ATG (NovDec08) - About Me

Roger KramerMany years ago, I was in Indiana, giving a speech about the sales process to the Evansville Spokesmen Club. Though I had been invited there to talk, during the lecture I was interrupted by the overall director, who bluntly asked why I was qualified to speak on the subject. It was a valid question – if you’re going to teach others, you need to prove you have the qualifications to back up your lessons.


With that in mind, I’d like to use this space to introduce myself. My name is Roger Kramer, and I’ve been working with golf car gas and electrical systems for 38 years. I believe experience is the greatest teacher, and I certainly have plenty! As a new member of the Nivel family, I’ll be contributing informative articles for the “As the Guru” section of the Golf Car News.


I’ve always been a hands-on person, eager to know why and how things work. Simply repairing part of an engine or installing a new control system was never enough to satisfy my curiosity – I wanted to dig deeper into the system and understand it on a more complex level! So in 1970, I attended Lincoln Technical Institute and earned an Associate’s Degree in the electrical/mechanical field, finishing in the top 10% of the class. Over the years, I’ve earned nearly a dozen other certifications from quality companies such as Club Car (twice!), Industrial Power, Clark Equipment, Joint Clutch, Dana, Caterpillar, Teledyne, Thermogas, KW Batteries, Foley, and more.


Learning about gas and electrical systems in a classroom-style setting is one thing, but like I said, I’m a hands-on person. I knew I’d chosen the right profession when I entered the National Plymouth Troubleshooting Contest and won first place in 1972, shortly after graduating. From there, I began a long career working on solid state drive systems, engines, batteries, and chargers for a wide range of companies: Volkswagen, Caterpillar, Clark Equipment, Mid-America Powered Vehicles, Batteries Plus, and more.


Throughout the years, I’ve worked on a huge variety of golf car brands. While Club Car, EZGO, and Yamaha rule the market nowadays, I’ve also dealt with brands like Westinghouse, Harley-Davidson, JCPenney, Cushman, Caroche (first generation of Club Car), Hyundai, Nordskog, Otis, Pargo, and Tee-Bird, just to name a few! I’ve watched firsthand the evolution of electric drive controls: from resistor to carbon pile to Silicone-Controlled Rectifiers (SCR) to modern-day MOS-FETs.


On a more personal level, I’m the proud father of one daughter, Wendy, who lives in Indianapolis. In my little spare time – you know how that goes! – I play golf, fish, write, and repair golf clubs.


I look forward to your questions, sharing of ideas and technical insights.


Submit your questions, or insights to

TS (NovDec08) - Winterize Your Fleet

By: Matt Vallez

If you own or maintain a fleet of gas golf cars, you have two key times for yearly maintenance: spring or fall. At the end of the season, do you procrastinate until next year, or do you “get ‘er done” (as they say in the South) so those cars are ready for an early spring? Personally, I vote for the early spring start. So let’s see what it takes to prepare a gas fleet for a long winter’s nap. You electric-only guys can still read on and apply what fits.


The first thing before storing a golf car – or any piece of equipment, for that matter – is to give it a thorough cleaning. Any mud, dirt, or grime left on the car will only be more difficult to remove later. Also, it’s much easier to properly inspect and work on a clean vehicle. When you’re finished cleaning the outside of the car, pick up the seat and spray the battery so it’s free of corrosion. If water alone can’t do the job, mix some baking soda and water together – about one box of baking soda to a gallon of water. Lightly brush the outside of the battery with the paste. Rinse with water and dry. While you have the seat up, check connecting wires to and from the battery, making sure that cables are tight and in good shape. This is also a good time to cover the battery terminals with a protective coating. I prefer the anti-corrosion felt washers that go over the battery posts. Nivel # 3118 are the correct size for gas golf car batteries.


