ATG (Sep/Oct14) - Bench Testing Cont’d

If you have any questions about my articles or our products (or just want to chat about golf car repair), feel free to contact me at guru@golfcarnews.com.

Question: S.K. Writes: Mr. Kramer can you please help with some sort of bench testing for controllers so we can run them before we install them?

Answer: Continued from September/October 2014 issue. This time around we’ll address a shunt wound motor test stand and wiring.

Parts:
1 Single Pole Double Throw Switch
3 Single Pole Single Throw Switches
1 5K to 0 Potentiometer (Linear 3 Pin)
1 Project Box (Plastic)
1 1/4” Knob
1 Sheet Of Wood Or Plastic (36 X 18 X 3/4”)
1 Stand (36 X 25”)
1 36/48 Volt Battery or Ferro-Resonant Transformer
1 Assortment Of Color Tape
1 Assortment Of 18/22 Color Wire
1 Shunt Wound Motor (Closed Case)
1 36/48 Volt Contactor
1 In-Line Fuse Holder
1 Controller Mounting Plate (E-Z-GO Heat Sink)
1 Assortment Of Six Gauge Cable (Lugs)
1 Assortment Of Wire Ends
1 Speed Sensor Lead Cable
1 Assortment Of Molex Connectors And Pins
1 Amp 23 Pin Male Connector
1 Pre-Charge Resistor (For Controllers That Require)
1 Diode For Contactor (Spike Protection)
1 ITS Module

The Project Box, Tape, Switches, Knob and Potentiometer can be purchased at Radio Shack. Wire, Cable, Lugs and Wire Ends you should have in your stock. You can use a motor from your stock just add the end plate. Molex and AMP Connectors, Pins and Sockets can be purchased on-line at Mouser, Digi-Key or Allied electronics. You can build a table or see what Harbor Freight or Lowes has. The battery is Lithium-Ion and may not be in your area and it is handy. Any of your old Ferro-Resonant battery chargers you can use. All you need is the transformer and diodes. Power connections are connected as Manufacturer recommends.

The key to any test stand is knowing the switch pin-outs and controller pin-outs. It is important to know the sequence of operation. Based on any given system whether it is GE, Alltrax, or Curtis each one has its own pin-out configuration. As you build your wiring adapters you must consider that. Basically, you will need as I call it the “Known Factors”. As you can see by this simplistic diagram are a sequence of known factors. Power supply, run/tow, key, forward/reverse, throttle and potentiometer. Typically, you will see 8 to 10 potentials you will need to work with. Every controller has to have a positive input voltage. Usually, that is either direct from run/tow, key switch and foot switch. Then you start with forward/reverse inputs the system uses. If you look at this drawing you only see positive inputs and outputs. Negative pre-exists in controllers internally. Negative controller output usually only consists of just one or two signals. Such as drive the main contactor or back up alarm. For this test stand we only care about contactor input. Know what this input is and label it clearly. It is important to have the correct wiring diagram of the system you are working on. Each car manufacturer has diagrams that clearly show the controller pin-outs. Taking those pin-outs and aligning the adapter pins with controller pins can be easily done. Think ahead and look at each configuration and plot out the different adapter to controller circuits. Unknown factors can be throttle inputs or speed sensor inputs. If you look at the simple POT (potentiometer) in the drawing it is a basic linear design and can be used as 5K start or 0 start depending on full turn clockwise or full turn counterclockwise. Other inputs can be voltage or inductive design. You just have to know what the manufacturer is using.

The reason you want to make removable connections is so you can use the switch box for trouble shooting golf cars. As an example the above box is for E-Z-GO ten pin Controller. Connect the Molex ten pin to the controller. Connect the red wire to battery positive. Connect the Blue wire to contactor negative input side. Connect the Yellow wire to contactor positive input side. Turn switch K (Key) on, then switch T (Throttle) on. Connect pins 1 and 2 to an ITS module. If the car runs from slow speed up to high speed this eliminates the Controller, Motor and Conductors. Result, this is telling you there is an issue in the car wiring or throttle. Note: use a steel rod to simulate throttle.

