Author: Amber Ripley
Did you know?: Club Car has been innovating the Golf Car Industry since 1958 - that's 65 YEARS of being a pioneer and leader in this awesome industry. Not to mention, they are headquartered in Augusta, GA... any guesses why?
Welcome back, friends! Today, we are getting to the bottom of what the difference ACTUALLY is when it comes to the Club Car models Precedent, Tempo, and Onward. More often than not, accessories for these models will work universally on any one of the three variations, and the names are often used interchangeably (and incorrectly by sellers, cough cough)... So, what gives?
Why did Club Car add the Onward and Tempo to the Precedent Golf Cart Family?
Short answer: If it ain't broke, don't fix it -- just find new ways to make it better!
- The Club Car Precedent is one of the most highly-recommended golf cart models with a well-proven design and low cost of ownership.
- It has easily replaceable bodies and excellent aftermarket support for parts and accessories.
- Common issues include MCOR failure, worn front control arm bushings and hubs, and corroded wiring connectors.
In this article, we're going to break down exactly what Club Car did to change the Precedent throughout the years, and how the Tempo and Onward models came to be the newest members of the family.
We would like to extend a novel-length thank you to the elusive "Golf Cart Wizard" for sharing this information on the Cartaholics forum, to the benefit of every golf cart nerd (it's me... I'm the nerd) who has been wondering about these Club Car models as well.
2004 - The Introduction
- The 2004 model introduced a radical departure in design with a hybrid "Alumicore" chassis.
- The frame features aluminum channels with threaded hardware, reducing assembly time and complexity.
- The front has a steel subframe for suspension and steering and a steel tower structure supporting the dash and roof struts.
- The underbody is a glass-fill injection molded polymer, providing strength and functioning as a structural member.
- The battery bucket is molded plastic and resistant to corrosion from battery acid.
- Early models had 4 x 12-volt batteries, Curtis 1510A-5251 controller, Albright SW80p solenoid, and OBC charging.
- The transaxle is Graziano with a narrow offset, and the motor is AMD EJ4-4001 Sepex (later replaced by EJ8-4001A).
- The axle rides on tapered mono leaf springs, with mechanical drum brakes retained from the DS model.
- The front suspension uses a transverse leaf spring as the lower control arm and greaseable bushings.
- The front hubs have non-serviceable bearings, and the steering consists of a rack and pinion system.
- The body has a "360-degree bumper" and glass-fill underbody portion for strength.
- Seats have a plastic backing, early ones are prone to separation, and the steering wheel is the same as the DS model.
- The body panels are made of "Surlyn" with molded-in color for easy replacement.
- The "Monsoon Canopy" was introduced, featuring plastic rear struts as drain tubes.
2009 - Improve the Precedent
- 2009 introduced the improved Precedent "i2" model with the current "Style B" underbody and dash.
- The dash features sloped cubbies, a higher position above the steering column, and no divider.
- Rocker panels overlap the rear underbody and have "Ingersoll Rand" molded into the plastic.
- The new battery bucket can accommodate 6 x 8-volt batteries and features a removable metal plate for electronics.
- The new style pedal group was introduced, with a problematic "throttle position sensor" that later reverted to the MCOR.
- The "Excel" model was introduced with a different wire harness and gray 1515-5201 controller, offering increased regenerative capability and integrated display for golf course fleets.
- Plastic "underbody liners" were used on the bumper ends instead of steel.
2011 - Innovation Continues
- In 2011, a new wooden seat bottom with thicker foam and thinner armrests is introduced.
- The three-spoke steering wheel is introduced.
- The formed aluminum controller mounting plate transitioned to a casting, possibly made of magnesium, with an integrated rain shield.
- Steel bumper brackets are reintroduced.
- The rear bumper eventually became a single molding spanning the entire width of the golf cart.
- The rear leaf spring shackle mounts change to a double plate style with a new aluminum shackle mount in the frame.
- The MCOR 4, a commonly used component, is added.
2014 - Technology Abounds
- Club Car replaces the OBC and transformer-style charger with the IC650 "ERIC" high-frequency charger.
- The IC650 charger is easily programmable and should be set to the appropriate algorithm for the batteries used.
- Club Car has its own algorithms for charging, but they are not listed on the Delta Q website.
- The charge port on these models has slight wiring differences, with a sealed fuse holder and attachment to the solenoid post for the positive, a negative going to B- on the controller, and a blue wire with a bullet connector for the interlock.
- An LED charge light was added in the dash, controlled by the controller.
- The controller used in these models is the white 1515-5206, similar to the gray one but with charging data logging and expanded functionality for golf courses.