Before you move on, park your golf cart in the area where it will be spending the winter – otherwise, you will be pushing it into place later! Drain the fuel from all parts and plumbing between the fuel tank and the carburetor. This prevents gas from breaking down and gumming up the small parts in the carburetor and/or the fuel pump. If the car is equipped with a shut-off valve, turn it off. If no shut-off valve is present, disconnect fuel line from the fuel tank, then run the engine until it quits – this will drain most fuel out of the system. Drain the remaining fuel out of carburetor bowl by loosening the bottom screw or bolt. Finally, seal the fuel tank so no air can get in. Start by tighting the cap. If you can’t get a good seal, replace the gasket or the entire cap. Next, use a golf tee with some duct tape to seal the vent tube. Just be sure to use a fresh wooden golf tee. While you are in the proximity, replace the fuel filter. This will also allow any leftover fuel to escape.


This is the proper time to do a complete tune-up. Remember, if you don’t do the tune-up now, you’ll have to do it in the spring. Spring may come early and you could be caught off-guard, so I highly recommend you do the tune-up in the fall. Start by replacing the fuel filter and air filter. Then clean or replace the oil filter and remove the old spark plug. Pour a half-ounce of oil into the spark plug hole, as this will keep the cylinder from rust or corrosion.  Install a new spark plug. Check your oil, change it as needed, and check all other fluids and lubricate as required.


Next, disconnect the battery cables. This will help prevent a myriad of problems from occurring – after all, you can’t have an electrical problem if the electricity is not connected. Also, air up the tires to the proper tire pressure, as this will help your tires maintain their shape. Lastly, do not lock the parking brake. If you lock the brake and leave the golf car sitting for an extended period, the cable will stretch. Instead, use a 2 x 4 to chock at least two of the wheels. This will prevent the car from going anywhere.


Now that your maintenance is finished, you can rest assured that you’ll only have a little work to do on each of these winterized gas golf cars when the season begins next year. Just sit back, relax with a beverage of your choice, and grab some reading material – perhaps a Nivel parts catalog? Regardless, enjoy your off-season!

Industry News - November/December 2008


AUGUSTA, GA – Club Car’s efforts to reduce consumption and promote environmental sustainability were recognized by Golf Inc. in the magazine’s 2008 Green Awards competition.


The competition attracted more than 50 entries, which were judged in three categories: Golf Course, Golf Course Management Companies, and Product-Service Provider. Club Car was the only honorable mention recipient named in the product-service provider category.

“Our goal is to honor those in the industry who are demonstrating outstanding innovation and cutting-edge leadership when it comes to environmental issues,” said Golf Inc. managing editor Keith Carter.


Club Car’s main contribution to environmental friendliness is the trend it is leading toward zero-emission electric vehicles. Club Car is also sourcing parts from around the world based in part on their ability to be recycled. In 2007, the company recycled more than two million pounds of waste (mostly in the form of cardboard and metal) and decreased the amount of landfill trash produced by 25 percent.


Club Car has installed automated turn-off switches on power equipment to reduce energy consumption when the equipment is not in use. Auxiliary power units are being installed on the tractor-trailers that deliver vehicles to reduce idling time and fuel consumption. Last year, Club Car also began using nitrogen to fill the tires on many of the vehicles it manufacturers; nitrogen improves fuel economy, promotes longer tire life and is friendlier to the environment than compressed air. For more information on Club Car, go to



Augusta facility is one of only 20 finalists for award that recognizes top North American manufacturing facilities.

AUGUSTA, GA – E-Z-GO, a Textron Inc. Company, is proud to announce that its Augusta manufacturing facility has been named a 2008 finalist for Industry Week magazine’s Best Plant Award.


The award recognizes North American plants that are “on the leading edge of efforts to increase competitiveness, enhance customer satisfaction and create stimulating and rewarding work environments,” according to the magazine. E-Z-GO was selected as one of the 20 finalists for the award. Of the finalists, 10 winners will be selected and featured in the magazine’s January 2009 issue.


“I am honored but not surprised that our facility has been named a finalist for this prestigious honor,” said John Collins, plant manager for E-Z-GO. “Ultimately, it is an organization’s people who drive its success, and we have the finest workforce to be found anywhere.”


“Our employees are the key to all of our successes,” said Kevin P. Holleran, president of E-Z-GO. “As we have embarked on a journey of continuous improvement, our workforce has led every step of the way, through our commitment to Six Sigma methods and Lean manufacturing principles, to our implementation of state-of-the-art manufacturing technology, dedication to environmental stewardship, and devotion to maintaining an inclusive, open corporate culture.”