You can do this same thing with the other Switch Box and adapter per application. The Potentiometer I chose is usable either as 5K to 0 or 0 to 5K wipe. It can be wired as high or low side input with center wiper. If you wish to have the car run in reverse push switch R. If you wish to test the ITS circuit just clamp a wire piercing test lead to the throttle wires pin 1 or 2. You should see 14 volts on one side and .9 volts on the other pin. As you insert the steel rod you should see that low side voltage of .9 (lower than 1 volt) climb from pedal up to pedal down close to 3 volts. If you see this voltage movement then the controller is working in terms of throttle. If you do not see that voltage the controller or ITS is defective. I would use a diode in pin 10 wire and key switch input. And do not forget some brands of controllers require a Pre-charge resistor and a KSI Diode for Contactor coil voltage spikes.

For further assistance just send me an email and I will help you.


TS (Sep/Oct14) - Fleet Maintenance

By: Matt Vallez

This article was originally published in the Golf Car News Nov / Dec 2008 issue, it has been fact checked and updated as needed.

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 ‘err done” (as they say in the South) so those cars are ready for an early spring? Personally, I prefer an 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 tightening 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 - September/October 2014

RENEGADE DISTRIBUTING ACQUIRES IMAGINATIVE MANUFACTURING
Renegade Distributing is proud to announce the acquisition of Imaginative Manufacturing’s 4WD Kit for Golf Cars. This is an excellent profit center for golf car dealers who want to offer a top quality off-road experience to their customers. This innovative kit features two speed rear axles with a locking differential, rear lift blocks installed on the axle, and 4×4 output in forward and reverse that is all shaft driven. The 4WD kit offers excellent margins, an entry level upgradable 2WD kit, easy installation, and loads of opportunities for up-selling related products. Proven for over a decade, this kit makes customers and dealers happy. This popular, and durable kit will now be distributed from Renegade Distributing’s location in Watkinsville, Georgia (near Athens, GA). Address dealer inquiries to dave@renegadedistributing.com

FSIP ANNOUNCES EXCLUSIVE REMANUFACTURING AGREEMENT AND NEW PRODUCT DISTRIBUTION WITH WORLD-CLASS BATTERY CHARGER MANUFACTURER, S.P.E. ELETTRONICA INDUSTIALE
Flight Systems Industrial Products (FSIP) of Carlisle, Pennsylvania announces an exclusive remanufacturing agreement and an arrangement to distribute new products with S.P.E. Elettronica Industriale, of Bologna, Italy. S.P.E. specializes in on-board and standalone industrial, electronic battery chargers for lead-acid and lithium batteries. They offer an extensive line of high-frequency, programmable chargers ideal for the forklift, golf cart, scrubber sweeper, electric vehicle and go kart industries. Naming FSIP as the official US remanufacturer solidifies the commitment that S.P.E. has to serving the North American market.

Flight Systems Industrial Products has more than 45 years of experience in legacy manufacturing and remanufacturing of electronic products used on electric and gas powered vehicles. Additionally, as an ISO 9001:2008 certified supplier, partnering with FSIP ensures superior and reliable remanufacturing and warranty services.

As an authorized distributor, FSIP will be able to provide customers with technical support, sales support, product specification and remanufacturing abilities. All of these functions will be performed at the FSIP plant in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The companies expect a full launch by the beginning of October 2014.

For more information, contact sales@fsip.biz.

JOIN THE CLUB AT CLUB CAR’S SUMMER SALES EVENT
Special Offers on Precedent® Golf Cars, XRT™ Utility Vehicles and Street-legal Villager™ LSVs

As communities around the country begin allowing golf cars and other small four-wheel vehicles on their streets, more and more families are relying on these cost-saving vehicles for local transportation and work. “Our ‘Join the Club’ Summer Sales Event is a great time to test drive one of these vehicles and experience the Club Car difference for yourself,” says Mary A. Sicard, Club Car’s consumer marketing manager.

