How I'm combatting rising fuel prices with solar.

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Biggkidd

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My tap & die sets grew legs when I had a helper at the shop! I've been buying as I need them as money is usually short these days.

Lift is on still needs an alignment it's WAY out! Also found a few other pieces and parts it's going to need ASAP. I am worn slap out but it's done for the most part. It looks goofy with that big lift and small tires. Now instead of getting down in to it you get up in to it. lol The lift turned out to be a bit taller than I thought it would. But once it gets tires & wheels it'll be just about right to get nearly everywhere on the property. Which the tires will lift it another 2-2.5 inches giving it ground clearance at the axles.

The volt & amp meter and lights came in tonight but that's a project for another day.
 
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Wingnut

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Hi Dez!!!
Sometimes, one has to envision how the vehicle will look and perform AFTER all the necessary mods have been made. Gearheads don't usually have a problem with it, they've modded out enough rigs & rides to have a clear understanding of what they're trying to achieve. Sounds like you're well on your way to having just the sort of useful cart you need & want for the property. Hey, it beats a $200 Biden wheelbarrow from Lowe's or the Depot!!! Lol. :oops:
 

Biggkidd

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Got a couple pics after installing the lights & meter. But forgot to get a pic of the lights which they will probably move anyway.

lifted.jpegmeter 2.jpegmeter.jpeg
 

Biggkidd

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I have to admit I am impressed with the panel and charge controller both made by Renogy making 250 plus watts usually around 5 amps from a single 300 watt panel. Panel is mounted flat as the roof of the cart so it's at whatever angle the ground it's on is.
 
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Biggkidd

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Just wanted to say how impressed I am with these inexpensive lights I bought for $15 and put on the cart. Granted I've only used them once but wow for only 36 watts combined they are BRIGHT!

 

Biggkidd

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I had put a link to those lights in the last post and now it's gone. Is that kind of thing usual here? IMO that's censoring and I want no parts of it. If that's something this site is doing then I might need to censor myself out of here. I added the link incase anyone needed some bright inexpensive lights not because I sell them or get anything from it but because I enjoy sharing knowledge and fair deals. If it's against forum rules something should have been said.
 

Wingnut

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Hi Dez!!!
I hear ya, BK, I'm not big on censorship myself... but I didn't see the link last time I looked at this thread (early morning here, round 0400), are you sure the link actually made it into the post? Sometimes computer glitches occur... just sayin', aye? ;)
 

Biggkidd

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Pretty sure @Wingnut I usually go back and reread all my posts after they post just to FIX any glaring errors! If it was a glitch or if it isn't allowed that's one thing but if it was removed that's another and I am sure you know what I mean.

Been back out working on this thing again. I wasn't at all happy with the amount or rather lack of suspension travel in the front. At most it could go up 3/4 of an inch and down about the same. Drilled new mount holes for the upper A arms about 1/2 inch closer to the out side and relocated them. Now I have almost 2 inches if not a full two inches both up and down. So I went from total suspension travel of one and a half to two inches to four. It rides a LOT better now. Not that it was terrible before and for those who WANT a lifted cart versus NEED a lifted cart it was fine but for me using this thing around the homestead I NEED suspension that works. This kit had some of the WORST instructions I've ever seen it was almost like two pages were missing and relocating the A arms out should be part of the process. I also had to add 6) 1/8 inch thick washers as shims between the spring and each A arm. So it also sit's another 3/4 of an inch higher but that's okay because now the suspension can actually work !
 

Biggkidd

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Was planning to try and do wheels and tires next but considering everything I think batteries would be wiser at this point. Which has led me into looking at all kinds of battery options. I'm seriously considering dipping my toe in the LifePO4 type or something similar. I'm thinking a small bank for the golf cart might be a good way to learn if I might want to try and get some for our house power system next go around. The solar charge controller I bought for the cart will work with them just as well as lead acid. For what I use the cart for and the distance I drive it I can probably get away with a very small battery bank in LifePO4 around 50AH versus the 150-165 AH lead acid batteries. Which would save a lot of space and weight which is important in an EV of any type. The big thing for me though to be honest is the price. I can actually get these


