ATG (NovDec12) - Clutch Pullers

QUESTION:
UA from NJ writes: Explain what a clutch puller is

ANSWER:
On golf cars it is a devise with a hex head shaft with a threaded area for inserting into a matching threaded hole on the clutch. Notice on the sample clutch pullers all of them have several things in common. All of them have a hex for socket turning, recessed shaft, and a threaded area.

It is that threaded area you have to pay attention to when ordering a clutch puller. Thread pitch size varies from manufacturer to aftermarket designs. You will see anything from a fractional pitch of 20 to metric pitch of 1.00 mm. That puller pitch has to match the same thread pitch that is inside the clutch pulling area. If you look at the 5700 clutch shown below, notice on the end there is a hollow threaded area for the puller. On golf cars that threaded area exists after you remove the mounting bolt. On some models you have to pull the dust cover to access the mounting bolt (picture 9035). Next you should put a dab of grease on the end of the recessed puller tip. This does two things as it adds lubrication and most of all you cannot compress a liquid. Understand you are literally pushing the clutch off the crankshaft. When turning the hex head with a socket again you have to pay attention to the puller thread sizing. On small thread size pullers do not use an impact for clutch removal! If you break that puller you are in for a total nightmare to get that clutch off. You can only apply 40 to 45 foot pounds of torque on the small ones.

You should always test the threaded area to make sure there is not any damage the threads. Sometimes it is wise to “run” a tap through the clutch threads. Over time the threads can rust or corrode from the elements. If you do not have tap sizes you should purchase those from any tool supply warehouse. One old saying is “use the right tool for the job being performed”.

There is a difference from O.E.M. to aftermarket clutches and pullers. Just by saying you have a1999 model whatever, how do you know that car still has the O.E.M. clutch? You have to physically look and measure to make sure of what you actually have. Aftermarket clutches for the most part do not have the same thread size as O.E.M. Model, serial number and MFG codes are only the start of the process. Again, it is like ordering a tie rod end. How do you know you need a LH end or RH end. Yep, you have to look. Clutches have fallen under the same category as, motors, controllers and other aftermarket parts. You just cannot order those types of parts based on model, serial number or MFG code alone. You have to look first then order.

Professional golf car repair centers understand all this and if you need assistance they will be glad to help you.

TS (NovDec12) - Chargers

By Matt Vallez

Upon returning to the garage where his golf car has been stored for several months, the owner plugs in his automatic charger and finds it will not come on.  He did not feel comfortable leaving it plugged in for the entire off season, but now the battery charger won’t come on. This is one of the most common problems with electric golf cars left sitting for several months without a charger connected to them. They appear to be dead; next a technician is called to check it out. The typical technician will check the car over and tell customers the batteries or the charger is the problem, transport the car back to the shop where they have a method of charging batteries that are under the critical 80% discharge level (70% nominal voltage level), and or checking the charger.

There are still many automatic chargers out there in use today that will not come on until there is at least 70% nominal charge voltage in the battery pack. That is how they were designed; this keeps them from working if there are major issues within the system. That is why they need to have a 70% nominal charge voltage to start; it was a designed safety feature. The nominal pack voltage of a 36 volt system fully charged is around 38 volts. A 48 volt battery pack fully charged would be around 52 volts. On the low end 70% (voltage) of a 36 volt pack would be close to 25 volts and a 48 volt pack at 70% (voltage) would be close to 33 volts.

The good news is that in the last five years charger technology has improved to the point where most automatic chargers only need to detect one or two volts to start a charge cycle. Also many chargers are now built with multi fail safe systems. Now if the relay fails the charger will not continue to run until unplugged as some older chargers did. The problem with wet cell lead acid batteries is they discharge at a rate of 4% per week. In higher temperatures the discharge rate is even quicker. That means 16% per month. If you do the math it will only take two months and you are below the 70% nominal voltage. Newer charger technology also allows maintenance charging for storage.

I will give you a couple of solutions to fix this problem, in order of expense. One, you can add a relay by-pass switch to an existing automatic charger (Ferro-resonant only) see attached diagram (DIAGRAM HERE). Two, you can take an existing manual (timer) charger 36 or 48 it makes no difference. Put a SB50 amp DC plug on the end. This will allow you to use with any Nivel modular DC cords we offer to fit any current DC receptacle, and a lot of old ones also. Connect the manual charger using the appropriate Nivel DC cord set and let the pack charge 2 or 3 hours which will allow pack voltage to rise to a level where the automatic timer will accept. Before completing the charge cycle, check battery cell water level and you should be good to go. A general rule of thumb is to charge the batteries every 30 to 45 days to prevent over discharging to start with. The final option is to switch to AGM batteries which have a slower self discharge rate of 1% per month. This way the car could sit for many months before needing additional help charging.

