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Unread 08-08-2009, 11:52 PM   #1
Not Yet Wild
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Default Questions about battery

Hi again guys, I havent posted in a while, was away visiting family all summer. So we STILL haven't bought any new batteries, still the 3 year old trojan 8 volts in my club car. I got a little problem with being able to play just 18 holes, and by 11 holes, I cant even go through the rough without the cart almost stopping.
So I talked to one of my friends at the course, he has been carting for well over 10 years. He heard my problem, and he gave me some advice, he said I should buy some battery acid, and see if some of my batteries are low on acid (therefore if they were, I could put an ounce or two in, and the acid would be in the battery conducting electricity)
Tomorrow I will be testing the charge levels on my batteries cells, seeing if any are under 2.16 volts. If they are, is it okay to put in some battery acid, and a bit of distilled water?
Will this increase the amount of power that the batteries will make?
Also, I will be testing every cell, trying to find which one is dead (tests under 1.5 volts)
How far should the acid level be if I put some in my cart? Should it be just about a half inch above the plates?
Thank you guys for any help, this is a last ditch effort before I start walking 36 holes a day, I cannot buy batteries by myself right now, just dont have the money.
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Unread 08-08-2009, 11:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: Questions about battery

In dealing with batteries, there will ALWAYS be a guy or a friend with an idea, method or plan that will 'revive' old batteries. Time for batteries - maybe if you weren't playing 36 holes of golf per day the cost would be affordable?

OK - Sorry for that, I couldn't resist.

Save your money on the 'quick fixes'. Your batteries are going 29 holes? That's not too bad for most people. Unfortunately, if you want to play 36, then your question has already been answered. Buy 6 new 8 volts.

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Unread 08-09-2009, 12:02 AM   #3
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Default Re: Questions about battery

Hey Mike, I cant even do 18, I had to have another cart push me up the hill. As for the money lolol, I play less than $100 for a month membership at my local private club, I have many golf team friends to play with. It kinda sux not being able to take my friends on my cart, yet another kid can do 54 holes with someone else on his Ezgo with exides. I didnt mean to say that battery acid would make it do 36 holes, but 27 is still alot better, considering that would mean I dont need to be pushed up hills
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Unread 08-09-2009, 12:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: Questions about battery

Thought you said you could do 18, then on hole 11 of the second round you had issues. If you're running out of juice that quickly, then you have some bad batteries...

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Unread 08-09-2009, 12:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: Questions about battery

I meant to say that when I play 18 holes, on hole 11 it starts to get slow, and gets low torque. It gets to the point of going 1-2mph, and barely making it up the hill. In rough, it cant even make it.
So tomorrow im gonna charge the batteries, first making sure there are no exposed plates, then im gonna check the state of charge of the batteries. If there are dead cells, then im gonna have to get new batteries, again, I didnt buy the cart, so I dont like really messing with it.
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Unread 08-09-2009, 02:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: Questions about battery

I have had luck adding acid if the cells aren't damaged. I draw out what electrolite I can with a cheap turkey baster down to the top of the plates. I don't dilute the acid unless the plates are exposed. I will fill the battery to 1/8th inch below the bottom of the well. Not touching the plastic.
I drive and discharge the cart before I do this. That way the acid is in the plates and most of what you draw out of the battery is water.
Before any of this I would invest in a cheap volt meter and two alligator clips and hook the leads up to one battery at a time when the cart starts to slow down. Check each battery one at a time while driving....thats where the clips come in....set meter in floor or on seat. Accelerate with the cart and record the lowest voltage per battery during acceleration. Look for one battery to be lower than the others. Best "Load Tester" is the cart itself...just don't believe the guys that tell you its OK to hold the brake and stab the accelerator to put a load on the batteries.....Voltage will find a weak spot and SMOKE.....somethin's burnin.
Most shops sell used batteries. Replace the bad one.
Hope this helps...
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Unread 08-09-2009, 01:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: Questions about battery

Those batteries should last 5-6 years if they are maintained properly.
Adding acid or dumping them out and adding all new acid is an old farmer's trick to squeeze another year out of a battery. It rarely works for anything requiring high constant amperage like a golf cart.
Clean and check all of your battery connections and if you haven't done a 4ga cable conversion, now would be a good time.
My 5 year old Trojans (code date D-4) will still go 36 holes and run around the neighborhood after that.
Make sure your batteries are completely charged and then test each individual battery to find the 1 culprit that is likely bad.
Here's a state of charge for you

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Unread 08-09-2009, 11:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: Questions about battery

Thank you guys so much for the responses!!!
I will be running tests on the voltages tomorrow, the cart is chargin today, had to ride with a friend at the course. So basically, this is my steps to success
1.-Test batteries, mark the one that is causing problems, or more
2.-Discharge the battery
3.-Add some acid for the he11 of it
4.-Charge it up, and see if the voltages change
Well dougmcp, these batteries were run for about 3 years at a golf course in SE Texas, don't know the exact course, but it was a cart we bought from a wholesale dealer. This is the main thing that pisses me off, the owner at that course must not have put water to the batteries, so he messed it up big time
Well, thx alot guys, im gonna post on my results. I'll most likely be getting some new batteries in the next month or two :)
Btw, how do I make sure that the cart cables are in good shape? I dont want to undo them, then have the cart not run after :D
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Unread 08-10-2009, 12:59 AM   #9
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Default Re: Questions about battery

hey dougmcp, how far down do you recommend taking your batteries down to before charging them? i know some people say 50%, some say 30%...what have you experienced to be the best? your batteries seem to have lasted a long time. sorry for the "hijack" rendog, im just wondering a quick question
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Unread 08-10-2009, 10:03 AM   #10
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Default Re: Questions about battery

The popular vote for charging seems to be after 15 min of peddle time, plug in the charger. My batteries never get below 60% and rarely below 80% and it's recharged at least every second day. They're holding well now but time is ticking on these 04's, I doubt they will make it more than another year.
My 42v system, charged last night, tested this morning:
Pack 44.8v, Batt 1-6.41v, 2-6.38v, 3-6.41v, 4-6.44v, 5-6.38v, 6-6.39v, 7-6.44v.
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