or possible these


with a decent BMS for several hundred less than I can replace the 165 AH lead acid batteries. These would give me around 40 useable amp hours. Of which I would likely only use 30 or less of most of the time. Which is about as much as I would use out of lead acid batteries rated for 165 AH I try real hard to never take more than 30% out of a lead acid battery and I prefer only 20%. I think that's why they always last me so long. Plus I never blast them at the highest possible voltage. I would treat any Li type according to what's best for the batteries. To my understanding that's keeping them close in the high center range of their capacity. Say in the 40-90% or 30-80% state of charge range. My research tells me charging that last 10-20% at the top and using below 20-30% at the bottom greatly reduces lifespan. Compared to using from say 35% to 85% state of charge. Yes you can use them quite well outside of these parameters. According to what I've been seeing though says you can increase a 6,000 life cycle battery to an 18,000 cycle battery by keeping it in that center range. To me that's one heck of a game changer! Maybe I am understanding this incorrectly if so and anyone knows different please explain.
 

Wingnut

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Hi Dez!!!
Boy, that battery business sure has become complicated, lol... like everything ELSE in life. :confused:

Wheels & tires next, WOOHOO!!! Dating myself here, but I'm thinking 'MONSTER MUDDERS!' :oops:

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Dang, sometimes I slay myself... ;)
 

Biggkidd

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Got the other meter in today. Very glad I ordered it it is already teaching me quite a lot. First the chore run takes less than 5 amp hours. The motor draw averages between 15 and 30 amps for the most part. That's just driving it, it spikes higher on hills and of course taking off from stopped. Another thing it has taught me is that the easier you run the lower the draw on flat ground. There had been some question about that being as this is seriously old school.
 

Neb

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Got the other meter in today. Very glad I ordered it it is already teaching me quite a lot. First the chore run takes less than 5 amp hours. The motor draw averages between 15 and 30 amps for the most part. That's just driving it, it spikes higher on hills and of course taking off from stopped. Another thing it has taught me is that the easier you run the lower the draw on flat ground. There had been some question about that being as this is seriously old school.
You are soooo tempting me to sell my quad and convert to something I am more familiar with.

Ben
 

Biggkidd

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You are soooo tempting me to sell my quad and convert to something I am more familiar with.

Ben
For me the lack of noise is almost if not as nice as not having to put fuel in it. It will be even better once it has new batteries that aren't constantly discharging themselves at a high rate. I'll know more once I have a truly full charge to work from but I believe these batteries are well past done. I'll charge it all the way tomorrow even if that means running the EU2000 to do it. I want to know beyond a doubt what the system is doing. But if I am guesstimating correctly then once it has new batteries the single solar panel will likely provide all the charging I ever need. Considering the chore run is twice a day at less than 5 AH per plus whatever other things I am doing call it double that so 20 AH a day the solar panel has already proven it can make in excess of 5 amps per hour in peak times and a fair amount even on rainy days like today. This really looks like it's going to work out.
 

UrbanHunter

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For me the lack of noise is almost if not as nice as not having to put fuel in it. It will be even better once it has new batteries that aren't constantly discharging themselves at a high rate. I'll know more once I have a truly full charge to work from but I believe these batteries are well past done. I'll charge it all the way tomorrow even if that means running the EU2000 to do it. I want to know beyond a doubt what the system is doing. But if I am guesstimating correctly then once it has new batteries the single solar panel will likely provide all the charging I ever need. Considering the chore run is twice a day at less than 5 AH per plus whatever other things I am doing call it double that so 20 AH a day the solar panel has already proven it can make in excess of 5 amps per hour in peak times and a fair amount even on rainy days like today. This really looks like it's going to work out.
That matches what I saw on the one back in the 90s, we could run it for about 5 days before needing to add a "boost" charge off the grid. But that was all on flat ground, not a hill for miles.... and it was almost always sunny. I am learning that my little system really does not like the clouds!
 

Biggkidd

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That matches what I saw on the one back in the 90s, we could run it for about 5 days before needing to add a "boost" charge off the grid. But that was all on flat ground, not a hill for miles.... and it was almost always sunny. I am learning that my little system really does not like the clouds!
Somehow I seriously doubt they made 300 watt panels back in the 90's Now I could be wrong but considering the tech in the 90's they probably had around 100 watts on the roof where as I have 300 as the roof! Slightly larger roof than the original being about 8 inches longer and the same exact width.
 

