Instructables
How to make an old Golf Cart work again.
 
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Step 1: Get rid of old batteries

Ususally golf carts have 6 - 6 Volt batteries in them, If they are still good you can keep them, but if there not you will have to get rid of them.

Step 2: (If old ones are bad) find some new batteries

The batteries in my golf cart were completely dead. I looked around online and at local stores for the cheapest new batteries I could find. I was going to replace all 6 of the golf cart batteries but, I decided to use 2 - 12 volt deep cycle rv batteries instead (much cheaper, ~$150 for 2 - 12 volts instead of ~$450 for 6 - 6 volts) The 6 - 6 Volts would give it 36v 220ah and the 2 - 12 volts would give it 24v 120ah. using 12 volts will give you half of the runtime and about 2/3 the speed of the 6's but its much cheaper.

Step 3: Rust

The motor in my cart was pretty much fine, only a little rust. I used WD40 on most of the moving parts. I still have to get some good grease for it though.

Step 4: Speed Control

The speed control in my cart is really really old, it only has 3 speeds and if your going slow all the extra power is wasted in heat. I could get a new one for around $200-$400 which would make it much more efficient and much smoother.

Step 5: Stuff I plan on adding later

Battery Voltage/Capacity meter
Speedometer
Plastic/Plexiglass Side to keep rain and wind out
Hasan Darwish3 months ago
your instructable is very good !
But I have a question,can you explain me the idea of amper hour?
Bosun Rick2 years ago
Just yank all the battery powered stuff out & install a shaft drive motorcycle engine in it, This will give you speed, a transission (no reverse tho, unless you get the 6 cylinder Gold Wing) more reliability, and the lack of having to plug it in each night.
I've been told the rear end is modified from a Ford Pinto, but have no proof of that. But it should handle about any small engine if it is.
andy46393 years ago
If you need help with this project please feel free to contact me.
leevonk8 years ago
If you know how to program microcomputers like the basic stamp or a PIC, you could use this speed controller for $114:

http://www.ifirobotics.com/victor-884-speed-controller-robots.shtml

I used it for my submersible robot, worked great. Can handle up to 40 amps (not sure what your motor takes). See here for how to wire the microcomputer up to the motor controller and motors:

http://www.instructables.com/id/E7THM8MY2UEP286QU3/
nicholast (author)  leevonk8 years ago
Yeah, the motor uses about 800 amps peak and 140 on flat ground..
haha, wow, never used big motors like that before.
nicholast (author)  leevonk8 years ago
yeah, lol, it wieghs in around ~100 pounds.... :D
8| thats huge. you should build a cap-cart. basically, a bunch of MIT students modified a go-cart to be electric, and then they added ultracapacitors for a boost function. also has regenerative braking
nicholast (author)  leevonk8 years ago
Also it has a Shunt Wound 4 Wire motor in it, so youd need a special speed control.
xerxesx205 years ago
I'm familiar with this one, it's the three-wheel sports model if I remember correctly lol. I'm glad that this was salvaged rather than scrapped, long live ye olde engineering! 8-)
Where could you get things like this for cheap?
nicholast (author)  Mr. Waffle5 years ago
I'm not sure, but try a golfcart store for used batterys and motors, and possibly controllers.
fenris7 years ago
"...it can pull a huge amount of weight." What occurs to me there is that if it were geared differently it would have a lot more speed - I congratulate you for your attitude about re-using things. If I had this I would build a scaled-down 1929 Model A pickup (just for one real classy example), and try to rig up some wind-turbine generators of some sort to make it independent of the evil energy production-consumption complex. I have looked for used golf carts, and either somebody wants an arm and a leg or the thing is destroyed, and even then they want a lot.
nicholast (author)  fenris6 years ago
You could gear it differently, it would be quite hard though. Mostly you would just buy a new motor with a higher rpm per volt. The fastest motor that will fit on this one would be about 35MPH.
SuperZ6 years ago
Why not 3 12v and possibly rebuilds/re-mfg from battery shops (look in Yellow Pages) or good used ones from truck or RV take outs when they upgrade or service them. We had 3 12v from our trucks we were updating so were less than $50! Much less than paying for disposal!
nicholast (author)  SuperZ6 years ago
I found another old golf cart. This one had a bad drive train and all the tires were flat, but the batteries (6 - 6 V/220 AH Deep cycle) were pretty new. According to the shunt I put in and the program I wrote for my laptop they have about 120AH left in them. I generally get about 25 miles a charge on somewhat flat ground.
you no you can replace the brushes in the motor for only like 40 bucks and the thing will run good again
nicholast (author)  rocknrollskwurl6 years ago
It doesn't quite need new ones yet, still runs well on the ones in it :)
Thank you for your battery and price information, that was actually quite helpful for my current project, althought this wasn't really instruction for anything, that's my only suggesstion is maybe show how you put these parts in at least, just some constructive criticism, But your price guide was quite helpful, thank you.
0.775volts8 years ago
That's pretty sweet, Glad it's workin out for ya. I'd be cramming every battery I could find into that thing, just to see how fast I could get it to go. Leevonk: does that speed control do reverse as well? 'cause I may actually try to use that on large-scale RC truck I've been working on.
yeah, reverse too
nicholast (author)  0.775volts8 years ago
lol, yeah i thought about that.. but i dont have enough batteries that can put out enough power.. one thing about the shunt wound motors that this thing uses is that under no load they will just keep going faster and faster until it self destructs.
tabgilbert8 years ago
Bucket seats I see! Paint some flames on the side. It will go faster cause all the cars with flames on the side go faster here.
0.775volts8 years ago
I would recommend you use an actual oil or grease for lubricating. WD40 is pretty bad for an actual lubricant. You can use it to loosen rusted parts and get things moving, but then I would put some grease in there. How does this run at 24v?
nicholast (author)  0.775volts8 years ago
its a little slower at 24 but it still goes about 6-8 mph, which is good enough for me, i use it to move stuff around, it can pull a huge amount of wieght.
nicholast (author) 8 years ago
austin: i got mine from a farm across the street from my house, it had been unused for something like 15 years. 0.755: yeah i'll change that, it was pretty rusted.. 15 years outside... :P
austin8 years ago
so where do you find old golf carts?
need rimz Ever taken it off any sweet jumps???
mrbob10008 years ago
i have fixed my friends gas golf cart a few times