“Although we’ve made tremendous progress, this is only the beginning,” Holleran said. “E-Z-GO is committed to continued innovation and improvement so that we can continue to exceed our customers’ expectations, provide a safe and respectful workplace, support our community, protect our environment, and drive value for Textron shareholders.”


For more information, please visit



Sharper Images Graphics has just released a dazzling all new “no-drill” flexible Conform Chrome front and rear bumper accent kit for the RXV. As we all know, this was a much-needed accessory for the E-Z-GO model, which comes from the factory with solid black bumpers.


The front bumper accent kit consists of five laser-cut PVC chrome pieces, shaped to enhance the appearance of the bumper. The rear bumper kit consists of precision laser-cut E-Z-GO chrome logo letters to fit precisely over each letter. This adds a three-dimensional raised effect to the rear bumper. The rear bumper accent is also available in standard vinyl

material and colors, as well as select reflective colors, which provide an added safety feature when the vehicle is used at night (reflective product not a substitute for tail lights).


Each kit comes pre-packaged with application instructions and photo illustrations. This makes the peel-and-stick product a great cash-and-carry item for the dealers to offer to retail customers.  If you are looking for a competitive edge when it comes to RXV sales, this is a simple and effective product that has a great impact when it comes to the appearance of the RXV.  For more information please visit



ididit, inc. was honored to receive the Body, Glass & Interior Components award at the Goodguys 11th PPG Nationals in July. Ken and Jane Callison were on hand to accept the award, which is given to the company that designed the best Body, Glass or Interior Component for the 2008 Goodguys season. 


ididit entered their brand-new design of the 1970-74 Cuda/Challenger steering column and wheel adapter combo.  This steering column is not only a made-to-fit application, but it also comes with the same collapsible features as the original column. Once again, ididit’s cutting-edge steering column technology proves why they’re tops in the industry.


For more information on ididit’s complete steering column line, please visist



VENTURA, CA – PQN Enterprises announces the latest additions to their Special Performance Audio (SPA) line of quality speakers. The SPA22 measures only 2.8” wide x 3.8” long x .65” high.  The SPA22 is a super compact 2-Way speaker with performance that rivals much larger products. The SPA22 is perfect for OEM applications as well as aftermarket installs. Designed to fit where conventional audio products simply won’t, the SPA22 can be exposed to outdoor conditions without harm.


The exclusive SPA25 is a compact Hi-Power 2.5” audio speaker offering performance that rivals much larger products. Exclusive to the SPA25 is an integrated audio-driven blue LED for an added accent show. The SPA25 offers UV- and weather-resistant construction. PQN is home to the most compact Hi-Power speakers on the market. The speakers are available in gray or black or 4- or 8-ohm models. 


For further information on their complete line, visit



LAWRENCE, KS – The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) and its partnering associations of the Golf Industry Show are teaming up with the New Orleans Habitat for Humanity to host a series of work days before the trade show opens to help build homes in some of New Orleans’ most devastated areas.


The work days will be Tuesday, February 3, and Wednesday, February 4, 2009, from 7:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. All volunteers will be placed in teams of 15 to work on homes within a particular area. The Golf Industry Show will provide transportation from the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, lunch at the work sites, water, sunscreen and a t-shirt.


“This is the first time the Golf Industry Show has been back to New Orleans since Katrina, and we are excited to join our partnering organizations to help people of this great city,” said GCSAA CEO Mark Woodward, CGCS. “GCSAA has a compassionate membership, so helping the city rebuild is something that our members have felt very strongly about participating in when the conference and show returns.”


To support this first-ever volunteer project, register to participate in the event online at beginning October 1 (or use registration form A-2 in the conference and trade show brochure). You can also support New Orleans Habitat’s efforts through a donation on the registration form. Participation requires a $25 registration fee. The deadline for registration is January 2, 2009.



PINEY FLATS, TN – Founded in 1997, DPI is known for developing “intelligent charging systems” that result in an exacting charge, meaning batteries get fully charged – as opposed to the 40 to 70 percent capacity charge accomplished by most standard chargers. The technology results in longer battery life, decreased operating costs and improved battery charge efficiency. DPI has also developed a line of energy management support products, such as highly efficient AC-DC and DC-DC converters, remote displays and battery gas gauging.


