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Unread 10-22-2014, 08:09 PM   #1
Not Yet Wild
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 11
Default 36 Volt DS no power

I have a 1988 36v DS cart that struggles to climb even a slight incline. Acceleration is normal and speeds are fine on level ground. Last year it developed the "herky jerky" acceleration from a start so I replaced all of the solenoids (five of them) which corrected that problem immediately. It did have the low power problem at that time but nowhere near as pronounced as it is now.
Batteries and connections are OK, they are older Trojans but they all read over 6 volts when disconnected and around 38 when hooked up. I have a small hand-held load tester and I load tested each battery while they were disconnected.
Here's my problem... This cart serial number is A8831 which from what I have learned so far is that it should have the V Glide switch which could be a suspect.... Nope, it has the electric speed switch which is found on 80-87 models. I have no idea what the history of this cart is but everything is stock.
I suspect the speed switch but having no experience with testing it I'm debating if I should throw more money into this old relic or start looking for a newer cart.
I have a fluke multimeter and I know how to use it if anyone has any information.
Thanks for any advice!
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Unread 10-22-2014, 08:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: 36 Volt DS no power

Sounds like you have the 5 solenoid model. The gas pedal operates a slide(r) which triggers 5 micro switches (sequentially) which trigger the 5 solenoids.

First thing that comes to my mind is the need for a voltage reading under load. Hook the meter up and hit the hill, how low does the pack drop to going up hill?
If it drops more than 6-8v you may have a bad battery. Repeat the test with the meter clipped on each individual battery... Once we eliminate battery power as a problem you can jack the cart up and remove the seat. See if each solenoid is clicking (closing) in sequence from driver to passenger side of the cart.
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Unread 10-24-2014, 09:13 AM   #3
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Default Re: 36 Volt DS no power

Thanks! Somehow I missed your reply. Makes perfect sense to use a hill to load test the batteries. I'll hook up the meter and go for a ride this morning.
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Unread 10-24-2014, 11:53 AM   #4
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Default Re: 36 Volt DS no power

Nailed it! All batteries are weak, two dropping below 3.5 volts on the hill. Total recovered voltage was 30.1 after testing each battery separately. I never thought about load testing the batteries under actual driving conditions. My crappy little hand-held load tester had me thinking in other directions, but it makes sense that a tiny little load tester can't sufficiently load a golf cart battery.
Thanks! I'm off to buy six new batterie$$$......
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