Tee it Up in a Precedent Golf Car: From July 15 – Aug. 31, 2014, qualified retail buyers can purchase new 2014 or 2015 Precedent golf cars at participating Authorized Club Car Dealers and receive $500 bonus cash or 0% financing for 24 months.

New 2015 Precedent golf cars feature best-in-class Subaru engines with electronic fuel injection and five-year warranties or advanced charging systems that communicate with owners to prevent common user errors.

All Precedent golf cars are built on Club Car’s exclusive rustproof, corrosion-resistant AlumiCore™ frame. This extends the life of the car and maintains its resale value.

The Street-smart Villager LSV: Those who prefer street-legal vehicles can purchase a 2014 or 2015 Club Car Villager™ LSV and receive $500 bonus cash or o% financing for 24 months.

LSVs are a relatively new class of electric vehicle with a maximum speed of 25 mph. They are legal in almost all states on roads with speed limits of 35 mph or less. (Check your state.) “In the United States, the Villager LSV costs about a third as much to own and operate as a gas-powered vehicle. And it can be charged through a standard 110-volt outlet,” Sicard says.

XRT™ Utility Vehicles for Work and the Woods: From July 15 – Aug. 31, 2014, qualified retail buyers can purchase new 2014 or 2015 XRT utility vehicles at participating Authorized Club Car Dealers and receive a free top and windshield and 3.9% financing for 60 months.

XRTs are available in compact, mid- and full-size models; gas, electric and diesel; two- or four-passenger models; and two-wheel drive and automatic four-wheel drives that sense the ground they are on and shift automatically.

“Our new 2015 XRT800 and XRT850 compact utility vehicles feature powerful Subaru engines with electronic fuel injection that outperform anything in their class,” Sicard says.

Club Car vehicles are sold through Authorized Club Car Dealers. To find a dealer near you, visit www.clubcardealer.com.

LOOK NO FURTHER FOR AN ELECTRIC VEHICLE SOLUTION TO MOVING LOTS OF PEOPLE

STAR EV (brand of JH Global Services, Inc.) is pleased to announce the introduction of our new bus line. STAR EV buses have a modern and unique look that no one else can offer with seating from 8–23 passengers. Standard features include seat belts, side LED marker lights, power assisted steering, dome roof lighting, aluminum wheels, powerful 10 HP continuous rated AC motor, 550 AMP Curtis programmable controller, speedometer, and more. Solar panels, sunbrella enclosures, heaters, defrosters and more can be added to meet the needs of any application. STAR EV also has a line of fully enclosed buses from 8 to 14 passengers with heating and/or air conditioning options available where needed. All-aluminum and glass doors make give our buses a long and rust free service life, ready to move people anywhere you need to!

The STAR EV Bus line can be purchased from any of STAR EV’s 200+ dealers. You can use the dealer locator and check out our bus brochures at www.starev.com.

COLUMBIA APPOINTS NEW PRODUCT ENGINEERING MANAGER
Promotes Product Engineer Simeon Vandezande

Columbia is pleased to announce the promotion of Simeon Vandezande from Project Engineer to Product Engineering Manager. In this capacity, Mr. Vandezande will be responsible for overseeing engineering activities related to Columbia’s products and their creation. He will also be responsible for maintaining continuous improvement. Mr. Vandezande will report to Scott Breckley, Columbia’s Chief Operating Officer.

Scott Breckley commented on Mr. Vandezande’s promotion, saying, “Simeon’s proven ability to bring innovative solutions to product development as Columbia expands its engineering capabilities will support the next phase our company’s growth as a leader in purpose-built electric vehicles.”

Mr. Vandezande’s biggest goal in his new position is to implement a documented design/development process and use it to improve time from concept to implementation.

