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Unread 08-13-2019, 09:17 AM   #1
Not Yet Wild
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Default '03 CC Pathway - Li converted - Help with next steps (charger and lights)

Hello,

I have an 2003 CC Pathway (IR version) and yesterday I installed two 48V 50AH Chevy Volt Li batteries with BMS.

The good news. The cart runs, easily climbs the steep hills near my house, and after all my testing yesterday the system voltage only dropped from 48V to 46.8V - Great!

But... there are two main issues so far that I would love help with.

1. When I plug in the PowerDrive charger it does not charge. I had planned to install a charger module to keep voltage to 50V, but first I wanted to test the charger and monitor the batteries manually. Do you have recommendations for how to troubleshoot? Do I need to purchase a different charger or can I fix/modify what I have?

2. Possibly related to #1, maybe not: The original setup had two thin red cables each connected to the positive terminal of an 8V battery. One of these is for lights and I'm not sure about the other. I made the mistake of connecting the paddles to the 48V battery and it seems to have blown out the headlights :). How do you recommend I hook up these paddles given my battery setup?

Thank you VERY much. I'm obviously quite new to this but it's been really rewarding and fun to learn.
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Unread 08-13-2019, 10:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: '03 CC Pathway - Li converted - Help with next steps (charger and lights)

Lithium batteries obviously have a very different chemistry than FLA batteries and have different charging requirements. If you want to ensure safe operation and long life of your pack your going to want to use a charger designed for lithium batteries. As far as 12v lights and accessories I would recommend installing a 47v to 12v reducer or you will keep turning your 12v parts into fuses...

The Veego reducers seem to work well.

https://www.cartsunlimited.net/12v-reducers.html

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Unread 08-13-2019, 11:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: '03 CC Pathway - Li converted - Help with next steps (charger and lights)

I agree - you want a reducer to convert your pack voltage to 12V! And you need a charger designed for Lithium at the correct voltage and current for your particular batteries!!!!!
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Unread 08-13-2019, 02:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: '03 CC Pathway - Li converted - Help with next steps (charger and lights)

Quote:
Originally Posted by lithiumsupplement View Post
-snip-
1. When I plug in the PowerDrive charger it does not charge. I had planned to install a charger module to keep voltage to 50V, but first I wanted to test the charger and monitor the batteries manually. Do you have recommendations for how to troubleshoot? Do I need to purchase a different charger or can I fix/modify what I have?
Pretty sure I know from who and where you bought those, and the module is a must or you need a BMS that will disable the charge circuit or have a charge safety relay to drop the low when you reach a high cell voltage.

We installed a Volt in my nephews cart with an Orion Jr and it would trip the Powerdrive by breaking the circuit through a relay. Yours is not currently working most likely because you have not by passed the OBC and made the correct connections to allow the charger to run without the sense wire being present. Even if you do this, that is still a poor charger for your needs. You need to pick you up and good lithium charger as they are fairly cheap now and will work much better. Just be careful as you do not want to charge beyond 50.1vdc...
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Unread 08-13-2019, 05:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: '03 CC Pathway - Li converted - Help with next steps (charger and lights)

IMHO, you gotta go with a charger that is for a lithium battery. Anything else is a high risk of damaging your pack.

As for the reducer, I'm a big fan of having a separate 12-V marine battery to run winch's and lights. That's what I do. If for some reason my lithium system takes a dump when I'm out in the fields of southwestern Pa., I can always drive my 4X4 pickup to it and winch the cart onto my truck bed.

Two separate systems = easier when "stuff" happens.

MHO
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Unread 08-14-2019, 05:41 AM   #6
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Default Re: '03 CC Pathway - Li converted - Help with next steps (charger and lights)

These folks wont steer you wrong. They all helped me build my lithium setup. I would not have been able to do it without them!

I would also suggest replacing all your cables with new. It looks like you have old cables right now. You don't want to risk using old cables that may have corrosion issues from being older, as well as a higher probability of corrosion from being used with FLA batteries.
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Unread 08-14-2019, 10:46 AM   #7
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Default Re: '03 CC Pathway - Li converted - Help with next steps (charger and lights)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MCJEFE View Post
Lithium batteries obviously have a very different chemistry than FLA batteries and have different charging requirements. If you want to ensure safe operation and long life of your pack your going to want to use a charger designed for lithium batteries. As far as 12v lights and accessories I would recommend installing a 47v to 12v reducer or you will keep turning your 12v parts into fuses...

The Veego reducers seem to work well.
Man this is great, I will buy those. So helpful, thank you.

I have a particularly uninformed followup question... if my lights and electronics are on a 12V system, how/why did they function hooked up to 8V batteries?

Also, which specific charger would you recommend for my setup?

Thanks!
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Unread 08-14-2019, 11:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: '03 CC Pathway - Li converted - Help with next steps (charger and lights)

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoleFan4Ever View Post
Pretty sure I know from who and where you bought those, and the module is a must or you need a BMS that will disable the charge circuit or have a charge safety relay to drop the low when you reach a high cell voltage.

We installed a Volt in my nephews cart with an Orion Jr and it would trip the Powerdrive by breaking the circuit through a relay. Yours is not currently working most likely because you have not by passed the OBC and made the correct connections to allow the charger to run without the sense wire being present. Even if you do this, that is still a poor charger for your needs. You need to pick you up and good lithium charger as they are fairly cheap now and will work much better. Just be careful as you do not want to charge beyond 50.1vdc...

Thanks for your help! A few follow-ups:

- I wouldn't be surprised if you know the guy I purchased from. He's an 83 y/o from Livermore CA (1 hour away) who sells new (or so he claims) Volt batteries. Mine came out of a 2015 Volt, how/why a 2015 volt could be unused is beyond me but he claims to have some special connection. Not sure if I'm a sucker but so far the batteries work well. I didn't know anything about BMS so he installed them for $200 per battery (too much?). Maybe next time I'll try to do it on my own but I was focused on getting a working cart sooner.

Question... how would I know what my BMS is set to, or even if it is operating? I could call him, but I should know the right questions to ask.

- What benefits, if any, do I lose in bypassing the OBC? I'm sure there are a lot of threads about it, but let me know if there's a specific thread you think would be particularly helpful.

- I also asked in a seperate reply, but if you have a charger you recommend that would save me some time as well.

Thanks again. Working through this is unexpectedly fun.
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Unread 08-14-2019, 11:27 AM   #9
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Default Re: '03 CC Pathway - Li converted - Help with next steps (charger and lights)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BBBHC View Post
These folks wont steer you wrong. They all helped me build my lithium setup. I would not have been able to do it without them!

I would also suggest replacing all your cables with new. It looks like you have old cables right now. You don't want to risk using old cables that may have corrosion issues from being older, as well as a higher probability of corrosion from being used with FLA batteries.
That's good to know. I'll probably replace the cables soon enough. I cleaned them up with baking soda and a wire brush. I think they'll work while I'm getting it up and running.

Question... what can go wrong when using older cables? Do you lose power or is it a safety issue?

Thanks!
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Unread 08-14-2019, 11:32 AM   #10
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Default Re: '03 CC Pathway - Li converted - Help with next steps (charger and lights)

Bad cable connections can cause problems. The connection can overheat and cause damage to the battery. I would also recommend replacing the cables and the good news is that they should stay nice and clean with Lithium batteries.
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