John Deere Gator Forums banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,
This is my first time creating a post so some slack please. I picked up my Gator TE on GOVPLANET back in Nov 2021 out of Pennsylvania for about 3K. It was one of about 8 similar machines being auctioned off after about 10 years of service for the government. All were loaded up with Curtis hard cabs, heaters, horn, outside dome light, 48 Volt to 12 volt converter and wipers but all looked to have been sitting for awhile.
Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Plant
Green Motor vehicle Vehicle Automotive exterior Gas


Other than a dead tire and NO batteries, I had no idea if any of the main components worked but I had my fingers crossed. After some lengthy research, I decided to to go the LiFePO4 route through Dakota Lithium (dakotalithium.com). Not sponsored at all for this post. I chose the set specifically designed for golf carts which were the only option to work with the Gator's 400 amp drive motor. (dakotalithium.com/product/dakota-lithium-48v-golf-cart-lifepo4-battery-set). I now have a set of 4 of the 12 volt 60Ah batteries weighing 16.5lbs each (current priced at $2099). There is an optional heavier 135Ah set that just came out but they are pricey. One Trojan SLA T105 weighs 62 lbs and one SLA T145 weighs 72 lbs. My new battery set weighs a total of 66 lbs and are totally maintenance free and warrantied for 11 years. That trims off 430 lbs from a set of 8 SLA batteries. Since my Gator did not come with batteries or cables, I picked up a set of golf card cables from Dakota as well.

The 48 volt battery set came with its own 48 volt charger that has a standard 110v wall plug. The OEM charger is not designed to charge LiFePO4 batteries but I left it in place anyway. The main controller looks for connectivity with the OEM charger and more specifically, if it is plugged in and charging. Once I had everything wired up and key turned on, the hour meter only showed 105.3 hours on the Gator - and everything worked! It runs perfectly. I will upload some more pics soon!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,936 Posts
Congratulations on the upgrade/conversion.

Please report back after you’ve had a chance to use for a while.

Did you read the details of their 11 year warranty? It’s not as great as it sounds and is heavily adjusted after 5 years. They have the option of requesting you buy new battery at 30% discount
 

· Registered
XUV 550 with Honda GX 630
Joined
·
1,073 Posts
I fly RC airplanes and three years ago started switching out the LiPo batteries for LiFe to power the radio systems. Luckily my batteries are much smaller and less expensive than yours. The iron batteries don't hold as much energy as other lithium technologies but they are a lot safer.

It's a shame you didn't own and operate the Gator when it had lead batteries. I bet you'd notice the benefit of shedding a quarter ton of battery & cable weight. And, lithium's can dump their energy more quickly so it might also help if you put the pedal to the floor.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
I'm at the point of having to do this for my 2016 TE.
-would you do anything different?
-how did it affect the hour meter and charge indicator?
-what are you doing for a hour meter and charge indicator?
-what about the 12v lights?
-am I understanding that we cannot go with the single 48v cell because we need more amps so we have to go with the four 12v setup?

Thanks
 

· Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
I just completed this upgrade as well. I used 4 LiFePO4 batteries in series.

The charge indicator is no longer accurate, ; I installed a new digital voltage meter.

I upgraded my battery cables to 2-gauge to better handle the higher potential current from the LiFePO4 batteries.

I also installed a master cutoff switch to completely isolate the batteries from the gator.

I installed a new LiFePO4 charging profile on my charger, it was nice i didnt need to buy a whole new charging setup.

My gator uses 48v headlights; i found 48v LED headlights on Amazon and with some small modifications they are a big upgrade from the stock incandescent bulbs.

With 4 12V LiFePO4 batteries in series, my gator will now spin the rear wheels when starting and when going up hill... It's pretty fun!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
I just completed this upgrade as well. I used 4 LiFePO4 batteries in series.

The charge indicator is no longer accurate, ; I installed a new digital voltage meter.

I upgraded my battery cables to 2-gauge to better handle the higher potential current from the LiFePO4 batteries.

I also installed a master cutoff switch to completely isolate the batteries from the gator.

I installed a new LiFePO4 charging profile on my charger, it was nice i didnt need to buy a whole new charging setup.

My gator uses 48v headlights; i found 48v LED headlights on Amazon and with some small modifications they are a big upgrade from the stock incandescent bulbs.

With 4 12V LiFePO4 batteries in series, my gator will now spin the rear wheels when starting and when going up hill... It's pretty fun!
Which batteries did you end up using? Could you provide links to headlights? Thanks!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Which batteries did you end up using? Could you provide links to headlights? Thanks!
These headlights -> Polarlander Auto Car 8V-48V LED Headlamp 30W V16 Turbo LED Lamp Auto 3600LM LED Head Light Headlight Kit H11 (Pack for 2) https://a.co/d/3cJ1guz

These batteries -> OGRPHY 4 Pack 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 Battery, 1280Wh Grade A Cells Lithium Battery with 100A BMS, Up to 5000+ Deep Cycles Battery for RV, Trolling Motor, Solar, Golf Cart, Marine and Off Grid Applications https://a.co/d/eqXqzpx
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,936 Posts
FYI
Here Ddruker’s original post documenting his battery modification and others.
 
  • Like
Reactions: khnitz

· Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Anyone figure out a charge indicator for the lithium setup?

And can you expand on the charger mod that it is safe for the Lithiums?

i went with Dakota lithium using four 12v. I think they are 56ah or thereabouts.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,936 Posts
Anyone figure out a charge indicator for the lithium setup?

And can you expand on the charger mod that it is safe for the Lithiums?

i went with Dakota lithium using four 12v. I think they are 56ah or thereabouts.
Might get more hits if you created a new thread for the question you have.
 

· Registered
XUV 550 with Honda GX 630
Joined
·
1,073 Posts
Lithium's have such a flat voltage curve, most people wont know or understand the reading from simple volt meter. You need to purchase a meter intended for your battery voltage/chemistry. So, if using LiFePo batteries you need to get a meter for LiFePo batteries. They are far more rare to find than a simple volt meter.

Because lithium batteries have such flat voltage curve it is very inaccurate to measure charge by the voltage. It is much more accurate to measure the watts going into and out of the battery which is why battery level indication is often done with the charger.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,936 Posts
You may want to use something along these lines to judge battery state of charge. Victron's battery chargers are also bluetooth and report back the amount of charge needed to bring batteries back to 100%. It's after the fact, but is a data point.

BMV-712 Smart - Victron Energy
 
  • Like
Reactions: khnitz
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top