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Old 11-30-2011, 12:27 AM   #1
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Default Torque converter vs Golf cart Clutch system

Okay...got a question for the experts. I got my big block running, but the neighbor and I are still looking for a donor cart. I know a Torque converter is basically the primary and driven clutches in one box and then a chain goes from there to the axle. My question is this...Could you use a torque converter setup with a chain drive going to a rear sprocket mounted the the transmission?....this seems a little overkill to some but the reason I ask is the area we will be using this cart has water to cross and the belt setups we have slip a lot and cause a lot of wear and tear on the belt.
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Old 11-30-2011, 06:29 AM   #2
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Default Re: Torque converter vs Golf cart Clutch system

I'm certianly no expert but would think the torque converter or centrifical clutch drive system will not have the variable speed ratio changes that a cart or CVT drive system will have and you will end up settling on a low speed with torque or higher speed with no slow speed torque.
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:13 AM   #3
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Default Re: Torque converter vs Golf cart Clutch system

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Originally Posted by crash12888 View Post
I'm certianly no expert but would think the torque converter or centrifical clutch drive system will not have the variable speed ratio changes that a cart or CVT drive system will have and you will end up settling on a low speed with torque or higher speed with no slow speed torque.
A torque converter is basically just the exact same system but with the primary clutch attached to the shaft and bolted to the motor and then the driven clutch attached to the same plate a foot or so away in a case. Then the driven clutch also has a sprocket attached to the same shaft. It is a CVT but just a slightly different setup....see video in link below

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Old 11-30-2011, 11:48 AM   #4
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Default Re: Torque converter vs Golf cart Clutch system

Seems like you'd be better off using an engine / drive train from an ATV rather than a conventional big block & centrifugal clutch drive system.

There are several builds on this site that have used a chain drive system with a jackshaft, but I don't know of any that incorporated a centrifugal clutch drive system in it too.

Seems like eliminating the clutches & belt altogether is what makes them better in the terrain you are in.

Another option might be to enclose the clutches & belt in a housing of some kind, like many ATVs with a CVT have done. I'm considered a skidplate underneath to keep the mud, snow & sticks out, but that would not do much for deep water.
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: Torque converter vs Golf cart Clutch system

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Originally Posted by mpilot View Post
A torque converter is basically just the exact same system but with the primary clutch attached to the shaft and bolted to the motor and then the driven clutch attached to the same plate a foot or so away in a case. Then the driven clutch also has a sprocket attached to the same shaft. It is a CVT but just a slightly different setup....see video in link below

Go Kart Torque Converter In Action TAV2 - YouTube

Haaa! told ya I was no expert, I've seen that but didn't think of it.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: Torque converter vs Golf cart Clutch system

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Originally Posted by AirJunky View Post
Seems like you'd be better off using an engine / drive train from an ATV rather than a conventional big block & centrifugal clutch drive system.

There are several builds on this site that have used a chain drive system with a jackshaft, but I don't know of any that incorporated a centrifugal clutch drive system in it too.

Seems like eliminating the clutches & belt altogether is what makes them better in the terrain you are in.

Another option might be to enclose the clutches & belt in a housing of some kind, like many ATVs with a CVT have done. I'm considered a skidplate underneath to keep the mud, snow & sticks out, but that would not do much for deep water.
I will consider that too. I like the idea of a big block because I can get it quieted down a lot more than an ATV engine I would think. We plan on using this in neighborhoods so the quieter the better. I have heard the same big block I have on Generators and such and it's relatively quiet for a 20hp. Also it's my understanding if I get into an ATV drive train I am back into gears and such and I don't particularly want to have to shift gears either. I may have to go that way but when you have a $1500 motor lieing around with almost no hours on it then it makes sense to try and use it. I looked at selling the motor but as it is an older model people only want to pay a couple hundred bucks so it doesn't make much sense to try and sell. We had it put brand new in a piece of equipment and then the pumps went out shortly after. It might have 25 hours on it, but looks older because it sat for 6 or 7 years in the shop. I put new fuel lines on it, cleaned the pump out and it fired right up. Only casualty was a wire terminal getting snapped off which I am going to have to replace a $20 part eventually as it is rigged up right now to just get it running on the bench.
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Old 11-30-2011, 06:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: Torque converter vs Golf cart Clutch system

I'll be interested to hear what exhaust you end up using to make it that quiet. Because my 24 hp Honda is about as loud as most any ATV.
I also have a KLR 650 dual sport & it's quite a bit quieter than the Honda.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:37 PM   #8
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Default Re: Torque converter vs Golf cart Clutch system

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I'll be interested to hear what exhaust you end up using to make it that quiet. Because my 24 hp Honda is about as loud as most any ATV.
I also have a KLR 650 dual sport & it's quite a bit quieter than the Honda.
I'm working on that now...a small engine mechanic of mine things he has a muffler from a honda generator that is meant for my size motor that should be fairly quiet. Right now it has no muffler so you can imagine what it sounds like. I would like it but the neighbors probably not so much. If i cannot get it quiet enough for the wife to approve then I will have to go back to square one and try to hop up a stock motor for more power.
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Old 12-05-2011, 03:13 PM   #9
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Default Re: Torque converter vs Golf cart Clutch system

In my experience atleast when I still had the stock engine in the cart, the CVT is not the weak link when going through water... When I would go tearing through deep stuff in my cart, the ignition would short out and it would die long before the drive belt slipped to the point of not moving.



Im in the middle of my big block install and can't say the CVT is something I'm worried about...
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: Torque converter vs Golf cart Clutch system

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In my experience atleast when I still had the stock engine in the cart, the CVT is not the weak link when going through water... When I would go tearing through deep stuff in my cart, the ignition would short out and it would die long before the drive belt slipped to the point of not moving.

<Nice pic >

Im in the middle of my big block install and can't say the CVT is something I'm worried about...
A little WD40 ought to help you get a little further. When I was into baja bugs I used to spray the inside of the distributor cap, and both ends of all the ignition wires, and leave it all open to dry off. Then button it up & go runnin. That Bug would keep up with a lot more expensive 4x4s in deep mud & water pretty easily.
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