My experience converting a cart from 6-8 to 8-6 volt batteries

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  #1  
Old 05-23-2011, 08:56 AM
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Default My experience converting a cart from 6-8 to 8-6 volt batteries

I am creating this thread to share my experience fixing up a 2002 Club Car DS. Part of that effort was converting the cart from 6 - 8 volt batteries to 8 - 6 volt batteries. As I find long posts difficult to write and read, I will post a series of posts on the effort when I get some time. I have no ulterior motive for doing this, but to share the experience, I know some folks are interested as I get PMs on the subject. At a minimum I thought sharing the cost, effort and results could be interesting.

Hopefully there will be something of interest for others, or maybe someone had a different experience to share. I am not a professional cart mechanic or a professional writer, so bear with me.

In this thread I can also share my Dads project as he is currently converting a 1996 CC DS to hold 8 6 volt batteries. He is making space for the extra two batteries in a different place that I did.

It is fair to say that I knew NOTHING about electric carts when my wife and I bought our home in The Villages in 2007. When we bought our home, I rushed out all excited and got a golf cart. It was going to be electric, but that is all I knew. My Dad had a 2003 Club Car which he had bought new. I found a 2000 Par Car, which I paid $2700. I cut my teeth on this cart learning all kinds of stuff. The things I learned fixing that Par Car could be a thread in itself. Hopefully it is still rolling around in TV somewhere.

The thing that struck my Dad and I was the range difference between my Par Car and his Club Car. I could easily drive from Mallory to Lopez to play golf, come home and then go out to Spanish Springs and home again (35? miles). There seemed to be plenty of juice left in my pack. From Chatham my Dad could come down and play Havana, then return home (28? miles). As his pack aged, his yellow light would come on as he drove up the Chatham hill. To be clear, at that time I had NO idea about battery packs, i.e., amp hour ratings, state of charge, amount to safely discharge pack, etc. I had no idea there were web sites that all people did was talk about golf carts, who would have thought?

What my Dad and I learned from that Par Car was that having 8 6 volt batteries gives you better range than a cart with 6 8 volt batteries. We also learned that as a DIY it is harder to get parts for a Par Car if you wish to fix one up. Columbia has pretty tight control over replacement parts. We decided that someday we would love to try and stuff 8 6 volt batteries into a Club Car.

More to some as I get time.
  #2  
Old 05-23-2011, 11:39 AM
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Oh boy, we are very interested in this thread and can't wait to hear more. Taking your time to chronicle this is very generous. Thank you for sharing your experience and expertise with us.
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by K9-Lovers View Post
Oh boy, we are very interested in this thread and can't wait to hear more. Taking your time to chronicle this is very generous. Thank you for sharing your experience and expertise with us.
Thanks from me too, A J. I really appreciate all you do to keep us informed.. BRAVO...to...AJBROWN.

Last edited by mrfixit; 05-23-2011 at 12:00 PM. Reason: sp
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Old 05-23-2011, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfixit View Post
Thanks from me too, A J. I really appreciate all you do to keep us informed.. BRAVO...to...AJBROWN.
Quote:
Originally Posted by K9-Lovers View Post
Oh boy, we are very interested in this thread and can't wait to hear more. Taking your time to chronicle this is very generous. Thank you for sharing your experience and expertise with us.
I'll make it three. Very interesting thanks Mr. AJ.
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:04 PM
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ajbrown don't don't stop...god its like a cliff hanger in the movies....I have a Precedent with 6/8 and it is not getting the miles I need????? My repair guy wants $2,000 to convert it to 8/6 stating he needs to reweld the frame to fit 2 additional batteries
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by rubicon View Post
I have a Precedent with 6/8 and it is not getting the miles I need????? My repair guy wants $2,000 to convert it to 8/6 stating he needs to reweld the frame to fit 2 additional batteries
Count your self lucky that you do not have 4-12 volt batteries which Precedent initially had. Out of curiousity, how many miles do you get now?
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:33 PM
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After 25 miles still have power but can feel the strain when I hit the pedal. My repair guy says I should get 35 miles with no effort but it isn't happening...and these are new Powertron which I had him replace free because the Trojan did not get that. I want to get 35 miles without any effort. I listening to people tell me there afre getting anywhere from 45 to 90 miles with 8/6. My repair guy simply does not believe the 90 mile figure.
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Old 05-23-2011, 04:55 PM
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Default 35 miles is a lot IMO

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Originally Posted by rubicon View Post
After 25 miles still have power but can feel the strain when I hit the pedal. My repair guy says I should get 35 miles with no effort but it isn't happening...and these are new Powertron which I had him replace free because the Trojan did not get that. I want to get 35 miles without any effort. I listening to people tell me there afre getting anywhere from 45 to 90 miles with 8/6. My repair guy simply does not believe the 90 mile figure.
Not too familiar with Powertron (but I am just a DIY guy, so not too familiar with lots of stuff ). Looks like their 8 volt battery has the same specs as the Trojan T875. Not sure why a repairman would expect it to go further than the comparable Trojan. Maybe the Trojan T890 which has an AH rating of 190 would be better suited (more money). Hopefully your repair man has checked your batteries to explain why they do not go 35 miles. I also assume someone has checked the cart for brake drag, tire pressure and other stuff that can affect range.