In any case I believe a good idea is to take an old manual charger and have it ready to use in these situations. A technician can put the manual charger on the car, go to lunch or another call and circle back to check on the progress. Most of the time that is all that is needed batteries are fine and so is the automatic charger. Good luck.

Industry News - November/December 2012

CHASE PREVIEW: JUNIOR WAS “COOKING TACOS, BEING LAZY”

NASCAR’s most popular driver could always use a little practice behind the wheel. Even if it’s in a golf cart.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. visited ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn., to promote the Chase for the Sprint Cup in what NASCAR is billing as “Chase Across America.”

As the 12 drivers who qualified for the 10-race championship run on NASCAR’s top circuit prepare for the opening race at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, the media blitz kicked off in full Tuesday.

The network that will air the Chase races nabbed Earnhardt, of course, and had him in what ESPN touted as the first Golf Cart 500.

Earnhardt wasted no time showing why he is in contention for his first Sprint Cup title.

He took an early jump off the line, saying, ‘’I gotta get my motor running.’’ Being reminded he was running on battery power only seemed to add life to his dash to the finish.

Junior Nation, take heart: he won the sprint going away after a quick check of his equipment.

‘’I just made sure the tires had air in them, that’s all,’’ he said.

Earnhardt also talked about his favorite NFL team — the Washington Redskins — and touted the strong start rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III had in his debut in a win against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

When asked if he had his new favorite player on his fantasy team, Earnhardt replied, ‘’I didn’t have the opportunity. … By the time I got my quarterbacks in the seventh and eighth round, RG3 was gone.’’

Later Tuesday, he made an appearance on NFL Live, where he picked his all-time top five Redskins: 5. Dexter Manley; 4. Joe Theismann (he cited a chance to wear his Super Bowl ring); 3. John Riggins; 2. Darrell Green; 1. Art Monk (‘My role model growing up.’’).

And he stopped by PTI, when he reiterated this season is his best opportunity to win a title.

‘’We’ve been fast every week and feel we will be the most consistent in the Chase,’’ he said.

Earnhardt, who finished third in 2003 and fifth in 2004 and 2006, said he’s amped up his involvement with the team during car preparations before the race, whereas before he was ‘’cooking tacos or playing video games. … I was just being lazy. It never dawned on me that I could find another level … or be more accountable.’’

E-Z-GO® INTRODUCES THE “E-Z-GO EXPERIENCE” FOR APPLE iPad
E-Z-GO®, a Textron Inc. company and a leading global manufacturer of light-transportation vehicles, announces that the “E-Z-GO Experience” application for the Apple iPad is now available for download from the Apple App Store. The app allows consumers to determine the best E-Z-GO vehicle to suit their lifestyle, customize that vehicle with a range of available E-Z-GO Genuine Parts & Accessories, and solicit quotes from E-Z-GO Authorized Dealers in their region.

“We are excited to offer ‘The E-Z-GO Experience’ to help consumers find and build the E-Z-GO vehicle that’s right for them,” said Sanjay Kopay, vice president, aftermarket sales and support, for E-Z-GO. “This application provides consumers with a fast, user-friendly method to learn about the complete line of E-Z-GO consumer vehicles, select the best model for them, optimize it for their needs, and find dealers near where they live, all from the comfort of their couch.”

The “E-Z-GO Experience” will help customers determine the best E-Z-GO vehicle for their lifestyle, depending on how many passengers the vehicle needs to carry, the types of terrain where the vehicle will be used, and other factors. Consumers will be able to view and compare the many different models within the E-Z-GO Freedom® line of personal golf cars and the E-Z-GO Terrain™ and Express™ lines of personal utility vehicles.

Once the user has selected their model, they can use the “E-Z-GO Experience” app to customize the vehicle further, selecting everything from their preferred paint color and tire and wheel configuration to a range of options and accessories, such as mirrors, gloveboxes, brushguards, fender flares, windshields, roofs, and even solar panels to recharge electric vehicle batteries using the sun’s energy.

After the user has built the E-Z-GO vehicle of their dreams, they can use the app’s dealer locator to find the E-Z-GO Authorized Dealer in their area, and directly e-mail that dealer the details of their specific vehicle’s requirements to receive a price quote.

“The E-Z-GO Experience” is compatible with all versions of the iPad, and is available for free download at the Apple App Store. For more information about E-Z-GO and its complete line of golf cars and utility vehicles, visit ezgo.com or join the company’s Facebook community at facebook.com/4ezgo.

More information is available at www.textron.com.