- If experiencing issues with these models, ensure all course parameters are turned off in the handheld, as they can cause the golf cart to malfunction.
- The wiring harness is also different in these models.
- The year of the frame (e.g., 2014 or 2020) is less important than the overall condition of the golf cart.
2017 - Onward & Upward
In 2017, Club Car introduced a separate model called the Onward, targeting consumers instead of golf course fleets.
- The changes from the Precedent model were limited, with a different front cowl made of TPO with integrated headlight mounts.
- The "brow," rocker panels, and front strut covers remained the same as the Precedent.
- The front bumper includes the light bar, and Club Car requires proof of ownership of an Onward to sell the cowl separately.
- The rear body initially resembled the Precedent but had "ONWARD" decals and red reflector tape around the tail lights.
- The Onward had new full LED headlights with integrated DRL and signals, eventually making their way into other models.
- Onwards came standard with larger tires compared to the Precedent/Tempo models.
- The underbody and rear cross member/bumper were trimmed to accommodate larger tires and lift kits.
- The rear leaf spring hardware coating was black instead of silver to disguise the fasteners.
- Standard features included turn signals, brake lights with pressure pad, battery meter, USB charger, and a voltage reducer for sound systems.
- The dash area had a white-bordered warning decal for Onwards.
Windshields were compatible with normal Precedent/Tempo models, but factory windshields had a rubber gasket that could wear away paint.
The Onward used the DoubleTake Max 5 and 80" roof when equipped with a rear seat.
- Factory rear seats had different hardware, warning decals, red reflector tape, Club Car badging, and a metal "stiffener" bar.
- The factory lift kit included a 4" lift, double A-arm front suspension, tie rod extensions, and a Panhard bar at the rear.
- Factory-lifted models had a brush guard and fender flares as standard.
- The Onward continued to use the same AMD motor and Curtis controller introduced in 2014.
2019 - Hello Tempo
- In 2019, the Tempo was introduced as a replacement for the Precedent, although the Precedent continued to be sold as the "Villager 2" for a while.
- Changes for the Tempo include new front and rear bodies and a redesigned front brow, bumper, fascia, and strut covers.
- The rest of the components remained identical to the Precedent, except for new hubcaps and alloy wheel options.
- Club Car Onward models received the new rear body design and integrated reflectors into the taillights, eliminating the need for stick-on reflectors.
- Towards the end of the year, the front cowl of the Onward was redesigned to accommodate the Tempo brow, resulting in a raised fender flare and a larger strut cover.
Both Tempo and Onward models introduced a lithium-ion battery option, which required slight modifications to the front underbody, battery bucket, and controller mount plate.
- The lithium-ion battery option utilized a Curtis 1232 controller and an AC induction motor.
- Additional components, such as a second solenoid for the front-mounted dynamic brake resistor, a Vehicle Control Module (VCM), and a CAN network, are also introduced.
- The wiring for the lights was integrated but required VCM programming to function correctly.
- The original battery option was a 3.1 kWh / 60 Ah LG unit, but the Tempo later switched to a 3.6 kWh / 68 Ah Vanguard battery.
- LG batteries were black-stamped steel, while Vanguard batteries were silver castings with the logo prominently displayed at the top.
- There were two versions of the LG battery, although the specific differences are not mentioned.
2021 - Platinum Status
- In 2021, Club Car introduced the "APPS" (Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor) as a replacement for the MCOR.
- Limited information is available about the APPS, with the manual providing minimal details, and aftermarket controller compatibility is currently unknown.
- Club Car underwent a change in ownership to Platinum Equity.
As a result, the rocker panels were modified to remove the "Ingersoll Rand" branding previously molded into them.
...and that brings us to current day with Club Car Golf Carts (to be fair, there IS some pretty amazing autonomous technology on its way up from Club Car... but we'll leave that story for another day).
Club Car has refused to pause their innovations from their humble beginnings in 1958 to now, 65 years later, with Lithium Ion and Regenerative technology, who knows what's in store next?!
Looking for something you can't find on our website? Send us a chat, an email, or a good old-fashioned ring on the telephone. We've got you.
In the comments below:
What is it that attracts you to Club Car over all the other golf cart brands?
What would you get if you crossed a scientist and a golf cart? It would be our Senior Content Writer, Amber Ripley! If you have a question, she knows how to research to bring you the information you need. Before joining the ranks at Golf Cart Stuff™, Amber was in sales and marketing for industrial tool and die products, so digging into all the nitty gritty, technical details about Golf Carts is par for the course…In the words of a famous songwriter: “If you got a problem, Yo! She’ll solve it!”
"Here for the Ride"