What Year Is My Harley Davidson Golf Cart?

Harley Davidson Golf Cart DE

The serial VIN number can be a bit confusing and arcane. Columbia ParCar built the carts after 1982 and the name Harley Davidson was removed completely in 1983. Since the parts are rare and usually expensive when found, it is VITAL to know the year and model of the cart you are working on.

What year is my Harley Davidson Golf Cart? The year and model are easily found using the tables below. Here are the steps to finding the serial locations, translations, and corresponding charts to identify your Harley Davidson golf cart.

Finding The Serial Plate

The design on these carts was the rear end of the buggy can be lifted upward. The rear end is on a hinge and can be raised up to allow the owner to work on the engine and chassis. The company was starting to produce battery operated vehicles at this time but were never as popular as the gas-powered models. The hinge feature allowed easy access to both gas powered-engines and battery-powered carts. 

Another collectible version is the older model HD with a steering wheel instead of the usual chrome tiller bar that had become common on the golf courses. The most popular carts they produced were the 3-wheel versions. The older models bearing the Harley Davidson name have become very collectible, but the parts have become scarce. 

To determine the year of your cart you will need to find the serial number. On carts with a lift-up body, it is located on a data plate mounted on the upper frame rail on the right or left side near the rear wheel. On electric models, DE40 and MGIV without lift up bodies, the serial number is located on a data plate under the driver’s seat towards the passenger side.

Finding And Decoding The Year On The AMF Harley Davidson Golf Cart

All carts made in the 1960’s use the first two digits of the serial to denote the year and the next two are the model as in this example: 65D90025 This VIN would indicate that the cart was made in 1965 and is a model D (Gas Cart). If your cart was built in the 1970s or 1980s, it will reflect this format:

7C 12234 H6

This VIN indicates it was made by Harley Davidson in 1976 (H6) and is a 4-wheel Gas model D4 (7C). 1982 was the LAST year that Harley Davidson produced a golf cart.

The letter H = the ’70s or J = the ’80s shows the cart was manufactured by Harley Davidson The letter C means the ’80s and D means the ’90s designating Columbia as the manufacturer. The last number indicates the year of the decade.

Harley Davidson Gas and Electric Carts
Gasoline Golf Cart
DEElectric Golf Cart3-Wheel
DFGasoline Personnel Carrier3-Wheel
DEFElectric Personnel Carrier
Gasoline Utilicar3-Wheel
DECElectric Utilicar3-Wheel
D4Gasoline Golf Cart4-Wheel (DX4 '82 on)
DE4Electric Golf Cart4-Wheel (DEX4 '82 on)
MG IVElectric Master Glide IV4-Wheel
1963-1969First 3 Digits XXD
First 4 Digits XXDE
3 Wheel Gas
3 Wheel Electric
1970-1979Hx (i.e. H1=1971, H3=1973, etc.)
3B3 Wheel Gas D3
4B'71-76= 3-Wheel Electric D3
'77-83= 3-Wheel Electric DE3
7C4 Wheel Gas D4
8C4-Wheel Electric DE4
8D4-Wheel Electric DE-40 76-78
1980-1982Jx (i.e. J1=1981, J2=1982, etc.)
3B3 Wheel Gas D3
4B3-Wheel Electric DE3
7C4 Wheel Gas D4
3K4 Wheel gas D4 80's classic
8D4 Wheel electric MG IV Challenger
5K4 Wheel Gas DX4 '82
Chart continues with Columbia/Par Car after 1983
1983-1989C3-C9 (i.e. C3=1983)
3B3-Wheel Gas D3
4B3-Wheel Electric DE3
5K4-Wheel Gas DX4
6K4-Wheel Electric DEX4
7KGas Utility
8KElectric Challenger
9KElectric Utility DE4
2L4-Wheel Gas P4G
3L4-Wheel Electric P4E
1990-1995Dx (i.e. D4=1994)
2L4-Wheel Gas P4G
3L4-Wheel Electric
5K4-Wheel Gas Classic
6K4-Wheel Electric Classic
7K4-Wheel Gas Utility
9K4-Wheel Electric Utility
2M4-Wheel Electric Shuttle
3M4-Wheel Gas Shuttle
BE4-Wheel Gas
4E4-Wheel Electric

Further identification can be done on electric models by comparing the solenoid arrangement on the firewall of the vehicle. This is a broad range of vehicles and doesn’t pinpoint an exact year, but sometimes the serial tag is missing or just too corroded to be of any use.

Solenoid Arrangement For Harley Davidson Golf Cart DE 1966-68
Solenoid Arrangement For Harley Davidson Golf Cart DE 1966-68
Solenoid Arrangement For Harley Davidson Golf Cart DE 1967-71


Model & YearWheel Base (inches)Length (inches)Width (inches)Overall Height (inches)Ground Clearance (inches)Weight (lbs.)
36 - 1965 only
1977 and Later
1977 and Later

Harley Davidson Golf Cart History

The Harley Davidson Motorcycle Company started making golf carts in 1963, the same year William Davidson joined the company. The first carts were 3-wheel vehicles and in 1970, they added the 4-wheel versions.

In 1969 Harley Davidson was acquired by American Machine and Foundry Company (AMF) and in 1971 they changed their name to AMF. Carts were first labeled with the AMF logo in 1972. AMF continued production until 1981 when Columbia ParCar purchased the Harley Davidson golf car division. Columbia dropped the Harley Davidson Name in 1982

What else does Columbia own? In 1951 Merle and Peggy Williams started manufacturing golf carts under the name Marketeer and sold the company to Westinghouse in 1965. Westinghouse sold this division to Nordskog in 1978 and following the death of Bob Nordskog in 1993, the company was sold to U.S.Electricar. Legend Electric Vehicles purchased U.S.Electricar in 1996 and was in turn purchased by Columbia ParCar in 1999.

In Conclusion

Harley Davidson is world-renowned for the iconic motorcycle, but most are unaware of the awesome golf cart line that began in the ’60s. Harley Davidson produced the golf cart for 19 years total, and the distinctive ” Classic” body style changed very little those years. They began with a 3-wheeled machine (and later introduced a 4-wheel version). In 1963, the powerplant was a 245 cc dual cycle single-cylinder air-cooled engine and used oil mixed with gas. 

After AMF sold the Harley-Davidson line of golf carts to Columbia Par Car in 1982, the specifications of the engine changed slightly. It was still a 245-cubic-centimeter, two-cycle, single-cylinder engine, but the piston specs changed. The standard piston diameter remained 2.739 inches, the piston fit in the cylinder was .006 to .007 inches, and changed to .004 to .005 inches, the piston ring end gap was .007 to .017 inches and changed to .007 to .023 inches. The piston ring side clearance was .002 to .004 and changed to .0025 to .0045 inches.

These golf carts both use high-quality, certified two-cycle golf cart oil called TCW-3, which should be mixed with low-octane gas. There should be 1 .5 ounces of oil mixed with 1 gallon of gas or a ratio of 85-to-1. The Columbia carts were manufactured after 1984 use an oil injection system and no longer needed the oil and gasoline to be pre-mixed.

The HD golf cart is now a classic piece of machine history and considered a worthy treasure to be sought out, purchased, and restored by collectors and enthusiasts alike.

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