EZGO Series F&R switch
The series drive system is a very robust setup that is extremely reliable, with one small exception. The Forward and Reverse selection lever is connected to the Forward/Reverse selection cam on the switch assembly. This is the weakest link in the system that is under load while operating. They worked as designed for standard two seater carts with no modifications. However once you start accessorizing adding back seats, long roofs, lift kits, bigger wheels and tires and so forth the load becomes more than the F&R switch can handle. In many cases, you will smell a burning scent on the air as it begins to fail. Sometimes it is faint and if caught fast enough you may save the switch. Other times it may just go catastrophic failure on you and leave you stranded. There is no way to know, and the best defense is to check on it's condition several times a year. Here below you see the standard Switch in it's entirety. **This description and explanation is focusing on the 1995-newer design. The older design mounted directly behind the lever used to select direction**
The workings of the switch are simple. The lever you use to select direction is connected to a bar that is hooked onto the switch itself. Below is the setup out of a cart.
Below we have the cam itself. The copper studs are the parts that contact and complete the circuit. Over time, they wear down and get dirty. As that happens, the connection gets weaker. If you don't keep a sharp eye on it, it will overheat. To the right of the cam you see a burnt cam. The top bar was significantly overheated and caused a meltdown. The bottom photo shows where the lugs of the cam create the connection on the switch backing board.
Below you see two failures. On the left is the lugs where your cables mount to the F&R switch. The discoloration of the copper to a purple or darker brown shows significant heat build up. On the right, the problem existed for quite some time and ultimately caused a small fire when the lug fell through the board.
There are a number of companies that sell an "HD" F&R switch. Be wary of them, as many of them are selling the standard switch as HD. In order for the switch to be considered HD it would need to have larger copper bus bars between the studs. And even then the HD units are still susceptible to failure. The only way to insure that you don't have another failure would be to convert to a reversing contactor setup. The reversing contactor takes the F&R switch out and replaces it with two contactors which make the drive selection electronic going forward. This cost about twice what an F&R switch does and requires some significant electrical work to the average person.