While the general rule in golf cart maintenance is always to use the charger made for the golf cart, DPI’s new product offers the flexibility of needing just one charger to rev up multiple battery brands. DPI’s 48-volt golf cart charger has a select switch located on the front so users can choose between four charging modes: Mode 1 for the 48-volt U.S. battery, Mode 2 for the 48-volt Trojan battery, Mode 3 for the 48-volt Exide battery and Mode 4 for 36-volt general purpose charging.


The technology resulted when DPI engineers brought in various battery brands – such as U.S. Battery, Trojan Battery and Exide – and closely worked with them to devise specific charge algorithms for each brand. They then applied the technology to a single charger with select-mode capability.


The system follows on the heels of DPI’s development of a high-powered 12-volt 6-channel shop charger, which provides more than 1,350 watts of output energy and allows multiple golf cart batteries to be charged simultaneously, without having to disconnect battery interconnect cables. This capability allows carts batteries to equalize and saves valuable time for golf course personnel responsible for maintaining large fleets of car.


The company’s new 48-volt golf cart charger comes with a robust output cable, the Anderson SB50 connector. DPI has also produced a variety of interface cables for connecting their charger to leading cart brands – including Yamaha, E-Z-GO, and Club Car, which is known for having a built-in power supply system. Cart-customized interface connection cables (One-2-ALL™) are low-cost and readily available in stock.


The new charging packs are also available in 10 different automotive colors to match carts: black, blue, green, hot pink, lime green, orange, purple, red, white and yellow.


DPI’s full line of products is available at

CS (NovDec08) - Star Electric Vehicles


In less than 5 years, Star Electric Vehicles have expanded from one single model to 21 models, range from 2 passenger golf car, to 14 passenger buses. Their latest addition is a Star 4×4 hunting buggy which offers unprecedented value in the industry such as 4 wheel disk brakes, 4 wheel independent suspensions, and 2 independent motor control systems. If you are looking for an electric vehicle, Star is the choice, Star has it all.


With Ph. D, MBA degree, and 10 years of electric engineering experience under their belts, Jane and Jun started their company in late 2003, then Bob Weist, a machine shop owner, sold his business and became a partner a year later. Because of their commitments to product quality and customer services, Star Electric Vehicles started taking off. For 2006, 2007, and 2008, three years in a row, the company has been elected in the top 25 Fastest Growing Companies in South Carolina by South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, and this year, they also made to the Inc. 500 list of Fastest Growing Private Companies in Unites States of America.


Star stated with a 36V 2 passenger golf car offer in 2004, gradually, they have added 48V 4 passenger model, 6 passenger model, lifted cars, flat bed utility car, 2, 4, 6 passenger “bubble” cars, and 11 to 14 passenger buses. Some of the cars are also street legal. This year, they also added a 4×4 hunting buggy, and AC system upgrade to their vehicles. “The AC system presents lots of advantages compared to traditional DC system”, says Jun Hu, their president, “you don’t have to mess with brushes and commutator any more, for the same foot print, the AC motor can easily double the speed, and double the torque. It’s ideal for street legal LSVs and applications in hilly areas.” “EZ-GO has it, Clubcar has it, so do we,” says Jane Zhang, their CEO.


Star has two years warranty on its vehicles, parts and labor. They have standard RMA procedure in place, all the vehicles are shipped with warranty registration form, and every problem is recorded, solved, and feedback to their manufacturers for improvements. “We can not guarantee your vehicle trouble free, but we stand 100% behind our product, we will not stop working until the customer is satisfied”, says Bob, Customer Service VP


Most recently, Joe Wallington , former VP of Sales, Michelin North America, has joined the company as their sales and marketing VP. “His vast sales and marketing experience is exactly what we have been looking for”, says Jane Zhang, their CEO, “We all believe that Star Electric Vehicles have a bright future, especially, with the newly passed Energy Act 2008, congress has offered tremendous tax credits on plug-in electric vehicles (Section 205, H.R. 1424), it really excited our dealers and the electric drive community”. For more information, please visit

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