Before his new position at Columbia, Mr. Vandezande spent five years as a project engineer, where he was responsible for creating and implementing the design of new products as well as improving current products. Mr. Vandezande began his time with Nordic Group at sister company Seats, Inc., where he worked as a mechanical engineer from June 2008 to February 2009. Before his employment at Seats, Mr. Vandezande interned at Manitowoc Ice (Manitowoc, WI) in the engineering test lab, where he conducted new product verification testing. He also Co-Op’ed at Curwood (Bemis North America) (Oshkosh, WI), designing and implementing various machine upgrades. Mr. Vandezande graduated from University of Wisconsin - Platteville (Platteville, WI) with a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Simeon Vandezande lives in south central Wisconsin with his wife and two children.

For more information visit www.parcar.com.

FLINT SETTLEMENT TO PAY GOLF CART COMPANY $69,500
Flint has agreed to pay a golf cart company $69,500 to settle a lawsuit that said the city’s former state-appointed emergency manager shouldn’t have ended its contract.

The Flint Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1nrTeLk ) Pifer Inc. of Holly sued the city in 2013, saying Michael Brown violated the state constitution when he cancelled the city’s lease of 100 golf carts for its municipal golf courses.

Brown said at the time of the 2012 order that the contract was providing a financial disincentive for outside companies as the city sought contractors to take over operation of its courses. Flint now contracts with private and nonprofit groups to run golf operations.

Current emergency manager Darnell Earley signed a resolution last month authorizing settlement of the case involving Pifer.

FOUNDATION OFFERS CHANCE AT ONE-OF-A-KIND GOLF CAR
In conjunction with its annual golf outing, the Terra College Foundation is having a raffle for a one-of-a-kind golf cart.

The completely reconditioned 1998 Yamaha Model G-16 will go to the lucky person whose ticket is pulled during the golf outing Aug. 4 at the Catawba Island Club. You need not be present to win.

The cart is electric and comes with six new batteries and a new charger that plugs into a regular house outlet. With 36 volts of power, the cart can reach speeds up to 18 miles per hour at full throttle. It is not street legal but can be made so with a light kit, horn and windshield wiper (not included).

“What’s not to like about a golf cart trimmed in Terra State graphics?” asked Lisa Williams, executive director of the Terra College Foundation. “But seriously, we are so appreciative of Tom Kern for donating this cart to help raise funds for student scholarships. Our Foundation Board members are so involved and generous and Tom’s donation is surely one example of that.”

Kern was pleased to help.

“I enjoy raising funds and supporting good causes,” he said. “Terra State is a gem, and it is right here in our community. The golf cart should be fun as a fundraising event. I hope we end up with a really happy owner who finds a special place in their heart for Terra State Community College.”

Tickets are $20 each and can be purchased now at the Terra State College Store in Building B or at the Foundation Office in A-202. They also will be available at the golf outing.

For information on the raffle or the golf outing, call the Foundation Office at 419-559-2325.

CS (Sep/Oct14) - Cushman

CUSHMAN HAULER PRO

Our September/October cover features the Cushman Hauler™ PRO with a 72-volt AC drivetrain that provides the range and power once exclusive to gas-powered machines in a silent, zero-emissions vehicle. Cushman vehicles are manufactured by the E-Z-GO Division of Textron Inc.

“This new Cushman Hauler PRO gives superintendents the range and power of a gas-powered UTV, but in a silent, electric model a golf course needs,” said Mike Parkhurst, Vice President, Golf for E-Z-GO and Cushman. “Cushman has a history of providing superintendents with reliable vehicles to tackle any job and the Hauler PRO is no different.”

The Hauler PRO is equipped with a standard on-board charger, which provides the convenience of charging the vehicle at any outlet within a property and eliminates the need for a separate bulky charger. An optional 12V outlet is also available.

An optional limited-slip differential provides for greatly improved traction on wet or loose turf, while helping to protect fairways from damage due to wheel slippage.

The Hauler PRO features a maximum load capacity of 1,000 pounds and come standard with a 9.5-cubic-foot cargo bed. A 14.9-cubic-foot aluminum cargo bed will be available as a factory-installed option for facilities that require more cargo space.

For more information about Cushman’s complete line of golf and golf utility vehicles, Shuttle personnel carriers and Refresher® food and beverage vehicles, visit www.cushman.com.

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