I think the conversation about how far a set of batteries will take us has to ask more information. How far will a battery pack take us before the pack is discharged to 48.4 volts? If we wish to extend the life of our pack, we should do our best to never discharge our batteries past this point. A decent battery meter will help remind us. When someone tells you how far they can go you have to wonder if they are discharging the batteries too far. The deeper the discharge the shorter the life.

As far as 90 miles? We know Par Car can go 81 miles, we just saw it in the Miles for Moffit, but we can also guess that the batteries were discharged 90% to a voltage around under 46.5 volts. Par Car did this for the charity, they would not recommend this and we as cart owners should never do this as it hurts the batteries. I would be interested to know how far a Par Car will go before the state of charge is 48.4 volts.

The cart that will be discussed in this thread had a long ride last night. This is not how the cart is treated normally, but I wanted to get an idea of how it performs for this thread. This cart went:
  • Home in Mallory (Odell/Murphy’s Estate) to Lopez golf course, Played 18 holes, Cart rested while we had lunch, Home to Mallory
  • Cart rested as my wife and I decided what we wanted to do, we settled on Sunday night cart ride
  • Home in Mallory through Spanish Springs to Target up on 27/441, 20 minutes of shopping
  • Target, back through Spanish Springs, to Glenview to sit by duck pond.
  • Cart rested for 15 as we relaxed.
  • Glenview pond to Dad’s house in Chatham. His home is a little past the Chatham recreation center.
  • Cart rested for 15 while we let his dog out.
  • Dad’s house back to our home in Mallory
My odometer said 50.1 miles. The voltage of the pack was 48.1 volts, measured immediately after I arrived home. Normally you would measure the state of charge after the batteries recover a bit, but I was tired....

These battery pack is 8 - 6 volt Trojan T105, installed in March of 2010.
  #9  
Old 05-23-2011, 05:47 PM
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That's pretty impressive. I have heard that set-up would get 70 miles but that's totally depleteing the batteries. Looks like your charger is fine.
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Old 05-23-2011, 06:31 PM
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That's pretty impressive. I have heard that set-up would get 70 miles but that's totally depleteing the batteries. Looks like your charger is fine.
Each cart is different. These same batteries in a different cart may get different results for better or worse. One cart could be more efficient with things like brake drag, regen capabilities, etc?

The only way to know is to understand your pack in your cart. I use use your in the general sense, but I know you do understand the state of your pack with that new meter. Not to put any pressure on you, but you should show off the meter with a picture
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubicon View Post
ajbrown don't don't stop...god its like a cliff hanger in the movies....I have a Precedent with 6/8 and it is not getting the miles I need????? My repair guy wants $2,000 to convert it to 8/6 stating he needs to reweld the frame to fit 2 additional batteries
Time to get a new "repair guy" for sure, cant be that much.

AJ, lookinf forward to hearing more about this.
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:46 PM
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Hmmm. Do you think that there is a reason why 86% of golf carts sold in The Villages are gas powered?

C
  #13  
Old 05-24-2011, 05:03 AM
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AJ, great thread, keep the data coming. Do you have a built in voltage meter on your cart? Not the red/green gauge, but one that will take it to the 48.xx range. I can see where that might be of value. I would think that an LED or some type of low cost digital gauge should be available that could be dash mounted to provide constant voltage of your battery pack. I currently have an 02 CC with 6 8 volt batteries that when they get to the EOL I might try this conversion. I have both gas and electric carts. I would consider only electric "IF" I could get 50 plus miles to a charge, have an easy water refill system, maintain 20 + miles per hour, not drag down on hills, and prevent the corrosion on the garage floor. I believe all these can be accomplished with proper maintenance and attention. It's just already there with very little attention with gas. However there is value in not having to go to the gas station or have a gas can full and adding gas to the cart. There is advantage to the quiet of electric. I probably have a sniffer problem as the gas smell does not seem to be an issue for me. As I have always said, there are pro's and con's to each. You have done a great job of starting to eliminate a few of the electric con's.
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Old 05-24-2011, 05:31 AM
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Default Digital meter for dash

My carts only have the analog voltage meter in dash that looks like a gas gauge. Although not digital, I know where on the meter 48 volts is. Reading another thread I believe dgammon6 just bought this meter which I hope to check out in the near future:
http://www.cartsunlimited.net/Digita...ry_Meters.html
One thing I wish to clarify about this thread. It is not my intent to make a case for electric carts. I use electric carts for my own reasons and LOVE them. I understand why some people prefer gas and have no desire to change their minds. On the other side of that, I do not wish to scare people away from electric carts. I hope that my writing about volts and state of charge does not make it sound like taking care of an electric cart is a full time job or "rocket science", it is not. I am simply sharing details as I learn them, some could be flawed and I hope others will share differing opinions so I continue to learn. I could take a thread like this to buggies<wherever>.com, but it is more fun here in TOTV as we cart owners in The Villages use electric golf carts like no where else I know.
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Old 05-24-2011, 06:49 AM
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That looks like exactly the type of meter I need. I will order one and see how well it works. Thanks.

Your thread does not advocate or deter from either type cart. Just well researched and informative information. I personally like both type carts. Each one has there positive points. If I could only have one cart, it would be gas. By eliminating a few of the electric con's, I might change that point of view. That is why I am following this thread and your past pictures and information so closely. Perfect discussion for this forum.
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