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Unread 12-15-2012, 07:26 PM   #1
Wax
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Default Plow and winch mounting - pics and questions

Hello, I'm new to the forum. I've been browsing around the site for ideas since I started a new project the other night. I got an 04 club car electric on trade a few days ago, and I'm going to plow with it since I traded my cub cadet that had a blower attachment. My cart is bone stock 48v with just a camo enclosure.

I started with picking up a Craftsman plow used with all the brackets. I mounted them up to the front of the frame by drilling four holes and sort of piecing it together. I now also have mounted the brush guard, and it surprisingly all worked out very well. My next step is a winch, and I'm sort of at a stand still on how I want to do it.

I can't post pics yet since I haven't been on the forums for 7 days, I will once I can.

My questions are as follows, as I am about to attempt to mount the winch I got from Harbor Freight ($59 for 2000lb, mixed reviews but the 2 year warranty is only $10). I want to note that my main purpose for a winch is to lift the plow, but I may use it for other applications too.

1. I can't decide where to mount it. The easiest place would be on the plow bracket, which is angled but flat and perfect for mounting. There are already a few holes there, might only have to drill one hole (winch only has 2 mount bolts). If I do this, then either it is a very shallow angle to lift the plow, or I could mount the roller fairlead that came with the winch right between the two bars on the brush guard and run it up and over the bottom rung basically. I think that would be fine for the plow (the brush guard is pretty sturdy, I can basically lift the front of the cart by grabbing it); my concern is would it be fine for other applications if I do need the winch to drag me out of a sticky situation? I'm concerned with the force on the brush guard.

The ideal place is likely right on top of the front frame bumper, but I'll definitely have to do some bracket fab for that, especially since the plow mount sticks slightly above so it's not flush. This would not concern me as much running the cable through the fairlead on the brush guard, because the angle will not be nearly as severe.

My other option was just flat out mounting the winch on the brush guard. This sort of defeats some of the purpose of the brush guard, as if I were to hit anything in front I could damage the winch. Also, I will not be able to use the fairlead as there will be no place to mount it...for just using the plow mostly though, I don't know if I really NEED the fairlead, but then if I'm ever pulling anything at an angle I'll probably be in trouble.

2. I'm not sure how I want to power it. I plan on having this winch, and then mounting a couple fog lights to the brush guard also. I was going to buy a reducer, but I have a couple jet ski batteries laying around and thought that maybe I could just wire it up to a battery and charge that battery separate. I'm not going to run the accessories off a couple cart batteries as I've seen some do it, as I would prefer not to reduce my main battery lifespan with offset discharging/charging. Has anybody used a separate battery to power accessories and has any pros/cons of doing it this way? Both ways are pretty easy, but I figure using the spare battery saves me about $100 right now over a reducer. I only have $175 into this whole setup so far, including plow, guard, winch, and fog lights. Trying to be as budget minded as possible.

Thanks and nice to be on the forums!
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Unread 12-15-2012, 11:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Plow and winch mounting - pics and questions

Run the separate battery. A converter will not run a winch properly (if at all).

I run everything from my lights to my radio off of a boat battery and when I need to use a winch, I hook it to it too since I haven't mounted it permanently to my cart yet.

-Scott H.
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Unread 12-17-2012, 10:20 AM   #3
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Default Re: Plow and winch mounting - pics and questions

Where do you mount a boat battery? I have no room under the seat. I'm going to be installing a back seat kit, I wonder if I can mount a battery under that seat on the floorboard or something? I have nowhere else to put one.

I'm surprised a reducer won't work, but that's not the first time I heard that. The local golf cart shop builds modded carts though and they said they run reducers for winches...?
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Unread 12-17-2012, 01:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: Plow and winch mounting - pics and questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wax View Post
Where do you mount a boat battery? I have no room under the seat. I'm going to be installing a back seat kit, I wonder if I can mount a battery under that seat on the floorboard or something? I have nowhere else to put one.
Yes, the bag well under the rear seat is a good place to mount the battery and has been done that way on several occasions.

I have a bed on my main cart instead of a rear seat and that is where the extra battery is located on it.

BEFORE you install the seat, go get a boat battery box along with a battery tie down strap and mount them. Trust me, it's MUCH easier to mount everything when there is nothing in your way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wax View Post
I'm surprised a reducer won't work, but that's not the first time I heard that.
A converter does not put out enough Amperage to properly run the winch under load and will either damage the winch, or burn up the converter. I've seen it happen on a couple of occasions already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wax View Post
The local golf cart shop builds modded carts though and they said they run reducers for winches...?
They might be doing it, but they're either doing a ton of warranty work, the people that buy the carts only have the winch for looks and almost never use it, or they're making a killing on selling replacements.

Personally, if they're doing that type of questionable work I'm not too sure if I would trust them with my cart.

I hope this helps answer your questions,

-Scott H.
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Unread 12-18-2012, 09:20 AM   #5
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Default Re: Plow and winch mounting - pics and questions

Thanks Scott, I appreciate the response.

