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Old 12-14-2014, 02:25 PM   #1
kpauley
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Default Point me in the right direction for troubleshooting

1999 TXT 36V. We use it on the farm to pull a manure spreader across some rough terrain, mild hills, etc. It gets beat up pretty good, has been a workhorse for us. My wife actually drives it more than I do, so she knows how it "feels" and when things are off.

Batteries clearly were dying, so I just replaced them all with Costco batteries, they seem to be working well and there was a definitive improvement after that. All the wiring is clean for the batteries. Only other real service thing that was done at the beginning of this year is I had to replace the forward and reverse switch assembly because it broke. That's just some near history on work done.

What she is telling me is that it seems to go normally driving around on the flats, but it has lost it's oomph going up hills. Sounds like the motor is not pushing it as hard, not enough torque or something.

I have the service manuals through pointers at this site. My question is where to start troubleshooting this. Do the motors go bad and I should start looking at the motor (I saw some tips on checking for continuity that shouldn't be there) or does this sound like an electronics sort of thing?

To be safe, I'm also going through and putting each battery one by one on my 6V charger to make sure they are all individually full charged, but I don't think that will get me very far. Just thought I'd throw this out there to see if there is enough info in what she is telling me to go look one place first and save me some time.
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Old 12-14-2014, 02:58 PM   #2
JohnnieB
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Default Re: Point me in the right direction for troubleshooting

No answers yet, but a lot of questions.

What is the AH capacity of the new batteries? (225AH is the standard)
What is the temperature? (Batteries don't have as much oomph in colder weather)
Were the batteries broken in properly? (Fully charged before first use and not discharged below 75% SoC for the first 20 or so charge cycles.)
Are any cables or connections getting hot?
Are any components other then the motor getting hot?
What is the pack voltage about 12 hours after charger shuts off?
What is pack voltage after cart has been drive several miles. (Wait 15 minutes after cart stops before measuring voltage)
How tall are the tires? (18" is stock - tires taller than that cost you torque, aka oomph, on hills)
What controller? (stock series is 275A)
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Old 12-14-2014, 03:22 PM   #3
kpauley
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Default Re: Point me in the right direction for troubleshooting

Some good questions that I'll probably need to answer with some of my own :-)

What is the AH capacity of the new batteries? (225AH is the standard)
How do I tell? These are Costco 2-GCS Golf Cart Batteries. Something I can measure?


What is the temperature? (Batteries don't have as much oomph in colder weather)
It has been in the 40-50's when she is using it. Hasn't changed a ton I think, but maybe could be a factor I suppose.


Were the batteries broken in properly? (Fully charged before first use and not discharged below 75% SoC for the first 20 or so charge cycles.)
I'm guessing not properly by choice. They were installed and I put a full charge on the pack with the pack charger before she used it. The way she uses it is she has some stop and go to pick up manure for about 100 yards or so. Then she'll go out to the pasture and drive it to spread it. That's probably about 500 yards more of driving, so really not a ton of driving. Then she parks it until the next day. She probably puts it on the charger every two days or so.


Are any cables or connections getting hot?
Are any components other then the motor getting hot?
Have not checked any of this. I'll need to go down there and check it after she does her run sometime this week.


What is the pack voltage about 12 hours after charger shuts off?
What is pack voltage after cart has been drive several miles. (Wait 15 minutes after cart stops before measuring voltage)
Have not checked, will need to check. The cart does not have a voltage meter on it so I'll need to manual check it with my meter.


How tall are the tires? (18" is stock - tires taller than that cost you torque, aka oomph, on hills)
Not stock tires, we have tractor/paddle tires on the rear for snow / mud times of year. These tires have been on for a few years though, so that's not a change that would have impacted this I think. They are just around 18" though as this has a stock suspension, not lifted or anything.


What controller? (stock series is 275A)
How do I tell? I have a picture of it that I can see if I can post correctly here.
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Old 12-14-2014, 04:02 PM   #4
JohnnieB
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Default Re: Point me in the right direction for troubleshooting

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpauley View Post
Some good questions that I'll probably need to answer with some of my own :-)

1. What is the AH capacity of the new batteries? (225AH is the standard)
How do I tell? These are Costco 2-GCS Golf Cart Batteries. Something I can measure?


2. What is the temperature? (Batteries don't have as much oomph in colder weather)
It has been in the 40-50's when she is using it. Hasn't changed a ton I think, but maybe could be a factor I suppose.