Biggkidd

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I never realized just how much smaller and lighter LifePO4 were compared to LA for equal amp hours of use according to manufacturers specs until starting in on this project. I'll be taking nearly 300 pounds off the cart by changing battery types. Plus it will open up about 2/3 of the battery compartment for storage. But the best part is with the slightly higher voltage and much flatter discharge curve gaining a lot of performance. Between the gain in power and the loss of 1/3 of the carts entire weight this should make a very large change to the overall performance!
 

Wingnut

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Hi Dez!!!
Now, that's the kind of mod I'm talking about, shedding weight and improving performance at the same time. Even if you don't gain enough extra storage space, the cart may now pull a small utility trailer which you can undoubtedly make... I have faith in ya, lol. That trailer might come in handy for special projects where you're hauling more material(s). Keep up the good work, BK, and don't forget the pics once you're done modding the cart! This is one of my favorite threads at this site! :cool:

When I worked at the golf course, my fully-powered Yamaha electric cart would get up and go, but the gas-powered carts would actually DRIFT in the dirt of the trails and the 'ring road' around the metal barn (shop building). That's AFTER I turned 'em up for each test ride, lol... each gas-powered cart had a governor, and I'd have to turn the carts back down (in speed) once I was through testing 'em, otherwise those drunken golfers would undoubtedly roll the carts, lol. :oops:

P.S. Back in the day, we called it "getting sideways"---I'm not sure when "drifting" became the popular term for such activity. Meh, we were "drifting" before it was even known as drifting, lol... I'll never forget taking the VW Transporter out on the football field running track at night, with a couple of my friends drunk & high to boot, and getting sideways around the flat end turns. That VW had a strong motor, 2000cc or so... the guys who drew the chalk lines must have hated us, lol. ;)
 

Biggkidd

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I've used the trailer behind it a few times already. But yeah I like anything to go faster! I also like free fuel from the sun soooooo....... Solar powered hot rod! LMAO

I tell ya I can really tell the difference when the batteries are fresh off the charger and ten minutes later. When they are fresh if you matt the pedal it spins both back tires for about 5 feet on dirt, grass or gravel. Ten minutes later it will not spin a single tire. Of course the batteries have dropped several voltage points in those ten minutes. The LIfePO4 battery should hold that voltage up higher and for much longer. Any new battery would make a huge difference but with this setup I'm trying to get the dead battery voltage will be close to the maximum fresh charge voltage I get now. Add losing 280-290 pounds in a 800-850 pound package and I bet it makes one HE__ of a change! The dry weight without batteries according to club car was around 450 then the lead acid batteries add about 360-375. The pack I'm hoping to use weighs 70-75lbs. Once all that's done Then it will be time to get the monster mudders! ROTFLMAO

We called it driving sideways too.
 

Biggkidd

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Got the golf cart stuck doing evening chores. After that I dug out a twenty year old set of 18x8 AG treads and put them on another set of rims I have. It won't get stuck to easy now until you hang the rear end on something. I know because we did it! lol we were playing a little by then though. lol lol

I have the big charger on the batteries now so tomorrow starts with a fresh charge. Today the weather was just to nasty until late afternoon and by then there wasn't time.
 

Biggkidd

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I've done a lot of running back & fourth round and round doing things today. Still made more Watt hours than I used by a couple hundred. Which tells me once I get a decent set of batteries then all should be well.

Went to hook the trailer up to move some stuff around and I can't since I put the lift on. It's now way to high for the little trailer and the wrong type hitch for the next one up. lol I'm going to have to fabricate some sort of drop hitch or something.

I think my newest favorite thing about having this is everywhere I take it to work I have a comfortable place in the shade to sit down. Which came in really nice today.
 
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Biggkidd

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I adapted a very small harbor freight trailer to pull behind the golf cart. Now I've got to figure out a bed for it. It's one that gets a half sheet of plywood for a bed. That ain't gonna cut it around here. Someone, maybe Chris gave it to me years ago. I had a water tote on it for awhile but they kept popping the hitch loose more weight & leverage than the catch could handle. That was after the original tongue ended up pretzel shaped! lol Oh well I'll figure something out. Wish I had some aluminum plate.
 

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