I went to the local shop yesterday, and this time the owner was there. I'm buying a used back seat from him, and I didn't know this before but the bag well will still be accessable like you mentioned. He also agreed that the reducer will not handle a winch. I looked up my winch specs, and it reaches 30A at only 500lbs load, and at full 2000lb load it's over 100A...I'm definitely going to have to use an auxiliary battery! He said they don't even put winches on electric carts for this reason, they only do it on gas.

So I guess I'm not certain I'll keep the winch (still could return it, haven't done anything permanent yet)...I've literally fabbed everything up to mount the winch for free, but now I'm not sure I want to be almost $200 into a winch setup on a golf cart. To manually lift the plow, all I have to do is weld 4" of round stock on to the manual handle to get it around the side of the cart. This would save me $$, and be much less maintenance, but would not be nearly as cool! I'm thinking I could just do this for now, and add a winch and lights later if I wanted (could even mount a manual winch). I'm already spending more on this thing than I wanted to, and the wife is already saying "you shoulda just kept the tractor, you didn't have to put any money into that to plow the drive!". Gotta love it.
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Unread 12-18-2012, 01:00 PM   #6
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Default Re: Plow and winch mounting - pics and questions

No problem, I'm glad to help when I can.

You do have another option, but like the manual lift handle it'll require you to get out of the cart to operate.

Get a boat manual winch and mount it to the plow. Then get a handlebar strap extension for tying down motorcycles and put it around the brush guard to connect the cable from the winch to.



That way you can save your back by cranking it up instead of lifting and it all removes when you don't need or want it on there.

-Scott H.
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Unread 12-18-2012, 01:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Plow and winch mounting - pics and questions

That's a good idea, but I want to be able to lift and lower the plow as I'm plowing on the fly, especially since my drive is gravel. The handle will be fine and isn't hard to use (I had a Craftsman with the same plow a few years back), I just have to modify it slightly. But yes I was thinking of mounting a boat winch or some other type of manual winch, not for the plow but for other purposes. I think eventually I will lift this cart, but I'll probably still use it even now in the woods a little bit as long as the terrain isn't too severe. A winch may come in handy for that.
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Unread 12-24-2012, 07:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: Plow and winch mounting - pics and questions

Hey Wax,
How about posting some photos of the way you have plow hooked to the cart?
THANKS
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Unread 12-30-2012, 10:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: Plow and winch mounting - pics and questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by drumgene View Post
Hey Wax,
How about posting some photos of the way you have plow hooked to the cart?
THANKS
Sorry, forgot I could post pics now!






That is actually a little old now. I ended up cutting the top of the plow bracket to be flush with the top of the front frame. This was so I could mount my self made winch mount. Here's pics of when I was thinking about adding the winch...




I had the roller fairlead hooked to the bottom rung of the brush guard with some u-bolts, and it was pretty decent. Just with the suggestions from other people and the shop I go to, I ended up sticking with manual lift. I used the stock craftsman handle, but a 4" extension had to be welded to make it go around the golf cart since it's wider than a little garden tractor. I'm in Michigan, and we got about 6-7" of snow for Christmas and this thing plowed like a dream! I was thoroughly impressed.

My only issue is I might have the plow mounted very slightly high, because when the back wheels dip down like on an uneven part of my driveway, the plow comes off the ground a little. The longer wheelbase also is probably a small factor in this.

I am thinking about adding some blocks or something to the back to lift it an inch or so, and I have also now added a back seat so adding an inch or so of height probably wouldn't hurt. Is this possible/common/safe, or do I just need to go with HD springs?
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Unread 12-30-2012, 10:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: Plow and winch mounting - pics and questions

Ok I decided those pictures weren't good enough since they were at least a week old. I've updated a few things, so here's pics I literally just went outside and took.

Overall setup. Also you'll notice I ditched my temporary truck body bolt for a hitch pin. You have no idea how hard it was to find a 1/2" hitch pin long enough, went to every store in town first with no luck...go figure Harbor Freight had it! I also added some Bell bicycle lights and mounted them on the top rung of the brush guard...$7 each, run off a few AAA batteries for supposedly 65 hours, and have a flashing mode. This was nice because tonight I went down to the exit of my neighborhood (all private roads) and plowed the entrance that had a bunch of built up snow from the city trucks plowing the road, left one flashing and one solid so I could see and be seen easily.





Here you can see how I chopped off the top of the bracket to make it level with the frame. Also note that I added two nylon spacers to the bottom bracket bolt to add some stability (same on other side). I also eliminated the bolts holding the body on top, since the body is actually slid tightly between the top bracket and the frame and is held plenty tight. You can lift the front of the cart with that brush guard, it's solid.



Here's the handle, slides inside the enclosure so hands stay inside:



Here's where the 4" round stock exension was added to make the handle wrap right around the cart. Left not much room to spare because I wanted the handle to go inside the enclosure like in the last pic.



I also added some tire chains. If you need some, get them on Amazon. I got these 2 link chains for around $30...4 link ones in local stores are about $60. I decided not to bother with those cheap tensioners you can also buy, I use a bungee to keep it tight instead.


Last edited by Wax; 12-30-2012 at 11:00 PM.. Reason: changed blurry first pic!
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