader
4/1/21 7:58 a.m.

I was starting to see light at the end of the tunnel, I got it to run, I finished up the front steering and made a place for the pedals. 

When I used to build custom machinery the shop guys would call this part “pound to fit, paint to match”! It always looks closer to done after this.

New York Nick
New York Nick GRM+ Memberand Reader
4/1/21 9:29 a.m.

This shows the next major step, I built a standard box store picnic table with a few mods to make it fit my frame, stole Mrs. NYN’s umbrella and went for a ride. This time period was plagued with constant break downs, long story of electric and mechanical fuel pumps but the final answer was ditch the fuel tank that is shown on there and replace it with a little bottom drain tank from a snowblower. Tom at Tom’s small engines gave me one and laughed as I told him it was for my picnic table. I put that on mounted directly to the table and I have never had an engine problem since.

As you can see it is still pretty ugly, ugly wheels, umbrella too big, table not stained but making forward progress.

It started to get prettier around this time. Nothing can change the look of something faster than a set of wheels! I spent more on the wheels than I had in the whole machine to this point but it was worth all $450. I stained the table and I was pretty happy with that. This is another umbrella, I have learned a lot about umbrellas, this table goes 19 mph, at that speed the umbrella takes some wind load, it also moves around on bumps and stuff so the pole is taking a beating too. I have learned more about umbrellas than I ever thought possible.

New York Nick
New York Nick GRM+ Memberand Reader
4/1/21 11:05 a.m.

Now that it was completely drivable and trouble free I started to work on some more fun projects. I added lights with turn signals and 4 ways and added a head light. It also improved the on off switch was a little vulnerable out in the weather. At the same time I built a new rear bumper out of some garage scraps that looked a little nicer (IMO) than the original golf cart bumper. I used it like that for the summer of 2020, no issues, felt safer while driving since I could use turn signals and the cooler was semi-permanently mounted. That cooler is used more as a trunk than a cooler. Here is the wiring of the lights, I mounted it all under the table so I could run it while I drove but you don’t really see it.

Here are the turn signals on the front. These are motorcycle LED turn signals from Amazon, they are really bright even in full sunlight, getting the flash rate right was a bit of a trick but I added the inline resistor and haven’t had any problems.

And here is the rear bumper with the lights

Over the summer there were several times I wanted to either take my bike rack or pull a trailer or build a grill to tow around so I added this trailer hitch.

This post is now up to date so there is no more history part, just the current events.

californiamilleghia SuperDork
4/1/21 11:14 a.m.

Cool build , 

better umbrellas  have  a "skirt" at the top that lets the air out when its windy , 

makes it less of a kite :)

New York Nick
New York Nick GRM+ Memberand Reader
4/1/21 12:30 p.m.

In reply to californiamilleghia :

Yep, I finally landed on one of those with a rugged metal pole. I haven't had a problem with that one yet.

New York Nick
New York Nick GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/3/21 1:31 p.m.

1:1 with my boss today:

Boss "How are you? How was the long weekend, what did you do?"

Me: "I put new springs in my picnic table because I overloaded it and shorted the starter on the firewall."

Boss: "I guess you don't hear that everyday."

Yep. I put 6 people on it and went up a good size hill, when I did we noticed sparks coming out of the engine cover, pulled over and a quick check showed nothing obvious, ran it in neutral with no issues. So we got back on and went back down the hill and home (no further issues). I took the engine cover off and it was pretty obvious, Too much weight and it put the starter / generator terminals on the firewall and caused sparking. I am shocked that it all still works. I put some new heavy duty springs in and I can't seem to put enough weight on it to do that anymore. 

I'm thinking about putting a wood piece or rubber piece on the firewall in case I find a way to compress it that far again.

MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
6/3/21 2:58 p.m.
New York Nick said:

Because you can make it work in SolidWorks it doesn’t mean you can make it work.


New York Nick
New York Nick GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/3/21 5:25 p.m.

In reply to MadScientistMatt :

You would think after 20 years in machine design I would be more skeptical but when you are playing with your money sometimes you try the long shot!

New York Nick
New York Nick GRM+ Memberand Reader
9/23/21 4:00 p.m.

I have an electrical problem and I could use some help. 

This is basically a Club Car Precedent with a strange extension kit so this is a golf cart question.

The family and I were out for a ride last weekend. We drove a few miles without issues, stopped a couple of times during that and it started and stopped fine. We stopped in a parking lot and I shut it off (like turned the key off but it just has a toggle switch instead of a key). I started trouble shooting, I checked the toggle switch power on one side but not the other until it is turned on and then power on both sides. I checked the pedal circuit and it opens and closes when the throttle is applied. Fuses are good, no loose connections that I could find. Here is where I am lost.

The Solenoid has power from the battery and not to the starter (as it should I think). On the low power side it has battery voltage on both sides. I checked continuity across the low power side and it has it, checked across the high power and it doesn't (which seems correct). But then I checked continuity from the high power side to the low power side and it has it???

Is this telling me the Solenoid is bad or is this point to a control circuit problem?

If anyone has any suggestions how to troubleshoot I am all ears.



Folgers New Reader
9/25/21 5:04 p.m.

If I’m reading right, you have a no crank condition?

Is there a diode or resistor on any of the solenoid terminals?

no crank is usually solenoid, micro switch, or starter problem. In that order.

Tap the solenoid with a hammer handle while some one else presses and releases the go pedal. 

Bypass the micro switches with a paper clip. 

Turn the engine a little by hand and press the go pedal. It could have a dead spot.

The remove the brush covers and see what they look like. They shouldn’t be more than a quarter inch below the top of their holders. Take a peak at the commutator while there.  Should be smooth and shiny.

New York Nick
New York Nick GRM+ Memberand Reader
9/25/21 5:43 p.m.

In reply to Folgers :

I took the solenoid out and bench tested it. It functioned right. I have bypassed all the microswitches. I'll try to turn the engine by hand to see what happens. I can also pull the starter generator and check it out. 
It appears to have control power on the solenoid (12v on both sides of the coil) 12v going on in he high power side and just bleed through voltage on the starter side (2.2v). When you press the gas pedal you would hear a click from the engine compartment. Now there is no click. I took the micro switch off the foot pedal and tested that too and it seems good. 
I'll try turning the engine and checking the brushes. 
Thank you for the advice!

New York Nick
New York Nick GRM+ Memberand Reader
9/25/21 9:44 p.m.

I turned it by hand and still no dice. I can't work on it for a few days but when I get back I'll get back on it. 

Folgers New Reader
9/27/21 5:05 p.m.

I’m not sure how you modified the harness, but there is a nine or twelve pin connector (depending on year) that would have plugged into the dash sub harness behind the dash.

I have seen the wire rot off the pin in this connector. Take the connector apart look for melting or corrosion. Tug on the wires. 

Just something to check...

New York Nick
New York Nick GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
10/9/21 10:22 a.m.

I dug in a little deeper. I jumped the solenoid with a screw driver and it turns over fine so I think the starter and brushes are fine. 

I cut the IP control connector off and it is all hard wired now. I have also removed all of the limit switches for forward / neutral and reverse.

I started tracing wires and I get to this thing below, I think it is a capacitor? It has power on one side and no power on the other. I looked through the wiring diagram for the golf cart I started with and I don't see it. 

any idea what this little part is and how to test it? I also put a picture of the base wiring diagram. I started with a 2006 Club Car Precedent  

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