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Unread 02-05-2020, 10:56 AM   #1
Not Yet Wild
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 4
Default Club Car DS Propane conversion

Hello,

Wanted to share my latest project with the forum, been coming here for years for info.
The reason I wanted to share this is, there are a few companies who sell kits for this, but they are expensive. Also, I couldnít find anything anywhere on anyone doing one of these expensive kits.
My cart does a lot of sitting, used primary for shooting it gets lots of use in spring and summer but spends most of the fall and winter in the garage.
I got tired of having do a bunch of work on it each year to get it running well again. I saw a video online of a guy converting a generator to run off propane and looking at the specs of the setup he used it matched the HP range for the Club Car. As a test I bought one an converted my generator and it worked flawlessly after two pulls my Briggs genset was happily running on propane. Now on to the Golf Cart!
These are Tri fuel carbs, they will run off Gasoline, Propane or Natural gas.
First thing was I knew the carb wouldnít fit straight up the Carb off the FE290 is straight and the carb I purchased is twisted slightly, it looked to be about ľ inch. Since Iím not a machinist I started searching around for an adapter. Took a while to find what I needed but I finally found a manifold adapter it wasnít an exact match, and there may be someone who sells exactly what you need but I did have to do a bit of trimming on the holes on the motor side to get it to fit perfectly. But it was aluminum and soft, little Dremel work and I had it fitting well. Carb studs had to go, but the kit included new hardware, and new gaskets.
Second thing is there is no way the carb will fit with the on-demand regulator/Vaporizer attached.
I pulled it off and mounted it to the inside of the engine bay and pulled off the Gas solenoid off the bottom of the carb. I also had to remove a few of the heat shields around the spark plug and tappet.
I used the stock intake adapter and ran the hose from the tappet to the intake. I wanted to use the stock intake hose since I know these motors are funny about the intake pressure or something, also even though the carb has a manual choke I wanted to be able to use the stock one.
I had to take the throttle cable linkage off the top of the old carb and put it on the new one to use the existing cable. This wasnít so easy, I had to file the stud flat on the old carb and gently pry it off. The new carb was easy to remove, however itís a bit smaller than the stock one and I tried JB weld and it didnít not work, I also tried the JB weld putty and it did not work. I ended up using Gorilla construction adhesive itís holding up well.
Couple of lessons learned, you need a two-stage regulator from the propane tank to the vaporizer/on demand regulator. The problem I had was it would run great until rolling under a load then you would give it the beans and the pressure would drop to zero and it would fall on its face. I also noticed the regulator I had (standard BBQ grill one) would freeze up when this was happening. After some online digging I found out that the dual stage regulator keeps the pressure constant and prevents burners/appliances from starving the rest of the system. To confirm I went to a local propane dealer who has been around forever and talked with them and they agreed that was the issue. The last issue Iím dealing with now is using the stock airbox it does not get enough air thru the filter and it runs bad, if I pull the air filter out of the box it runs perfectly. If I use any other type of intake filter setup it runs great but is horribly cold natured. If anyone has any insights on that or a possible work around that would be great, best idea I have right now is to try a K&N filter(pricey) in the stock airbox. I have also toyed with the idea of trying thin wall plc. and experiment with different lengths of pipe until its happy. Again, any length or clues on that would be helpful. The small camping tanks are temporary I will be using a 5 or an 11 gallon tank as soon and I work out the intake detail.
If anyone has any more detailed questions I will try to help.


