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Old 05-09-2011, 09:01 AM   #1
Not Yet Wild
Harley Davidson
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: North West Georgia
Posts: 1
Default Upgrading a '69 DE to a Curtis Controller

I purchased a 1969 Harley DE cart several months ago and I'm finally getting around to getting it up and running. The original wiring and controller was a mess when I got it. The guy I bought it from said the previous owner was trying to run it on 18 volts because he only had 3 good batteries. I found a wiring diagram, but after doing a little research, I decided I'd be better off ditching the old controller and going with a solid state unit . . . But, this cart is kind'a rough, so I don't want to invest a fortune in it. I found a good used Curtis 1204-410 at a bargin price, and bought a new 0-5K pot box. Now, I'm trying to figure out what, if anything, I can salvage off the old controller to keep the cost as low as possible. This is my first golf cart project, so any help or advice will be greatly appreciated.

My main questions are:

There are 3 contactors across the top of the old controller. Can I use one of those as the main contactor with the new controller?

There are two contactors on the old controller that were used for forward/reverse. Can I re-use those?

I can't find any specs on the contactors, and I haven't found any specs on them anywhere on the internet. I've found contactors for sale that are "supposed" to fit my cart on eBay and other internet sites, but some said they are 6 volt, some said 12, and some 36. I've got a copy of the original wiring diagram. I understand basic DC circuits, but I can't make heads or tails out of this one. Are these contactors swiched by 6, 12, or 36 volts?

Also, I'm wondering about setting up the battery pack for charging. It appears the original charger plugged into the cart without unhooking the battery pack from the controller. Should I keep the two big diodes and go with the same type setup or have the battery pack set up to plug into either the cart's control circuit or the charger (like a lift truck)?

Sorry for all the questions, but I'm kind'a "cart challenged" right now . . . but I'm trying to learn!
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Old 08-11-2012, 11:13 PM   #2
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brian_huff100's Avatar
Harley Davidson
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: White Lake Michigan
Posts: 4
Default Re: Upgrading a '69 DE to a Curtis Controller

Hey Zen,
Did you ever get this issue figured out? If so I would like to know what it took, or what you did to get it running.


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Old 12-16-2012, 02:36 PM   #3
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Mixed Breed
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Lower SE Michigan
Posts: 328
Default Re: Upgrading a '69 DE to a Curtis Controller

Go to the Curtis web site and download the manual (.pdf format) for the 1204/1205 controllers. If you're doing a conversion, you can just tear out all the existing wiring and wire 'er up per that manual.

I did exactly that with a 1979 Club Car, changing it over to a Curtis 1205 controller and a F/R solenoid switch from an old electric pallet jack. Hadda use a resistor in the coil circuit for the latter, as it's 24 volts. Worked out great!
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:46 PM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 72,369
Default Re: Upgrading a '69 DE to a Curtis Controller

Quote Zen : Are these contactors swiched by 6, 12, or 36 volts?

Yes. that is why the system is so confusing. each solenoid has a different activation voltage. Genius, huh? You might be able to use one of them, first find how much amperage they can pass and then apply the proper activation voltage. Once you gut the cart any basic controller diagram will work, the more simple you can keep it the better.
Here is one of my diagrams I use for other conversions. Just supplement this with the 2 solenoid F&R if you wish to use that or get a simple rotary CC F&R as shown in the cartsunlimited diagram below.

Keep us posted on your progress.
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