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Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to convert an old gas 4x2 gator to electric drive.
I'm debating how to connect the motor to the transmission. I could do it any one of 3 ways:

1. Remove the secondary clutch and use a chain drive to connect the motor and trans shafts.
2. Keep the secondary clutch and drive the cogged belt with the motor.
3. Keep the secondary clutch and drive the cogged belt with the old primary clutch to the motor.

Any thoughts on the best way?

Thanks!

Bill
 

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my first question would be; would you have enough power going electric? A gator frame is probably a little heavier than a golf cart. You may have to go to smaller wheels/tires to reduce some weight. If this is a "hobby" project and cost is not a problem, go for it. If you're trying to save a buck, sell it and buy a golf cart. Or maybe I misunderstood your intentions:D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It's a project.

I've asked around a people think an electric motor can drive it nicely, albeit not to fast...
 

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you'll need a higher amp converter for torque or do some research on gear ratio's for increased speed if that's what you're looking for. If it's just ditch the engine and put in an electric motor, the drive sheave/clutch ratio should be equivalent and shouldn't matter which way you go. Good luck, sounds like fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks.

Do you think the primary clutch will fit on the 3/4" shaft of the electric motor?
I haven't pulled it off yet (need a special tool) and don't know how it attached to the gas motor.
 

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it sounds like you have the knowledge to take on a project like this. Once your fully committed to move forward, remove the engine and clutch. This should make your decisions easier on how to proceed. You might look into a cogged belt/sheave setup which I assume would give you a better response when you first step on the "gas":) more expensive though.
 

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Based on the many electric forklifts and Gators I have worked on....
Chain drive to trans is out.
Any belt driven set up is out.
Only a direct couple of the motor to trans will work.
Then you have to have a way to "throttle" the motor.
Then some type of regenerative braking is in order. A coasting electric motor becomes a generator and will quickly lock up if it doesnt have a way to get rid of the load.
What voltage motor?
Battery bank?
just a start....
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
24V motor using Alltrax SMP pulsev width controller. and 4 12V 12AH batteries in a series/parallel configuration.

Why not chain or belt drive? I'm using the controller to regulate the speed.

Thanks,

Bill
 

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Your not going to want to have any variable belt. I vote chain will work as good as direct as long as the motor is moved to tension chain. If you have a tension system other than the motor moving away or toward the trans to tighten the chain you won't have satisfactory performance on either take off or reverse. On the electric side just mirror a fork lift. Adjust sprocket sizes after complete to get the level of torque vs speed you want. If you use a chain I'd lean toward 80 chain just for reliability. Plus then dealer should have it for s680 and s690 because is come replace one those.
 

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I would look at high powered aftermarket motors and controllers for golf carts. I think the amperage would be insane at 24 volts and most golf carts are running 36 or 48. It might even give you the option of having dynamic braking and regenerative if you want to get really fancy.

At the minimum you'd get rid of the CVT clutches of your Gator. Best would be to direct couple the motor to the transmission to avoid any free play. Next I might consider a toothed timing belt. One of your first issues may be the shaft on the transmission. I don't know your Gator but on mine and the others I've seen the transmission input shaft is tapered. You may have to take it to a machine shop and have them machine a matching taper into the belt sprocket or coupling.

As for four 12AH batteries I think you need to really adjust your thinking as to what's needed to supply the current. A common configuration for a golf cart is six, 8 volt 165AH batteries or six 6 volt batteries on a 36 volt model and I would consider that the minimum you'd want for a Gator.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I found some heavier batteries at Battery Mart, so now I'm using 4 12V 120AH units. Turned out they had reconditioned units for the same price ($60) as the smaller units I was going to use.

I'm going try out a v-belt driving the existing secondary clutch on the transmission, and take it from there.

BTW: I've started a Flickr site to capture the project's progress:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/bferster/sets/72157645408986978/
 

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So is the toothed sprocket on the motor not the one you're using?

Are you letting the driven clutch do it's thing (move) or have you locked it in place?

Keep the photos coming!
 

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That's good news and makes things a lot easier.

I'm really curious about your project. I've always thought a hybrid would be an interesting project. Leave the gas engine to drive the rear end but have a electric motor for the front end to creep in when hunting.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I finally finished converting my old John Deere Gator from gas to electric.
Ending up being a big project, but its done and drives great!

Runs about 15 MPH, but slows on hills.
Right now I'm using the old secondary clutch and a 3" pulley with a V-belt, but will convert it to chain drive when I get time,
and need to make the drive ratio higher to get some added torque.

Specs:

Ramsey 24V winch motor
2 12V 100AH batteries wired in series
Alltrax SPM motor controller
Potentiometer connected to Gator foot pedal

Gas engine/gas tank removed. Will be selling parts if anyone needs anything.

Flickr site of the building process:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/bferster/sets/72157645408986978/

Now to make it solar charged...
 

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How long have your runs been? How does the motor do temperature wise?

Cover the top in solar panels you'll be ready to either star in the next Mad Max movie or head off to Burning Man.
 

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wow, very nice. I thought weight may have been an issue but never thought it through, removing the engine and fuel/tank probably cut the gator weight in half! 15 mph is in the ballpark for a normal electric golf cart speed and probably close to the speed of the gas driven gator anyway. What was the cost of the conversion, minus your labor hours:)? And in the last picture did you know a sexy young lady was stealing your converted gator???:):) Great Job!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I turned out to be more expensive than I figured, of course, and took about 30 hours to complete:

Motor $100
Batteries $160
Controller $220
Solenoid $30
Cables $35
Misc parts $100
_________________
Total $645+
 

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ROI (return on investment) the business point of view; savings on fuel, oil and coolant if needed, you'll break even on cost in 5-10 years depending on actual usage of your gator, obviously butt pull numbers based on nothing:) AROI (actual return on investment) who cares! self satisfaction, pride, accomplishment and reducing your carbon footprint......and did I mention your gator was hijacked by a lovely young lady who is probably the most impressed with the completion of your project so she can finally sleep in while you quietly drive away:D
 

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ROI (return on investment) the business point of view; savings on fuel, oil and coolant if needed, you'll break even on cost in 5-10 years depending on actual usage of your gator, obviously butt pull numbers based on nothing:) AROI (actual return on investment) who cares! self satisfaction, pride, accomplishment and reducing your carbon footprint......and did I mention your gator was hijacked by a lovely young lady who is probably the most impressed with the completion of your project so she can finally sleep in while you quietly drive away:D
24V motor using Alltrax SMP pulsev width controller. and 4 12V 12AH batteries in a series/parallel configuration.

Why not chain or belt drive? I'm using the controller to regulate the speed.

Thanks,

Bill
I turned out to be more expensive than I figured, of course, and took about 30 hours to complete:

Motor $100
Batteries $160
Controller $220
Solenoid $30
Cables $35
Misc parts $100
_
Total $645+
Update on Gator:

  1. I had to scrap the winch motor in favor of a big D&B motion ($400)
  2. Connected it to the old transmission with a chain and big sprockets approximating 1:1 ratio
  3. Added a 3rd battery in series to go 36V
  4. Got a unit from China that turn linear motion to 0-5K output for speed control
Works great now! It can run a couple of days on a single charge.

13539


13540
 
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