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Unread 06-06-2012, 10:44 PM   #1
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Default Fitting a 36v Fwd/Reverse switch into a 48v Cart

My kids got my cart stuck in a hole, and managed to melt the OEM switch while trying to get it out. The switch was a bit of a mess:



I looked into a heavy duty switch, and thought they were too expensive, roughly $100 to $140.

I had heard that the 36v switches from the older resistor carts, years 83.5 and up, were a good alternative. They have good copper busbars, instead of the aluminum OEM bars. A quick consultation with David Hicks, Tahoedawg, confirmed this was the correct switch.

Among the drawbacks: You lose the Reverse buzzer and half speed function, and there are some minor mods necessary.

The standard 36v switch is a Nivel Part Number 693, available for about $38:



The first thing I noted was the buttons on the 36v used a smaller connector bolt and surface. I decided to adapt the 36v switch to hold the better 48v buttons.

Here we see the 36v button on the left, and the 48v on the right:



The 48v buttons are ever so slightly larger, at 1/2" diameter. I took the switch apart. A few minutes on a drill press opens the holes up to make the buttons fit. The center material is Bakelite, easy to drill.

I needed a means to connect the two adjacent posts on the 36v switch. Obviously a hunk of copper flat bar would be ideal. I don't have any... I had read OldMec's suggestion to flatten some copper pipe, sounded good.

Instead, I decided to recycle the busbars from the old 48v switch. They are already drilled to the proper spacing for the lugs. Mounting them on the back side of the lugs, and hooking the wire to the normal fwd lug, keeps the downside to a minimum. Mounting it on this lug keeps a good connection direct to the motor; the doubled-up aluminum busbars are only used to power the cart in reverse.

I wanted to retain my reverse functions; the 1/2 speed and buzzer. The 3 microswitches from the old switch would move over easily. But I needed something to actuate them. I drilled and tapped a hole, threaded for 5mm 0.8 pitch, and threaded a bolt in. I put a piece of Tygon on the bolt, to soften up the connection. Here is where I drilled the hole:



Ready to install:



One final note: The new switch doesn't come with a new F-N-R handle or bolt, so you'll have to reuse your old one. Also, either the bolt that holds the handle onto the 36v switch isn't as long as on the 48v, or this crappy Chinese version was poorly made. (I'm going with the latter). 30 seconds with a hacksaw shortened the bolt, for a perfect fit.

It worked out pretty well. Maybe 1 hour of fiddling with the switch, apart from the 30 min's to install.
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Unread 06-07-2012, 10:36 AM   #2
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Default Re: Fitting a 36v Fwd/Reverse switch into a 48v Cart

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Unread 06-07-2012, 12:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: Fitting a 36v Fwd/Reverse switch into a 48v Cart

Just curious, did you remove the missing nuts on your old switch? If not, it's no wonder that it fried!
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Unread 06-07-2012, 04:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: Fitting a 36v Fwd/Reverse switch into a 48v Cart

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Originally Posted by simple man View Post
Just curious, did you remove the missing nuts on your old switch? If not, it's no wonder that it fried!
Yes, I had to remove the nuts to take off the wires, and pull the switch from the cart. That wasn't the problem. Although the corrosion evident on every single portion of that switch certainly wasn't helping anything.

The kids dropped a wheel into a hole where a small tree used to be, and didn't understand that holding the pedal floored, not going anywhere, was bad for the cart.

I just filled in the hole from the tree, to prevent this from happening again!

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Unread 06-08-2012, 03:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: Fitting a 36v Fwd/Reverse switch into a 48v Cart

Very nice. But FYI, if you were to have ordered that switch from a dealer you wouldn't have had to drill for those other two microswitches to work. It must have a different cam on it. They'll swap right over and work perfectly on a 1011997 36V F&R Switch with no modifications.
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Unread 06-08-2012, 03:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Fitting a 36v Fwd/Reverse switch into a 48v Cart

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Originally Posted by TahoeDawgZ71 View Post
Very nice. But FYI, if you were to have ordered that switch from a dealer you wouldn't have had to drill for those other two microswitches to work. It must have a different cam on it. They'll swap right over and work perfectly on a 1011997 36V F&R Switch with no modifications.
Hi Dave, thanks again for your help with this!

Appreciate the additional information. Interesting that some of the 36v switches seem to be constructed differently from others? Perhaps there were early and late versions of the switch, since that cart was made from 1983 until early 2000's?

I had read some posts about using this kind of switch as a "poor man's HD"; but having to give up the reverse functions. Thought it would be helpful to show a way to retain them.

I bought this thru a site sponsor, GolfCartKing. It's not a great switch, either. The epoxy poured around the busbars is slightly too high, so finding reverse is a tad bit touchy. Friggin' Chinese quality control...
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Unread 06-08-2012, 04:02 PM   #7
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Default Re: Fitting a 36v Fwd/Reverse switch into a 48v Cart

Yeah man it's probably a replica. And in all honesty, as a 36V switch it's probably great. I like your write-up though. Looks great. But the factory stuff is NICE and you won't have an issue with quality.
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Unread 06-08-2012, 04:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: Fitting a 36v Fwd/Reverse switch into a 48v Cart

Where did you find the 48v buttons? I need to do that to my cart. Looks good!!!
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Unread 06-08-2012, 10:19 PM   #9
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Default Re: Fitting a 36v Fwd/Reverse switch into a 48v Cart

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Where did you find the 48v buttons? I need to do that to my cart. Looks good!!!
I took them out of my melted 48v switch. I cleaned them up with a scotchbrite cookie in a die grinder. They cleaned up really easily.



It wasn't absolutely necessary, the 36v buttons will work just fine. But you'd probably want to attach new ends to the cables that bolt to them, for the absolutely best connection possible. The bolts that hold the wires onto the 36v buttons are fractionally smaller than on the 48v. And, of course, they don't come with the switch, either.

I decided it would be easier to drill out the swivel to accept the 1/2" 48v buttons, versus the time it would take to find the connectors and crimp/solder/heatshrink decent new connectors.

Another option was to drill the bolt holes on the 36v buttons, and re-tap them to take the larger bolts from the 48v buttons instead. I didn't like the surface area that would be touching between the lug and the button (too small on the 36v), so I went for the entire 48v buttons instead.
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Unread 06-08-2012, 10:33 PM   #10
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Default Re: Fitting a 36v Fwd/Reverse switch into a 48v Cart

Yeah on mine I used a copper washer behind the lug to make a better contact area, but I like the idea of the bigger buttons.
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