3. Were the batteries broken in properly? (Fully charged before first use and not discharged below 75% SoC for the first 20 or so charge cycles.)
I'm guessing not properly by choice. They were installed and I put a full charge on the pack with the pack charger before she used it. The way she uses it is she has some stop and go to pick up manure for about 100 yards or so. Then she'll go out to the pasture and drive it to spread it. That's probably about 500 yards more of driving, so really not a ton of driving. Then she parks it until the next day. She probably puts it on the charger every two days or so.


4. Are any cables or connections getting hot?
Are any components other then the motor getting hot?
Have not checked any of this. I'll need to go down there and check it after she does her run sometime this week.


5. What is the pack voltage about 12 hours after charger shuts off?
What is pack voltage after cart has been drive several miles. (Wait 15 minutes after cart stops before measuring voltage)
Have not checked, will need to check. The cart does not have a voltage meter on it so I'll need to manual check it with my meter.


6. How tall are the tires? (18" is stock - tires taller than that cost you torque, aka oomph, on hills)
Not stock tires, we have tractor/paddle tires on the rear for snow / mud times of year. These tires have been on for a few years though, so that's not a change that would have impacted this I think. They are just around 18" though as this has a stock suspension, not lifted or anything.


7. What controller? (stock series is 275A)
How do I tell? I have a picture of it that I can see if I can post correctly here.
1. Should be some information on the label.

2. Just something to keep in mind. Like humans, batteries don't work as well in cold weather.

3. That sounds consistent with breaking in properly, except for only charging every two days or so. Cart batteries need to be put on charge after each use. The longer they sit is a partially discharged state, the faster they age.

4. Anything other the the motor getting hot is wasted power.

5. This will tell us if the charger is charging batteries fully, and if there is a weak battery. (New doesn't always mean good)

6. if the cart isn't lifted, the tires are 20" or less, so it shouldn't be an issue.

7. Stock Curtis 1206 (275A), a stock solenoid (85A) and OEM cables (6Ga) The way you are using the cart makes it a contender for a 400A controller, a 200A solenoid and 4Ga cables.
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Old 12-14-2014, 04:13 PM   #5
kpauley
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Default Re: Point me in the right direction for troubleshooting

OK, thanks, I'll get some of this stuff checked out.

Regardless of this situation, switching to a 400A controller, 200A solenoid and 4 GA cables. What sort of change would that make to the cart and what kind of money are we talking about?
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Old 12-14-2014, 04:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: Point me in the right direction for troubleshooting

You'd get about 1/3 to 1/2 more torque. Top speed would stay about the same.

About $600. $400 for a NPX controller and 200A solenoid and $200 for a complete set of top quality 4Ga cables (all 13 of them)

http://www.cartsunlimited.net/Custom_Options.html

I'd replace the cables first. You can find cables cheaper elsewhere, or make them yourself.
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Old 12-14-2014, 10:54 PM   #7
kpauley
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Default Re: Point me in the right direction for troubleshooting

BTW, I checked the cables going across all the batteries, I had replaced them a couple years ago, those are all 4 GA cables.
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Old 12-20-2014, 01:21 PM   #8
kpauley
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Default Re: Point me in the right direction for troubleshooting

OK. Spent some Christmas money and we will see how it goes! 2GA battery cables installed. Monday I'll install the new f/r HD cam and the Alltrax SPM-48500 controller kit. Hoping for some nice improvements!
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Old 12-22-2014, 08:34 PM   #9
kpauley
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Default Re: Point me in the right direction for troubleshooting

OK, so I have the new parts in (except for the new dash volt meter which I'll try to get done tomorrow so I can get a better read on the pack). Doesn't feel like it has made much of a difference. I have new batteries (Costco) and all this new gear now and I still have power issues. I should have known a little better in that I should have tried to get the problem solved first before throwing gear at it but it was fun :-)

I checked continuity at the motor while I had it apart and it seemed like it was correct (based on what I saw on this site in another troubleshooting post). But even with that, could the motor be just getting old and giving up? Differential or other drive train issue? any thoughts?

Ken
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Old 12-23-2014, 12:14 AM   #10
radioman
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Default Re: Point me in the right direction for troubleshooting

Now have some more fun. Get your meter and make some detailed voltage measurements and post them so we can have some fun trying to help you figure out what might be the trouble. You could possibly have a defective charger.
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