LUXURY GOLF CAR IS HOLE-IN-ONE PRIZE AT MICHAEL PHELPS FUNDRAISING GOLF EVENT

Garia, the Denmark-based manufacturer of the exclusive Garia Luxury Golf and Leisure Car, is sponsoring one of their cars as a hole-in-one prize at the third annual Michael Phelps Foundation Golf Classic Tournament.

The event takes places at Atlantic City Country Club, New Jersey, from September 21-23, 2012.

The Garia Hole-in-One car is a street legal four-seat Garia in the limited edition color, Candy Apple Red.

“At Garia, we are passionate about what we do and dedicated to performance. We are thrilled to be part of this charity event and to be collaborating with an organization as inspiring and committed as the Michael Phelps Foundation”, says Mr. Anders Lynge, designer of the Garia.

Among numerous other celebrities, Michael Phelps, one of the most accomplished Olympians of all time, will participate in the event.

The Golf Classic Tournament is the largest annual fundraiser for The Michael Phelps Foundation.

The event brings celebrities, industry professionals, family and friends together for a great experience.

About Garia Luxury Golf and Leisure Car: The Garia is the world’s first luxury golf and leisure car. It is built at one of Europe’s finest automotive factories with a track-record of manufacturing Porsche. Luxury features include a built-in refrigerator, hand-stitched seats, and 12” wheels. Available as street legal and four-seater.

About the Michael Phelps Foundation: Eighteen-time Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps established the Foundation with the $1MM bonus he received from long-time sponsor Speedo for winning eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games. The Foundation’s first initiative was a nationwide tour to share Phelps’ Olympic experience and promote his message of Dream, Plan, Reach with members of the Boys & Girls Clubs. Since then, the Foundation has developed and launched the im program, helped establish Level Field Fund-Swimming, a grant giving program that provides funding to uniquely talented swimmers in need of financial assistance, and offers autographed swim caps for charity auctions through Caps-for-a-Cause.

Through the im program, the Michael Phelps Foundation provides support to Boys & Girls Clubs and Special Olympics international through its water-safety, health and wellness curriculum.

FROM THE JOHN-DEERE FAMILY
Gregg Breningmeyer, segment manager for John Deere Golf, passed away this past Thursday August 9, 2012. A long-time John Deere employee and staunch supporter of the golf and sports turf industry, Gregg will be remembered by all those who crossed his path. His vision, leadership and belief in the game helped grow the golf business for John Deere, and nurtured the industry as a whole. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues, who will surely miss his outgoing personality and enthusiasm for life.

CS (NovDec12) - Club Car

CLUB CAR FOSTERS GOLF CAR CITIES TO INCREASE LSV SALES

The expiration of federal tax incentives in 2011 slowed LSV sales, including Club Car’s Villager LSV.

“So Club Car created a guide to help our dealers promote golf car cities to accelerate LSV, PTV and accessory sales,” says Mary A. Sicard, consumer marketing manager.

Making Markets
To get the wheels rolling, the guide helps dealers:
Understand community problems and how LSVs and PTVs can help solve them. These vehicles cut emissions, reduce traffic, slash transportation costs and limit the need for parking. Being a golf car city also distinguishes a community, fosters interaction and attracts retirees and other residents.
Become experts on the federal, state and local regulations for both classes of vehicles to counter confusion and educate consumers.
Introduce local law enforcement agencies to LSVs. Don Stocks, president of the Golf Cart Outlet, an Authorized Club Car Dealer in North Carolina, demonstrated a Villager LSV at local police departments and reviewed the laws surrounding them before he began selling them. “When people started seeing LSVs, they called the sheriff’s office, and we got hundreds of referrals from police officers,” Stocks says.
Zero in on gated and retirement communities, small towns, urban areas, resorts, military bases and college or medical campuses that are good targets for golf car cities. Observe traffic patterns, key destinations and problems in those areas that make LSVs attractive.

Start small, if needed. Once people see how practical and fun LSVs are, the concept of golf car cities spreads fast. The Villages in central Florida, the nation’s biggest golf car city, started from a mobile home park.
Be prepared to counter safety concerns regarding driver’s age and education, safety equipment, speed, enforcement, insurance and registration. These can be key obstacles.

Form a coalition with the police, local officials, economic development personnel, home owners’ associations (HOAs) and real estate developers. Attend city council and HOA meetings to stress the benefits of golf car cities.

Showcase LSVs in action at parades, community events and other venues.
To become an Authorized Club Car Dealer, visit www.clubcar.com.

About the Club Car Villager LSV
Club Car’s Villager LSV is built on the industry’s only lightweight, rustproof aluminum chassis that’s designed to be three times stronger than steel. It’s available with two or four seats and a wide range of accessories.

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