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Unread 04-13-2016, 09:45 PM   #1
Not Yet Wild
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Question Finding source of Solenoid Clicking

Hello! About a month or so I bought a '91 club car for $450 that was advertised as "needs new batteries" It looked a little rough, but I took a chance.

When I got the cart, I checked voltage on the 6 batteries. Each read about 2.3 volts. At this point I only had a 6/12 volt battery charger. I hooked the 12V side up to two of the batteries, left it overnight, then moved it to the next two, the then next two. Through trial and error I have gotten it to the point where 4 of the batteries will hold 6.2-6.4 volts, one will hold 5.9-6.0 and one will only hold 3.5-4.0 volts. I took out the low battery, and put in a used 8 volt I borrowed from a guy I know to do some testing with. About this time my charger showed up, so I was able to use a 36V charger. I now have 40V across the batteries, and the gauge shows full charge.

Here is the problem: The cart does not move. When I put it in forward, and press on the accelerator, All I get is a rapid clicking noise. When I put it in reverse, it does not move, but does not click either.

At one point, I did see the cart move about 3 feet before it started clicking, but not since. The sound seems to be coming from the solenoid, and when I keep my finger on it, it "feels" like it is coming from there as well.

Is this a bad solenoid? What tests can I do to check, prior to spending money on parts I don't need?

I have attached a link to a short YouTube Vid so you can hear it for yourself if you want.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72C6rHqOK_4


Thank you for your help!
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Unread 04-13-2016, 09:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: Finding source of Solenoid Clicking

You are probably loosing a battery or two in the string when a load is applied. The cells may show voltage on a multimeter but refuse to give up any amperage when called upon. Get real batteries in the cart and it will probably work great.
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Unread 04-13-2016, 10:14 PM   #3
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When are you checking your voltages? Are you waiting at least 12 hours before taking the readings you stated above?

The battery reading 5.9-6.0 is basically dead (30-50% at best). I also wonder if the voltage of the 8 volt could be tricking the charger to thinking the pack voltage is better than it actually is, therefore not really charging the pack as a whole. A fully charged 36v pack should read 38.2v.

Like Gornoman said, it's hard to troubleshoot the electrical system when your batteries are toast.
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Unread 04-14-2016, 08:15 AM   #4
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Default Re: Finding source of Solenoid Clicking

When I first took it off the new charger, most of the batteries were in the 6.5 range, the one low one was around 6.1, and the 8 was at 7.5 or so. It has now been off the charger for about 5 days, and they are around 6.2, 5.9 and 7.5.

I have a set (just got yesterday) of 12V gel batteries that I am planning on putting in maybe tonight. I will test again after and see what happens.

This brings up an interesting point. It seems the reverse is tied into halfway in the battery pack, giving it 18 volts. Since there is no way to split a gel battery (or any other kind) in half, would I be better hooking it up to run 12V and be slow? or 24V? I assume the motor can handle the 24, but what about the other components in the reverse system?
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Unread 04-14-2016, 10:29 AM   #5
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Default Re: Finding source of Solenoid Clicking

I do hope you realize that "12V gel batteries" are completely mis-applied as it relates to golf cart operation. And even if they do work - they won't work for very long? In answer to your other question, 24v reverse is fine...some people even use the full 36v. The 18v is simply a safety thing.
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Unread 04-14-2016, 01:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: Finding source of Solenoid Clicking

I can hook the 24V for reverse. is there any disadvantage?

I know Gel batteries are not Golf Cart Batteries. These were backup batteries my company got for backup of our power supplies that run the cable plant. I know of three other people using identical batteries for about 4 years now in their carts with no issues.

I don't have the money to buy new batteries for it, so if nothing else, these will last me a year or so until I can get the money together to replace them. I hope they last longer than a year, but I will be happy if I can get a year out of them.
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Unread 04-14-2016, 04:36 PM   #7
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Default Re: Finding source of Solenoid Clicking

You're gonna run 3 12v gel cells in a 36v cart?

How 'long' they work isn't an indication of how many years they can sit in your cart, but rather how long the cart can run in a single outing without significant voltage drop. Typically called range. Your range with this setup will be significantly reduced. As such, keep your runs real short.

Also, some chargers don't play well with gel batteries. Make sure yours does before you plug it in.

Finances being what they are, can you get six of these batteries? If so, you may look at running 2 36v banks in parallel. But again, not sure if whatever charger you have could handle this.

Let us know how it works out.
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Unread 04-14-2016, 04:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: Finding source of Solenoid Clicking

Quote:
I can hook the 24V for reverse. is there any disadvantage?
Not really...just slightly quicker reverse.
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Unread 04-14-2016, 10:46 PM   #9
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Default Re: Finding source of Solenoid Clicking

I have to report that the new batteries have eliminated the clicking. I got them installed tonight, and the cart moved a few feet in the garage with no clicking. Tomorrow I take it for a trip around the yard. :)

I have to apologize, I thought when you said they wouldn't last very long you were talking about the batteries not holding a charge (like car batteries would quickly be ruined) The batteries are 110 AH, so I'm hoping 2-3 hours of runtime. Does that sound about right?

I can't get more of the 12V Gel very easily. They wouldn't fit even if I could. For those that are interested, these are the batteries I am talking about:

http://www.myerspowerproducts.com/in...d=1010&lang=en
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Unread 04-14-2016, 11:11 PM   #10
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Default Re: Finding source of Solenoid Clicking

As long as you don't over charge them or discharge them to low gel batteries are fine to use.

Flooded lead acid batteries tolerate overcharging since you can add distilled water to replace the water lost in overcharging. You can kill gel cells with a single overcharge.

Make sure to follow the manufactures charging recommendations and they will work fine.
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