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Unread 03-19-2013, 01:23 PM   #1
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Default '85 Club car

I have a 85 club car that is stock at this point. In reading on this forum it would seem that an upgrade from the resistors to solid state is a no brainer. Should I also convert to 48v as I am lead to believe that is an option as well? What all would you do if in my position? Torque for climbing hills more important than top end speed. I do plan to put on slightly larger tires as well. My first upgrade so looking for guidance from those more experienced.
Thanks in advance
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Unread 03-19-2013, 03:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: '85 Club car

The conversion from resistor coils to solid state speed control will bring your cart out of the stone age into the 21st century of precision drive systems.

Your current system allows the motor to draw hundred percent of the battery pack power regardless of how little or how much you push the gas peddle. The electronic speed controller matches the amount of amperage drawn to the position of the throttle pedal. This match means that if you push the gas peddle down 10% only 10% of the available amperage is drawn.

The 48 volt upgrade is the biggest bang for the buck for these older series carts. The 36 V motor response very well to the moderate increase in voltage with a proportionate increase in both speed and torque. We have members here who have 36 V motors that have been running on 48 V for four years.

I hope this information helps
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Unread 03-19-2013, 08:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: '85 Club car

Quote:
Your current system allows the motor to draw hundred percent of the battery pack power regardless of how little or how much you push the gas peddle. The electronic speed controller matches the amount of amperage drawn to the position of the throttle pedal. This match means that if you push the gas peddle down 10% only 10% of the available amperage is drawn.
Way back when I was in "DC Fundamentals" class, the instructor asked if our auto's heater blower circuit drew the same current when the switch was on "low" as when it was on "high". The resistor that slowed the motor down also dissipated power, so it must be so, correct? This is exactly what you are saying, and it is exactly 100% incorrect.

Yes, a resistor speed control wastes some power, but the drive system draws substantially less current at light pedal settings than at higher ones. After all, if the circuit, which is a simple series configuration, drew the same current all the time, the motor would always run full speed, period.

That instructor's trick question (see above) was to introduce us to series circuits. When you add resistance to a circuit, the overall current drops. The current in a simple series circuit is the same at all points in the loop.
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Unread 03-19-2013, 09:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: '85 Club car

Thanks for the replies. Probably would be smarter to cut my losses and buy a newer 48v cart, but I am a bit stubborn and like a little challenge. Restoring/upgrading this old cart should be fun while perhaps not the best way to spend money. Electricity takes the path of least resistance. It would seem to me when the last solenoid activates, current would then bypass the previous resistor coils. I am far from clear on how those solenoids are activated, but it must be a series of contacts as pedal is depressed. First solenoid activates resistor with most impedence= less current to motor=slower speed. If this is correct, while it is a series of resistors they are all not in circuit at same time.

That being said, upgrading to solid state controller makes all that a mute point. Still not sure about making conversion to 48v at same time as upgrade to controller. Logic tells me not to apply 48v to a 36v device but many post seem to indicate motor has no issues handling the overage. These questions are where I call on the more experienced and learned posters. Need to be sure before I start throwing money on the ground.

Am quite sure I have misstated something, which will stimulate some corrective feedback, which is a good thing.
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Unread 03-20-2013, 08:53 AM   #5
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Default Re: '85 Club car

Rockhill,
You're correct about bypassing the rebuild/repair of this old cart, you'd be better off simply upgrading to begin with. However, I can sure sympathize, I do it the same way as you. :-)

You're also correct in your assumption of how it operates: the solenoid bank shorts out the resistor coils one by one until the battery voltage is applied directly to the motor. There's a bank of micro switches on the accelerator assembly that operates the solenoids. FWIW: it seems as though the solenoids used in this setup are prone to failure, another good reason for upgrading to a controller setup.

Everyone here seems to think that running a 36-volt motor on 48 volts is OK, I think the only potential problem would be if you abuse it severely. IE: big tires and/or lots of steep hills, towing a trailer, etc. Even then, it would stand a certain amount of that. Such an upgrade makes a lot of sense if you're already switching to a controller and need to buy batteries.

Scottyb sells a complete conversion kit and comes highly recommended. If the kit is like his digital meter, it's top-shelf quality, and his service is also good. (I put one of his meters on my 1979 CC controller conversion)
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