Manifold adapter= http://www.nrracing.com/product-p/nr-390man-adjust.htm
Carb= https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Two stage regulator=
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Char-Broil-...B&gclsrc=aw.ds

Pictures and Video=
https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...2O?usp=sharing
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Unread 02-05-2020, 11:49 AM   #2
Runs with scissors-
 
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Sierra Nevada foothills,CA
Posts: 1,165
Default Re: Club Car DS Propane conversion

Cool project!
Would it be easier to make it ďjustĒ propane, and not multi-fuel?
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Unread 02-05-2020, 11:58 AM   #3
dliw enoG
 
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Location: Charlottesburg Va
Posts: 3,340
Default Re: Club Car DS Propane conversion

Sounds like an interesting project, thanks for sharing. One thing that concerns me is this:
Quote:
I also had to remove a few of the heat shields around the spark plug and tappet.
Those are not heat shields, they are cooling shrouds meant to direct airflow around the piston chamber and cylinder head through the cooling fins. Without them you will have overheating issues and will end up with major engine damage.
They are 100% necessary for proper airflow across the engine and need to be put back on. Trim or bend some parts of them if you have to, but the bulk of the shroud needs to be there to direct airflow across the engine.
You could also use a phenolic spacer between the carb and the head to space the carb out further if you need more clearance.
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Unread 02-05-2020, 01:20 PM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2019
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Default Re: Club Car DS Propane conversion

For me I wanted propane only, so i pulled the fuel tank out and removed the fuel pump. But you could hook up gas to the carb if you wanted, the solenoid at the bottom would need to be wired up as a safety to prevent the possibility of gas and propane being used at the same time, from the looks of its a pin that pushes up to the float bowl to stop the gasoline if propane is connected.
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Unread 02-05-2020, 01:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: Club Car DS Propane conversion

Fairtax point taken, i only removed the one on the top around the spark plug.
I will see if i can add it back without to much issue.
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Unread 02-05-2020, 01:36 PM   #6
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Location: Sierra Nevada foothills,CA
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Default Re: Club Car DS Propane conversion

Good catch , FT. One can cook an engine pretty quickly without the ďtinĒ .
Please donít ask why I know that . . . .
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Unread 02-05-2020, 08:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Club Car DS Propane conversion

Yep, without that one on top you get no flow across the head and the exhaust side gets very little or no airflow at all. That side gets hot in a hurry, and no airflow means it will eventually get to the point the exhuast valve burns or you end up with pre-ignition and a hole melts in the piston.
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Unread 02-06-2020, 01:30 PM   #8
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Location: Katy TX
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Default Re: Club Car DS Propane conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenjones View Post
Hello,
The last issue Iím dealing with now is using the stock airbox it does not get enough air thru the filter and it runs bad, if I pull the air filter out of the box it runs perfectly. If I use any other type of intake filter setup it runs great but is horribly cold natured. If anyone has any insights on that or a possible work around that would be great, best idea I have right now is to try a K&N filter(pricey) in the stock airbox. I have also toyed with the idea of trying thin wall plc. and experiment with different lengths of pipe until its happy. Again, any length or clues on that would be helpful.
So you not getting enough air, can you dial back the fuel a little to match the amount of air it is getting through the stock box and filter? Is that LP regulator adjustable?
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Unread 02-06-2020, 02:24 PM   #9
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Default Re: Club Car DS Propane conversion

You mentioned earlier how Club Cars need a bit of restriction to run right. Normally that is true, but since you've changed the carburetion and the propane is pushed under pressure instead of drawn under vacuum I don't think that's your case anymore. You might try some of that cut-to-size furnace filter material (looks like a ScotchBrite pad). May be less restrictive, less expensive and should be washable / reusable to boot
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Unread 02-06-2020, 02:50 PM   #10
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Default Re: Club Car DS Propane conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by meimk View Post
You mentioned earlier how Club Cars need a bit of restriction to run right. Normally that is true, but since you've changed the carburetion and the propane is pushed under pressure instead of drawn under vacuum I don't think that's your case anymore. You might try some of that cut-to-size furnace filter material (looks like a ScotchBrite pad). May be less restrictive, less expensive and should be washable / reusable to boot
Wouldn't the engine still be drawing a vacuum through the intake & airbox? If so I would worry about such an open filter allowing too much dust in a damaging the cylinder walls.
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