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Unread 06-22-2014, 04:10 PM   #1
Not Yet Wild
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 6
Default Charging

Couple questions for you guys. Hopefully you can help. I have a 2000 36v club car and a manual charger with the dial timer on it. How long should I set the timer to charge. Always like to start the day with a fresh charge so how do I know whether to set it for 2 hours, or 7 hours? Don't want to overcharge the batteries. I also have an automatic charger that is set up for my ezgo. Is there any way to wire a charger with dual plugs for a three wire ezgo and claw foot plug for a club car?
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Unread 06-22-2014, 04:20 PM   #2
Gone Wild
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Default Re: Charging

I highly recommend that you get yourself an automatic charger rather than having to guess how long to charge for with at manual timer. The amount of charge time needed is very dependent on things that you can't possibly know. Your batteries will thank you and they will last longer if you get a modern charger.
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Unread 06-22-2014, 08:00 PM   #3
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Location: Lower SE Michigan
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Default Re: Charging

The Lester charger with my first cart had a decal that advised something like, "Set timer for 12 hours for heavily discharged batteries, 7 hours for lightly discharged batteries. Set timer for 1 hour in the morning, if ammeter needle drops to green zone (5 amps) in less than 15 minutes, batteries are fully charged"

I more or less followed that advice for all the years I owned the cart, and it worked well. If I had hardly run the cart, I might give it an hour or 3, if I ran it hard, I'd follow the decal's instructions.

When I got the cart, the batteries were slightly swelled, one post had a minor melting issue, and I was prepared to replace the pack. However, I cleaned things up, welded up the rusted/corroded battery trays, charged the batteries and proceeded to run them for nearly 5 years. Replaced the pack with new batteries from Sam's Club, and they were in the machine when I sold it 7 years later.

Mind you, I'll admit that I don't normally run my cart very hard, there's one period every year where it gets used heavily for 3 weeks, but usage is rather light for the rest of the time.
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Unread 06-22-2014, 08:19 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2011
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Default Re: Charging

Thanks for the replies. I know an automatic charger would be the best option but I can't see spending the money when I have a perfectly good manual charger. The golf cart only get used around a campground that is all level roads and paved. In a day there may only be an hour or 2 of riding time. I'll just have to do some trial with it. I'm just afraid of overcharging. 12 hours on completely dead batteries just sounds like too much. Even 7 hours on slightly discharged batteries sounds like a lot. There should be a chart of some sort that can say if your batteries are at 70% then charge for x number of hours and if at 50% charge for x number of hours. Guess that's a perfect world. Thanks again for all the advice.
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Unread 06-22-2014, 08:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: Charging

A good charger is cheaper than cheap batteries. If you are not going to follow that advice get a digital volt meter to check the batteries. If it is a 36 volt pack you should unplug the charger when the voltage gets to about 44.5
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Unread 06-22-2014, 08:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Charging

Your charger is what is called "Constant Voltage", meaning that the charge rate will taper off as the battery's charge/voltage rises. It doesn't usually taper to zero, but shouldn't significantly over charge the pack, either. Do be sure to monitor things until you're sure the charger is working correctly.

I have several chargers around here, and they all operate similarly: The initial charge rate will be close to 20 amps. If the pack isn't too low, the rate will begin dropping fairly quickly; it might be down to 10 amps within a couple of hours. The rate will slowly decline from there, finally getting to about 5 amps, maybe a bit less. It will not go lower, no matter how long the charger runs, but it needs to sit there at that 5 amp rate for a couple of hours to equalize all the cells. It doesn't have to equalize them every time, in fact that's not a real good idea, but it does have to equalize them now and then.

There are a number of links on this site regarding battery care, some are in the Stickys on the various boards. Read them, and you'll be well-versed on the subject.
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Unread 07-10-2014, 07:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: Charging

Has anyone ever hooked two carts together with jumper cables to charge all 12 batteries with one charger? Would that work? Seems like it would would since it's still only 36 volts.
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Unread 07-10-2014, 08:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: Charging

Yes,
Connecting 2 carts so as to charge both simultaneously will work. Use heavy jumper cables and be careful of your connections. Naturally, it'll take much longer.

This really isn't a good idea, especially if the batteries aren't well matched in all regards, especially state of charge. If one cart is mildly discharged while the other is heavily run down, the former will have its pack somewhat overcharged.

But, in a pinch, it will work.
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