What Year Is My Harley Davidson Golf Cart

What Year Is My Harley Davidson Golf Cart?

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 the 90’s. 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

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.

Harley Davidson Serial Plate
Using the chart below, this would be a 1982 3-wheel gas D3

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
ModelYearType
1963-1969Dxxxx
DExxx
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 MG1V 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
1996-PRESENT
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
Solenoid Arrangement For Harley Davidson Golf Cart DE 1972-75
Solenoid Arrangement For Harley Davidson Golf Cart DE40 1976-78
Solenoid Arrangement For Harley Davidson Golf Cart MGIV 1979-82

Dimensions

Model & YearWheel Base (inches)Length (inches)Width (inches)Overall Height (inches)Ground Clearance (inches)Weight (lbs.)
DC
1963-65
59.592.042.2536.04.6660
DC
1966-68
60.593.542.2538.05.0.755
DC
1969-72
70.598.545.2538.05.0760
D
1963-66
59.592.545.2542.5
36 – 1965 only
4.6624
D
1967-76
60.591.046.040.254.5694
D
1977 and Later
60.591.045.2547.04.5693
D4
1972-76
67.0102.045.2424.5821
D4
1977 and Later
67.0102.045.2547.04.0821

A Brief History Of Many Acquisitions

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.

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 60’s. 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.

43 thoughts on “What Year Is My Harley Davidson Golf Cart”

  1. any place for aftermarket parts?
    I have an 68D and J2
    the 68 is original complete and the 82 is missing parts

  2. Vintagegolfcartparts.com is a pretty good place to start, but many times there are components that have been discontinued because it would be easier to retrofit a non-original part…for example, the speed switch.

  3. Have a 3B13534C4 Columba cart 3 wheel. Looking for small cover that bolts to steering arm like the assc. panel but plain. Mine broke and would like to replace,

  4. Tried to send you a manual for that particular model…email listed is incorrect. It will help in finding someone with exactly the part you are looking for…

  5. Dear guru and historian of all things golf cart. I picked up an old Harley cart for parts, and the area for the springs had been cut out and a different suspension of about seven springs had been added. Instead of the normal Harley plate on the driver’s rear there was a plate on the passenger rear that reads:
    GMF
    HARLEY DAVIDSON
    GOLF
    CARS
    Fresno, California
    RE-MANUFACTURED CAR
    DATE 1974

    I can’t find any history on this, Any ideas? Thank you

  6. There was a GMF Golf Cars advertising in the Fresno Bee back in the 70’s, but it is unclear if they went under or changed ownership. The frame must have cracked or broke so badly they rebuilt that section, but it’s hard to believe they couldn’t salvage the serial plate and re-apply it. Back then, they probably couldn’t imagine them being collectables some day.

  7. i have 2 golf carts seriel #s-3b 16947 h6 and 3b 16992 h1 the first one you have to play with choke im thinking crank seals any thoughts

  8. Unclejohnnybgood

    That would be my first place to look. Try spraying fluid around the seals and see if you can see any evidence of leakage. The other things to look at: check the fuel line for leaks and pinholes, and, depending on the carburetor (Tillotson, Mikumi) check for worn or clogged ports and/or bent rocker arms operating the diaphragm.

  9. Roger Schwenke

    Have Columbia cart vin # 3B13534C4 sent info looking for panel over tiller handle, white. had engine alleged as now it start better but runs poor. Where can I take to get it running right? Love in southeast Wisconsin.

  10. Michael Dale Goltz

    Yes another confused Harley cart owner

    Serial NO
    7C 11659 H6
    Gas
    So can you help me with the Year it was manufactored and do i need to (1) mixed fuel with oil or (2) just straight premium gas with (No ethanol)
    Thanks for your help

  11. i have a 3 wheel harley cart. the sn. is 4B 10625 H2 ok 4B =3 wheel elect. cart. H2 = 1972 but the solenoid chart shows 1977 to 1982 modle DE3 whitch one is it . hhank you jerry

  12. We have a 1973 3wheel electric Harley Davidson golf cart in excellent condition we just bought at an auction. What is it worth?

  13. Hey Renee…I am negotiating for a 70’s electric like yours, except it is not close to excellent. It is going for $500 but needs batteries and tires. The batteries are going to add 800-900 dollars to the expense. If the batteries on yours are fairly new (2-4 years) and the body and tires are in great shape, I would guess $2500 to $3200 for a California HD.

  14. I’m not sure on your knowledge with the engine and drive clutch, but I’m gonna ask you any way! I just picked up an 1975 D3, gas powered. The guy I bought it from gave me a box with the parts that “all needed to go onto the crank.” I’m not sure if I was given all the parts that are needed to put on there as I have no manual and looking online at diagrams are not helpful… Do you have any insight or diagrams that lays out each part needed? I’m guessing it needs a sleeve bearing of some sort but that wasn’t included in the box he gave me… Any help would be appreciated. And I have pics of the parts that were in the box if you need more info. Thanks!

  15. Hey Shane, I sent you a few pages dealing with the clutch and forward/reverse mechanism…I hope you can use them to figure out the assembly.

  16. Vintagegolfcartparts.com is your best bet, otherwise you will need to find a donor cart on Ebay.

  17. Robert Diesel

    My 3 wheel gas golf cart has a serial # 3B 12206 H8.
    Anyone knows hoe to decode this number into year of manufacture????

  18. Looking for owners manual and wiring diagram for a gasoline powered Harley Davidson serial number 7c10954h4. Trying to rehab cart. Thank you. John

  19. I sent a few documents…We will be getting the Gas carts represented on here soon.

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