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Unread 09-29-2014, 09:12 AM   #1
Not Yet Wild
 
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Default 2004 Club Car Gear Ratio - Begging for help!

Guys,

I am a long time reader, but seldom poster. I am having an issue with my neighbor's 2004 Club Car DS electric (48v). Her batteries die after 45-60 minutes of riding. I have tried EVERYTHING to figure out why these batteries won't last. I replaced them with brand new Trojan T-875s and they still die. A little history:

The cart has ALWAYS been extremely fast. It has an Alltrax 500a controller. A couple of years ago, the FnR switch was getting hot so I replaced it with a Reversing Contactor. I also went ahead and replaced the GE high speed motor that was in it since she was scared her grandkids were going to get hurt. I put in a D&D motor that was supposed to run about 16 mph but actually ran about 24 mph. So, I turned the top speed setting down for the controller to 60%. She never told me, but I kept hearing of her having issues with the cart dying or going very slow on her after just a few minutes of driving (she doesn't live in the same part of the neighborhood that I do). After a couple of years, she finally told me about it and asked if I had any ideas.

So, I first checked the under voltage setting on the controller. It was set to 42 so I thought for sure that was the problem. I set it to 36 and I really thought I solved the problem when I drove it for about an hour. Then, suddenly, it slowed to a halt and I limped it back home. I load tested the batteries and they seemed to be fine. I checked for other problems but I found nothing. No overheating anywhere. So, I took it to a golf cart repair shop to have a test done on the batteries. He said the batteries only showed 29% capacity. So, I had him replace them. Schwool - problem solved! So I thought.

I gave it back to her without really driving it since I was sure that was the issue. She called me and asked how long the batteries should last now. I said, well, if you're on a road driving full speed the entire time, maybe an hour. But for normal driving, 3-4 hours. She said it lasted about 50 minutes.

Grrrrr!!! Back to the drawing board. The cart was still extremely fast so I started thinking that maybe D&D had accidentally sent me a high speed motor. I called them and they said, yes, that is a high speed motor. I was shocked because it wasn't supposed to be. Nonetheless, I went ahead and ordered a VERY high torque, low speed (14-15.5 mph) motor that they said would allow the batteries to last MUCH longer than the other motor. I was relieved. Finally, the problem would be resolved.

When the motor arrived, I put it in. To my terrifying surprise, the cart STILL ran about 22 mph. I called D&D. We talked about what could be causing the issue. He said if the cart has high speed gears in it, it could cause the cart to run faster and kill the batteries quicker. He told me to check the rear gear ratio by taking of the little cap on the end of the motor (and the right-rear tire) and marking the shaft in the motor and then turning the wheel hub one full revolution while counting the number of times the motor revolved. He said it should be 12.5 times. To me complete surprise, it was a VERY low 3.75.

This seems to explain my problem, but I have NEVER seen any 3.75:1 gears for a Club Car. Is the test I did accurate? If so, what the heck is going on here?

I've been trying to solve this for 3 months. Any help would be appreciated. I am, of course, not a professional at this. I'm just a guy trying to help out a neighbor who has gotten in over his head!!
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Unread 09-29-2014, 09:31 AM   #2
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Default Re: 2004 Club Car Gear Ratio - Begging for help!

To check the gear ratio. Do what you did, but both wheels must turn together. Leave cart on the ground and push one wheel revulation while counting the motor turns.
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Unread 09-29-2014, 09:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: 2004 Club Car Gear Ratio - Begging for help!

We had that question a little while ago and a lot of us, including myself got it wrong... I did do some reading after that.

In a standard open end differential, both wheels must make a full revolution for you to count the ratio correctly.

You can also leave one wheel on the ground and turn the raised wheel 2 full revolutions.
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Unread 09-29-2014, 10:01 AM   #4
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Default Re: 2004 Club Car Gear Ratio - Begging for help!

Thanks guys. I did the test by rolling on the ground. It was actually less than 8 motor turns to make a full wheel rotation - around 7.5.

Would the high speed gears cause the batteries to die that quickly?
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Unread 09-29-2014, 10:46 AM   #5
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Default Re: 2004 Club Car Gear Ratio - Begging for help!

From the past discussions I would say that is high speed gears.
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Unread 09-29-2014, 11:03 AM   #6
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Default Re: 2004 Club Car Gear Ratio - Begging for help!

Just curious, with both wheels on the cart and the cart rolling on the ground, how in the world can you count how many times the motor end is turning? You guys must be a lot more flexible than I am....
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Unread 09-29-2014, 02:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2004 Club Car Gear Ratio - Begging for help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergio View Post
Just curious, with both wheels on the cart and the cart rolling on the ground, how in the world can you count how many times the motor end is turning? You guys must be a lot more flexible than I am....
Ha. It is funny you say that because that was my EXACT thought the moment I put the tire/wheel back on - "HOW IN THE WORLD AM I GOING TO SEE THE MOTOR WHILE ROLLING THE CART?"

Believe it or not, it wasn't very hard. I laid down behind the back wheel where I could see the end of the shaft on the motor. I made a mark on the tire with a sharpie at eye level. I moved the cart forward by rotating the tire very slowly. Each time the motor turned one turn, I'd scoot forward (not very far). After 6 turns of the motor, I began to also keep my eye out for the mark on the tire to come back around. It came back to eye level between the 7th and 8th turn of the motor.
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